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If someone wants to recall something good from Soviet history, you can be 90% sure that he or she will recall Yuri Gagarin. Today, his flight into outer space is both historically and ideologically significant primarily because that first flight of man into orbit around the earth in retrospect seems to be the only achievement of Soviet society that is not debated, that is not called into doubt, that is not tied to some huge number of “senseless” victims. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s practically all aspects of Soviet life were called into question and ridiculed. Only the space epic of Gagarin and Korolev remained untouched...

18.01.2011
Rubric: Commentary
Subject: Общество

We spoke with Maria Stepanova, director of the Unified Yuri Gagarin Memorial Museum, about the upcoming “First in Space” campaign announced by the Russkiy Mir Foundation and preparations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight. – Your museum is called a unified museum… Why is this? Does it include several museum expositions? – Yes, our museum, dedicated to the first cosmonaut, was created 20 years ago, and it includes a memorial complex, art gallery and specialized museum-club for children called Yuri Gagarin Games. Our museum is unique – we have unique documents, photographs,...

27.12.2010
Rubric: Interview
Subject: Общество

Mikhail Elizarov, writer, laureate of the Russian Booker award – Internally, emotionally, I am on the side of those who turned out on Manezh Square. What we saw was an understandable result of the direction in which the current Russian state is taking us. As long as we are striving to build capitalism, we are bound to see such events. In order to avoid interethnic conflict we need to reject the current monstrous economic model. After all, our socialistic past shows us that life without interethnic conflict is possible.  The current situation cannot be resolved through repressive measures alone, and in the future the resentment...

17.12.2010
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Общество

We began to hear reports that the Soviet era was coming back into fashion in the early 2000s. And it’s no surprise. Following the painful revelations of the previous decade and the lack of any sense of measure among the castigators of the Soviet era, who themselves did not put their best face forward, nothing less should be expected.  The swing of the cultural pendulum is rather logical. The dismal monotony and vapidity of the Brezhnev era made people dream of something new, something different. It forced them to imagine a different life. Everything that stood in opposition to thing Soviet became interesting and exciting, be it...

09.12.2010
Rubric: Commentary
Subject: Общество

National Unity Day, which was thought up by State Duma deputies to replace the ideologically incorrect November 7 celebrations of the Revolution, has yet to become a bona fide national holiday. People have trouble understanding who united with whom and why. But nonetheless one can find a reason to toss back a drink, after all, it’s autumn and cold and wet outside. Experts of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on the eve of the holiday announced that they had prepared some amendments to the Labor Code. They propose increasing the maximum number of hours a work is allowed to work in a week to 60 as well as...

11.11.2010
Rubric: Commentary
Subject: Общество

How much time is needed to turn a kingdom into an empire? It depends, but Russia needed 21 years and one war, albeit a long one. August 30, 1700, the military confrontation between Russia and Sweden began, a confrontation that would later be called the Great Northern War. Twenty-one years and 11 days later the war ended with the signing of a treaty in the Finnish city of Nystad. In that same year, 1721, Peter the Great declared Russia an empire. Looking back on this several centuries later, this seems a bit strange. For example, why would a victory against Sweden on the northeastern outskirts of Europe be given such significance. Why would...

01.09.2010
Rubric: Articles
Subject: Общество

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