What does the head of the Kremlin think about? What are his hopes and aims for the lands bordering Russia, for Europe, and even the world? In January 2014, the Kremlin sent its senior civil servants, governors and party bigwigs a special New Year’s present: philosophy books, by 19th and 20th century Russian thinkers. This reading list is not optional: the president himself has cited these authors in landmark speeches, and they need to understand what he means. The most persistent of the bunch will find these great works strangely familiar, full of the national leader’s role in an ‘authentic’ democracy, the importance of being conservative, the urgency of rooting morality in religion, and the historic struggle of the Russian people against the timeless hostility of the West.
President Putin is the man who manages and manipulates these existential anxieties. And since the annexation of Crimea, the need to decrypt his vision for the nation-propelled by the Kremlin’s Eurasian neo-imperialists and prophets of `Russian-way’ conservatism-has become more pressing than ever. In this revealing and engrossing book, Michel Eltchaninoff invites us inside the psyche of the Russian president for a better understanding of his doctrine and geopolitical vision.
He offers answers to an urgent question for our 21st century world: what is Vladimir Putin thinking?