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Ethnogeopolitics of Putin’s Eurasianism – Part 5

Book highlight from “Understanding Contemporary Ukrainian and Russian Nationalism: The Post-Soviet Cossack Revival and Ukraine’s National Security” by Dr Olexander Hryb.

Part 1 of the highlight introduced the concept of Eurasianism; Part 2 focused on Putin’s statements of his civic nationalism; Part 3 outlined his idea of the reign of ‘Russian civilisation’;  Part 4 addressed the issue of Russia’s return to Eurasian ideology. Part 5 considers contradictions in Kremlin’s ideology. If you continue visiting our Blog Page you’ll be able to read further parts of the highlight.

Part 5.

4.2.5 New Eurasianism: Implications and contradictions

The Map in this Blog shows the future vision of the multipolar world published by the International Eurasianism Movement

Adoption of Eurasianism as a semi-official Kremlin’s ideology has contradictory implications for Putin’s Russia. On the one hand, Eurasianism does have potential to unite multi-ethnic society around the idea of a neo-imperial project with Russian majority at its core i.e. ‘making Russia Great again’. This could be presented as a joint project with ethnic minorities who can share in civic Russian (rossiyskiy) patriotism. This would however, require ethnic Russians admitting an equal role of Turkic speaking minorities in their empire-(nation)-building project, which could be difficult, considering high level of xenophobia against the very Turkic speakers who come to the Russian capital often as feared labour migrants. Russian ‘ethnic’ nationalists explicitly attack the new Eurasianists for attempts to promote ‘Turaninan’ minorities at the ‘expense’ of ethnic Russians.

At the same time, 20 millions of Russian Muslims would find it difficult to share into ideology of the Christian Orthodox ‘Russian World’, which is promoted alongside with Eurasianism by its founding fathers and Patriarch Kirill. Muslims of Tatarstan are more likely to support Nazarbayev’s anti-imperial version of Eurasianism than that of Putin’s. Different interpretations of Eurasianism could lead to a rift between the two key participating Eurasian states – Russia and Kazakhstan, if not to open confrontation. Additional opposition comes from unexpectedly fierce Ukraine’s resistance to accept Putin’s notion that Ukrainians are the same people as Russians (a key point for all Eurasianists and a clear departure from the Soviet tradition). Most Eurasianists admit that predominantly Catholic Western Ukraine does not belong to the ‘Russian World’ and that undermines their whole idea that the rest of Christian Orthodox Ukrainians are spiritually closer to the Muscovites than to residents of Galician Lviv. Considering that most new Eurasianists accept Gumilev’s thesis about super-ethnos as a biological organism, the compromise with what is considered ‘biological parts’ of Russian super-ethnos is not really possible. Zero-sum game in inter-ethnic conflicts usually means war of attrition and physical destruction of the opposition. Messianic Christian mysticism with neo-fascist undertones underlying the ‘Russian World’ in Dugin’s interpretation does not help either. All of these considerations explain Dugin’s appeal in 2014 to stop any negotiations with the Ukrainian government and kill all Ukrainians resisting expansion of the Russian world: “Kill them, kill them, and kill them. There should not be any more conversations. As a professor, I consider it so.” (Quoted from Chicago Tribune ).

Coming up next on our Blog:  4.2.6 Unknown Unknowns of Putin’s Eurasianism


Dr Olexander Hryb is a London based writer with over 20 years experience in research, analysis, media and PR. He studied history, politics and the sociology of culture in Lviv, Prague and Warsaw. Olexander worked as a broadcaster and online journalist for the BBC World Service, Polish Radio (Overseas Service) and as analyst for DCD Intelligence. He is currently an associated member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology as well as a Cultural Adviser in the British Army. His articles appeared in the Ukrainian Review (London), Border and Territorial Disputes of the World Series (John Harper), and the British Army Review.

Understanding Contemporary Ukrainian and Russian Nationalism: The Post-Soviet Cossack Revival and Ukraine’s National Security” by Dr Olexander Hryb is available on Amazon:


Dr Hryb’s book is the second volume in the “Ukrainian Voices” book series.

The “Ukrainian Voices” book series includes English- and German-language monographs, edited volumes, document collections and anthologies of articles authored and composed by Ukrainian politicians, intellectuals, activists, officials, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, and diplomats.

The series aims to introduce Western and broader audiences to Ukrainian explorations and interpretations of historic and current domestic as well as international affairs.

The purpose of these books is to familiarise non-Ukrainian readers with how some prominent Ukrainians approach, research and assess their country’s development and position in the world. The series was founded in 2019, and the volumes are collected by Andreas Umland.

You can watch an online presentation of the first volume of the series – Ukraine’s Maidan, Russia’s War by Mychailo Wynnytsky here


British-Ukrainian Aid supports people suffering from the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, including the injured and wounded, orphaned children, the elderly, internally displaced persons, refugees and families who have lost their main earners.

British-Ukrainian Aid is a Charity Registered in England and Wales 1164472


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