Notes from my current research Read more

Russia and pensions in post-Soviet de facto states

This post outlines basic information about pensions in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, and the role of Russia in financing the pensions of residents in these territories. It is based on data and information available online, and includes references to relevant legislations and international treaties. All information comes either directly from official sources, or from news agencies quoting official sources.

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Word frequency of ‘Ukraine’, ‘Crimea’, and ‘Syria’ on Russia’s First Channel

Just more than a month has passed since Russia started its military intervention in Syria. There has been a lot of talking about the motivations behind the Kremlin’s decision to take an active military role in the Middle East, and a number of competing explanations have been proposed. However, one element that has been frequently quoted is the Kremlin’s desire to shift attention in Russia’s media from Ukraine to something else, while maintaining the focus on foreign affairs rather than domestic issues. For example, Timothy Snyder claimed thatthe more important factor is domestic public opinion”, that “Russia is a television culture”, and that “Russian television has completely changed the subject: from Ukraine to Syria.” Continue reading…

Journals focused on post-Soviet, post-Communist and Eastern European affairs

It requires a big effort to stay up-to-date with academic publications in one’s sphere of interest. I put together this post to make it easier to have at least a quick overview of what has been published recently in English-language peer-reviewed journals for those with an interest in post-Soviet, post-Communist and Eastern European affairs.

First, there’s a list of the journals I think are most relevant for scholars focusing on this region, in no particular order (if you think I am missing something important, please let me know). You find it below.

Then, there’s a Twitter handle: @PostJourn. Continue reading…

Articles and analyses Mostly about the Caucasus and post-Soviet de facto states   Read more
Social issues Recent articles and feature stories focused on social issues   Read more
Random pics, etc. Picture, video clips and multimedia projects   See more

Journey to Armenia – A film documentary project

front-mandelstam“Journey to Armenia” is a film documentary project I’ve been working on together with my colleagues at Osservatorio since 2009. It develops around the journey of Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam in the Caucasus in 1930 (at the basis of Osip’s “Journey to Armenia”) and more in general around the life of the Mandelstams. At the same time, it is also a journey from Abkhazia to Nagorno Karabakh across today’s Caucasus.

The project went through many stages and different concepts, but unfortunately we haven’t managed to find appropriate funding to make it real.

Least all the work we’ve done remains forgotten in a drawer, we’ve decided to publish some of the working materials. They’re all available on Osservatorio‘s website in Italian and English.

The most enjoable part of it all is probably the multimedia script, which includes photo and video materials mostly gathered by me as “visual notes” on the planned shooting locations. Follow this link and enjoy the experience.

If you’re not familiar with the story of Osip and Nadezhda Mandelstam, before heading to the multimedia script (or the other materials published on the project’s page), I warmly suggest reading this short note about them.

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