Staunton, Feb. 6—2022 marked not only the launch of Vladimir Putin’s expanded invasion of Ukraine but also the selection of the core principle of his ideology, Dmitry Travin says. Before then, it appeared that the central idea would be that “Russia is a land of great opportunities,” but now the idea that “Russia is the victim of countless enemies” has won out.
When things were going relatively well in the first decade of Putin’s rule, the former made more sense and no one was talking about the second, the commentator continues. But when things turned sour, the second quickly overwhelmed the first in the eyes of the Kremlin (newizv.ru/news/2023-02-06/esli-drug-okazalsya-vdrug-kak-v-strane-pobedila-kontseptsiya-rossiya-zhertva-vragov-396261).
Nonetheless, until last yar, the first seemed to have some support and had not been finally written off; but the problems that have arisen in the course of the war in Ukraine make it critically important that the regime talk far more about how threatening the enemies of Russia are rather than how helpful are the decreasing number of its friends.
For the foreseeable future, Travin continues, “the concept of ‘Russia as the victim of countless enemies’ will work relatively effectively” precisely because it is directed not at the elites who will fall in line without believing it but at the mass population who don’t travel or even have passports and so are quite prepared to accept the new ideological precept.