Russian Ideology


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sergei Kiriyenko: The Dreamer in the Kremlin

Many say Sergei Kiriyenko, the new deputy chief of staff of the presidential administration, is a technocrat who was brought in to manage a well-established political system. But there’s more to Kiriyenko: like other disciples of the philosopher Georgy Shchedrovitsky, Kiriyenko believes that reality can be altered and society programmed.

Against Everything: Russia’s New Majority

There is a new political majority in Russia. It doesn’t believe in the country’s rulers, its opposition, or its institutions. This nameless, voiceless majority is characterized only by general discontent; it knows only what it stands against.

Authoritarianism by Stealth: Russia After the Duma Elections

The look of Russia’s parliamentary election was different, even if the results were the same. Russia’s ruling regime is trying to preserve its legitimacy by being more flexible and more respectable. This system may eventually contain the seeds of its own transformation.

Russia’s Lost Liberals

Russia’s parliamentary election campaign again dealt a crushing blow to the country’s liberal parties, which still believe the key to their success is appearing on television, whether in commercials or in debates. This is a losing strategy; liberals must learn to listen to the Russian people’s needs to garner support.

Dictatorship 101

Some degree of isolationism—“sovereignty,” in official political parlance—is necessary for every authoritarian regime to survive. But elites and societies as a whole don’t want full-blown isolationism. In Russia and elsewhere, “authoritarian internationalism”—an alliance of quasi-democracies—has come to the rescue.
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