Putin urges new patriotism for post-Soviet Russia
MOSCOW (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin has urged the creation of a new sense of patriotism to serve as the basis of Russia's future to replace the vacuum left by the fall of the ideologically-driven USSR.
Mr Putin - who has made restoring national pride one of the chief aims of his domination over Russia - said the country had forgotten to construct a sense of national pride after the fall of the Soviet Union.
"Patriotism is not just a nice word. Patriotism is above all serving the motherland, the country, Russia, the people," he said in speech to a meeting on fostering nationalism whose text was published by the Kremlin on Thursday. "We must build our future on a solid foundation. And that foundation is patriotism," said Mr Putin.
The meeting in the southern city of Krasnodar late Wednesday was attended by top members of the elite including the defence minister and minister of culture as well as leading Russian cultural and sporting figures.