Beyond Putin? Nationalism and Xenophobia in Russian Public Opinion

Author
Theodore P. Gerber
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
The Washington Quarterly
Volume
37
Issue Number
3
Publication Date
Fall 2014
Institution
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Abstract
The role of nationalism within the Russian public is an under - examined but potentially important aspect of the crisis surrounding Russia's annexation of Crimea and its continuing involvement in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. As commentators have sought to comprehend President Vladimir Putin's motives, many have asserted or assumed that such actions enjoy tremendous Russian public support. Indeed, public opinion polls from Russia indicate that Putin's popularity soared in the wake of the Crimean annexation and that large majorities have supported the government's policies in Ukraine, sympathizing with the Kremlin's negative portrayals of U.S. motives and actions. However, it is not clear whether this wave of public support is a fleeting "rally around the flag" phenomenon or the result of an organic, deeper tendency toward nationalism and xenophobia in the Russian public.
Topic
Nationalism
Political Geography
Russia, United States, Ukraine