Policy Memos

Alexander Solzhenitsyn as a Mirror of the Russian Counter-Revolution

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Seemingly worried about recent trends in Russian government policies that call into question freedom of speech and private property, Anatoly Chubais--a pioneer of Russian economic reforms--suddenly declared this September that the government was unduly influenced by the ideas of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. A few weeks later, Chubais' pronouncement received unexpected confirmation by a televised meeting between President Vladimir Putin and the dissident writer. Apparently, President Putin is in search of a political identity and ideological legitimation. In the absence of realistic alternatives, Solzhenitsyn's ideology may indeed become a principal element of the emerging Russian identity--not only at the governmental level, but also for society. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Department of Sociology
Higher School of Economics, Moscow