Steeped in literature, music, art and ballet, Russia has a long and vibrant history celebrating religion and cultural life.
Emphasising family and the motherland, the arts have played a major role since the demise of Communism to promote patriotism and nationhood.
In this episode of In Search of Putin's Russia, journalist and film-maker Andrei Nekrasov explores the relationship between Russian culture and politics and how the arts have been used to glorify Russia's past.
Nekrasov explores Moscow's film industry and how festivals have become co-opted by the state, twisting the memory of the Soviet Union and hiding its dark past.
He meets the owners of a small Moscow theatre company that was forced to close its doors after challenging President Vladimir Putin and pushing films promoting gay rights.
We also meet Russians at a conference honouring Stalin and ask whether acceptance of authoritarianism is a part of Russian culture.
And as Russians yearn for the return of their lost greatness, are the injustices committed in the days of glory being overlooked?
Source: Al Jazeera