Vladimir Putin is considered a lover of Russian literature. So did Joseph Stalin, who read voraciously, even giving “advice” to authors after carefully reading their manuscripts. By the way, Tsar Nicholas I made himself Alexander Pushkin’s personal censor, a dubious honor that the poet would have preferred to do without. Even Lenin was influenced by Nicholas Chernyshevsky’s utopian novel What To Do? like Karl Marx.
Why should Russian leaders show such an interest in literature? Even if Mr. Putin only pretends to be guided by great writers, why should he feel the need for such pretense? American Presidents don’t claim to get their ideas from Moby-Dick or The Scarlet Letter.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-on-vladimir-putins-reading-list-russian-literature-nationalism-cultural-tradition-writers-tolstoy-herzen-gogol-11648844799 What’s on Vladimir Putin’s reading list?