Christianization of Warfare: Putin's manipulation of history

Putin searches deep inside Russian history, where he finds the Russian Orthodox Church, an institution that despite some oddities is still worth eulogizing because of its resilience even during the protracted Soviet era

Christianization of Warfare: Putin's manipulation of history

Mohamad Radytio - Indonesia

Many people are of the view that the church in Russia follows only President Putin. Though the Church regards Turkey as an old foe, but the allegation of "islamization" of Turkish society was possibly never uttered before, even during the over a decade of AKP rule.

Many Russian observers are of the view that the term "patriarch" widely used in orthodox Christianity is not only a title; it is actually derived from their culture, such following is anything but their "primus inter pare" wishes. In the wake of recent developments, it might not be in the orthodox Christians’ interest to enter into the Syrian war, let alone demonizing Turkey. It might also be derived from centuries of hatred, but above all it seems the church follows only one man's wishes, without careful consideration.

It is also worth noticing that for every nation to agree with its leader’s acts, he or she needs some values to be attached to those pricey adventures. According to the opinion of some people, the fact that everything is for wealth cannot be generalized for the entire nation, as they wouldn’t like to agree to a foreign adventure despite the promises of economic benefits in the long term; it would be very costly in the short as well as medium term.

In spite of Putin’s firm grip on power and the absence of credible opposition in the country, Putin can’t risk another uprising like the one in 2011. It is a better time and a good option for him to focus on his foreign (mis) adventures, however harmful for the nation they could be in future. To do so, he needs certain substance that could rally the Russians around his foreign adventures.

What particular objective he wants to attain by his foreign adventures is a puzzling question. This actually calls for an objective research. Obviously, he would not go for the erstwhile soviet communism or socialism anymore. People could say the whole lot of things; though in reality Russians are prone to easily buy the glorious age of the soviet empire, without favouring its Marxist-Leninist value system. So what could make him rally people on his side that reminds them of those glorious days but with more currently ‘acceptable’ value? He searches deep inside Russian history, where he finds the Russian Orthodox Church, an institution that despite some oddities is still worth eulogizing because of its resilience even during the protracted Soviet era.

The church, despite its rise in Russia just during the middle ages, had served as the only “national” identity; majority of Russians could remember and accept it more than the defunct Marxist value. It teaches them, amongst others, that mother Russia is always in danger from outside barbarians, and it is one of their sacred duties to do preemptive strikes far away to save the nation.

Back to the problem of value system, Putin finds that it is only with the help of the church that he could rally most of the Russians on his side despite some disgruntlement in some sections of orthodox Slav society. The fact that the Russians generally do not display religiosity in public shouldn’t deceive us from the reality; the orthodox Christianity is the part of “Russian identity”, comparable with “Turkishness” that also, in some degree, means Islam.

What we witness today is a result of a major religious change in Putin’s Russia that was underway from almost two decades. Few could foresee it beginning in what was once communist Soviet Russia.

Putin is a graduate of soviet intelligence academy. He knows how to manipulate/herding people into his frame. So when he wants to legitimize his war, he would brand name the adventure to make it as a war against the Orthodox Church. With his autocratic apparatus he then spreads that framing, using everything including Christening and blessing the aircrafts and the missiles being used in Syria while presenting that his war against ISIL in Syria is also the orthodox’s war.

However, the question that must be baffling to Putin and his war veterans shamelessly involved in killing the innocent Syrians is whether his manipulation of history by linking Russian warfare with orthodox Christianity would ever succeed. The reply is definitely in the negative, particularly in view of the majority of the Russians living with communism in depth of their hearts. Thus, the course of action adopted by Putin in his present war games would force him to meet his Waterloo, Inevitably.

Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2015, 17:56
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