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Tag: Vladimir Putin

Putin’s fascism

Russia’s political system, officially known as “sovereign democracy” (suverennaia demokratiia), is nothing but a dictatorship along the lines of Lenin and Stalin’s democratic centralism. After all, the main goal is to re-establish a new Russian empire with Putin on the throne. Imperialism is this “new-old” ideology’s proper name.

During the past decade, the term “fascism” has become ubiquitous in Russia’s public discourse. The more that freedom of expression and freedom of the press have been curbed, the more the word “Nazism” has appeared in the country. The preferred form of both terms is that of a slur, namely “fascists” (fashisty) and “Nazis” (natsisty). In the West, this phenomenon has been largely disregarded as a peculiarity of the political language in present-day Russia. Arguably, it appeared to be nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. On February 24th, however, in a totally unprovoked move, the Russian president ordered his armies to invade peaceful Ukraine officially to “denazify” the country. A day later, he gave a bizarre speech in which he denigrated the Ukrainian government as a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”.

April 25, 2022 - Tomasz Kamusella

Learning “history” with Putin

On February 21st, ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin delivered a state-wide history lesson on national television. Since then, the country’s youth has become a key target group for state propaganda. School education has often been considered an effective vehicle for perpetuating and disseminating Russian state propaganda among these young impressionable minds.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24th with Putin’s announcement of a “special military operation”. His announcement followed a speech he made on February 21st, in which he outlined his justifications for the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions’ independence. He took his audience on a bizarre “history lesson”, first outlining the country’s founding, when Russia was more commonly associated with Kyivan Rus’ (yet Putin often omits the “Kyivan” aspect).

April 25, 2022 - Allyson Edwards

Is it Putin who is waging “Putin’s war”?

The current Russo-Ukrainian War is frequently called "Putin's war" by western media. Is this correct? Who is actually waging this war on the ground and from the air and who apart from Putin should share the responsibility for war crimes?

April 22, 2022 - Valerii Pekar Yuliya Shtaltovna

Kyiv and Putin: a story of a certain hatred

The history of Ukraine has become an obsession for Russian President Vladimir Putin. A central place in this story is occupied by Kyiv, which he and many Russians call the mother of all Russian cities and a spiritual centre.

March 30, 2022 - Adam Balcer

The war in Ukraine and western appeasement

The conflict in Ukraine has encouraged western countries to reassess their overall relations with Russia. Despite this, some apologists continue to hold on to the paradoxical relationships that ultimately led to the conflict in the first place.

March 23, 2022 - Armen Grigoryan

Imperial mania. The road to the third empire

Growing Sino-American rivalry has directly influenced Vladimir Putin’s plans to restore Russia’s sphere of influence in our part of Europe. In order to create the country’s third empire, Putin needs to concentrate on three states: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Of the three of these countries, the most important is Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has continued to pursue a China-focused foreign policy ever since his election victory in 2020. This pivot to Asia is clearly not the only legacy from the previous Donald Trump administration. During the first decades of the 21st century, America’s increasing focus on China and the challenge of a potential war in South-East Asia influenced US foreign policy in other regions of the world, including Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.

February 15, 2022 - Paweł Kowal

Is today’s Russia a “USSR 2.0”? Putin wants us to think so

The West’s lack of inner cohesion, slow reactions and a preference for dialogue provide the Kremlin with a chance to effectively play its own game. Putin surely discovered a long time ago that bluffing and good brinkmanship are enough for the West to do everything to prevent conflict. There is only one condition: it must believe that Putin's Russia is a “USSR 2.0”.

“I think that’s right,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 9th when asked by CNN if he agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to restore the Soviet Union. “I think that’s one of President Putin’s objectives, and it is to re-exert a sphere of influence over countries that previously were part of the Soviet Union.” This is exactly what the Russian president would like the West to believe. Whilst the head of US diplomacy was making this statement, Russian-American negotiations were about to start in Geneva.

February 15, 2022 - Agnieszka Bryc

Only Putin is to blame for a second Ukraine invasion

There are many western voices echoing Russian claims NATO's eastwards expansion is to blame for the current tensions. However, neither Russia's first incursion into Ukraine, nor the current pressure applied can be attributed to anyone other than the Kremlin.

February 14, 2022 - Mark Temnycky

Hungarian government embraces Russian cooperation in spite of possible war in Ukraine

In light of growing uncertainties over Ukraine, many Central and Eastern European states are now asking for further military and political support from their western allies. Despite this, Viktor Orbán recently visited Moscow to express his “respect” for Vladimir Putin and discuss cooperation in the energy and health care sectors.

February 9, 2022 - Soso Chachanidze

Russia’s spiral of cynicism

One may be tempted to simply trace the current cynical bent in Russian political culture as an extension of the Soviet past. Yet, while the Soviet experience was essential for nurturing a cynical outlook, the massive social and political transformations of the 1990s largely shaped Russia’s contemporary political culture.

October 5, 2021 - Paul Shields

Covering up tragedy and the myth of the Great Patriotic War

As the successor state to the Soviet Union, Russia’s great power status is arguably dependent on the legacy of the Great Victory and a sense of moral superiority. Any challenges to Russia’s status as victor and liberator in the Second World War, including an overemphasis on the Soviet Union’s failures or the high number of deaths, could potentially damage Russia’s sense of identity and geopolitical ambitions.

September 30, 2021 - Jade McGlynn

The Titanic is sinking. Is this the end of the Putin-Lukashenka tandem?

The relationship between the two longest-serving European presidents has always been riddled with not-so-inconspicuous power-wrestling, wrapped in a narrative of brotherhood and sprinkled with cosy photo-ops. Up until recently, both leaders enjoyed relative stability on their own political turf, allowing them to manage their bilateral relations from positions of strength.

September 22, 2021 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska

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