Attacked philosopher Dugin saw Putin as threat to Christian Russia


Eastern Europe


Aleksandr Dugin is portrayed as a strong force behind President Putin, but the question is whether this is true. Photo PolitRussia.com

President Putin is a threat to the Christian roots of Russia. “He desecrates the Russian identity.” That was what the Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin said in 2018. His daughter was killed in an attack on Sunday. The widespread assumption is that Mr Dugin himself was the actual target.

Dugin spoke about Putin and the Russian identity in an interview with the Dutch Reformatorisch Dagblad. In that, he defended patriotism as a Christian service. “I had to be born as a Russian. That’s no coincidence.”

He distanced himself very much from President Putin, who was running for a new election then. “He puts the Russian state first, while I think from Russky Mir (the Russian world, ed.). This Russian world is much wider than the Russian state. Putin desecrates Russian identity, and in doing so, he has disappointed many patriots.”

Dugin, therefore, expected “nothing” from the upcoming presidential term that started in 2018.

The philosopher said he had influenced the president in the past. “You can also see the influence of my books in his policy, especially in the pursuit of Eurasian cooperation. But he is equally guided by liberal and pro-Western thinkers. He picks out what he likes. That is perverse.”

Search after the explosion of the car bomb. Photo EPA

Dugin was not happy with the confrontational policy on Ukraine. “Ukraine is home to two nations; one European and one Russian. They have to decide for themselves whether they want to form a federation among themselves or something else. Until now, Russia has been doing half the work in Eastern Ukraine. That is a betrayal to the people there. Really, I’m ashamed of that.”

Nevertheless, he said he was thankful to be Russian. “I see the Russian nation as a distinct creation from God. Our culture and our morals are baptised in Christianity. You saw that even in communism. Collectivism was a secularised form of the Russian Orthodox community spirit. Likewise, I see individualism in the West as a secularised form of Protestantism.”

No brain behind Putin

In some news reports about the attack, Dugin is presented as the “brain” behind Putin and the war in Ukraine. Against the background of this interview in 2018, that seems wrong. Also, the well-known author about Russia, Mark Galeotti, states that Dugin had just been influential “for a while, in 2014”, according to an article about the attack in The Spectator. For Galeotti, it is unlikely that Ukraine inspired this attack since Dugin’s death would not change much.

Dugin in 2018. Photo Wikipedia

In a portrait published in June of this year, Edward Stawiarski writes that “yet few in the West know much about him.” Stawiarski spoke to Dugin in February this year. The foundation of his Christian vision, Dugin told him, was laid in the “esoteric traditionalism” of the French intellectual René Guénon. The idea is that all nations should return to the spiritualism of their traditional archetypes. For Russians, that is Orthodox Christianity.

For other peoples, that might be another faith. That is no problem, as long as it is not modern. “Everything anti-modern is good”, he said. Modernity gives place to the “age of the Antichrist”, he thinks. His ideal would be to unite all the traditionalists –both Christians and pagans– against modernity.



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