The Jordan Center Blog

A space for news and opinion, sponsored by The Jordan Center

With Russia’s War in Ukraine, Aeroflot Faces Unfriendly Skies, Part II

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Yesterday’s post addressed the new cold war in the skies, which has divided the West from Russia as a consequence of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia’s aviation sector and the country’s retaliatory measures have unmade many of Russia’s global air routes, which the Soviet Union began building in the mid-1950s. Yet this sector, I hazard to predict, will likely weather sanctions by recreating the illiberal regime of air travel that characterized Aeroflot in the Soviet era.

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What Russian Rap Can Teach Us About Russian (Anti-)War Discourse

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At the other end of the spectrum from Oxxxymiron and FACE is one of the few high-profile artists speaking in defense of Russia’s invasion: the rapper and MMA enthusiast Timati, who has released several statements explaining the invasion as a “forced measure” enabled by Western funding and agitation. The infamously pro-Kremlin rapper (see his now-deleted video with Guf entitled “Moscow,” one of the most disliked videos in Russian YouTube history) vehemently defended Russia and his own patriotic stance, while still claiming to be against the loss of “innocent” life.

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A Woman’s Lot: Realism and Gendered Narration in Russian Women’s Writing of the 1860s

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In March 1862, the first part of a novel titled Zhenskaia dolia [A Woman’s Lot] appeared in the leading Russian literary journal Sovremennik [The Contemporary]. The publication was signed “N. Stanitskii.” Loyal readers would have recognized a name that had appeared in nearly every issue of the journal for the last fifteen years. Like the rest of “Stanitskii’s” fiction, Zhenskaia dolia offered a contribution to the debate on women’s rights.

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Reimagining Imperial Russia in “Russia: My History” Parks

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“Russia My History” and other, similar history parks are a remarkable testament to the state of historical memory in Russia today. These expensive and intricately crafted productions make clear the importance of the imperial narrative to the “soft power” component of Russia’s statecraft. The Romanovs exhibit in particular accords with the stilted view of the past that Russia’s political center has been crafting for decades. As the war in Ukraine demonstrates, these types of geopolitical narratives are anything but harmless. 

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Sergei Lavrov’s Canard of a “Jewish Hitler” and the (Un)logic of Antisemitism

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Old habits die hard. One especially pernicious “habit” that has resurfaced during the Russian invasion of Ukraine is the claim that Adolf Hitler, the man who led the attempted annihilation of European Jewry, was himself part Jewish. At a May 1 press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Ukraine could still harbor Nazi elements even though its president, Voldymyr Zelensky, is Jewish.

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Forcing Consensus: A Show Debate in the Early GDR

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Whereas Stalin’s show trials featured confessions and executions, the aim of the show debate was to persuade the institute’s council of party members at the institute, the party-group to drop their support for Behrens and Benary and publicly announce both the dogmatic and revisionist character of the ideas. The debate took place between January and April 1957 at the bimonthly meetings of the party-group.

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