The meaning of Vladimir Putin’s attack on liberalism

On 21 October, Vladimir Putin stood before a crowd of dignitaries from home and abroad to deliver the keynote speech of the Valdai Discussion Club annual summit in Sochi, southern Russia. His speech laid out the ways in which Western liberalism had become a failing worldview redolent of a society in decline.

By railing against liberalism, “cancel culture” and trans rights, the Russian president is exploiting debates taking place in Western societies to his own end.