The identity of the Russians after Crimea annexation
The permanent lack of legal consciousness deprived the Russians a chance to develop democratic and individualistic civil consciousness. What unites them is the category of nationality (in the spirit of German völkisch) – understood in a peculiar way – or collective fealty paid for a strong leader (tsar, Stalin, Putin). They do not fathom their own responsibility for the aggressive policy of the state. A conservative and anti-western feeling as well as sense of nostalgia for soviet times prevail among them. They know that the authority has always been brutal and corrupt so they do not wonder about its mafia nature. Russian institutions – from judiciary to educational system – have been reconstructed. The economy, people’s mobility and principles of communicating have changed but the identity and mentality of the Russians remain the same.