The Christian Science Monitor

Russians embrace Soviet ideals – by not paying their gas bills

There is a joke that was especially popular in the harsh years following the collapse of the USSR.

One Russian says to another, “You know, everything our old Soviet bosses told us about communism was false. But everything they told us about capitalism was true.”

That joke captures some of the ambivalence that still shapes Russians’ responses to the collapse of the USSR’s socialist state behemoth almost three decades ago and its replacement by an essentially market-driven form of state capitalism.

As in many Western countries, there is widespread disillusionment with a system that increasingly seems incapable of delivering economic prosperity, or even security, for large parts of the population. And Russia is experiencing a surprise spike in nostalgia for the USSR, in which nearly two-thirds

The power of unpaid billsThe Soviet legacy‘Who represents the people?’

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