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Alternative Narratives In Russia Essay

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Amidst a current political climate defined by Russian unpredictability, particularly following the supposed intervention in the American Presidential election, many are wondering what it is that makes the case of Vladimir Putin so anomalous. Almost 20 years into his presidency, having just announced his decision to run in the next election, Putin has created Russia anew, and the story of the Kremlin has adopted the qualities of a myth. Additionally, many aspects of the recent political and socioeconomic reality in Russia have become a model of what popular culture labels “fake news,” more appropriately called alternative facts. These alternative facts concern events such as the mysterious assassinations of active opponents of the Kremlin,…show more content…
Putin’s experience as a KGB agent and a politician in the post-Cold War era would set the foundation for how he proceeded to govern Russia. Putin resolved to once again unify Russia in a quasi-Soviet manner, and to do whatever it took to achieve this goal. Fast forward to 2017, and although the alternative facts surrounding Russia have complex origins, they are largely a result of the Kremlin’s goal to unify the citizenry under one vision and promote fervent nationalism on a large scale.
The corruption and manipulation of facts that we are seeing in Russia right now essentially boils down to a few key characteristics of most perverted regimes or operations. Wealth as a vehicle for control, disregard for the needs of the citizenry, violence against dissenters, and utilization of media for counterfactual indoctrination are just a few components of what make Russia what it is today. The first example of this can be seen in the staggering Russian wealth gap, an issue that is best represented by the recent report that the top 10% control 85% of the country’s wealth. (Shorrocks 15) This statistic puts Russia at the very top of the list of countries with large wealth gaps, surpassing even the U.S. Interestingly enough, in 2008, Putin publicly announced as he has many times in the past that, “The differentiation of incomes is unacceptable, outrageously high … Therefore, the most important task is to reduce material inequality” (Breslow). Since then however, the
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