Putin: A Russian Neo-Traditionalist, Not a Western Conservative

Russian & Eurasian Politics

photo putin tradition2

by Gordon M. Hahn

Many in that small but not insignificant minority of Western, including American conservatives who to one degree or another support many of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions do so often under the illusion that he is a conservative. To what extent do Putin’s positions correlate with Western conservatism and to what extent do they differ?

Putin is not a conservative in the Western or American sense of the term. (Neither is he a Stalinist or restorer of the Soviet or even Russian emoire of old. Indeed, Putin has just approved a new monument and museum to be built in downtown Moscow dedicated the victims of Stalinism and communism.)

Russian Neo-Traditionalism, Not Conservatism

Although some of the positions Putin stakes out in building a post-Soviet Russian traditionalism overlap with views held by some Western conservatives, Putin is a Russian traditionalist and statist rather than a Western-style conservative.

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