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Tag: Russian society

Russia’s spiral of cynicism

One may be tempted to simply trace the current cynical bent in Russian political culture as an extension of the Soviet past. Yet, while the Soviet experience was essential for nurturing a cynical outlook, the massive social and political transformations of the 1990s largely shaped Russia’s contemporary political culture.

October 5, 2021 - Paul Shields

On Russia and resignation

In Russia, it remains unclear whether the current discontent will coalesce into a lasting challenge to the Kremlin. Both journalists and analysts tend to hastily predict Putin’s downfall when protests mount. But at the very least, the all-encompassing nature of the coronavirus has provided citizens with a moment of heightened consciousness about their relationship to power.

Liberal-leaning Russians like to remind us that the most common last surname in their country is Smirnov. It is also the name of a well-known vodka brand, Smirnov, etymologically rooted in smirenie, often translated as submission or resignation.

November 17, 2020 - Natasha Bluth

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