Election 2016

‘Fearless, stoic and attractive’: a history of the state-sanctioned Russian woman ​

theguardian.comFrom leaders Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Mikhail Gorbachev, to cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Alexey Leonov, the enduring characters of the Soviet Union were rarely women. Laika was female, but she was a dog, and died a painful death shortly after her orbit in space.

Fast forward to the present day and president Vladimir Putin has built a cult of personality around wrestling tigers. Fighting in Ukraine has rejuvenated the military hero figure, football fans teeming with testosterone are causing havoc at Euro 2016 and the “Russian boy” is a cult look dominating the catwalk.

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