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Russophilia (literally love of Russia or Russians) is admiration and fondness of Russia (including the era of the Soviet Union and/or the Russian Empire), Russian history and Russian culture. The antonym and opposite of Russophilia is Russophobia.
Russophilia in Europe
American author Robert Alexander wrote: "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, Germany, 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 likely affected the result.
Russophilia in Serbia
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2018)
Russia is hugely popular in Serbia, and Serbs have always traditionally seen Russia as a close ally due to shared Slavic heritage and culture, and Orthodox faith. 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 neighbourhoods, streets, buildings and statues named after something Russian. In Serbia there is the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and a Hotel Moskva.
Russian Orthodox Church in Tašmajdan park, Belgrade
Vladimir Putin in front of Cathedral of Saint Sava
Russophilia in Montenegro
Russophilia in Ukraine
Following Ukrainian independence in 1991 Ukrainians, mostly in the east and south of the country, voted to a see a more Russophile attitude of the government, ranging from closer economic partnership to full national union. Russia and Ukraine enjoyed especially close economic ties, while the Russophilic political party, the Party of Regions, became the largest party in the Verkhovna Rada in 2006. It would remain a dominant force in Ukrainian politics, until the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Following the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the overall attitude of Ukrainians towards Russia and Russians has become much more negative.
Russophilia (Moscophilia, Ukrainian: москвофільство, moskvofil’stvo) was a linguistic, literary and socio-political movement in the Western Ukrainian territories of Galicia, Transcarpathia, and Northern Bukovina 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 absence 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 Bukovina
When Galicia and Bukovina 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.
- Jacques Chirac, former president of France
- Matteo Salvini, Italian politician and leader of Lega Nord
- Duško Vujošević, Montenegrin basketball coach
- Miodrag Božović, Montenegrin football coach
- Sumire Uesaka, Japanese voice actress and singer
- Benjamin Rich, British travel vlogger and youtuber
- Egon Krenz, former General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of East Germany
- Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan politician and leader of Libya until 2011
- Bashar al-Assad, Syrian politician and current President of Syria
- Kyriakos Velopoulos, Greek politician and president of Greek Solution, a nationalist and Russophile party
- Heraclius II of Georgia, King of Georgia
- Fritz Schmenkel – German Communist who deserted to Soviet troops in November 1941 and became a partisan, killed in 22 February 1944
Pro-Russian political parties
- Action for Independence
- Alba Party
- Alliance of Independent Social Democrats
- Party of Regions
- Alliance of Patriots of Georgia
- Alternative for Germany
- National Democratic Party of Germany
- Bulgarian Socialist Party
- Attack, Bulgaria
- Cambodian People's Party
- Communist Party of Cuba
- Five Star Movement
- CasaPound Italy
- National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy
- New Force
- Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
- Communist Party of Slovakia
- Communist Party of China
- Estonian Centre Party
- Estonian United Left Party
- Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance
- Freedom Party of Austria
- Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia
- Labour Party (Lithuania)
- Lao People's Revolutionary Party
- Latvian Russian Union
- Moderation and Development Party (Iran)
- Movement for Socialism (Bolivia)
- Movement Republic
- MPLA (Angola)
- National Rally
- Nur Otan
- Parti Communautaire National-Européen
- Turkish Patriotic Party
- Party of Socialists (Moldova)
- Renewal (Transnistria)
- People's Front for Democracy and Justice (Eritrea)
- People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan
- Polish Communist Party
- Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine
- Prosperous Armenia
- Sandinista National Liberation Front
- Serbian Progressive Party
- Serbian Radical Party
- Slovak National Party
- Hungarian Workers' Party
- Republican Party of Labour and Justice
- Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus
- Social Democratic Party "Harmony"
- Social Democratic Party (Romania)[better source needed]
- Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan
- Confederation Liberty and Independence
- Greek Solution
- Golden Dawn (Greece)
- Syrian Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
- United Socialist Party of Venezuela
- United Ossetia
- Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party
- Communist Party of Vietnam
- Workers' Party of Korea (until 1991) (Again in the 21st Century)
- Hetmans' Party
- Russian Party (Greece)
- National Congress (Sudan)
- Bulgarian Communist Party
- Romanian Communist Party (Until 1965)
- Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
- Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
- Polish United Workers' Party
- Mongolian People's Party
- Socialist Unity Party of Germany
- People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
- Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League
- People's Revolutionary Party of Benin
- Congolese Party of Labour (Until 1991)
- Workers' Party of Ethiopia
- Indonesian National Party (Until 1965)
- New Jewel Movement
- League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Until 1948)
- Party of Labour of Albania (Until 1961)
- Burma Socialist Programme Party
- Communist Party USA (until 1991)
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In 2014, the party changed its name to the Latvian Russian Union, and adopted a pro-Russia stance by signing a cooperation agreement with the pro-Russia regional party Russian Unity in Crimea in order to “strengthen the unity of the Russian World.”
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Media related to Russophiles at Wikimedia Commons