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Shades of White

Russia's New Right Opposition

"Mankind is in crisis . . . a long crisis which began 300, .and in some places, 400 years ago, when people turned away from religion. . . . It is a crisis which led the East to Communism and the West to a pragmatic society. It is the crisis of materialism." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Following the collapse of communism, Russia finds herself an orphan of the disintegrated Soviet Empire. She has embarked on a course of reform that is essentially a search for a new identity. Boris Yeltsin's "team" of Westernizing reformers had hoped to integrate Russia into the Global Village through the auspices of the IMF and the World Bank and through the embrace of democratic ideology. The government's program has been met with opposition not only from the old nomenklatura and the neocommunists, but from a nascent "national-patriotic" movement. This amorphous movement opposes not just specific points of the government's policy, but the general cultural direction of integrationism. Its battle with the government is a struggle over Russian identity, and much of its criticisms echo those of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who may well become the intellectual and spiritual center of a movement that has yet to adequately define itself.

At the April 1992 Congress of People's Deputies, Boris Yeltsin and his partisans encountered staunch opposition from a group whose primary goal was to block the continuation...

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