Essays | Eurozine

Der russische Philosoph Iwan Iljin starb 1954 vergessen im Schweizer Exil. Seine Wiederentdeckung verdankt er Putins Regime. Es stützt sich auf ihn als Vordenker einer Politik, die die westlichen Werte im Namen eines neuen Autoritarismus systematisch untergräbt, mit Erfolg. Man könnte, meint Timothy Snyder, in Iljin den Propheten unseres Zeitalters sehen.

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Data-driven political marketing and electoral hacking follow a similar principle: focus on the weakest link, whether susceptible individuals or voting machines in swing states. On what the Cambridge Analytica scandal reveals about the new arts of political campaigning.

There is little hope for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia during the World Cup. However, Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike will not have been in vain if it causes people to question the platitude that ‘sport is above politics’.

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In May, fifty years on from the events of 1968, the ‘The Kyiv International – ’68 NOW’ project reflected on the political and cultural heritage of the revolt and struggle of that year. In particular, the project’s curator and the head of Kyiv’s Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) Vasyl Cherepanyn asks, where is the idea of internationalism today?

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The international order has never been tidy or complete, always having had lands with contested sovereignty. The breakdown of empires is the most common catalyst for producing new aspirant states. The post-Soviet space is especially rich in these territories, as Thomas de Waal explains.

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During the Crimea crisis, Ukrainian filmmaker, writer and Maidan activist Oleg Sentsov took part in distributing food to Ukrainian soldiers blockaded by Russian troops. He was arrested in Crimea in May 2014 and taken to Russia, where he was sentenced in 2015 to twenty years in prison on terrorism charges. In a short biographical piece, published in German translation in ‘Transit’ and republished here, Sentsov recalls his first exposure to official corruption during his schooldays. Sentsov has been on hunger strike since 14 May to campaign for the release of the approximately 70 Ukrainian political prisoners held on the territory of the Russian Federation.

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