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How everyday Russians survive and thrive under Putin's rule, from The New Yorker's correspondent in Moscow.
Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, some muster cunning and cynicism to extract privileges from those in power while others are broken or demoralized. For each, the question of compromise - where to bend, how much, and in the service of what goal - is ever-present. The result is an intimate and probing portrait of the way citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and repressive state, which offers urgent lessons about the nature of modern authoritarianism.
Author: Joshua Yaffa