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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ilin Putin’s Favorite Philosopher Because of Their Common Obsession that Russia Could Fall Apart

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 2 – Ivan Ilin, whose words Vladimir Putin cited most recently in his speech on the annexation of four Ukrainian territories, has often been identified as the Kremlin leader’s favorite philosopher, but typically, analysts have suggested that his admiration for the Russian philosopher is rooted in Ilin’s admiration for fascism as a political system.

            But Vladimir Marchenko, the political observer for Kazan’s Business Online portal, argues that the real reason Putin admires the Russian political philosopher is their shared obsession with the risk that Russia could disintegrate and their commitment to do whatever it takes to prevent that (

            To the extent the Kazan commentator is correct, Putin’s belief in authoritarianism like Ilin’s is not primary but rather a reflection of these fears, something that sets both men apart from other Russian thinkers who have flirted with fascism and explains why Putin is committed to overcoming divisions in Russia even by force to prevent disintegration.

            (For discussions on Putin’s longstanding interest in Ilin and the philosopher’s influence on him, see,, and

Window on Eurasia — New Series

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