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Rashism

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A combination of the Saint George's ribbon and the letter Z, both associated with Rashism, which has been compared to the fascist swastika (and called zwastika)[1][2]
A combination of the Saint George's ribbon and the letter Z, both associated with Rashism, which has been compared to the fascist swastika (and called zwastika)[1][2]

Rashism (Russian: рашизм, romanizedrashizm, pronounced [rɐˈʂɨzm]; a portmanteau of "Russia" and "fascism";[3][4] Ukrainian: рашизм, romanizedrashyzm[4]), also known as Ruscism, Russism (Russian: русизм),[5] or Russian fascism (Russian: русский фашизм), is a term used by a number of scholars, politicians and publicists to describe the political ideology and social practices of the Russian authorities during the rule of Vladimir Putin. It is also used to refer to the ideology of Russian military expansionism,[6][7][1][8] and has been used as a label to describe an undemocratic system and nationality cult mixed with ultranationalism and a cult of personality.[9][10] That transformation was described as based on the ideas of the "special civilizational mission" of the Russians, such as Moscow as the third Rome and expansionism,[11][12][13] which manifests itself in anti-Westernism and supports regaining Imperial lands by conquest.[14][15][16] The term "Rashist" is also widely used by Ukrainian officials and media to more generally identify members of the Russian Armed Forces[17] and supporters of Russian military aggression against Ukraine.[18]

The term can be traced back to 1995, when it was used in the context of the First Chechen War, but it became more internationally known and more widely described after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Discover more about Rashism related topics

Romanization of Russian

Romanization of Russian

The romanization of the Russian language, aside from its primary use for including Russian names and words in text written in a Latin alphabet, is also essential for computer users to input Russian text who either do not have a keyboard or word processor set up for inputting Cyrillic, or else are not capable of typing rapidly using a native Russian keyboard layout (JCUKEN). In the latter case, they would type using a system of transliteration fitted for their keyboard layout, such as for English QWERTY keyboards, and then use an automated tool to convert the text into Cyrillic.

Portmanteau

Portmanteau

A portmanteau word, or portmanteau is a blend of words in which parts of multiple words are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is a single morph that is analyzed as representing two underlying morphemes. When portmanteaus shorten established compounds, they can be considered clipped compounds.

Fascism

Fascism

Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.

Ideology

Ideology

An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied primarily to economic, political, or religious theories and policies, in a tradition going back to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, more recent use the term as mainly condemnatory.

Expansionism

Expansionism

Expansionism refers to states obtaining greater territory through military empire-building or colonialism.

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism is a political system characterized by the rejection of political plurality, the use of strong central power to preserve the political status quo, and reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting. Political scientists have created many typologies describing variations of authoritarian forms of government. Authoritarian regimes may be either autocratic or oligarchic and may be based upon the rule of a party or the military. States that have a blurred boundary between democracy and authoritarianism have some times been characterized as "hybrid democracies", "hybrid regimes" or "competitive authoritarian" states.

Cult of personality

Cult of personality

A cult of personality, or a cult of the leader, is the result of an effort which is made to create an idealized and heroic image of a leader by a government, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Historically, it has developed through techniques of mass media, propaganda, fake news, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies. A cult of personality is similar to apotheosis, except that it is established by modern social engineering techniques, usually by the state or the party in one-party states and dominant-party states. A cult of personality often accompanies the leader of a totalitarian or authoritarian countries. It can also be seen in some monarchies, theocracies, and failed democracies.

Civilizing mission

Civilizing mission

The civilizing mission or civilising mission is a political rationale for military intervention and for colonization purporting to facilitate the Westernization of indigenous peoples, especially in the period from the 15th to the 20th centuries. As a principle of European culture, the term was most prominently used in justifying French colonialism in the late-15th to mid-20th centuries. The civilizing mission was the cultural justification for the colonial exploitation of French Algeria, French West Africa, French Indochina, Portuguese Angola and Portuguese Guinea, Portuguese Mozambique and Portuguese Timor, among other colonies. The civilizing mission also was a popular justification for the British, German, and American colonialism. In the Russian Empire, it was also associated with the Russian conquest of Central Asia and the Russification of that region. The western European colonial powers claimed that, as Christian nations, they were duty-bound to disseminate Western civilization to what Europeans perceived as the heathen and primitive cultures of the Eastern world.

Moscow, third Rome

Moscow, third Rome

Moscow, third Rome is a theological and political concept asserting that Moscow is the successor of the Roman Empire, representing a "third Rome" in succession to the first Rome and the second Rome.

Anti-Western sentiment

Anti-Western sentiment

Anti-Western sentiment, also known as Anti-Atlanticism or Westernophobia, refers to broad opposition, bias, or hostility towards the people, culture, or policies of the Western world.

First Chechen War

First Chechen War

The First Chechen War, also known as the First Chechen Campaign, or the First Russian-Chechen war, was a war of independence which the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria waged against the Russian Federation from December 1994 to August 1996. The first war was preceded by the Russian Intervention in Ichkeria, in which Russia tried to covertly overthrow the Ichkerian government. After the initial campaign of 1994–1995, culminating in the devastating Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya, but they faced heavy resistance from Chechen guerrillas and raids on the flatlands. Despite Russia's overwhelming advantages in firepower, manpower, weaponry, artillery, combat vehicles, airstrikes and air support, the resulting widespread demoralization of federal forces and the almost universal opposition to the conflict by the Russian public led Boris Yeltsin's government to declare a ceasefire with the Chechens in 1996, and finally, it signed a peace treaty in 1997.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated 8 million people being displaced within the country by late May as well as 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country as of 8 November 2022. Within five weeks of the invasion, Russia experienced its greatest emigration since the 1917 October Revolution. The invasion has also caused global food shortages.

Etymology and terminology

Rashism and Ruscism are both attempts to transliterate the Ukrainian and Russian term рашизм (rashizm, pronounced [rɐˈʂɨzm]), a multilingual portmanteau of "Russia" and "fascism". According to Timothy D. Snyder, the word is complex, reflecting and referencing pronunciations of words in both English, Ukrainian and Russian.[4] The Washington Post asserts that the English word “racist” contributes to the understood meaning of “rashist.”[19]

History of use

The term was, in the form Russism (русизм) popularized, described and extensively used in 1995 by President of the unrecognised Chechen state Ichkeria Dzhokhar Dudayev, who saw the military action by Russia in Chechnya as a manifestation of the rising far-right ideology.[20][21][22] According to Dudayev, Ruscism is "a variety of hatred ideology which is based on Great Russian chauvinism, spiritlessness and immorality. It differs from other forms of fascism, racism, and nationalism by a more extreme cruelty, both to man and to nature. It is based on the destruction of everything and everyone, the tactics of scorched earth. Ruscism is a schizophrenic variety of the world domination complex. This is a distinct version of slave psychology, it grows like a parasite on the fabricated history, occupied territories and oppressed peoples."[23]

March in memory of murdered Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, 27 February 2016. Sight from the inside. "Let's stop Rashism" (Russian: "Остановим рашизм")

The term рашизм (Ruscism/Rashism) became increasingly common in informal circles in 2008, during the Russo-Georgian War.[24][25] Its popularity in Ukrainian mass media grew after the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation,[26] the downing of a Boeing 777 near Donetsk on 17 July 2014, and the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014[27][28] largely due to the Russian-language song "That's, Baby, Ruscism! [Orthodox Fascism!]" by Ukrainian composer and singer-songwriter Boris Sevastyanov [uk].[29]

The Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on Humanitarian and Information Policy supports the initiative of Ukrainian scientists, journalists, political scientists and all civil society to promote and recognize the term "Ruscism" at the national and international levels.[30]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

A destroyed Russian MT-LB with a Z symbol during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Z symbol is widely used by the Russian Armed Forces.
A destroyed Russian MT-LB with a Z symbol during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Z symbol is widely used by the Russian Armed Forces.
A poster against Ruscism
A poster against Ruscism

By 2022 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the terms Rashism and Rashist had come into common usage among military and political elites of Ukraine, as well as by journalists, influencers, bloggers, et al.[31][32][33] For example, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, actively advocates the use of the word in the meaning of Vladimir Putin's fascism to describe Russia's aggression against Ukraine. He also stated that Rashism is much worse than fascism.[34]

Today, I would like to appeal to all journalists to use the word 'Rashism', because this is a new phenomenon in world history that Mr. Putin has made with his country – modern Rashists who are not much different from fascists. I will explain why: because before there was no such opportunity to destroy cities with so many aerial bombs, such equipment, there was no such force. Now absolutely other capacities and they use them as inhuman.

— Oleksiy Danilov.[35]

On 23 April 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that a new concept called "Ruscism" will be in history books:[36][37]

This country will have a word in our history textbooks that no one has invented, which everyone is repeating in Ukraine and in Europe – 'Ruscism'. It's not just random that everyone is saying that this is Ruscism. The word is new, but the actions are the same as they were 80 years ago in Europe. Because for all of these 80 years, if you analyse our continent, there has been no barbarism like this. So Ruscism is a concept that will go into the history books, it will be in Wikipedia, it will be [studied] in classes. And small children around the world will stand up and answer their teachers when they ask when Ruscism began, in what land, and who won the fight for freedom against this terrible concept.[37]

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President of Ichkeria

President of Ichkeria

The president of Ichkeria, formally the president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was the head of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria from 1991 to 2007, the Islamic Republic that existed until the victory of the Russian Federation in the Second Chechen War.

Dzhokhar Dudayev

Dzhokhar Dudayev

Dzhokhar Musayevich Dudayev was a Soviet Air Force general and Chechen separatist leader who was the first president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, a breakaway region in the North Caucasus, from 1991 until his assassination in 1996.

First Chechen War

First Chechen War

The First Chechen War, also known as the First Chechen Campaign, or the First Russian-Chechen war, was a war of independence which the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria waged against the Russian Federation from December 1994 to August 1996. The first war was preceded by the Russian Intervention in Ichkeria, in which Russia tried to covertly overthrow the Ichkerian government. After the initial campaign of 1994–1995, culminating in the devastating Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya, but they faced heavy resistance from Chechen guerrillas and raids on the flatlands. Despite Russia's overwhelming advantages in firepower, manpower, weaponry, artillery, combat vehicles, airstrikes and air support, the resulting widespread demoralization of federal forces and the almost universal opposition to the conflict by the Russian public led Boris Yeltsin's government to declare a ceasefire with the Chechens in 1996, and finally, it signed a peace treaty in 1997.

Great Russian chauvinism

Great Russian chauvinism

Great Russian chauvinism is a term defined by the early Soviet government officials, most notably Vladimir Lenin to describe an ideology of the "dominant exploiting classes of the nation, holding a dominant (sovereign) position in the state, declaring their nation as the "superior" nation". Lenin promoted an idea for the Bolshevik party to defend the right of oppressed nations within the former Russian Empire to self-determination and equality as well as the language-rights movement of the newly-formed republics.

Assassination of Boris Nemtsov

Assassination of Boris Nemtsov

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian politician opposed to the government of Vladimir Putin, occurred in central Moscow on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge at 23:31 local time on 27 February 2015. An unknown assailant fired seven or eight shots from a Makarov pistol. Four of them hit Boris Nemtsov in the head, heart, liver and stomach, killing him almost instantly. He died hours after appealing to the public to support a march against Russia's war in Ukraine. Nemtsov's Ukrainian partner Anna Duritskaya survived the attack as its sole eyewitness.

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation

In February and March 2014, Russia invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. This event took place in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity and is part of the wider Russo-Ukrainian War.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down by Russian forces on 17 July 2014, while flying over eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed. Contact with the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was lost when it was about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border, and wreckage from the aircraft fell near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border. The shoot-down occurred during the war in Donbas over territory controlled by Russian separatist forces.

Donetsk

Donetsk

Donetsk, formerly known as Aleksandrovka, Yuzivka, Stalin and Stalino, is an industrial city in eastern Ukraine located on the Kalmius River in Donetsk Oblast. The population was estimated at 901,645 in the city core, with over 2 million in the metropolitan area (2011). According to the 2001 census, Donetsk was the fifth-largest city in Ukraine.

Committees of the Verkhovna Rada

Committees of the Verkhovna Rada

Committees of the Verkhovna Rada are the Verkhovna Rada legislative panels of experts that work for implementation of legislation in specialized fields, preparation and preliminary review of issues attributed to authority of as well as performing control functions.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has likely resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II, with an estimated 8 million people being displaced within the country by late May as well as 7.8 million Ukrainians fleeing the country as of 8 November 2022. Within five weeks of the invasion, Russia experienced its greatest emigration since the 1917 October Revolution. The invasion has also caused global food shortages.

MT-LB

MT-LB

The MT-LB is a Soviet multi-purpose, fully amphibious, tracked armored fighting vehicle in use since the 1950s. It was also produced in Poland, where its YaMZ engine was replaced by a Polish 6-cylinder SW 680 diesel engine.

Armed Forces of Ukraine

Armed Forces of Ukraine

The Armed Forces of Ukraine, most commonly known in Ukraine as ZSU or anglicized as AFU, are the military forces of Ukraine. All military and security forces, including the Armed Forces, are under the command of the president of Ukraine and subject to oversight by a permanent Verkhovna Rada parliamentary commission. The modern armed forces were formed in 1991 and consisted of three former Soviet Armed Forces military districts stationed in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Ideological history

Ivan Ilyin

Timothy D. Snyder of Yale University believes that the ideology of Putin and his regime was influenced by Russian nationalist philosopher Ivan Ilyin (1883–1954).[10][38][39][40][41] A number of Ilyin's works advocated fascism.[38] Ilyin has been quoted by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and is considered by some observers to be a major ideological inspiration for Putin.[42][43][44][45][46][47][48] Putin was personally involved in moving Ilyin's remains back to Russia, and in 2009 consecrated his grave.[49]

According to Snyder, Ilyin "provided a metaphysical and moral justification for political totalitarianism" in the form of a fascist state, and that today "his ideas have been revived and celebrated by Vladimir Putin".[50]

Ilyin's book, Our Tasks was in 2013 recommended as essential reading for state officials by the Russian government, while What Dismemberment of Russia Would Mean for the World is said to have been "read and reread" by Putin according to The Economist.[51]

Aleksandr Dugin

In 1997, Russian thinker Aleksandr Dugin, widely known for fascistic views,[52][53] published The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia, a book believed to have garnered significant impact among Russia's military, police and foreign policy elites.[54][55] In it, he argued that Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because "Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning", "no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness", that "[its] certain territorial ambitions represen[t] an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics". He argued that Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is "sanitary cordon", which would be "inadmissible".[54] The book may have been influential in Vladimir Putin's foreign policy, which eventually led to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[56] Also in 1997, Dugin hailed what he saw as the arrival of a "genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism" in Russia, in an article titled "Fascism – Borderless and Red"; previously in 1992, he had in another article defended "fascism" as not having anything to do with "the racist and chauvinist aspects of National Socialism", stating in contrast that "Russian fascism is a combination of natural national conservatism with a passionate desire for true changes."[57] Another of Dugin's books, The Fourth Political Theory, published in 2009, has been cited as an inspiration for Russian policy in events such as the war in Donbas,[58] and for the contemporary European far-right in general.[59]

Although there is a dispute on the extent of the personal relationship between Dugin and Putin, Dugin's influence exists broadly in Russian military and security circles.[60] He became a lecturer at the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia in the 1990s, and his Foundations of Geopolitics has become part of the curriculum there, as well as in several other military/police academies and institutions of higher learning. According to John B. Dunlop of the Hoover Institution, "[t]here has perhaps not been another book published in Russia during the post-communist period that has exerted an influence on Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites comparable to that of [...] Foundations of Geopolitics."[60]

Timofey Sergeitsev

According to Euractiv, Russian political operative Timofey Sergeitsev is "one of the ideologists of modern Russian fascism".[61]

During the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, when the victims of the massacres in Kyiv Oblast became known,[62][63] the website of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published an article by Sergeitsev titled "What Russia Should Do with Ukraine", which was perceived to justify a Ukrainian genocide. It calls for repression, de-Ukrainization, de-Europeanization, and ethnocide of the Ukrainians.[64][65][66][67][68][69][70] According to Oxford expert on Russian affairs Samuel Ramani, the article "represents mainstream Kremlin thinking".[71] The head of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs called the article "ordinary fascism".[72] Timothy D. Snyder described it as a "genocide handbook", and as "one of the most openly genocidal documents I have ever seen".[73]

Similar rhetoric appeared in 26 February op-ed by Peter Akopov in RIA Novosti titled "The Coming of Russia and of the New World", which praised Putin for a timely "solution of the Ukrainian question". It was un-published after three hours.[64]

Discover more about Ideological history related topics

Ivan Ilyin

Ivan Ilyin

Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin or Il'in was a Russian jurist, religious and political philosopher and constitutional monarchist, who supported the right-wing of the Kadet party. He perceived the February Revolution as a "temporary disorder", and the October Revolution as a catastrophe, and actively joined the struggle against the Bolshevik regime. He became a white émigré journalist, slavophile and an ideologue of the Russian All-Military Union. As an anti-communist, Ilyin initially defended Hitler but in 1934 he was arrested and subsequently banned from making public appearances for refusing to promote anti-Semitic policies. When Ilyin lost his main source of income Sergei Rachmaninov helped him financially to stay in Switzerland. Ilyin was not allowed to be politically active. He mostly studied aesthetic, ethical and psychological questions.

Fascism

Fascism

Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.

Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin is a Russian political philosopher, analyst, and strategist, known for views widely characterized as fascist.

Foundations of Geopolitics

Foundations of Geopolitics

The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia is a geopolitical book by Aleksandr Dugin. Its publication in 1997 was well received in Russia; it has had significant influence within the Russian military, police, and foreign policy elites, and has been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military. Powerful Russian political figures subsequently took an interest in Dugin, a Russian political analyst who espouses an ultranationalist and neo-fascist ideology based on his idea of neo-Eurasianism, who has developed a close relationship with Russia's Academy of the General Staff.

Cordon sanitaire (international relations)

Cordon sanitaire (international relations)

The seminal use of cordon sanitaire as a metaphor for ideological containment referred to "the system of alliances instituted by France in post-World War I Europe that stretched from Finland to the Balkans" and which "completely ringed Germany and sealed off Russia from Western Europe, thereby isolating the two politically 'diseased' nations of Europe."

Foreign policy of Vladimir Putin

Foreign policy of Vladimir Putin

The foreign policy of Vladimir Putin concerns the policies of the Russian Federation’s president Vladimir Putin with respect to other nations. He has held the office of the President previously from 2000 to 2008, and reassumed power again in 2012 and has been President since.

Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia

Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia

The Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is the senior staff college of the Russian Armed Forces.

John B. Dunlop

John B. Dunlop

John Barrett Dunlop is an American political scientist, an emeritus senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, an expert on Soviet and Russian politics from 1980s to the present.

Hoover Institution

Hoover Institution

The Hoover Institution is an American public policy think tank and research institution that promotes personal and economic liberty, free enterprise, and limited government. While the institution is formally a unit of Stanford University, it maintains an independent board of overseers and relies on its own income and donations. It is widely described as a conservative institution, although its directors have contested the idea that it is partisan.

Euractiv

Euractiv

Euractiv is a pan-European news website specialised in EU policies, founded in 1999 by the French media publisher Christophe Leclercq. Its headquarters and central editorial staff are located in Brussels,with further offices in Paris and Berlin. Its content is produced by about 50 journalists staffed in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia.

Bucha massacre

Bucha massacre

The Bucha massacre was the mass murder of Ukrainian civilians by Russian Armed Forces during the fight for and occupation of the Ukrainian city of Bucha amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photographic and video evidence of the massacre emerged on 1 April 2022 after Russian forces withdrew from the city.

Kyiv Oblast

Kyiv Oblast

Kyiv Oblast, also called Kyivshchyna, is an oblast (province) in central and northern Ukraine. It surrounds, but does not include, the city of Kyiv, which is a self-governing city with special status. The administrative center of the oblast is in Kyiv city, the capital of Ukraine, despite the city not being part of the oblast. The Kyiv metropolitan area extends out from Kyiv city into parts of the oblast, which is significantly dependent on the urban economy and transportation of Kyiv.

In Russia

Flash mob at the Platinum Arena in Khabarovsk on 11 March 2022, organized by the Central District Management Committee and the United Russia party as part of the "We don't abandon our own" (Своих Не Бросаем) campaign. Attendees including Young Guard of United Russia members and local residents arrange themselves in "Z" symbol formation.
Flash mob at the Platinum Arena in Khabarovsk on 11 March 2022, organized by the Central District Management Committee and the United Russia party as part of the "We don't abandon our own" (Своих Не Бросаем) campaign. Attendees including Young Guard of United Russia members and local residents arrange themselves in "Z" symbol formation.

According to the Economist, Vladimir Putin began to draw on post-Soviet fascist thinking in response to waning popularity.[51] In 2007, the first post-Soviet Prime Minister of Russia, Yegor Gaidar, warned about the rise of post-imperial nostalgia, stating that "Russia is going through a dangerous phase", and making a reference to history by stating "[w]e should not succumb to the magic of numbers but the fact that there was a 15-year gap between the collapse of the German Empire and Adolf Hitler's rise to power and 15 years between the collapse of the USSR and Russia in 2006–07 makes one think".[51] In 2014 Boris Nemtsov criticized what he perceived as a turn towards "cultivating and rewarding the lowest instincts in people, provoking hatred and fighting" by the Russian regime, stating in his final interview – hours before his murder – that "Russia is rapidly turning into a fascist state. We already have propaganda modelled after Nazi Germany. We also have a nucleus of assault brigades ... That’s just the beginning."[51] Alexander Yakovlev, architect of democratic reforms under Mikhail Gorbachev, made statements about the connection between the security services and fascism, stating "[t]he danger of fascism in Russia is real because since 1917 we have become used to living in a criminal world with a criminal state in charge. Banditry, sanctified by ideology—this wording suits both communists and fascists."[51]

Several scholars have posited that Russia has transformed into a fascist state, or that fascism best describes the Russian political system, especially following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. In 2017, Russian academician Vladislav Inozemtsev considered that Russia is an early-stage fascist state, thus claiming the current Russian political regime as fascist.[74] Tomasz Kamusella, a Polish scholar on nationalism and ethnicity, and Allister Heath, a journalist at The Daily Telegraph, describe the current authoritarian Russian political regime as Putin's fascism.[75][76] Maria Snegovaya believes that Russia as led by Putin is a fascist regime.[77]

In March 2022, Yale historian Odd Arne Westad said that Putin's words about Ukraine resembled, which Harvard journalist James F. Smith summarized, "some of the colonial racial arguments of imperial powers of the past, ideas from the late 19th and early 20th century".[78]

In April 2022, Larysa Yakubova from the Institute of History of Ukraine in her article "The Anatomy of Ruscism" stated that Russia has never reflected on the tragedies of totalitarianism and did not decommunize its Soviet totalitarian heritage unlike Ukraine. According to her, that was the major reason for the formation and rapid development of Ruscism in modern Russia both among political and intellectual/cultural elites. She also noted that Ruscism, in the form of a threat to the world order and peace, will remain until there is a global condemnation of Soviet communist ideology and its heir Ruscism.[79]

On 24 April 2022, Timothy D. Snyder published an article in The New York Times Magazine where he described the history, premises and linguistic peculiarities of the term "Ruscism".[4] According to Snyder, the term "is a useful conceptualization of Putin's worldview", writing that "we have tended to overlook the central example of fascism's revival, which is the Putin regime in the Russian Federation".[4] On the wider regime, Snyder writes that "[p]rominent Russian fascists are given access to mass media during wars, including this one. Members of the Russian elite, above all Putin himself, rely increasingly on fascist concepts", and states that "Putin's very justification of the war in Ukraine [...] represents a Christian form of fascism."[4]

Snyder followed this article in May with an essay titled "We Should Say It. Russia Is Fascist".[10] According to Snyder, "[m]any hesitate to see today's Russia as fascist because Stalin's Soviet Union defined itself as antifascist", stating that the key to understanding Russia today is "Stalin's flexibility about fascism": "Because Soviet anti-fascism just meant defining an enemy, it offered fascism a backdoor through which to return to Russia [...] Fascists calling other people 'fascists' is fascism taken to its illogical extreme as a cult of unreason. [...] [It is] the essential Putinist practice".[10] Based on this, Snyder refers Putin's regime as schizo-fascism.[80][10]

In July 2022, Japanese-American political scientist Francis Fukuyama stated that Putin's regime in Russia more than anything resembles to that of Nazi Germany whose only ideology is extreme nationalism, but it is at the same time "less institutionalised and revolves only around one man Vladimir Putin".[81]

Characteristics

The greatest extent of the Soviet Empire (Soviet Union proper plus satellite states).The Russian Empire in 1867, including Alaska.One element of Rashism is irredentism, revanchism and a desire to restore Russia to a perceived "former glory". Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2005 called the dissolution of the Soviet Union "a genuine tragedy" for the Russian people, as "tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory", and as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century".[82]
The greatest extent of the Soviet Empire (Soviet Union proper plus satellite states).
The greatest extent of the Soviet Empire (Soviet Union proper plus satellite states).The Russian Empire in 1867, including Alaska.One element of Rashism is irredentism, revanchism and a desire to restore Russia to a perceived "former glory". Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2005 called the dissolution of the Soviet Union "a genuine tragedy" for the Russian people, as "tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory", and as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century".[82]
The Russian Empire in 1867, including Alaska.
One element of Rashism is irredentism, revanchism and a desire to restore Russia to a perceived "former glory". Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2005 called the dissolution of the Soviet Union "a genuine tragedy" for the Russian people, as "tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory", and as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century".[82]
Portraits of Vladimir Putin as commodities in the office supplies section of a Moscow bookshop in 2006.
Portraits of Vladimir Putin as commodities in the office supplies section of a Moscow bookshop in 2006.
A 2007 photo of a shirtless Putin fishing in Tuva published on the official Russian President website.
A 2007 photo of a shirtless Putin fishing in Tuva published on the official Russian President website.

In 2017, Yuliia Strebkova (Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute) indicated that Rashism in combination with Ukrainophobia constitutes the ethno-national vector of the more broad Russian neo-imperial ideological doctrine of "Russian world".[83]

In 2018, Borys Demyanenko (Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi State Pedagogical University) in his paper "'Ruscism' as a quasi-ideology of the post-Soviet imperial revenge" defined Ruscism as a misanthropic ideology and an eclectic mixture of imperial neocolonialism, great-power chauvinism, nostalgia for the Soviet past, and religious traditionalism. Demyanenko considers that in internal domestic policy, Ruscism manifests itself in a violation of human rights alongside with a freedom of thought, persecution of dissidents, propaganda, ignoring of democratic procedures. While in foreign policy, Ruscism demonstrates itself in a violation of international law, imposing its own version of historical truth, the justification of occupation and annexation of the territories of other states.[84]

Political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky argues that Rashism is disguised as anti-fascism, but has a fascist face and essence.[85] Political scientist Ruslan Kliuchnyk notes that the Russian elite considers itself entitled to build its own "sovereign democracy" without reference to Western standards, but taking into account Russia's traditions of state-building. Administrative resources in Russia are one of the means of preserving the democratic facade, which hides the mechanism of absolute manipulation of the will of citizens.[86] Russian political scientist Andrey Piontkovsky argues that the ideology of Rashism is in many ways similar to Nazism, with the speeches of President Vladimir Putin reflecting similar ideas to those of Adolf Hitler.[87][88]

According to Alexander J. Motyl, an American historian and political scientist, Russian fascism has the following characteristics:[89]

  • An undemocratic political system, different from both traditional authoritarianism and totalitarianism;
  • Statism and hypernationalism;
  • A hypermasculine cult of the supreme leader (emphasis on his courage, militancy and physical prowess);
  • General popular support for the regime and its leader.

According to Professor Oleksandr Kostenko, Rashism is an ideology that is "based on illusions and justifies the admissibility of any arbitrariness for the sake of misinterpreted interests of Russian society. In foreign policy, Rashism manifests itself, in particular, in violation of the principles of international law, imposing its version of historical truth on the world solely in favor of Russia, abusing the right of veto in the UN Security Council, and so on. In domestic politics, Rashism is a violation of human rights to freedom of thought, persecution of members of the 'dissent movement', the use of the media to misinform their people, and so on." Oleksandr Kostenko also considers Rashism a manifestation of sociopathy.[90]

Timothy D. Snyder argued in an essay that a "time traveler from the 1930s" would "have no difficulty" identifying the Russian regime in 2022 as fascist, writing:

The symbol Z, the rallies, the propaganda, the war as a cleansing act of violence and the death pits around Ukrainian towns make it all very plain. The war against Ukraine is not only a return to the traditional fascist battleground, but also a return to traditional fascist language and practice. Other people are there to be colonized. Russia is innocent because of its ancient past. The existence of Ukraine is an international conspiracy. War is the answer.[10]

Boris Kagarlitsky notes that unlike "the classical fascism", Putin's regime is "Fascism in the era of Postmodernism", "when a coherent worldview is replaced by a haphazard pasting together of ideas, scraps of concepts and randomly assembled images", "the product of the... degradation of late Soviet society combined with the degradation of late capitalism": "using totalitarian ideology and rhetoric, the system is unable to build a workable totalitarian machine that corresponds to these principles".[91]

According to Ilya Budraitskis, Russia has evolved from a “managed democracy” with limited personal freedoms to a new form of a society that requires unequivocal acceptance of the Ukraine invasion and treats any sign of deviation as treason. "Russian society, after thirty years of post-Soviet authoritarianism and neoliberal market reforms, has consistently been reduced to a state of silent victimhood, a malleable material from which a full-fledged fascist regime can be built. External aggression, based on the complete dehumanisation of the enemy [...], was the decisive moment in the "move" made from above."[92]

Russian sociologist Grigory Yudin states that the social atomization of Soviet society during the "Era of Stagnation" and later neoliberal reforms and economic globalization (which helped Putin to establish an authoritarian regime and turned Russia into "a radical version of modern neoliberal capitalism") have lead to Russian society becoming extremely depolitized and atomized, on February 24 it was mobilized. According to him, it is accurate to the historical Fascist regimes, which also used to demobilize and atomize the societies, and then used the atomization to mobilize them. He also says that the image of general popular support for Putin is false and that it's being used by Putin to threat the elites and the people: the elites fear that 'the people' will support repressions against them, while individuals of the atomized society fear that if they express their disagreement, they will alone confront the non-existent "people masses".[93][94]

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Reactions

In Russia

In 2014, Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who holds pro-Putin views, publicly called himself a "Rashist" and made a tattoo "as a sign that I'm a Rashist, I'll live as a Rashist and I'll die as a Rashist".[95] In 2015, he released a series of wristwatches with Chi Rho and the text "I am Rashist" ("Russian: Я рашист") on the clock face, written with a Gothic font, and with "Not only Crimea's ours - everything's ours!" on the back.[96]

Russian economist Yakov Mirkin said that the term "Rashism" is incorrect because it equates the entire Russian nation with "the ideology that brings trouble". He noted that as Nazism has never been called "Germanism" and Italian fascism has never been called "Italism", Putin's ideology should be called "as you wish", with "the most cruel nicknames", but not "Rashism".[97]

Artyom Yefimov wrote in Signal (email-based media created by Meduza) that although the word "Rashism" was created in Ukraine as an emotional cliché, it may become a real term, as history knows examples of pejoratives being turned into real terms (e.g. Tory and Slavophilia); in Ukraine, he writes, it is being used in scientific works since 2014 (although rarely in scientific publications of other countries).[97][98]

Leonid Srochnikov from Socialist Alternative argued the term "post-fascism" and instead suggested the Marxist term "Bonapartism" and compared Putin's regime with Marx's description of the regime of Napoleon III and its relationship with the French bourgeoisie. In his opinion, "Post-fascism" in this case was needed to sidestep the issue of the political history of Putin regime" and its connection with Yeltsin's regime and privatization of 1990s, viewing only the economic of its development.[99]

Official reaction

Russian television presenter Tina Kandelaki, who supported Russia's war against Ukraine,[100][101] criticized Wikipedia's use of the term "Rashism" on her Telegram channel, accusing Wikipedia of "digital fascism" targeting Russian people and calling Russians to stop using it.[102]

Russia's federal censor Roskomnadzor reportedly ordered the English Wikipedia on 18 May 2022 to take down the articles "Rashism" and "2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine", asserting that they contain false information about the war the Russian government calls a "special military operation".[103][104]

On 20 May 2022, during the show Evening with Vladimir Solovyov, the host Vladimir Solovyov and his panelists responded with outrage at Timothy D. Snyder's article "We Should Say It. Russia Is Fascist", an article which according to Russian media watchdog Julia Davis has "spread through Russian state media like wildfire". Solovyov attacked Snyder by calling him a "pseudo-professor of a pseudo-university [...] He is simply a liar", and, addressing Americans, stating: "Let me tell you a secret: first of all, your signs are idiotic in their nature. Secondly, looking at your listed indications, how are they any different from the election campaign of Donald Trump?"[105]

Outside Russia

Latvian journalist Bens Latkovskis of Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze has criticized the equation of Russism to fascism as terminologically inaccurate, stating that the main difference between the two ideologies is one that actually places them on almost opposite sides of the political spectrum. He argues that, unlike fascism that sought to create a new anthropological order and required mass social involvement, Russism is counter-revolutionary, strictly opposed to any social reforms and social mobilization and aims at the depoliticization of society, which it sees as a threat to its existence.[106]

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Source: "Rashism", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 1st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashism.

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References
  1. ^ a b Marayev, Vladlen; Guz, Julia (30 March 2022). "Rashism or why russians are the new Nazi". VoxUkraine. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  2. ^ Varnytskyy, Viktor (23 March 2022). «Звичайний рашизм»: Путін відверто і послідовно наслідує Гітлера ["Ordinary Rashism": Putin openly and consistently imitates Hitler] (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 25 April 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  3. ^ Mishchenko, Mykhailo (1 March 2022). Рашизм і фашизм: знайдіть дві відмінності [Rashism and fascism: find two differences]. Ukrayinskyy Interes (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 3 March 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Snyder, Timothy D. (23 April 2022). "The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 April 2022. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Ичкерия" - против установки памятника Ельцину в Эстонии ["Ichkeria" - against the installation of a monument to Yeltsin in Estonia] (in Russian). REGNUM News Agency. 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  6. ^ Samoilenko, Sergei A.; Keohane, Jennifer; Icks, Martijn; Shiraev, Eric (2019). Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Management. Routledge International Handbooks. Taylor & Francis. p. 367. ISBN 978-1-351-36832-2. Retrieved 28 April 2022. Ukrainian press has been presenting .... the term Rashism, which conflates Russia and fascism
  7. ^ Gaufman, Elizaveta (2016). Security Threats and Public Perception: Digital Russia and the Ukraine Crisis. New Security Challenges. Springer International Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-3-319-43201-4. Retrieved 28 April 2022. Pro-Ukrainian commentators have also used the word 'Rashism'
  8. ^ Mohammed, Zahraa Jasim; Challoob, Mahmood Ghazi (2021). Некоторые Инновационные словообразовательные процессы в популярных интернет-текстах в русском и арабском языках [Some innovative word-formation processes in popular Internet texts in Russian and Arabic]. Journal of the College of Languages (in Russian) (43): 186–207. doi:10.36586/jcl.2.2021.0.43.0186. S2CID 242426043. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Jak raszyzm rozlewał się na zachód Europy". Rzeczpospolita (in Polish). 22 April 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Snyder, Timothy (19 May 2022). "We Should Say It. Russia Is Fascist". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  11. ^ Gregor, A. James (March 1998). "Fascism and the New Russian Nationalism". Communist and Post-Communist Studies. 31 (1): 1–15. doi:10.1016/S0967-067X(97)00025-1. JSTOR 48609343. S2CID 153638678.
  12. ^ Motyl, Alexander J. (23 April 2015). "Is Putin's Russia Fascist?". UkraineAlert. Atlantic Council. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  13. ^ Stanley, Jason (26 February 2022). "The antisemitism animating Putin's claim to 'denazify' Ukraine". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 April 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  14. ^ Kalisz, Stanisław (26 April 2022). "Raszyzm, czyli "byt kształtuje świadomość" – a może już na odwrót? Portret" [Rashism, meaning "being shapes consciousness - or maybe the other way around? Portrait]. Europrojekty (in Polish). Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  15. ^ Gotowalska, Żaneta (30 April 2022). "Raszyzm w natarciu. "Zbłąkanych" Ukraińców nawrócić, resztę wyeliminować" [Rashism on the rise. Convert the "stray" Ukrainians and eliminate the rest]. WP Magazyn (in Polish). Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Rashism or why russians are the new Nazi". VoxUkraine. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  17. ^ Mirovalev, Mansur (3 May 2022). "'Orcs' and 'Rashists': Ukraine's new language of war". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 3 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  18. ^ Ідеологія рашизму має бути засуджена світом, як нацизм і фашизм – історик [The ideology of Rashism can be condemned by the world, like Nazism and fascism – historian] (in Ukrainian). Ukrinform. 8 March 2022. Archived from the original on 16 April 2022. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  19. ^ Taylor, Adam (1 September 2022). "With NAFO, Ukraine turns the trolls on Russia". Washington Post.
  20. ^ Roxburgh, Angus (9 December 1995). "I warned my people the Russians would use planes and tanks against us, but that we would triumph because of the spirit of our nation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  21. ^ Русизм - шизофреническая форма мании мирового господства [Russism - schizophrenic form of world domination mania]. argumentua.com (in Russian). 19 March 2014. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  22. ^ Джохар Дудаев: О "РУСИЗМЕ", 1995 г. "ВЗГЛЯД". [Dzhokhar Dudayev: On "RUSCISM", 1995, "VZGLYAD".] (in Russian). Event occurs at 2:40 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ Джохар Дудаев: Что такое русизм? (ВИДЕО) [Dzhokhar Dudayev: What is Russism? (VIDEO)] (in Russian). Chechenpress. 11 March 2014. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  24. ^ Настоящий "рашизм": в России составляют списки евреев, которых нужно депортировать как "несогласных" с Путиным [Real "Rashism": in Russia they make lists of Jews who need to be deported as "disagreeing" with Putin]. Bagnet (in Russian). 30 June 2014. Archived from the original on 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  25. ^ Kovalenko, Iryna (21 July 2014). Росія і рашисти: хто стоїть за спиною Путіна [Russia and Rashists: who is behind Putin]. Expres (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  26. ^ Tykha, Lina (9 March 2014). Рашизм – не пройдет, или трудно быть человеком [Rashism – will not pass, or it is difficult to be a human]. Konflikty i Zakony (in Russian). Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  27. ^ Томенко назвал борьбу с "рашизмом" новым серьезным мировым испытанием [Tomenko called the fight against "Rashism" a new serious world test]. Obozrevatel (in Russian). 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  28. ^ Babich, Mykola (18 July 2014). Остановить рашизм. Новый урок для мира [Stop Rashism. A new lesson for the world] (in Russian). Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  29. ^ Sevastyanov, Boris (29 August 2014). Это, Детка, Рашизм! [That's, Baby, Ruscism!] (in Russian). Retrieved 25 May 2022 – via Deezer.
  30. ^ Комітет з питань гуманітарної та інформаційної політики закликає журналістів та медіаорганізації до повноцінного і частого вживання слова «рашизм» та похідних від нього [The Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy calls on journalists and media organizations to make full and frequent use of the word "Rashism" and its derivatives]. rada.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada. 12 May 2022. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  31. ^ Kushneryk, Tetyana (14 March 2022). Рашисти готуються відновити наступ у напрямку Києва: як минула доба на фронті [Rashists are preparing to resume the offensive in the direction of Kyiv: how the day at the front passed] (in Ukrainian). Glavkom. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  32. ^ Orlova, Violetta (13 March 2022). "Рашисти будуть вигнані з нашої землі": Ігор Кондратюк підтримав ЗСУ ["Rashists will be expelled from our land": Igor Kondratyuk supported the Armed Forces of Ukraine] (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Independent Information Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
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