Staunton, February 28 – Many Russians are surprised by how popular Vladimir Putin is in the West given all his anti-Western statements and actions, but they shouldn’t be, Yevgeny Igkhlov says, because as “the Hitler of today,” he pleases many in the West for the same reasons Adolf Hitler pleased many outside of Germany in the years before World War II.
“Putin pleases Western businessman by the absence in Russia of a class struggle and an ecological movement. He pleases Western authoritarians by the absence of dreary parliamentary procedures. [And] he pleases Western anti-globalist leftists by his anti-Americanism and ‘cultural nationalism’” (forum-msk.org/material/society/11501013.html).
That Russian propaganda plays to such themes is not surprising, but it is important to recognize that it is exploiting attitudes which already exist rather than creating something new – and it is almost always the case that building on something that already is in place is much easier than creating something from scratch.