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#Russia’s brand of exceptionalism is not messianic. It is rooted in the isolation of an Orthodox country and its belief that it possesses the gift of a true religious faith, writes @DmitriTrenin in this look at Russia’s changing identity.
Russia’s position in the global system has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. These changes have impacted on Russia’s identity, altered its borders, redefined its sense of nationhood, and produced a worldview wholly different from the tradition of the past 3 centuries.
Russian Federation started as a country that longed to join the democratic liberal order led by the US. It aspired to Western integration, including with NATO & EU. This effort failed due to the refusal of Putin & the Russian elites to give up their country’s global ambitions.
Moscow’s current confrontation with the U.S. is rooted in the clash between Russian views on what constitutes the Russian national interest & on how the world should be organized, & the U.S. ambition of global leadership & the principles & rules of the U.S.-led world order.
What is emerging almost 3 decades since the end of the USSR is a Russia that for the first time is largely Russian, not only ethnically and religiously, but also geopolitically. It has no empire to maintain or win back. It no longer seeks to become “part of Europe.”
Placed under Western sanctions, Russia is not embracing political isolation or economic autarky, but is redefining its position and role in the world.
In a world which, to Russia, offers only integration at the global level (which is also the only one that Russia feels ready to accept), Russia is free to pursue interests as a world-class independent player, a true Global Russia. carnegie.ru/commentary/795…
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