The ‘Russian World’ and the Orthodox Church in the Post-Soviet Space

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


In recent years, it has become evident that the Russian state has borrowed religious-conservative rhetoric in its attempt to enhance the unity of the ‘Russian World’. Strengthening the cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church both domestically and in the foreign policy sphere, the state wishes to portray itself as a global guarantor – and defender – of traditional, spiritual values. This chapter argues that religious bonds, even if they are truly important for many of the citizens of the post-Soviet space, are insufficient when it comes to holding the ‘Russian World’ together. First, the ‘spirituality’ that the Church and the political elites underline often reflects cultural affection rather than the personal religiousness of an individual, and second, the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the national churches may turn into a conflict. Most importantly, the concept of the ‘Russian World’ in itself has acquired irredentist
meanings after 2014, and can no longer work as a unifying feature in the post-Soviet space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat has remained of the USSR : Exploring the erosion of the post-Soviet space
EditorsArkady Moshes, András Rácz
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherUlkopoliittinen instituutti
Publication date11 Feb 2019
ISBN (Print)978-951-769-592-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-769-593-0
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeB2 Book chapter

Publication series

NameFIIA report
PublisherThe Finnish Institute of International Affairs
ISSN (Print)2323-5454

Fields of Science

  • 5201 Political History

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