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  • Author: Elena V. Baraban
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: In this paper I examine two popular Russian television series: the historical drama The Demon of the Revolution, or Parvus’s Memorandum (Demon revoliutsii, ili Memorandum Parvusa, dir. Vladimir Khotinenko, 2017) and the biopic Trotsky (Trotskii, dirs. Alexander Kott and Konstantin Statskii, 2017). These mini-series were released on Russia’s main television channels on the occasion of the centenary of the October Revolution. Given their salience amidst otherwise subdued commemoration of the Revolution’s centenary in Russia, it is important to analyze these films in the current ideological and political context. What do they tell us about present-day Russia? What is their cultural significance? In what way does the negative depiction of the Revolution and its leaders in The Demon and Trotsky relate to the Russian authorities’ ideology concerning national unity and the nation’s steady development? This discussion is especially pertinent for understanding how the creation and circulation of such narratives shape the public opinion in today’s Russia. This, in turn, helps to understand current trends in the relation between power and culture.
  • Topic: History, Ideology, Revolution, Lenin, Trotsky
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Adrian Popa, Cristian Barna
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Russia’s recent buildup of A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) forces in Crimea and Kaliningrad, coupled with its increasingly confronting rhetoric in the Black and Baltic Seas, pose a serious challenge for the NATO’s Eastern flank countries. While the mare sui generis status of the Black Sea might be altered under the expected inauguration of Canal Istanbul in 2023 as it would probably require the revision of the Montreux Convention, the mare liberum status of the Baltic Sea might also be questioned as Russia contests NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in this region. Facing this challenging geostrategic context, Pilsudski’s ideas of Intermarium seem to have revived within the Central and Eastern European countries under modern interfaces such as the Bucharest Nine and the Three Seas Initiative. This paper proposes a comparative analysis between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of their newly-emerged geostrategic context, discusses the feasibility of the recent endeavours to promote cooperation within the Central and Eastern European countries and not ultimately, highlights the utility of a regional military alliance in support of NATO.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Crimea, Baltic Sea, Baltic States
  • Author: Roman Bäcker
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Questions regarding definitions of authoritarianism and totalitarianism date from the interwar period. This article draws on the classic approaches and argues that the definition of Juan Linz, with changes suggested by Roman Bäcker (2011), and may o er a solid base for understanding the location of each non-democratic regime on a continuum determined by two extreme ideal types: authoritarianism and totalitarianism. e former is de ned here by three essential features: bureaucratic sovereignty (or siloviki), social apathy and emotional mentality. e latter is identified by references to: state-party apparatus sovereignty, mass and forced mobilisation, and political gnosis. these categories are useful to deal with the research problem considering where Russia is on this continuum, after the annexation of Crimea. It requires, however, carrying out an in-depth analysis on three levels: sovereignty, social behaviour and social consciousness. is article aims to reveal how to identify and approach these analytical levels.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Kazimierz Wóycicki
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: The war that Russia is conducting against Ukraine today is not only related to breaking the post-World War II rules of engagement, but is also being run in a new way, which was to a certain degree unknown before. is phenomenon had been named “hybrid warfare”, initially mainly paying attention to the military aspect of the issue, symbolically represented by “little green men”. e focus of attention has been shifting to what military actions of hybrid-war are often accompanied by intense propaganda activities, with the Internet as the main tool. they are planned and carried out in Russia, possessing extensive resources in Russian literature on so-called “information warfare”.
  • Topic: International Security, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Rudolf Pikhola
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: On 25 September 1990, one of the rst meetings of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Russia was held in the building of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. e agenda consisted of the issue of ensuring the economic sovereignty of Russia in the USSR. Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yuri Skokov, responsible for industrial policy, spoke with bitterness about his meeting with Minister of Metallurgy of the USSR Seraphim Baibakov: “We spoke to him about our sovereignty, and he said: ‘I’m sorry, but last year I became an owner of property and a legal successor of state property.’ Kolpakov became Krupp. Now he creates 10-15 companies, leaving a small management structure. It is presidential rule in the steel-casting complex.”
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
6. Forward
  • Author: John S Micgiel, Pawel Kowal
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Twenty- five years ago, we bade farewell to the Soviet Union, but after a quarter- century we still feel how much of its empire it left behind. It was not an “ordinary” empire because its essential feature was a totalitarian system. ideological pressure of Soviet Russia has changed the social structures of great swathes of the globe. e legacy of the USSR is a fascinating research topic, unfortunately today one rarely raised by researchers.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia