Russia and stereotypes


Writing in today’s Guardian about Russia and the dangers of stereotypes.

“When your country’s leader is both very similar to an oligarch and used to be a member of the security services, it’s easy to see people might get confused. But Vladimir Putin is not Russia and Russia is not Putin. As Mikhail Zygar, formerly the editor of Russia’s only independent TV channel, Dozhd, wrote last week, Putin is part of a state-sponsored project to establish him as “a unique historical leader of Russia – able to unite fervent advocates of the Communist-era Soviet Union with those who dream of Russia’s pre-revolutionary empire, built on Orthodox Christianity”. That is a mission that involves extreme cognitive dissonance. And that kind of rewriting of history depends on finding as many common causes and common enemies as possible.”


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