The debates around the course of the Russian transformation, intensified by the sudden collapse of the Russian economic system in August 1998, typically deal with phenomena and issues involved by analyzing the structure and functioning of political elites, parties and institutions. While all of these provide interesting and revealing data, they fail to pay sufficient attention to everyday lives of the ordinary Russian people who face increasing hardships with endurance and ingenuity. This paper is a part of an ongoing project which focuses on the adaptive strategies developed by ordinary Russians in response to a drastically changing societal environment. This paper presents some early findings pertaining to the shifts adaptive strategies of Muscovites underwent after the economic collapse, and suggests that these shifts may start to explain why, despite the dramatic worsening of the economic situation, no major public protest actions have occurred so far.

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