Dnevni arhiv: 18. julija, 2015

Life in Time of Authoritarianism: the State of Civil Society in Russia

Evgeny Belyakov

In February 2014, when the world’s attention was locked on the flamboyant closing ceremony of the most expensive Olympic Games in history, other, very different events were taking place in the same part of the world. The several months long and relatively peaceful standoff on the Kyiv’s Independence Square, often simply referred to as Maidan, had been coming to a very tragic and violent closure. The day before the official closing ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, several Ukrainian athletes announced that they are pulling out due to the violent clashes at home and out of solidarity with the protesters. As the world leant about the true scale of tragedy on Maidan – by the morning of February 21, dozens were reportedly shot dead after 2 days of violence in the Kyiv downtown – both Russia and Ukraine entered a new era, very different from the one that was finishing.