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« Signs and Symbols: Nabokov's Encrypted Texts | Main | Etap: Where is Nadezhda Tolokonnikova? »

November 09, 2013


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Catherine Fitzpatrick

The Major General has had quite a colourful life...

David McDuff

I remember the first time I went to the Soviet Union in 1964 - as a camping tourist (we brought our own tent and car!) - the small groups of soldiers who used to sneak over from their base to one of the Intourist camp sites we stayed at in Ukraine. They brought bags of fruit from nearby orchards and exchanged them for Western cigarettes, and they really wanted to talk and chat with people from the West - even though they were no doubt taking a risk by doing so, and hardly any of the tourists spoke Russian.

What this video reveals, among many other things, is that this aspect of Soviet life hasn't really changed much in the new Russia - there's that same willingness to break out of the system in the name of a shared humanity, and the same acknowledgement of the system's overpowering presence. Quite moving.

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