By Paul Goble
In the offices of the Moscow Museum of Emperor Nicholas II and His Family, a group of leading right-wing Russians announced the creation of an Analytic Center of Russian Conservatives to combat combined foreign and domestic efforts to change Russia’s thousand-year-old cultural code.
The group elected retied Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov director of this new institution, Aleksey Shichanin head of the supervisory council, and Yegor Kholmogorov as leader of its experts group (rusnasledie.info/sozdano-novoe-obedinenie-liderov-konservativnoj-mysli/ and rusk.ru/newsdata.php?idar=115125).
Only a few years ago, such an assemblage would have been viewed as little more than nothing more than bombast from a marginal community, but in a sign of just how far to the right Russia has moved under Vladimir Putin, it is entirely likely that the new group will assume a more important role as an advisor or at least adjunct to the Kremlin.
As such, the Analytic Center’s creation must be noted; and its future activities of whatever kind must be monitored closely.
Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .