Why do most Russians support their current President Vladimir Putin in his fight against the West, even in his aggression against Ukraine?

Of course, the main merit in this belongs to the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. Putin’s ideologists were able to inspire the majority of Russians with the thoughts they needed, and for this they had good source material.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost its leading political position on the world stage and lost the palm to the United States and China. In addition, the collapse of established business ties in the Soviet Union led to an economic crisis. For a whole decade, throughout the 90s, the economy of Russia and the Union republics was in collapse and was recovering with great difficulty. During this time, there has been a strong conviction all over the world and even in Russia itself that Russia is economically incapable, that it cannot produce competitive products. For example, there are no well-known Russian brands in the world, neither in the automotive industry, nor in electronics, nor in clothing, etc. Russia has turned into a backward country that only provides the world’s economies with raw materials. The Russians themselves disdain their own products and prefer to buy everything imported: European, Japanese, American, and domestic products are considered low-quality and not prestigious. This state of affairs lasted for decades and accumulated an inferiority complex in the collective consciousness of Russians. Although many Russians got rich selling oil, gas, metals and other raw materials, they felt intellectually and culturally flawed. During the period of perturbations, wealth often goes to not the most educated people. The Nouveau riche broke out into the world, but did not have time to grow spiritually in a few years. In many countries, there is an impression of Russians as ill-mannered people. Russian Russians even had such a concept as a “hotel without Russians”, where tourists from Western countries preferred to relax outside the company of drinking, noisy and arrogant “Russians”.

And such an attitude of the surrounding world naturally caused irritation and a response from many Russians. It is especially humiliating if you were taught from school that your country is a great power and defeated the Mongol-Tatars, Napoleon, Hitler, and kept the whole world in fear. Accordingly, in addition to lack of culture, aggressiveness and belligerence were added to the behavior of Russians. If you can’t win the respect of others with your status, wealth, culture and intelligence, then the only way left is to gain respect by force. This is the train of thought of an ordinary poorly educated person looking for easy ways, which is easier not to study, not to increase their intelligence, but to force and fists to cause, as it seems to him, respect, but in fact the fear of others.

This is the mood that began to prevail in Russia at the beginning of the two thousand tenths, and here a lot depended on the leader of society. He could turn public opinion either one way or the other. Putin has caught the inferiority complex of Russians and their revanchist moods. If he were a liberal and enlightened leader, he could direct these sentiments in a constructive direction, introduce the idea of hard work for the prosperity of his country, give freedom of thought and creativity, and activate entrepreneurship. However, he chose an easier and more profitable path for himself: he preferred to encourage the idea of the former greatness of Russia and the need for revenge, threw the thesis of “rising from his knees” on fertile ground, introduced such slogans as: “If necessary, we will repeat it”, “We will show them”, “We will arrange for them” and so on. These are slogans of aggressiveness, belligerence and attempts to gain respect from others by force.

That’s how the easy and fast path to world leadership through militarism and aggression intoxicated Russians and prevailed over most of Russia, becoming its national idea.

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