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West Must Finally Sanction Putin’s Dangerous Ideologists – OpEd


One group of Putin facilitators – his ideologists – have so far escaped sanctions, but they shouldn’t, Vladislav Inozemtsev says, because they are the people who inform both Putin’s thinking and action and the messages his typically mindless propagandists spread inside Russia and abroad.


The West has sanctioned the propagandists but not those who produced the messages they convey, people like Sergey Karaganov, Fyodor Lukyanov, Timofey Bordachev, Dmitry Suslov, Andrey Linitsky and Andrey Sushentsov, all of whom and others like them should be sanctioned, the Russian economist and commentator says.

None of these people, he continues, “have ever been banned from travelling to Europe and to this day are frequent guests of the Western media” even though they “proudly maintain they are the real authors of the Putin Doctrine” (

All of them – and most of them are English speakers which makes things easier – have “for a long time been engaged with Western academic institutions.” And at least some of them “are now trying to secure some positions with them in case Putin’s efforts go bust,” according to Inozemtsev.

“For the sake of ‘academic freedom’ and ‘better understanding,’” the West has not subjected these Russian “’scholars’” to any Western sanctions, except for … the craziest of them by far, Aleksandr Dugin. These people should be seen as the threat they are, and the Western response to them should change.

“Western academic institutions like the Council on Foreign Relations that proudly co-sponsors the journal Russia in Global Affairs should immediately end such cooperation and prevent any of these Russian ‘scholars’ from being employed by Western universities and thank tanks, published by the Western media or cited favorably by the Western press.”


These ideologues “have already done so much to create ‘a perfect Russia;’” and because that is the case, “they should never be allowed to leave their country now that their dreams have finally come true.”

Paul Goble

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] .

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