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Russian “Ultra-Nationalism” on the Rise

Russian nationalism is gaining in political influence argues the Financial Times.  Russia’s so-called “ultra-nationalists” (and I do wonder what the difference is between nationalism and its “ultra-” variety) have been steadily climbing in political influence, particularly among Russia’s elite.  Their big political bump has come with Russia success in Georgia which proved to them that Russia was indeed back.  The FT reports,

Against the backdrop of conflict in Georgia and deteriorating relations with the west, Russia’s ultra-nationalist thinkers are starting to exert unprecedented influence. The wide acceptance of a group of ideas once dismissed as laughable signals a new era in Russia’s foreign relations, as Moscow seeks to protect what President Dmitry Medvedev calls a “region of privileged interest” in parts of the former Soviet Union.

One of Russia’s chief theorists of Euraisanism, Aleksandr Dugin agrees with this political shift.  He told the FT,

“The people that formed the centre under [former president, now prime minister Vladimir] Putin will now become marginal. And another pole will appear that did not exist under Putin at all. That is the army, the military and patriotic movements. That is us. Under Putin we were the extremists: respectable, yes, but radicals. Now we are moving right into the centre.”

I’m not too familiar with Eurasianism or Dugin, but the a recent LA Times interview gives a sample of his take on current events.

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