Also by Michael Scollon
June 02, 2021
What Is The Belarusian 'Pressure Chamber' Threat That Drove This Activist To Attempt Suicide?
From his cage in a Minsk courtroom, Belarusian activist Stsyapan Latypau said that he had been ordered to confess to charges he organized anti-government protests or face time in a prison "pressure chamber."
May 24, 2021
Who Is Raman Pratasevich, And Why Is Belarus Targeting Him?
After the Belarusian security services allegedly "hijacked" a passenger plane that journalist Raman Pratasevich was traveling in and forced it to land in Minsk on May 23, he reportedly told fellow passengers: "They will execute me here."
May 11, 2021
Latest 'Columbine' Adds To Scrutiny Over Russia's Efforts To Improve School Security
The attack on School No. 175 in the Tatar capital adds to a growing list of youths-on-school attacks in Russia in recent years, leading to scrutiny of the numerous steps federal authorities have taken to stop them.
May 05, 2021
'Minecraft Terrorism' Case Casts Russian Teens Into Legal 'Nether '
A trio of 14-year-old boys in Russia face up to 10 years in prison after being charged with "training for terrorist activities" in a case that began with accusations they were trying to blow up a virtual Federal Security Service headquarters they built in the computer game Minecraft.
April 21, 2021
'Red Lines' And Rosy Promises: Five Takeaways From Putin's State-Of-The-Nation Speech
In his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin focused mainly on domestic matters, painting a picture of unity months ahead of important elections. He dropped no foreign-policy bombshells but delivered warnings to the West.
April 17, 2021
Russian Military Buildup Raises Tensions, Increases Risk Of Broader Conflict Over Ukraine
Analysts are loath to predict what will happen next as Russia continues a military buildup near Ukraine’s borders and in Crimea. Analysts say the risks are high and there are real dangers that fighting in the Donbas could spill over into a broader conflict.
April 14, 2021
Russian Investigative Journalist Says Raids, Interrogation Intended To Find 'Something Else'
Russian journalist Roman Anin says his recent interrogation was intended to accuse him of illegally obtaining photos published on Instagram, and raids on his home and office appeared to be done to "find something else," including documents related to recent critical coverage of high-profile figures.
March 03, 2021
Crimean Opera House Pulls Back Curtains On Russian Sanctions Loophole
An Austrian-designed, Russian-commissioned cultural complex under construction in Sevastopol promises to rise as the boldest symbol yet of Kremlin defiance in the face of Western sanctions introduced following the seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
January 19, 2021
Popular Soviet War Ballad May Come To The Defense Of The Motherland As Russia's Olympic 'Anthem'
As Russian athletes prepare to compete in the Olympics without the backing of a national flag or anthem, they have suggested that a popular WWII song be played during ceremonies. Katyusha, a song that gained popularity after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, is being floated as a replacement.
January 01, 2021
The Telegram App Gives Voice To The Oppressed In Belarus And Russia. But Hate Groups Are Using It Too.
After a long battle trying to mute the messaging site Telegram, Russia threw in the towel and Belarus conceded it was powerless to stop it. But as the company looks to Iran and China as closed media areas in need of a free-speech platform, concerns remain about the app harboring extremist content.
November 28, 2020
At Risk: Russia's Indigenous Peoples Sound Alarm On Loss Of Arctic, Traditional Way Of Life
The Arctic is melting at a record pace, exposing a host of threats to the indigenous peoples of Russia's Far North: thinning reindeer herds and fish stocks, environmental disasters, and the arrival of the coronavirus on the heels of a construction boom.
October 28, 2020
'Direct Censorship': Racy Russian Teen Drama 'Outlaw' Won Awards, But Audiences Are Having Trouble Seeing It
Most Russian moviegoers will have to wait to see Outlaw, after the nationwide launch of the homegrown film was hit by last-minute disruptions that will limit its screening to just a handful of theaters.
October 07, 2020
Belarusians Ponder Slow Course Of Change After Seeing Quick Results In Kyrgyzstan
Belarusians got a glimpse of how to bring about immediate change when they saw Kyrgyz protesters' rapid success in getting disputed election results overturned. But while some may envy them, others see stark differences in the two situations and urge continued nonviolent resistance.
September 30, 2020
Armenia, Azerbaijan In War Of Words Over Turkey's Alleged Deployment Of Syrian Rebels In Nagorno-Karabakh
As Armenian and Azerbaijani forces fight in and around the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the two sides are lobbing accusations over Turkey reportedly deploying Syrian rebels to help its Muslim-majority ally, Baku.
September 21, 2020
Belarusian Protesters Counter Authorities' Moves With Online Tactics
As soon as weekend protests against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka wrapped up, demonstrators begin planning their next move. As the Belarusian authorities try to keep the movement under their thumb, protesters are employing online avenues to spread the word on the street.
September 10, 2020
Belarusian Police Crack Down First, Ask Questions Later, Violence Victims Say
As rights groups call on the Belarusian authorities to be held accountable for the violence used against protesters and bystanders amid daily demonstrations over a disputed election, chilling personal accounts of underhanded tactics allegedly used by police continue to emerge.