Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov (L) dances as Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev applauds next to him during Independence Day celebrations in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 2007. (Photo from Reuters / Shamil Zhumatov)

The Night the Dictator Danced: What’s next for Uzbekistan after Karimov?

Seattle's sister city Tashkent is in mourning and turmoil after the death of longtime dictator Islam Karmov. What will happen to Uzbekistan after Karimov?
Sep 22, 2016
Ksenia Zhivago (left) and Maria "Masha" Alyokhina of punk protest group Pussy Riot will be in Seattle to talk and present a documentary on their artistic demonstrations against Putin. (Photo courtesy STG.)

Pussy Riot speaks: Russian punk protest artists in Seattle for talk, film

Maria Alyokhina and Ksenia Zhivago of Russian punk protest collective Pussy Riot will speak and present the documentary "Pussy vs. Putin" in Seattle Feb. 8.
Feb 3, 2016
"Whose side are you on?" A Kurdish female fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) near the site of fighting between ISIS and fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria in south-eastern Syria. (Photo by REUTERS / Rodi Said)

Sectarian Superpowers: At war with ourselves in Syria

Sunni/Shia, Arab/Kurd. How viewing the Middle East through a sectarian lens has driven the U.S. to folly.
Nov 12, 2015
Vladimir Putin on a 2013 RT broadcast.

Have you been watching Russian government propaganda?

Popular cable and internet news channel Russia Today has developed cozy relationship with holocaust deniers and the ultra-right.
May 6, 2015
(Photo from Russian Presidential Press and Information Office)(Photo from Russian Presidential Press and Information Office)

Don’t tease the bear: Why we Russians love Putin more than ever

Vladimir Putin has been making plenty of headlines since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis last November — and never in a good light. Whenever a new crisis hits the news, from the Malaysia plane crash, to street battles in Odessa, to the controversial aid convoy this summer, it’s cited as another example of Russian aggression masterminded by Putin. And with President Obama’s UN […]
Oct 30, 2014
Crimean coastline. (Photo by Argenberg via Flickr)

Seattle views on Crimea, Ukraine and Russia

Given the breakneck speed of developments in Russia and Ukraine, keeping track of the news - and sorting out fact from fiction - can be challenging.
Mar 18, 2014
LGBT Activists at a September 2012 anti-Putin rally in Moscow. Photo by Sarah Stuteville.

Seattle to rally in support of Russia’s LGBT Community

Tonight Seattle joins a growing group of cities hosting rallies in support of Russia’s LGBT community.
Aug 2, 2013
After 12 years in power, Vladimir Putin looms large over all aspects of Russian life. Here a cardboard cutout of him is displayed near the Kremlin in Moscow. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Russian immigrants share a love of Seattle, but are divided on politics

Young people from former Soviet Union countries share their impressions of Seattle (Produced by Valeria Koulikova in a UW Communication Dept video workshop) I’m proud to be one of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Russia and Post-Soviet Republics currently living in Washington State. I’ve been in Seattle for over seven years now and I’ve met a […]
Jan 27, 2013
IMG_6690

Anti-Putin protests unite Russian opposition

What do a communist, an ultra-nationalist and a gay rights activist have in common? In Russia, they all oppose the regime of President Vladimir Putin. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in central Moscow on Saturday in the first major protest in three months, proving that the anti-Putin movement still has the […]
Sep 16, 2012
An activist from women's rights group Femen uses a chainsaw to cut down a Christian cross near the Oktyabrsky Palace in central Kiev

Russian Pussies and Ukrainian Boobs: The new feminism of the former Soviet Union

Yesterday, Russian punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of “hooliganism” and sentenced to two years in prison. The case has dominated the Internet and the airwaves for weeks, forcing well-mannered newscasters to cringingly utter one of our most taboo words in nightly news roundups. The trouble started back in February when the group staged a direct-action protest […]
Aug 18, 2012