The Return of Russian Anti–Americanism
In the time of the Cold War, anti–Americanism was a corner stone of Russian propaganda. Now it seems to be returning. Below are some Russian posters from the Cold War era indicating the attitude shared by most of Russians towards the USA.
Know your place!
Here is an example of the new Russian anti–Americanism, a poem by Valeri Hatyushin who has several top poetic awards and is the chief editor of the influential patriotic magazine “Young Guard”.
The poem describes author’s attitude towards terrorist attack of September 11, 2001:
We’ve seen their faces on TV. Degraded,
They mumbled in the stinking Jewish way.
America was raped, humiliated!
What better pleasure could we have today?
I can’t imagine sympathy to yanks;
They’ve never felt compassionate to others;
And even sober, not to mention drunk,
I’m ready to direct my plane toward White House.
That’s an extreme case. But even a lot of pro-Western, pro–democracy oriented Russians intellectuals share today some anti–American sentiments.
This April, the Moscow branch of The Heritage Foundation (USA) had a special discussion devoted to the subject of new Russian anti–Americanism. The president of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, Alexander Konovalov, compared the current Russian anti-Americanism with the anti-American views artificially implanted in the Soviet Union. According to Konovalov, the anti-Americanism of today encompasses even deeper antagonism than what resulted from the the Soviet propaganda. Even pro-Western liberals do not understand U.S. policy and perceive America as a hostile force, opposed to Russia, interested in Russia’s weakening and decay.
Not long ago I had a heated discussion on the subject with several Russian intellectuals in a blog of the popular Russian Web Site “Snob”. Here are some quotes from the posts of my opponents:
V.V. Gromkovsky – 55 years old. Doctor of Economics, head of a large Russian investment fund, aggressive promoter of Russian Orthodox Christianity traditional values.
“I am anti-American – because I lived in America, and personally know that the country’s aim is to weaken Russia. I came back to Russia in 1993. All events that happened after this date finally convinced me that it is true… Prior to that, I was a lover of the United States, knowing a lot about its history and economics. My anti-Americanism – was only ‘induced.’ Americans made me their enemy, because they behaved as my enemies.”
Olga Kuznetsova, a 40 years old, economist. А supporter of the Western liberal development of Russia.
“U.S. is not a peaceful vegetarian. Obvious examples tell us that it is rather an aggressive predator, which is ruthless when it is dealing with weak ones. We are not a very democratic country; we can’t change it now and will not be able to change it in near future. And from the experience we can see that it is often a pretext for the American military action.
“So, intuitively, Russians understand that we are in a way very similar to Iraq and Libya. Russians mentally put themselves in their place. As a result Russians always defended and will try to defend the countries where the U.S. conducts military operations, no matter how terrible their regimes are. It is a very natural behavior.
“Many of the Russians seriously believe that we could be the next Libya if we did not have the atomic bomb, and TV propaganda regularly gives enough material to feed this belief.”
After fall of communism, America actively was helping Russia to build a democratic society. Furthermore, the US systematically sent humanitarian aid to Russia.
In 1995 a famous Russian animation director Garry Bardin made a short ironical adaptation of the old fairy tail “Puss in boots”. The films makes a kind of prediction concerning how Russians would use “the help”. I think the director was a real prophet. It was very interesting to see this short film today. I hope you enjoy it.
Well, Garry Bardin’s film was just a joke.
Here is a professional political analysis of the modern Russian anti–Americanism: