Staunton, Feb. 14 – At the end of January, the Russian Ministry of Culture announced that it was preparing a decree for Vladimir Putin to declare a formal state policy “on the preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values” and to create a State Committee on Values to act as the ideological watchdog in this sphere.
But the idea almost immediately generated opposition and not just because the Kremlin was apparently primarily focused on preparing to launch a war in Ukraine. As a result, this latest effort to revive a state ideology in Putin’s effort to create a formal ideology has run into difficulties and been put on hold.
On February 14, the ministry announced that it was going back to the drawing board on these projects and would be working on developing an alternative approach to the creation of a State Committee which many viewed as an analogue to the CPSU Central Committee’s ideology department (vedomosti.ru/society/articles/2022/02/14/909284-ukaza-traditsionnih-tsennostyah).
Not only commentators but various public figures criticized the ministry’s plans, criticism that grew even larger when it was discovered that most of the votes about it on regulation.gov.ru came from bots rather than real people. As a result, the ministry pulled the plans, saying it would work on something new for the Kremlin to examine in mid-March.
Given the war in Ukraine, that deadline is likely to slip; and it is entirely possible that this entire issue will die down for some time to come.