July 01, 2017

New Culture Wars?

Early morning police raids without warning have become so common in Russia that a new name has been assigned to them: maski-show (маски-шоу), meaning a disproportionate show of force by masked police.

Maski-shows typically hit businessmen, members of the opposition, and subjects of corruption probes.

But this spring a raid was launched against Gogol Center, a trendy Moscow theater run by one of Russia’s most innovative directors, Kirill Serebrennikov (who, some readers will remember, was one of Russian Life magazine’s “100 Young Russians to Watch” back in 2000). Police confiscated his home computers, and at his theater they blocked actors who were rehearsing from leaving the premises during the search.

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