Russian Ideology

8.05.2017

Mirrored Morality: Russian Society, Eurovision, and a New Ethics

Even as Russia officially proclaims moral conservatism, the official tactic of nominating a wheelchair-bound singer for the Eurovision Song Contest suggests a different approach. A political gambit reflects a wider trend. Much of Russian society is becoming more tolerant of difference and more Europeanized than it has been for a century.
24.04.2017

Yeltsin’s Overcoat

Ten years after Boris Yeltsin’s death, we’re only beginning to grapple with the legacy of his transformative presidency.
19.04.2017

Generation YouTube: How Millennials Are Shaping Russian Politics

Millennials are becoming an important force in Russian politics, one that both the regime and the opposition are trying to harness. YouTube, VKontakte, and other social media platforms present a promising way to reach Russian youth.
31.03.2017

The Storm Clouds of 2017: Russia’s New Protests

The recent mass anti-corruption protests called across Russia on March 26 pose an unexpected challenge to the Kremlin. The protesters are younger and less prosperous than their counterparts in 2011–2012. If Russia is on the brink of a new kind of revolution, then all sides need to act responsibly.
28.03.2017

The Trump Effect and Russians’ Attitudes Toward the United States

Russians’ fondness for Donald Trump doesn’t mean that anti-American sentiment has suddenly disappeared in Russia. But even though Trump’s election is unlikely to reverse decades of mistrust, his statements about improving relations with Russia have already had an impact on Russians’ attitudes toward the United States.
30.01.2017

The Benefits of Living in Russia’s Hybrid State

It’s completely rational for the elites to avoid change, although it betrays their inability to look beyond the horizon. They are not frightened enough by the current stagnation to initiate changes in the system for their own sake. But what they do fear greatly is losing everything all at once by pulling some crumbling brick out of the system, causing the whole construction to come crashing down.
23.12.2016

History Unvarnished: In Search of Alternative Russian Heroes

For centuries, Russian history has glorified the state and those who sacrifice themselves for the state. It’s time to commemorate a different kind of hero.
8.12.2016

Digging Up My Grandfather’s Killers—A Journey Through the Stalinist Archives

I was able to read the secret police files of my grandfather, who died in the Russian gulag in 1946, and then cross-reference the names of the men who persecuted him in the new database published by Memorial. Russia’s grandsons need to confront the truth about what their grandfathers did—but the Russian state would prefer its people to live with historical amnesia.
17.11.2016

Why Kremlin Spin Doctors Will Regret Their Enthusiasm for Trump

Russia’s propaganda masters didn’t expect Trump to win. State media outlets praised him every which way and painted him as a good friend to Russia, unofficially backed by the Kremlin. But the idea was that Trump would be cheated of his victory in yet another example of how great a role Putin plays on the world stage and how unscrupulous the American elite is.
8.11.2016

Russian Politics in Ruins: What Vyacheslav Volodin Left Behind

The political system Volodin leaves behind—that is, a system without any real politics—allows the regime the illusion of control. But the system’s domain has been all but reduced to the tiny world of politicians who agree to the Kremlin’s rules. Activists, ambitious players, and most importantly Russian citizens find themselves outside the bounds of politics.
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