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TalkingDrugs Updates from Eastern Europe & Central Asia [January 2020]

1. In 2019 the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs blocked around 21,000 internet sites relating to drugs and drug use. Approximately 7,000 of them were platforms that sold drugs, “Izvestiya” newspaper reports. (Rus). TalkingDrugs recently reported on the risks associated with “drug propaganda” in Russia. (English version; Russian version)

2. In January, the Russian Duma implemented a law allowing doctors to disclose personal, confidential medical data concerning those who are incarcerated and struggling with dependency or problematic drug use. This legislation has been explored in greater detail, visit “TakieDela”  (Rus).

3. On January 17 a draft law was filed to the Ukrainian Parliament proposing changes too regulations on the circulation of controlled substances in Ukraine. The new draft law, experts and civic activists asserted, violates patients’ rights to receive information about controlled substances and encourages “compulsory treatment” for drug dependent people, “Dzerkalo Tyzhnia” weekly reports (Rus). To explore the public appeal of the National Association for child palliative care against the draft law, click here (Ukr).

4. The Andrey Rylkov Foundation have started an awareness campaign to support Daniel Diaz-Strukov, a Russian/Peruvian man currently being held in a Russian jail. Daniel is facing a life sentence for attempted drug trafficking. On January 29, activists held pickets in front of the Embassy of Peru in Russia to attract diplomats’ attention to his case. You can read more here (Eng) and sign the petition to free Diaz-Strukov here!   

5. In December 2019 the Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs Forum was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Forum was dedicated to the memory of ENPUDs Founder, Alena Asaeva, who passed away in May 2019. During the forum the new ENPUD Coordination Committee was elected. Read more details here (Rus). Documentation of the Forum produced by DUNews studio is available to view here (Rus).

6. “The Berlin Arc”, a documentary about an EECA community of people who use drugs is now available with English subtitles (Rus – Eng subs). 

7. Check out this new article by Was.Media: “Breaking Bad” in B.C. times: a historical overview (Rus).

8. The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association published a manual on Alternative Funding for non-profits. Read more here (Eng).

9. Can Telegram chat-bots help provide first aid during drug overdose? Check out @overdosehelp_bot by “Humanitarian action”, and @IM_FLASH_BOT (Rus).

10. Dominic Milton Trott’s Code of Ethics for Honest Drug Reporting was published by TalkingDrugs here (Eng). The author of The Drug User’s Bible had recently written about Harm Reduction and Chemsex, too (Eng).

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