January 12, 2016
A friend of mine, the headmaster of a private school in the Moscow Region, has received a written order to add the head of the municipal administration and the head of the education department to his Facebook friends. The order is obligatory for the headmaster, and advisable for the school’s teachers. He has to report back before January 14.
Sergey Abashin is British Petroleum Professor of Migration Studies at the European University in Saint Petersburg. His most recent book is Sovetskii kishlak: Mezhdu kolonializmom i modernizatsiei [The Soviet Central Asian village: between colonialism and modernization], Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2015. Translated by the Russian Reader. Photo filched from the Facebook page of some Petrograd cider house or burger bar where folks who look like the folks in the photo, above, go to pretend they are living in “Europe.”