The Roots Behind Russia's New and Influential Christian Alt-Media - Covid, and an Existential War

Russia has a lively new Christian alt-media scene, thanks to Covid. This media is a big reason why Russian popular and government opinion are moving strongly in a Christian direction.

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The Russian political and social landscape has changed unrecognizably over the past 2 years, becoming markedly more Christian and socially conservative.

Before the covid repressions gathered momentum in Russia in the summer of 2021, the Russian political world had a familiar structure which hadn't changed in 15 years. Putin and his center-right system for running the country were dominant and highly popular, and the small but vocal opposition consisted of pro-Western liberals of the Alexei Navalny variety.

Russia's commercial and political elite were smugly corrupt, much of their wealth dependent on friendly relations with the globalist world system. While they mouthed nationalist ideas, elite behavior was decidedly liberal - with media and show business aping Western trends to the point of cringe. Russian elites still seemed to admire the West more than their own country.

An example of this new media, the Katyusha platform. Brashly Christian and patriotic, anti-globalist, anti-Covid, and anti-digital. They are have a website, are on multiple video and social platforms, and have government lobbying organizations which have been successful in pushing through legistlation, such as the recent anti-sodomy laws. Crowd-funded by their audience. (Video in Russian)

This balance did not reflect a very substantial part of the Russian population, what Russians call the 'deep folk', (glubinnii narod) roughly equivalent to the idea of a 'silent majority' in the US, in other words, Russia's conservative right-wingers, who, as in the US, are frequently devoutly Christian. They had their gripes with the existing regime, especially on immigration, Western sexual decadence, and Russia's adoption of degenerate Western culture, but were largely supportive, especially regarding the Navalny-style opposition, whom they despised. So they largely kept quiet, building businesses, churches and large families, as conservatives are wont to do.

And then Covid happened.

For the first year, after an initial, short-lived Chinese-style paroxysm, Russia seemed to be taking the whole covid thing quite casually. Lockdowns and restrictions were not strictly enforced, and life went on much as before. Then for some reason not well understood, Russia went full WEF, inflicting mandatory vaccinations on the public, mostly during the summer of 2021, well-documented on the Edward Slavsquat substack which specializes in criticizing covid tyranny pushed by some of Russia's globalist elites and their apparent love affair with digitalization. The abuse wasn't limited to the jab - Russian technocrats at the highest levels of government and media were falling over themselves coming up with ever more Orwellian ways to use new tracking technologies to lock down and monitor the public, creating a digital gulag.

Overnight, Russia's 'glubinnii narod' had a major beef with their erstwhile hero, Mr. Putin, and his digital-happy entourage, who turned out to be more fond of Klaus Schwab than Uncle Vanya. Like mushrooms on a summer evening, anti-vax groups and channels sprouted in the spring and summer of 2021 on Telegram and Instagram, Russia's social media platforms of choice (Instagram has since been banned for being a sewage pipe of liberal degeneracy), gathering millions of followers. What was striking about this new anti-covidmania alt-media was that it was overwhelmingly Christian. And thus, the covid crisis gifted Russia a large, vocal, and energetic Christian alt-media, where none had existed before.

These Russian activists would have made any Western political dissident movements proud. They were feisty, funny, and mad as hell, and once woken, determined to change their country for the better. The Russian globalists pushed the Narod too far, and in the ensuing showdown, the globalists backed down.

When the conflict in Ukraine started in February of this year, covid receded into insignificance, and this newly-minted Christian media turned to a strong, patriotic support for the war effort, and criticism of insufficiently patriotic and Christian elements of government and society. At the same time, much of the liberal opposition media fled the country, or went quiet, and lost many followers as the public mood turned patriotic. Then the government banned Facebook and Instagram, severing a major pipeline of liberal subversion entering Russia.

The effect of this new Christian alt-media has been dramatic. Their audience grows steadily, filling the vacuum left by the liberals, and they are successful in getting their ideas and talking points into the national political discourse, and they have their base of support in Putin's immediate circle, particularly in military and security circles. More and more mainstream journalists and politicians are joining them and taking up their causes, as demonstrated in a striking manner by the recent congress of the World Russian People's Council, a conservative Christian patriotic association headed by the Patriarch of the Russian Church, no less, and built up over the past few years by conservative Christian billionaire entrepreneur Konstantin Malofeev (see our recent profile), which is gathering momentum in Russia.

In an interesting contrast to Western alternative media, Russia's is far more overtly Christian. Perhaps this is due to its birth during covid, when Christian activists were particularly enraged by elite behavior which struck them as demonic and anti-Christian. Whatever the reason, the bias has remained. 

Here are some of the better-known groups, for those who are interested in following them in Russian. The largest is Tsargrad TV, the brainchild of conservative Christian Russian media tycoon and philanthropist, Konstantin Malofeev. Larger, but not as militant, is one of the country's largest national TV stations, Spas (Savior). Other notables are: Sorok Sorokov, Katyusha, Leave us Alone (covid focused), and Tsar's Cross.

But the real popular muscle is in the literally hundreds of individual Telegram accounts  of prominent Russians, celebrities and others, who are overtly Christian and socially conservative, and have turned into small media operations, many of them with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Notable ones include Igor Strelkov, Maria Shukshina, Boris Korchevnikov (also the boss of Spas), Vladimir Legoyda, Olga Kormukhina (a patriotic and very Christian pop star), Anna Shafran, Alexander Khodakovsky (a commander in the Donbas), and many, many more.

So to summarize: Russia had (and still has) a globalist elite problem just like the West, and when the covid debacle led them to show their true colors, the Russian Narod rose up, flexed their muscles, and stared them down, and a new, Christian era in Russian political life was born, providing a powerful impetus towards Christianity as Russia finds itself in a drawn-out military conflict with NATO.

There are other factors bringing the Russian people to Christianity, but the one described above is a little-appreciated one, and it has been significant.

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