Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

Russian nationalists on the Kremlin’s policy in Ukraine. OSW Commentary No. 156|24.12.2014

Jarzyńska, Katarzyna (2015) Russian nationalists on the Kremlin’s policy in Ukraine. OSW Commentary No. 156|24.12.2014. [Policy Paper]

[img] PDF - Published Version
Download (188Kb)


    On the Day of National Unity, celebrated in Russia every 4 November, members of nationalist movements organise a so-called Russian March in Moscow. In 2014 the nationalists took part in three competing marches, which illustrated the divisions present in these circles. The reason for these divisions is a difference of opinions on the policy pursued by Russia towards Ukraine. The pro-Russian, Russia-inspired protests in south-eastern Ukraine organised under the slogan of ‘defending’ the Russians living there (the ‘Russian Spring’) and the annexation of Crimea were received enthusiastically by the nationalists and contributed to a consolidation of these circles around the Kremlin which lasted for several months. In spite of this, opinions on the Russian government’s current policy towards the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have been varied. The most radical groups have demanded that military support be offered, and that the ‘confederation’ of these republics, the so-called ‘Novorossiya’, should be officially recognised. They consider the Kremlin’s policy to have been too soft, and see the signing of the peace agreements in Minsk as a betrayal of the interests of the Russians. For the remaining representatives of nationalist circles, who are not so numerous and are less visible in the public sphere, finding a solution for Russia’s domestic problems remains a priority. Some of them oppose the very notion of Russia’s involvement in the conflict. Since the beginning of the ‘Russian Spring’, the Kremlin has fostered active attitudes among the nationalists and solicited their support, hoping to win a valuable ally. This has boosted hopes in these circles that their political position may be strengthened. The involvement in the fighting in Ukraine has led to a radicalisation of attitudes among the nationalists, and demonstrated that this group is ideologically motivated and has considerable potential for mobilisation. Moreover, the ‘Great Russian’ and anti-Western slogans some of them have propagated are reflected in views displayed by average Russians, who have been influenced by the patriotic enthusiasm which followed the annexation of Crimea. Due to all this, from among all the actors active on the opposition side, it is the nationalists – and not the representatives of the liberal and pro-Western opposition – that have the best prospects for access to the political stage in Russia. It cannot be ruled out that a further strengthening of the radical groups might also be boosted by the possible growing social frustration caused by the economic crisis, which additionally increases the risk of political destabilisation.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2015 10:52
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 12 Jan 2015 10:52

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads