The Past in the Present: Contemporary Russian Nationalism in Historical Perspective

  • Simon Dixon
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


As late as 1991, the collapse of communist rule in Russia seemed no more probable to many seasoned observers than it had to Trubetskoi, writing in exile in Sofia seventy years earlier. In the eyes of the outside world, and indeed of many native Russians, the restoration of Russian statehood remained a pipedream cherished only by a small minority of nationalists who were widely dismissed as dissident cranks. Yet in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s unexpected demise on 31 December 1991, at least a part of their dream was finally realized and it is worth noting some of its similarities with the ‘miracle’ mocked by Trubetskoi. First, though the West may not have rushed into diplomatic pacts with the emergent Russian Federation, its leaders have been willing both to offer the Russian government a measure of economic aid and to turn a blind eye to its military activities in Chechnia in the interests of political stability in Europe and Central Asia. Only such an unaccustomed degree of international insulation has permitted Russia’s politicians to launch peacefully into their predictably chaotic search for the domestic solution that will divide Russians least. That quest has been self-consciously conducted in terms designed to emphasize that the resultant regime must be ‘Russia’s Choice’, to quote the revealing title of the most uncompromisingly reformist party.2


Russian Revolution Chaotic Search American Historical Review Statist Nationalism Russian Nationalism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1998

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  • Simon Dixon

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