Jun 23 • 16M

Life Behind the Curtain

Russian Model Kira Dikhtyar on what it's like to be in Moscow right now

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I’ve spoken periodically to Russian model Kira Dikhtyar over the last few months to get her take on what life is like in Moscow at the moment. Hers is a perspective that is all too often missing from U.S. media coverage—that of Russian citizens.

The moment I even began to frame my first question—about what it has been like in Moscow during the war—Dikhtyar immediately stopped me. “I am right now under Russian law,” she reminded me. “We’re not allowed to call it ‘war.’ So let’s call it ‘special military operation.’”

(Credit: Pavlo Sukharchuk/GETTY)

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I asked Dikhtyar about the mass exodus of non-Russian companies from the country, from fashion designers to fast-food. (Following McDonald’s exit from Russia in May, the franchises have been rebranded as “Vkusno & Tochka,” which loosely translates to “Yummy—period” or “Delicious—and that’s all,” and, according to the CEO, they sold a record-breaking 120,000 burgers on opening day.) I also inquired about what she’s hearing on the ground about Putin’s health and the perception of Russia’s performance in the conflict with Ukraine.

Listen to our conversation in the player above.

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