Dugin was born in Moscow, into the family of a colonel-general in the Soviet military intelligence and candidate of law Geliy Alexandrovich Dugin and his wife Galina, a doctor and candidate of medicine. In 1979, he entered the Moscow Aviation Institute, but did not graduate due to his association with thinking contrary to the ongoing regime, which caused him to be expelled from the institute.
A self-taught polyglot, he read avidly in his fields of interest, from Middle Age and Renaissance European authors to Oriental Studies, translating into Russian from English, French, and German, and also the writings of Italian fascist Julius Evola and French author René Guénon. Religious Traditionalism, Conservatism, Hermeticism and Poetry were topics followed closely by Dugin and a group of philosophers/thinkers also interested in Traditionalism: Geydar Dzhemal, Evgeniy Golovin, Yuri Mamleev, Vladimir Stepanov, and Sergey Jigalkin.
He graduated in Economics and Management at Novocherkassk Meliorative State Academy in the Rostov Oblast in 1999, defending his post-graduate degree in Philosophy at Rostov-on-Don with the dissertation "The Evolution of Paradigmatic Foundations of Science" in 2000, and the PhD in the Faculty of Sociology at the same University in 2004 with the theme "The Transformation of the Political Structures and Institutions in the Process of Modernization of the Civil Society". In 1998, Dugin, Geydar Dzhemal, and Evgeniy Golovin created a study center based on their long time shared interests called the New University project.
Dugin was baptized at the age of six in the Russian Orthodox Temple of Michurinsk by his great-grandmother Elena Mikhailovna Kargaltseva. He enthusiastically adheres to the faith of the Russian Old Believers, a group of believers who rejected the 1652–1666 reforms of the official Russian Orthodox Church.
Dugin in the 1980s was a dissident and an anti-communist. Dugin worked as a journalist before becoming involved in politics just before the fall of communism. In 1988 he and his friend Geydar Dzhemal joined the nationalist group Pamyat. He helped to write the political program for the newly refounded Communist Party of the Russian Federation under the leadership of Gennady Zyuganov.
In his 1997 article "Fascism – Borderless and Red", Dugin proclaimed the arrival of a "genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism" in Russia. He believes that it was "by no means the racist and chauvinist aspects of National Socialism that determined the nature of its ideology. The excesses of this ideology in Germany are a matter exclusively of the Germans ... while Russian fascism is a combination of natural national conservatism with a passionate desire for true changes." "Waffen-SS and especially the scientific sector of this organization, Ahnenerbe," was "an intellectual oasis in the framework of the National Socialist regime", according to him." However, while Communism’s opposition to free enterprise was adopted, he dropped the Marxist commitment to technological progress in favor of neo-luddite demagogic appeal to stop the advance of industry and modernity, and derived a justification for stopping free thought from traditionalism.
Dugin soon began publishing his own journal entitled Elementy, which initially began by praising Franco-Belgian Jean-François Thiriart, supporter of a Europe "from Dublin to Vladivostok". Consistently glorifying both Tsarist and Stalinist Russia, Elementy also revealed Dugin's admiration for Julius Evola. Dugin also collaborated with the weekly journal Den (The Day), a bastion of Russian anti-Cosmopolitanism previously directed by Alexander Prokhanov.
Dugin was amongst the earliest members of the National Bolshevik Party (NBP) and convinced Eduard Limonov to enter the political arena in 1994. A part of hard-line nationalist NBP members, supported by Dugin, split off to form the more right-wing, anti-liberal, anti-left, anti-Kasparov aggressive nationalist organization, National Bolshevik Front. After breaking with Limonov, he became close to Yevgeny Primakov and later to Vladimir Putin's circle.
Dugin claims to be disapproving of liberalism and the West, particularly American hegemony. His assertions show that he likes Stalin and the Soviet Union: "We are on the side of Stalin and the Soviet Union". He calls himself a conservative and says, "We, conservatives, want a strong, solid State, want order and healthy family, positive values, the reinforcing of the importance of religion and the Church in society". He adds, "We want patriotic radio, TV, patriotic experts, patriotic clubs. We want the media that expresses national interests".
The Eurasia Party, later Eurasia Movement, was officially recognized by the Ministry of Justice on 31 May 2001. The Eurasia Party claims support by some military circles and by leaders of the Orthodox Christian faith in Russia, and the party hopes to play a key role in attempts to resolve the Chechen problem, with the objective of setting the stage for Dugin's dream of a Russian strategic alliance with European and Middle Eastern states, primarily Iran. Dugin's ideas, particularly those on "a Turkic-Slavic alliance in the Eurasian sphere" have recently become popular among certain nationalistic circles in Turkey, most notably among alleged members of the Ergenekon network, which is the subject of a high-profile trial (on charges of conspiracy). Dugin's Eurasianist ideology has also been linked to his adherence to the doctrines of the Traditionalist School. (Dugin's Traditionalist beliefs are the subject of a book length study by J. Heiser, The American Empire Should Be Destroyed—Aleksandr Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology.) Dugin also advocates for a Russo-Arab alliance.
The reborn Russia, according to Dugin's concept, is said by Charles Clover of the Financial Times to be a slightly remade version of the Soviet Union with echoes of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, where Eurasia was one of three continent-sized super states including Eastasia and Oceania as the other two and was participating in endless war between them.
He has criticized the "Euro-Atlantic" involvement in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election as a scheme to create a "cordon sanitaire" around Russia, much like the French and British attempt post-World War I.
Dugin has criticized Putin for the "loss" of Ukraine, and accused his Eurasianism of being "empty." In 2005, Dugin founded the Eurasian Youth Union of Russia as the youth wing of the International Eurasia Movement.
Ukraine gave Dugin a five-year entry ban, starting in June 2006, and Kiev declared him a persona non grata in 2007. His Eurasian Youth Union was banned in Ukraine. In 2007, the Security Service of Ukraine identified persons of the Eurasian Youth Union who committed vandalism on Hoverla in 2007: they climbed up the mountain of Hoverla, imitated sawing down the details of the construction in the form of the small coat of arms of Ukraine by tools brought with them and painted the emblem of the Eurasian Youth Union on the memorial symbol of the Constitution of Ukraine. He was deported back to Russia when he arrived at Simferopol International Airport in June 2007.
Before war broke out between Russia and Georgia in 2008, Dugin visited South Ossetia and predicted, "Our troops will occupy the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the entire country, and perhaps even Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula, which is historically part of Russia, anyway." Afterwards he said Russia should "not stop at liberating South Ossetia but should move further," and "we have to do something similar in Ukraine." In 2008, Dugin stated that Russia should repeat the Georgian scenario in Ukraine, namely attack it. In September 2008, after the Russian-Georgian war, he did not hide his anger towards Putin, who "dared not drop the other shoe" and "restore the Empire."
Aleksandr Dugin supports Putin and his foreign policies but has opposed Russian governments due to their economic policies. His 2007 quote, "There are no more opponents of Putin's course and, if there are, they are mentally ill and need to be sent off for clinical examination. Putin is everywhere, Putin is everything, Putin is absolute, and Putin is indispensable" – was voted number two in flattery by readers of Kommersant.
In the Kremlin, Dugin represents the "war party", a division within the leadership over Ukraine. Dugin is seen as an author of Putin's initiative for the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. He considered the war between Russia and Ukraine to be inevitable and appealed for Putin to start military intervention in eastern Ukraine. Dugin said, "The Russian Renaissance can only stop by Kiev." During the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, Dugin was in regular contact with pro-Russian separatist insurgents. He described his position as "unconditionally pro-DPR and pro-LPR". A Skype video call posted on YouTube showed Dugin providing instructions to separatists of South and Eastern Ukraine as well as advising Ekaterina Gubareva, whose husband Pavel Gubarev declared himself a local governor and after that was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine. On 31 March 2014, Oleg Bahtiyarov, a member of the Eurasia Youth Union of Russia founded by Dugin, was arrested. He had trained a group of about 200 people to seize parliament and another government building, according to the Security Service of Ukraine. Dugin also developed links with far-right and far-left political parties in the European Union, including Syriza in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, the Freedom Party of Austria, and Front National in France, to influence EU policy on Ukraine and Russia.
Dugin stated he was disappointed in Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Putin did not aid the pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine after the Ukrainian Army's early July 2014 offensive. In August 2014, Dugin called for a "genocide" of Ukrainians.
Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group said that the influence of Dugin's "Eurasian ideology" on events in eastern Ukraine and on Russia's invasion of the Crimea was beyond any doubt. According to Vincent Jauvert, Dugin's radical ideology today became the basis for the internal and foreign policy of the Russian authorities. So Dugin is worth listening to, in order to understand to which fate the Kremlin is leading its country and the whole of Europe. However, according to Alexander Nevzorov, if we had had Kurginyan and Dugin instead of Putin, there would have been hell for all of us to pay, they would have unleashed a European and World War without a shadow of a doubt, without considering consequences at all. But Dugin and Kurginyan do not have the slightest impact on what is going on in the Kremlin and do not even get coaching there. In another publication, Nevzorov said, "Beliefs are only proven by being under bullets, another prescription does not exist. I do not understand why Milonov and Dugin are not there yet."
On 10 October 2014, Dugin said, "Only after restoring the Greater Russia that is the Eurasian Union, we can become a credible global player. Now these processes slowed down very much. The Ukrainian maidan was the response of the West to the advance of the Russian integration." He described the Euromaidan as a coup d'état carried out not by the Ukrainians but by the United States: "America wishes to wage the war against Russia not by its own hands but by the hands of the Ukrainians. Promising to wink at up to 10 thousand victims among the peaceful population of Ukraine and actually demanding the victims, the United States led to this war. The United States carried out the coup d'état during the maidan for the purpose of this war. The United States raised neo-Nazis Russophobes to the power for the purpose of this war." Dugin said Russia is the major driving force for the current events in Ukraine, "Russia insists on its sovereignty, its liberty, responds to challenges thrown down to it, for example, in Ukraine. Russia is attempting to integrate the post-Soviet space..." As Israeli political scientist Vyacheslav Likhachov states, "If one seriously takes the fact that such a person as Alexander Dugin is the ideologist of the imperial dash for the West, then one can establish that Russia is not going to stop as far as the Atlantic Ocean."
In the 2014 article by Dmitry Bykov "Why TV, Alexander Dugin and Galina Pyshnyak crucified a boy", Channel One Russia's use of the aired story by Dugin and Pyshnyak about the allegedly crucified boy as a pretext for escalating the conflict was compared to the case of Beilis. On 9 July 2014, Dugin on his Facebook account wrote a story that a 6 year old child was allegedly nailed down to an advertisement board and shot to death before his father's eyes. On 16 July 2014, Novaya Gazeta provided a videotape of its correspondent Eugen Feldman walking along the main square in Sloviansk, asking local old women if they had heard of the murder of the child. They said such an event did not take place. The website Change.org hosted a petition of citizens who demanded "a comprehensive investigation with identification for all persons involved in the fabrication of the plot."
On 2 October 2014, Dugin described the situation in Donbass: "The humanitarian crisis has long since been raging on the territory of Novorossiya. Already up to a million, if not more, refugees are in the Russian Federation. A large part of the inhabitants of the DPR and the LPR simply moved abroad." In the end of October 2014, Dugin advised the separatists to establish dictatorship in Novorossiya until they win in the confrontation.
The typical rhetoric about the fifth column as foreign agents is used by Dugin for political accusations in many publications. In his 2014 interview published by Vzglyad and Komsomolskaya Pravda, he says, "A huge struggle is being conducted. And, of course, Europe has its own fifth column, its own Bolotnaya Square-minded people. And if we have them sitting idly and doing nasty things on Dozhd, Europe is indeed dominated and ruled by the fifth column in full swing. This is the same American riffraff..." He sees the United States standing behind all the scenes, including the Russian fifth column, according to his statement, "The danger of our fifth column is not that they are strong, they are absolutely paltry, but that they are hired by the greatest 'godfather' of the modern world—by the United States. That is why they are effective, they work, they are listened to, they get away with anything because they have the world power standing behind them." He sees the American embassy as the center for funding and guiding the fifth column and asserts, "We know that the fifth column receives money and instructions from the American embassy."
According to Dugin, the fifth column promoted the breakup of the Soviet Union as a land continental construction, seized the power under Boris Yeltsin, and headed Russia as the ruling politico-economic and cultural elite until the 2000s; the fifth column is the regime of liberal reformers of the 1990s and includes former Russian oligarchs Vladimir Gusinsky, Boris Berezovsky, former government officials Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, artistic, cultural, and media workers, the Echo of Moscow, the Russian State University for the Humanities, the highest ranks of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, a significant part of teachers of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and a minority part of teachers of the Moscow State University. Dugin proposes to deprive the fifth column of Russian citizenship and deport the group from Russia: "I believe it is necessary to deport the fifth column and deprive them of their citizenship." However, in 2007, Dugin argued, "There are no longer opponents of Putin's policy, and if there are, they are mentally ill and should be sent to prophylactic health examination." In 2014, Dugin in an interview to Der Spiegel confirmed that he considers the opponents of Putin to be mentally ill.
In one of his publications, Dugin introduced the term the sixth column and defined it as "the fifth column which just pretends to be something different", those who are in favor of Putin, but demand that he stand for liberal values (as opposed to the liberal fifth column, which is specifically against Putin). During the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Dugin said that all the Russian sixth column stood up staunchly for Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. As he asserts, "We need to struggle against the fifth and sixth columns."
Russian-American artist Mihail Chemiakin says Dugin is inventing "the sixth column". "Soon, probably, there would already be the seventh one as well. "The fifth column" is understandable. That is we, intelligentsia, lousy, dirty, who read Camus. And "the sixth column", in his opinion, is more dangerous, because that is the personal entourage of Vladimir Putin. But he is naive and understands nothing. And as for Dugin, he can tell him who to shoot to death and who to imprison. Maybe, Kudrin and maybe, Medvedev..."
According to Dugin, the whole Internet should be banned: "I think that Internet as such, as a phenomenon is worth prohibiting because it gives nobody anything good." In June 2012, Dugin said in a lecture that chemistry and physics are demonic sciences, and that all Orthodox Russians need to unite around the President of the Russian Federation in the last battle between good and evil, following the example of Iran and North Korea. He added, "If we want to liberate ourselves from the West, it is needed to liberate ourselves from textbooks on physics and chemistry."
Dugin has characterized his position on the Ukrainian conflict as "firm opposition to the Junta and Ukrainian Nazism that are annihilating peaceful civilians" as well as unacceptance of liberalism and American hegemony.
During the conflict in Ukraine, Dugin also lost his post as Head of the Department of Sociology of International Relations of Moscow State University. In 2014, a petition entitled "We demand the dismissal of MSU Sociology Faculty Professor A. G. Dugin!" was signed by over 10,000 people and sent to the MSU rector Viktor Sadovnichiy. The petition was started after Dugin in an interview expressed his opinion on how to deal with Ukrainians ("Kill them, kill them, kill them. There should not be any more conversations. As a professor, I consider it so."). Dugin claimed to have been fired from this post; the university claimed the offer of a department chairmanship resulted from a technical error and that he would remain a professor under contract until September 2014. Dugin wrote the statement of resignation from the faculty because it was necessary to be reappointed to the Moscow State University, but the appointment did not happen, so as a result he is no longer a staff member of the faculty and a staff member of the Moscow State University.
At the end of October 2014, Sergey Kurginyan, the leader of all-Russian movement Essence of Time, sued Dugin because Dugin called Kurginyan a traitor and accused him of destroying DPR deputy foreign minister Proselkov in the following words: "Possessed supporters of traitor Kurginyan, who as now it turns out is working for oligarchs, Yukos and Israel, declared Sasha Proselkov "main enemy" after he along with Gubarev did not allow denigrating Russian hero Igor Strelkov with impunity." Dugin added: "Kurginyan crossed a red line: the ideological controversy is one thing, the physical destruction of Russian patriots is another one."
On 11 March 2015, the United States Department of the Treasury added Dugin, as well as his Eurasian Youth Union, to its list of Russian citizens who are sanctioned as a result of their involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. In June 2015, Canada added Dugin to its list of sanctioned individuals.
He is a character of Yevraziyskoye (Something Eurasian), a poem by Dmitry Bykov.
Several of Dugin's books have been published by the publishing house Arktos, an English-language publisher for Traditionalist and New Right books, which specializes in works by prominent fascists and neo-Nazis.Konflikte der Zukunft - Die Rückkehr der Geopolitik, Bonus (2015)
Last War of the World-Island: The Geopolitics of Contemporary Russia, Arktos (2015)
Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism, Arktos (2014)
Martin Heidegger: The Philosophy of Another Beginning, Washington Summit (2014)
Putin vs Putin, Arktos (2014)
Noomahia: voiny uma. Tri Logosa: Apollon, Dionis, Kibela, Akademicheskii proekt (2014)
V poiskah tiomnogo Logosa, Akademicheskii proekt (2013)
The Fourth Political Theory, Arktos (2012)
Die Vierte Politische Theorie, Arktos (2013)
The United States and the New World Order (debate with Olavo de Carvalho), VIDE Editorial (2012)
Pop-kultura i znaki vremeni, Amphora (2005)
Filosofiya voiny, Yauza (2004)
Absoliutnaia rodina, Arktogeia-tsentr (1999)
Tampliery proletariata: natsional-bol'shevizm i initsiatsiia, Arktogeia (1997)
Osnovy geopolitiki: geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii, Arktogeia (1997)
Metafizika blagoi vesti: Pravoslavnyi ezoterizm, Arktogeia (1996)
Misterii Evrazii, Arktogeia (1996)
Konservativnaia revoliutsiia, Arktogeia (1994)
Conspirology (in Russian)