Russia Publishes Draft Decree On ‘Public Policy To Preserve And Strengthen Traditional Spiritual And Moral Values’ To Counter ‘Destructive Ideology’ – i.e. Progressive Liberalism

In January 2022, a draft of a document, titled “The Fundamentals Of Public Policy To Preserve And Strengthen Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values,” was published on the Federal Portal of the Drafts of Regulations for public discussion. Once confirmed by presidential decree, it will become law.

The document sets out the strategic national interest of ensuring the Russian Federation’s national security, inter alia with the “strengthening and protection of [the] traditional spiritual and moral values [and the] cultural and historical heritage of the people of Russia.”

These traditional values are listed as: “life, dignity, human rights and freedoms, patriotism, citizenship, service to the Fatherland and responsibility for its fate, high moral ideals, strong family, creative work, the priority of the spiritual over the material, humanism, mercy, justice, collectivism, mutual assistance and mutual respect, historical memory and [the] continuity of generations, [and] the unity of the peoples of Russia.”

Emphasized in the document is what a public policy concerning traditional values is aimed at achieving: to counter the spread of “destructive ideology,” which Russian President Vladimir Putin considers to be progressive liberalism.[1]

Below is a complete translation of “The Fundamentals Of Public Policy To Preserve And Strengthen Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values.”[2]

DECREE
OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

On Approval Of The Fundamentals Of Public Policy To Preserve And Strengthen Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values

  1. The attached Fundamentals of Public Policy for the preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values shall be approved.
  2. This Decree shall enter into force on the date of its signing.

President of the Russian Federation

V. PUTIN
Draft

APPROVED
by the Decree of the President
of the Russian Federation
dated ““__ #

FUNDAMENTALS

Of Public Policy To Preserve And Strengthen Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values

I. General Provisions

  1. These Fundamentals are an interdisciplinary strategic planning document in the field of national security of the Russian Federation which defines a system of goals, objectives and tools for the implementation of the strategic national priority “Protection Of Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values, Culture And Historical Memory” insofar as it relates to the protection of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values (hereinafter “traditional values”).
  2. The legislative framework for these Fundamentals is the Constitution of the Russian Federation, generally recognized principles and rules of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law On Strategic Planning in the Russian Federation, dated June 28, 2014 # 172-FZ.

These Fundamentals provide a basis for the implementation of the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation in the field of traditional values, approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated July 2, 2021 # 400 (hereinafter referred to as the National Security Strategy).

These Fundamentals were developed based on the following documents:

The Federal Law as of December 30, 2020 # 489-FZ On Youth Policy In The Russian Federation;

Strategy of the State National Policy of the Russian Federation for the period until 2025, approved by Presidential Decree # 1666 as of December 19, 2012;

Fundamentals of Public Cultural Policy, approved by Presidential Decree # 808 as of December 24, 2014;

The Doctrine of Digital Security of the Russian Federation, approved by Presidential Decree # 646 of December 5, 2016;

Strategy for the Development of Digital Society in the Russian Federation for 2017-2030, approved by Presidential Decree # 203 as of May 9, 2017;

Decree # 204 of the President of the Russian Federation as of May 7, 2018 On The National Goals And Strategic Objectives Of The Development Of The Russian Federation For The Period Up To 2024″;

Decree # 344 of the President of the Russian Federation as of May 29, 2020 On Approval of the Strategy to Counter Extremism in the Russian Federation until 2025;

Decree # 474 of the President of the Russian Federation as of July 21, 2020 On The National Development Goals Of The Russian Federation For The Period Up To 2030;

The Strategy for the Development of Education in the Russian Federation for the period up to 2025, approved by the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation # 996-r as of May 29, 2015.

  1. Traditional values are moral guidelines shaping the worldview of Russian citizens which are handed down from generation to generation, ensure civic unity, underlie the Russian civilizational identity and the unified cultural space of the country and have found their unique original manifestation in the spiritual, historical and cultural development of the multinational people of Russia.

Traditional values include life, dignity, human rights and freedoms, patriotism, citizenship, service to the Fatherland and responsibility for its fate, high moral ideals, strong family, creative work, the priority of the spiritual over the material, humanism, mercy, justice, collectivism, mutual assistance and mutual respect, historical memory and continuity of generations, the unity of the peoples of Russia.

  1. The Russian Federation regards traditional values as the foundation of the Russian society which helps preserve and strengthen Russia’s sovereignty and ensure the unity of the Russian Federation as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country.
  2. The understanding of social, cultural, technological processes and phenomena based on traditional values allows us to respond to new challenges, preserve the civilizational identity of Russia and take into account the accumulated cultural and historical experience.
  3. The public policy of the Russian Federation aimed at preserving and strengthening the traditional values is implemented in the areas of culture, education and child development, youth work, science, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations, information space, international cooperation, within the competence of relevant departments which ensure national defense, state and public safety.

The relevant federal executive bodies take into account the provisions of these Fundamentals when developing sectoral strategic planning documents.

II. Current Situation, Threats, Risks, Development Scenarios

  1. The efforts undertaken by the Russian Federation to develop the spiritual potential of the country have increased the cohesion of the Russian people, the citizens’ awareness of the need to preserve and strengthen traditional values in the face of a global crisis of values which leads to the loss of traditional spiritual and moral guidelines and moral principles of mankind.
  2. The National Security Strategy assesses the situation in Russia and in the world, which requires taking urgent measures to protect traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.

The activities of extremist and terrorist organizations, the actions of the United States and its allies, transnational corporations, and foreign nonprofit organizations pose a threat to the traditional values.

The ideological and psychological impact on Russian citizens has the effect of implanting ideas and values alien to the Russian people and destructive to the Russian society (hereinafter – destructive ideology), including the cult of selfishness, permissiveness, immorality, denial of the ideals of patriotism, service to the Fatherland, procreation, creative work, the positive contribution of Russia to the world history and culture. The active efforts of the proponents of the destructive ideology run counter to the national interests of the Russian Federation.

Reforms in education, science, culture and information work, implemented with no regard for the national traditions and the experience accumulated by the Russian society, made it more difficult to pass on traditional values from generation to generation, thus facilitating the spread of destructive ideology.

  1. The dissemination of the destructive ideology entails the following risks:
  • creating conditions for the self-destruction of society, weakening of friendships, family and other social ties;
  • increasing socio-cultural gaps and social inequality, devaluing the idea of creative work;
  • causing damage to the moral health of people, mass distribution of destructive content aimed at the denial of human dignity;
  • prevalence of anti-social behavioral patterns, spread of immoral lifestyles, permissiveness and violence, and increased use of alcohol and drugs;
  • distortion of historical facts, destruction of historical memory;
  • weakening the state-forming Russian people, creating conditions for interethnic and inter-confessional conflicts, and destroying the system of values and axiological bases of the Russian language;
  • undermining the foundations of Russian statehood and identity, weakening all-Russian civic identity and the unity of the multinational people of the Russian Federation;
  • undermining trust in public institutions, especially law enforcement agencies and the education system, discrediting the idea of serving the Fatherland, and shaping a negative attitude toward military service and state activity in general.
  1. Preserving and strengthening traditional values requires addressing the following issues:

1) improving the current strategic planning documents of the Russian Federation in order to give more consideration to the task of preserving and strengthening traditional values, defining benchmarks for systemic goal-setting and selection of the most effective levers to promote national interests;

2) ensuring inter-agency coordination of public authorities in the protection of traditional values;

3) public support of activities in the cultural and educational sector requires additional control for maximum compliance with the goals of public policy in the field of traditional values;

4) developing and improving the forms and methods of managing the information space of the Russian Federation to ensure effective response to the risks associated with the spread of destructive ideology;

5) improving the forms and methods of education and development for more effective promotion of traditional values in the youth environment;

6) improving the forms and methods of operation of research institutions for more effective response to the falsification of history and destruction of historical memory thus preserving the historical truth;

7) improving the forms and methods of activities of law enforcement agencies in order to find effective ways to prevent and combat illegal actions that seek to destroy the traditional values.

  1. Future events can take either positive or negative turn.

There will be positive developments if the state pursues a systematic and consistent policy in the field of traditional values, developed over thousands of years of Russian history. This scenario involves enhanced protection of Russian society and Russian citizens from the threats and risks existing in this field. It is focused on developing the highly ethical personality, who shares traditional Russian spiritual and moral values, has up-to-date knowledge and skills, is able to achieve his/her potential in the modern society and is ready for peaceful creative work and defense of the homeland. The positive scenario involves addressing the existing problems on a step-by-step basis, seeking solutions to new challenges based on traditional value system.

The negative turn of events will occur if the government does not implement a public policy in the field of traditional values, which will lead to greater risks associated with the spread of destructive ideology.

III. Goals And Objectives Of Public Policy

In The Field Of Traditional Values

  1. The goals of public policy in the field of traditional values are as follows: 1) preserving and strengthening the system of traditional values,

handing them down from generation to generation;

2) countering the spread of destructive ideology;

3) ensuring the moral leadership of Russia in international relations as the guardian of traditional universal values.

  1. The tasks of implementing the strategic national priority “Protection Of Traditional Russian Spiritual And Moral Values, Culture And Historical Memory”, defined by the National Security Strategy, determine the content of public policy tasks for the preservation and strengthening of traditional values:

1) strengthening the civil unity, all-Russian civil identity and Russian identity, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional harmony based on the unified system of traditional values of the multinational people of the Russian Federation;

2) preserving the historical memory and protecting it from falsification, preserving the historical experience of building traditional values and their reflection in the history of Russia and in the images of its prominent figures;

3) preserving and strengthening traditional family values (including, among other things, the protection of the institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman), the continuity of generations, and forming an idea of preserving the people of Russia as the main strategic national priority;

4) implementing a public information policy aimed at strengthening the role of traditional values in the collective consciousness and counteracting the destructive ideology;

5) educating in the spirit of traditional values as a key element of public cultural and educational policy essential for the formation of a harmoniously developed personality;

6) providing support for public projects and civil society institutions in the field of patriotic education, and preserving the historical and cultural heritage of the people of Russia;

7) supporting the participation of traditional religious organizations in activities aimed at preservation of traditional values;

8) awarding state contracts to conduct scientific research, create information materials, works of literature and art, rendering services aimed at the preservation and popularization of traditional values, and monitoring the quality of performance of these state contracts;

9) protecting and supporting the Russian language, and ensuring adherence to the norms of modern Russian literary language (including the avoidance of obscene language);

10) protection from external information and psychological influence which aim to impose destructive ideology, and counteracting actions which seek to destroy traditional values within the country;

11) enhancing Russia’s role in the world by promoting traditional Russian spiritual and moral values based on time-honored universal human principles and norms.

  1. The sectoral and regional specifics of each of the tasks are reflected in the action plans for the implementation of these Fundamentals, which are developed by relevant federal and regional executive authorities.

IV. Public Policy Tools

In The Field Of Traditional Values

  1. The legal tools for the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values are as follows:

a) improving and harmonizing the regulatory and legal framework at the federal and regional levels;

b) developing public programs in the relevant areas of operation of federal and regional executive bodies on the basis of the requirements of public policy.

  1. The organizational tools for the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values are as follows:

a) holding federal and regional executive agencies and local government bodies responsible for funding activities that run counter to the goals and objectives of public policy;

b) building a system of public control over the activities of state bodies and local authorities aimed at the implementation of the state policy in the area of traditional values;

c) engaging civil society institutions in the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values.

  1. Scientific and analytical tools for the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values are as follows:

a) conducting research on issues related to the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values at the federal, regional and municipal levels;

b) monitoring the situation in the field of Russian traditional spiritual and moral values, including assessing the effectiveness of relevant programs and projects at all levels of the government.

  1. The information tool for the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values is interaction with the media, social networks, digital platforms, search engines for the purpose of posting detailed, objective and reliable information on the implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values with the maximum possible reach.
  2. The implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values requires developing a system of performance indicators, including:
  • official statistics;
  • opinion polls data;
  • reporting problems related to the preservation and strengthening of traditional values (by regions and by areas of responsibility of the relevant federal executive authorities).
  1. A prerequisite for the successful implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values is the creation of a mechanism for inter-agency coordination. The key element of such a mechanism will be an inter-agency coordination body with the following powers:
  • developing strategic approaches to the implementation of public policy in this area;
  • drafting proposals to adjust the existing and, if necessary, to adopt new strategic planning documents for the implementation of public policy in this area;
  • establishing effective mechanisms to coordinate the activities of government policy actors in this area at the federal and regional level;
  • monitoring the achievement of public policy goals in this area, including developing indicators to assess the progress in the preservation and development of traditional spiritual and moral values in the Russian society;
  • examining documents, events, information and other materials to verify their compliance with the traditional values;
  • monitoring the performance of sectoral and regional action plans to implement public policy in this area;
  • analyzing the actions of entities and persons damaging the national interests of the Russian Federation in the area of traditional values, developing and taking measures to counteract their activities;
  • taking organizational and staffing measures, and coordinating staff appointments;
  • providing information support for public policy in this area;
  • drafting an annual report of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation to the President of the Russian Federation with regard to the implementation of the public policy for the preservation and strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.
  1. The implementation of public policy in the field of traditional values by public authorities at all levels does not require additional financial resources, but rather involves the allocation of available budgetary resources in accordance with the priorities established by these Fundamentals.

Additional funding from the federal budget is required for the interdepartmental coordination body to exercise its powers.

VII. Anticipated Results Of Public Policy Implementation In The Field Of Traditional Values

  1. The implementation of these Fundamentals will help protect the people of Russia and preserve its identity on the basis of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values, develop the human potential, maintain civil peace and harmony in the country, strengthen the rule of law, form a safe information space, protect the Russian society from the spread of destructive ideology, achieve national development goals, and enhance the competitiveness and international prestige of the Russian Federation.
  2. The provisions of these Fundamentals are subject to amendment every six years, if necessary, based on the evaluation of the public policy effectiveness.

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