Elisabeth Braw

data surveillance

Who’s seeing your data and why?

While many social media users shrug their shoulders at the thought of tech companies selling their data, the transmission is unlikely to stop there. With China’s new data protection laws, Beijing could have access to the sensitive information of billions of smartphone owners.

homes ukraine

The enemy within — the Russians filling Ukrainian homes

It’s a pattern repeated in every conflict — displaced people permanently lose their homes to occupiers. But statistics and ‘integration initiatives’ barely hint at the raw human stories of grief and trauma that accompany such losses.

lviv orchestra

The miracle of refugee musicians

Countless musicians have been uprooted by war or persecution — to the benefit of conservatoires, orchestras and concert halls around the world. A newly formed Ukrainian refugee orchestra is set to follow in their footsteps.

russian ballet

Show’s over: the case against a cultural boycott of Russia

In the rarefied world of classical music, famous Russians who have yet to criticise their country’s invasion of Ukraine have had global invitations withdrawn. But while many have made no bones about supporting Putin in the past, we should think hard about how to fairly treat artists from aggressive and authoritarian regimes.

Graffiti of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg is painted over in April 2021. The inscription reads: "The hero of the new times".

The dissident’s dilemma

Dissent is not about the individual; it is about challenging an unjust system. Modern dissidents in authoritarian societies need not echo the West’s assumptions to be worthy of support.

Russian athletes pose for the cameras.

The Soviet military was a hollow colossus

After the fall of the Soviet Union, some of its military conscripts from former republics ended up in NATO countries. Their personal stories are not only compelling accounts of recent history – they also offer valuable insights into the former superpower’s ‘five-million man’ martial might and even today’s Russian military.

China’s takeover of Western capitalism

From obscure stakes in biotech companies to intellectual property theft, the Chinese state is engaged in corporate subterfuge. But what can the West do about it?

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