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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Putin's Rejection of the West, in Writing

Russia is drafting an official policy document rejecting the European path and Western values. The West should not respond with rejection of its own.
Tolerance is for wimps. Photographer: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
Tolerance is for wimps. Photographer: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

What kind of country is Vladimir Putin's Russia? The third year of his third presidential term has offered plenty of clues: the Crimea invasion, the shuttering of uncensored media outlets, prison terms for protesters. Now, Putin is planning to put the intellectual and ideological foundations of the new regime into words.

A document called "Foundations of the State Cultural Policy" has been under development since 2012. A special working group under Putin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov will soon roll it out for a month of "public debate" before Putin gets to sign it. Quotes from the culture ministry's draft, presumably the basis for the final one, have leaked out.