From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The Great Game was a political and diplomatic confrontation that existed for most of the nineteenth century between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over Afghanistan and neighbouring territories in Central and Southern Asia."--Sholem Stein
Russia is a country in Asia and Europe. Population in the ex-USSR and Eastern Europe is rapidly shrinking due to low birth rates, very high death rates (linked to alcoholism and high rates of infectious diseases such as AIDS and TB), as well as high emigration rates. In Russia and the former communist bloc, birth rates fell abruptly after the fall of the Soviet Union, and death rates generally rose sharply. In addition, in the 25 years after 1989, some 20 million people from Eastern Europe are estimated to have migrated to Western Europe or the United States.
Russian literature is considered to be among the most influential literature in the world. Russia has a rich literary history, beginning with the poet Alexander Pushkin, considered the greatest Russian poet and often described as the "Russian Shakespeare". In the nineteenth century Russian literature underwent an astounding golden age, beginning with the poet Pushkin and culminating in two of the greatest novelists in world literature, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russia has remained a leading nation in literature since that time. Significant Russian writers of the Soviet period were Boris Pasternak. In the field of the novel, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in particular were titanic figures, and have remained internationally renowned, to the point that many scholars have described one or the other as the greatest novelist ever.
In music, the Romantic tradition of Tchaikovsky was brought into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff. During the Soviet Era, music was highly scrutinized and kept within certain boundaries of content and innovation; notable composers included Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich.
Russia has a revered and recognised tradition of ballet. Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed the most famous works of ballet - Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. During the early 20th century, Russian dancers Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky rose to fame, and Ballets Russes' travels abroad profoundly influenced the development of dance worldwide for decades to come.
Russian filmmaking came to prominence during the 1920s when it explored editing as the primary mode of cinematic expression, resulted in world-renowned films such as Battleship Potemkin. This outburst of creativity and innovation was short-lived, however. In the 1930s, Soviet censorship stifled creativity. Later Soviet-era filmmakers, most notably Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, would become some of the world's most innovative and influential directors. Russian cinema has been transformed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. During the 1990s, Russian filmmaking decreased sharply, but recent years have brought increased viewership and subsequent prosperity to the industry through exploration of contemporary subjects.
- LGBT rights in Russia
- Russian Ark (2002) by Alexander Sokurov
- Rabelais and His World (1965) by Mikhail Bakhtin
- The Master and Margarita (1967) by Mikhail Bulgakov
- Cinema of the Soviet Union
- Russian avant-garde
- Red Scare
- Russian Revolution
- Russian folklore
- Culture of the Soviet Union
- Russian music
- Russian art
- Russian jokes
- Russian religion
- Russian literature
- Cinema of Russia and Soviet Union
- Ballets Russes
- What Every Russian Knows (and You Don't)
- 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
- Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible
- Dissolution of the Soviet Union
- Russian Empire