Dmitri Medvedev is not just President of Russia. Nor is he simply a rising global interlocutor. He, or really his visage, is also the subject to the whims of the marketplace. According to Kommersant Vlast,
People are even trying to sell the portrait of the President of Russia using spam. Evidently, the reason for the crisis of production which has arisen in the market of portraits of Russian government leaders, is because sellers overestimated buyers demand for portraits of Dmitri Medvedev. On the internet several internet shops exists that sell the portrait of the President and between them there is a genuine trading war.
One site, www.portrets.ru, is allowing you to download creepy portraits of Medvedev and Putin for free!
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By Sean — 3 years ago
Peter Rutland is a professor of government at Wesleyan University. He writes widely on Russian political economy and politics and is author of two books The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union and The Myth of the Plan: Lessons of Soviet Planning Experience. His most recent article is “Petronation? Oil, Gas and National Identity in Russia,” published in the journal Post-Soviet Affairs.
Killing Joke, “Money is Not Our God,” Extremities, Dirt, and Various Repressed Emotions, 1990.
By Sean — 5 years ago
This week’s Russia! Magazine column, “Family Values and Putin’s Fourth Pillar,”
Last month, the Russian journalist Oleg Kashin called the 23 year old man brutally murdered in Volgograd for being gay a “sacrificial victim.” Kashin argued that the anti-gay rhetoric coming from the Duma would “quiet down” because the murder revealed “state homophobia” which was until then still “virtual” had become “perhaps more convincing than the state itself wished, and has now started materializing into reality.” Kashin was wrong. But I can’t blame him for suffering from a lapse of naïve hope. Crimes like the one in Volgograd, after all, should have caused national pause. It should have at least tempered the actions of the State Duma. This man’s humanity should have overshadowed his otherness. But it didn’t. Kashin underestimated the conservative cultural politics defining Putin’s third term.
Since December 2011 the Russian government has retrenched itself on a myriad of fronts: political, cultural, economic and social. Several theories come to mind to explain this siege mentality. It’s the state striking back against the liberal thaw of the Medvedev years. The culture war is part of Putin’s efforts to erect a new populist majority. It’s a new anti-cosmopolitianism seeking to purge Russian society of its Western infections. Putinist conservativism serves as a retrograde substitute for a proactive social ideology to rebind the nation. All of these are plausible. They could even exist concurrently as they complement more than contradict. But still, one or even all of these interpretations appear too superficial. It’s important to remember Putinism is characterized by a series of reconstructions: the reestablishment of the power vertical; the rebuilding of the Russian economy; and the reinstitution of the social structure. Viewed in this light, the recent efforts to assert Russian Orthodox family values are an attempt to re-erect the last pillar: the cultural sphere.
A society’s character is constructed on the margins. Meaning, a society gets its identity not from the inclusion of the normal, but from the identification, isolation, and expulsion of the abnormal. For it is the aberrant that defines the border between what is acceptable and unacceptable. The reassertion of Russian Orthodox values is no different. Its increasing presence as a pillar in Russian cultural life is not established by what it is, but by what it’s not: Western, liberal, feminist, and homosexual. Today’s Russian conservativism is not proactively constituted. It is reactively defined by negation.
By Sean — 11 years ago
Part one of “A small piece of brown colored mass” can be read here.
Presidential Archive of the Russian Federation, f. 3, op. 3, d. 65, l. 29-31.
To the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs SSR Cde. Yagoda.
On 16 October a letter from another town addressed “Kremlin to Cde. Stalin” was received by the Special Department of the TsK VKP(b). The letter was dropped in a mailbox outside of Moscow on 13 October.
Cde. Sentaretskaya, a Party member and an employee in the 5th section of the special department of the VKP(b), who is charged with opening the mail and in particular opening this letter, found a substance wrapped in paper in the envelope, which she ascertained upon a closer look to be excrement. Since this substance emitted the smell of cloves, she showed it to the supervisor of the 5th section, Cde. Selitskii and his boss Kabashkin. Both of them looked at the substance, and smelled the scent of cloves, and Cde. Kabashkin ordered Sentaretskaya to throw the substance in the toilet. Sentaretskaya, returning from the toilet where she went to threw out the substance, went back to work, but after a few minutes said that she felt bad, attempted to get up from her chair, but fainted, hitting her head on the floor. When first aid returned Sentaretskaya to consciousness, she began to complain about blurry vision, and after that, of blindness.
Sentaretskaya was quickly sent to the Kremlin hospital, where she was given the necessary medical help and where she was subject to a thorough examination. Professor M. O. Averbakh, Privatdozent M. Iu. Rappoport, Deputy Head of the Kremlin Hospital B. E. Kogen and Doctor of Neuropathology E. V. Tepper conducted the examination and concluded that the sudden blindness was caused by hysterical episode and that there were no symptoms whatsoever of inborn illness of the ocular system and optic nerve [that could be given] as an explanation for the sudden development of blindness.
The Scientific Research Institute of Sanitation and the 13th Department of the Communist Hospital of the RKKA (Workers’ Peasants’ Red Army), where we went for confirmation of this conclusion, confirmed it and established that the sudden blindness could not have been the cause of an unknown chemical substance.
At the present moment, Sentaretskaya’s sight has gradually returned and is already close to normal.
Because the paper that the substance was wrapped in was thrown in the toilet, we only subjected the remaining envelope to a complete examination. The examination was conducted by Cde. Udris, the Captain of the 1st Department of the Scientific Research Chemical Institute of the RKKA, who spotted on the envelope the trace of some kind of poisonous substance.
Further investigation, which the Special Department will conduct, will be difficult because the postal stamp [showing] the point of origin is erased and it is difficult to establish from which town it originated.
Deputy Captain Operations of the GUGB NKVD (Main Department of State Security, People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs.)
27 October 1935
This document was published in Istochnik, 3, 1993.