• "The most multi-ethnic country in the world": indigenous peoples in Russia's Eurasianist political narrative

      Trienen, Lex; Boylan, Brandon; Ehrlander, Mary; Hirsch, Alex (2019-05)
      Since 2012, scholars have taken a renewed look at the philosophical and political ideas of Eurasianism within Russia to explain President Vladimir Putin's conduct and the Russian public's response to it. Eurasianism in its current form posits that the Russian state plays a unique role in the history of the world in opposing the avaricious, agnostic, and culturally oppressive "West," while uniting and elevating the peoples of the Eurasian continent in a peaceful, organic and spiritual "Eurasia." Indigenous peoples play a distinctive role in this narrative. Both the United States and Russia have Indigenous populations that have been subjected to both passive neglect and active violence over the past several centuries and currently suffer from poor social conditions compared to the dominant ethnic groups of their respective countries. This thesis addresses the question of how the Russian media's portrayal of Native Americans diverges from that of its own Indigenous peoples in order to perpetuate this Eurasian narrative. Articles were collected from various news outlets in Russia, coded for Eurasianist themes using the Atlas.ti program, and analyzed by news outlet, date published, and topic. The analysis finds that the Russian media portrays Indigenous peoples in Russia as largely having constructive working relationships with the Kremlin, while they depict Native Americans as striving towards secession and mired in constant conflict with the U.S. government, but having surreptitious affinities towards the Eurasian civilizational model.