The Propagandist Dugin, the Satanization of the West and the Apology of Russian Imperialism
In this brief analysis, written at a time when Putin’s troops are persistently shelling civilian facilities in Kyiv, we will take a look at Dugin’s ideological and propaganda activities following Russia’s military “special operation”, recalling his propaganda activities and messages from the “Eurasian” mission in Macedonia in 2018
Author: Žarko Trajanoski, media analyst
Aleksandr Dugin, the ideologue of the “Eurasian movement” and one of the most agile military agitators and propagandists after the Russian aggression in Ukraine, is known to the Macedonian public since his guest appearance on the “Milenko Nedelkovski Show” in 2015.
On this occasion, his host, who had the opportunity to read an article by Dugin promoting the common struggle of Christians and Muslims against the Antichrist, directly asked him, “Who is the Antichrist?” Dugin explicitly replies that “the Antichrist is the United States,” accusing it of being a materialistic civilization and of “sowing blood, evil, and meanness.” In the same “Milenko Nedelkovski Show” from December 2015, Dugin announced the collapse of liberalism, which would lead to the collapse of the EU, and “prophetically” indicated that “war is inevitable, a real great war.” Dugin also described the “maximum on the Russian perimeter” of action aimed at “liberating Russia’s three most important shrines – Kyiv, Constantinople, Jerusalem” – pointing out that Kyiv is “the capital of the Russian world“, Constantinople – the capital of Orthodoxy, and Jerusalem – the world capital.
In this brief analysis, written at a time when Putin’s troops are persistently shelling civilian facilities in Kyiv, we will look at Dugin’s ideological and propaganda activities following Russia’s military “special operation”, recalling his propaganda activities and messages from the “Eurasian” mission in Macedonia in 2018.
Dugin’s Satanization of Ukraine, Zelensky and the West
Aleksandr Dugin is trying to justify Russian aggression against Ukraine using a wide range of propaganda techniques, narratives and media messages. One of the techniques he uses is a deification of the cause (Russia and the “special operation” in Ukraine) and satanization of the opponent (Ukrainian state and the West), i.e. slandering the opponent as a “devil”. For example, on March 13, 2022, the popular right-wing and pro-Putin portal Infomax published a column (republishing t from the Free Globe) in which Dugin sent a frightening message that Russia’s war against Ukraine was a war against the devil himself, who wanted to destroy humanity and turn humans into robots and mutants:
The real war is not against Ukraine, but against the World Economic Forum and its infernal plans to destroy humanity by legalizing all kinds of perversions, sins and crimes and ultimately turning people into robots and mutants and transferring the power of artificial intelligence. We are dealing with the devil himself, Dugin wrote.
The message that Russia is “dealing with the devil itself” is not surprising to those familiar with Dugin’s propaganda. In his books, Dugin preaches that Russia is on the periphery of the “devil’s city” propagating a “revolution against the postmodern world” (Political Platonism, Philosophy of Politics, 2019). Dugin also describes globalization (centered on the United States) as the “kingdom of the Antichrist” and unipolarity as evil in his Fourth Political Theory. In Dugin’s bipolar interpretations, as opposed to evil and the “Antichrist” is Moscow – as the “Third Rome”, as protection from the Antichrist or the Orthodox “fortress” (Katechon). It is interesting to note that Dugin not only satanizes Ukraine and the West but also Russia itself, which he claims was created by the devil in the 1990s as “anti-Russia.”
Dugin justifies Putin’s “special operation” as severing ties with the “devilish” West, as the beginning of “the last battle of light and darkness, us and them, Eurasia and the Atlantic.” The battle with the “devil”, according to Dugin, is not only against Ukraine and the West but also against the fifth column satanized as a “devil’s layer in Russian society.”
When he uses the propaganda technique of Satanization, Dugin does not only denigrates certain countries (such as Ukraine or the United States), but also specific individuals in power. For example, immediately after Zelensky’s victory in the 2019 Ukrainian elections, Dugin wrote on his Facebook profile that “the devil has won the Ukrainian elections” and that “the real disintegration of Ukraine begins right now.”
Dugin’s apologia for the Russian imperialism: “Empire strikes back”?
The day before the Russian military aggression on Ukraine, Aleksandr Dugin announced the beginning of “Russian Eurasian mobilization” with the propaganda slogan “New Russia is the territory of the future.” Speaking in the first person plural, on behalf of the people, Dugin declared that “We are the people of the empire.” In contrast to “Glory to Ukraine”, Dugin’s slogan is “Glory to New Russia”, an expression accepted by the Tsargrad movement. For Dugin, Putin’s recognition of the “republics” in Ukraine marked “the second beginning of the great Slavic reconquest.”
On March 12, 2022, Dugin was a guest on the TV show with the most popular Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyev, who introduced him as “the leader of the international Eurasian movement.” In his famous propaganda style, Soloviev concluded that the West had set itself the task of destroying – not so much Russia, but the Russian people, the Russian culture, the very spirit of Russian civilization. In his “philosophical” monologue, Dugin followed up on Solovyev’s “official” propaganda myths, while in the background of the conversation, the Russian military machinery in action was advertised. According to Dugin, Russia’s “special operation” would allow it to be regarded as a serious player on the geopolitical chessboard, “as the pawn of a multipolar world” and as a “sovereign civilization.”
However, Dugin’s real propaganda home is the Russian Orthodox TV channel Tsargrad, owned by Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, who was on the EU sanctions list in 2014 for his support of destabilizing eastern Ukraine. Dugin himself introduces himself as the former editor-in-chief of “Telekanal Constantinople”, and describes himself as his mastermind. Interestingly, Malofeev as the general producer of “God’s TV” hires a Western expert – a former Fox News producer – who in 2022 is prosecuted by the United States for collaborating with the sanctioned Malofeev, in an attempt to establish TV networks in Russia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Dugin’s closeness to Konstantin Malofeyev is also reflected in what Malofeyev describes as a “philosopher and like-minded person” in the introduction to his book “Empire”, promoted by no one else, but Dugin. At the book launch in December 2021, Dugin stated that “We live in a world of empires” and that “We have never lived outside the world of empires”. He stressed that “Christianity and the empire are inseparable” and that Russia as the “third Rome” is a continuation of Christian policy.
In an interview with Dugin on Tsargrad TV in early 2022, Malofeev promoted his imperial political slogan: “The empire is our past and our future. We can not but be an empire.” According to Malofeev, Russia is a “self-sufficient great civilization” that must develop on its own: “either we are an adherent of the Western civilization of money, the new global Canaan, or we are the Empire, the Catechon, which protects the world from evil”.
From numerous other media reports, we can see that Dugin and Malofeev are not just ordinary militant agitators and propagandists, but that they also act as preachers of the “third Rome” and ideologues of Putin’s “Eurasian” imperialism.
In his “geopolitical analysis” published on March 10, 2022, Dugin emphasized that “according to the laws of geopolitics”, Russia (“Eurasia”) without Ukraine is not an empire and civilization, but that with Ukraine it is an empire and civilization. Dugin preached the “unification” of Russia and Ukraine and the collapse of “unipolarity” with the geopolitical idea of a “union of Slavic states” as a continuation of “Eurasian integration”. Dugin claims that this is “a completely new page in world history, a multipolar world and a complete change of the world order”, with the Eastern Slavs “integrated” into the territory of “Eurasia”.
Such Eurasian “integration”, according to Dugin, means “the complete abolition of the model of nation-state and nation”, which has been developing for more than 30 years in modern post-Soviet Ukraine. The geopolitical “prophet” predicts a return to the state before the beginning of Ukraine’s statehood – the “integration” into a nation of Eastern Slavs, whose branches are the Great Russians and the Little Russians (as well as the Belarusians).
And what will happen to the citizens of Ukraine who identify as Ukrainians? Before the start of the “special operation”, Dugin declared Ukraine a “failed state”, announcing that the Ukrainians would pay a huge price for choosing to be “lackeys of the West”. Such implicit threats to Dugin are not uncommon if we recall his explicit extremist statements from 2014, which were removed from YouTube because of hate speech. After the “special operation”, the Russian imperialist Dugin began to preach another story, that “Ukrainians have been and always will be our brothers and sisters”, that “Ukrainians are not enemies, they are our people” and that “Ukrainian brothers” were tragically mistaken as a result of Western propaganda.
Dugin on “the end of history”, “the clash of civilizations” and “absolute evil”
On February 24, 2022, when Putin launched a “special operation” with military aggression against Ukraine, Dugin “declared” that the contours of “eternal Russia” were in sight and that it was a religious moment: “This is a religious moment. Not just geopolitics or conflict of interest. This is a clash between civilizations”.
In an article on March 14, 2022, “The End of History That Never Happened and Russian War on the Liberal Order,” Dugin is convinced that Huntington theoretically defeated Fukuyama with the “clash between civilizations” with the “end of history,” but that the expression of Fukuyama “Putin’s war on the liberal order” is absolutely correct.
Dugin echoed the propaganda slogan that “without Ukraine Russia is not an empire”, suggesting that it would be even more transparent to say that without Ukraine – Russia would not be civilization or a “pole in a multipolar world”. According to Dugin, “the special military operation in Ukraine is the key momentum in establishing Russia as a civilization, as the sovereign pole of a multipolar world,” and that the operation was directed against liberalism and globalism (against the “diabolical plan of globalists” and against modern liberalism as real and “absolute evil”).
On February 24, 2022, when Russian tanks began to invade Ukraine, the prophet of “Novorussia” in his “Katehon” published demonizing comments against the liberals: “When we are dealing with liberals, we are dealing with obsessed people. They are demon-possessed.”
But how does Dugin try to justify Russian “civilizational” attacks on civilian targets and on Ukrainians as a separate nation? According to Dugin, the Ukrainians are part of the “three-sided East Slavic people”, and “were convinced that they were part of the Western (global) world” and that “the Russians are not brothers, but fierce enemies.”
Following Dugin’s “logic”, imperialist Putin shelled and bombed “demon-possessed” Ukrainians to “liberate” them from Western demons and to “convince” them that they were brothers and not enemies. As the “prophet” Dugin struggles to justify imperialist Putin as a fighter “not against Ukraine but for Ukraine” (but in Eurasia), “Putin’s war against the liberal order” has sparked a humanitarian crisis with thousands of victims and millions of refugees horrified by “civilizational” actions of “brotherly Russia”.
Dugin’s Eurasian Mission in Macedonia and its followers
After the beginning of 2018, the marginal party of Janko Bačev NDM was renamed “United Macedonia” (modelled on Putin’s “United Russia”), the newly branded party organizes a panel discussion on key political goals – “The Republic of Macedonia in strategic alliance with Russia and membership in the Eurasian Economic Union”. At the discussion as the main speaker was presented “prof. Aleksandr Dugin, the first adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Dugin and “his deputy prof. Leonid Savin” and in the Macedonian media were described as “Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin” or “Putin’s political scout”, and Dugin as “the first adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin” and “Putin’s brain”, which was interpreted as an exaggeration.
Before the start of the debate, in a statement to reporters, Dugin stressed his pan-Slavic commitment to unite parts of the Slavic peoples and the need “not to sacrifice Slavic unity”. Dugin’s key propaganda theses were that “the EU is slowly falling apart” and “the West is falling apart” (Dugin: You do not need the EU, it will fall apart), and “Russia is open as an Eurasian alliance”. Dugin’s message – “If you are in the Russian Federation we will be a common Slavic world”, was followed by a statement that Russia was not against the West: “We do not oppose the West, we want a good understanding with all nations, including European nations.”
From today’s perspective, Dugin’s unbelievable stories from Skopje that Russia did not oppose the West were denied by Dugin himself, as were his unreliable descriptions of Russia as a “demonized” country:
Russia is a demonized country, they tell us things that are not real, that we want to conquer, to subjugate, to interfere in domestic politics… None of this is true, – said Dugin in Skopje in 2018.
In the face of Dugin’s propaganda rhetoric in 2018, the demonizing Dugin in 2022 justifies Russia as an empire that is not at war with Ukraine, but with the West and the Antichrist – who had hellish plans to destroy humanity and turn humans into robots and mutants.
With political propagandists and prophets like Aleksandr Dugin, Putin’s Russia is not a “demonized country” but a country that demonizes and satanizes in an attempt to justify Ukraine’s unjustified aggression.