There is no bigger issue this year than Russia's effect on the rest of the world. Since the disastrous, scandalous invasion of Ukraine, there is increased interest in how Vladimir Putin's government engages in the politics of other countries around the world. How do we feel the influence of Russia (& USSR) in the last 120 years, in Vienna? This is a contemporary and historical look at the dialogue and tension between two countries. And so much has happened this year!
Following the Ibiza-scandal (2019), (men's football) World Cup in Russia in 2018, and 100 years after the seismic Russian Revolution (2017), what influences can we find from the Soviet Union and Russia in contemporary Vienna? This walk goes beyond the cliches and headlines to look at the Russians who live in our city now (including Chechens, Orthodox Jews and people employed in the creative sector, from dance to opera).
What sort of dialogue existed between Red Vienna and Moscow, in those years after the collapse of the Romanov and Habsburg dynasties? We'll explore socialist housing and propaganda projects that seem to take inspiration from the East.
We visit the Russian Orthodox Cathedral (on Sunday, while it is full of worshippers) and Embassy (from the exterior), plus the Memorial to the Victory over Fascism on Schwarzenbergplatz. And reflect on the huge cultural contribution of that country, from literature to art, ballet to opera, while hearing some loud songs, poetry and exploring food and paranoia. The parents of the current President of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, were Russian and Estonian.
The Red Army made a huge contribution and sacrifice in liberating Europe during the second world war. What was life like during the Soviet occupation of north Vienna, in the post-war years? Why did the USSR leave Austria 40 years before pulling out of Germany?
We will explore Vladimir Putin and his influence on Europe now, exploring war, spies, hacking and fake news.
At the end, we will all taste some fine Russian vodka. Many Russian bars and restaurants have closed or changed in the last 18 months, but we will discuss where to experience the country here.
Here is Falter's interesting review of our unusual tour.
No registration possible – just be there on time
Walk leaders: Yulia Belinskaya (Wien/St Petersburg) & Eugene Quinn (Wien/London)