Putin’s Kiss

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Meet Masha, a 19-year-old who grew up in the Putin era, on her journey through the Kremlin-created Nashi youth movement. This coming-of-age tale focuses on Masha’s personal political struggle and paints a grim picture of the Russian political climate. Many see Putin as the one leading Russia back to being a global superpower. Masha grows up with this belief, wholeheartedly supporting Putin’s policies and seeking to rid Russia of what Nashi believes are Russia’s “enemies”—the political opposition, investigative journalists, and human rights defenders. But when Masha, a journalist, starts socialising with colleagues in the circle of her friend, investigative journalist OIeg Kashin, she also begins to question Nashi and its leaders. Soon Masha finds herself closer with this circle of friends than her Nashi comrades. And ultimately, she faces a choice between the two groups. A shocking event pushes Masha to take a decision in the end, highlighting the costs of her internal struggle as well as the ever-increasing political stakes in Russia today.