The Importance of Being Honest (Notes on Russian Cultural Identity & Moral Superiority)

Steve Jobs lubok style

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength (George Orwell).


A liar should have a long a memory (English proverb).


It is my third post in ‘Russian Propaganda’ category… The Russian Mafia told me it doesn’t exist. Probably, that vodka I drank for inspiration had some pentothal fly agaric in it. So it was just a bad Russian trip. I had to find some REAL sponsors for this post. Fortunately, I found freedom fighters terrorists from ISIL. Thanks, guys! Continue reading “The Importance of Being Honest (Notes on Russian Cultural Identity & Moral Superiority)”

#Klyukvification: Representation of Russia(ns) in Western Popular Culture

Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part II.

Ivan Bilibin, Illustration to the “Frog Princess (Tsarevna Frog)” [1].


It should be noted here that by ‘Western popular culture’ I mean mainly klyukvified* films which I see as a height of evolution of stereotypical Russian narrative in the West. This post doesn’t deconstruct the Russian stereotypes in Western (American) films in detail. There are too many of these films and it will take not a post but a book for me to cover only some of them. My aim is also to reveal generalized characteristics of Russian men’ images in the Western cinema. I’ll devote a separate post to the view of Russian women in the West.

The image of Russia in contemporary Western world is to a big degree shaped by the popular culture and is articulated in films, books, songs/music videos, ads and caricatures. Since the Cold War era (and earlier) cultural propaganda in the form of mass culture products helped to fix the image of Russia and Russians in the ways shown below.
Continue reading “#Klyukvification: Representation of Russia(ns) in Western Popular Culture”

Russian Stereotypes: Western perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part I.

Viktor Vasnetsov – Flying Carpet, 1880.


First of all it should be mentioned that speaking about ‘the West’ and ‘Russia’ as monolithic entities is itself a stereotyping practice. It is appropriate here because using these general concepts one can perfectly show/see the genesis and evolution of these stereotypes without going too deep into interesting but distracting details. The author doesn’t claim ‘objectivity’: the post represents my own views which were formed as a result of my continuing study of the so-called ‘Western discourse of Russia’.  The latter itself is not a homogeneous entity but rather a mixture of various Western concepts and political narratives applied to the complex discursive construct called  ‘Russia’.

As it was stated in a post titled “How We See Russia” quoting Daniel Treisman, a scholar on Russia, there are two main methods of writing about Russia in the West: Continue reading “Russian Stereotypes: Western perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part I.”