Past and Present

How do you solve a problem like…. Russia?

June 1, 2011

So basically it boils down to this: On the one hand we should see Russia as part of larger European and international context; abolish the divisions into first, second and third worlds; and eschew explanations arguing for “Russian exceptionality”. On the other hand, we are to avoid European/American Centric interpretation and see things as they [...]

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Watching My Perestroika in London

May 29, 2011

This week a British friend and I went to see My Perestroika, a lovely documentary by an American film-maker about how four classmates were affected by the changes in Russia from Brezhnev to Putin. The film weaves together contemporary interviews, archival footage and one family’s archive of home videos – all these elements come together [...]

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A Lovely Day for a Trip to the Graveyard

June 21, 2010

There is a peculiar brand of Russian tourism – visiting cemeteries. First, there is the most important grave of the most important Soviet dead – the Lenin mausoleum. Second, right behind him, there is the Necropolis under the Kremlin wall – the entire length of the wall facing the Red Square is the burial site [...]

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Victory Day

May 29, 2010

It happens again. I am sitting on a couch and watching the Victory Day parade on the television. May 9th is the day when Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War (or WWII) has been commemorated since 1945. Everything is almost similar to the last I watched it as a Soviet child. Only that this [...]

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