Imperial Russia collapsed in 1917 and from its ruins rose the Soviet Union. Now, yet another empire is in the making. “Changing Russia?” concisely describes more than one thousand years of history that have shaped the Russia of today.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union almost 25 years ago, the illusion of Russia changing into a Western democracy encouraged peaceful cooperation between Russia and the West. Russia’s civil society, liberalism and democracy, however, have yet to resemble those of the West. What Russia wants to do and what it is able to do are imperative questions.
The authors maintain that to understand Russia, including Russian ways of thinking and business practises, one needs to become acquainted with its history and cultural heritage. Significant Russian authors and literary quotes are therefore presented throughout this book to provide these insights. Uniquely, Russian and Soviet advertising is also described to paint a picture of everyday life, the power of propaganda, and the perspectives that set it apart from Western ‘capitalist’ thinking.
The two Finnish authors combine practical business experience and academic research in Russian history. Kari Ketola has had a long career in Russian trade and industrial cooperation, selling goods from refrigerators to oil rigs and furniture to deep sea submarines. Timo Vihavainen has published numerous critical articles and books on Russian history and politics, and is currently the professor of Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki.