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“Comrade Putin, you are an excellent historian!” Why does the Russian president talk so much about the distant past – Diary N

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The author is a Russian historian, political scientist and publicist. In terms of interest in history and the desire to talk about it in public, Vladimir Putin can only be compared to Joseph Stalin. This similarity is not accidental: Stalin was the real creator of the Soviet empire, while Putin tries to revive him in one form or another. These rulers need a historical narrative to justify their geopolitical claims and to politically socialize society – to “educate” it in the spirit of patriotism. Putin’s views on the history of the USSR and Russia grew out of a Stalinist coat and are interwoven with a good dose of professional intelligence by the secret services. The disintegration of the USSR is seen by the Chekist corporation as the result of a deliberate disruption on the part of the West, which has been able to exploit “traitors and weaklings” in the Soviet leadership. Putin’s plan to restore Russia’s geopolitical power and influence is therefore an attempt to repeat history and avenge the West. There is personal resentment: Putin’s proposals for Russia to join NATO in 2000 were rejected with contempt. The fixation of the Russian president on Ukraine does not lack a personal dimension, but the influence of Russian strategic culture and cultural anthropology of the Russian elite is paramount. In the traditional Russian strategic culture since the second half of the 17th century, Ukraine was seen as a key territory that transforms Russia into an empire and provides a path to Europe. Without Ukraine, Russia geopolitically, politically, and culturally moved into Asia. With Ukraine as part of a common state, it could claim European citizenship. This article is exclusive content for N Journal Diary subscribers. Are you a subscriber?

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