Millennials and the Putin Cult
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Much literature about the unique qualities of particular generations exists, as does literature examining the cult of personality surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin. This article situates itself within the study of the Putin cult, taking a perspective based in generational theory that distinguishes millennials as a unique group, and seeks to examine the ways in which millennials in particular engage with the Putin cult. The Putin cult is not a uniquely millennial phenomenon and cults of personality have existed for ages. However, millennials engage with the Putin cult in an interesting and unique way due to the digital era within which they grew up and live, along with the spread of activist ideas into Russia. This examination uses qualitative methods and finds that millennials use tactics related to these peculiarities to engage with the Putin cult in a manner that is tongue-in-cheek, while preserving an image that would retain favorability with the Kremlin. This is of particular importance given the increasing spotlight on US-Russian relations as well as the presence of cyber-issues and the Putin cult within this subject.About Shelby RangerShelby Ranger is a fifth-year student who graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2017 with a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, in addition to a bachelor's in Russian. She is interested in Russian and security topics in particular and studied abroad at the Nevsky Institute in Saint Petersburg, Russia for the 2014- 2015 academic year. She is a National Merit Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. She plans to spend time with her family immediately following graduation.