Culture

Migrants and the Russian Nation

This week’s Russia! Magazine column, “Migrants and Russia’s Split National Identity,” When asked about migrant workers in a recent interview with Moskovskii novosti, Sergey Sobyanin

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Craving Cold War

Back in late 2008, when Pajamas Media was still having me write articles on Russia (they’ve since stopped asking, I think, because I wasn’t anti-Russian

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Porno Hacker Saga Continues

The story of Russia’s world famous porn hacker keeps popping up in the news. It’s not, unfortunately, because of any new examples of his brilliance. Rather the story keeps getting headlines because of the Russian keystones’ bungling. Anyone surprised?

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Consuming Russian Feminism

The theme of my last post on how International Women’s Day has been transformed from a public to a private holiday reminded of the enormous advertisement for Elle Magazine at Lubyanka Square covering Detskii Mir. The ad is a blend of revolution, feminism, and consumerism with its depiction of riotous women holding signs that read: “Let there always be mini-skirts!” “Give us a paid holiday during sales!” “Shopping is the best opium!”

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Domesticating March 8th

One hundred years ago today, the First International Women’s Congress adopted International Women’s Day as a day of struggle for women’s rights. But in Russia, where the holiday, what was once a day calling for a “struggle against patriarchy,” has in many ways become patriarchy’s reinforcement.

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“We Await You, Merry Gnome!”

Russian chinovniki are known for a lot of things–graft, ineptitude, oblomovism, and when necessary, zealous obsequiousness. Sometimes, the latter leads the chinovnik to take preemptive action in hopes to satisfy the leader even if the latter is not looking to be satisfied. Take for example, the recent hilarious incident in Omsk where a preemptive measure to make President Medvedev “comfortable” led to the removal of a poster reading “We Await You, Merry Gnome.”

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