The new Russophobia

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I knew the expression, but didn't see the relevance, except in terms of the Putinist tag-team.

Marxism is, among other things, critical thought. There is no reason one can't be a Marxist and a dissident, not even relevant here as there is no erstwhile socialist state involved in this case from which to be a dissident.

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Look, I don't want you to imagine that I think the Russian President, or that regime generally, is some sort of transmogrified post-Soviet Marxist regime or something. Putin's as much a conservative [of a different kind!] as Obama, Harper and all the rest of the Western cabal of neo-liberal zealots. That's the first point.

The second point is that an article that purports to explain "what the left gets wrong about Russia" ought to, at the very least, address the current Communist Party opposition to Putin, where they are right and where they are wrong, and contextualize their analysis based on real Russian politics. You know, like an analysis of the Canadian left ought to address the reality of Liberal, NDP, and even Green politics in Canada. There's no such effort from the author, none.

There's more, I made notes, maybe I will find them. But the second point above is a killer.


lagatta wrote:

I knew the expression, but didn't see the relevance, except in terms of the Putinist tag-team.

Marxism is, among other things, critical thought. There is no reason one can't be a Marxist and a dissident, not even relevant here as there is no erstwhile socialist state involved in this case from which to be a dissident.

Agree that Marxists can be dissidents - Djilas and Kolakowski are good examples.

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OK, so about my second point above...dead  silence.

Seems like the Lenin quote is very apt.


ikosmos wrote:

OK, so about my second point above...dead  silence.

Seems like the Lenin quote is very apt.

Is your point that only Lenin can tell us who the true Marxists are? Because he's been out of commission for a bit...

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lol. No, my claim was that any serious analysis of domestic Russian politics, especially of the left, ought to look at the Communists, evaluate their policies, etc., explain where they are right (and wrong, and why, etc.) since they, and not the so-called liberals are, and continue to be, the leading opposition to Putin domestically.

About this, there was nothing. Not in the article, and not in replies here. I don't know what conclusion I should therefore come to ... other than that neither the author of the article nor the Russophobic commentators here are really serious about their analysis, i.e., they seem like fake Marxists.

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Russophobia 2.0. Have a look at the following map. Russia is in blue. The "international community" [in green] are those countries that have carried out anti-Russian sanctions over the Ukrainian civil war.

The countries in grey? Apparently, they don't exist. The "international community" is what the West says it is.

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Here's some help with terminology from commentator M Sleboda.

"Pro-Russian": demonizing/dehumanizing adjective used by Western MSM.

1. Ukrainian opposed to ‪#‎Ukraine‬ ‪#‎Maidan‬ Putsch & regime
2. Anyone and everyone NOT rabidly anti-Russian/Russophobic
3. nearly as bad as actually being "Russian"

Note - Condition in all meanings can only result from weak will and exposure to Putinist propaganda, see "zombie" and "brainwashed"

and add the following ...

4. those who are strongly pro-peace in the Ukrainian civil conflict

5. those who draw attention to war preparations, sabre-rattling, etc.  against Russia by US and NATO client states


ikosmos wrote:

lol. No, my claim was that any serious analysis of domestic Russian politics, especially of the left, ought to look at the Communists, evaluate their policies, etc., explain where they are right (and wrong, and why, etc.) since they, and not the so-called liberals are, and continue to be, the leading opposition to Putin domestically.

About this, there was nothing. Not in the article, and not in replies here. I don't know what conclusion I should therefore come to ... other than that neither the author of the article nor the Russophobic commentators here are really serious about their analysis, i.e., they seem like fake Marxists.

So can you give us a serious analysis, based on, say, Gennady Zyuganov's views here?

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ygtbk wrote:
So can you give us a serious analysis, based on, say, Gennady Zyuganov's views here?

If I could do this, then I would provide something here. I'm looking for this from those who purport, like the author of the article, to lecture others - in particular the political left - on how they have Russian politics "all wrong". I haven't made any claims myself about domestic Russian politics. It's almost exclusively foreign policy that I've been looking at. 


Stephen F Cohen on the US/Russia/Ukraine History the Media Won't Tell You..

 "...Our position is that nobody is entitled to a sphere of influence in the 21st century. Russia wants a sphere of influence in the sense that it doesn't want American military bases in Ukraine or in the Baltics or in Georgia.

But what is the expansion of NATO other than the expansion of the American zone or sphere of influence? It's not just military. It's financial, it's economic, it's cultural, it's intermarriage - soldiers, infrastructure.

It's probably the most dramatic expansion of a great sphere of influence in such a short time and in peacetime in the history of the world...

Well, we are shoving our sphere of influence down Russia's throats on the assumption that it won't push back.

Ukraine is about NATO-expansion-no-matter-what."


Noam Chomsky: the RT Interview; 'If US Wants to Study 'Weaponization' of Media, It Can Look At Its Own Front Pages'

"American media outlets are showing a growing concern over the influence of foreign media outlets, particularly the Russian media."


WikiLeaks Release: US Recruits Hollywood to Boost 'Anti-Russia Messaging'

"It its propaganda efforts against Russia, the US State Department may have pressured Sony - and some of the biggest stars - into cooperating..."

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Truth is Washington's Enemy

Paul Craig Roberts wrote:
US Representative Ed Royce (R, CA) is busy at work destroying the possibility of truth being spoken in the US.  On April 15 at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs of which Royce is chairman, Royce made use of two minor presstitutes to help him redefine all who take exception to Washington’s lies as  “threats” who belong to a deranged pro-Russian propaganda cult.

Not only that, but ...

What to do?  How to suppress truth with lies in order to remain in control?  The answer says Andrew Lack, Royce, et alia, is to redefine a truth-teller as a terrorist.  Thus, the comparison of RT and “dissident” Internet bloggers to the Islamist State and the designated terror group, Boko Haram.

Hence US President Obama's speech at the UN in which he SERIOUSLY compared Russia to Boko Haram and ISIS as "threats to global peace" with a straight face.

But why do they spew this bile?

Noam Chomsky summed it up when he said that Washington regards any information that does not repeat Washington’s propaganda to be intolerable.

So, what's next on the Empire's domestic agenda?

The spying and the coming crackdown on “dissidents” might also explain the $385 million federal contract awarded to a subsidiary of Dick Cheney’s firm, Halliburton, to build detention camps in the US.  Few seem to be concerned with who the camps are to detain.  There is no media or congressional investigation. It seems unlikely that the camps are for hurricane or forest fire evacuees.  Concentration camps are usually for people regarded as unreliable.  And as Lack, Royce, et alia, have made clear, unreliable people are those who do not support Washington’s lies.

Like you and me.

There is a clear link between the stream of Russophobic lies, with the aim of justifying support for the Kievan junta, and repression of dissenters at home generally.

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Canadian Paul Robinson wrote:
Western ideology has always had universalistic tendencies, from the era of the medieval crusades onwards. It shares these tendencies with Islam, but less so with Orthodoxy, which has rarely shown any proselytizing zeal or given holy sanction to anything other than defensive war. Although some Byzantine rulers did attempt to harness religion to support their wars, their efforts were sporadic and generally met resistance from the Church authorities.

Interesting piece. "It is the West," says Robinson, "and not Russia, that insists on imposing its model on the other" [over the barrel of a gun, it should be added].

The White Man's Burden: Liberal West Is Hostile to Russia for Refusing to Be Remade in Its Image

The author writes from a conservative website, so the usual denunciation of "Marxist, Stalinist and Soviet nostalgists" would be a stretch which, it must be admitted, never stopped the Russophobes before. Bwa ha ha ha. It's a conservative shot at liberals. So it's important to identify how the author is wrong, from a left (in my case Marxist) point of view. And that part is easy.

It's crystal clear that this conservative is totally wrong about the unqualified support for democracy in the West. It is all about the result. If the result is pro-Western, then it's "democracy". If not, then not. Hence the 2006 Palestinian vote for Hamas isn't democracy. Hence the Crimean independence referendum isn't "democracy". And so on. The list is virtually endless. What we have, in Canada and the USA (the latter described as a non-democracy, a plutocracy or rule by the rich by Chomsky and others) are fake democracies, hollowed out democracies, democracy as a brand, like Pepsi or Coca Cola, exported like a McDonald's cheeseburger, with McDonnell Douglas air strikes to back them up.

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Scholar Stephen Cohen eviscerates the Russophobes.

Ukraine is about NATO-expansion-no-matter-what. Washington can go on about democracy and sovereignty and all the rest, but it’s about that ... The hypocrisy, or the inability to connect the dots in America, is astonishing.

We can’t be children about this. Washington controls the IMF. Washington controls NATO. NATO and the IMF are the two agencies that can make war happen on a broader basis in Ukraine and in regard to Russia, or stop it. 

People say every country that qualifies has a right to join NATO. No, they do not. NATO is not a junior Chamber of Commerce. It’s not a non-selective fraternity or sorority. It’s a security organization, and the only criterion for membership should be, “Does a nation enhance the security of the other member countries?” 

The Ukrainian crisis proves beyond any doubt, being the worst international crisis of our time, that the indiscriminate expansion of NATO has worsened our international security. That’s the end of that story.


on the demonization of Russian President Putin:


There is very little basis for many of the allegations made against Putin, and that the net result was to make rational analysis in Washington on Russian affairs at home and abroad impossible, because it was all filtered through this demonization.

If we didn’t stop, I argued, it was only going to get worse to the point where we would become like heroin addicts at fix time, unable to think about anything except our obsession with Putin. ... This has now happened fully. The article was turned down by the New York Times

It’s preposterous. But the demonization of Putin has become an institution in America. It is literally a political institution that prevents the kind of discussion that you and I are having.


Supplemental: Igor Strelkov, a Russian actively supporting Novorossiya now with humanitarian aid [he was kicked out of a military role] has noted the role of the information war and talks about the powerful brainwashing of the public in Ukraine, "which acts like a drug" and zombifies the citizenry into cannon fodder for the Kievan puppet regime. People watch the news, unable to tear themselves away, even when it is in a loop that repeats ...


Munk Debates; Stephen F Cohen on Should the West Engage or Isolate Russia (and vid)

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Roger Annis, Canadian social activist wrote:
The Russophobia of Western governments and media is a powerful ideological force. Their thesis that Russia is a major belligerent in the Ukraine conflict and has imperial designs on the country is factually wrong but somehow finds favour in the left and liberal political spectrum. This is a due to the legacy of the decades-long, post-World War Two Cold War, a legacy of ignorance and shallow analysis of the Soviet Union. This continued into the period of transition of the Soviet Union back to capitalism since 1990-91.

Yup. I'll vouch for that. Ignorance and shallow analysis. Couldn't have said it better myself.

rabble blogger - Return from Donbas: Cracks begin to show in Canada's support for war in Ukraine


Frontline Ukraine, by Richard Sakwa: Portrait of Crisis Does Not Demonise Putin  -  by Prof Geoffrey Roberts

"...In this powerful account of the Ukraine crisis Richard Sakwa argues the EU has abandoned a peace project and allowed itself to become an auxiliary of NATO's expansion into central and eastern Europe.

Instead of seeking accommodation, compromise and engagement with Russia in relation to Ukraine, the EU leadership in Brussels has turned the issue of Ukraine's 'European choice' into an instrument to isolate and destabilise Vladimir Putin's regime.

The resultant dangerous confrontation between Russia and the West will divide the continent for at least a generation.

Prof Sakwa, a British scholar of Polish heritage who specialises in Russian and European politics, intends his book to counter the predominant western narrative that blames Russia for the civil war and crisis in Ukraine..."


The Choice Before Europe - by Paul Craig Roberts

The specter of a military conflict with Russia that Washington is creating could erode Washington's hold over Europe. By hyping a 'Russian threat', Washington is hoping to keep Europe under Washington's protective wing. However, the 'threat' is being over-hyped to the point that some Europeans have understood that Europe is being driven down a path towards war.

Clearly Washington has no intention of moderating its position on the sole imperial power. In defense of this power, Washington will take the world to nuclear war. Europe can prevent this war by asserting its independence and departing the empire."

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Much of the fuel for the fire is the contagion of hatred: frothing, foaming, rabid hatred that is a counterfeit and fake version of love for one's country. The Saker hits the nail on the head.


Russia and Ukraine - a study in hatred and love.

The Saker wrote:
For me, a Russian is any person who loves, and cares for Russia.  It is not an ethnicity or a language, but a “civilizational realm”, just like there are Indian or Chinese civilizational realms.  By those criterions, these Ukronazis are not Russians [even though they speak the Russian language more naturally than Ukrainian - ikosmos]...

You can read what the author writes about this Russian civilization. The following remark is noteworthy ...

Compare that with the Nazi-occupied Ukraine I call “Banderastan”:

How do you burn cops who are ordered to stand down and not fight back?
How do you gouge out the eyes of an already wounded cop?
How do you shoot your own demonstrators?
How do you betray every pledge you make?
How do you rejoice at the sight of people burned alive?
How do you take pride in shelling your own people, all civilians?
How do you voluntarily accept to be a foreigner’s puppet?
How do you massacre hundreds of foreigners, who just happen to fly across your airspace?
How do you deprive your own people from basic necessities to fight an unwinnable war?
How do you spend all your time, day in and day out, lying, lying, lying and then lying some more?
How do you so sell – literally – your own country, people and culture to foreign vultures?

You do that when you are moved by a burning, raging, seething hatred.

But where does this hate come from?  Centuries of oppression and vicious ‘russification’?  Hardly, one cannot oppress for “centuries” something which was only born 100 years ago.  The famous “Holodomor”?!  Nope.  Every single nation of the Soviet Union did suffer terribly under the Soviet rule, not just the Ukrainians.  I would add that the historical record shows that the Ukrainians were over-represented in the Soviet political system and that they had it better, not worse, than the rest of the Soviet people.  So what is the cause of such hatred?

And so on. And the haters will hate.


That sure sounds like an expression of love to me.


Gifting Russia 'Free Market' Extremism  -  by Robert Parry

"Official Washington's Putin-bashing knows no bounds as the Russian president's understandable complaints about US triumphalism and NATO expansion, after the Soviet collapse in the 1990s are dismissed as signs of his 'paranoia' and 'revisionism', writes Robert Parry."

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The unrelenting Russophobia has the following consequence: Only 13 percent of Europeans believe that the Soviet Red Army played a key role in liberating Europe from Nazism during the Second World War.

Of course, that makes it much easier to construct a narrative in which the Nazis and the Soviets are "equally responsible" for World War II, the Soviets were never our Ally and Stalin and Hitler were much the same in terms of policy, etc.

Russian President Putin made a public statement that these organized efforts to trivialize the critical Soviet contribution to the military victory over the Nazis "should be viewed on a par with glorification of Nazi crimes."

I can find no fault with his claim.

Read more:



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A Russian cultural page, not particularly politically left, has some interesting writing on this and that aspect of Russian culture.

Here, we have "Pro-Russian" as a negative marker, a logoepisteme, in which one word carries within itself a whole story or narrative, just as "pro-Western" carries an entire narrative as well.

‘Pro-Russian’ as a Negative Marker


Pro-Russian‘ is not a ‘neutral’ term. It is a negative marker in the (current) Western master discourse of Russia. It’s an ‘evil twin‘ of a positive marker, i.e. ‘pro-Western‘. The root of the word ‘pro-Russian’ (‘Russia’) is itself a logoepisteme 

when one word or word combination contains a whole story, it’s a convoluted narrative. When the mainstream discourse is dominated with an already known point of view, implication or inference concerning a certain object, one doesn’t have to say/write the whole ‘formula’. For example, instead of saying/posting “Russia is a land of…/Russians are… *insert your favourite Russian stereotype*” one can just come up with any particular incarnation of the above mentioned 'memes' or simply say/write “this is Russia” or even shorter – “Russia/Russians“. The discourse is  well-known, the sender of the message and the receiver ‘get the point’.

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More from the same site, with a lengthy list of related articles.

Яussiaи Stereotypes and Russophobia 

  I. Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as Seen Through Russian’s Eyes.

II. Representation of Russia(ns) in Western Popular Culture: Klyukvification & Russian Character Types.

III. Through the Looking Glass: Western Media Coverage of Russia.

1. Ushanka Syndrome, Sochi Problems & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

2. Quasi-Colonial Wet Dreams: The Pussy Riot Effect, TV Screen Russians & Orientalization.

3. Fire the Narrator: Quasi-Colonial Nightmare, Russian Double Consciousness & Russocentric Optics.

more here ...


  1. Russia as the Ideal Other for the West.
  2. Russophobia: The Discreet Charm of Cultural Racism & the Legacy of Hate.
  3. Stealth Russians, or the Western Media Blind Spot.
  4. Image of a Typical Russian Man in Western Popular Culture.
  5. Dostoyevsky Is the Limit?!
  6. Lost in Poshlost.
  7. Vatnik Reclaimed.
  8. Cranberry Fields Forever (The Sounds of Positive Klyukvification).
  9. Worldview of a Xenopatriot.
  10. Russian Recursion.
  11. ‘Pro-Russian’ as a Negative Marker.
  12. Voices from Around the Globe.
  13. The Afterglow after Afterparty (The Quasi-Colonial Suite).
  14. The Horns Effect & the Western Grand Narrative of Russia.


Fyodor Tyutchev

It is possible to provide an analysis of the modern phenomenon which becomes increasingly pathological. It is Russophobia of some Russian people who are highly respected by the way. They used to tell us (and they really thought so) that what they hate about Russia is injustice, lack of freedom of press, etc. That’s why they love Europe so tenderly for it indisputably possesses all these features which are not present in Russia. And what do we see now? As Russia’s achieving greater freedom asserting itself more and more, these gentlemen’s dislike of Russia is only getting more intense. In contrast, we see that no violation of justice, morality and even civilization allowed in Europe does not reduce their predilection for the latter. In short, a phenomenon I’m referring to is all about instincts not principles and it is the nature of these instincts which should be sorted out.

Tyutchev wrote that in 1867! So, yes, Russophobia has a very, very, very long history.

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"Where Russia’s narrative is simple and emotional, the West’s is complex and intellectual. As such, it has nothing like the same appeal."

Anatomy of an Info-War: How Russia’s Propaganda Machine Works, and How to Counter It

The zombies are fighting back!

Give them credit! Yes, they have no brains, but, dammit, they're fighting back!



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Lithuanian President: Modern Russia worse than under Stalin

The behavior of modern Russia is worse than under the regime of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in an interview with Latvian TV on Tuesday, according to Baltic news portal

No exaggeration! None! NoSireeBob! Just the facts!

However, there are some inconvenient truths about the Lithuanian PM that babblers might be interested to know ...

And then over here, "Russia is a terrorist state!" says the Lithuanian President. Then she gets Punk'd. D'Oh!

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Neo-McCarthyism and the US Media: The crusade to ban Russia policy critics

James Carden wrote:

As a result of the civil war that has raged in Ukraine since April 2014, at least 7,000 people have been killed and more than 15,400 wounded, many of them grievously. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 1.2 million eastern Ukrainians have been internally displaced, while the number of those who have fled abroad, mainly to Russia and Belarus, has reached 674,300. Further, the United Nations has reported that millions of people, particularly the elderly and the very young, are facing life-threatening conditions as a result of the conflict. Large parts of eastern Ukraine lie in ruins, and relations between the United States and Russia have perhaps reached their most dangerous point since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

And yet a special report published last fall by the online magazine the Interpreter would have us believe that Russian “disinformation” ranks among the gravest threats to the West. The report, titled “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money,” is a joint project of the Interpreter and the Institute for Modern Russia (IMR), a Manhattan-based think tank funded by the exiled Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Cowritten by the journalists Michael Weiss and Peter Pomerantsev, this highly polemical manifesto makes the case for why the United States, and the West generally, must combat what the authors allege to be the Kremlin’s extravagantly designed propaganda campaign. If implemented, the measures they propose would stifle democratic debate in the Western media.

The article outlines many of the inter-relationships among the cabal of neo-conservative zealots that sell this neo-McCarthyite Orwellian gruel. Informative. The influence of these claims go far and wide: NYTimes, Daily Beast, Western MSM generally, and the targeting of high profile scholars like S. Cohen has the likely effect of silencing lower profile (ie younger) scholars as well.

McCarthyism is the right term - these neo-con fundamentalists take aim at anyone - Kissenger, Brzezinski, anyone - who doesn't toe the neo con line on Russia.

In the end, apart from being a frontal attack on the core tenets of free speech, the Weiss-Pomerantsev crusade lets Western pundits and policy-makers off the hook for their complicity in the Ukraine crisis by discouraging any kind of critical thinking or reconsideration of US policy. The incessant focus in “The Menace of Unreality” on the Kremlin’s media apparatus obscures the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine, as well as the growing danger of a larger US-Russia war. The policy of belligerence toward Russia that Weiss and Pomerantsev so staunchly support has been one of the primary culprits in the Ukraine crisis. [u]The fact that they now seek to silence, smear, and even blacklist critics of that policy makes their project all the more egregious[/u].

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The Western MSM echo chamber.

Do Western journalists write what they do about Russia — even when it is obviously completely wrong — because they are told to or because they believe it?

I say this because there have been times when I have read almost identical wrong editorials on the same Russian subject in several supposedly rival Western newspapers coming out on the same day.  Since these were editorials it was clearly not the case of newspapers republishing the same piece written previously by a news agency or wire service.  The language of the editorials was however so similar that they actually gave the impression of having been written by the same hand.

A bit of both, but it's noteworthy how often it's because they're told to.


Putin's Spokesman Exposes Western Media Echo Chamber

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US cannot confirm media reports of Russian mobile crematoriums in Ukraine


The US State Department cannot confirm media reports alleging that Russia has delivered mobile crematoriums to Ukraine, US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told CNN on Wednesday. However, she continued to claim that Russia was trying to hide its presence in Ukraine.

This issue was raised on Tuesday by US media that referred to US lawmakers who visited Ukraine, and some US intelligence data. These allegations suggest that Russia has brought mobile crematoriums to Ukraine to hide the bodies of its dead soldiers.

Aha! So that's where all the dead Russian soldiers are hidden!

Oh, but wait. There's more ... much more....

US Lawmaker: Dead Russian Soldiers in Ukraine Are Eaten by Putin


CrossTalk: Whose Propaganda Should We Be Worried About?

"There is a vast ongoing propaganda war being played out - whose propaganda should we be warned about? CrossTalking with James Jatras, Dan DeBar and Patrick Henningsen."

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#ColdWar II (The Ruskies Are Facepalming)


Captain Obviov wants to tell you some obvious things:


  1. The image of ‘Russia’ was reified as non-West or even anti-West long before the Cold War I. It was true for Russian Empire (“Russian Tzar wants to conquer the world!”), then Soviet Union (“Commies want to conquer the world!”) and now Russian Federation (“Putin wants to conquer the world!”).
  2. Russia was not colonized or conquered by the ‘West’ through force of arms despite multiple attempts to do so: Polish, French and German invasions, and the allied intervention during the Russian Civil War.


The author notes as well how Russian political leaders are also able to exploit "Westernophobia" in much the same way, i.e., virulent, frothing Russophobia helps stoke similar ideological reflexes in Russia ...


Closing for length. Please continue here:


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