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“Putin’s long state”: Verdict to the West or future of Russia?

On February 11, 2019, an article “Putin's long state” by assistant to the President Vladislav Surkov was published in one of the Federal Publications. The publication became one of the main topics of the day: it was translated by all the leading news agencies and newspapers. The article was actively discussed in social networks, UNN informs with reference to the portal Tjournal. Surkov's article in its essence and style of writing is programmatic and ideological: he sets out the doctrine of “a new type of state”, which has developed in Russia. Assistant to the President expresses the belief that this type of future states and he predictes it dozens of years of rise. Surkov describes Russia as a state that has been assigned an “immodest” role in world history, and it is not going to give up this role.

The official says that “Putin's big political machine” is only gaining momentum and is set to a long, difficult and interesting work." The assistant to the President calls the modern political model “organically developed” and says that it is suitable not only for the "home future", but also has “significant export potential”. Demand for it is already now according to Surkov. The interest of foreigners in the Russian political algorithm is clear - "there is no prophet in their homeland." Surkov describes the term “deep state”, which means hidden behind beautiful slogans tough power of law enforcement agencies. In his opinion, these are the majority of Western democracies. There is no deep state in Russia, according to the official there — it's all in sight, but there is a “deep people”. The editor-in-chief of the radio station “Says Moscow” Sergey Dorenko noted that in Surkov's article the context is more important than the text, UNN informs. The speech of the assistant to the President is well in the trend of recent months: almost all senior officials spoke about the need to preserve the existing political regime, even if it will have to make changes to the Constitution.[1]

Political scientist Andrei Kolyadin, who worked in the Kremlin when Surkov headed an internal political bloc in an interview with the BBC said: "Everyone is very interested in whether Putin will be able to go on a well-deserved vacation. There are battles around this topic, someone is trying to convince Putin that he should remain," - explained the expert. "Surkov is interested in Putin 's preserving the status quo ," – Kolyadin said. In his opinion, the question of how Putin can remain in power if the Constitution does not allow to go for the next term will be resolved already this year. He considers the option of transferring power harmful to the country."The follower will not have the same influence. The fall of influence will allow to start a struggle for property, for power. Russian reality proved that every next boss is worse than the previous one, " - says the former employee of the Kremlin.

Thus, the conceptual provisions of this publication boil down to the fact that Russia has built a new model of the Russian state called "Putin's state", which is the successor of the state of Ivan the Terrible (Muscovy), the state of Peter the Great (Russian Empire), the state of Lenin (Soviet Union), and accordingly, the state of Putin – such a 4th monarchical republic.

Consequently, Surkov states: firstly, that the new Putin model is a historical state, because it is a continuation of all previous models of Russian statehood, and, secondly, Putin is among the creators of Russian history next to Ivan the Third, Peter I, Lenin-Stalin and his work and ideas should be eternal even when Putin will depart from power, if this happens.

Such arguments lead the reader to the conclusion. Firstly, Russia has formed a new model of the Russian state for the near future,judging by the durability of the previous forms of Russian statehood, at least a 100-year-old perspective. Secondly, its durability should be based on a new ideology of Putinism, which includes quintessence of previous ideologies. Such a mix: tsarism-monarchy-communism and now Putinism. After all, personalities can go back to the past, institutions change but ideology lives in the minds of many generations. In fact, Putinism as an ideology that will determine the power and durability of Putin's model of the Russian state. Surkov says only awareness is necessary, understanding and description of Putin's system of rule and in general the whole complex of ideas and dimensions of Putinism as an ideology of the future. «It is the future, because the real Putin or putinists, as well as, for example, Marx Marxist and not the fact that he would agree to be if he knew what it is. But this must be done for everyone who is not Putin but would like to be like him. To be able to translate its methods and approaches in future»[2].

What is the novelty and distinction of this new Putin model of the Russian state from the previous ones? Surkov gives the following answer to this question: "having taken shape in general to the middle of zero, it has not been studied so far, but its originality and viability are obvious. Stress tests, which it passed and passes, show that it is this, organically developed model of the political system will be an effective mean of survival and elevation of the Russian nation in the coming years, but also decades, and most likely for the whole future century»[3].

The novelty of this new model of the Russian state, according to this Russian ideologist, is that it is based on a unique ideology of Putinism. And in contrast to the Communist propaganda differs in that its " language can be acceptable to a fairly wide audience, which is necessary, since the political system is made in Russia is suitable not only for the home future, it clearly has a significant export potential, demand for it or its individual components already exists, its experience is studied and partially adopted, it is imitated by both ruling and opposition groups in many countries»[4].

It turns out that, like communism, it is aimed not only at domestic consumption, but also at exports. The Soviet Union sought to achieve the victory of communism throughout the world, now Russia is setting the same task the spread of Putinism in the world to justify their geopolitical and military expansion. The goal, banners and essence are the same, only the word "communism" replaced by "Putinism". Nothing new. This is also the " missionary mission" of the Russian people and Russia, which are derived from the "Russian idea". But now the modernized" Russian idea " in the form of Putinism has become an information weapon in Russia's hybrid war against the West and European values.

Now it has the right to interfere in elections and referendums all over the world, to trample on international law, to reconstruct in its own way the public consciousness of foreign citizens, peoples and politicians. "Russia is interfering in their brains and they do not know what to do with their changed consciousness," - Surkov said. "Since after the failure of the 90's, our country refused from ideological loans, began to develop its own meanings and moved to the information counterattack to the West, European and American experts have increasingly made mistakes in forecasts. They are surprised and irritated by the paranormal preferences of the electorate. Confused, they announced the invasion of populism»[5].

Putinism imposes its stereotypes on such misinformed and destroyed public consciousness. Like: Putinism is the only true doctrine of the future, just like the only true doctrine of Marxism-Leninism. Another stereotype: Putinism is the future, as it is in the trend of the world processes of de-globalization, re-sovereignization and nationalism. So the interest in Putinism in the world will grow, - said Surkov. And, of course, Western society has nowhere to go. In Western democracy and democratic values, he has already disappointed as a false ideology and therefore " there is nothing wrong with the proposed image of Western democracy, in fact, it is enough to change the angle of view a little, and it will not become scary again. But the sediment remains, and the Westerner begins to turn his head in search of other patterns and ways of existence. And sees Russia. Our system, like everything else, looks, of course, not more elegant, but more honest. And although not all the word "honest" is synonymous with the word "better", it's not unattractive.»[6].

In this way Surkov tries to prove that Putinism is an all-conquering ideology and worldview that will defeat the West and become its gravedigger. The verdict to the West is made, will the West dare to challenge Russia? - this question remains open.

(To be continued)



[2]Владислав Сурков: Долгое государство Путина. 

[3] Ibid. 

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid. 

[6] Ibid.