Saturday, August 26, 2023

Russian Officials Likely to Quote Putin as Soviet Ones Did Lenin Rather than Come Up with a Clearly Defined State Ideology, Barbashin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 20 – Many in Russia want and many in the West expect that eventually Moscow will define a state ideology for the Russian Federation, but Anton Barbashin, the editor of the Riddle portal argues, that “any proper formulation of an official ‘state ideology’ won’t be likely to take place.”

            The reason is simple: coming up with such a formulation would “require giving definitive answers to questions that the Kremlin would very much prefer to remain vaguely defined,” he argues. Instead, Russian officials will “quote President Putin just as their Soviet predecessors did Lenin” before 1991 (

            Given that Putin has taken a variety of positions, that lack of a codification of a state ideology will allow him and his followers the same kind of flexibility or even greater freedom of action than was the case with Soviet officials who often found it necessary to explore Lenin’s works to find a justification for what they wanted to do.

            One new feature of this situation, however, is that Putin and other officials will frequently put out new ideas that allow them new possibilities to find justification. Among these, Barbashin argues, is the idea of Russia as a state-civilization (

            As the political scientist-editor shows, the Kremlin and its supporters have not offered “any straightforward definition of ‘state-civilization’” but instead have provided “plenty of hints” that allow various people to read various things into it and that permits Putin to stress now one and now another of these.

No comments:

Post a Comment