Russia’s requirement for a state ideology to be drawn up and enshrined in the Constitution
It has become crucial today to draw up a state ideology to be enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. A focus on spiritual and moral values should begin at school, including in history lessons. And the state needs to develop new methods of defending them. Those were the conclusions reached by representatives of federal government bodies, law enforcement agencies, the cultural sector, and the expert community during the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. The participants were speaking at a session entitled Besogon and Law.
The Russian Federation is in need of an overarching ideology based on its spiritual and moral values
“I do not know what this ideology should contain. I do not know how to draw it up. However, I am absolutely sure that Ivan Ilyin put it brilliantly when he said, ‘One should live for something one is willing to die for’. <...> Ideology is contract between the people and the state, which sets out the laws to live by. <...> Some things must not be mocked, such as the nation’s images, symbols, history, and soldiers. The same goes for the Great Patriotic War [Second World War – ed.] and the people who work every day,” Nikita Mikhalkov, Film Director, Screenwriter; Founder, Studio 3T; Artistic Director, Center for Theater and Cinema under the direction of Nikita Mikhalkov.
“Today, we can say with some satisfaction that a legal framework for spiritual and moral values has been established. The legal basis for this framework are the amendments which were made to the Constitution in 2020 and accordingly, the Presidential Decree issued in November 2022 [Decree No. 809 of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, dated 9 November 2022: On Confirming the Fundamentals of State Policy to Preserve Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values – ed.],” Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.
The ongoing war of ideologies between the Russian Federation and the West, and the need to defend spiritual and moral values
“The special military operation (which is now into its second year) has shown that this is not just a war of the military, but also of ideologies. That is precisely why one of the goals of the operation is denazification, i.e., removing Nazi ideology from Ukraine. <...> Freedom which crosses all the boundaries of what is permitted turns into what you show on your programmes, but there are some positive shifts in this area,” Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
“It is with great happiness that we have finally realized what morality and values mean, and that there is an understanding that these things need to be protected. <...> We need to develop methods of defending them [spiritual and moral values – ed.]. <...> Today we must defend our values. Our values must form a part of our international legal treaties,” Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation.
A cruel younger generation and rising immigration in Russia
Juvenile delinquents are getting younger. We have seen a trend whereby grave and particularly grave grimes are being committed by young people who are practically children. <...> The second trend is the growth of extremist crimes committed by young people. And the third trend (which is very much characteristic of the times) is the cruelty exhibited by criminals and the desire to humiliate the victim of a crime. <...> In 2021, 12 million migrants entered Russia, and the figure for 2022 was 14.5 million. A rise (and a very sharp one at that) in grave and particularly grave crimes [was recorded – ed.] in 2022 and 2023, following the start of the special military operation,” Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
Drawing up an ideology for the Russian Federation, and enshrining it in the Constitution
“We need to more clearly set out... our national idea. And upon careful examination, we can see that the main postulates and elements of a national idea are set out in the Presidential Decree [Decree No. 809 of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, dated 9 November 2022: On Confirming the Fundamentals of State Policy to Preserve Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values – ed.]. But even earlier, back in 2020, important changes were made to the Constitution to enshrine [spiritual and moral values – ed.]. These included amendments to the preamble, and to several articles. These are things we must fight for, defend, and implement. <...> Following our discussions, this is the recommendation we insist on being submitted on behalf of the Forum: add a specific and substantive idea of state ideology to the Constitution as soon as possible,” Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
Getting naturalized citizens involved in the special military operation
“If we offer citizenship to people from other countries, they should assume all the obligations that go with this status, and go to the front line. If you don’t want to fulfil your duties as a citizen of the Russian Federation, then go back to your own country,” Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
Fostering an appreciation and understanding of Russia’s spiritual values through the study of history
“Spiritual and moral values are the ones which have historically taken root over centuries among the peoples who have lived here. We will therefore never have a true appreciation of these values unless we are aware of the truth about history. <...> I think that in September we will have [new textbooks – ed.] for senior-year pupils, and by next September, the entire line will be ready, starting from year five. <...> This education should be engaging, and both compel and encourage school pupils to watch relevant films. There will be a list of recommended films at the end... a list of recommended literature at the end of each paragraph,” Vladimir Medinskiy, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation; Chairman, Russian Military Historical Society.
“I am not saying that there should not be a museum to the first president of Russia, not by any means. It can be an apartment museum, dacha, whatever. Please God, let there be all these things. However, do not make me as a visitor to such a museum believe you when you say that the entire history of my country is loathsome. <...> There is no need to dismantle it [the Yeltsin Centre – ed.], but let them make a truthful modern history museum. <...> Let it be truthful, and let it make it clear why things happened, who did them, what they led to, what they can lead to,” Nikita Mikhalkov, Film Director, Screenwriter; Founder, Studio 3T; Artistic Director, Center for Theater and Cinema under the direction of Nikita Mikhalkov.
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