Can you define a nation in a law? Vladimir Putin seems to think you can and this week, in advance of today's National Unity Day, he called on Russian lawmakers to do so.
So what is behind the Kremlin leader's call for legislation that defines the Russian nation?
Is it an appeal to civic patriotism? Is it a message to ethnic minorities that they need to assimilate into a larger Russian whole? Or is it an attempt to create a modern version of Homo Sovieticus, the new Soviet man?
Whatever the case, Putin's appeal is the latest sign that the Kremlin is accelerating its ideological trajectory and its embrace of state nationalism.
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we will discuss Unity Day, the proposed law on the Russian nation, and the 1917 anniversary as elements in Putin's effort to forge a national ideology and what that portends.
Joining me will be co-host Mark Galeotti, a senior policy fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and author of the blog In Moscow's Shadows; and Moscow-based journalist Anna Arutunyan, author of the book The Putin Mystique: Inside Russia's Power Cult.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.