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Saint Basil's Cathedral on the Red Square in Moscow

Russophilia is the admiration and fondness of Russia (including the era of the Soviet Union and/or the Russian Empire), Russian history, and Russian culture. The antonym is Russophobia.[1][2] In the 19th century, Russophilia was often linked to variants of pan-Slavism, since the Russian Empire and autonomous Serbia were the only two Slavic sovereign states during and after the Springtime of Nations.

By country[edit]


The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Republican Party of Armenia and Prosperous Armenia are the main Pro-Russian political parties in Armenia.


Belarus has close political and economic ties with Russia, both being part of the Union State, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Eurasian Economic Union, due to their shared Soviet heritage.

Following the 2020-2021 Belarusian protests and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many observers have described Belarus as a Russian puppet state or a satellite state.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Map showing the Russian Federation in dark red with Russian-occupied territories in Europe in light red.
Chinese president Xi Jinping with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.

The People's Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party has supported the Russian Federation closely following international sanctions after Russia invaded Ukraine.[9][10][11] China has had close ties with the Soviet Union prior to the Sino-Soviet split, owing to ideological kinship between the two communist states.[12]

Previous anti-Russian sentiment in China has greatly downgraded, due to perceived common anti-Western sentiment among Russian and Chinese nationalists.[13][14] Ethnic Russians are one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China.[15]

According to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center, 71% of Russians have a favourable view of China.[16] A YouGov survey conducted in the same year found that 71% of the Chinese think Russia has a positive effect on world affairs.[17]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, many social media users in China showed sympathy for Russian narratives due in part to distrust of US foreign policy.[18][19] According to a survey conducted by the Carter Center China Focus in April 2022, approximately 75% of respondents agreed that supporting Russia in the war in Ukraine was in China's best interest.[20] In the first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the nationalistic Little Pink movement drew international attention for their role in contributing to the mostly pro-war, pro-Russia sentiments on the Chinese internet.[21]


The Communist movement in Finland during the Cold War inclined towards pro-Soviet tendencies, of which the Taistoist movement was especially pro-Soviet.[22][23][clarification needed]

The Finnish political party Power Belongs to the People (VKK) was unique in its strong support of Russia, being the only pro-Russian party in Finland as of 2022. It protested against sanctions on Russia and supported the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.[24][25] The party has since dissasociated from the connections to Russia after Ano Turtiainen was replaced by Antti Asikainen.[26][27] The Finnish political activist Johan Bäckman is known for his pro-Russian views and he has recruited Finns to fight for Russia in the war with Ukraine.[28] Bäckman later joined the VKK, led by Ano Turtiainen.[29] Some members of the Finns Party also held pro-Russian views.[30]


German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described Russia as "the only power that has durability in it, which can wait, which can still produce something... the antithesis of that pitiable European petty-state politics and nervousness, with which the foundation of the German Reich has entered its crucial phase..." in his 1895 book The Antichrist[31]


Support for Russia remains high among Indonesians, owing to Moscow's perceived ties to Muslims and the Muslim world. Public animosity towards the West has resulted from the wars waged in Afghanistan and Iraq by the US and its allies, and their perceived neglectful treatment of the Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel.

Some Indonesians have positively compared support for Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Russo-Ukrainian War to support for former president Suharto in the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.[32] Russophiles are also found among the political left, who support Russia due to inaugural Indonesian president Sukarno's closeness to the Soviet Union. Pro-Russian sentiment is especially strong among members of the governing Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, led by Sukarno's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri, who publicly criticized Ukraine and president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[33]


According to a December 2018 survey by IranPoll, 63.8% of Iranians have a favorable view of Russia.[34]


Russia is popular in Serbia, and many Serbs have traditionally seen Russia as a close ally due to shared Slavic heritage, culture, and the Orthodox faith.[35] According to the European Council on Foreign Relations, 54% of Serbians see Russia as an ally. In comparison, 11% see the European Union as an ally, and only 6% see the United States in the same manner.[36]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, People's Patrol, a far-right group, organized pro-Russian rallies in Belgrade, which were attended by 4,000 people.[37][38][39]

In 2017, the inhabitants of the Serbian village of Adžinci renamed their village Putinovo, in honor of Vladimir Putin.[40][41]


Following Ukrainian independence in 1991, in the 1991 Ukrainian independence referendum 92% (including 55% of ethnic Russians) voted for independence from Moscow,[42] but some Ukrainians, mostly in the east and south of the country, voted to see a more Russophile attitude of the government, ranging from closer economic partnership to full national union.[43] Russia and Ukraine had especially close economic ties, and the Russophilic political party, the Party of Regions, became the largest party in the Verkhovna Rada in the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary election, receiving 33% of the votes. It would remain a dominant force in Ukrainian politics, until the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. Following the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the overall attitude of Ukrainians towards Russia and Russians has become much more negative,[44] with most Ukrainians favoring NATO[45] and European Union membership.[46] Their views on Russia would further become even more negative following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in 2016 found that 67% of Ukrainians had a positive attitude to Russians, but that only 8% had a positive attitude to the Russian government.[47]

41% of Ukrainians had a "good" attitude towards Russians (42% negatively), while in general 54% of Russians had a positive attitude towards Ukraine, according to an October 2021 poll of the country's population.[48]

United Kingdom[edit]

According to an interview made by the Ukrainian "Rada" TV channel, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is a Russophile, admiring Russian language and culture, even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[49]

United States[edit]

Many members of the Republican Party in the United States express positive views on Russia. A 2017 poll highlighted that around 32% of respondents had favorable views of Russian president Vladimir Putin.[50] Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, these numbers surged. A YouGov poll found nearly 62% of Republicans preferred Vladimir Putin over Joe Biden, noting that the former was a stronger leader than the latter.[51] Many notable Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, television presenter Tucker Carlson, and incumbent Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene have all expressed admiration for Russia and its leaders.[52][53]


Favorable perceptions of Russia in Vietnam have 83% of Vietnamese people viewing Russia's influence positively in 2017.[54] This stems from historic Soviet support of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[55]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Russophobia". The American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Russophobia". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  3. ^ Kuzio, Taras (6 December 2022). "Russia must stop being an empire if it is wishes to prosper as a nation". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  4. ^ Dempsey, Judy (24 February 2022). "Judy Asks: Is Belarus's Sovereignty Over?". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  5. ^ Haltiwanger, Josh (14 December 2022). "Ukrainian forces are bracing for the possibility of another Russian invasion via Belarus: 'We have to be ready'". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  6. ^ "What Does Putin Really Want?". Politico. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  7. ^ Hopkins, Valerie (22 June 2023). "Belarus Is Fast Becoming a 'Vassal State' of Russia". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  8. ^ "Belarus: MEPs alarmed by Russia's subjugation of Belarus as a satellite state". European Parliament. 7 September 2023.
  9. ^ "Analysis | Russia becomes China's 'junior partner'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Russia's reliance on China will outlast Vladimir Putin, says Alexander Gabuev". The Economist. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  11. ^ "Russia could become China's 'economic colony,' CIA director says". Fortune. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  12. ^ Zhao, Suisheng (2022). The Dragon Roars Back: Transformational Leaders and Dynamics of Chinese Foreign Policy. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-5036-3415-2. OCLC 1332788951.
  13. ^ "Russia and China's anti-West partnership threatens global order". Nikkei Asia.
  14. ^ Kuhrt, Natasha (29 March 2021). "Russia and China present a united front to the west – but there's plenty of potential for friction". The Conversation.
  15. ^ Li 2003, p. 100
  16. ^ "People around the globe are divided in their opinions of China". Pew Research. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Superpowers and Country Reputations" (PDF). YouGov. 31 August 2019.
  18. ^ Repnikova, Maria; Zhou, Wendy (11 March 2022). "What China's Social Media Is Saying About Ukraine". The Atlantic.
  19. ^ "Ukraine war: most Chinese believe backing Russia is in their national interest, says US think tank". South China Morning Post. 20 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Russian 'invasion was wrong': Views from China on war in Ukraine". Al Jazeera. 31 March 2023.
  21. ^ Li, Yuan (27 February 2022). "Why the Chinese internet is cheering Russia's invasion". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 February 2022. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  22. ^ ""Eteenpäin O.W. Kuusisen viitoittamaa tietä" – Taistolaiset" (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  23. ^ "Tämä kolahti: Lauri Hokkasen teos on silmiä avaava tilitys siitä, mihin totuudelta silmät sulkeva opillisuus voi johtaa". www.kirkkojakaupunki.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  24. ^ Hiiro, Jukka (25 August 2022). "Seuran kysely: VKK:n kannattajat erottuvat kaikissa Venäjä-kysymyksissä – Venäjä-vastaisimpia ovat Rkp:n ja kokoomuksen kannattajat". Seura.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  25. ^ "VKK:n rivit rakoilevat: Ano Turtiaisen Venäjä-puheet, autoritaarinen johtajuus ja uskonnolliset kannanotot ajavat pois puolueesta". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 11 April 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  26. ^ "Ano Turtiainen sai lähtöpassit Valta kuuluu kansalle -puolueen johdosta". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 25 March 2024. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  27. ^ "Ano Turtiainen syrjäytettiin". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  28. ^ "Itä-Ukrainassa Venäjän puolesta taistelleet suomalaiset kehuskelevat kokemuksillaan – muualla Euroopassa vierastaistelijoita on tuomittu rikoksista". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 23 November 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  29. ^ "VKK-puolue yrittää saada dosentti Johan Bäckmanin eduskuntaan". demokraatti.fi (in Finnish). 28 February 2023. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  30. ^ "Osa perussuomalaisista myötäilee suoraan Venäjän kantoja". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  31. ^ "Nietzsche, Putin and the spirit of Russia". 27 August 2022.
  32. ^ "Dinilai Mirip dengan Soeharto jadi Alasan Warganet Kagumi Putin dan Dukung Invasi Rusia ke Ukraina" [Judging Similar to Suharto is the Reason Netizens Admire Putin and Support Russia's Invasion of Ukraine]. Tribun Kaltim (in Indonesian). 19 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Megawati Singgung Perang Ukraina-Rusia saat Resmikan KRI Bung Karno".
  34. ^ "State of Iran Survey Series". IranPoll. 8 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Зашто је Путин толико популаран у Србији? – Центар за развој међународне сарадње". crms.org.rs. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  36. ^ "Pandemic trends: Serbia looks east, Ukraine looks west". ecfr.eu. 5 August 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  37. ^ Filipovic, Branko (5 March 2022). "Pro-Russia Serbs march in Belgrade as country treads ever finer line between East and West". Reuters. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Thousands of pro-Russia Serbs march in Belgrade". BBC News. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  39. ^ Komarčević, Dušan (14 December 2022). "Pod maskama u Beogradu 'brane' Kosovo". Radio Slobodna Evropa (in Serbo-Croatian). Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  40. ^ "Serbian village renamed for Putin would welcome Trump, too". NBC News. 5 February 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  41. ^ Коцић, Данило. "Путиново, село с 12 душа". Politika Online. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  42. ^ The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev by Daniel Treisman, Free Press, 2012, ISBN 1416560726 (page 178)
  43. ^ Rapawy, Stephen (1997). Ethnic Reidentification in Ukraine (page 17) (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  44. ^ How Ukraine views Russia and the West, Brookings Institution (18 October 2017)
  45. ^ "Pledging reforms by 2020, Ukraine seeks route into NATO". Reuters. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  46. ^ Simmons, Katie; Stokes, Bruce; Poushter, Jacob (10 June 2015). "3. Ukrainian Public Opinion: Dissatisfied with Current Conditions, Looking for an End to the Crisis". Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  48. ^ "Украинцы хуже относятся к РФ, чем россияне в Украине – опрос". www.kiis.com.ua/ (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  49. ^ ""I am still a Russophile; I admire Russian civilization; only a fool will not admire it."". Radar Armenia. 13 October 2023.
  50. ^ Mann, Windsor. "Republicans' inexplicable surge in Russophilia: Windsor Mann". USA TODAY. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  51. ^ Mahdawi, Arwa (1 March 2022). "Why does Putin have superfans among the US right wing?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  52. ^ "Meet the pro-Putin Republicans and conservatives". Republican Accountability. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  53. ^ Vargas, Ramon Antonio (13 December 2023). "Hakeem Jeffries singles out Republican 'pro-Putin caucus' opposing Ukraine aid". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  54. ^ "Vietnam views of Russia". 16 August 2017.
  55. ^ "Anti-Western and hyper macho, Putin's appeal in Southeast Asia". Al Jazeera. 18 November 2022. Archived from the original on 19 November 2022. Retrieved 20 November 2022.

External links[edit]

Media related to Russophiles at Wikimedia Commons