The issue of identifying the main ideological currents or familles spirituelles remains one of the most interesting, but also most knotty, challenges in the study of modern Russian politics. It is not necessary to frame the issue by questioning whether Russian politics has created sufficiently well-defined and lasting ideological and programmatic options; on the contrary, ideologies have always been and continue to be present and put to intensive use in Russia's politics. In this respect, Russia is no anomaly—not even the Russia of today, classified most often as an authoritarian regime, headed by Vladimir Putin and led by elites who are allegedly pragmatic and non-­ideological in their outlook and actions. How strong and stable were and are these ideological options in modern Russian politics; what potential do they have, now and historically, to mobilise the populace; and how have they influenced and continued to influence the practical exercise of political power in Russia—these remain the salient questions.