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Andrei Rudeev
The Meeting
"Babylonian Dream"
Anna Akhmatova Museum
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by Kate Sutton

Russian premier Vladimir Putin’s choice of his hometown St. Petersburg as the site for this year’s G8 Summit cemented the city’s status as Russia’s cosmopolitan cultural capital, far removed from the frantic flash and muddled glamour of Moscow. In theory, the event should have provided sufficient impetus for the city to shake off its summer slumber and greet the visiting dignitaries with a nice show of hospitality. On the whole, however, the summit was met with annoyance and dread, as citizens anticipated the hassle of blockaded roads, increased security checks and still more cogs in Russia’s convoluted bureaucratic machine.