"We have a Cold War on the Russian soul," said Mikhail Shishkin. Lines are drawn, barricades are up. On one side are the nationalists and isolationists who proclaim Russia to be the center of the world and a power to be reckoned with. On the other side of the barricade are the internationalists who see affinity with Europe and a greater, global cosmopolitan attitude. These starkly drawn political lines extend into cultural spheres, bifurcating the Russian arts and cultural scene.
In the space of a week, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina have arguably become the world's most famous political prisoners following their sentencing in a Moscow courtroom last Friday.
by Natasha Yarotskaya
Russia by mind comprehended cannot be
Nor by wide arshins measured:
Its uniqueness be that—
It seems like the stage has been set yet again for another standoff between that international grouping commonly known as “the West” - as led by the United States - and Russia; this time over what to do in Syria. After the Kofi Annan-proposed peace plan between the Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad and the loose confederation of opposition groups was left in tatters and stark video evidence emerged apparently showing massacres of civilians (including many children) in places like Houla and others, international calls to do something in Syria have continued to grow louder.
Imagine for a moment a country a few days away from national elections, a place where the once all-powerful ruling party is fading in the eyes of the citizens, thanks to an economy burdened by low wages and rising unemployment, where even the prime minister – who has carefully cultivated an image equal parts action hero and everyman – is looking increasingly small; it all seems like a recipe for an electoral drubbing. But the country is Russia, and elections, like the one scheduled for this Sunday, really aren't suppose to bring about change, especially in the era of Vladi
Panel: Igor Belov, Ksenia Shcherbino, Svetlana Smolina (Hosted by: Ina Parker)
Location: 44 Charlton Street, Jerome L. Greene Space at WNYC
It was one of those simple, glad-handing moments that national leaders find their days filled with; last Friday Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin climbed into a prototype for Russia's first domestically-designed and built hybrid car along with billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who financed the construction of the “Yo-mobile,” for a drive from Putin's dacha (vacation home) to President Dmitry Medvedev's nearby compound.