Our cover story this month is an uncompromising attack on Russia’s intelligentsia, the liberals and intellectuals who after 1991, argues Arkady Ostrovsky, were presented with a one-off opportunity to drag their country into the modern world. Instead, they got mired in irony and bad art, and were all too easily seduced by Vladimir Putin’s neo-imperialist vision of Russia’s future and his exploitation of public nostalgia for Soviet greatness. Communism is dead, and will not return. But the absence of a liberal voice in Russia means that the most powerful force in that country, as the Georgians have just discovered to their cost, is likely to remain old-fashioned belligerent nationalism.
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