Paper long abstract:
Historical position of Russia at the periphery in relation to the widely defined West predetermined the domination of the European image and ideas in self-identification of Russians. Nowadays Russian intellectuals still construct their identity in comparison with "European/Western values". The European Union becomes nowadays an institutionalised version of Europe. Its enlargement has created new challenges to Russian intellectuals, who feel themselves either excluded from the "European family" or in the role of the only 'other' in the dichotomy of East and West. The paper on research in progress explores how Russian intellectuals overcome, negotiate, interpret, compensate and subvert this "exclusion"; define their concept of what it means to be a European etc. I limited my research to materials of Internet forums' discussions at the sites of mass media (e.g. BBC Russian Service, Vedomosti - Russian newspaper, published jointly with the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times; Russian Newsweek, etc).
The imagined Europe under siege