164 articles tagged with russia were found.

Prigozhin’s patriot media group just like a nesting doll

Alongside the private military company Wagner and his notorious Internet Research Agency (IRA), Yevgeny Prigozhin was associated with the Patriot Media Group (PMG) which amplified state narratives through its webpages and was registered by Roskomnadzor, the federal agency for supervision of Russian media. The Patriot Media Group was shut down after the mutiny, June 23, 2023, while most of its channels were removed or remain inactive currently. The essay provides a brief account of the Patriot Media Group’s structures, partnerships, and campaigns based on digital ethnographic observations of their web channels. The news coverage from predominantly Russian language news outlets sheds light on how the Group operated and what happened after Prigozhin’s mutiny. The essay concludes with some directions for future research on a complex and murky media production facility.

Essay by Alexandra Brankova April 23, 2024

The epidemic of broken compasses Normalization of violence and Soviet propaganda in today’s Russia

With skillfully designed propaganda that presents the Soviet past in rosy colors only, little is remembered about the Gulag, repressions, censorship, and poverty. “People feel nostalgia for the taste of Soviet sausage,” a critical acquaintance of mine born in the Belarusian Soviet Republic commented. “But no-one remembers that they ate it only once a month”.

By Olga Bubich April 23, 2024

The death of Alexei Navalny and the eternal return of the Gulag

Commemoration in Russia of Navalny, also one person with one life, revealed historical continuity with the pain of the past, but perhaps more importantly established a sense of community with those who suffered before us. When the first flowers appeared in front of previously desolate memorials to victims of political oppression, grief mixed with hope to create an unexpected feeling of togetherness.

By Josefina Lundblad-Janjić April 23, 2024

Let the right one in. Building relations of trust

Building mutual trust was for years one of the desired aims of international cooperation in the Nordic region; the existence of trust was intended to contribute to the reduction of political tensions and lead to more sustainable and peaceful region. In practice, working with international cooperation in the Nordic region, where Russia was one of the actors until 2022, has never been easy. One of the main obstacles on the way was the deficit of trust.

Essay by Ekaterina Kalinina August 23, 2023

Soft Power. Coopting post-Soviet youth: Russia, China, and transnational authoritarianism

This Special Issue include eight articles that endeavor to analyze more deeply different aspects of the influence of transnational “soft power” aimed at coopting youth in authoritarian and hybrid regimes through radical and nationalist youth organizations, patriotic education, and youth wings of ruling parties. By means of such activities, governments try to distract the youth from countercultural movements and opposition politics as well as to educate an obedient and loyal generation. The purpose is to “vaccinate” such generations with illiberal or authoritarian values in order to eliminate potential threats to regimes’ stability.

Essay by Oleg Antonov and Olena Podolian August 23, 2023

The use of children in the Russian aggression against Ukraine

February 2023 will be remembered for a lavish propaganda event of the Russian government in Luzhniki stadium in Moscow dedicated to the anniversary of the second Russian invasion of Ukraine. This year it was combined with a celebration of the most significant regular ideological commemoration — a day of “The Defender of Otechestvo [the Fatherland]. Using the propaganda transfer technique, Russia frames the invasion as a fight against the “Ukrainian Nazis”, providing parallels with winning WWII, thys inheriting Soviet traditions intended to increase feelings of patriotism and national pride. One of the key narratives promoted by Russian propaganda is the “protection of the people of Donbas”, in particular using propaganda materials with children, especially those deported from Ukraine.

Essay by Alyona Hurkivska June 20, 2023


The war against Ukraine sank the civil society of Russia into despair. The dreams of turning the country with a centuries long tradition of despotic power and imperialist foreign policy into a peaceful postmodern liberal democracy were brutally crushed. Alongside the tragedy of thousand Ukrainians, this full-scale invasion has meant a defeat of the Russian intellectuals, liberals, and political dissidents who had been trying for many years to persuade themselves and the outside world that the strange reality they inhabited was an inevitable part of being a transitional society. This defeat forced them out of their country. Cursed by their compatriots as “traitors” and by some public abroad1 unwilling to stand up to the criminal regime, the new Russian émigré are now trying to construct a new “Civitas Solis” in exile, a different future for themselves and their country which is supposed to rise in place of the apocalyptic darkness of the present.

Essay by Alexander Generalov June 20, 2023

Protests, anti-war grassroots initiatives and resistance in Russia

Since the beginning of Russia‘s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the repression of civil society has gradually intensified in Russia. During recent years political activism has been under threat and pressure, and in the last year activism has largely gone underground due to the escalating level of repression; therefore one sees few mass protests. The Russian authorities have consistently taken restrictive measures against any street protest, and the last permissible form (a single-person action) in the end also turns out to be almost impossible.

Essay by Inga Koroleva (pseudonym) June 20, 2023

Alexandra Talaver, coordinator of Feminist Anti-War Resistance: “War represents a culmination in the continuum of patriarchal violence” A conversation based on an e-mail interview with Alexandra Talaver conducted by Yulia Gradskova

Alexandra Talaver is one of the coordinators of the Feminist Anti-War Resistance (FAR), that was promptly launched on February 25, 2022, with a manifesto that was later translated into dozens of languages. The manifesto called for peaceful resistance to the war and Putin’s regime, support for Ukraine, and solidarity with feminists in Russia resisting the invasion (see next page). Together with the manifesto, social media accounts were launched on Telegram, Instagram, and Twitter as the main means of mobilization. FAR immediately gained dozens of thousands of subscribers due to the number of feminist media activists joining FAR, and due to a strong and clear anti-war stance, while many political forces and organizations in Russia failed to articulate it that fast.

By Alexandra Talaver and Yulia Gradskova June 20, 2023


After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and during the ongoing war, questions about Russian civil society — its resistance (or the insufficiency of such), its defeat, its very existence — have been on many people’s minds. I suggest that we take a step back and look into something that has existed and, while on the brink of extinction today, has played an important role in forming societal discourse on a regional level: independent media in the republic of Dagestan.

Essay by Elena Rodina June 20, 2023