Image by Dr. Andreas Hugentobler
The word donos — the act of ratting on someone to authorities — is a hallmark of Stalin’s Great Terror. In those troubling times, a single denunciation from a neighbor, colleague or relative was enough to have an innocent person interned in labor camps. Sometimes, worse. Donos was the foundation of society — one built on fear and the knowledge that anyone could suddenly vanish.
But donos was also a way to get ahead in life. It provided a way to deflect attention. Over time, as consequences became less severe, the power of donos faded, but it never disappeared entirely.
Today, it is making an unexpected comeback in Russia…
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