Big surprise. /s
Lots of boring and repetitive takes out there, so I’ll write about something different; maybe this too will be boring, but at least it’s probably unique.
Here is how three of the leading lights of the Russian nationalist movement, the Two Egors and Igor Strelkov, reacted to this news.
Egor Kholmogorov approves, as one might guess from the very title of his Tsargrad article: “Twenty years of peace.” This is, of course, a reference to Stolypin’s comments in 1909 on the state of the Russian Empire; ultimately, of course, it only got five. He notes that Putin came to power in a country that had been practically destroyed by two massive “social defaults,” the first one being the Bolshevik Revolution, and the second one the liberal reforms that undid its legacy. Each provoked a wave of Russophobic nihilism that denied Russians the right to their own existence.
Instead of a new utopian project, Putin gave Russia breathing room to recuperate itself economically, politically, and spiritually; today, “we see a Russia that is not only richer, better fed, stronger and more confident,” but also one “that is truer to its real self,” having rejected both “liberal globalism” and sidelined “the post-traumatic syndrome of neo-Bolshevism and neo-Stalinism.” Putin has proved an attentive pupil of Solzhenitsyn, who insisted that the best choice for Russia would be “calm authoritarianism, dedication to Russia’s Christian foundations, and putting the interests of the Russian people above that of any utopia.”
If there’s one thing to be regretful about, it is that Russians are still talking about “Presidential terms,” and in so doing paying their dues to a political system that is alien to their nature. But perhaps it is a positive testament to Putin’s gradualist spirit that he hasn’t done away with it.
Egor Prosvirnin has a rather dimmer opinion: “Another 6 years under the thumb of a pensioner who doesn’t use computers or the Internet. Another 6 years of new restrictions and idiotic criminal cases for posting images to Vkontakte. Another 6 years of paranoia and searching for spies and enemies… of trash-patriotism… of “clever plans” and 666D chess… of helping Syria, Sudan, and whoever else they find… of anti-intellectualism… of devouring the private economy and raising the state’s share of GDP in tandem with a lowering of social welfare… of neo-Soviet revanche… of war against russki fascism and our replacement with rossiyane… of multi-nationality and unrestricted immigration from Central Asia… of Latin Americanization and cultural degradation… of lies and offshore firms… of ever richer judo partners… of selling oil and importing hi-tech products… of blathering about moral values, while their real values are a London mansion… of this schizophrenic state where we are “fighting the West” but “sending our families to the West,” where the regime has “popular support” but “there exists the risk of a Maidan,” where there is “stability” but “no money, but you hold tight“… Another 6 years of Kadyrov… of Serdyukov… of Bobokulova… the Rotenbergs… the Minsk Accords… Mutkos… Medvedevs… SORM… FSB…”
Well, you get the point. Prosvirnin doesn’t like Putin or the Russian regime very much at all. And one can sympathize, I’d probably dislike him a lot more as well if I was to have my apartment searched and my computer seized, and my website blocked for “justifying the Islamic State” amongst other ludicrous accusations.
He comes to a pessimistic but grim conclusion: There is no chance of stopping Putin, nor of converting a fundamentally hostile elite to their side. As he clarifies in the comments in response to a question, even politics as such is useless, since the Kremlin simply refuses to register nationalist parties. Furthermore, he believes authoritarianism is only going to get worse: “In the past 20 years, the people in charge have decided on a strategy: Families and capital to the West, building a Venezuela here; or an Iran, if the population is sufficiently stupid to allow it; and North Korea in the worst case.” As such, with conventional politics out of the question, the nationalist strategy should be to intensify their informational work.
Igor Strelkov doesn’t have anything good to say of Putin either, though his antipathy is one of fatalism rather than anger: “For a person who has managed to screw up everything that remained working in Russia (after the traitor Gorby and the alcoholic Borya), plus get on the wrong side of his “dear Western partners,” remaining in power is a matter of “life or death.” But the Nanogenius wants to live long and happy… and not just himself, but his entire “Ozero Coop” mafia.”
He compares the Russian Federation that Putin has “raised from its knees” to the “oligarchic monarchy” that was the Roman Principate, in which Emperors were made consuls in meaningless elections. After the Principate there came the Dominate, where you would have to bow before the statues of the “godlike” Emperors… and then came the barbarians, “masses of whom Vladimir Vladimirovich has already invited into the country.” And Russia will also have “coups and civil wars” to look forwards to, as the “inevitable accompaniment to life in a great decaying empire.” None of which concerns Putin, because “after Him, the deluge.”