Nationalism has been on the rise in Russia ever since their embarrassing defeat in 1989 when the Soviet Union fell. However, the world has seen a recent upsurge in racist and xenophobic sentiments in Russia as well. These feelings can be seen in the population and also in current political occurrences like Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Crimea and his anti-gay laws that have recently been passed. The three main causes of the rise in this type of sentiment are Russia’s economy, immigration, and Putin’s form of nationalism affecting Russia’s population. This paper will discuss one of the three reasons: Putin’s form of nationalism.
Vladimir Putin is currently in his third term ...view middle of the document...
For a solution, he recommends “subtle cultural therapy” in order to build a unifying national identity and suggests tougher regulations to integrate Russia’s large migrant population into society. His platform also includes protecting the rights of Russians living abroad.
Putin's long-term goals became clear after his controversial speech on March 18, 2014. Russia is a great power that was humiliated by the West in the 1990’s. Russia has a right to re-establish the security zone in Eastern Europe it once possessed. This includes Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Russia will use its attainment of Crimea to extend its influence in the Black Sea area. In short, Putin has plans for extreme Russian expansion.
The benefits and dangers of Putin’s nationalism can be seen in the current crisis in Ukraine. On one hand, the idea of defending the people of Crimea from Western infringement has been a popular message to the Russian people. On the other hand, his recent political words and actions can easily turn into ideas of ethnic nationalism. This become dangerous because reinforcing nationalism that is against another group rather than for national unity disrupts the welfare of the society as a whole.
Is Putin a Nationalist?
Vladimir Putin is unquestionably a nationalist. In order to stay in a position of power, Putin knows he needs to continue to appeal to the people of Russia. Putin has a very high popularity rating, near eighty percent. Much of this is due to his being seen as a nationalist willing to stand up to the Americans and returning Russia to its position as a world power. The ethnic nationalism and superiority that is being supported by Putin is affecting the racial and xenophobic sentiments of the Russian people.
According to the Levada poling firm, the number of people who support the common nationalist slogan, “Russia for the Russians,” has grown from...