Russophilia

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Russophilia (literally love of Russia and/or Russians) is used to denote individual or collective admiration of Russia or Russian culture. The term is used in two basic contexts: in international politics and in cultural context. "Russophilia" and "Russophilic" are the terms used to denote pro-Russian sentiments, usually in politics and literature. the opposite is Russophobia.

Russophilia in Western culture[edit]

Russophilia in Western Countries may be based on stereotypes produced by mass-culture ("traditional Russian hospitality", "Russian tenderness" etc.), as well as on in-depth study of Russian mentality, as expressed, e.g., by American author Robert Alexander: "I love Russians for their dramatic, emotional nature. They're not afraid to love, not afraid to get hurt, not afraid to exaggerate or act impulsively."[1]

In October 2004, the International Gallup Organization announced the results of its poll,[2] according to which approximately 20% of the residents of Western Europe viewed Russia positively, with the most positive view coming from Iceland, Greece, and Britain. The percentage of respondents expressing a positive attitude towards Russia was 9% in Finland, Turkey, and Japan, 38% in Lithuania, 36% in Latvia, and 34% in Estonia. Estonia and especially Latvia have a large number of ethnic Russians, which was likely to affect the result.

Russophilia in Serbia and Montenegro[edit]

In Serbia and Montenegro like in other eastern European counties Russophilia was frequently closely tied with panslavism and the perceived threat of pangermanism.

Russophilia in Serbia[edit]

Russia is hugely popular in Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbs have always seen Russia as a close ally.[3] in Serbia and Montenegro, whose nations are both predominately Eastern Orthodox, the faith expressed by a vast majority of Russians, there was no Soviet influence and Russians were always seen as friendly brotherly people. About 83% of Serbs see Russia as their first ally on the international scene. In both Serbia and Montenegro, there are parts of cities, buildings and statues named after something Russian. In Serbia there is the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Hotel Moskva and a Monument to Soviet war veterans.

Russophilia in Montenegro[edit]

In Montenegro which is also Eastern Orthodox and Slavic country, Russians are hugely popular. There is the Moscow Bridge[4] in Podgorica, and a statue of Russian singer and actor Vladimir Vysotsky next to the bridge. After dissolution of the union of Serbia and Montenegro a large swath of property was sold to Russian citizens. Russian press claimed in 2012 that Russian citizens own at least 40% of real-estate property in all of Montenegro.[5] In September 2012, Croatian news portal Globus called Montenegro a "Russian colony".[6]

Russophilia in Ukraine[edit]

Some Ukrainians, mostly in the east and south of the country, would like to a see a more Russophile attitude of the government, ranging from closer economic partnership to full national union.[7]

Western Ukraine[edit]

Russophilia (Moscophilia, Ukrainian: москвофільство, moskvofil’stvo) was a linguistic, literary and socio-political movement in the Western Ukrainian territories of Galicia, Transcarpathia, and Bukovyna in the 18th - 20th centuries. Proponents of this movement believed in linguistic, cultural, social union with Russian people and later in state union with Russia. Among the causes for the emergence of this phenomenon were the loss of Ukrainian statehood, centuries of foreign oppression, fragmented Ukrainian territories and dispersed population, as well as the defection of national elite to neighbouring cultures and a weak sense of national identity.

Russophile Movement in Transcarpathia[edit]

The first instances of Russophilia in Transcarpathia date back as far as late 18th early 19th centuries when several famous Russians with ties to the government and the court of the tsar settled there. Such famous scientists and social activists as I. Orlai, M. Baludiansky, P. Lodiy and others lived in Transcarpathia and maintained close ties with the country of their birth and thereby promoted interest towards Russia, especially towards its cultural life, its language and literature.

Russophile Movement in Galicia and Bukovyna[edit]

When Galicia and Bukovyna were incorporated into the Habsburg Empire in 1772 the Austrian government treated the Ukrainian population of these territories with suspicion as it was afraid it was susceptible to Russian influence due to the closeness of Ukrainian and Russian languages and cultures. This mistrust of the authorities was cultivated by influential Polish politicians and activists in an effort to forestall the growth of national consciousness on territories where Poles traditionally had influence. Any attempt at cultural revival was met with hostility from the Austrian government which regarded them as an influence from Moscow. In spite of this atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion the first educational establishment "The Fellowship of Priests" was founded in Przemyśl. Metropolitan M. Levytsky began to introduce the Ruthenian language in elementary schools, developed grammar books, insisted on instruction in University in Ruthenian and founded "Ruska Troyka" Society. The Lemko-Rusyn Republic, after World War I, attempted to join Lemko territories to Russia, and later to similar areas of the newly formed Czechoslovakia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Orest Subtelny. Ukraine. A history. University of Toronto press. 1994. ISBN 0-8020-0591-8.