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Ruscism (also rashism, Russian and Ukrainian: Рашизм), a portmanteau of "Russia/Russian" (Russian: Россия (Rossiya), pronounced "ra-SEE-ya") and "fascism," is a neologism now commonly used[1][2][3] to describe the guiding state ideology of the Russian Federation under President Vladimir Putin.[4][5] It first appeared in 1995 during the Russian war in Chechnya as "Russianism",[6][7] but later morphed into "Rashism" as Russia invaded its neighboring states of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014,[8] spreading further in response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in in 2022.[9] In English, the spelling "Ruscism" more intuitively captures the meaning.[9]

Ethnonationalist extremism has a long history in the Russophone world, but the term "ruscism" or "rashism" underscores the de facto fascist nature of the Putin regime, especially by March 2022, despite its anti-fascist façade; it is, essentially, a quasi-fascist ideological justification for Putinism.[10] The main tenets include Soviet-style charismatic authoritarianism, great power nostalgia, irredentism, Orthodox Christianity as a state religion, and a semi-mythical veneration of the Russian race, Russian history, and the Russian state.[11]

The pejorative "vatnik" (ватниками; "quilted jacket") is sometimes used for those who hold views characteristic of Rashism and Putinism.[12] A vatnik is a Russian wool coat, part of the Red Army's winter uniform.

See also[edit]


  1. "Росія і рашисти: хто стоїть за спиною Путіна |" (in uk). 
  2. "Real 'rashism': in Russia they're drawing up lists of Jews needing to be deported as 'disagreeing' with Putin" (in ru). 30 June 2014. "They propose to 'deprive' them 'of Russian citizenship and forcible deport [them] to their ethnic homeland - to Israel. The justification [is] blatant hatred of all things Russian'. [...] In exactly this manner the authors of the list characterise the disagreement of the cultural elite [...] with the openly fascist politics of Putin." 
  3. Tykha, Lina (9 March 2014). "Rashism won't go away, or It's difficult to be a human being" (in ru-RU). "Many people are gradually beginning to suspect that Putin's aim is nothing else than the desire to erect rashism against the whole world. Who would have thought that in a country that fought bitterly against fascism and nazism, there would not only be sown the seeds of these ideologies, but that they would flourish again and begin to bear fruit." 
  4. "Томенко назвал борьбу с рашизмом новым серьезным мировым испытанием" (in ru). OBOZREVATEL NEWS. 2014-07-18. 
  5. "Остановить рашизм. Новый урок для мира" (in ru). 
  6. Джохар Дудаев: Что такое русизм? (11.03.14) Chechenews. Translation of title: "Dzhokhar Dudayev: What is Russianism?"
  7. Джохар Дудаев о Руссизме (Jan 8, 2011) YouTube.
  8. Настоящий «рашизм»: в России составляют списки евреев, которых нужно депортировать как «несогласных» с Путиным (13:10 / 30.06.2014) Багнет. Translation of title: "Real "rashism": in Russia they make lists of Jews who need to be deported as 'disagreeing' with Putin".
  9. 9.0 9.1 The War in Ukraine Has Unleashed a New Word: In a creative play on three different languages, Ukrainians identify an enemy: ‘ruscism.’ by Timothy Snyder (April 22, 2022) The New York Times.
  10. "Путин будет захватывать новые территории, чтобы проложить путь к Балканам - эксперты" (in ru). 2014-03-23. 
  11. Oleg Leusenko/Леусенко, Олег Володимирович. "Рашизм как идеология Кремля". 
  12. "Яких росіян називають "ватниками"?". 10-04-2014.