The History and Culture of Russia
(Berlin, ICD House; November 29th, 2013)
The informative presentation went into detail about Russia's long and diverse history, examining events of which have shaped how Russia is today. For example the Christianization of the country in 988, the formation of Tsarism, the Communist Revolution of 1917 and the recent fall of the USSR in 1991- all events which play a part in how Russia is today and how it is seen by other countries. Russia was shown to be a vast and diverse country with a rich culture, with over 150 languages. The interns outlined various features of Russian life and culture, highlighting Russian ballet, opera and famous music, authors, philosophers and scientists, showing the Russian relationship and differences with Europe through role-play's and humor.
On the topic of politics and civil society, the interns went in to details about the Russia of post 1993. After the collapse of USSR, there was a formation of a democratic, federal, rule-of-law state with republican form of government. They talked of the high impact of the breakup of Soviet Union, break up of former Soviet Republics and focuses on Chechnya being a source of war, terrorism, ethnic and cultural conflict. Also discussed was the hyperinflation and civil unrest in Russia in the 1990's. Discussed were the presidents of "new Russia", Yeltsin, Putin, Medvedev and Russia as a multi-party system and ideological diversity. Discussed after the presentation was the distrust Russians have in government, authoritarianism and other cultures perceptions on Russia.