Vladimir Putin’s World War II propaganda is Soviet at its core–Russia against all enemies; those who are not with us are against us, and so on. Yet it is now cleverer than ever.
Unlike in Joseph Stalin’s times there is no mass purges, there is no mass enthusiasm in building the state. Although there is certainly a desire to tout the Kremlin line. Why?
Even if there are restrictions on Western values like democracy and freedom, with sanctions or no sanctions, there is no restriction on foreign goods. Comfort and Russianness are no longer in contradiction.
Today you can be a nationalistic patriot in a BMW or a Volkswagen. A common picture on the roads around Russia is a shiny German-made car with a bumper sticker: “On to Berlin” or “Thank you grandfather for the victory, and grandmother for the heavy-duty bullets”—all in reference to 1945. That’s how Russian state is sticking it to the West—by using “their” products in support of “our” ideology.