Alexander J. Motyl, Professor of Political Science from Central and East European Studies Program Rutgers University stated at his presentation 11 February 2008 http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=361818 that Russia is drifting towards fascism. In fact, he practically suggested that fascism is already there. He said that evolution of fascism in Nazi Germany and in contemporary Russia was very similar, charachterised by nation’s humiliation, followed by strong leadership that comes “on a horseback” to deliver from the same type of enemy: democrats, liberals. I would add to the presenter’s description of fascism trends in Russia also crack down on minorities (Chechen wars) and elimination of federalism. One of the people in the audience, however, pointed out (quite rightfully, I think) that there is an important difference between fascist regimes in XX century and modern Russia, that is the fact, that Putin did no come to power with a great popular support, but rather got the position first and then adopted certain kind of hyper nationalist and agressive ideology. Still, emphasising an important difference it doesn’t really prove that Putin’s regime cannot be called fascist.
The presenter stated, that next few years will be very crucial time, the main intrigue still is whether Putin will stay in power or go. Greatly depending on that fascism in Russia might develop further or stop, according to the presenter. In my point of view too much attention is attracted to Putin’s personality, whereas in fact he is mainly a function that answers Russian people’s quest for stability and greatness. Probably only these two, ghosts stability and greatness can hold the country together. Whether Putin or Russian people want to or not, but these are only ghosts, such dependance on oil and gas prices, combined with authocracy, human rights abuses and rampant corruption can hardly produce much stability and greatness. Enormous concentration of power in single hands further weakens the country and increases the danger of collapse.