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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 […]

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The Protests of June 12: Beginning Russia’s Cold Summer of 2017

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, […]

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The Specters of Munich: Closing Ranks against Revolutions

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[1], one of the most important forums for the European political elite, a […]

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Neither Moscow, nor NATO: Notes on the NATO summit and the antiwar counter-summit in Warsaw

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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,” […]

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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 […]

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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 […]