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Incommensurate Russia

Author: Perry Anderson

In: New Left Review, Vol July-August 2015, No 94, 2015

Anderson discusses the nature of Putin’s regime, starting from two opposing assessments of it. The first, promoted by western journalists, stressed lack of legality, kleptocracy, thuggery and authoritarianism. The second, elaborated by some academic studies, suggested a more nuanced picture of gradual progress towards greater legal stability. Anderson then considers in some detail the implications of Russian policy in relation to the Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and situates Putin’s rule in the wider context of Russian and Soviet history. He concludes by noting the tension created by trying to combine traditional Russian emphasis on military power and regional domination with the logic of financial capitalism.

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