Whilst the Putin/Mededev roadshow wends its merry - and predictable - way, I have been thinking some more about how powerful the idea of escape is here; not just escape away (abroad, or into wealth) but also inward, away from the 'centre', away from rules and regulations; and away from (controlled and controlling) public/politcal debate. In continuity with the old Soviet tradition of kitchen talks, of politics discussed around household tables - and of samizdat of course - some of the creative people I have talked to here seem to find the greatest freedom in private actions. I met an architect who runs a radical studio (at least I think that is what he does). He laughed at me when I asked if I could see his group's work on the web - we prefer to keep things underground, he said.
Had to resist stealing this RT YouTube clip of Putin singing from my friend Miriam's blog, so will just give the link to her post instead. And to get some of the - slightly weird - resonance with the Cameron/Clegg duo in the UK, also see this clip of Mededev dancing. Easy to see which one is Clegg.