It has become rather apparent that Vladimir Putin sees himself as some vast historical figure in Russian history, and that his plans for the federation go far beyond the borders that exist today.
His invasion of Ukraine was a prime indicator of this wild new belligerence, as the Russian dictator seemed to justify this military action by suggesting that Ukraine should never have been allowed to leave Soviet or Russian control in the first place.
Now, with a sweeping new foreign policy doctrine set to take effect, Putin may have just given himself carte blanche to continue Russia’s illegal expansion.
The 31-page “humanitarian policy”, published more than six months into the war in Ukraine, says Russia should “protect, safeguard and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian World”.
While presented as a kind of soft power strategy, it enshrines in official policy ideas around Russian politics and religion that some hardliners have used to justify Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine and support for breakaway pro-Russian entities in the east of the country.Trending:
“The Russian Federation provides support to its compatriots living abroad in the fulfilment of their rights, to ensure the protection of their interests and the preservation of their Russian cultural identity,” the policy said.
It said that Russia’s ties with its compatriots abroad allowed it to “strengthen on the international stage its image as a democratic country striving for the creating of a multi-polar world.”
Putin has for years been highlighting what he sees as the tragic fate of some 25 million ethnic Russians who found themselves living outside Russia in newly independent states when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an event he has called a geopolitical catastrophe.
The doctrine is not unlike the sentiment that saw Hitler look to expand the boundaries of Germany to include lands in which so-called “ethnic Germans” lived, in Austria and elsewhere.