Kirill Solod
The Golda Meir Institute for Political and Social studies

The Putin phenomenon

The phenomenon of Vladimir Putin can be understood by understanding the reasons for his support by certain groups of society both within Russia and in the world. One of the reasons is that for about 10 years, Russia and Vladimir Putin, in particular, have been using in their public policy elements of the ideology of conservatism and traditionalism.

Presence of traditionalism in Russia is absolutely logical – this path excludes revolutionism in anything and implies a further continuation of Putin’s era. Due to the state policy of anti-Westernism, Russian society has developed a defensive reaction to any deviation from the idealized sociocultural model, which presupposes a general established order. 

Themes such as protecting traditional values, identity, history and religion, on which Putin relies, are returning to the political discourse in Europe, as evidenced by the structure of the new European Parliament. Western and European society is tired of multiculturalism and tolerance, of the fight for climate and gender equality. Even such unshakable pillars of society as church and religion, which are the compass in the life of many conservatives, are modified, following current trends. 

According to a number of experts, the phenomenon of the popularity of the Russian president is based not on Putin’s personal qualities, but on those ideas of which he is the ideologist and popularizer. There are groups of people in the world, including the developed Western and European establishment, who, while being openly anti-Putinists, fully share his philosophy. 

Fighting the presence of Russia in socio-political discourse is useless and unproductive. Western politicians need to develop new mechanisms for interaction with society that will stop the crisis of European identity.

About the Author
Political advisor. Research analyst. Government Relations, International Affairs, Political Sociology. Head of The Golda Meir Institute for Political and Social studies and managing partner of the Institute of Political Consulting LS GROUP. Former consultant to M. Gorbachev on public relations. Former head of NGOs in Russia. MBA, Instituto de Empresa (Madrid, 2010). Repatriated to Israel in 2017.
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