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Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

People walk past a statue of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin during celebration of his 145th birthday at the Lenin Hut Museum at Razliv lake, outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism. By Charles Clover. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016.


The Gumilev Mystique: Biopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia. By Mark Bassin. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016.


Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Europe-Russia Relationship. Edited by Marlene Laruelle. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015.


Russia and the Western Far Right: Tango Noir. By Anton Shekhovtsov. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2017.


“The ideas of [Lev] Gumilev are today capturing the masses.”

President Vladimir Putin, at Astana, in June 2004[1]


Cas Mudde recently observed that “[p]opulist radical right parties are the most studied party family in political science.”[2] While the interest of social researchers for ultra-nationalist political groups and networks – not only parties – in the West has indeed risen markedly during the last quarter of century, this cannot be said, to the same degree, about the East-Central European and especially post-Soviet far right. There exists, to be sure, a certain body of scholarly literature on these objects now too.[3] Yet, many details and circumstances of the emergence and development of relevant extremely right-wing groupings in such countries as Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania as well as especially Serbia and Ukraine still remain to be explored, contextualized, and interpreted.[4]  This is in spite of the fact that some of these parties were temporarily included in their countries’ coalition governments.[5]

With regard to the largest post-Soviet country, the situation is somewhat better, but essentially similar. Whereas Russian contemporary ultra-nationalism was an understudied field in the 1990s, there is today a formidable circle of Russian and Western researchers studying the various permutations of Russia’s extreme right.[6] But even this growing community’s rising output is so far insufficiently differentiated, voluminous and balanced to cover the whole variety of radically anti-Western tendencies in Russian politics, intellectual life, mass media, youth culture, and society at large. Worse, Russian right-wing extremism studies has, during the last 25 years, been dominated by non-tenured researchers[7] – above all, Marlene Laruelle, Aleksandr Verkhovskii and the late Vladimir Pribylovskii – who managed to produce the sub-discipline’s seminal texts while being busy with raising the funds to do so.[8] Various donors, among them the Norway Research Council at Oslo or Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs at New York, have recently provided grants to more deeply investigate Russia’s escalating nationalism. A number of tenured and non-tenured scholars across the world have decided to devote parts of their time to following the Russian extreme right. Yet, there appears to be no major political science chair or think-tank program – apart from Verkhovskii’s small SOVA monitoring center in Moscow[9] – that has post-Soviet Russian ultra-nationalism among its main designated research fields.[10]

As the four studies under review here illustrate,[11] the institutional under-development of Russian right-wing extremism studies is unfortunate. Certain Manichean ideas, informal extremist networks and industrious agents of the radical right – among them those calling themselves “Eurasianists” including, for instance, Vladimir Putin’s (b. 1952) official advisor Sergei Glaz’ev (b. 1961)[12] – have infiltrated Russian mainstream politics, ministerial bureaucracy, foreign affairs, higher education, Orthodox churches, think-tanks, mass media, (un)civil society and cultural diplomacy.[13] In view of Russia’s role in world politics, nuclear arsenal, military adventurism, challenging geography and declining economy, the political and social impact of the post-Soviet far right should thus be of concern to the West (and other world regions). Yet, the sub-field has so far – to significant degree – been driven by publications emerging from short-term grants, hobby research, and side jobs of academics and journalists also concerned with other duties than investigating the Russian far right. The condition of the sub-discipline Post-Soviet Russian Right-Wing Extremism Studies (postsowjetische russlandbezogene Rechtsextremismusforschung) is better than it was twenty years ago, when its state of play was reviewed, for the first time in English.[14] Yet, it is still not adequate to the increasingly broad variety, growing political impact, and rising international interconnectedness of its objects.

To be sure, the nature of the “Putin System” can still not be informatively classified as “fascist,” as some observers – with typically over-stretched concepts of generic fascism – have suggested.[15] While being nationalistic, anti-liberal and leader-oriented, the current Russian regime lacks a sufficiently palingenetic drive towards a political, cultural and anthropological revolution to be meaningfully equated to Mussolini’s or Hitler’s reigns.[16] So far, Putin’s rule remains similar to that of other so-called “oligarchic” (and not ideocratic) orders of most post-Soviet countries. In political science terms, this means that, while Russia’s current regime has become less hybrid and more authoritarian, its functioning remains determined by patron-client relationships, machine politics, nepotistic dynasties, clan-like networks and informal exchanges rather than ideological prescriptions. The main purpose of its patronalistic or neopatrimonial mechanisms is rent-extraction, preservation of power as well as privileges, and sometimes plain theft instead of pursuing transcendental goals.[17] However, to the degree that Putin’s government is, because of various economic factors, losing its earlier performance-based legitimacy, it is increasingly turning to charismatic and ideological forms of self-legitimation. At this point, Russia’s rich tradition of illiberal nationalist thought enters the stage.[18] Although it plays, so far, an instrumental rather fundamental role for the “Putin System,” elements of right radical rhetoric – i.e. conspiracy theories, leader-cult, anti-Americanism, messianism, nativism, irredentism, clericalism, homophobia, fortress-mentality, law-and-order slogans etc. – have become part and parcel of Russian official statements, foreign policies and public discourse.[19] Arguably, they are starting to assume a life of their own.

Two particularly intriguing bodies of thought within the larger assembly of modern Russian anti-Western ideas are classical Eurasianism, as developed in the 1920s and 1930s,[20] and post-Soviet so-called “neo-Eurasianism.” In fact, the latter is, to some degree, a misnomer. It contains some theoretical similarities with, and partly constitutes a functional equivalent to, classical Eurasianism. Yet, post-Soviet neo-Eurasianism, partly inspired by Lev Gumilev (1912-1992), and principally shaped by Aleksandr Dugin (b. 1962), is not a continuation or elaboration, but rather a reformulation and sometimes falsification of older Eurasianist outlooks.[21] Both classical and neo-Eurasianism build upon 19th-century Russian anti-Westernism including the Slavophiles of the 1840s-1850s, Nikolai Danilevskii (1822-1885) and Konstantin Leont’ev (1831-1891). Yet, their main inspirations, geographic foci and eventual aims differ. Classical Eurasianism was a sophisticated ideological, cultural and theoretic construct developed by some of the most remarkable Russian émigré  scholars after the October Revolution, among them, Nikolai Trubetskoi (1890-1938), Petr Savitskii (1895-1968), Lev Karsavin (1882-1952), Roman Iakobson (1896-1982), Georgii Vernadskii (1887-1973), Georgii Florovskii (1883-1979), and Petr Suvchinskii (1892-1985).[22] Based on a variety of academic approaches and considerable empirical research, the Eurasianists believed that they had located a third continent between Europe and Asia that is neither European nor Asian. They were actively seeking and thought to have found various historical, geographical, linguistic and other characteristics of the territory of the Tsarist and Soviet empires that led them to allege the existence of a separate Eurasian civilization different from – what they saw as – the “Romano-Germanic” culture of Central and Western Europe. Eurasian civilization is illiberal, non-democratic and anti-individualistic, the Eurasianists asserted; it should thus be kept separate from both European civilization and supposedly universal-humanistic ideas. With such a vision, classical Eurasianism was remarkably similar to the concurrently emerging so-called Conservative Revolution of the Weimar Republic.[23]


While Duginite neo-Eurasianism is also outspokenly ideocratic and particularistic, it has far less academic clout than classical Eurasianism, is heavily conspirological, and often simply plagiarizes ideas from international anti-Western thought.[24] Rather than developing classical Eurasianism, neo-Eurasianism is a hybrid, drawing primarily on 19th and early 20th century mystical geopolitics, the German Conservative Revolution, European National-Bolshevism, British Satanism, the French New Right, Italian neo-Fascism, Integral Traditionalism, and some other non-Russian radical intellectual as well as political movements.[25] To readers of Western anti-liberal thought, Dugin’s basic idea may thus sound familiar: World history’s basic conflict is that between collectivistic and traditionalist Eurasian land-powers (tellurocracies), on the one hand, and individualistic and liberal Atlantic sea-powers (thalassocracies), on the other. The hidden war of their contemporary leaders – Russia vs. America – is currently entering its Endkampf (final battle) and will involve a Russian domestic as well as the world’s geopolitical revolution. In Dugin’s fluctuating outlook (recently re-labelled, by him, as “the fourth political theory”[26]), the extension of “Eurasia” is less clear than in classical Eurasianism, and may also embrace other territories than the former Tsarist/Soviet empire, including continental Central and Western Europe, various Asian countries, or even entirely different parts of the world, if they decide to adhere to tellurocratic and traditional values. Both the largely Western sources of neo-Eurasianism and its geographic flexibility became major reasons that Dugin and his various organizations were well-positioned to participate not only in interconnecting the EU’s and Russia’s radically nationalist scenes, but also in linking some representatives of Putin’s regime to the Western far right.

Each of the four studies reviewed here breaks new ground in one way or another, and will become basic reading for those interested in the post-Soviet Russian extreme right. While they sometimes contain flaws in terms of conceptualization, terminology and composition, all of them are rich on empirical detail, do close process-tracing, and conduct pertinent comparisons. They complement well some older important monographs and collected volumes on post-Soviet Russian ultra-nationalism by, for instance, in chronological order, Wayne Allensworth, Peter Duncan, Stephen Shenfield, Viacheslav Likhachev, Vadim Rossman, Vladimir Shnirel’man, Thomas Parland, Anastasia Mitrofanova, Marlene Laruelle, Alexander Höllwerth, Stefan Wiederkehr, Verkhovskii, and Galina Kozhevnikova et al.[27]

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

Charles Clover, formerly Financial Times correspondent at Moscow, has produced, with his Black Wind, White Snow, a very readable descriptive survey of classical and neo-Eurasianism. His study combines results of several years of archival research, participant observation and in-depth interviews in Russia with an enviable literary talent. Clover’s gripping story of the zigzags in the development of Russian Eurasianism reads often like a novel. Based on a broad variety of primary sources (manuscripts, letter, conversations), he tells numerous revealing episodes and empirical details not yet outlined in the scholarly literature. Clover brilliantly sketches the transmutation of Eurasianism from an obscure intellectual movement among Russian emigres in interwar Europe into a major paradigm of post-Soviet international relations, intellectual discourse and political interpretation, as expressed in the name of the recently established “Eurasian Economic Union.”[28] This book is, perhaps, unique to the discipline in that it manages to be a well-written general overview of, and excellent introduction to, Eurasianism, yet also constitutes – because of the various fascinating short stories it contains – profitable reading for the specialist.

Such an outstanding text could have been brought though to its readership in a less confusing set-up. Its publication with a top university press suggests that it is an academic study – which it is not. It may have been more effective and reached a wider readership as a paperback with a major commercial publisher. Also, the book’s subtitle does not reveal the text’s focus on classical and neo-Eurasianism. Instead, it suggests that it deals with some “new” Russian nationalism while it is, in fact, about a familiar variety of the old imperial Russian tradition. “New nationalism” has been a phrase recently used, within the scholarly community, to designate non- or, at least, less expansionist Russian far right trends that are more ethnocentric, introverted, exclusive as well as partly racist – and thus often, at least, implicitly anti-Eurasian.[29] Still, Clover’s investigation stands out, because of its comprehensiveness and insights, as a major publishing event in contemporary Russian area studies.

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

The same can be said, for different reasons, about Mark Bassin’s in-depth exploration of The Gumilev Mystique. Whereas Clover sheds novel light on some already researched episodes in contemporary Russian nationalism, Bassin opens an entirely new chapter in the study of the Russian far right, with his magisterial monograph on one of the insufficiently appreciated, yet important trends in the post-Soviet history of social thought and public discourse. His book is not the first academic text on its topic,[30] but it provides the first comprehensive account of the intellectual biography, social impact, international reception and political significance of the controversial historian and self-ascribed “Eurasianist” Lev Gumilev (1912-1992), son to the famous Russian poets Nikolai Gumilev (1886-1921) and Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966). Filling a glaring gap in post-Stalinist Russian area studies, Bassin has written the definitive investigation into one of the most prolific and consequential Soviet writers on pre-modern Russian as well as Central Asian history, and Russia’s major theorist of ethnogenesis.

The classical Eurasianists referred, in the rationalization of their political theory, to social, cultural and geographical research. In contrast, Gumilev boldly mixes in his writings arguments from the humanities with questionable insights from the natural sciences, above all biology. Gumilev’s often fancy ideas and novitistic (or pseudo-innovative) concepts about the natural character of ethnoses (or ethnic groups) had and have considerable influence on the worldview of late and post-Soviet students, intellectuals and researchers, especially in such disciplines as history, anthropology, geography and international relations. His voluminous writings have contributed to the emergence of such specifically Russian social science sub-disciplines as political anthropology, civilizational studies, ethno-politology, geopolitics, and culturology.[31] After the break-up of the USSR, Gumilev’s influence has been rising constantly in spite of his fantastic assertions about the course and laws of human history.

Gumilev presents world history as a cyclical process of the birth, rise, fall and disappearance of ethnoses. Being naturally secluded groups, ethnoses enter alliances with similar other ethnic groups and form larger unions called “super-ethnoses.” At the same time, according to Gumilev, ethnoses are in constant danger of becoming “chimeras,” if they are infiltrated, subverted and eventually destroyed by alien, parasitic groups – not the least, by Jews. Most infamously, Gumilev has speculated, in pseudo-scientific fashion, about the role of cosmic energy or solar emissions (as well as resulting micro-mutations in human beings!) in the outbreak of – what he calls – “passionarity,” within ethnic groups under such impact from outer space. Passionarnost’ is, perhaps, Gumilev’s most popular ear worm frequently used in post-Soviet intellectual discourse nowadays. It means something like certain human beings’ heightened ability to absorb energy and their resulting drive towards transformative action undertaken by the passionarii (“passionarians”), on behalf of their native communities.

Bassin not only deals extensively and brilliantly with Gumilev’s quixotic theories, but outlines also the various confrontations, adaptations, interpretations and utilizations they have encountered in the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods, in- and, sometimes also, outside Russia. He deals especially revealingly with Gumilev’s various quarrels with Soviet social scientists and Russian ultra-nationalists. While both were initially rather skeptical, these two groups eventually adopted large parts of the Gumilevian conceptual framework, with this or that caveat.

Both Clover’s and Bassin’s revelations about Gumilev’s connections to the late and post-Soviet Russian elite, like the indirect link to the temporary “prime-minister” of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic Aleksandr Borodai (b. 1972), are especially fascinating.[32] Like Clover, Bassin points out the important role of Gumilev’s friendship to the last speaker of the Soviet parliament and August 1991 putsch supporter Anatolii Luk’ianov (b. 1930).[33] On the other hand, Bassin does not mention, also like Clover, the writings, role and impact of the political theorist Aleksandr Panarin (1940-2003). A once prominent professor at Moscow State University’s Faculty of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Social and Philosophical Studies of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Philosophy, Panarin was one of the few Russian experts on the French New Right, helped making, in the late 1990s, both classical and neo-Eurasianism acceptable within Russian academia, and, towards the end of this life, joined Dugin’s abortive Eurasia Party.[34]

A more general omission in Bassin’s otherwise comprehensive and flawless survey concerns Gumilev’s role in, and impact on, the post-Soviet history and social studies teaching of teenagers and students on the secondary, under-graduate and post-graduate levels. At several points, Bassin indirectly mentions the issue, for instance in connection with the new Eurasian University named after Lev Gumilev in Astana, or when pointing out that one of Gumilev’s major books – Ot Rusi k Rossii (From the Rus to Russia) – was recommended by the Ministry of Education as a text for the high school curriculum of the Russian Federation (p. 222). Yet, he does not treat Gumilev’s pedagogic influence as deeply as, for instance, the debates around Gumilev among Soviet academics. That is unfortunate for two reasons. First, the use of certain books and articles by Gumilev in universities and even high schools is presumably one of the main reasons for the surprising respect that the anti-Western, often amateurish and sometimes anti-Semitic texts of Gumilev enjoy among the Russian public. Gumilev’s high visibility and social rank distinguish him from, for instance, the also anti-Semitic writer and renowned mathematician Igor Shafarevich (b. 1923).[35] Second, there exists already a nascent sub-direction, within Russian nationalism studies, that focuses on the social impact of anti-Western and extremely right-wing ideas via post-Soviet higher education.[36] It would have been intriguing to see what relative role Gumilev’s writings play in social science and humanities curricula of various secondary and tertiary education institutions in Russia and other countries.[37]

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

The increasing relevance of the latter is illustrated by Vadim Rossman’s informative paper “Moscow State University’s Department of Sociology and the Climate of Opinion in Post-Soviet Russia” in Laruelle’s original collective volume Eurasianism and the European Far Right. Rossman deals here above all with Aleksandr Dugin’s activities at Russia’s most prestigious higher education institution – the capital’s Lomonosov University. Like almost all contributions to Laruelle’s new paper collection, Rossman’s detailed chapter deals with a hitherto largely neglected, yet important new topic in post-Soviet studies.

Laruelle contextualizes her collected volume’s purpose in an introductory essay called “Dangerous Liaisons: Eurasianism, the European Far Right, and Putin’s Russia.” The book’s empirical part starts with Anton Shekhovtsov’s outline of the beginnings of Dugin’s relationship to the West European New Right in 1989-1994 and ends with Shekhovtsov’s report on Western far right election observation missions in the service of the Kremlin. Jean-Ives Camus illustrates Dugin’s close relationship to France. Giovanni Savino revealingly surveys Dugin’s various connections in Italy. Nicolas Lebourg outlines the “difficult establishment of neo-Eurasianism in Spain.” Vügar İmanbeyli sketches the fascinating rise and temporary fall of Dugin’s networks in Turkey. Umut Korkut and Emel Akçali provide glimpses into Hungary’s flirtation with Eurasianism. Sofia Tipaldou details the Greek Golden Dawn’s transnational links.

Post-Soviet Neo-Eurasianism, the Putin System, and the Contemporary European Extreme Right

Laruelle’s edited volume is best read in combination with Anton Shekhovtsov’s forthcoming study Russia and the Western Far Right.[38] This voluminous monograph deals not only with post-Soviet affairs, but also the Soviet period – namely the 1920s and 1950s when the Kremlin already had some secret contacts with West European right-wing extremists. While Laruelle’s volume details primarily connections between Russia’s extremely anti-Western Eurasianists and the Western far right, the principal focus of Shekhovtsov’s volume is the paradoxical collaboration of the Soviet and Putin regimes with various Western ultra-nationalists, and especially, during the last years, with those in Austria, Italy and France. While Moscow was after World War II and today still is loudly “anti-fascist,” it has – in a variety of situations – not hesitated to contact, support and utilize extremely right-wing extremists for various foreign and domestic purposes. Recently, this has included employing far-right commentators for propaganda and disinformation purposes in Kremlin-controlled mass media, or engaging Western fringe politicians as guests to manipulated elections in the role of foreign observers who legitimize, for Russia’s domestic audience, engineered polls, including pseudo-referenda, with affirmative public statements.

Shekhovtsov underlines the motivational ambivalence of the intensifying collaboration of the Kremlin with the Western far right – a dualism that reflects the Janus-like character of Putin’s cynical and postmodern, yet also sometimes fanatical and archaic regime. On the one hand, Moscow behaves pragmatically when, in its capacity as a kleptocracy, it tries to establish as many as possible links to influential Western mainstream politicians and businesspeople, without regard to their political views or ideologies. The Kremlin only turns to various radicals in the West to the degree that it cannot build close relationships within the establishment in the respective countries, and when it can instead get access – sometimes via middlemen like Dugin – to alternative political circles. Moscow then also supports these often populist and nationalist forces as its allies and as troublemakers in the EU and Atlantic alliance.

On the other hand, however, Moscow’s growing international isolation and intensifying contacts with the far right, within and outside Russia, are also ideologically driven, and feed back into the self-definition of the regime. As an autocracy in need of  consolidation, Putin’s regime is being naturally drawn – both domestically and internationally – to groups whose ideologies support illiberal policies and undemocratic practices. The far right groups, in turn, profit from public alignment to the world’s territorially largest country and a nuclear superpower. The result have been, as Shekhovtsov outlines, constantly deepening relationships between Russian officials and Western far right activists since the mid-2000s.

One reason that Russian society, in spite of its deep-seated anti-fascism, accepts the growing interpenetration between the far right and Russian government is the spread, authority and discourse of neo-Eurasianism. Some elements of this pan-national, yet also ethno-centrist ideology of radical anti-Westernism – above all, its Russian exceptionalism and geopolitical Manicheanism – have made deep inroads into Russian intellectual life, higher education and mass media, over the last 25 years, i.e. already before Putin came to power in summer 1999.[39] The idea that Russia is a civilization that is not only separate, but also opposed to the West has today approached something close to cultural hegemony in Russian society. Dugin – who entered Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list in 2014[40] – has played his role in that war for the minds of the Russians.[41] Yet his impact is, as Shekhovtsov indicated elsewhere,[42] sometimes overestimated, while that of Gumilev is, as Clover’s and Bassin’s studies illustrate, not sufficiently appreciated, in the West.

To be sure, Gumilev died shortly after the break-up of the Soviet Union whereas Dugin then only began his political career by way of making far right acquaintances in the West, and impressing his Russian fellow ultra-nationalists with ideas and concepts borrowed from abroad. Although Dugin is today a member of Russia’s establishment, he remains nevertheless an odd figure, because of, among other eccentric announcements, the explicitly pro-Nazi positions he voiced in the 1990s, when still being part of, and mainly addressing, Russia’s lunatic fringe.[43] In contrast, Gumilev’s post-mortem acclaim and the enormous print-runs of his books developed against the background of his broad acceptance as one of Russia’s major historic thinkers of the 20th century. Moreover, as Bassin notes, “[c]ontemporary theoreticians of the European New Right such as [two of Dugin’s major interlocutors in the West] Alain de Benoist [b. 1943] and Robert Steuker [b. 1956] are well aware of Gumilev’s ethnos theory and clearly appreciate its resonance with their own views […].” (p. 313)


Clover’s and Bassin’s deep explorations of Eurasianism, Gumilev and neo-Eurasianism highlight some of the historical-ideational background of the Putin regime’s turn to the right after Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004.[44] Laruelle’s and Shekhovtov’s volumes detail various expressions, mechanisms and implications of this momentous shift. These four books illustrate that – at least, in the context of research into Russian intellectual life, party politics, public discourse and foreign policy – investigations into contemporary far right ideas and actors are not any longer a niche activity within political science. Rather, Russian right-wing extremism has become a topic central to the study of post-Soviet domestic politics, international relations, and security affairs.



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Leonid Luks and Jeffrey C. Isaac provided useful feedback on a draft of this article. It was first published in Perspectives on Politics.


[1] Rossiiskaia gazeta, 18 June 2014, (accessed December 7th, 2016).

[2] Mudde 2016.

[3] E.g.: Mudde 2005; Minkenberg 2010, 2015.

[4] Umland 2015.

[5] Minkenberg 2017.

[6] Umland 2009d.

[7] Some of the main tenured scholars in the field were or are John B. Dunlop (Hoover Institution), Alexander Yanov (City University of New York), Valerii Solovei (MGIMO), Pal Kolsto (University of Oslo), Peter J.S. Duncan (University College London), Stephen Hanson (College of William & Mary), Veljko Vujačić (European University of St. Petersburg) and Mark Bassin (Södertörn University at Stockholm).

[8] See, among other publications: Lariuel’ 2004, 2007a, 2007b, 2009a, 2009b, 2009c, 2009d, 2015; Laruelle 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009b, 2009c, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016a, 2016b; Kozhevnikova, Shekhovtsov & Verkhovskii 2009; Mikhailovskaia, Pribylovskii & Verkhovskii 1998, 1999; Papp, Pribylovskii & Verkhovskii 1996; Pribylovskii & Verkhovskii 1995 & 1997; Verkhovskii 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014; Verkhovsky 2000, 2002; Pribylovskii 1995a, 1995b, 1995c; Likhachev & Pribylovskii 2005.

[9] Arnold 2010; Umland 2012.

[10] For a while, the Chair for Central and East European Contemporary History of the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt in Bavaria focused, under Professor Leonid Luks, on the study of, and publishing about, Russian radical right-wing tendencies. During the last years, it produced, among other publications of such kind, eleven special issues of the Russian-language journal Forum for Contemporary East European History and Culture, on pre-revolutionary, Soviet and post-Soviet anti-Westernism (Antizapadnye… 2009-2015). Yet, this Eichstaett Chair was closed in summer 2014.

[11] Important recent monographs or collected volumes not included in this review are, in alphabetical order: Arnold 2016; Bassin et al. 2015; Bassin & Suslov 2016; Blakkisrud & Kolsto 2016; Brown & Sheiko 2014; Griffiths 2017; Kriza 2014; Ostbo 2015; Suslov 2016; Verkhovskii 2014; and Zakharov 2015.

[12] Aslund 2013. Some recently leaked telephone conversation records demonstrate that Glaz’ev played a central role in organizing secessionist unrest in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, as well as in preparing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in February-March 2014. See Umland 2016. Glaz’ev is linked to Russia’s extreme right via – among other connections – the Izborsk Club of rabidly anti-Western intellectuals. See Laruelle 2016b.

[13] Various illustrations may be found in the above and below listed texts, and in, among others: Arnold & Romanova 2013; Gorenburg, Pain & Umland 2012a, 2012b; Hagemeister 2004; Mathyl 2000, 2011; Mey 2004; Moroz 2005; Rogachevskii 2004; Stepanov 2011; Torbakov 2015; Umland 2002a, 2002b, 2006, 2008, 2009b.

[14] Umland 1997. See also Umland 2002b.

[15] E.g. Motyl 2016. For a critique of Motyl’s earlier similar statements, see, among others, Umland 2009d, 2015.

[16] On how to define and interpret fascism, see the extensive discussion by various comparativists and further references in: Griffin et al. 2006.

[17] Dawisha 2014; Hale 2015; Gel’man 2016.

[18] See, for instance, on Putin’s rediscovery of the Russian proto-fascist émigré thinker Ivan Il’in (1883-1954): Barbashin & Thoburn 2015; Snyder 2016.

[19] E.g. Eltchaninoff 2016.

[20] Bassin et al. 2015; Lariul’ 2004; Laruelle 2008a; Liuks 2009a; Schlacks & Vinkovetsky 1996; Shnirel’man 1996; Wiederkehr 2007.

[21] Viderker 2010.

[22] Some of them, to be sure, after participating in its formulation, later retracted from Eurasianism – perhaps, most explicitly so Georgii Florovskii in his 1928 essay “The Eurasian Seduction” in Sovremennye zapiski 34: 312-346. I am grateful to Leonid Luks for pointing this out to me.

[23] Baissvenger 2009; Liuks 2009b; Luks 1986. Although both intellectual movements were developing at the same time in inter-war continental Europe, there was only little interaction between them.

[24] Among the early treatments of Dugin in Western languages were: Allensworth 1998; Hielscher 1992, 1993a, 1993b; Laqueur 1993; Mathyl 1997/1998; Tsygankov 1998; Umland 1995; Yanov 1995.

[25] Griffin et al. 2006; Höllwerth 2007, 2010; Ingram 2001; Lariul’ 2009c; Laruelle 2006, 2008a, 2015; Luks 2000, 2002, 2004; Sedgwick 2004; Senderov 2009a, 2009b; Shekhovtsov 2009a, 2009b; Shekhovtsov & Umland 2009; Sokolov 2010a, 2010b; Umland 2004, 2009a, 2009e, 2014; Vafin 2010.

[26] Cucută 2015.

[27] In order of their publication: Allensworth 1998; Duncan 2000; Shenfield 2001; Likhachev 2002; Rossman 2002; Shnirel’man 2004; Parland 2005; Mitrofanova 2005; Laruelle 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009c, 2012; Höllwerth 2007; Wiederkehr 2007; Verkhovskii 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014; Kozhevnikova et al. 2009.

[28] On the distinction between Dugin’s and Putin’s Eurasianisms, see Umland 2014.

[29] Laruelle 2010; Blakkisrud & Kolsto 2016.

[30] E.g.: Ignatow 2002; Kochanek 1998; Lariul’ 2009b; Naarden 1996; Shnirel’man 2009; Shnirelman & Panarin 2001; Viderker 2012.

[31] Scherrer 2002.

[32] On the context of Borodai’s activities in Eastern Ukraine, see Mitrokhin 2015; Laruelle 2016a.

[33] On the context of Gumilev’s friendship with Luk’ianov, see O’Connor 2006.

[34] Lariul’ 2009d; Ostbo 2015, 112; Peunova 2009; Tsygankov 2013.

[35] On Shafarevich, see Dunlop 1994; Znamenski 1996; Horvath 1998; Berglund 2002.

[36] E.g.: Tsygankov 1998; Scherrer 2002; Müller 2008; Sokolov 2010; Miuller & Trotsuk 2011; Sainakov & Iablokov 2011; Umland 2011; Mäkinen 2014.

[37] Clover deals in his book with Dugin’s lectures at the Russian General Staff Academy already in the 1990s, i.e. before Dugin entered Russia’s political establishment and “systemic radical right.” On the distinction between the systemic and non-systemic radical right under Putin, see Arnold & Umland 2017.

[38] Published within the “Fascism & the Far Right” book series edited by Nigel Copsey and Graham Macklin. See also Khokk 2015 and Polyakova et al. 2016.

[39] Dunlop 2010; Höllwerth 2010; Laruelle 2004, 2009b; Mathyl 2002, 2003; Mitrofanova 2005, 2009; Pakhlevsa 2011a, 2011b; Parland 2005; Shekhovtsov 2009a, 2014; Stepanov 2009; Umland 2002a, 2009c, 2010;

[40] Above-mentioned Aleksandr Borodai – a disciple of Gumilev – also made it, along with Putin, into this list’s Agitators section. See “A World Disrupted: The Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.” Foreign Policy. (accessed December 7th, 2016).

[41] Yanov 1995.

[42] Shekhovtsov 2014.

[43] Umland 2006, 2009e. See also Khel’vert 2013.

[44] Horvath 2012.



Andreas Umland

Andreas Umland, Dr.Phil. (FU Berlin), Ph.D. (Cambridge), is a Research Fellow at the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Senior Expert at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future in Kyiv, and Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He has held fellow- & lectureships at Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, Urals State University, Shevchenko University of Kyiv, and Catholic University of Eichstaett. He is also General Editor of the book series "Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society" ( and on the Boards of Directors of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies (, Boris Nemtsov Academic Center for the Study of Russia ( as well as German-Ukrainian NGO "Kyiv Dialogue" (

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