Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/09/26/the-kremlin-doesnt-have-a-blank-check-from-russians-for-its-ukraine-policy/

This development does not necessarily mean that civic elements of Russian national identity are more salient than ethno-cultural ones. A majority of Russians have long supported, in some variant, the idea of “Russia for [ethnic] Russians.”

I don't understand what "civic elements of Russian national identity" means.


Wiktionary definces civic as

Of or relating to the citizen, or of good citizenship and its rights and duties.

Thus, a civic person is a person who cares more about his compatriots' rights and duties as co-citizens than about their nationality or some other trait.

Russian national identity is a vague term. I'd put it as "how Russians view themselves". Do they view themselves as citizens of a multinational country where all nations are equal? If they have such visions, express such views, that would count for "civic elements". When only a minority of the population expresses such views, that would mean some other idea has become more salient.

The idea of "Russia for ethnic Russians" would clash with the civic view because one would have to infringe on other persons' rights to keep Russia ethnically uniform. Not to mention the fatuity of such an idea in a country where ethnic groups count in hundreds.

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