I know he's no lefty on social issues and foreign policy, but coming from the Soviet Union, is Vladimir Putin known to support economic concepts that are more inline with the left?

Has Putin been supportive of the brand of communism found in the Soviet Union?

If he hasn't, has he been supportive of other forms of communism?

Of either of the above; would this support extend to forms of Socialism?

Additionally; what is Putin's position on things like Globalism and Neo-Liberalism and Free Trade; and if he's for Free Trade, has he ever come out in one form or another, against the Anti-Protectionism vows that world leaders have been doing?

  • 1
    You need to provide something to evaluate. Could you provide a specific policy that you are interested in? Also - whose left? Russia's left? May 6, 2017 at 1:08
  • 3
    What reason do you have to think he might?
    – J Doe
    May 6, 2017 at 1:22
  • 2
    He grew up in the Soviet Union; he's not afraid to implement Protectionist policies.
    – Tirous
    May 6, 2017 at 1:25
  • 8
    Putin is a crony capitalist and has shown little affinity for socialism during his tenure as head of Russia.
    – Colin
    May 6, 2017 at 6:00
  • 2
    I recall him saying stuff like "someone who does not miss the soviet union has no heart, someone who wants to restore it has no brain ". It looks like a nostalgy for its power more than for its ideals. May 6, 2017 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


Yes, he likes them as ideas as per his own statements (which leaves open the question of whether his policies and actions reflect said stated beliefs). According to the Newsweek 2016 article "RUSSIA'S PUTIN: I'VE ALWAYS LIKED COMMUNIST AND SOCIALIST 'IDEAS'", quoting his remarks from a speech at a meeting with members of the All-Russia People’s Front in Stavropol, Russia, January 25 2017:

“You know that I, like millions of Soviet citizens, over 20 million, was a member of the Communist Party of the USSR and not only was I a member of the party but I worked for almost 20 years for an organization called the Committee for State Security,” Putin said, referring to the KGB.

“I was not, as you know, a party member by necessity,” he said. “I liked Communist and socialist ideas very much and I like them still.”

In his speech, Putin insisted he was never just a “functionary” when it came to party matters and said the Moral Code of the Builder of Communism—a set of rules to be followed by all party members—“resembles the Bible a lot."

Additionally, political-economically, he sounds like a typical economically left democratic socialist rather than Leninist:

We need business to understand its social responsibility, that the main task and objective for a business is not to generate extra income and to become rich and transfer the money abroad, but to look and evaluate what a businessman has done for the country, for the people, on whose account he or she has become so rich. (source)

We still have a great amount of work to do in social development, including resolving one of the biggest challenges we face in this area, namely, reducing the gap between high-income earners and people, citizens of our country, who are still living on very modest means indeed. But we cannot, of course, adopt the solution used 80 years ago and simply confiscate the riches of some to redistribute among others. We will use completely different means to resolve this problem, namely, we will ensure good economic growth (source).

Politically, he's on record criticizing Stalinism as well as Lenin; and stated:

People in Russia say that those who do not regret the collapse of the Soviet Union have no heart, and those that do regret it have no brain. We do not regret this, we simply state the fact and know that we need to look ahead, not backwards. We will not allow the past to drag us down and stop us from moving ahead. We understand where we should move. But we must act based on a clear understanding of what happened. (Interview with German television channel ARD and ZDF, May 2005, Wikipedia sites non-existent-now Kremlin.ru page)

and praising democracy, including in Russia:

The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that. And it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. That's why America was conceived as a fundamental democracy. (source)


Russia has made its choice in favor of democracy. Fourteen years ago, independently, without any pressure from outside, it made that decision in the interests of itself and interests of its people — of its citizens. This is our final choice, and we have no way back. There can be no return to what we used to have before. And the guarantee for this is the choice of the Russian people, themselves. No, guarantees from outside cannot be provided. This is impossible. It would be impossible for Russia today. Any kind of turn towards totalitarianism for Russia would be impossible, due to the condition of the Russian society. (press conference with Bush, 2005)

  • Well researched. Maybe you could better show the difference between liking some of the ideas and preferring socialism or communism as an ideology, which he does not.
    – Ondrej
    May 11, 2017 at 5:08
  • 1
    Disagree that he likes left ideas. All economics government in Russia consists of market liberals. Head of CB Nabibulina, placed by Putin, is market liberal. Putin is against progressive tax, Putin's close friends are oligarchs. Putin've not been seen with lefts. He may start "liking" left ideas of "concentrating state resources for the purpose of accomplish most critical tasks" now, when economics growth is low and he needs to keep control. But i believe the truth is he is agnostic. Anything that leads to personal power is good. Now "concentrating state resources" is good since state is him.
    – dzu vog
    Jul 6, 2017 at 22:59
  • 2
    @dzuvog - Putin's close friends are oligarchs... which proves that he's a ruler. That is always the case, regardless of which economic system one has - party bosses lived like oligarchs before 1992; and boyars lived like that before then.
    – user4012
    Jul 6, 2017 at 23:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .