Throughout his time in power, Putin has been committed to (re-)inventing a Russian national idea. In the end, he opted for the worst possible version – revival of imperial glory. It proved to be the easiest method of securing his power, as imperial sentiments are still widespread. As a result, Russian society is now seen as divided into two groups: patriots, and traitors. Being a patriot has been reduced to automatic approval of all actions undertaken by the Russian authorities and a blind admiration of Putin, the new symbol of national unity.
Zhanna Nemtsova is a Russian journalist and social activist. She is founder of the Boris Nemtsov Fundation for freedom and reporter at Deutsche Welle. In 2015, she has been awarded the Lech Wałęsa Solidarity Prize for the promotion and protection of democracy and civil liberties. The prize has been established by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland as “the first global distinction for democracy and freedom awarded by a country which made its systemic transformation in a peaceful way. Her most recent book, Russland wachrütteln, was published in February 2016 in German.
former Head of Publications, IWM
Head of the Foreign Politics Department, Die Presse
In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic Of Poland in Vienna, the Austrian newspaper Die Presse and generously supported by EVN.