If upwards of 80% of Russians support Putin, how do we explain all of these people who very clearly don’t?
Well, that’s easy. The other 20%.
What’s strangest about reading Zalotukha (this includes The Candle, too) is that I find myself wanting to read more even when his storytelling isn’t as sharp as it might be: I suspect that’s both because his writing is generally very energetic, which I appreciate, plus it almost always feels as if the Russia that fascinates Zalotukha is the same Russia that fascinates me.
Last weekend, unsanctioned opposition protests brought throngs of people into the streets in both Russia and Belarus, resulting in the arrest of dozens — or even hundreds of protestors (according to different estimates, about 1,000 people were detained in Moscow on Mar. 26).
In Belarus, protesters demanded the repeal of a controversial law that imposes taxes on the unemployed, while in Russia, crowds called for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who was accused of corruption by opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Mar. 2. Navalny (who was also taken into custody) backed the protests in Russia, which took place in cities across the country.
Under usual circumstances, Russia Direct would have closely followed these events and provided its readers both well-balanced analysis and a diverse range of opinions on them [highy debatable. – J.T.]. As of March 23, however, Russia Direct is no longer able to offer such coverage. Russia Direct has stopped updating its website following the failure of negotiations between an independent party to take over Russia Direct from its owner, Russian newspaper Rossisykaya Gazeta.
Russia’s problem, says a common meme, is the survival of Soviet modes of thought among the ‘Sovoks’ and ‘vatniki’ who make up the mass of the population, especially those born in the Soviet Union. Given time, a new generation will grow up with a different mentality – more liberal, more Western, more democratic. At that point, Russia will finally complete its transition into a truly European society.
With this in mind, pundits have leapt upon the observation that last Sunday’s protests in Russia contained a large number of young people.
And the ’17 summer series is…
…which beat runner-up Torture the Translator by one vote.
Possible books include:
- The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya
- Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
- Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin
- The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin
- Живая земля by Andrei Rubanov
- Живые люди by Yana Vanger
Feel free to make suggestions.
If you voted for another summer series, don’t despair! I’ve added a few titles to the “floaters” section in the official review list, so they may still get a review. Or you could always review a book yourself…
Side book #7
This week, I’m reading Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, 1917-1980 by S. Frederick Starr.