Roll Over, Krupskaya: American Consumerism in the New Russia

Roll Over, Krupskaya: American Consumerism in the New Russia

Moscow’s mayor Yury Luzhkov decreed this past spring that the city’s retail outlets would no longer be able to call themselves by such western-inspired names as “supermarket,” “drug store,” or “shop.” As of June 1, businesses in the city were required to abandon English language or Anglicized names in Cyrillic script for more traditional Russian versions; thus supermarkets will become gastronom, or in the case of larger establishments, torgovy dom. (When I left Moscow in mid-May, few businesses seemed to have responded to the new requirements, no doubt reasoning that a well-placed bribe or two would ward off over-zealous official enforcement.)

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