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"Soft power" as an instrument of national policy of Russia
Material posted: Publication date: 11-11-2014

Today, many researchers in the field of international relations agree that the capacity of the state should consist of several components: economic and financial indicators, military strength, political influence in the world.

But in recent times the role of not the power factors and alternative factors of influence, i.e. the so-called "soft power". For Russia's "soft power" - is, above all, the softness of approaches: the active cooperation of civil societies, the promotion of their language and culture on the countries that are close in spirit and mentality, quick response to changes with the increasing use of "new technologies" [2].

And, despite the fact that the mechanisms of military influence still did not leave the proscenium due to the presence of permanent conflicts affecting Russia, new global challenges and threats, for a long time, the factors of soft power, public diplomacy, cultural attraction win more and more positions within the dominance of States in the region and on the world stage.

Today many countries are using the tools of "soft power" to implement their foreign policy, economic, geo-strategic aspirations. Russia is no exception, as it is a state with a long history, established traditions, customs and traditions. She was, is and remains the greatest state on the planet, located in all time zones and in two parts of the world. And despite the fact that today the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union, its territory was considerably reduced, she lost fertile soils, mineral resources, our country has preserved the succession, that is what gave them the right to claim first place in the nuclear issue in the UN Security Council, as well as in the field of cultural attractiveness of the country. But the greatest value of Russia – it's not a huge area, not a large number of climate and time zones and even power potential. The pride of Russia is its multinational people, who for many centuries fought for it in bloody battles, defended the interests in the diplomatic field and proudly carried its banner.

It is the national policy of Russia has become one of the main elements of the cultural attractiveness of our country, that is, the element of "soft power". On the one hand, every nation can contribute something to the cultural diversity of Russia, and on the other, the more Nations, the greater the potential level of conflict in the regions of the country. This issue has been widely covered by the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the work of the international discussion club "Valdai": "calling into question our multinational, starting to exploit the theme of Russian, Tatar, Caucasian, Siberian and any else any other nationalism or separatism, we stand in the way of its genetic code, in fact, start to destroy themselves" [8].

It is so neat national policy should result in a higher potential of Russia in various fields. The accuracy is that we need to be clear what a nation than can help the image of Russia in the world. For example, to develop tourist business in the Caucasus region is an unpromising step, because the very nature of the Caucasian mentality is freedom and no need to serve or obey someone that in fact is the main criterion for granting of tourist services. But this does not mean that the Caucasus may contribute to the common Treasury of Russian "soft" potential. Only one attitude to the family, to family life, to how valuable the role of all members of a small unit of society, Caucasian people can show the world THAT it really is the greatest value in life.

Today, Russia has all chances to make the national policy of the country is more balanced than in other developed countries. This follows from the fact that the world at large, the decrease of the national idea, and thus reducing the capacity of individual nation-States. For example, in the European Union integration processes increasingly limit the sovereignty of individual States, and increasingly involves them in the abyss of universalization and optimization. The idea of multiculturalism, which for a long time were covered by the European Union, drawing on their territory more and more labour force for the reconstruction of destroyed post-war infrastructure, failed. This has led to the erosion of the national idea of individual States.

It is difficult to imagine that the ideas of multiculturalism there would be somewhere in the East. There hold sacred and cherish their cultural identity. This does not mean that Eastern culture cannot peacefully exist side by side with the West, but it is less susceptible to currents from the outside, it does not allow changes in their own moral and ethical values – those values that for centuries have preserved their ancestors. But neither the Eastern nor the Western model does not fully suit Russia, it has its own function in the world – the function of a mediator between East and West. This finds its confirmation in the context of the situation in Ukraine, in Libya and Syria.

And in order to make national policies effective mechanism of soft power Russia needs to develop new approaches to it, and make it accessible to all. The first step is to focus on social cohesion against the background of General historical and ideological conjuncture. First of all, we should reconsider the relation to their heritage, especially historical. Of particular importance is the parallel between the past and the present. In the past the Great Patriotic War has United the peoples of the USSR into one, fighting against fascism, for peace and freedom of the Motherland. Today the rewriting of history became a kind of norm for our former allies in the different coalitions in past wars. The role of Russia in the Second World War lowered by correcting the information in the historical sources, the creation of new history courses for students in secondary schools and higher education institutions.

And if the Great Patriotic War is the last page, must be present and the page. The situation with Crimea is an illustrative aspect to it. Russia has not followed the liberal way and stood up for the national idea. Thus, the impression that our country is ready to stand at the head of the world anti-Western. This positioning naturally could not remain unnoticed, to Russia begin to join other regional leaders such as the BRICS. While Russia is not the West imposes its values and attitudes, it requires to be respected its moral compass.

National policy is not conceived without an educational qualification, all the peoples of our vast country. Recently there has been a negative tendency of reduction of the various textbooks on the history of Russia. In fact, one can say that policy is the universalization of knowledge for future generations: "the state Duma Deputy Sergey Popov has proposed to reduce the number of history textbooks. History lessons should be the lessons of truth, therefore, cannot be a situation, when we have 40 books" [9]. Despite the fact that it is "true" and realistic data should be fundamental in the approaches to the formation of the history curriculum in educational institutions of Russia, it is impossible to slide to the Russophobic ultra-liberal ideas, and consequently the selection of literature should be presented as an educational and scientific.

Russian citizens must not only know the history of their countries, but also to be proud of it, remember that the most famous creators of Russian culture will not change Russia to any other country: A. S. Pushkin "on my honor, not for the world I wouldn't want to change the Motherland or have another history, in addition to the history of our ancestors" [5]. And to awaken historical memory of the Russian people it is necessary to conduct various activities that allow people to touch the past, to the history of Russia. Examples of such events might be an exhibition in the Manege, dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty: "the blessing of his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, in the Central exhibition hall Manege opened interactive exhibition-forum "Orthodox Russia. The Romanovs". These days in the arena from Kostroma brought the miraculous icon Feodossia – patroness of the Romanov dynasty" [6].

Education, educational programs and providing educational services to foreign students is an integral component of "soft power". Here is definitely the leading place occupy the USA and the UK. It is through the U.S. National security Agency, all kinds of funds, analytical centers conduct educational programs in many areas, round tables, educational conferences, summer courses and many other projects that require financial injections. This does not mean that education in USA is better or worse, for example, European or Russian, but the funds allocated from the state budget and private investments far exceed those who put the EU and Russia.

In Russia the situation with the school of higher education is somewhat different. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, where he trained many students from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the situation with the educational policy has sharply deteriorated. "According to statistics, in 2005 Russia was almost 100 thousand students from 168 countries, which accounted for only 3.8% of the total number of students studying abroad. This was a very low proportion of European students is 8.1%" [1]. But despite the fact that leading positions in the education system in the world securely taken, Russia has its own leverage in this area. The work on attraction of foreign students is carried out actively at the Russian University of Friendship of Peoples. In addition to students from various regions of the world, studying on a regular basis, there are programs double masters with the University, internships, the timing of which vary from one month to one year.

On the background of the need to enhance educational qualification and development of the historical memory of the Russian citizens should not be taken as fundamental in this area the problem of "brain drain" that is directly linked to standard of living of the population, its potential in improving the technological, scientific and innovative areas. In the West, have developed a stereotype: "People are the main export goods of Russia" [10]. In order to dispel the myth of Russia it is necessary to reconsider the relation to preparation and further work of young specialists of our multinational people.

But in order from different parts of the world students came to Russia and was hoping training for this country, we need a cultural base that includes literature, music, art, cinema and much more. And it can be the trump card of Russian "soft power". This statement is based on the fact that Russia has a rich cultural heritage. The state Tretyakov gallery with the greatest collection of works by Russian artists, State Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin keeps not only Russian art but also the world, there are stored the paintings of Lucas Cranach, Edgar Degas, Rembrandt, Picasso, van Gogh. In addition, these museums organise lectures and even educational programs: "Educational program named after Natalia Goncharova: East, nationality and West" [4]. Moscow theatres put on their stages works of Russian and foreign classics, as well as invite to tour the troupe's famous theatres. As for Russian literature, there can be no doubt that Russian literature, especially classical, alternative in the world. "As Leo Tolstoy, offensive to subordinate their will to the Streptococcus" [3. –C. 305]. All this must be accurately covered in the media, and have a decent idea abroad, to the immortal masterpieces of Russian classics came to enjoy from around the world.

In fact, in the presence of the above cultural achievement in Russia, there are many mechanisms for the development of the cultural policy of the country and promote cultural values to the outside. But in order to make the national policy a part of "soft power" of Russia, should develop some new approaches to the formation of the state policy Concept of the Russian Federation:

  • First, it is necessary to reduce the level of unemployment in the country through increase of employment of the population on the profile and specialization of the training and not on the principle of "where be able to get by". To do this you must enter the distribution of students after graduation. This allocation should not be restricted to the borders of Moscow and Moscow region. Return to my home region, for example, Buryatia, Karelia, Yakutia, will allow young professionals to choose a profession in accordance with the priorities of their region and their nation. To do this, wages in the regions should not sharply contrast with the capital fees.
  • Secondly, the allocation of funds for the development of innovative technologies, funding, grants and initiatives throughout Russia. To rely on grants of Federal importance, covering as much as possible the number of Federal districts.
  • Third, support for small and medium businesses in the country.
  • Fourthly, the budgetary financing of educational programs for students from various regions of Russia in the universities of the country.
  • Fifthly, all the peoples of Russia should feel in the country at home, regardless of the population of the minorities, religion and territory placement.
  • Sixth, to date, migration policy of the country works against the potential of "soft power" of Russia. In order to leave the country required much less effort than to enter into it: "abroad there really are people who are interested in Russia, but to move here is very difficult. Obtaining residence permit can also be problems - you have to live here to get citizenship [7].

Overall, we can conclude that today in Russia there is great potential for the use of national policy of the state to implement the strategy of "soft power" outside. It is the multinational people of our country is the greatest value. The only question is to help each nation individually to feel like a part of a great nation, to create the conditions that will unleash its potential. This applies not only to economic investments in the regions of the country, but also of education, culture and art.


Ivkina N. In.


  1. World report on education, 2006 comparison of global statistics in the field of education.
  2. Speech of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a Meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia. // [Electronic resource]. Access mode://
  3. Bitter M. Mother. Memories. – Moscow: Khudozh. lit., 1985. – 399с. / Leo Tolstoy M. Gorky. S. 305.
  4. 4.The State Tretyakov Gallery.
  5. Red star. "On my honor, would not want to change the country..."
  6. Museum and exhibition Association "Manege". The Romanovs. My story.
  7. However. To flee or to fight? Myths and realities of "brain drain" from Russia.
  8. RIA news. Putin urged not to forget that Russia is a multinational state.
  9. Private correspondent. Deputies propose to reduce the number of history textbooks. 18.12.2012.
  10. The Economist. Russian politics. Putinomics.

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