Thursday, January 19, 2023

World War II Victory Cult Only Thing Uniting Russian Elites and Russian Population, Gallyamov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 15 – Russia’s rulers are skating on thin ice, Abbas Gallyamov says. Their positions are the result of the collapse of the USSR and ideologically they sympathize with White Guard anti-Sovietism, while those of most Russians remain overwhelmingly Soviet. The only thing tying them together is veneration of the victory in World War II.

            If the elite ever shifts away from promoting that cult and the militarism it enshrines and promotes, hten the powers that be will be in grave danger of losing what support they have in the population at large, the former Putin speechwriter and commentator says (

            Gallyamov draws that conclusion on the basis of surveys of Russian opinion about what Russians are proud of and what they believe ties the country together that have been conducted by the Moscow Institute of Sociology and published in a new collection of articles, Russian Identity and Inter-Ethnic Relations (in Russian; Moscow: 2022).

            Those data show that for Russians as a whole, victory in the war overshadowed everything else as a unifying force, with only pride in Moscow as the capital coming close. Such attitudes reflect decades of Soviet and Russian propaganda and could be changed only by decades of media efforts containing an alternative message.

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