Russian Ideology


Nobody’s Revolution: The Russian State and the Fight for Memory

In Russia, there is no particularly tense strife between supporters and opponents of the hundred-year-old revolution. But there is competition among the ruling political establishment and the oppositional intelligentsia on the topic of political repression. The regime is fighting back against the opposition’s monopoly on the right to represent the victims and name the state as the executioners’ successor.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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