(CSM) MOSCOW — Larissa Tarkhanova well remembers the Soviet-era rituals of lining up, often for hours, to obtain basic foodstuffs in the "grocery stores" of those days. As a clerk in a pretty well-stocked local food shop, Ms. Tarkhanova says she knows how far her country has come, generally supports its leadership, and seldom complains about anything.
But today something has upset her – the Kremlin's destruction of perfectly good food. […]
"Putin has put his own name to this, so it's certainly something to do with asserting his own legitimacy," says Nikolai Petrov, a professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. "He may be demonstrating his toughness and resolve vis-à-vis the West, and telling Russians they must not evade the hard choices that go with that. We all have to make sacrifices."
"Movies and TV have played their role in making Russians see eye-to-eye with the Kremlin over what happened in Crimea and Ukraine. But actions are needed, too," says Mr. Petrov. "This [food destruction] spectacle is a way to make everyone feel directly involved, and accept that this is the way things are."
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