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What's the Matter With Russia?

Putin and the Soviet Legacy

Author: Keith Gessen
July/August 2014
Foreign Affairs


On the way back from a recent visit to Ukraine, I found myself flying Aeroflot, Russia's national airline. I've always liked Aeroflot's international flights: the planes are new, everything's clean, and maybe because of the airline's less-than-­stellar reputation, the crew always seems to be trying extra hard to please. Nonetheless, on this particular trip, I had hoped to avoid Aeroflot; an airline half-owned by a government that had turned homophobia into a national project and then invaded Crimea could get its $600 from someone else.

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