Russian Ideology

19.10.2017

The Lubyanka Keeps Its Secrets: Russia and the Wallenberg Case

By refusing to open the archives of the interrogation of Raoul Wallenberg, the Russian intelligence service is proving that it aspires to be the heir of Stalin’s NKVD.
11.10.2017

Putin’s Politicization of Soviet History

How does the Russian state manipulate history in its relations with society? Whom do Russians consider heroes, and what are the most sensitive historical topics in modern Russia? Andrei Kolesnikov explains how and why history is politicized in Russia today, and why this trend is unlikely to change.
9.10.2017

Sobchak for President: What the Rumors Reveal About Russian Politics

The possibility of TV anchor Ksenia Sobchak as a presidential candidate has morphed from the dream of one of Vedomosti’s Kremlin sources into a political fact and a model for all of Russian politics. It demonstrates the strategy and working style of the president’s administration and of Alexei Navalny, as well as the demand for any candidate other than Vladimir Putin.
3.10.2017

Diminishing Power of the Kremlin

The Kremlin may refrain from curbing ultraconservative activism and Kadyrov’s insurgence because it is afraid of losing popular support. But perhaps more likely is that the regime fears engaging its supporters, as they may prove to be more powerful. The growing strength of radical actors has collided with an impotent regime and generated demand for an alternative force, creating an opening for the opposition.
21.09.2017

Setting the Boundaries: Russia’s New Cultural State Policy

The Russian government is sending out the message that unofficial culture will be tolerated as long as it agrees not to seek state funding. But drawing the dividing line between official and unofficial will not be easy.
20.09.2017

The Active Minority and Passive Majority: Takeaways from Russia’s Regional Elections

Russia’s recent regional and municipal elections saw an increase in voting by the reform-minded minority and a decrease in voter turnout among Putin’s former majority. However, the Kremlin chooses to ignore these trends, turning a blind eye to the possibility that the active minority and the discontented passive majority may eventually meet.
29.08.2017

Russian Society Wants Change—But of What Nature?

Sociological research shows that up to two-thirds of the population supports changes in Russia. But they are not necessarily the kind of changes that the democratic community likes to discuss, and the majority of those polled have no understanding of how their desired changes might come about.
28.08.2017

Alexei Navalny’s Techno-Populism

Is opposition leader Alexei Navalny a “Kremlin project,” a “future tyrant,” or “Russia’s only hope?” Conversations about Navalny often proceed along these moral lines, though it is Navalny’s practicality—especially in the technological realm—that has been the driving force of his popularity.
21.07.2017

Russia’s Choice of Moral Rhetoric Over Pragmatism Is a Ticking Time Bomb

The demise of pragmatic politics will only amplify discontent with the regime and benefit populist opposition politicians. The public will no longer tolerate the regime’s strategy of tackling material problems with spiritual discourse, and will demand immediate practical solutions. As public discontent with the old regime grows stronger, new politicians will have an easy time promising quick material gains.
14.07.2017

Misremembering Russia’s War

The increased frequency in Russia of military ceremonies and parades removes the need to reflect on the real history of the Great Patriotic War against Germany. Nowadays, even the anniversary of the German invasion of June 22, 1941, no longer presents an opportunity to commemorate and mourn.
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