go to top

Putin's Criticisms of Extreme Russian Nationalism are Politically Motivated

Monday, Feb. 19, 2007

Thirteen years ago, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin struggled to build a viable democracy against a post-Soviet backdrop of political instability and ideological ambiguity. While he could call for elections and appoint various ministers, it was more difficult to establish an ideology for both government officials and the voting public to ensure democracy thrived.

In an attempt to fill the ideological void, Yeltsin appointed a committee to define Russian national identity in 1994. In the words of famed Russian expert Nicholas Riasanovsky: "[T]heir first task -- admirably academic -- was to gather everything that has been written and said on their subject. Even individual journals and newspapers offered prizes for the best definition of Russianness. As the saying goes, all that would be funny, if it were not so sad." ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.