The BBC Magazine had a really great article last week about the pro-Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. You can read it here. It’s kind of awesome.
Since nationalism and monarchism in Russia are some of my interests, I liked this paragraph the best.
How do Russia’s rulers regard such volunteers? Certainly, there’s a complex interplay between nationalist groups and the authorities. The nationalists share the Kremlin’s distaste for Western liberal values and its love of strong central authority. But many are ultimately monarchists who dream of turning the clock back to before the 1917 revolution. “God, Tsar, Nation” is their slogan – and a president who was once an agent of the hated Communist secret police is distinctly second-best. Putin has borrowed some of their religious imagery: in his annual address to the Russian parliament, which I see him deliver on a fuzzy TV in Pavel’s barracks, he too uses the Jerusalem comparison. But he’s not talking about Donetsk, only about Crimea, annexed by Russia earlier this year. In this speech, he stresses Ukraine’s right to determine its own path – unlike Pavel, who says simply that there should be no Ukrainian state.
In my experience, a lot of Russian nationalists actually don’t like Putin. They view him as a sell-out who does not have Russia’s best interests at heart.
And apparently, according to the BBC, I must be a monarchist then, as I certainly do “dream of turning the clock back to before the 1917 revolution”! 🙂