The writings of a Neo-Nazi mystic nicknamed as "Putin's Rasputin" may have influenced Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Aeksandr Dugin has been dubbed "Putin's brain" by some. He is a Russian intellectual who has long advocated for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, arguing that Russia should reign "from Vladivostok to Dublin."
And even if the entire world goes against Vladimir Putin, Dugin will the one who will continue to champion his decision to invade Ukraine. Dugin, a political thinker, has been a proponent of "neo-Eurasianism," a powerful Russian ideology, for numerous years. According to the Sun, Dugin's rants have been "mandatory reading" for Russian soldiers before they went to war with Ukraine.
Dugin, who wears his hair long and has a shaggy beard like the infamous Rasputin did more than a century ago, has long advocated for an invasion of Russia's southern neighbors, believing that his country has the right to govern over all of Europe and Asia.
Dugin, who has been called a philosopher, a mystic, a political analyst, and a fascist, is supposed to have had a significant influence on Putin's Russia, and his beliefs are thought to have influenced the invasion planning, at least in part.
So much so that, Dugin's ramblings have been "required reading" for Russian troops before invading Ukraine, as they proclaim a paranoid worldview that calls for Ukraine to be absorbed into Russia. And he believes that Moscow should control everything "from Vladivostok to Dublin."
This is a big region that stretches over 5,000 miles and includes vast swaths of land from Russia's far east to western Europe. As the world sees the horrible horrors emerge in Ukraine's war-torn cities, it's a chilling glimpse of what's to come.
He, like Rasputin, is thought to wield a shady influence over Russian politics, and his theories are said to have inspired Putin. And, in the aftermath of Russia's resurgent nationalism and warmongering, he is said to be on the rise once again, ready to whisper into the Kremlin's ear.
Good or Bad Influence?
In the 1990s, Dugin had more clout in Russian geopolitics, but with the growth of nationalistic beliefs, there are new concerns that he could gain clout.
"The war could give him a new ground for influence," said Marlene Laruelle, Director of George Washington University's Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, according to the Sun.
Dugin was born in Moscow in 1962, when the Soviet Union was still a stronghold for socialist ideals. He began his writing career in the 1980s, during the Soviet Union's demise, and rose to prominence thanks to his book "Foundations of Geopolitics," published in 1997, which proposes a neo-fascist concept of "Neo-Eurasianism."
Dugin and fellow Soviet dissident, Eduard Limonov, created the National Bolshevik Party in 1993. The concept that the globe has "land powers" and "sea powers" and that Russia, as a strong land power, should have control and influence over all of Europe and Asia, is the cornerstone of Neo-Eurasianism.
He also believes that Russians have a divine right to expand and that Russia is the present reincarnation of the Hyperborean civilization, which must combat the modern-day "Atlanteans," referring to the United States.
According to reports, Dugin is sponsored financially by Konstantin Malofeev, a rich businessman who sits on the board of directors of the Russian TV channel Tsargrad, which Dugin has repeatedly used, as well as American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Malofeev was sanctioned by the US, EU, and Canada in 2014, and in 2017. Ukraine, who have him on an international wanted list, accuse him of creating illegal paramilitary groups.