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||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (October 2012)|
New Russians (Novye Russkie, Russian: новые русские) is a term for the newly rich business class in post-Soviet Russia. It is perceived as a stereotypical caricature. According to the stereotype, New Russians achieved rapid wealth by using criminal methods during Russia’s chaotic transition to a market economy.
Having a modest education and social background, New Russians are perceived as arrogant nouveau riche and gaudy, conspicuous consumers with poor taste. Money and status symbols are prominently displayed by the New Russian, in particular jewelry and luxury cars. In the early 1990s, prominent attributes of the New Russian stereotype also included mobile phones and crimson jackets. A wide range of elite restaurants and nightclubs catering to the New Russian social circle have sprung up in Moscow.
Many Russian jokes revolve around New Russians; for instance, the following: "Look at my new tie," says a New Russian to his colleague. "I bought it for 500 dollars in the store over there." "You got yourself conned," says the other. "You could have paid twice as much for the same one just across the street!"
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