Ukraine’s Protesters are Inspired by European Ideals, However Illusory


In the 1990s, as millions of migrants escaped to the West from behind the tattered Iron Curtain, many of those who stayed behind in Eastern Europe consoled themselves by remodeling their apartments. A new word appeared in Russian to describe this — evroremont, meaning, literally, European repairs — which became a household obsession across the former Soviet Union. Part of it, of course, was driven by consumerism, a desire for washing machines and stereo equipment that had not been around under communism. But it meant more than that. It was also a palliative attempt to wall off a space where a family could live “like they do in Europe,” regardless how shabby the outside world remained.

Europe, or rather the concept of Europe, thus became a byword for correcting all that was wrong with life in the ruins of the USSR, even when life in the West turned…

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