How, therefore, can we define the outline of the “Putin doctrine”?
He himself has traced in his speeches the main coordinates of this sort of conservative revolution. In addition to a renewed nationalism, the most important theme is a traditionalist vision of society. Thus, for example, in Novgorod in 2013 he criticized Western countries because “they are forgetting their Christian roots and rejecting ethical principles and traditional identity: national, cultural, religious and even sexual.” For him, treating heterosexual families and homosexual ones equally would mean “to equate faith in God with faith in Satan.” Against what he denounces as the relativism of values, democratic masochism, weakness in the face of minorities, arbitrariness of political correctness and mass immigration, which are supposed to have led the West to decadence and chaos, Putin promises a moral education founded on Christian values, patriotism and respect for hierarchies.
Which intellectual figures support this line of thought?
There is no one “ideologue,” nor any real cultural laboratory, but a shared project. Before he fell into disgrace, the figure of Vladimir Yakunin held great sway, a businessman with ultra-conservative convictions who led the Russian Railways until 2015 and favored an alliance between Putin and the Orthodox Church. Another important personality is the director Nikita Mikhalkov, who appeared alongside Putin in the election campaign and who supports the return to “White Russia values.” Then there is Father Tikhon Shevkunov, Vicar of the Moscow Patriarchy and spiritual advisor to the president, who, as coordinator of the commission investigating the death of the Romanov family in 1918, has hinted at the theory that this was a “ritual murder” committed by Jews. Finally, extreme right-wing intellectuals such as Aleksandr Dugin are also making themselves heard by the Kremlin. Having studied Evola, close to the Nouvelle Droite and to Alain Soral, Dugin is the one responsible for the renewed attention to Eurasianism, presented as a defense against the “imperialism of Western values,” i.e. the free market, but also the open society and human rights.