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Tag: Russian society

Another Russia is possible

When Putin is finally gone, a majority of the elite and population will want Russia to return to Europe. Europe should facilitate that. There is a massive generational shift currently underway in Russia. These people are open to the outside world, western culture and are independent of the Russian state and Soviet ideology. That shift is closer than people think and the world needs to be ready. That is where the next battle will take place and it is one the West could lose.

On an alcohol-fuelled Zoom catch up, my friends and I put the world to rights. The usual suspects came up: sports, holidays, our kids, women and politics. Before we knew it, the conversation turned to the elephant in the room: the war. Eyebrows were raised, deep breaths exhaled and shoulders shrugged. A couple of heads were scratched. What more can we say? How much guilt should we feel for something we did not personally choose, support or want? We abruptly moved on, but exactly one week later Russian forces recaptured Avdiivka. They had the wind in their backs.

April 11, 2024 - Jesse Sokolov

Presidential pseudo-election in Russia: what does it tell us about Putin’s regime?

The 2024 “presidential election” (March 15th to 17th) is intended to consolidate Putin’s neo-totalitarian grip on Russia. The West should not recognize its results and hamper the Kremlin’s efforts to pursue its aggressive goals both in its foreign and domestic policy.

March 12, 2024 - Maria Domańska

A Russia of apathy

People in the West have become used to the Kremlin’s pronouncements that all of Russia hopes for victory in Ukraine. While open opposition to this view remains marginal, most people find themselves on uneasy middle ground. For many, holding on to what they have right now is the most important thing.

March 5, 2024 - James C. Pearce

Why it is not just Putin’s war: the collective responsibility of Russians

While Ukraine continues to occupy a regular spot in news reporting, western outlets and politicians still overlook the main reason for the war. In order to make sure such a conflict cannot happen again in the future, we must understand the deep-rooted societal norms that allowed Russia to invade in the first place.

August 7, 2023 - Lesia Ogryzko

The unconscious imperialism of a convinced anti-imperialist

The famous writer Mikhail Shishkin is one of the few well-known Russians to voice strong opposition to Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Despite this, many of his words and actions still play into the hands of the Kremlin, ultimately aiding in the continuation of the war.

April 28, 2023 - Tomasz Kamusella

Where are the “good Russians”? The complexities of gauging Russians’ stance on the war

In spite of criticism related to the inaction of Russian society, it is important to remember the long-term societal trauma that has encouraged such silence.

April 13, 2023 - Joshua Kroeker

Disloyalty is punishable: Russians hide their true feelings about the war

Declared support for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine among Russian citizens remains high. Despite this, new polls that look at more than just “yes or no” have revealed a complex reality in which citizens try to reach accommodation with the authoritarian state.

June 17, 2022 - Maria Domańska

Is it Putin who is waging “Putin’s war”?

The current Russo-Ukrainian War is frequently called "Putin's war" by western media. Is this correct? Who is actually waging this war on the ground and from the air and who apart from Putin should share the responsibility for war crimes?

April 22, 2022 - Valerii Pekar Yuliya Shtaltovna

Russian constructivism: a lens for understanding Moscow’s political actions

The individual Russian citizen possesses an identity formed by their history, values and national identity. The domestic relationship between the country’s people and government rests upon the pillars of economic and national security, which naturally form an integral part of the country’s international goals. These two points have encouraged Russia to pursue competition with the West.

January 10, 2022 - Caroline Beshenich

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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