Talking Drugs Updates from Eastern Europe and Central Asia [March-April 2022]

Since the beginning of Russia's war in Ukraine, the number of Ukrainian refugees has exceeded 5.4 million, according to the UNHCR. Among them are people who use drugs.
  1. How Russia’s War Impacts Harm Reduction Programmes in Ukraine, Talking Drugs (Rus). PLUS: Read this story of a Ukrainian harm reduction activist in Ukraine, published by “MainLine” magazine (Eng).
  2. Real stories of opiate substitution therapy patients suffering from the Russian invasion in Ukraine published by “Novaya Gazeta” (Rus).
  3. TalkingDrugs has published a position statement by Anya Sarang, director of Andrey Rylkov Foundation, on Russia's war against Ukraine; available here (Eng). “If international organisations listened to the voice of grassroots activists, illusions about Russia could be avoided,” Sarang has said.
  4. The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association launched “Harm Reduction for Ukrainians”, a telegram channel to help key populations in Ukraine seek treatment and harm reduction services across Europe after fleeing their home country. The Telegram channel can be accessed here (Rus).
  5. An open letter has been published by Correlation (Eng) appealing to EU member-states and institutions to ensure the continuity of HIV and opioid dependency treatment for people displaced by the war in Ukraine.
  6. Belarus: despite the collapse of the legal system in the country, lawyers of Legalize Belarus continue to provide free legal support to people who have been persecuted under Article 238 of the Criminal Code (possession of drugs for private purposes). The initiative’s telegram-bot is available here (Rus).
  7. A series of video-interviews with harm reduction activists from the EECA region has been published by DUNews studio.To Watch the latest episode with Pavel Kutsev, editor-in-chief of “Motylek” newspaper, follow this link (Rus).
  8. The owner of a Cannabis shop in Kyiv, Ukraine tells Legalize Belarus about the state of his business during the war (Rus).
  9. A UNODC report on the main trends in the demand and consumption of drugs during the war in Ukraine is available here (Eng).
  10. Russia: How the Closure of the Largest Darknet Marketplace, “Hydra”, will affect the drug market, TalkingDrugs (Rus).