Moscow — A state-funded Russian film that lionises a Soviet World War 2 tank and its crew has become the second-highest-grossing home-grown production since the collapse of the Soviet Union, part of a Kremlin-backed drive to instil patriotism in young people. The Kremlin has long put the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the heart of a patriotic push to accompany what it casts as the country’s return to greatness under Vladimir Putin who has portrayed Russia as a fortress besieged by the West. The new film, T-34, has been praised by the defence ministry, which has shown it to its troops. Its release coincides with heightened tensions with the West, with Putin warning of a new arms race. An opinion poll by Levada published on Wednesday showed more than half of Russians believe their country faces a foreign military threat. It also comes as Kremlin critics warn of a growing militarisation of society in the wake of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, its continued backing f...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now