NEWSWATCH: “Being Russian in Putin’s Russia; Russia is still struggling to define itself nearly a century after the Soviet Union was established.” – Stratfor

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Putin has inherited the problem of unity. … He needs an actionable ideology he can implement at the political and cultural level. … Through heavy-handed propaganda, Moscow has used the current stand-off with the United States to rally nationalist fervor against a common enemy. Following Russia’s failures to prevent a revolution in Ukraine, it presented Crimea as a source of pride … [and] used its intervention in Syria as a moral crusade …. Moscow has drummed up fears … that the United States is attempting to dismantle Russia … [and] has even rekindled fears of a third world war and nuclear conflict. Where the West accuses Russia of aggressive foreign policies, Moscow portrays its acts as heroic defense of the downtrodden …. But unity under the guise of patriotism and a revived Cold War is difficult to maintain. Its activist foreign policy is rapidly draining Russia’s financial reserves and sapping … its military and political bandwidth. … patriotism tends to ebb and flow around events and ultimately cannot circumvent the much deeper issues Russian citizens face every day. …”

Click here for Stratfor: Being Russian in Putin’s Russia; Russia is still struggling to define itself nearly a century after the Soviet Union was established.