The Foundations of Geopolitics: Putin has been doing it by the book

Aleksandr Dugin. By Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0,

This is Alexandr Dugin, a Russian philosopher, strategist, political analyst and author of a several books including Foundations of Geopolitics (1997), and who in 2014 called for the eradication of the Ukrainian identity, following disappointment that Putin did not come to the aid of pro-Russian insurgents. As I highlight some key elements of the book which has, Wikipedia reports, been used as a textbook in the Academy of the General Staff of the Russian military since publication and suggested as a core text in schools (!), it will become clear that the man referred to as ‘Putin’s brain‘ is now on the way to seeing his vision of a Russian-led Eurasia being realised.

But first, a little more about Dugin himself and, yes, I am lifting this from Wikipedia and from an excellent 2017 article by John Rice-Cameron: Eurasianism is the new Fascism: Understanding and Confronting Russia.(Stanford Politics) I am as new to this topic as (probably) most of you are, but I would like to think this will at least prompt further research and some more original insights. This is just to give you a flavour of the man and some background to his vision for Russia’s “manifest destiny”.

One more important stage: if you google images for geopolitics this pops up:

Salah Rashad Zaqzoq, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This German geographer and ethnographer was the first man to use the term ‘lebensraum‘ (living space) in the sense which would inform Nazi policy and strategy. The philosophy behind it could equally be applied to all acts of colonialism/imperialism where stronger states take over and exploit those that are weaker, viewing them as merely a source of resources whilst the conqueror repopulates in their own image or rules exclusively with its own people.

In his youth, Dugin embraced Nazism, even adopting “an alter ego with the name of ‘Hans Siever’, a reference to Wolfram Sievers, a Nazi researcher of the paranormal.”

In 1997, Dugin’s article, “Fascism – Borderless and Red”, proclaimed the arrival of a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism” in Russia. He believes that it was “by no means the racist and chauvinist aspects of National Socialism that determined the nature of its ideology. The excesses of this ideology in Germany are a matter exclusively of the Germans … while Russian fascism is a combination of natural national conservatism with a passionate desire for true changes.”

Andreas Umland “Will United Russia become a fascist party?

This is video explains Dugin’s thinking and introduces his concept of Eurasionism, which is ideologicially opposed to Western liberal democracy and the US, as ‘the heart of the West’.

Did Michael Millerman expect this to translate into the invasion of Ukraine? He tweeted:

And this extract from John Rice Cameron’s article should make us feel very uncomfortable indeed about the resurgence of populism in the West and the infiltration of our politics. All the pieces begin to fall into place to give credence to the scenario of Russian interference in Brexit and elections here and in the US. It will come as no surprise to learn that Dugin has met with Steve Bannon, for example.

“While Russia sees a strategic opening to weaken the West, Eurasianists also feel an ideological kinship with European populists, as their opposition to the EU, which Dugin views as a bastion of globalism, along with their rejection of multiculturalism, fits comfortably in Dugin’s traditionalist worldview. In the United States, the white nationalist alt-right also has links to Russia. Alt-right leader Richard Spencer is married to Nina Kouprianova, a Russian who is an English translator of Dugin’s works. Ultimately, Dugin seeks to export identitarianism, be it cultural, racial, religious or national, beyond Russia’s borders and into Europe and North America. It is not surprising that the alt-right, which promotes the establishment of a whites-only ethno-state, is emboldened by Dugin’s identitarian message. Furthermore, Russia’s apparent invigoration of the alt-right presents a serious problem here in the United States. As ethnic tribalism, which the alt-right embodies, becomes more prevalent in our country, it will tear at the fragile unity that makes the idea of America possible.”

John Rice-Cameron
Bold text is my choice, not as in the original.

But let’s turn to the book:

It’s main objective is the ‘Finlandisation’ of Europe: Finlandisation is the process by which one powerful country makes a smaller neighboring country refrain from opposing the former’s foreign policy rules, while allowing it to keep its nominal independence and its own political system. Wikipedia

I would urge you to read this excellent thread explaining Kremlin imperialism:

And it’s all about showing America that it is not the dominant power in the world any longer and that Russia is

“the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution“. The Eurasian Empire will be constructed “on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.”

Dugin envisages this new empire being constructed off the back of the very tactics we have seen used by the Russians: destabilisation, subversion and disinformation and by using oil and gas ‘to bully and pressure other countries’.

The plan for the UK?

The United Kingdom, merely described as an “extraterritorial floating base of the U.S.”, should be cut off from Europe.

Brexit and the infiltration/subversion of the Conservative party are achieving that goal.

And Ukraine?

Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because “Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics”. Ukraine should not be allowed to remain independent, unless it is cordon sanitaire, which would be inadmissible.

I urge you to visit the Wikipedia page.

And in this era of ‘post truth’, here is the excellent Gabriel Gatehouse navigating a tricky interview with Dugin on Russia’s ‘special truth’. Be warned: this will mess with your head.

I just want to be clear that this article is designed to pique your interest to dig further. If you ARE an expert in this field and want to write for us, please get in touch!