Crimea is facing a violent wave of human rights abuses, activists warn, with kidnappings of journalists and rights campaigners, harassment of non-Russian minorities and reports of growing persecution of anyone thought to be sympathising with the pro-European Kiev government.
Elena Smolenskaya doesn’t hesitate a second when asked what she thinks about the Russian military intervention in Crimea. The 23-year-old Moscow student is convinced that President Vladimir Putin had no choice but to order troops into the country.
Crimea could remain under Russian control indefinitely as the current crisis - described by some politicians as Europe’s gravest since the end of the Cold War – threatens to turn into a “frozen conflict”, experts say.
Fears are growing in Russia that the Kremlin is preparing a crackdown on rights activists following the end of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Ukrainians are facing years of pain and upheaval if the country moves towards closer EU integration – or the prospect of the country being left to “rot” if they do not, experts say following the weekend’s revolution.
As Ukraine’s capital experiences the worst violence in its post-Soviet history, some protestors are warning that the festering discontent with the regime which led to the current crisis is unlikely to disappear overnight even if a solution to the current impasse is found.
Bloody clashes that have left more than a score dead and more than a 1,000 injured in the Ukrainian capital could continue for weeks. Local people say there is now “no way back” for either side in what has become the worst crisis in the country’s post-Soviet history.
Sitting in the dining room of a Moscow hotel, manager Yulia Golovanova explains why she always likes to see Russians, rather than foreigners, bring guests in.
Groups battling one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics say their task may get “catastrophically” harder following the introduction of controversial laws in Ukraine in response to months of anti-government protests.
Just hours after Ukrainian investigative journalist Tetyana Chornovil was beaten and left for dead last month at the side of the road by men she claims were acting on the orders of the country’s president, pictures of her battered and bruised face quickly made their way around the world.
An amnesty freeing high-profile detainees and convicts and the pardoning of arguably Russia’s most famous political prisoner have failed to move critics of the country’s appalling human rights record.
Russia is set to lose one of its few relatively objective news outlets as the Kremlin moves to tighten its grip on the country’s media.
As anti-government protests in the Ukraine move into their third week, there are growing concerns among individuals and civil society organisations in the country over the regime’s approach to protestors.
Despite an endorsement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for their adherence to environmental standards in preparations for next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian authorities are cracking down harder and harder on people trying to expose the environmental cost of projects related to the Games.
Healthcare systems in Eastern Europe and Central Asia remain woefully unable to cope with HIV/AIDS as the region’s raging epidemic – the fastest growing in the world – takes on a new dimension, a senior UN official has told IPS.
Growing anti-immigrant sentiment in Russia which spilled over into violent riots in Moscow earlier this month is playing into the hands of a government keen to promote the image of a popular ‘enemy’ to a discontented public, rights groups claim.
Despite a seemingly entrenched resistance to change on its nuclear disarmament policy, the Kremlin’s recent initiative to get Syria to destroy its chemical weapons provides hope that Russia could play a more positive role in reducing the world’s global nuclear stockpiles, experts say.
“It's okay to be gay in Russia if you live in a big city such as St. Petersburg or Moscow, study at university or work at a liberal company, but even here you can't feel absolutely safe,” says Nikita Mironov, describing the climate of fear that many homosexuals face in Russia.
A Kremlin compromise on nuclear disarmament looks as far away as ever as Russian president Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama use their countries’ strained relations to bolster their own domestic political agendas, experts say.
The European Commission (EC) has demanded that Slovakia’s second city, Kosice, tear down a wall put up to segregate Roma – the 14th
such wall in the country and the eighth built in the last four years.
A “virus” of restrictive abortion legislation is spreading from Eastern Europe, health experts and rights campaigners have said, amid Church pressure and misguided government attempts to stop falling birth rates.