The ideology of Putin’s regime can be described both by what it articulates or implies, and by what it avoids or omits. For example, it proclaims Russia’s greatness and emphasizes the perception of the West as a hostile force. Russia’s “special path” is its major tenet, but the nature of this “special path” is left vague. The Kremlin’s ideology draws on “traditional values”, but Russia’s new conservatism remains ill-defined. The infallibility of the state and its supreme leader is implied, but not articulated. The new ideology vacillates between the vestiges of Soviet imperial identity and emerging Russian nationalism. The Kremlin’s discourse is fuzzy on the origins of current Russian statehood or Russia’s national heroes. Neither does it offer a vision of Russia’s future.
Maria Lipman was the Editor-in-Chief of Pro et Contra, a policy journal published by the Carnegie Moscow Center from 2003 till 2014. Before joining Carnegie Moscow Center Lipman was Co-founder and Deputy Editor of two Russian weekly magazines: Itogi (Summing Up), the first weekly newsmagazine in Russia, published in association with Newsweek, and Ezhenedel’ny Zhurnal (Weekly Journal).
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