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. Its opposite is Russophobia.
Russophilia in Western culture
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."
In October 2004, the International Gallup Organization announced the results of its poll, 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
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Russia is hugely popular in Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbs have always seen Russia as a close ally. While in other nations of Eastern Europe Russia remains unpopular due to its influence over those nations during the Cold War, 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. And in Montenegro, there is the Moscow Bridge in Podgorica, and a statue of Russian singer and actor Vladimir Vysotsky next to the bridge.
Russian Orthodox Church in Tašmajdan park, Belgrade
Russophilia in Ukraine
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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
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
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.
- An Interview with Robert Alexander
- Helsingin Sanomat, October 11, 2004, International poll: Anti-Russian sentiment runs very strong in Finland. Only Kosovo has more negative attitude
- Yedinoye Otechestvo - United country
- Orest Subtelny. Ukraine. A history. University of Toronto press. 1994. ISBN 0-8020-0591-8.