Slavic studies expert sees Putin under the spell of a neo-imperialism
Recently, says Rainer Goldt, an expert on Slavic studies in Mainz, Putin’s worldview has become more radical. It acknowledges classic imperial thinking. Putin’s admiration for the Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin is frightening. Goldt does not have an optimistic outlook on Russia.
DrAccording to Rainer Goldt, professor of Slavic studies in Mainz, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s worldview has become more and more radical in recent years.
Realized after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he said in an interview with Evangelisches Pressedienst (epd) that the relationship between democracy and the decline of the state, “entered into a destructive relationship with classical Russian imperial thinking.”
Putin’s admiration for the Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin (1883-1954), who is often quoted by the president, is especially frightening. “Ivan Ilyin was perhaps the most radical mastermind of Russian neo-imperialism in the twentieth century,” Goldt said. For example, his article after Hitler came to power, in which he praised the German people for freeing themselves legitimately from the shackles of democracy, was rightly infamous.
Ilyin’s statements about Ukraine are mired in “deep chauvinism.” The scientist, researching Russian literary and intellectual history at the University of Mainz, explained that this does not bode well for the future course of the war in Ukraine.
Putin repeatedly repeated Ilyin’s ideas in public appearances and in articles that Ukraine’s desire for independence is only exploited by hostile forces to the detriment of Russia. According to this belief, any kind of Ukrainian independence is directly aimed at Russia.
Goldt does not have an optimistic outlook on Russia
Goldt said he did not think calling Ilyin’s ideas “Christian fascism” was wrong. The character of Russia as a multi-ethnic state does not stand in the way of this: “In Europe, we are used to combining fascism with the idea of an ethnically homogeneous state. Even Ilyin, being a resolute Orthodox thinker, wrote that everyone should pray in their own way.” As Putin always emphasizes For him, Islam is an inseparable part of Russia.
The anti-democratic ideology advocated by Putin does not allow any optimistic predictions about Russia’s immediate future: “It will take a long time to cleanse political discourse again.” However, he pins great hopes on the Russian youth, as the scientist said. It is devoid of the experiences of the 1990s and links a new start to democracy.