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Russian Demonstrations and French Illusions

March 26, 2012 - Example Author - New Eastern Europe newsletter

Russian Demonstrations and French Illusions

By: Cécile Vaissié (Université Rennes 2, France)

It is fairly easy to explain to French students the reasons for the Russian demonstrations. All you need to do is ask questions to Russian exchange students in the lecture hall: “Can students strike at your university?”, “As Russian citizens, do you have the right to live and work in Moscow if you live in the provinces?”, “Have you ever been confronted with corruption?”, “Do teachers, doctors, and policemen accept bribes?”, “Do you believe that the elections in December and March were honest?”

The answers and expressions of these young Russians allow their French peers to understand a way of life which is very different from their own: a life that is marked, in particular, by increasing corruption and constant violations of the rights and dignity of a person, especially if the latter has neither money nor power. Therefore, the demonstrations which have been taking place in Russia since December 2011, have easily aroused the sympathy of French students, who are also charmed by the fun and the aesthetics of these protests and have difficulty understanding why such actions were not started earlier.

To read the full article: https://www.neweasterneurope.eu/node/260

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