Traditional values in Russia are the moral and ideological guidelines historically inherent in the Russian society. They form the Russian cultural space.
The definition of traditional values, as well as the policy for their preservation and strengthening, were approved by the Russian President’s Decree «On the Approval of the Foundations of State Policy for the Preservation and Strengthening of Traditional Russian Spiritual and Moral Values» signed on November 09, 2022.
The decree was developed by a working group of researchers (V. Aristarkhov, S. Volobuev, A. Rudakov, P. Shashkin) from the Russian Research Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage named after D. S. Likhachev (Heritage Institute).
According to the Decree, traditional values are defined as follows:
Traditional values are moral guidelines that form the worldview of Russian citizens, passed down from generation to generation, underlying the all—Russian civic identity and the unified cultural space of the country, strengthening civic unity, which have found their unique, original manifestation in the spiritual, historical and cultural development of the multinational people of Russia.
The decree notes that religions that have become part of Russia’s historical and spiritual heritage — Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions — have had a significant impact on the formation of traditional values, and emphasizes the special role of Orthodoxy in strengthening traditional values in Russia.
The fifth paragraph of the decree contains a list of Russian traditional values:
- human rights and freedoms,
- service to the Fatherland and responsibility for its fate,
- high moral ideals,
- strong family,
- creative work,
- priority of the spiritual over the material,
- mutual assistance and mutual respect,
- historical memory and continuity of generations,
- unity of the peoples of Russia.
State Policy for the preservation and strengthening of traditional values
The preservation of traditional values is part of Russian strategic planning and national security. The objectives of the policy for the preservation and strengthening of traditional values are to ensure their transmission from generation to generation, to counteract the spread of destructive ideology and to form the image of Russia as a guardian and defender of traditional universal spiritual and moral values.
According to the decree, a direct threat to traditional values comes from:
- extremist and terrorist organizations,
- certain mass media (the list is not given),
- the actions of the United States and other unfriendly countries,
- the activities of a number of transnational corporations, foreign NGOs and other organizations.
To implement the state policy on the preservation and strengthening of traditional values, the decree provides for legal, organizational, scientific-analytical and information tools, monitoring, and sources of funding.
On November 24, 2022, at the conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club held in Kazan, Metropolitan Kirill (Nakonechny) of Kazan and Tatarstan emphasized the following: «The values that have been formed over the course of more than a thousand years of the history of our Fatherland with the direct participation of Orthodoxy and other traditional religions are our civilizational code, on loyalty to which the further existence of both our entire civilization and humanity as a whole directly depends.»