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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eurasianism in Russia's ruling party?

My colleague Andreas Umland has raised the question of the significance for Alexander Dugin's Eurasianism of the appointment of Ivan Demidov as the chief ideologue of United Russia, Russia's ruling party ("Новый главный идеолог России," Glavred, April 1, 2008).

Demidov knows Dugin, having collaborated with him on Spas (the Orthodox TV channel on which Dugin has a program). Demidov has in the past expressed his admiration for Dugin ("doubtlessly, a crucial factor, a certain breaking point, in my life, was the appearance of Alexander Dugin").

According to Umland, Demidov has emerged as a "defender of Russia as a unique world civilization and an independent great power," which is certainly compatible with Eurasianism. On the other hand, he clearly rejects some of the more extreme positions associated with that movement, stating that "the word 'Russian' and 'fascism' are antonyms," and that he and his allies will fight against "the introduction of the term 'Russian fascism' in the mass consciousness."

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