The New Russians is an attempt to catalogue scattered observations, thoughts, and analyses of Russia’s tumultuous political life. More than 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia remains essential in international affairs, yet resists American understanding . The rise of Vladimir Putin has further confused Western observers, and reduced our perception of Russia to Cold War-era stereotypes. This blog outlines what I hope to be a better approach in understanding the new Russia, and the people who run it.
Ben Van Meter is a graduate of Tufts University, and also studied in Yaroslavl, Russia and at Middlebury’s Russian language program. In addition to a degree in Russian and Eastern European studies, he completed a senior honors thesis, “Russia’s Oligarchs and Making the Loyal Economy,” a study of the developing relationship between Russia’s government and business class. He has worked in Russia as a guest radio host and at the APEC 2012 summit in Vladivostok. In the U.S., he has worked for Harvard University’s Davis Center of Russian and Eurasian Studies and the EastWest Institute. Ben currently lives in New York City.