As Russia faces mounting challenges both internally and on the global stage, President Vladimir Putin is seeking support from an influential and deeply entrenched institution within Russian society - the Russian Orthodox Church. By aligning with the Church, Putin aims to foster a sense of national unity among the Russian populace, levering the Church's significant role in the country's cultural and spiritual life. His goal is to bolster his leadership and consolidate support in a period of increasing pressures.
Putin's Strategic Maneuver
In a calculated move, Putin is emphasizing traditional values and intensifying the narrative of unity, key elements during times when the nation is grappling with both internal and external tensions. This is seen as part of a broader strategy to fortify the government's position and maintain stability through the backing of influential institutions within Russian society. However, this alignment is not without controversy, as the state's relationship with the Church has historically been fraught with tension.
Impact on Domestic and Global Politics
Internally, Putin's alliance with the Church could prove to be a powerful tool for rallying support, particularly amidst the current crackdown on dissent within Russia. Externally, this move might have implications on Russia's ongoing military action in Ukraine, which Putin has painted as a struggle against alleged Western attempts to 'dismember and plunder' Russia. The President's actions also cast a shadow over the upcoming 2024 U.S. elections, with concerns that a potential victory for former President Donald Trump could disrupt Western support for Kyiv.
Implications for Russia's LGBTQ+ Community
While Putin's strategy might strengthen national unity, it also raises concerns for the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. As the Church is known for its conservative stance on such issues, the fear is that this alignment could lead to an increase in discriminatory practices, potentially culminating in the labeling of the LGBTQ+ social movement as 'extremist'. This could potentially lead to arrests and prosecutions, thereby forcing support for this community further underground.