Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Kremlin Testing Limits on Rehabilitating Fascism, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 20 – For the last three weeks, a controversy has been swirling in Moscow between Aleksandr Dugin and the Russian State Humanities University, on the one hand, and Russian students and their supporters, on the other, over whether to name a new policy center there for émigré Russian Ivan Ilin, a leading articulator of what many call Russian fascism.

            (For details on this back and forth and references to both supporters and opponents of creating such an institution with the odious Putin ally Dugin as its head, see and

            The Kremlin and government media are treating this back and forth as a private matter and distancing themselves from it; but Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs as El Murid, says that it the latest effort by the Kremlin to see how far it can go in rehabilitating fascism and thus bringing its ideological stance into line with its actions (

            What makes what is going on a bellwether about Russia’s future under Putin, the blogger says; and it  highlights the way in which the Kremlin operates when it wants to see how far it can go in saying openly what it is in fact already doing, in this case, talking positively about fascist ideas that in fact it is already implementing but calling them something else.

            If plans for an Ilin center under Dugin fail as a result of public opposition, the Eurasian leader and his Kremlin backers won’t suffer. He has nowhere to go, and the Kremlin can act as if nothing has happened, El Murid says. But if the center opens, he continues, then Putin will be able to move further in the direction of being openly fascist.

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