Past, Present and Future of Democracy in Russia

Russia needs to go through a fundamental change โ€” both its leadership and society. We are a media platform who imagines how that change should look like and who are the people capable of making it.


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History Timeline 1990โ€“2022

How did Russia get to where it is now

On 24th February 2022 Russian Federation shocked the world when it invaded Ukraine. Was it entirely unexpected or were there signs of such an event long before? And could it have ended in any different way?

Russian post-Soviet history is a fascinating story full of both optimism and despair, civic resiliance and passivity and many unexpected turns. Some eras brought hope of more liberal society and cooperation with the west, while others crushed that dream entirely.


Freedom and Chaos

Everything was possible. The fall of the planned economy brought freedom along with unimaginable social inequality.

Cultural outburst, freedom of choice, fights in the parliament, and a feeling of hope. But also extreme poverty, mafia, and instability. The current elites gained their power in those times.

Open the decade

Price liberalisation

Russia joins the IMF. The credits to develop the market economy are being issued throughout all the following years.


Free media

New independent radio stations and TV Chanels such as Echo of Moscow. Also MTV!


The August Coup

A conservative attempt to restore the Soviet Union. Failed due to low support within the society.


First war with Chechnya

Russia enters into First Chechen War, ending with Chechen autonomy. At the same time, Russia joins Nato's Partnership for Peace.


First war with Chechnya

Russia enters into First Chechen War, ending with Chechen autonomy. At the same time, Russia joins Nato's Partnership for Peace.


Cathedral rebuilt

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is being rebuilt. It was destroyed in Soviet times.


Financial crisis

The financial reform fails. Ruble's value goes down drastically and country goes into default.


Vegetarian days

The 2000โ€™s started with the Chechen wars and terrorist attacks all over the country.

At the same time, they say that there was no such time in Russian history with such an economical growth, especially for the middle class. Yet, the economy does not solve all problems.

The 90โ€™s euro/american optimism has been gradually substituted with the new ideas โ€“ patriotism, allegiance to the glorious past, and the feeling of exceptionalism โ€“ we have our own, unique way.

Open the decade

Putin is elected

Having been assigned as Yeltsin's successor only a couple of months ago, Putin wins his first election.


Kursk submarine disaster

โ€œIt sankโ€. Told by Putin, this short comment on the death of 118 sailors became quite memorable and demonstrative even back then.


The Yukos affair

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev would end up in jail, the company would be nationalised.


Putin is re-elected

โ€œThe slide of the country into authoritarianismโ€, as commented by Grigory Yavlinsky.


Beslan school siege

333 people, 186 of them children died. The storming by Russian forces has been highly criticised afterwards.


Moscow Pride

Banned by the authorities to protect those who are offended by it.


Dissenters' March

"Russia without Putin!", "Shame!", "Give the elections back!" was shouted in the streets. 113 people were detained.


Rags to riches

Forbes magazine reports that Russia now has 60 billionaires. Only 15 years ago there was none.


Prison for a message

A woman was charged with High Treason for sending an SMS to Georgia describing the movements of the Russian troops.


Russo-Gerogian war

Being afraid of Georgia making new friends on the West, Russia supports rebelious Osetia with troops and tanks


The Reset

Obama-Medvedev's attempt to improve relastionships between the countries.



Series of protests to protect the 31st article of the Constitution, guranteeing Freedom of Assmebly.


Protest years

The previous years of relative prosperity along with theoretical freedom kickstarted the growth of civil society.

The long-lasting 2008โ€™s economical crisis brought a political one โ€“ a new-born middle-class started to disagree with the political decisions, taken with no consent.

The growing protest power provoked a reaction โ€“ every step a society took would end up in new restrictions. At the same time, the aggressive international course taken in 2008, justified the Crimean annexation, nurturing peopleโ€™s imperial ambitions, has aggravated the already taken course to isolation. As life shows, the most horrible things happen when nobody can see it.

Open the decade

New START treaty

A new nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation is reached.


Religious education

With secular ethics option de jure, with orthodox priests spreading the word of God in public schools de facto.


The Snow Revolution

Having started right after the legislative elections, it would gather thousands of people staying against the regime.


Bolotnaya Square case

The biggest protest in modern Russian history would end up in the large scale repression against Freedom of Assembly.


Foreign agent law

NGOs, media organisations, and common people who recevie any funding from abroad are scrutinised.


The Scoundrels' Law

In response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia decided to ban the US citizens from adopting Russian children.


Blasphemy law

After the Pussy Riot case, Russia decides to start protecting religious sensibilities by putting people into jail.


Gay propaganda law

No more "distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships".


Further restrictions

Unauthorised demonstrations are punishable by a fine or detention of up to 15 days. 5 years, if it is the 3rd breach.


Pension protests

The core electorate, the pensioners, protest against the retirement age hike. Communists start gaining support.


No way back

It all started with global isolation. Usually, having a dialogue helps to make a considered decision. However, the regime has been gradually destroying all sorts of opposite views on Russia โ€“ be it an internal political opposition, free media, or various international connections.

Externally, from subtle hybrid Georgian/Donetsk intervention, the Putin regime started a real war, ending any dialogue with Ukraine along with the West.

Internally, they closed almost all the independent media and non-commercial organisations that did not play the main tune.

The 20's have just started.

Open the decade


Putin is safe - he can be re-elected again. The local government has no power, marriage โ€“ only between men and women


Navalny is poisoned

Prominent opposition politician is poisoned, but survived by pure chance. Later, he ends up in jail


Navalny is arrested

Previously poisoned, Navalny got back to Russia in January. Arrested upon arrival, put into jail.


Memorial closure

An NGO, dedicated to preserving memories of Stalin victims, is closed under the Foreign Agent Law

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Our stand on the Russian war with Ukraine

Russia started the war against Ukraine. This war is happening from 2014. It has only intensified on February 24th 2022. Milions of Ukrainians are suffering. The perpetrators of this must be brought to justice for their crimes.

Russian regime tries to silence its liberal voices. Russian people against the war exist - and the Russian regime tries its best to silence them. We want to prevent that and make their voices heard.

Connection is crucial. The Russian liberal initiatives are hard to read for European public at times. The legal, social and historical context of Russia is not always clear. We want to share information, build bridges and connect the liberal Russia with The West.

We believe in dialogue, not isolation. The oppositional powers in Russia will not be able to change anything without the support of the democratic world. We also believe that the dialogue should go both ways.

The choice is yours. We understand the anger for the Russian crimes. It is up to you whether you want to listen to the Russian people standing against this.