/// There are many in the West happy to take him at face value, as 'Putin's 
Brain' or 'Putin's Rasputin'. He is not, though, and never has been especially 
influential. He has no personal connection to Putin, but rather is just one of 
a whole breed of 'political entrepreneurs' trying to pitch their plans and 
doctrines to the Kremlin. For a while, in 2014, he was in favour; his notions 
of Russia's civilisational destiny and status as a Eurasian nation convenient 
to rationalise a land grab in Ukraine's Donbas. Suddenly he was on every TV 
channel, his book Foundations of Geopolitics was on the syllabus at the Academy 
of the General Staff and he was offered a chair at MGU, Moscow State 
University, the country's premier institute of higher learning.

But then the Kremlin decided against outright annexation of the Donetsk and 
Lugansk 'People's Republics' and Dugin was no longer useful. The invitations 
began to dry up, MGU rescinded its offer, and he was back in the marketplace, 
hawking his books to the public and his ideas to the leadership. In the 
process, he mastered the art of retrospective thought-leading. In other words, 
of picking up on hints about what the Kremlin was about to do and loudly 
advocating just this move – and then claiming the credit. Overall, though, he 
has been more effective in selling himself to western alt-right circles – which 
to be sure, gives him some value to Moscow as an agent of influence – than to 
the Kremlin. ///

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