Generational Shifts in Russian Politics and Media from the 1980s to the Present Day

Tuesday, 22 October 2013, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, IWM library
Ru© RuED / Wikimedia CommonsThe talk will explain how the direction of Russia has been defined by generational shifts. The generation which brought about the end of the Soviet Union was born between 1929-1931 and included Gorbachev and Yeltsin. They were formed by Khrushev’s Thaw and saw Stalinism as a distortion, rather than product, of the Bolshevik revolution. They strove to return the country to the path of true socialism, but their intellectual journey brought the Soviet Union to collapse.

The next generation in charge of Russia were their children, born in the 1950s and 1960s. They came to power almost overnight in August 1991. The members of this generation saw themselves as bringing capitalism to Russia. However, they interpreted capitalism in a very Soviet way–as a cut–throat and cynical system where craftiness and ruthlessness were more important than integrity.

Today, a new generation is eager to take over the reins. They were born in the mid-1970s and early 1980s grew up in the relatively free era of the 1990s. They have enriched themselves under Putin, but after a decade of Putinism they feel frustrated that their country does not look like Poland or Estonia, which started their transition at the same time as Russia. They are fed-up with corruption, and want rules and institutions which Putinism cannot provide. The talk will focus on the defining media figures in each of these three generations.

Ostrovsky_Web_cropArkady Ostrovsky is Chief of the Moscow Bureau of The Economist and IWM Guest in October.

Please register via mail or phone +43-1-313-58-0