Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kremlin Keeps Talking about World War II, the Only Issue Where Gap Between Putin and People isn’t Growing, Gallyamov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 30 – Most people assume that Vladimir Putin keeps the focus on World War II because it is something both he and the Russian people take pride in. That is certainly true. But political analyst Abbas Gallyamov says there is another reason: it is the only subject where Putin and the population are in full agreement.

            On all other issues, historical or contemporary, he says, “the distance between the regime and the people is growing.”  As a result, “there is nothing surprising that Untied Russia again and again tries to exploit” this theme. However, even the use of World War II as a propaganda theme is paying ever diminishing returns to the Kremlin (

            “The effect of novelty here was exhausted long ago, Gallyamov continues. “People have accepted that the powers that be are patriotic and ever more of them ant from it something else besides a demonstration of its patriotism.”  But because patriotism and World War II have worked in the past and because there is no other obvious issue, it will continue to be used.

            His comments come in response to an announcement by United Russia that it plans to launch three new ideological projects: one that will support volunteer groups searching for the graves of soldiers from the war, a second that will promote the identification of Russians with specific World War II divisions, and the third to identify heroes who live near them.

            Mikhail Vinogradov, the head of the Petersburg Politics Foundation, is more positive about this program than is Gallyamov.  “People like military themes,” he says, “and identify with them If in Soviet times, it was considered that ‘real’ life was in1917 … now the chief event of ‘real history’ is considered World War II.” 

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