After almost a decade of passivity, Russian workers are once again striking. For the first time since the 1990s, labor unrest has spread across the country, affecting foreign and domestic investors, well-to-do industrial and natural-resource enterprises and infrastructural installations. But unlike in the 1990s, these strikes have accompanied an economic boom, suggesting that patterns of Russian labor unrest are beginning to resemble those in other countries. Analysis of several recent strikes, meanwhile, suggests the early emergence of a new labor proto-movement, characterized by feelings of entitlement and injustice that stem in part from government rhetoric, while pushed into opposition by the state’s refusal to accommodate genuine labor mobilization.

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