June 1, 2014

Why Putin Says Russia Is Exceptional

Leon Aron, Wall Street Journal

The Associated Press

Mr. Putin's recent rhetoric harks back to Russia's two most reactionary rulers: the 19th-century czars Nicholas I and his grandson, Alexander III. These are the sovereigns who made Russia's secret political police a key state institution, with Alexander giving it virtually unlimited powers by declaring, in effect, a perennial state of emergency. At the same time, Russia's allegedly distinctive identity was crystallized in the official state ideology of "Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality." With minor linguistic adjustments, this slogan of Nicholas I and Alexander III seems now to have been adopted by Mr. Putin.

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TAGGED: Ukraine, Russia, Vladimir Putin

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