The BBC has reported that, at the G20 summit, Russia's president Vladimir Putin remarked that liberalism is obsolete. Which should be no surprise to anyone. The curious part of this criticism of western 'liberalism' is that Putin's disapproval of 'multiculturalism' seems a double edged sword, and I'd like to know how Russians understand this sentiment.

In the West disapproval of migration from Muslim regions is common, as well as a general anxiety about Islamic culture. There's a fear of parallel Islamic legal systems and regions developing within western nations. However, Russia has a significant minority of Muslims, and Russia's security apparatus seems to rely upon Muslim autonomy in places like Chechnya.

The implication from a critique of multiculturalism seems that ideally Russia should have less regional autonomy and less Muslims. Which might be something of a dangerous logic given the bloody history of the Caucuses.

This impression comes from Putin's 2016 claim that Lenin created a federalist "time bomb" under the Russian state. Though this claim seems untrue, federalism was Stalin's idea in opposition of Lenin's preference for a unitary Soviet state.

How do Russians, especially Russian Muslims in regions where they are allowed to practice a different culture from that of Russia's Christians (multiculturalism), perceive Putin's disapproval of multiculturalism in the West?

EDIT: The context is Chechnya. Putin has appointed Ramzan Kadyrov to power in Chechnya. Consequently law in Chechnya has become Islamist and is neither secular nor Christian (Russian). Putin relies upon Kadyrov to maintain security in Chechnya, but in doing so he is promoting multiculturalism within Russia. Those European parties who hate multiculturalism want to prevent this.

From St. Petersberg Times, Issue #1453 (15), Tuesday, March 3, 2009:

GROZNY — The bull-necked president of Chechnya emerged from afternoon prayers at the mosque and with chilling composure explained why seven young women who had been shot in the head deserved to die.

Ramzan Kadyrov said the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honor killings.

Kadyrov has also forced women to wear headscarves.

Imagine if Germany's PEGIDA appointed an Islamist to rule Bavaria under Sharia law... and then claimed they are against multiculturalism. The party would implode. Chechnya has always been majority Muslim, but it hasn't always been theocratic, and its becoming theocratic is a new phenomenon. This suggests the move towards theocracy isn't inevitable and is a choice in favour of multiculturalism.

Answers can be evidenced by opinions presented in Russian surveys or media.

  • 5
    Why the down-vote? This is a legitimately good question. – LogicalBranch Jun 28 at 13:20
  • 1
    He’s expressed similar sentiments for a while: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/36422/… – Andrew Grimm Jun 29 at 1:18
  • 1
    I have problems understanding the question. Why should Russian Muslims understand Putin's critic of multiculturalism any different from anyone else? Putin probably just wanted to express his view that all Russians should all be very Russian, for a particular definition of Russian. Did I misunderstand him? – Trilarion Aug 8 at 20:49
  • @Trilarion I don't know how they understand his statements, especially when considered as part of a broader view of Russia as an indivisibly Christian and unitary state. While on the other hand promoting multiculturalism regarding republics like Chechnya, even though he seems to disapprove of the very concept of a federal system. – inappropriateCode Aug 9 at 8:09

To start with, western multiculturalism has less similar with Russian, that it tends to be. What are the roots of western multiculturalism? It starts in later 80th, in times of deepening EU integration. Theory claims, that all European nations should melt together (like in the US), to provide some mixed European. The main point we should mark here - multiculturalism was about integration of unrelated(or barely related) nations inside some structure.

In Russia, integration between nations inside one state can be watched through all history, mainly from 15 century - when, in times of Ivan IV, Russia increased in size in 16 times. Huge territories were joined, but there was one big, I think, principal difference from the west - Russia does not eliminate natives. It has just joined them, saving their culture and language. Till now, in many republics, native languages are used along with russian. From those times all live together, and fight together in endless wars - with western and eastern invaders.

You main cry here "oo, Crimean tatars repressions!". And that really took place. After wide support from crimean tatars to nazis, during WW2, there were repressions. Nazis tried to pick small nations and to use them against the Soviet Union, and sometimes, they succeeds. Crimean tatars and ukrainian nazis are bright examples. But, till, the repressions took place, yes. That was one! fact in about 1000 years history. I'll point another time - main difference in state structures between Russia and the west is, that Russia does not eliminate natives. We(yes, I'm from Russia, as you can read in my profile) have more than 100 nations (and their population even grow), which have their culture and languages. The only barely western example I can find - Latin America. They integrated some natives, and not eliminating all of them (like in Northern America).

Of course, Russia also have problems and even, sometimes, xenophoby inside, but (you may here doesn't agree with me, and I'll understand it, I'm not very common to this terms), it is not about multiculturalism. It is, in fact, about snobism. For example, in Germany, ossi's doesn't like wessi's. And in US (I heard and not sure, really), some people from norhtern states doesn't like people from southern states.

What (I think), Putin want to point in multiculturalism - what is bad - it is an eliminating of cultures, and unequal rights to migrants and citizens. That point fertilizes ground for PEGIDA in Germany and other such parties - it is just a reaction of nation to intruders, which have priveleges over common citizens. THAT was main point.

Maybe, this blogger article (which links to media articles) https://cont.ws/@crimsonalter/1372457 , may describe situation more strictly.

  • 10
    I don't see how this answers the question. – Bregalad Jul 2 at 6:51
  • Why? I described what is the difference and described point of speech, related to multiculturalism. Also, I described Russian version of "multiculturalism" - as I understand it – user2501323 Jul 2 at 7:03
  • To add few more points: if you add a link, do add some relevant quotes from said link pls and you also have not mentioned at all gender identity. – mario mario Jul 2 at 8:32
  • 1
    Comments deleted. Please keep the comments relevant to the question at hand. You can discuss whether or not this answer correctly represents the Russians and especially Russian Muslims views (as asked for in the question), but not whether or not it represents your personal views. Personal views of community members are off-topic on this website. – Philipp Jul 2 at 10:49

protected by Philipp Jul 2 at 12:35

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.