Russian Politics

Kicking the Kremlin by Marc Bennetts & Putin and the Oligarch by Richard Sakwa

by
August 2014, no. 363

Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March was a dramatic sign of Russia’s sense that it had recovered from its post-Soviet weakness. Viewed in the West as an outrage, in Russia the seizure was portrayed as a triumph, the culmination of a national resurgence under Vladimir Putin. It remains to be seen how long this mood of triumph will last. 

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In Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, the hero Robert Jordan, an American fighting on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, receives some advice from Karkov, a Russian ‘journalist’ at the unofficial Soviet headquarters in Madrid.

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The Western stereotype of the Russian bear has been reborn over the past decade, and Vladimir Putin can take much of the credit. If Hollywood decides to make a movie of John Le Carré’s Smiley’s People, the Russian president, a German-speaking KGB officer, would make an excellent Carla, the master spy.

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