Cover Osteuropa 8/2014

In Osteuropa 8/2014

Repression Indolence
Political Culture and Authoritarian Rule in Russia

Boris Makarenko

Deutsche Fassung


Russian society is marked by deep schizophrenia. On the one hand, many citizens have a very critical view of the state and ruling regime. On the other hand, they support this regime and tolerate the repression of free speech and political opposition. This split is the expression of a political culture that has developed over centuries. Within this culture, resisting the state is considered futile. However, such a subject culture does not have to last forever. The ruling elites have an interest in its preservation. Since a protest movement nonetheless emerged in 2011, the regime has responded massively: with simulated reforms and especially with significantly increased repression and mobilisation through propaganda. But fear and demonstrative declarations of loyalty cannot hide the fact that the regime’s legitimacy has vanished.

(Osteuropa 8/2014, pp. 113–120)