The Russia Program at GW Online Papers, no. 7, September 2023
Orientation — North: Geidar Dzhemal’s Metaphysics of Politics
Maria Engström
One scarcely researched territory of the late-Soviet underground is the system of metaphysical and occult concepts, which were popular from the 1960s to the 1980s, and their influence on the culture and political thought of post-Soviet Russia.1 The history of esoteric movements in the Soviet underground, to include the political occultism of the late Soviet period, is a significant component in the study of post-Soviet illiberal circles, especially with regard to radical conservatism and Traditionalism.2

In this essay, my intent is not to focus on the parallels between “neo-reaction(ism)” and the recycling of the “dark Soviet underground” in contemporary Russia but rather to highlight a selection of texts and key ideological knots that are greatly important to understanding both the dark underground and Soviet occulture.3 It offers a brief analysis of the radical conservatism that mushroomed after the collapse of the USSR and its influence on the Z-turn of Russian ideology and culture after February 24, 2022.

Dark Soviet Underground

The core of the occult or dark underground was the Iuzhinskii Circle.4 This group should be counted as a Russian version of European Traditionalism, since its main ideologists (Yuri Mamleev, Geidar Dzhemal, and Evgenii Golovin) developed ideas that originated with the founders of Traditionalism in the first half of the 20th century — René Guénon (1886–1951) and Julius Evola (1898–1974).5 In addition, Evgenii Golovin and later (in the 1980s and 1990s) Alexander Dugin (b. 1962) were the initial popularizers of Aleister Crowley’s “magick” and H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror in Russia: two figures who bore great affinities with the inhuman poetics of the Iuzhinskii group.6

The metaphysical politics of the late Soviet period may also be of interest to those concerned with the so-called “post-human” or “dark” turn in contemporary Western philosophy (more specifically, the movement of “neo-reaction”/“NRx” formulated by Nick Land as the “Dark Enlightenment”).7 Traditionalism and post-Traditionalism, as anti-Enlightenment schools of thought belonging to the early- and mid-20th century, draw together with the contemporary movements of this Dark Enlightenment.8 Thinkers such as Mark Sedgwick have convincingly argued for a reading of Traditionalism “as a sort of precursor to postmodernism.”9
The question of a dark underground is a timely one for today’s Russia. Russian non-mainstream culture is currently in the throes of a renaissance of “metaphysical realism” and the cult of Yuri Mamleev, whose works are being actively reprinted.
One of the main popularizers of this cultural upheaval is the prominent rap artist Vyacheslav Mashnov (b. 1990), a.k.a. Slava KPSS, who devoted his debut studio album The Sun of the Dead (2017) to the topic of “Russian death.”10 Though the title of the album is lifted from a 1923 novel by the Russian monarchist émigré Ivan Shmelyov, Slava timed its release to coincide with the second anniversary of Mamleev’s death (October 25th, 2015); the sixth track on the album, “Shatuny,” makes an obvious reference to Yuri Mamleev’s notorious novel of the same name.

Orientation—North: The Philosophy of Separation and Ontologization of the Underground

The groundbreaking text of the dark Soviet underground was a minor philosophical tract entitled Orientation — North, conceived by philosopher and one of the Iuzhinskii Circle founders Geidar Dzhemal (1947–2016). The book’s cult status was a result of its ontology of “undergroundedness”— a radical state of nihilism and “outsideness.” In the course of the work, Dzhemal describes what he calls a “methodology” for carrying out metaphysical revolution against the unjust kingdom of the Absolute.

In 1980, Dzhemal dictated the first typewritten version of Orientation — North to fellow Iuzhinskii member and prominent writer Igor Dudinskii (1947–2022). Before the Soviet collapse, Orientation — North was distributed exclusively through samizdat. The second samizdat edition — a run of only 10 copies — was issued by the members of the Iuzhinskii Circle (particularly by Sergei Zhigalkin) with Dzhemal’s involvement in 1984. In 1990, Orientation was published in New York by Arkady Rovner in the anthology AUM: A Synthesis of Western and Eastern Mystical Schools of Thought.11 It received its first complete Russian publication in 1997 in the sixth issue of the leading Russian Traditionalist magazine Magic Mountain [Volshebnaya gora].12 In the first decade of the 2000s, the full version of Orientation — North was included in Dzhemal’s Revolution of the Prophets: Collected Philosophical Works and Lectures of Geidar Dzhemal.13 In 2019, three years after Dzhemal’s death, the book was published in a dedicated edition by Tradition Press, a Moscow-based publishing house that specializes in Traditionalism, esotericism, the Soviet metaphysical underground, and more specifically, the Iuzhinskii Circle.14
Orientation — North is one of the central manifestoes of Soviet occulture, a “metaphysical manual” of sorts.
According to Arkady Rovner — a Soviet-American poet and adherent of George Gurdjieff’s (1866–1949) metaphysical doctrine of the “Fourth Way”15Orientation became the pinnacle of the metaphysical wave in late-Soviet culture, the capstone and embodiment of the times: “[Orientation — North] accumulated within itself, as in a crystal, that which was strongest, most brilliant and most potent [in the underground of the 1970s and 1980s]. . . . It represents the pinnacle of what we sometimes call the Russian Bronze Age.”16

Orientation contains a multitude of parallels with Mamleev’s “Final Doctrine [Posledniaia doktrina],” and Dzhemal frequently referred to his own philosophy as “the doctrine of Finalism [doktrina Finalizma],” which he defined as a radical doctrine but not a “Traditionalist” one.17 According to Mamleev, these two works were conceived in dialogue with each other and are both interpretations of the Traditionalist philosophy:

Our common pursuits resulted in a teaching which we called “the Final Doctrine.” It is a purely metaphysical doctrine [whose] final form was already relatively established by the early 1970s. Afterward, Dzhemal stayed in Russia and I left. We both worked on the same doctrine [in the interim]. But, later on, our interpretations diverged. His interpretation is expressed in a book which made the rounds via samizdat . . . : Orientation—North. My interpretation [of the Final Doctrine] appears in the last chapter of The Fate of Being [Sud’ba bytiia].18

Orientation consists of 25 chapters: “Absolute,” “Awakening,” “Cosmos,” “Mind,” “Obscurantism,” “Illusion,” “Irony,” “Dormant,” “Art,” “Horror,” “Death,” “Vagina,” “Blessing,” “Messiah,” “Harlequin,” “Myth,” “Evil,” “Miracle,” “Phallos,” “Parabola,” “Messenger,” “Lightning,” “Spring,” “Love,” and “North.” Each chapter includes 72 clauses (theses), which normally consist of one sentence (occasionally broken into two items). In its aphoristic and laconic form, it is a stylization and subversion of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921); it contains almost no arguments, preferring the mode of the maxim. In this work, Dzhemal develops a new language, along with a novel corpus of concepts (e.g., “Harlequin,” “parabolic invasion,” “beyond-being,” “inner corpse,” “the Absolute,” and “the Otherwise”) that were taken up by a broad circle of writers, artists, and musicians in the Moscow underground of the 1970s and 1980s and used as codewords for the “initiated” or “those in the know”; and again, in the 1990s, these watchwords would serve as tinder for a burgeoning counterculture of radical conservatism (represented primarily by Alexander Dugin, Eduard Limonov, and the National-Bolshevik Party).

In the text of Orientation, one immediately perceives a gnostic line of enmity toward matter, as well as the notion of “awakening” as it is respectively propounded by Gurdjieff and Evola.19 In opposing the self-identity of the Absolute, Dzhemal provides an alternative philosophy of radical otherness and nonidentity; in other words, he describes a model of awakened consciousness that is separate from all objects (i.e., matter, extant things). According to this idea, mind and matter (or subject and object) are noncontiguous ontological orders — they are utterly independent and cannot be conjoined. Dzhemal speaks of a “negative polarity” of being and consciousness, which he places in the category of Spirit: “Being exists, but consciousness is what is not there.”20 Put differently, Being (existence) is an absolute object, while consciousness is Non-Being—a pure absence of Being that opposes it and around which Being is centered.

The concept of “North” enjoyed a marked popularity among the denizens of Moscow’s metaphysical underground. According to Dzhemal, “North” is not to be understood geographically, even if metaphors of the cold, freezing, and lifelessness are widely evoked by the dark underground and its contemporary heirs, such as the representatives of Russian alt-art. A significant expression of the poetics of “North” can be found in the Novonovosibirsk series by Aleksei Belyaev-Guintovt and Andrei Molodkin (see Figure 1).21 On enormous 8 × 14 foot canvases they portrayed neoclassical sculptures for the new capital of the future Russian-Eurasian empire, Novonovosibirsk. The city was moved closer to the North Pole, the “geometric center of Eurasia.” This is an unpopulated and frigid utopia, a city for people of spirit, hyper-warriors, and conquerors of the North.

InDzhemal’s tract, “North” is the revolutionary opposition to the bestial world of phenomena, of “clay” (glina) and the “South.” North is the vector of heroes who rise against the Evil Absolute and the Harlequin, its deputy on Earth. North is an approach toward absolute zero, the place where all things end and all life, created by the Evil Absolute, cools down:

5. North represents the rupture within continuous existence.
6. In the face of this pole, existence ceases and turns back on its heels . . .
11. North is the pole of the impossible.
25. Being outside of experience, North has no common measure with existence.
26. Therefore it is rooted in the absurd . . .
71. He who travels North does not fear the night.
72. Because light is absent in the skies of the North.22

The concept of a “man apart,” the Man of the North, was borrowed by Dzhemal from Julius Evola. Dzhemal also follows Guénon, admitting that North is not only the impoverishment of reality or the point that opposes the world. North is also the feminine manifestation of the Cosmos, that female orientation that places the subject who casts his glance toward the North in the masculine position. Consequently, those who turn toward the South (the male pole of the Cosmos) take the passive, feminine position.

Orientation toward the North (as the feminine manifestation of the Cosmos) with the goal of achieving sacred masculinity is reflected in the work of another Iuzhinskii leader— Evgenii Golovin. In both his lectures and his book Approaching the Ice Queen, on the basis of alchemical and occult literature, European romanticism and black fantasy, Golovin develops the topic of poles as zones of the inhuman closely related to the symbolism of color white.23 Of special significance for Golovin in this regard are Edgar Allan Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) and H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness (1931).

The Negative Theology of Protest and Political Post-Traditionalism

In Orientation — North, the ethos of nonidentity with the mainstream and that of the underground reach a scale that far exceeds any mere political or cultural protest against Soviet rule. The Soviet regime is seen as an element of the rule of “Harlequin” or “Pharaoh,” that is, the deputy of the Great Creature, the Absolute. This kind of radical protest against the System was what distinguished members of the Iuzhinskii Circle from other underground communities of the time. Orientation is a product of Dzhemal’s Traditionalist era; in agreement with the perennial view of Traditionalism, he calls for border crossings among various religious confessions and traditions. In the late 1990s, however, he went on to criticize Guénon’s Traditionalism, developing a concept he terms political post-Traditionalism, through which he combines a philosophy of protest against the Absolute with a revolution of God against Fate, with monotheism and political Islam (Monotheism against Traditionalism). His public talk “Aryan Islam,” delivered in 1994 in Moscow at the State Museum of the East, presented Dzhemal’s first critique of Traditionalism.24 In it, he opposes the philosophical school of Traditionalism by setting it against Abrahamism, which he characterizes as the counter-Being of Revelation and an invasion of the supernatural into history — a witnessing Spirit that opposes Being.

According to Dzhemal, there is a direct connection between the world of ideas and that of politics; by way of radical political acts, one influences the dimension of the metaphysical and the sacred. The prophets (Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed), along with their followers, become the agents of protest in Dzhemal’s political occultism. In 1993, Dzhemal established a religious social organization known as the “Islamic Committee of Russia,” among the ranks of which were famous journalists Maxim Shevchenko (b. 1966) and Geidar Dzhemal’s son, Orkhan Dzhemal (1966–2018).25 In a cycle of lectures entitled “Tradition and Reality” published in his book The Revolution of Prophets (2003), Dzhemal provides a detailed account of his theology, in which the eponymous Prophets are to rise up against the Great Creature, Iblis, and his priests. However, Dzhemal’s version of political Islam is by no means a “confessional ghetto”; it is rather an open post-Traditionalist structure, a metaphysical Marxism for the 21st century.26

Russia as a Zone of “High Metaphysical Lawlessness”

In general,
A vivid trait of the dark underground as it existed during the Soviet breakdown was its transition from a purely metaphysical protest to a political one, in light of which great attention was paid to Russia’s role in the global historical process.
This turn to the Traditionalist sacred geography is typical of all participants of the Iuzhinskii Circle — Mamleev, Dugin, Dzhemal, and, to a lesser extent, Golovin.27 Dzhemal sees Russia as the only power that can stand in the way of a single, centralized world government—that modern deputy of Iblis. Russia — as the nation of Boreas (the true North) — is the sentinel that holds this line. According to Dzhemal, because Russia is close to the axis mundi, the law of karma does not hold sway there; meanwhile, karma serves as the center of ontological reality for the Absolute: “Russia is the zone in which karma has a minimal function — a zone of ‘high metaphysical lawlessness.’”28 As a result, the Great Creature (Satan, Iblis) enjoys very little influence in the territory of Russia. Because the world lives under the law of Iblis, lawlessness is the project of freedom. According to Dzhemal’s political occultism, Russia is the one country without which resistance to world government is impossible. It is worth noting that in the same year (1997) Dugin published an article entitled “Katekhon and Revolution,” in which he introduced Carl Schmitt’s political-theological notion of the katekhon to his audience; it is this concept that grounds his own theory of Russia as the Christian, imperial katekhon — the last remaining power on Earth that can withhold the arrival of the Antichrist and the commencement of the apocalypse.29 In this sense, both Dugin and Dzhemal situate Russia as the center of all global processes. However, Dugin does so within the framework of Christian eschatology.30

Konstantin Krylov and the Era of the North

Another Traditionalist concept holding the North as a central mythologeme is the model of civilization put forth by Konstantin Krylov (1967–2020), a key figure of the latest generation of Russian nationalists and chief editor of the journal Questions of Nationalism [Voprosy natsionalizma].31 Although Krylov was the main theorist of Russian nationalism of his generation and milieu and Dzhemal acted publicly as the premier ideologist of political Islam, they were united by an interest in Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, as well as a common vision of the world as an evil to be overcome.

Krylov’s article “Tradition and Knowledge” was published in the same volume of Magic Mountain as Dzhemal’s Orientation — North. For Krylov, Traditionalism is the “memory of the evil committed against us.”32 What these two thinkers have in common is the notion of a metaphysical and political Enemy, the philosophy of “resisting evil with violence” and of establishing severe and impenetrable borders. For Dzhemal, this equates to distinguishing between the awakened subject (the Man of the North) and the Evil Absolute; for Krylov, this is described by the concept of nonidentity and separation — of autarchy on the civilizational level.

In 1997, with Valentina Krylova, Krylov published a short book titled Behavior [Povedenie], in which he proposed to classify world history as a succession of civilizational types.33 Konstantin Krylov’s historiosophical concept describes history as a system of relations among four civilizational blocs, the character of which is determined by the dominant ethical system of a given era. The basis of the currently dominant civilization, the West, is the third system of behavior, which is characterized by the dissipation of borders and limits. Russia, consequently, is seen as the future civilization of the North, dominated by the fourth ethical system; this will be a “Northern ethics” built around a principle that “others should not behave toward me any differently than I behave toward them.”34 Krylov argues that humanity is currently entering the next psychic and ethical order. The era of dissolving borders (dominated by Western civilization) is being usurped by that of Separation and established Limits. This is a system that calls for separation over integration or dissolution, a new, sharply delineated world. At the fundament of this fourth ethical era is an understanding of Being as something that is surrounded by a hostile world and survives thanks to its suspicion, violent resistance to threats, and erection of barriers. According to Krylov, Western civilization will begin its decline and Northern civilization will begin its ascent to dominance in the year 2025.

Russia as the Civilization of North: From Underground to Mainstream

This essay represents a preliminary approach to the subject of political occultism in the underground of post-Soviet Russian counterculture. However, even this initial analysis suggests that
Krylov’s concept of Northern civilization and Geydar Dzhemal’s metaphysics of radical subjectivity and the Man of the North should be treated as significant ideological sources when analyzing the Z-turn in contemporary Russian ideology and culture after February 24, 2022.
The conception of Russia as the civilization of the North — a radical force that destroys the System and resists the Absolute, along with its all-powerful deputies — is being articulated in an increasingly brazen manner by the leading political analysts of the Russian mainstream. Metaphysical constructions are being colonized by an entirely secular geopolitical language.

To take one example, Dmitrii Trenin, a member of Council for Foreign and Defense Policy and former director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, calls for his audience to view the war in Ukraine as a first stage in the formation of a new world order, which will be characterized by resolute resistance to Western civilization on the part of the “global majority” (i.e., civilizations of the South [India], the East [China], and the North [Russia]).35 In Trenin’s opinion, after having initiated the war and cast the gauntlet down before Western hegemony, Russia is breaking away from the pro-European line of development that it has followed for the past 500 years (beginning with Sophia [Zoe] Palaiologina); as a result, he claims, Russia is entering a totally new historical period, and its task therein will be to understand itself not as the “East of the West” or the “West of the East” but as a unique civilization of the North.
[1] With a few exceptions—see Birgit Menzel, Michael Hagemeister, and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, eds., The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions (Munich/Berlin: Verlag Otto Sagner); and Birgit Menzel, “The Occult Underground of Late Soviet Russia,” Aries 13, no. 2 (2013): 269–88,

[2] On Traditionalism as a distinct movement that began in the confines of the twentieth century, see Mark Sedgwick, Traditionalism: The Radical Project for Restoring Sacred Order (New York: Oxford University Press, 2023).

[3] In Alternative Spiritualities, Sacralization, Popular Culture and Occulture, vol. 1 of The Re-Enchantment of the West (London: T&T Clark International, 2005), British religious scholar Christopher Partridge suggests the term “occulture” to describe Western esoteric and occult subcultures and secret societies. Birgit Menzel uses this term to describe the general late-Soviet attraction to “non-Soviet” intellectual and religious traditions (which, as she claims, transcend the framework of nonconformist culture) — see Menzel, “The Occult Underground of Late Soviet Russia.”

[4] On the Iuzhinskii Circle, see Marlene Laruelle, “The Iuzhinskii Circle: Far-Right Metaphysics in the Soviet Underground and Its Legacy Today,” The Russian Review 74, no. 4 (October 2015): 563–80,; Jafe Arnold, “Mysteries of Eurasia: The Esoteric Sources of Alexander Dugin and the Yuzhinsky Circle” (master’s thesis, University of Amsterdam, 2019),; and Maria Engström, “Late-Soviet Occulture: Evgenii Golovin and the Iuzhinskii Circle,” in The Oxford Handbook of Soviet Underground Culture, eds. Mark Lipovetsky, Maria Engström, Tomáš Glanc, Ilja Kukuj, and Klavdia Smola (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021),

[5] Mark Sedgwick, “Occult Dissident Culture: The Case of Alexander Dugin,” in The New Age of Russia, 273–92; and Pavel Nosachev, “Integralny traditsionalizm: mezhdu politikoi i ezoterikoi,” Gosudarstvo, religiia, Tserskov v Rossii i za rubezhom 4 (2013): 203–22. Mamleev (1931–2015) was a Soviet/Russian writer and the founding member of the Iuzhinskii circle. On his metaphysical doctrine, see Charlie Smith, “Yuri Mamleev’s Fate of Being as a Response to Guénon’s Metaphysics,” in Passages: Studies in Traditionalism and Traditions (Warsaw: PRAV, 2023, forthcoming).

[6] Dugin, a radical right-wing philosopher and public figure who is often counted among the Iuzhinsky, did not take part in the legendary get-togethers on Iuzhinskii pereulok, but was included in the already established circle of Moscow’s esoterics at the very beginning of the 1980s. The Iuzhnitsy, in contrast to a number of other Soviet underground and dissident communities, were not very interested in a political or social critique of the Soviet order, but focused on “metaphysical” concerns. Mamleev notes:

We felt distinctly that that there was a bottomless chasm beneath us and that the whole planet was sinking into it, and at the same time there was a feeling that this was probably necessary: quite possibly, the planet had completed its journey in order to then be reborn at the next level. We were haunted by a kind of cosmic feeling of spiritual ruin that encompassed the world, the chaos of spiritual collapse. (Elena Golovina, ed., Gde net parallelei i net poliusov. Pamiati Evgeniia Golovina [Moscow: Iazyki slavianskoi kul’tury, 2015].)

The goal of this community was the awakening of the creative personality, which might penetrate (by the power of its own intuition or with the help of psychotropic means) different, superhuman worlds, with the goal of creating “other” art, “other” poetry, and “other” philosophy that might carry traces and reflections of additional dimensions, i.e., be radically different from the social and cultural norm. The way out of what the Iuzhintsy considered the dead end of rational knowledge dominating the world was seen in the constant search for the absurd, chaos, and otherworldly, often ominous, revelations. An interest in the evil is reflected in the reading circle of the Iuzhintsy, where priority was given to the genre of black fantasy (H. P. Lovecraft, Jean Ray, and Gustav Meyrink) and the “cursed poets” (Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Gottfried Benn, and Stefan George).

[7] Nick Land, The Dark Enlightenment (Imperium Press, 2002).

[8] Post-Traditionalism is a political theology of a protest developed by Dzhemal as a critique of Traditionalism by setting it against Monotheism, see below. Russian post-traditionalism is influenced by the works of Ali Shariati (1933–1977), an Iranian sociologist and one of the ideologists of the Islamic Revolution.

[9] “Traditionalism: René Guénon’s Legacy Today—Interview with Mark Sedgwick,” Religioscope, June 4, 2004,

[10] Slava KPSS (meaning “Glory to the CPSU” [Communist Party of the Soviet Union]) is one of Mashnov’s stage names (other pseudonyms include Gnoyny and Sonya Marmeladova).

[11] AUM: Sintez misticheskikh uchenii Zapada i Vostoka, vol. 4 (New York: Terra, 1990).

[12] Edited by Artur Medvedev (1968–2009).

[13] Geidar, Dzhemal, Revoliutsiia prorokov: Sobraniie filosofskikh rabot i lektsii Geidara Dzhemalia (Ul’tra.Kul’tura, 2003),

[14] See Tradition Press’s website, Traditsiia (helmed by Andrei Stepanov, son of Iuzhinskii member Vladimir Stepanov, and founded in 2014) is the premier Russian publisher of authors such as Gurdjieff, Mamleev, Tat’yana Goricheva, Vladimir Stepanov, Arkady Rovner, and Dzhemal, among many others.

[15] This esoteric doctrine was developed by Gurdjieff and his student Pyotr Ouspensky (1878–1947). The doctrine of the “Forth way” is a way of self-development (“awakening”) that can take place in ordinary life and does not demand seclusion from the world. According to Gurdjieff, the majority of people live their lives in a state of “waking sleep,” but it is possible to awaken to a higher state of consciousness by using the traditionalist methods (“the Work”) of the Fakir (control of the body), the Monk (control of the emotions), and the Yogi (control of the mind).This doctrine was popular in the Soviet dissident and underground circles; see Arkady Rovner, Georgii Gurdjieff and Pyotr Ouspensky (Moscow: AST, 2019).

[16] See “Prezentatsiya knigi. Geydar Dzhemal’ ‘Oriyentatsiya — Sever’” [Book presentation of Orientation —North], YouTube video, March 26, 2019,

[17] Geidar Dzhemal, “Doktrina finalizma,” Intelros, 2010, On the Heideggerian influence on the Iuzhinskii Circle, see Marlene Laruelle, ed., From Heidegger to Dugin and Back (Washington, DC: Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies),

[18] Yuri Mamleev, Sud’ba bytiia: Za predelami induizma i buddizma, (Moscow: Enneagon, 2006),

[19] George Gurdjieff, In Search of Being: The Fourth Way to Consciousness (Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 2012); and Julius Evola, The Doctrine of Awakening: The Attainment of Self-Mastery According to the Earliest Buddhist Texts (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1996).

[20] Geidar Dzhemal, “Consciousness and Language Explained,” YouTube video, June 20, 2020,

[21] On Belyaev-Guintovt, see Maria Engström, “Neo-cosmism, Empire, and Contemporary Russian Art: Aleksei Belyaev-Gintovt,” in Russian Aviation, Space Flight and Visual Culture, ed. Vlad Strukov and Helena Goscilo (London: Routledge, 2016), 135–65.

[22] Geidar Dzhemal, Orientation—North,” chap. “Sever,” in Revoliutsiia prorokov, 125–27.

[23] Evgenii Golovin, Priblizhenie k snezhnoi koroleve (Moscow: Arktogeiia-Tsentr, 2003).

[24] Geidar Dzhemal, “Ariiskii Islam,” Kontrudar 3, no. 1 (1997),

[25] Maxim Shevchenko is one the leading Russian journalists and public intellectuals and specializes in ethno-religious conflicts. Orkhan Dzhemal was killed along with his two colleagues—documentary filmmaker Aleksandr Rastorguyev and cameraperson Kirill Radchenko—in 2018 in the Central African Republic. In 2011, Dzhemal organized a club named “Florian Gayer,” the purpose of which was to unite a number of political and philosophical schools of thought, as well as to develop his political theology of a protest.

[26] On political Islam, see Marlene Laruelle, “Digital Geopolitics Encapsulated: Geidar Dzhemal between Islamism, Occult Fascism, and Eurasianism,” in Eurasia 2.0: Russian Geopolitics in the Age of New Media, ed. Mikhail Suslov and Mark Bassin (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016), 80–100; and Gulnaz Sibgatullina and Michael Kemper, “Between Salafism and Eurasianism: Geidar Dzhemal and the Global Islamic Revolution in Russia,” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations 28, no. 2 (2017): 219–36,

[27] On Mamleev, see, for example, Iuri Mamleev, Rossiia vechnaiia (Moscow: Biblioteka Vsemirnoi Literatury, 2014). On Dugin’s ideological trajectory and his esoteric geopolitics, see Arnold, “Mysteries of Eurasia.”

[28] Geidar Dzhemal, “Rossia buduschego protiv mirovogo pravitel’stva,” YouTube video, February 1, 2013,

[29] Alexander Dugin, “Katekhon and Revolution,” in Tampliery proletariat (Moscow: Arctogeia, 1997),

[30] On Katekhon and Russian politics, see Maria Engström, “Contemporary Russian Messianism and New Russian Foreign Policy,” Contemporary Security Policy 35, no. 3 (2014): 356–79,

[31] Krylov wrote science fiction under the pen-name Mikhail Kharitonov.

[32] Krylov, “Tradition and Knowledge,” Volshebnaya Gora 6 (1997): 394–403.

[33] Konstantin Krylov and Valentina Krylova, Povedenie (Moscow: Pedagogicheskii poisk, 1997).

[34] Egor Kholmogorov, “Konstantin Krylov. Povedenie,” Voprosy natsionalizma 1, no. 33 (2021): 29.

[35] Dmitrii Trenin, “Novaia kontseptsia vneshnei politiki Rossii. Na puti k novomu miroporiadku,” YouTube video, April 13, 2023,
  • Maria Engström

    Professor of Russian, Uppsala University, Sweden
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