BY DR. MIKHAIL NAKONECHNYI
In a new blog post, historian Dr. Mikhail Nakonechnyi discusses the Soviet legacies that still plague Russia’s contemporary penitentiary services. He analyses the secretiveness of penal system officials, and compares how the USSR handled epidemics with how Russia is handling the current COVID-19 pandemic. He shows that current practices of secrecy about epidemiological data resemble not the Stalinist GULAG era, but rather Soviet prisons of the 1920s. Continue reading “The Veil of Secrecy: How did the Soviet government quell epidemics in prisons?”
BY DR. RUSTAMJON URINBOYEV
In a new blog post on prisons during the pandemic, Dr. Rustamjon Urinboyev turns to the experiences of Muslim prisoners in contemporary Russia. Drawing on his extensive fieldwork among migrants from Uzbekistan who have served prison sentences in the Russian Federation, he analyses the everyday practices of these transnational prisoners and their prison communities, and explains how these practices have changed since the onset of coronavirus-related lockdowns.
Continue reading “Muslim prisoners in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic”
On 12 June 2020, the GULAGECHOES team hosted a seminar during which invited speaker Dr. Vera Mironova presented her book manuscript “Rise and Fall of Radical Organizations. A 10 sq.m Prison Cell Experiment”, which is currently under review. You can read more about Mironova’s work on her website.
Please join our discussion event “COVID-19 in Russia and Eurasia”, which will be open to the public through online streaming from the University of Helsinki Think Corner on 11 June 2020 at 14.00-15.30. Olga Zeveleva will join University of Helsinki researchers Margarita Zavadskaya and Sherzod Eraliev to take a look at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected politics, the economy, and punishment in Russia and Eurasia over the past several months. Mikhail Nakonechnyi will chair the discussion. Audiences are invited to join the discussion via Twitter and send in their comments and questions using hashtag #coronainrussia. You can read more about the event here. A YouTube video of the full event is available here.
BY DR. MIKHAIL NAKONECHNYI
In a new blog post on the history of pandemics in prisons, Dr. Mikhail Nakonechnyi takes an in-depth look at the typhus and typhoid outbreak in the Russian Empire in 1908-1910. He analyses the range of measures the government employed to contain the epidemic, and compares these historical events with COVID-19 in present-day Russian prisons.
Continue reading “Prisons and the typhus/typhoid epidemic of 1908-1910: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak”
The NGO Penal Reform International (PRI) has published Dr. Costanza Curro’s analysis of Georgia’s COVID-19 prison system response. In this post, Costanza considers how exceptional pandemic-driven measures expose the contradictions of the prison itself. You can read her post here.
BY DR. MIKHAIL NAKONECHNYI
In a new series of posts, historian Mikhail Nakonechnyi, Postdoctoral Researcher on the Gulag Echoes project, takes a look at how epidemics were contained in the prisons of the Russian Empire. The first of his two posts analyses the Cholera epidemic of 1892-1893. You can read the second post here. Continue reading “Prisons and the cholera epidemic of 1892-1893: How the Russian Imperial penal system contained the outbreak”
BY DR. COSTANZA CURRO
Dr. Costanza Curro, a Postdoctoral research fellow on the Gulag Echoes project, has been analysing what Georgia’s penal system responses to COVID-19 can tell us about divides between the prison and the ‘outside world’. In this post, Costanza considers how exceptional pandemic-driven measures expose the contradictions of the prison itself.
Continue reading “Living in prison: Responses to COVID-19 in Georgia’s penal system and implications for how we think about the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’”
Olga Zeveleva was a guest on Meduza’s English-language podcast “The Naked Pravda,” hosted by Kevin Rothrock. The episode is titled “Pandemic Justice: How COVID-19 and coronavirus containment measures have exacerbated problems in Russia’s courts and prisons.” Other guests included Kirill Koroteev, head of international practice at the “Agora” international human rights group; Ksenia Runova of the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at St. Petersburg; investigative journalist Liliya Yapparova; and Valentina Dekhtyarenko, project manager at the “Open Russia” human rights group. You can listed to the podcast here.
In a new article published by the Russian-language news outlet Novaya Gazeta, Dr. Olga Zeveleva has summarized her analysis of prison riots taking place in March in April all over the world. In the op-ed, titled “Hyperisolation regimes: Coronavirus prison riots will enter penal history,” she argues that as prison systems in different countries move towards increased isolation of prisoners (for example, through visitation bans, which sometimes include lawyers and human rights groups), the new rules are causing prisoners to mobilize and protest. At the same time, the hyperisolation resulting from such policies is making prison riots all the more dangerous and deadly due to dwindling oversight of what is happening inside prison walls. You can find the blog post that presents the findings and methods she drew on for the media article on the Gulag Echoes blog.