Translated by Joseph Livesey For two decades steadily rising living standards and high rates of economic growth have served as the standard explanations for Vladimir Putin’s overwhelming support among Russian voters while a key theme of Russian state propaganda has been the championing of Putin-style “stability” (as opposed to the chaos and poverty of the 1990s) and the unfettered consumption that has been made possible in Russia today. The effectiveness of such propaganda never really depended on the extent to which its depictions of reality were true, as much as it did on confidence in its promise for the ..
Note from LeftEast editors: The main political event of 2018 on Russia’s domestic scene was probably the pension reform and the unsuccessful resistance against it. In this piece published in Russian in Sotsiologia vlasti 30(4)2018 co-translated for LeftEast by Kate Seidel, Ana Gurau, and Dasha Vodchic, Ilya Budraitskis takes this episode as a lens on the government modus operandi and on the logic driving the different segments of the opposition. The Russian authorities’ actions in as they were preparing to raise the retirement age in summer 2018 involved both a thought-out strategy and a relatively weak propa ..
The article originally appeared in OpenDemocracy-Russia & Beyond. While popular opinion is dead against the Russian government’s continued neoliberal line in social policy, opposition groups are competing for influence and electorate. Translated from the original Russian by Thomas Campbell. Now that the State Duma has passed the first reading of draft legislation reforming Russia’s pension system, we can speak confidently of a serious turn in state-society relations in Russia. For the first time in 15 years, the Russian government is risking a large-scale, unpopular reform. The government proposes radica ..
Translated from the original Russian by Joseph Livesey According to forecasts, the upcoming March 18 presidential elections in Russia will proceed without any surprises, as just the latest legitimization of another presidential term for Vladimir Putin. However, this foreseeable ‘victory,’ gained via massive pressure on the electorate and the Kremlin’s tight control over the political sphere will still point to a deep crisis within Putin’s model of “managed democracy.” During Putin’s current third term, his regime has become much more clearly based on personality, while the fact that its “democrati ..
Note from the editors: The following piece is scheduled to appear in the edited collection The Art of Civil Action, edited by Philipp Dietachmair and Pascal Gielen and published through Valiz in November 2017. Today, it is common to contrast the statism of today’s Russia with the Western neoliberal order, which is based on the primacy of political and economic freedom. European journalists and experts discuss Putin’s Russia as though it were a revisionist state that is not only ready for military aggression but is also driven by internal destructive forces: a “populist international” of right and left par ..
This interview was originally published in Russian on www.yuga.ru and translated for LeftEast by Adam Leeds. How would you describe the ideology of the ruling regime in contemporary Russia? On what values rests that which some call “Putinism”? What is behind the facade of all this speech about ‘spiritual bonds’ and ‘our glorious past’? The conventional idea has become that from the beginning of Putin’s third term we have been experiencing a conservative turn. If in the ’00’s the regime presented itself as technocratic, standing above politics and simply ensuring the integrity of the country, s ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: The rallies that took place in Russia on June 12 under the slogan “We Demand Answers” are the first political event of the summer of 2017. Translated kindly from the original Russian on OpenLeft.ru by Emma Claire Foley. Anti-corruption protests took place in Moscow, Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Lipetsk, Tula, Vladivostok, Norilsk, Sochi, and other cities, a continuation of the high-profile protests of March 26, when people demanded Prime Minister Medvedev answer for his appalling wealth. But it wasn’t as straightforward as that. In Moscow the rally was initiall ..
Ilya Budraitskis’s essay is the first in a series entitled Ways of Seeing the New Russian Colonialisms: Writing on and from Post-Soviet Territories, curated by Nikolay Oleynikov for ArtsEverywhere. It is accompanied by Vladan Jeremić’s artwork in the different graphic series (2015-2017) ——————————————————————————————————— At the last Munich Security Conference, one of the most importan ..
The main result from this weekend’s NATO summit in Warsaw was the official proclamation of a “containment” strategy toward Russia. So far, the practical consequence of this declaration is modest in military terms—a total of 3,000 foreign troops will be deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Far more important are the politics of this decision. The “Russian threat” is primarily defined as hybrid, that is it’s covert and exists on the borders of war and peace, state policy and social dynamics. The concept of “hybridity” is central in today’s confrontation between Russ ..