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TalkingDrugs news from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region [December 2020 – January 2021]

  1. In December 2020, Russia adopted a new strategy of state drug policy until 2030. It also introduced new fines for promoting drug use on the internet. Read the details on TalkingDrugs.
  2. The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association published a review of harm reduction services practices during the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries of the world and the EECA region. The publication in Russian is available here.
  3. On 23 January in Ljubljana, Slovenia, local authorities demolished the squat Tovarna ROG, which housed a community centre providing harm reduction services. Activists are asking for international support and demanding that the centre reopen. Details in Russian here (Rus).
  4. The editor-in-chief of the DrugStat Telegram channel in an interview with Filter magazine spoke about trends in the Russian drug market on the darknet. Read the Russian translation of the material on TalkingDrugs at the link.
  5. Ukraine: 4 draft laws on regulation of cannabis trafficking for medical and scientific purposes were registered in the Parliament. Read more details in the material from Novoe Vremya. The chief sanitary doctor of Ukraine has supported the legalisation of medical cannabis, DSNews reported. Legal assessment of the draft laws at the link (Ukr).
  6. Online counselling for drug users in Kazakhstan – interview with Valentina Mankieva, representative of the PUD Forum Kazakhstan, available on the EHRN website at the link (Rus).
  7. Belarus: video blogger Pavel Spirin was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for his film “Fringe” about drug trafficking in Belarus. The film was included in the list of extremist materials. Read details on the Legalise Belarus website, and on DrugNews.Ru (Rus).
  8. Russia: political activists detained over drug articles. Listen to the second episode of the DrugNews podcast from the Andrei Rylkov Foundation. Podcasts are available at the link (Rus).
  9. The Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Action, which works in the field of harm reduction, has created a petition demanding that the organisation be removed from the register of “foreign agents”. You can sign the petition at the link (Rus). Read also the opinion of journalist Anton Krasovsky on the law on the status of foreign agents for NGOs here (Rus).
  10. Armenia is planning to grow hemp to get out of the crisis, says the Novosti N newspaper (Rus).
  11. There is something to work with. What are the benefits of medical cannabis. Read the blog of cosmetics developer Yulia Gagarina for NV (Rus).


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