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There exists a wide variety of mass culture clichés about Russia and Russians. Many of these stereotypes were developed during the Cold War, and were used as elements of political war against the Soviet Union. Some of these prejudices are still observed in the discussions of the relations with Russia.
Negative representation of Russia and Russians in modern public discourse is also often described as functional, as stereotypes about Russia may be used for framing reality, like creating an image of an enemy, or an excuse, or an explanation, for compensatory reasons, etc. Decades after the end of the Cold War, Russians are still portrayed as "Hollywood's go-to villains".
- 1 History
- 2 Russophobia by country
- 2.1 Former Soviet Union
- 2.2 Former Eastern Bloc
- 2.3 Rest of the world
- 3 Business
- 4 View of Russia in Western media
- 5 Critics of the concept
- 6 See also
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
On 19 October 1797 the French Directory received a document from a Polish general, Michał Sokolnicki, entitled "Aperçu sur la Russie". This became known as the so-called "Testament of Peter the Great" and was first published in October 1812, during the Napoleonic wars, in Charles Louis-Lesur's much-read Des progrès de la puissance russe: this was at the behest of Napoleon I, who ordered a series of articles to be published showing that "Europe is inevitably in the process of becoming booty for Russia". Subsequent to the Napoleonic wars, propaganda against Russia was continued by Napoleon's former confessor, Dominique Georges-Frédéric de Pradt, who in a series of books portrayed Russia as "despotic" and "Asiatic" power hungry to conquer Europe.
In 1843 the Marquis de Custine published his hugely successful 1800-page, four volume travelogue La Russie en 1839. Custine's scathing narrative reran what were by now clichés which presented Russia as a place where "the veneer of European civilization was too thin to be credible". Such was its huge success that several official and pirated editions quickly followed, as well as condensed versions and translations in German, Dutch and English. By 1846 approximately 200 thousand copies had been sold.
The Prometheism political strategy conceived by Polish chief of state Józef Piłsudski sought to weaken the threat of Tsarist Russia and later the Soviet Union by facilitating its breakup into its constituent parts.
The influential British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote controversially on Russia, that the oppression in Russia, rooted in the Red Revolution, perhaps was "the fruit of some beastliness in the Russian nature”, also attributing "cruelty and stupidity" to tyranny in both the "Old Russia" (tsarist) and "New Russia" (Soviet).
"Need, hunger, lack of comfort have been the Russians' lot for centuries. No false compassion, as their stomachs are perfectly extendible. Don't try to impose the German standards and to change their style of life. Their only wish is to be ruled by the Germans. <...> Help yourselves, and may God help you!" ("12 precepts for the German officer in the East", 1941) 
Modern Russophobia peaked during the Cold War, driven by Western fears of the Soviet role in communism's mission to take over the "Free World". The Sino-Soviet split saw more of a stand against Soviet communism rather than communism in general.
Post-Soviet distrust of Russia and Russians is attributable to backlash against the historical memory of Russification pursued by Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, and backlash against modern policies of the Russian government.
Vlad Sobell believes current "Russophobic sentiment" in the West reflects the West's failure to adapt and change its historical attitude towards Russia, even as Russia has (in his view) abandoned past ideology for pragmatism, successfully driving its economic revival. With the West victorious over totalitarianism, Russia serves to perpetuate the role of a needed adversary owing to its "unashamed continuity with the communist Soviet Union."
Russophobia by country
In the October 2004, the International Gallup Organization announced that according to its poll, anti-Russia sentiment remained fairly strong throughout Europe and the West in general. It found that Russia was the least popular G-8 country globally. The percentage of population with a negative perception of Russia was 62% in Finland, 57% in Norway, 42% in the Czech Republic and Switzerland, 37% in Germany, 32% in Denmark and Poland, and 23% in Estonia. However, according to the poll, the people of Kosovo had the lowest opinion of Russia: 73% of Kosovar respondents said their opinion was "very negative" or "fairly negative". Overall, the percentage of respondents with a positive view of Russia was only 31%.
Former Soviet Union
Russophobia in Armenia has historically been very low. According to a July 2007 poll, only 2% of Armenians see Russia as a threat, as opposed to 88% who view Russia as Armenia's partner. According to Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, anti-Russian sentiment "has never existed and still does not exist" in Armenia, except "some marginal elements and some individuals with anti-Russian sentiment." During the dissolution of the Soviet Union and rise of nationalism in the Soviet republics and Eastern bloc countries, Armenian nationalists were the only exception that did not "interpret Russia as their most significant threat."
On several occasions, however, anti-Russian sentiment has been expressed in Armenia. In 1988, during the Karabakh movement, the Soviet army was sent to Yerevan to suppress the protests and an Armenian man died in the clash at Zvartnots Airport, while many were injured. The event sparked anti-Russian and anti-Soviet sentiment in the Armenian public.
According to a 2012 poll, 35% of Georgians perceive Russia as Georgia's biggest enemy, while the percentage was significantly higher in 2011, at 51%. In a February 2013 poll, 63% of Georgians said Russia is Georgia's most political and economic threat as opposed to 35% of those who looked at Russia as the most important partner for Georgia.
According to veteran German author, journalist and Russia-correspondent Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, there is deep disapproval of everything Russian in Estonia, this however has been challenged in a poll conducted by Gallup International which suggests that 23% of Estonians see Russia in negative light while 34% have positive attitude towards Russia.
According to Estonian philosopher Jaan Kaplinski, the birth of anti-Russian sentiment in Estonia dates back to 1940, as there was little or none during the czarist and first independence period, when anti-German sentiment predominated. Kaplinski states the imposition of Soviet rule in 1940 and subsequent actions by Soviet authorities led to the replacement of anti-German sentiment with anti-Russian sentiment within just one year, and characterized it as "one of the greatest achievements of the Soviet authorities". Kaplinski supposes that anti-Russian sentiment could disappear as quickly as anti-German sentiment did in 1940, however he believes the prevailing sentiment in Estonia is sustained by Estonia's politicians who employ "the use of anti-Russian sentiments in political combat," together with the "tendentious attitude of the [Estonian] media." Kaplinski says that a "rigid East-West attitude is to be found to some degree in Estonia when it comes to Russia, in the form that everything good comes from the West and everything bad from the East"; this attitude, in Kaplinski's view, "probably does not date back further than 1940 and presumably originates from Nazi propaganda."
The Estonian businessman and politician Tiit Vähi, who briefly served as Estonia's prime minister in 1992 and once more in 1995-1997, described "overall anti-Russian sentiment" as a feature of the populist current in the country's politics, raising it as one among a number of issues with the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.
Latvian American doctor and former member of the Civic Union, Aivars Slucis wrote op-eds in the New York Times and Washington Post in which he explains to the Americans that Russians have invading other nations in their genes, and they can only understand the language of force. Slucis wrote that he would personally never treat a Russian patient with soviet symbols tattooed on his body who came into his office. In November 2010, Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, the Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister, became embroiled in a scandal with Slucis after email correspondence between the two from 2009 was released by journalist Lato Lapsa. In one of the letters, Slucis stated that he would not be able to treat Russians with the same level of care that we would Latvians, and also stated that in the event of a shortage of medical supplies he would deny Russians the right to access to those supplies. In reply, Kristovskis stated that he approved of "both his assessment and vision of the situation". According to Lapsa, Kristovskis was also in agreeance with Slucis advocating for freezing and reviewing all citizenships granted after 1991 with the thought of rescinding a majority.
In a report by the Jamestown Foundation, dealing with the topic of the (extremely positive according to the report) reception of American Republican senator John McCain's statements about Russia's "double standards in the Caucasus" (referring to how Russia recognized South Ossetia but would not let Chechnya go), one Chechen was quoted to have gone so far as to tell the website that Chechnya "cannot exist within the borders of Russia because every 50 years... Russia kills us Chechens"., demonstrating local fear of the Russian government.
Journalist Fatima Tlisova released an article in 2009 discussing the frequent occurrences of Russian Orthodox crosses being sawed off buildings and thrown off mountains in Circassia, due to the cross being associated with the people who initiated the mass expulsions of Circassians.
In a poll held by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in May 2009 in Ukraine, 96% of respondents were positive about Russians as an ethnic group, 93% respected the Russian Federation and 76% respected the Russian establishment. In a poll held by Levada Center in Russia in June 2009, 75% of respondents respected Ukrainians as an ethnic group, but 55% were negative about Ukraine as the state.
In contrast to these polls, statistics released October 21, 2010, according to the Institute of Sociology of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, positive attitudes towards Russians have continued to decrease since 1994. In response to a question gauging tolerance of Russians, 15% of Western Ukrainians responded positively. In Central Ukraine, 30% responded positively (from 60% in 1994); 60% responded positively in Southern Ukraine (from 70% in 1994); and 64% responded positively in Eastern Ukraine (from 75% in 1994). Furthermore, 6-7% of Western Ukrainians would banish Russians entirely from Ukraine, and 7-8% in Central Ukraine responded similarly. This level of sentiment was not found in Southern or Eastern Ukraine.
The right-wing political party "Svoboda", has invoked radical Russophobic rhetoric (see poster) and has electoral support enough to garner majority support in local councils, as seen in the Ternopil regional council in Western Ukraine. Analysts explained Svoboda’s victory in Eastern Galicia during the 2010 Ukrainian local elections as a result of the policies of the Azarov Government who were seen as too pro-Russian by the voters of "Svoboda".
Igor Shafarevich associates Russophobia with the historiography inspired by Jewish nationalism, he writes that Russophobes were the enemies of Russian nationalism and specifically characterised the Jews as the special embodiment of anti-Russian antipathy. Russian nationalists accuse the oligarchs of being Russophobes who hate Russia. Most believe that the Russophobia of the oligarchs is connected to the fact that so many of them are not Russians but Jews, who they claim despise Russians as an inferior ethnic group. Oligarchs such as Boris Berezovsky (who is a convert to Orthodox Christianity) are seen as archetypical Jews. Viktor Ilyukhin, a Duma deputy for the Communist Party, claimed the problems of the Yeltsin era was due to Yeltsin's inner circle consisting "exclusively of one group, the Jews". Thus "Russophobe" has become a codeword for Jew popularized in Russia.
Former Eastern Bloc
Russian officials claim that negative feelings towards Russia are widespread in Poland.
The New York Times reported after the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that Gleb Pavlovsky, an advisor to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, complained during his 2005 visit to Warsaw that "Poles talk about Russians the way anti-Semites talk about Jews." On the other hand, Poland's foreign minister Adam Rotfeld thinks that Russian politicians are "looking for an enemy and...find it in Poland."
According to Boris Makarenko, deputy director of a Moscow-based think tank Center for Political Technologies, anti-Russian sentiments have existed in Poland for more than 200 years. He said that much of the anti-Russian feelings in Poland is caused by grievances of the past.  The most contentious issue is the massacre of 22,000 Polish officers, priests and intellectuals in Katyn Forest in 1940. "It is easy to understand why, and I am not going to defend Russia either for three divisions of Poland [at the end of the 18th century] or many other [unjust things done to Poland]. These anti-Russian sentiments resurfaced in the recent decade and there are many examples of that." Makarenko said. He also noted that Poland had criticized Russia’s stance on human rights or press freedom, and had clashed with Russia over the Orange Revolution events in Ukraine.
Jakub Boratyński, the director of international programs at the independent Polish think tank Stefan Batory Foundation, said that anti-Russian feelings have substantially decreased since Poland joined the EU and NATO, and that Poles feel more secure than before, but he also admitted that many people in Poland still look suspiciously at Russian foreign-policy moves and are afraid Russia is seeking to "recreate an empire in a different form." 
It dates back to the conflict between Russian and the Ottoman empires in the early 19th century and the ceding of part of the Moldavian principality to Russia by the Ottoman Empire in 1812 after its de facto annexation, and to the annexations during World War II and after by the Soviet Union of Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia and the policies of ethnic cleansing, Russification and deportations that have taken place in those territories against ethnic Romanians. Following WWII, Romania, an ally of the Nazi Germany, was occupied by Soviet forces. Soviet dominance over the Romanian economy was manifested through the so-called Sovroms, exacting a tremendous economic toll ostensibly as war-time reparations. Overall, there is a negative perception of everything Russian, including language, culture and people, and of those who take interest in Russia, such individuals seen as pro-Communists or Russophiles.
Rest of the world
In Finland, Russophobia has been studied since the 1970s. The history of Russophobia has two main theories. One of them considers the Finns and the Russians have been the arch-enemy throughout history. The position is considered to have been dominated at least the 1700s since the days of the Greater Wrath, when the Russians "occupied Finland and raped it." This view largely assumes that through the centuries, "Russia is a violent slayer and Finland is an innocent, virginal victim". In 1920s and 1930s this anti-Russian and anti-Communism propaganda had a fertile ground. Failed Russian actions to terminate Finnish autonomy and cultural uniqueness (1899–1905 and 1908–1917) contributed greatly to both the anti-Russian feelings in Finland. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact which granted Finland to Soviet Union, followed the attack of the Soviet Union against Finland during the Winter War and Soviet annexation of large parts of Finland. This caused lots of casualties among Finnish population and 11% of the total population having to leave their homes in the caused a lot of bitterness, and has endured as the Karelian question in Finnish politics.
Other theory considers that Russophobia sentiment was born in Finland at the time of civil war 1917–1918, and was anti-Russian political and ideological White Finland created a confrontation by deliberately blow and spread. The Russophobia was created against the external threat of the Soviet Union and it was almost a national duty in 1920s and 1930s. During World War II, Finns organized internment camps to the occupied East Karelia where ethnic segregation between 'relatives' (Finnic population) and 'non-relatives' (other, primarily Russian population) took place which has been attributed to Russophobia.
According to polls in 2004, 62% of Finnish citizens had a negative view of Russia. The main reasons were historically rooted antipathy. Deportation of Ingrian Finns, autochthones of St. Petersburg, Ingria and other Soviet repressions against its Finnish minorities have contributed to negative views of Russia and Russians..
Russophobia has a history in New Zealand.
In Great Britain, Russophobia arose during conflicts including the Crimean War and the Anglo-Afghan wars, which were seen as representing Russia's territorial ambitions regarding the British empire in India. This competition for spheres of influence and colonies (see e.g. The Great Game and Berlin Congress) fueled Russophobia in Great Britain. British propaganda of the time took up the theme of Russians as uncultured Asiatic barbarians. The American professor Jimmie E. Cain Jr has claimed that these views were then exported to other parts of the world and were reflected in the literature of late the 19th and early 20th centuries, though this is to miss the fact that these views had been formulated much earlier and already widely published by various French sources since 1812. Concern over Russian territorial ambitions in Asia was one of the reasons behind the creation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, Russophobia continued when the USSR was created and brought communism as a serious political ideology, the majority of British people were and still are very anti-communist, this can be shown in how some British people remained wary of communist Russians even when the USSR was an ally in WW2.
The Chinese Qing dynasty General Zuo Zongtang called for war against Russia during the Ili crisis, saying: "We shall first confront them [the Russians] with arguments...and then settle it on the battlefields."
In 1930s, a White Russian driver accompanying the Nazi agent Georg Vasel in Xinjiang was afraid to meet the Hui General Ma Zhongying, saying "You know how the Tungans hate the Russians." Tungan is another name for Hui. Georg passed the Russian driver off as German to get through. Ma Zhongying, a general in the Chinese army, then did battle against the Russians during the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang. He was chief of the Tungan 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army). His brother Ma Hushan fought the Russians again, and killed many Russians in combat, leaving many graves at a memorial to war dead with Russian Orthodox crosses.
In 1951, Chinese Muslim General Bai Chongxi made a speech to the entire Muslim world calling for a war against Russia, and Bai also called upon Muslims to avoid the Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, accusing him of being blind to Soviet imperialism.
Most Japanese interaction with Russian individuals – besides in major cities such as Tokyo – happens with seamen and fishermen of the Russian fishing fleet, therefore Japanese people tend to carry the stereotypes associated with sailors over to Russians. According to a 2012 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, 72% of Japanese people view Russia unfavorably, compared with 22% who viewed it favorably, making Japan the most Russophobic country surveyed.
There is a history of Russophobia in Sweden. In a Royal Institute of Technology songbook, there's a song titled "Dra åt helvete" (Go to Hell) that displays anti-Russian sentiment and uses strong language.
Due to the unwavering support of the Russian government to the regime of Bashar Al Assad, many 'revolutionaries' have chanted "Death to Russia" and burnt Russian flags. There are also several reports of widespread anti-Russia graffiti in major cities. Syrian 'protesters' have made puppets of Vladimir Putin and Dimitry Medvedev and burned them during major demonstrations.
In the 20th century, Russophobia in Turkey was so great that the Russians refused to allow a Turkish military attache to accompany their armies.
According to the 2013 Poll, 59% of Americans had a negative view of Russia, 23% had a favorable opinion, and 18% were uncertain.
In May and June 2006, Russian media cited discrimination against Russian companies as one possible reason why the contemplated merger between the Luxembourg-based steelmaker Arcelor and Russia's Severstal did not finalize. According to the Russian daily Izvestiya, those opposing the merger "exploited the 'Russian threat' myth during negotiations with shareholders and, apparently, found common ground with the Europeans", while Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the State Duma observed that "recent events show that someone does not want to allow us to enter their markets." On 27 July 2006, the New York Times quoted the analysts as saying that many Western investors still think that anything to do with Russia is "a little bit doubtful and dubious" while others look at Russia in "comic book terms, as mysterious and mafia-run."
View of Russia in Western media
Some Russian and Western commentators express concern about a far too negative coverage of Russia in Western media (some Russians even describe this as a "war of information"). In April 2007, David Johnson, founder of the Johnson's Russia List, said in interview to the Moscow News: "I am sympathetic to the view that these days Putin and Russia are perhaps getting too dark a portrayal in most Western media. Or at least that critical views need to be supplemented with other kinds of information and analysis. An openness to different views is still warranted." 
In 1995, years before Vladimir Putin was elected to his first term, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported: "coverage of Russia and its president, Boris Yeltsin, was decidedly negative, even though national polls continue to find the public feeling positive toward Russia and largely uncritical of Yeltsin." 
In February 2007, the Russian creativity agency E-generator put together a "rating of Russophobia" of Western media, using for the research articles concerning a single theme — Russia's chairmanship of G8, translated into Russian by InoSmi.Ru. The score was composed for each edition, negative values granted for negative assessments of Russia, and positive values representing positive ones. The top in the rating were Newsday (-43, U.S.), The Financial Times (-34, Great Britain), The Wall Street Journal (-34, U.S.), Le Monde (-30, France), while editions on the opposite side of the rating were Toronto Star (+27, Canada) and The Conservative Voice (+26, U.S.) 
Dr. Vlad Sobell claimed that an example of the anti-Russian bias in the West was that in his opinion President Putin was widely assumed to be guilty of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, without any evidence being considered as necessary. The only proof the Western press needed for Putin's guilt was, that the victim said so himself on his deathbed.
California-based international relations scholar Andrei Tsygankov has remarked that anti-Russian political rhetoric coming from Washington circles has received wide echo in American mainstream media, asserting that "Russophobia's revival is indicative of the fear shared by some U.S. and European politicians that their grand plans to control the world's most precious resources and geostrategic sites may not succeed if Russia's economic and political recovery continues."
Critics of the concept
The concept of Russophobia is said to have circulation in right-wing circles of Russian political specter, and be used to construct a theory of global conflict resulting in the fall of the Soviet Union. According to this point of view, there is a clash of civilizations, a global struggle between the society-oriented "East", and the more individualistic "West". This view holds that for centuries the West has wanted to force Russia, as a part and (probably) leader of the "Eastern" world, to her knees and plunder her natural resources.
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