Friday, March 27, 2015

Nicolai N. Petro — Russia's Orthodox Soft Power

For many analysts the term Russky mir, or Russian World, epitomizes an expansionist and messianic Russian foreign policy, the perverse intersection of the interests of the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Little noted is that the term actually means something quite different for each party. For the state it is a tool for expanding Russia's cultural and political influence, while for the Russian Orthodox Church it is a spiritual concept, a reminder that through the baptism of Rus, God consecrated these people to the task of building a Holy Rus.
The close symphonic relationship between the Orthodox Church and state in Russia thus provides Russian foreign policy with a definable moral framework, one that, given its popularity, is likely to continue to shape the country's policies well into the future.....
It's not possible to understand current events involving Russia, Russians, and Russophones in other countries without understanding the significant of the concept of Russky mir. Otherwise it is just projection. Religious people of the West were praying for the conversion of Russia. Well, they got it and now will have to deal with it.

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
Russia's Orthodox Soft Power
Nicolai N. Petro | Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island

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