Articles by Ilya Budraitskis

About Ilya Budraitskis

Ilya Budraitskis(1981) is a historian, cultural and political activist. Since 2009 he is Ph.D. student at the Institute for World History, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow. In 2001-2004 he organized Russian activists in mobilizations against the G8, in European and World Social Forums. Since 2011 he has been an activist and spokesperson for Russian Socialist Movement. Member of Editorial board of "Moscow Art Magazine". Regular contributor to the number of political and cultural websites.

The 2016 Russian Elections: Putrefaction as the Laboratory of Life

How do the upcoming Duma elections threaten the regime? Today, it would seem that the upcoming September elections to the State Duma are a cause of growing concern only in the Kremlin. While polls continue to record a low level of public interest in the event, and the tiny number of parties allowed to run in the election wanly prepares to fulfill their usual roles, the president and his entourage are increasingly talking about possible threats. The rationale of radicalization At a recent meeting with activists of the Russian People’s Front, Putin noted that external enemies would preparing ever more provo ..

Putin: First as Farce …

translated by Maria Brock To be published in Russian in the April issue of the Сеанс magazine. A few days ago came the 16th anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s rule, which is traditionally celebrated by endless fantasies on the theme of ‘Russia after Putin’. This intellectual exercise, which is constantly reproduced by the liberal opposition media, has an obvious therapeutic function: no one believes that it will actually end, and therefore the question of the end of this era, as it is beginning to seem endless, becomes the subject of utopias and anti-utopias. In a similar vein, during the depressive atmo ..

The Eternal Hunt for the Red Man

from e-flux.com The dramatic events in Russia and Ukraine over the past two years have begun a new phase in the struggle over the legacy of communism in the post-Soviet space. As the concrete features of “real socialism” become blurred and vanish, those necessary for the production of ideology become ever more sharply defined. It’s often argued that communism, buried a quarter of a century ago as living practice, has since acquired an afterlife in the form of a restlesscorpse, a remnant, a regurgitated survivor from the past, blighting the lives of new generations. A popular explanation for the unfulfilled ..

Russia in Crisis: the Agonies of the Oil Empire

(translated from Russian by Emma Clair Foley) Everyone understands that the coming year will see Russia immersed in an economic crisis, one which will almost inevitably entail a social and political crisis. It was already over a year ago that Vladimir Putin, while taking part in his favorite genre of television, “direct association with the people,” assured viewers that the crisis was a matter of temporary difficulties which would be successfully overcome within a year or two. These assertions are not simply a propagandist’s device, but a reflection of deeply-rooted elements of the consciousness of Russia ..

Art and Politics in Russia in a Time of Crisis

On our trip to Moscow in June 2015, we met with Ilya Budraitskis, who spoke to us about the crisis facing Russia today and its effects on art and culture. Budraitskis’ argument is presented here alongside drawings by Sveta Shuvaeva, whom we also met while in Moscow. These works were made over the last two years in reaction to the mediation of current events in Russia by the Internet and television. [This article originally appeared in post]. No one can deny that Russia is in crisis. Of course, the vast majority of Russians view the problem as primarily an economic one, reflected in their decreasing personal in ..

Interview: Gilbert Achcar on the Russian military operation in Syria 

Ilya Budraitskis: It has been several days since the start of the Russian military operation in Syria and the goals and strategy of this operation are still unclear. The explanation coming from Russian officials is unclear. On one hand they put an anti-ISIS agenda as the main reason of the operation, and on the other they present it, like Putin did at the UN, as an aid to the legitimate government of Assad. What do you think is the real goal of this operation? Gilbert Achcar: The initial official reason for the intervention was designed in order for Russia to get a Western, and especially American, green light. S ..

Window of opportunity. An interview with Yanis Varoufakis.

Note from the LeftEast editors: On October 1 the former finance minister of Greece Yanis Varofakis gave his keynote speech at the 6th Moscow Biennale. Ilya Budraitskis briefly interviewed him for their website. This is a reprint of the interview from the Moscow Biennale’s website. Earlier you spoke about the window of opportunity to change the unfair rules of the game in the European Union that had opened for Greece in the beginning of this year. But by the end of the summer, after the Greek referendum, this “window” was closed. So, can you name some of the circumstances that “opened” and “closed ..

The Western Hypocrite at a Crossroads

“I’m obliged, unfortunately, to note that the word ‘hypocrite’ has been and will continue to be a fixture within the diplomatic lexicon,” Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced recently, while talking about Russia’s divergence from the West on the situation in Syria. It is hard to argue with the point. If the American and European rhetorical attacks on Russian internal politics have focused on Russia’s imperial ambitions and its aggressive “revisionism” within Post-Soviet space, then Russia has answered those accusations with reference to “doubl ..

The Russian Revolution in Dreams and Reality

(source: WdW Review) In January 2014 the world held its breath and observed the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The spectacular opening ceremony, “Dreams of Russia,” was not simply a technical triumph but also a marvel of national history building. The depicted historical events acquired connections and a certain mutual continuity, building a chain of bright and majestic images told through a vision dreamed by a young girl. It must have been difficult for the modern Russian state to find a better form to invent its own place in history, one cleansed of any contradictions and conflicts, than the recon ..

Where is the line between us: evolving East/West positions in a post-socialist world. Interview with Rastko Močnik

Note from the LeftEast editors: “Where is the line between us?: cautionary tales from now” was the title of the 3rd Garage international conference which brought to Moscow practitioners and thinkers from the fields of art, history, and sociology to examine the evolving positions toward the East/West axis in a post-socialist world. The speakers revisited selected regional histories since 1989 to show how our understanding of the past can change and develop through the lens of present circumstances, and vice versa. LeftEast’s Ilya Budraitskis interviewed one of the speakers: Rastko Močnik, sociologist, liter ..