MOSKAU – Ich bin gerade von einem langen Wochenende in Moskau nach Star City (Russlands Ausbildungszentrum für Raumfahrt) zurückgekehrt, und mir ist aufgefallen, wie viel – und wie wenig – sich verändert hat, seit ich vor 20 Jahren, im Frühling 1989, zum ersten Mal hier herkam.

Als ich an einer Anzeige in der Moskauer U-Bahn vorbeiging, die Werbefläche zum Verkauf anbot, erinnerte ich mich daran, wie ich Mitte der 90er Jahre eine derselben langen, schnellen Rolltreppen mit einem Pionier der Werbewelt hinuntersauste. „Sehen Sie sich all die leeren Wände an!“, staunte er. „Eines Tages könnten Sie voll von Werbung sein.“ Heute sind sie tatsächlich voll von Werbung und lassen seine kühnsten Träume wahr werden. Vor ein paar Jahren noch war ich ganz verzückt, wenn auf einer dieser Anzeigen eine Website angegeben war. Jetzt sind URLs Standard.

Tatsächlich brachte das russische Suchmaschinenunternehmen Yandex (in dessen Vorstand ich sitze) vor ein paar Jahren eine Anzeige heraus, die sich vorsichtig über Russlands altes System der Undurchdringlichkeit lustig machte. Am Fuße sämtlicher Rolltreppen in der Moskauer U-Bahn befindet sich eine Glaskabine für das Rolltreppenpersonal – normalerweise eine missmutig aussehende Frau, deren einzige Aufgabe darin besteht, die Rolltreppe im Notfall abzuschalten. Auf der Kabine ist ein Schild angebracht, auf dem steht: „Das Rolltreppenpersonal beantwortet keine Fragen.“, was im Sowjetstil formuliert ungefähr heißt: „Das Personal gibt keine Beratungen.“

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