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Interview with Ilya Budraitskis: Why doesn’t official Russian historical politics need the real Lenin and how is his method relevant at a time of crisis

“The (Russian) state needs a Lenin shorn of his political ideas and real biographies, a Lenin-monument. Whenever he becomes a true Lenin, a rebel and destroyer of the old order, the authorities automatically begin to regard him as a monster.”—says the historian and political theorist Ilya Budraitskis. In this comprehensive interview, conducted in Russian by […]

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Putin’s Virus Moment

The current situation in Russia has reached “a perfect storm”: the pandemic here coincided with the collapse of the national currency, as well as the political crisis caused by Vladimir Putin’s proposals to change the Constitution. At a time when every world political leader seeks to show himself as a sovereign capable of declaring a […]

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What Can We Learn from Vampires and Idiots?

In what follows, we have republished a chapter from Ilya Budraitskis’s new book, Мир, который построил Хантингтон и в котором живем все мы (The World Invented by Huntington in which We All Live. Moscow: Tsiolkovsky, 2020), following a review of the book by Vasily Kuzmin (translated from the Russian by Rossen Djagalov). Many thanks to […]

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Austerity Economics Russian Style: “The state never asked you to be born”

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 […]

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The Protests against Russia’s Pension Reform and the Reasons for Their Defeat

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 […]

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Can Russia’s opposition come together to fight the Kremlin’s pension reform?

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, […]

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The Very Best Day

Note from the editors: This piece originally appeared at Arts Everywhere. It is reprinted here with kind permission from the author. On March 3rd, 2018, the main pre-election rally for Vladimir Putin took place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Tens of thousands of public sector workers were brought in from various regions of the […]

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Russian Presidential elections 2018: predicable results with unpredictable aftermath 

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 […]

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Contradictions in Russian Cultural Politics: Conservatism as an Instrument of Neoliberalism

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 […]

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“The Putinist Majority Could Fast Become Anti-Putinist”: an Interview with Ilya Budraitskis

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 […]