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Fantastical lies: Folk tales and the identity formation in Russia

Written by: Polina Evtushenkova Beautiful princesses, brave knights, magical kingdoms in which everyone is happy – I am sure most of you are familiar with these stories since childhood, with the latter story being a bittersweet dream that, until now, never came true. I used to be one of those naïve children who was enchanted […]

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“We Are The First”: How does filming the first movie in space reflect Russian nationalism?

Written by: Polina Evtushenkova Yuri Gagarin, Valentina Tereshkova – the names of these Russian cosmonauts probably ring a bell for everyone because they are known to be the first man and woman to go to space – in 1961 and 1963 respectively. Since Gagarin went to space, Soviet national space propaganda occupied an important place […]

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Constructing History: Putin’s historiographical nationalism

Written by: Anna Perkins “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future”    George Orwell To outside observers, President Vladimir Putin’s presentation of Russia’s national history may seem oddly ambivalent. Both celebrating and minimising events of the Soviet past, the 2018 opening of the ‘Russia- my history’ exhibition […]

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Why are Russian nationalists dying in Syria?

The recent death of over 200 Russian mercenaries in Syria has exposed the use of private military contractors in Russia’s wars, an affair that lay dormant after the Ukrainian conflict. Crucially, it has highlighted the use of nationalism as a rallying point for recruits and the creation of a discourse of duty to fight for the country.

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Putin’s National Idea: Patriotism for Power

Much is said about President Vladimir Putin’s international strategy and tactics, from cyber attacks and information warfare to domestic repression and a campaign of international irredentism to distract from a dismal economy at home.