Unfortunately for Russians, what Putin is doing puts them and their culture under threat. “For Russia, the fate of their language is a question of life or death” because the language is in many ways a metaphor for Russia itself. “The Russian language, Russian culture and Russian literature are … what Russia is.”
Indeed, Shchetkina argues, Russia doesn’t exist anywhere beyond these things; and that explains why Putin has said that Russia has no borders because Russia is a “virtual” reality rather than a geographic one. And in this is a problem: “this culture and language does not belong undividedly to a country which is now called the Russian Federation.”
Source: Window on Eurasia — New Series: Putin’s Language Doesn’t Threaten Russia’s Neighbors but Does Threaten Russia, Shchetkina Says – 12/1/2016.