Sunday, February 4, 2024

Russians Should Stop Using the Bear as Their National Symbol Given that It was Imposed by the West, Knyazeva Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 1 -- Russians should stop using the bear as their national symbol not only because the bear does not capture the best elements of their national life but because it was imposed on Russia by the West, Marina Knyazeva says. Instead, they should use the bird because birds are an inalienable part of their nation’s culture and a better symbol of their country.

            It is unlikely that the Moscow State University philologist’s proposal will take off – for her argument, see -- but it is a remarkable indication of just how far ideas about “import substitution” have spread there over the last two years since Putin began his expanded war in Ukraine.

            And that spread shows that however much the Kremlin tries to control the situation, clever Russians will find ways to use any new policy line to push forward their own ideas.

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