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Causes and consequences of average russians’ economic and cultural isolation

Causes and consequences of average russians’ economic and cultural isolation

 Does putin’s government really want to isolate russians?

Since the first days of the full-scale war against Ukraine, economic and “cultural” sanctions against the russian federation have been imposed. The latter aimed at suspending the cooperation of the world’s cultural circles with the artists and cultural institutions directly or indirectly connected with the russian government,  supporting putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

Let us remind of the trend of “renunciation of russian culture” as a reaction to the war which was called “cancelled Russian culture” in the West.

Rethinking the imperial nature of russian culture lies in boycotting russian artists and refusing to consume russian cultural products ranging from music, cinema, and literature to tourism restrictions for russians.

Judging by the number of cancelled announcements of upcoming events, the “russian world” has indeed fallen into a cultural blockade.

Many European cultural institutions terminated the contracts with russian artists and management representatives who had expressed support for the war unleashed by the kremlin.

In particular, the conductor and head of the Mariinsky Theater, Valery Gergiev, opera singer Anna Netrebko, pianist Denys Matsuev and the artistic director of the ballet of the Bavarian Opera Theater, Ihor Zelensky, lost their contracts.

Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, called upon the international community to stop issuing tourist visas for trips to the EU for russians.

At the end of July, the Estonian government approved the ban on issuing a temporary residence permit or visa for the purpose of studying to russian citizens.

The World Federation of International Music Competitions has excluded the International Tchaikovsky Competition from its membership.

However, the trend of “cancelling” Russian culture in the West may be a long-term strategic special operation of putin’s government aimed at artificially distancing the russian people from the influence of Western democratic values.

After all, all the aggressive rhetoric of the russian authorities deliberately provoked Western countries to limit economic, cultural and tourist ties with the russians to the furthest extent. The latter travelled to the EU en masse every year until February 24 for recreation, shopping, or work, saw with their own eyes and noticed the difference between Europe and putin’s russia.

Limiting the russians’ access to European democratic values ​​by the “hands” of the Europeans themselves is one of the main kremlin’s tasks of creating a closed society under the leadership of the dictatorial government, following the example of Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

Therefore, even though criticism of Western sanctions has become an integral part of kremlin’s propaganda, the kremlin uses such a reaction to deprive the russian population of authorized access to most of the world’s cultural products, limit russians’ contacts with foreigners in order to finally suppress protest sentiments, primarily against the war with Ukraine.

Likewise, the discussion banning the unrestricted use of VPNs in the country is unfolding at the highest level.

However, this strategy of “cultural isolation” actually causes reverse results.

Arguing that “it is impossible to work for a murderer and receive a salary from him,” 200 000 russians left the country (90% of them are representatives of the elite). Private museums and artists announced a boycott and stopped their work. The artists, theater members, and musicians, who did not support the war, ceased cooperation with the state institutions of the russian federation.

Thus, the number of russians abroad openly expressing their political position creates a real opposition to the kremlin’s authorities and undermines it from the outside.

The attempts to technically ban access to accessible information sources inside russia will be successfully countered by russian hackers who will be able to neutralize the “iron curtain” on the Internet. The primary consumer of contraband culture will be the youth of the russian federation, who will eventually make powerful cultural and political clandestine enemies of putin’s regime.

  • 10 August, 2022

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