Veche originally began in Pskov in 1989 as an association agitating for reform and civil rights. ("Veche" were the name of small town assemblies in medieval Russia). The informal group was responsible for organizing several protest marches and collecting signatures in support of Andrei Sakharov and other dissidents.
In 1996, the group revived and officially registered. Today, Veche works to increase citizen participation in national and local elections. It organized meetings with mayoral candidates in 1996 and engaged in a campaign to encourage voter turn-out. Veche regularly sponsors public lectures on topics such as economic reform and human rights and gives legal consultations to young men seeking alternatives to mandatory military service.
Last updated: February 1999
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).