Talking Drugs Updates from Eastern Europe and Central Asia [Oct-Nov 2020]

November 2020


  1. Across November-December 2020 Russian artists are holding an online charity auction called “Help out!” to support people imprisoned for drugs. Funds will go to Andrey Rylkov Foundation and portal for social and legal aid to inmates. Read in more detail at TalkingDrugs (Rus).
  2. In the city of Dripro, a Ukrainian charity project called “Wash Dripro” gathered around 200 thousand UAH (about 7000 USD) for detergents to wash off graffiti advertising drugs on the city walls. To read details follow the link (Rus).
  3. A Russian media portal called “Takie Dela” published a story about Russian adolescents who use mephedrone. The stroy explored the inability of the narcological system to provide treatment for catinone users. Article is available here (Rus).
  4. The Eurasian Network Of People Who Use Drugs joined the international campaign #peersinpandemic, calling for reforms in harm reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign’s position statement is available at ENPUD’s web-site (Eng). 
  5. “Harm reduction in Eurasia in 2020” - an analytical report and infographic, has been released by EHRA. Report available here (Eng). 
  6. Putin unveils new anti-drug strategy 2030. The new strategy has called marihuana legalization a “threat to national security”. Further details available at Radio Liberty (Rus). How does the new strategy different from the previous one? - read more here (Rus).
  7. “Take-home OST”: documentary video by DUNews studio available here (Rus with Eng subs).
  8. “Bringing back what’s ours!”: stories from the international movement of people who use drugs. Episode №9 follows activists from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia and is available here (Eng with Russian subs). 
  9. Russia: A book for teenagers whose parents take drugs has been published. The book is available online for free download here (Rus).
  10. Uzbekistan has signed its first contract on growing marijuana for medical purposes, Radio Liberty reports (Rus). 


October 2020


  1. Kazakhstan: First sentencing for 12 years of prison following new law on drug promotion and propaganda on the internet. The law was adopted in January 2020. There are currently 56 cases in progress. Read more at (Rus).
  2. “Drug users - are people?”. Russian video-blogger Kasatkina discusses people who use drugs and how they can be best supported. Video available here (Rus).
  3. Irina Kutsenko: “I was the deputy, who closed down OST sites and LGBT-organizations”. Interview with a local official, who has received a regional award “InYourPower”, nominated by key populations and activists in Odesa, Ukraine. Video is available here (Rus).
  4. The Russian Network Of People Who Use Drugs (RuNPUD) has been officially registered by the state.
  5. Ukrainian patients’ groups have presented the Draft law on legalization of cannabis for medical purposes in Ukraine. Read more at “100% Life” NGO web-page. (Ukr). 
  6. Ukraine: Behind the iron fence. A blog from Ukrainian cannabis-activists about perspectives on Ukrainian drug policy reform. Read on TalkingDrugs (Rus). 
  7. EHRA in partnership with School of Law, Swansea University present new reports about the use of New Psychoactive Substances in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Serbia. (Eng).
  8. AFEW International published “The Impact of COVID-19 on Civil Society Organisations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. The full report is available here (Eng). 
  9. “Targets”: a new documentary by DUNews studio, explores stories of women who use drugs in Ukraine. Read more here (Rus).
  10. Based on the true story of Kostya Proletarsky, an HIV activist who used drugs, the animated documentary film "Kostya Proletarsky" has won the main prize at the 65th Hungarian Independent Film festival of 2020. Proletarsky's untimely death was the result of three years of mistreatment and torture at the prison facility No. 4 in Karelia, Russia. Watch the trailer here (Rus).