Vadim Nikitin is a Murmansk-born, London-based Russia analyst and financial-crime specialist. His commentary and book reviews have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, and Dissent.
Ever since 1991, Russians have been looking to the Soviet past for comfort and pride.
A new generation of web-savvy civic activists are steadily builiding a participatory, nonideological and conspicuously patriotic movement against official corruption.
Indifference and suspicion might be as much to blame as authoritarianism for Russia's lack of democracy. That's why an uptick in local-level civic engagement is welcome news.