Wednesday, 5 December 2012

All's Quiet on the Eastern Front?

Dear all,

Apologies for not logging in for a while; life has been hectic to say the least. I’m back and studying at Oxford, interning in the media and trying to get my head around how darn cold its getting. You’d have though after a year in Russia I’d be a boss at dealing with this now, but I’m as red-cheeked and blustered as ever…

All has been quiet on the Eastern Front, or at least that’s how it seems in the British Press. In the wake of all the shouting about Pussy Riot the only people still making noise seem to be Anti Flag frontman Justin Sane on twitter (@justinsanesolo) and occasional yelps from NME. My Russian room-mate informs me that things are pretty quiet opposition-wise and pieces about “no show revolutions” are appearing in the papers. With the first of the protests beginning about a year ago today, it’s a wonder where all the rage has gone.

News today that the still-incarcerated Maria Alyokinha faces further punishment for “failing to wake up” reads like bad Russian stereotyping: Even sadder are the sporadic and continued reports of the homophobic and disgusting laws against “homosexual propaganda” being brought against people as well-known as Madonna. Just think about it, a law is being manipulated to include talking openly about homosexuality as a criminal offence, all under the guise of patriotism and protecting the next generation.
Campaigns are beginning to attempt to boycott the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics because of issues like this. Whether they will succeed or not looks doubtful.

Some positive news from Russia is that Putin has signed a new law to ease Visa processes for foreign workers heading to help out in the games. Russia’s condemnation of North Korea’s missile programme is also a welcome sign that Russian defence policy is not always obsessed with looking westwards.
That’s all for now folks. The blog is still running, although in conjunction with many, many other projects.


 For anyone interested those include a new column writing about horror movies, which, if you like the more creative aspects of my writing, can be read here:

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