Anti-Russian sentiment

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Anti-Russian sentiment or Russophobia is a diverse spectrum of negative feelings, dislikes, fears, aversion, derision and/or prejudice of Russia, Russians or Russian culture.[1][2] A wide variety of mass culture clichés about Russia and Russians exists. Many of these stereotypes were originally developed during the Cold War,[3][4] and were primarily 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.[5] Negative representation of Russia and Russians in modern popular culture 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.[6][7][8][9] Decades after the end of the Cold War, Russians are still portrayed as "Hollywood's go-to villains".[10] Several factors leading to such strong Russophobic sentiment mostly surrounds historical grievances, fear of economic competition, imperialist legacies and racism – that often stems the nationalist sentiments like Polish nationalism, American nationalism, British nationalism and Turkish nationalism. On the other hand, some Western sources claim that Russian nationalists and apologists of the politics of Russia use the allegations of "Russophobia" as a form of propaganda to counter the criticism of Russia.[11][12]

The Chimera of the Mysterious Russian Soul, by Lena Hades, depicting common stereotypes of foreigners about Russians[13]
"Exposed to the world's contempt". Illustration from the "Puck" satirical magazine, 1903


Results of 2017 Pew Research Center poll.
Views of Russia's influence by country[14]
Sorted by Unfavorable
Country polled Favorable Unfavorable Neutral Change from 2015
2 Decrease 18
4 No Data
4 No Data
10 Increase 15
6 Steady 27
10 Increase 21
 United States
9 Increase 22
6 Increase 15
2 Increase 30
3 Increase 25
14 Increase 25
 United Kingdom
15 Increase 18
14 Increase 26
7 Increase 24
11 Increase 27
13 No Data
5 Increase 44
 South Korea
23 Decrease 46
24 Increase 28
 South Africa
32 Increase 25
24 No Data
29 Increase 26
30 Increase 31
34 Increase 31
37 No Data
5 No Data
28 Increase 33
44 Decrease 35
27 Increase 39
46 Steady 27
19 Increase 44
43 Increase 24
43 Decrease 56
34 Increase 38
48 Increase 32
40 Increase 43
5 Increase 75
1 Decrease 93

In 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 "very negative" or "fairly negative" perception of Russia was 73% in Kosovo, 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. Overall, the percentage of respondents with a positive view of Russia was only 31%.[15][16][17]

According to a 2014 survey by Pew Research Center, attitudes towards Russia in most countries worsened considerably during Russia's involvement in the 2014 crisis in Ukraine. From 2013 to 2014, the median negative attitudes in Europe rose from 54% to 75%, and from 43% to 72% in the United States. Negative attitudes also rose compared to 2013 throughout the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa.[18]

There is the question of whether or not negative attitudes towards Russia and frequent criticism of the Russian government in western media contributes to negative attitudes towards Russian people and culture. In a Guardian article, Piers Robinson claims that "Indeed western governments frequently engage in strategies of manipulation through deception involving exaggeration, omission and misdirection". In a 2012 survey, the percentage of Russian immigrants in the EU that indicated that they had experienced racially motivated hate crimes was 5%, which is less than the average of 10% reported by several groups of immigrants and ethnic minorities in the EU.[19] 17% of Russian immigrants in the EU said that they had been victims of crimes the last 12 months, for example theft, attacks, frightening threats or harassment, as compared to an average of 24% among several groups of immigrants and ethnic minorities.[20]


 Barbaric Russian invasion.
Propaganda depiction of a barbaric Russian invasion of Europe. Early 19th century, France.

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".[21][22] 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 a "despotic" and "Asiatic" power hungry to conquer Europe.[23] With reference to Russia's new constitutional laws in 1811 the Savoyard philosopher Joseph de Maistre wrote the now famous statement: "Every nation gets the government it deserves" ("Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle mérite").[24][25]

In 1867, Fyodor Tyutchev, a Russian poet, diplomat and member of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery, introduced the actual term of "russophobia" in a letter to his daughter Anna Aksakova on 20 September 1867, where he applied it to a number of pro-Western Russian liberals who, pretending that they were merely following their liberal principles, developed a negative attitude towards their own country and always stood on a pro-Western and anti-Russian position, regardless of any changes in the Russian society and having a blind eye on any violations of these principles in the West, "violations in the sphere of justice, morality, and even civilization". He put the emphasis on the irrationality of this sentiment.[26] Tyuchev saw Western anti-Russian sentiment as the result of misunderstanding caused by civilizational differences between East and West.[27] Being an adherent of Pan-Slavism, he believed that the historical mission of Slavic peoples was to be united in a Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Christian Russian Empire to preserve their Slavic identity and avoid cultural assimilation; in his lyrics Poland, a Slavic yet Catholic country, was poetically referred to as Judas among the Slavs.[28] The term returned into political dictionaries of the Soviet Union only in the middle 1930s. Further works by Russian academics, such as Igor Shafarevich's Russophobia[29] or the treaty from the 1980s attributed the spread of russophobia to Zionists.[12]

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.[30]

The influential British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote controversially on Russia, that the oppression in the country, 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).[31]

Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, in Das Reich, explained Russian resistance in terms of a stubborn but bestial soul.[32] Russians were termed "Asiatic"[33] and the Red Army as "Asiatic Hordes".[34]

In the 1930s and 1940s, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party viewed the Soviet Union as populated by Slavs ruled by "Jewish Bolshevik" masters.[35]

Hitler stated in Mein Kampf his belief that the Russian state was the work of German elements in the state and not of the Slavs:

Here Fate itself seems desirous of giving us a sign. By handing Russia to Bolshevism, it robbed the Russian nation of that intelligentsia which previously brought about and guaranteed its existence as a state. For the organization of a Russian state formation was not the result of the political abilities of the Slavs in Russia, but only a wonderful example of the state-forming efficacity of the German element in an inferior race.[36]

A secret Nazi plan, the Generalplan Ost called for the enslavement, expulsion or extermination of most Slavic peoples in Europe. Approximately 2.8 million Soviet POWs died of starvation, mistreatment, or executions in just eight months of 1941–42.[37]

"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[38]

On July 13, 1941, three weeks after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler told the group of Waffen SS men:

This is an ideological battle and a struggle of races. Here in this struggle stands National Socialism: an ideology based on the value of our Germanic, Nordic blood. ... On the other side stands a population of 180 million, a mixture of races, whose very names are unpronounceable, and whose physique is such that one can shoot them down without pity and compassion. These animals, that torture and ill-treat every prisoner from our side, every wounded man that they come across and do not treat them the way decent soldiers would, you will see for yourself. These people have been welded by the Jews into one religion, one ideology, that is called Bolshevism... When you, my men, fight over there in the East, you are carrying on the same struggle, against the same subhumanity, the same inferior races, that at one time appeared under the name of Huns, another time— 1000 years ago at the time of King Henry and Otto I— under the name of Magyars, another time under the name of Tartars, and still another time under the name of Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Today they appear as Russians under the political banner of Bolshevism.[39]

Heinrich Himmler's speech at Poznań (Posen) on October 4, 1943:

What happens to a Russian, to a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest. What the nations can offer in good blood of our type, we will take, if necessary by kidnapping their children and raising them with us. Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; otherwise, it is of no interest to me. Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interest me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished. We shall never be rough and heartless when it is not necessary, that is clear. We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals, will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals.[40]

Modern anti-Russian sentiment peaked during the Cold War, driven by Western fears of the Soviet role in communism's mission to take over the "Free World".

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.[41]

In 2007, Vlad Sobell[42] said that "Russophobic sentiment" in the West reflected the West's failure to adapt and change its historical attitude towards Russia, even as Russia had (in his view) abandoned past ideology for pragmatism, successfully driving its economic revival. With the West victorious over totalitarianism, Russia served to perpetuate the role of a needed adversary owing to its "unashamed continuity with the communist Soviet Union."[43][unreliable source?]

By country[edit]

Former Soviet Union[edit]


Anti-Russian protest in Yerevan, 2 December 2013

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.[44] According to Manvel Sargsyan, the Director of the Armenian Center of National and Strategic Research, "There are no special anti-Russian sentiments in Armenia."[45] Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan stated in 2013 that anti-Russian sentiment "has never existed and still does not exist" in Armenia, except "some marginal elements and some individuals with anti-Russian sentiment."[46] During the dissolution of the Soviet Union and rise of nationalism in the Soviet republics and Eastern bloc countries, Armenian nationalists were among the few that did not "interpret Russia as their most significant threat."[47] Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian stated in 2001 that "Anti-Soviet sentiment did not mean anti-Russian in Armenia's case."[48]

On several occasions, however, anti-Russian sentiment has been expressed in Armenia, particularly in response to real or perceived anti-Armenian actions by Russia. In June 1903, Nicholas II issued a decree ordering the confiscation of all Armenian Church properties (including church-run schools) and its transfer to the Russian Interior Ministry. The decision was perceived by Armenians to be an effort of Russification and it met widespread popular resistance by the Russian Armenian population and led by the Dashnak and Hunchak parties. This included attacks on Russian authorities in attempts to prevent the confiscation. The decree being eventually canceled in 1905.[49] In more recent times, in July 1988, during the Karabakh movement, the killing of an Armenian man and the injury of tens of others by the Soviet army in a violent clash at Zvartnots Airport near Yerevan sparked anti-Russian and anti-Soviet sentiment in the Armenian public.[50]


In Azerbaijani society, Russians are perceived mostly as invaders that have controlled Azerbaijan for almost 200 years with a two-year halfway break.[51] For current generations, Russians are seen as direct and indirect perpetrators of the two most terrible events which have occurred in Azerbaijan's modern history. One is the Black January (when Soviet soldiers entered Baku to suppress the independence movement and killed over 100 people in 1990);[52] the other is the Khojali massacre during the Karabakh War.[citation needed]


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%.[53] In a February 2013 poll, 63% of Georgians said Russia is Georgia's biggest political and economic threat as opposed to 35% of those who looked at Russia as the most important partner for Georgia.[54]

"ღრუსი" (ghrusi) is a Georgian slur, created by combinations of words "ghori" (pig) and "rusi" (Russian) and is widely used in Georgian Internet forums.


According to veteran German author, journalist and Russia-correspondent Gabriele Krone-Schmalz, there is deep disapproval of everything Russian in Estonia.[55] A poll conducted by Gallup International suggested that 34% Estonians have a positive attitude towards Russia, but it is supposed that survey results were likely impacted by a large ethnic Russian minority in country.[15] In a 2012 poll, 3% of the Russian minority in Estonia reported that they had experienced a racially motivated hate crime (as compared to an average of 10% among ethnic minorities and immigrants in EU).[19]

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 under Joseph Stalin 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".[56] 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."[56] 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";[56] this attitude, in Kaplinski's view, "probably does not date back further than 1940 and presumably originates from Nazi propaganda."[56]


According to Andrei Tsygankov (a Russian himself), ethnic Russians in Latvia are subjected to ethnic discrimination.[57] In a 2012 poll, 2% of the Russian minority in Latvia reported that they had experienced a racially motivated hate crime (as compared to an average of 10% among immigrants and minorities in EU).[19]

Latvian American doctor and former member of the Civic Union, Aivars Slucis, wrote op-eds in The New York Times and The 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.[58] 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".[59][60] 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.[61]

In 2016, Nils Ušakovs, the first ethnic Russian mayor of Riga in independent Latvia, was fined by the Latvian State Language Center for using Russian language on Facebook.[62][63] In 2018, Alexander Kirshtejns, Deputy Speaker of the Latvian parliament, or Saeima, from the bloc of the National Association, made the statement, which at least one anti-racism activist in Latvia, on Thursday, the BaltNews service reported. He said Russian in this regard was the same as Yiddish and Hebrew and claiming Russian language similar to Zionism, sparked angers as this is both Russophobic and antisemite.[64]


Lithuania has a strong anti-Russian sentiment, dated back on historical grievances from the era of Muscovite–Lithuanian War, to the repeated occupation by the Russian Empire as well as Soviet Union. For Lithuanians, Russia has never stopped their desire to consolidate power over the Baltics, which Lithuania is one of them, and feared Russia would plan for an eventual invasion against Lithuania like it did to Crimea.[65] There is also concerns over Russia's increasing military deployment, such as in Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia bordering Lithuania.[66][67]

Northern Caucasus[edit]

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 stated that Chechnya "cannot exist within the borders of Russia because every 50 years... Russia kills us Chechens",[68] 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.[69]

In April 2015, Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov ordered Chechen security forces to “shoot to kill” if they encountered police officers from other parts of Russia on the territory of the Chechen Republic.[70][71]


Ever since the independence of Moldova, Russia has been repeatedly accused by many Moldovans, whom mostly of ethnic Romanians and Ukrainians, for meddling in Moldovan politics,[72] notably from Adrian Cantu, a Moldovan senator.[73] On the other side, Russia's involvement on the pro-Russian separatists in Transnistria further strained the relations between Russia and Moldova, as Russia is referred as "occupier" and has been demanded to quit the region.[74]

In 2018, the Parliament of Moldova “unanimously” adopted a declaration condemning the attacks coming from the Russian Federation upon the national informational security and the abusive meddling in political activity in the Republic.[75]


Modern anti-swearing poster in Lviv, Ukraine, issued by the Ukrainian nationalist political party Svoboda.[76][77] Ukrainian text reads: "Remember! Swearing turns you into a Moskal (ethnic slur, means "Russian").

During the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko (2005–2010) anti-Russian statements became common in the media, in particular, aired by right-wing politicians.[78]

In a poll held by Kiev 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.[79]

According to the statistics released on October 21, 2010 by the Institute of Sociology of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, positive attitudes towards Russians have been decreasing 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.[80]

The right-wing political party "Svoboda",[76][77][81] has invoked radical Russophobic rhetoric[82] (see poster) and has electoral support enough to garner majority support in local councils,[83] as seen in the Ternopil regional council in Western Ukraine.[84] 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".[85][86]

Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the far-right Svoboda party, whose members held senior positions in the short-lived First Yatsenyuk government, urged his party to fight "the Moscow-Jewish mafia" ruling Ukraine.[87] Right Sector's leader for West Ukraine, Oleksandr Muzychko, has talked about fighting "communists, Jews and Russians for as long as blood flows in my veins."[88]


Russia has often been accused for meddling in Belarusian affairs since 1990s, the notable case is current Belarusian dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has been known for his ruthless pro-Russian stance, Russification and loss of Belarusian language, as well as oppressing the voice of dissidents in Belarus, many criticisms heading on authoritarian rule of Lukashenko was surrounding on him.[89] Russian nationalist groups, including paramilitary cossack organisations, enjoy loyalty from Belarusian state officials and the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the largest religious organisation in Belarus.[89]

Following Euromaidan in Ukraine, tensions between Belarusians and Russia increased due to Belarusian population's majority support for Ukraine against Russia.[90] While Lukashenko's regime continues to maintain tie with Russia and even imprisoning those who criticize the Government in some Russophobic accusations,[91] the trend of criticisms against Belarusians have also emerged in Russia as the consequence of rising Russophobia in Belarus. Russian model Alexandra Novaeva, who was invited to the Belarusian TV program “Football Time” for the period of the European Championship, shared her impressions with the Belarusian Tribune "Absolute Russophobia can be clearly seen in Belarusian fans. I’ve read a lot of nasty things."[92], aiming on Belarusian supports to Euromaidan in Ukraine during UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying.

Former Eastern Bloc[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

A caricature of a Russian traditional matryoshka doll as a negative symbol of communism; Prague, Czech Republic

Even though the Czech Republic is a common tourist destination for Russians, the Czech people themselves tend to be distrustful of Russia due to the 1968 invasion led by the Soviet Union, and tend to have a negative opinion of Russians.[93][94] Russia remains continuously among the most negatively perceived countries among Czechs in polls conducted since 1991, and just 26% of Czechs responded that they have a positive opinion about Russia in November 2016.[95]


According to a 2013 BBC World Service poll, 19% of Poles viewed Russia's influence positively, with 49% expressing a negative view.[96]

Mutual animosity between Poland and Russia have a long history, with military clashes tracing as back as to the times of Kievan Rus. Since the late Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Poland allied with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which struggled with the Grand Duchy of Muscovy. Over centuries, there have been several Polish-Russian wars, with Poland once occupying Moscow and later Russians controlling much of Poland in the 19th century as well as in the 20th century.

Much of the modern anti-Russian feelings in Poland is caused by grievances of the past.[97] One contentious issue is the massacre of 22,000 Polish officers, priests and intellectuals in Katyn Forest in 1940, and deportation of around 250,000 mostly Polish civilians and others including soldiers to Siberia and Kazakhstan where many, around 100,000 died, even though the Russian government has officially acknowledged and apologized for the atrocity.[98]

In 2005 The New York Times reported after the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that "relations between Poland and Russia are as bad as ever".[99]

Jakub Boratyński, the director of international programs at the independent Polish think tank Stefan Batory Foundation, said in 2005 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."[97]


Anti-Russian sentiment dates back to the conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires in the 18th and early 19th centuries 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 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.[100][101][102][103][104]


At the end of 2016, Russian experts were cited as assessing Russian–Croatian relations as ″cold″.[105] Croatia is one of the anti-Russian countries in Europe, according to the voting on European Parliament's 23 November 2016 resolution.[106] Croat and Ukrainian sports fans have put up hate messages towards Serbs and Russians during a match of their national teams in the 2018 World Cup qualifier.[107] Croatia's position as a member of both NATO and the European Union can be contrasted to that of traditional Russian ally Serbia,[108] with which it has strained relations.[109] Croats are Catholic and Serbs are Orthodox (as the Russians are), and during the Ukrainian crisis mercenaries of the two ethnic groups were on opposing sides, Croats fighting for Ukraine and Serbs fighting for the Russian separatists.[110][111] An article in Foreign Affairs called Croatia the strongest Western ally against Russian expansion in the Balkans.[112]

Croats often chant "Ubij, ubij, Rusa" (Kill, kill Russian) in reference to negative view over Russia's Orthodox stance for Serbia against Croatia.


Historically, relations between Albania and Russia has been tense, due to Russia's supports for Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, both are majority Orthodox Christian countries and hostile against Albania. Albania is a stun ally of the West, therefore strained the relations between Albania and Russia.[113]

A majority of Albanians perceived Russia as a threat due to Russia's blockade of Kosovo's independence recognition,[114] as well as economic combat and sanctions by Russia against Albania.[115]


Bulgaria is traditionally more Russophile due to historical commons. However, in 20th century, Bulgaria and Russia were totally on the opposite sides in World War I and World War II. Later, Russia as Soviet Union subjected Bulgaria into its rule, making negative impressions over Russia to grow in Bulgaria.

In 2017, Bulgarian national security named Russia as a direct threat for Bulgaria's security.[116]


Anti-Russian sentiment became commonly practiced among Germans during the 20th century, when German propaganda depicted Russians, both during World War I and World War II, notably the latter, as barbarians from the East trying to demolish the German state and enslaving Europe. During the World War II, anti-Russian propaganda increased by efforts of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. These anti-Russian propaganda continued when Germany was divided into two nations, West Germany and East Germany, and Germans still consider Russia as the perpetrator for the division of Germany that lasted from 1947 to 1990.

Recently, Russia's propaganda disinformation, notably the recent Lisa case, becomes part of Russophobic sentiment in Germany,[117][118] although anti-Russian sentiment in Germany isn't high like any other European nations.

Western world[edit]


According to the World Public Opinion poll undertaken in 2013, 53% of Australians had a negative view of Russia, up 15% from 2012.[119] Following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, allegedly by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, which claimed the lives of at least 27 Australians, Prime Minister Tony Abbott considering barring Russian President Vladimir Putin from attending the 2014 G-20 Brisbane summit.[120][121]


In Finland, anti-Russian sentiment has been studied since the 1970s. The history of anti-Russian sentiment has two main theories. One of them claims that Finns and Russians have been archenemies 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".[122] In the 1920s and 1930s this anti-Russian and anti-Communism propaganda had a fertile ground.[123] 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 high casualties among the Finns and 11% of the total population had to leave their homes, later causing great bitterness, and has endured as the Karelian question in Finnish politics.

Another theory considers anti-Russian sentiment as being born in Finland at the time of civil war 1917–1918, and the anti-Russian political and ideological White Finland created a confrontation which deliberately blew and spread the sentiment. Anti-Russian sentiment was created against the external threat of the Soviet Union and it was considered almost a national duty in the 1920s and 1930s.[124] During World War II, Finns organized internment camps in 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 anti-Russian sentiment.

According to polls in 2004, 62% of Finnish citizens had a negative view of Russia.[15] Deportation of Ingrian Finns, indigenous to St. Petersburg, Ingria, and other Soviet repressions against its Finnish minorities have contributed to negative views of Russia. In a 2012 poll, 12% of Russian immigrants in Finland reported that they had experienced a racially motivated hate crime (as compared to an average of 10% of immigrants in the EU).[19]


Dra åt helvete ("Go to hell") in a Swedish university students' book of drinking songs printed 2007, written by a Finnish student in remembrance of Nikolay Bobrikov. Translation on description page.

The Swedish words russofob (Russophobe) and russofobi (Russophobia) were first recorded in 1877 and 1904 respectively and its more frequent synonym rysskräck (fear of Russia or Russians) in 1907. Older synonyms were rysshat (hatred of Russia or Russians) from 1846 and ryssantipati (antipathy against Russia or Russians) from 1882.[125]

The Russian state is said to have been organized in the 9th century AD at Novgorod by Rurik, supposedly coming from Sweden. In the 13th century, Stockholm was founded to stop foreign navies from invading lake Mälaren. Both events are signs that hostile naval missions across the Baltic Sea go a long way back, temporarily ending with the peace treaty of Nöteborg 1323 between Sweden and the Novgorod Republic (which later became Russia), soon to be broken by another Catholic Swedish crusade into Greek-orthodox Novgorod. Russia has been described as Sweden's "archenemy" (a title also given to Denmark). The two countries have often been at war, most intensively during the Great Northern War (1700–1721) and the Finnish War (1808–1809), when Sweden lost that third of its territory to Russia that now is Finland. Sweden defeated a Russian army in the Battle of Narva (1700), but was defeated by Russia in the Battle of Poltava 1709. In 1719 Russian troops burnt most Swedish cities and industrial communities along the Baltic sea coast to the ground (from Norrköping up to Piteå in the north) in what came to be called "Rysshärjningarna" (the Russian ravages, a term first recorded in 1730[125]). "The Russians are coming" (ryssen kommer) is a traditional Swedish warning call.[126] After the death of king Charles XII in 1718 and the peace in 1721, Swedish politics was dominated by a peace-minded parliament, with a more aggressive opposition (Hats and Caps). When Swedish officer Malcolm Sinclair was murdered in 1739 by two Russian officers, the anti-Russian ballad Sinclairsvisan by Anders Odel became very popular.[127][128]

After 1809, there have been no more wars between Russia and Sweden, partly due to Swedish neutrality and nonalignment foreign policy since then. Peaceful relationships and the Russian capital being Saint Petersburg, many Swedish companies ran large businesses in Imperial Russia, including Branobel and Ericsson. Many poets still grieved the loss of Finland and called for a military revenge,[129] ideas that were refueled by the Crimean War in the 1850s.[130] With the increasing cultural exchange between neighboring countries (Scandinavism) and the nationalist revival in Finland (through Johan Ludvig Runeberg and Elias Lönnrot), contempt with the attempts of Russification of Finland spread to Sweden. Before World War I, travelling Russian saw filers were suspected of espionage by Swedish proponents of increased military spending. After the Russian Revolution in the spring of 1917 and the abdication of the Tsar, great hope was vested in the new provisional government, only to be replaced with despair after the so-called October Revolution. Old anti-Russian sentiments were compounded by a fresh element of anti-communism, to last for the duration of the existence of the Soviet Union. Many Swedes voluntarily joined the Finnish side in the Winter War between Finland and Soviet Union 1939–1940. When the Soviet state was finally dissolved in 1991, anti-communism became less relevant in terms of power politics and for some time, few seemed to recall the fear of its predecessor.[citation needed] The old cry ryssen kommer also seemed obsolete.

Thus, in statements made by Swedish politicians, the Swedish sentiments against the Russian government have always been about fear of military invasion, which now seemed to be gone for the foreseeable future, and also about human rights and democracy issues. Only 31% of Swedes stated that they liked Russia in 2011, and 23% in 2012, and only 10% have confidence in Russian elections.[17]

In June 2014, political scientist Sergey Markov complained about Russophobia in Sweden and Finland, comparing it to antisemitism. "Would you want to be part of starting a Third World War? Antisemitism started the Second World War, Russophobia could start a third.", he commented.[131] The retired Swedish history professor and often cited expert on Russia Kristian Gerner said he was "almost shocked" by Markov's claim, and described his worldview as "nearly paranoid".[132][133]


Anti-Russian sentiment was common in France after the French defeat by the Russians in the 1812 War.[134]

New Zealand[edit]

The history of early anti-Russian sentiment in New Zealand was analyzed in Glynn Barratt's book Russophobia in New Zealand, 1838-1908,[135] expanded to cover the period up to 1939 in an article by Tony Wilson.[136]

According to Wilson, Russophobia towards the Russian Empire had no roots in the country itself, but was fueled by British Empire attitude, at a time when New Zealand was still a British colony. It was aggravated by lack of information about Russia and contacts with it due to the mutual remoteness. Various wars involving the Russian Empire fueled the "Russian scare". Additional negative attitude was brought by Jewish immigration after Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire. That immigration was halted as a combined result of Russophobia and anti-Semitism. As of 1916, there were 1242 settlers of Russian origin in the country, including 169 Jews. During World War I Russophobia was temporarily supplanted by Germanophobia for evident reasons; however, soon after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the fear of Marxism and Bolshevism revived Russophobia in the form of "Red Scare". Notably, local Russians had no issues with Russophobia. By late 1920s pragmatism moderated Russophobia in official circles, especially during the Great Depression. Sympathetic views were propagated by visitors to the Soviet Union, such as George Bernard Shaw, impressed by Soviet propaganda.[136]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, anti-Russian sentiment arose during conflicts including the Crimean War[137] 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 anti-Russian sentiment in Britain. British propaganda at the time took up the theme of Russians as uncultured Asiatic barbarians.[138] The American professor Jimmie E. Cain Jr has stated 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.[137]


During 19th century, the British Empire issued the Russian expansionism to promote anti-Russian propaganda in Canada.

While Russia and Canada have little contact to each other, Russophobia has increased in Canada as for the result of Soviet Union's militarism and its communist expansions. Recently, the trend of negative impression on Russia remains high in Canada due to alleged Putin's interference in the Western politics, human rights issue, including the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal[139], the rise of anti-Russian PM Justin Trudeau, large Ukrainian Canadian population in Canada whom hold strong disdain on Russia[140][141] or notably, the appointment of Chrystia Freeland, an anti-Russian Foreign Minister.[142]

At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Canada had called for a ban of Russian athletes entering the Olympics.[143] The chief of mission for the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” contingent at Pyeongchang, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, said on Thursday that a Russian coach had been treated badly by a member of the Canadian delegation.[144]


According to a 2013 survey 73% of Turks look at Russia unfavorably against 16% with favorable views.[145]

In the 20th century, anti-Russian sentiment in Turkey was so great that the Russians refused to allow a Turkish military attache to accompany their armies.[146]

United States[edit]

During the Cold War years, there was frequent confusion and conflation of terms "Russians" and "Communists"/"Soviets"; in 1973, a group of Russian immigrants in the US founded the Congress of Russian Americans with the purpose of drawing a clear distinction between Russian national identity and Soviet ideology, and preventing the formation of anti-Russian sentiment on the basis of Western anti-communism.[147] Members of the Congress see the conflation itself as Russophobic, since Russians were the first nation in world history to be oppressed by a communist regime.[148]

According to a 2013 Poll, 59% of Americans had a negative view of Russia, 23% had a favorable opinion, and 18% were uncertain.[119] According to a survey by Pew Research Center, negative attitudes towards Russia in the United States rose from 43% to 72% from 2013 to 2014.[18]

Recent events such as the Anti-Magnitsky bill,[149] the Boston Marathon bombings[150] Russia's actions following the Ukrainian crisis,[18] the Syrian Civil War, the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia[151][152] are deemed to have caused a rising negative impression about Russia in the United States.[153]

In December 2016, New York Daily News columnist Gersh Kuntzman compared the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, to the assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Jewish student Herschel Grynszpan, saying "justice has been served."[154]

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept wrote in February 2017 that the "East Coast newsmagazines" are "feeding Democrats the often xenophobic, hysterical Russophobia for which they have a seemingly insatiable craving."[155]

In May 2017, the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was criticized by some media outlets for a xenophobic remark in an interview with Chuck Todd from Meet the Press.[156] He told NBC's Meet The Press that Russians are "almost genetically driven" to act deviously.[157][158]


In a 2014 news story, Fox News reported, "Russians may also be unimpressed with Hollywood’s apparent negative stereotyping of Russians in movies. "The Avengers" featured a ruthless former KGB agent, "Iron Man 2" centers on a rogue Russian scientist with a vendetta, and action thriller "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" saw Kenneth Branagh play an archetypal Russian bad guy, just to name a few."[159]


Norway traditionally isn't commonly a Russophobe country; however, it shares historical tie with Nordic nations like Sweden, Finland and Denmark which have experienced conflicts against Russia, as well as being a NATO member, and thus anti-Russian sentiment also exists in Norway. Norway shared solidarity with Finland and Sweden during the Cold War against Soviet Union, its tie to the West thus complicated the relations with Russia continues.[160][161]

Recently, tensions with Russia is mainly over Russia's militaristic involvements in Ukraine and Georgia, which Norway supported sanctions against Russia and has not lifted it;[162] Russian expansionism in North Pole;[163] military buildup in Norway over fear of Russian takeover[164] and hosting the U.S. Marines in the country even deteriorated relations between Norway and Russia.[165]

In 2017, Russian Embassy in Oslo had shown dissatisfaction of the relations over what it perceived to be "mythical Russian threat" over disinformation of Russian alleged involvements. In response, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, informed of the harsh Russian criticism of Norway while attending the Munich Security Conference, seemed to be taking it in stride. “This is an example of Russian propaganda that often comes when there’s a focus on security policy. There is nothing in this that’s new to us.[166]


Denmark is traditionally friendlier to Russia in compare to Sweden and Finland, but since Denmark is also a Nordic country, Denmark shares solidarity with both Sweden, Norway and Finland, which have been historically Russophobes. Denmark was the founder of the NATO and joined anti-communist Western nations throughout the Cold War.

Increasing tensions between Denmark and Russia began when in August 2014, the Danish government announced that it would contribute to NATO's missile defense shield by equipping one or more of its frigates with radar capacity, amid the Ukrainian crisis and growing tensions between Russia and NATO.[167] On March 22, 2015, the Russian ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin, confirmed the tensions during an interview to Jyllands-Posten: "I do not think Danes fully understand the consequences of what happens if Denmark joins the US-led missile defense. If this happens, Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles". Denmark's foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, announced the ambassador's remarks as unacceptable and that the defense system was not aimed at Russia, a claim echoed by NATO's spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu. NATO's spokesman added that the Russian statements "do not inspire confidence or contribute to predictability, peace or stability".[168][169]

Rest of the world[edit]


Due to the Soviet Union's involvement in the Ethiopian Civil War on the side of Communist Derg, a strong anti-Russian/Soviet sentiment developed by the anti-communist Ethiopians, since Soviet Union had, indirectly, involved in the Red Terror of Ethiopia and supporting for Mengistu Haile Mariam who was later found guilty for the terror,[170][171] and notably, imposing communism to Ethiopia which was the core of the Red Terror in the country.[172]


Anti-Russian sentiment in Vietnam is very low due to historical common alliance between communist North Vietnam and Soviet Union during Vietnam War and Cold War period. Vietnamese population at large hold a favorable view of Russia and Russian culture.[citation needed] However, from 2010s onward, the younger and middle generations are becoming aware of Russian atrocities towards its neighbors like Belarus, Germany, Ukraine and Poland, notably rape of Eastern European and German women by Russian troops, or the Katyń Massacre, which have sparked strong Russophobic sentiment among Vietnamese population.[173][174] Recent good relationship between China and Russia, the former has been Vietnam's long time adversary for years, the failure of the Soviet Union to assist Vietnam at the 1979 Sino–Vietnamese War and poor treatments and repeated killing of Vietnamese in Russia,[175][176] further deteriorated the favorable view on Russia among Vietnamese.

Overseas Vietnamese, mostly descendants of the South Vietnamese refugees, as well as recent Vietnamese immigrants moving abroad, perceive Russia as a direct threat of Vietnamese sovereignty after China.[177] And recent similar anti-Russian trend in Vietnam also claim Vietnam "isn't the most pro-Russian" and believe it is a misleading poll, citing Vietnam is under pro-Russian Communist Government trying to silent dissidents and promoting Russian propaganda; and that the real number is 30-35% Vietnamese are hostile against Russia.

Common Vietnamese words used as pejorative anti-Russian sentiment in Vietnam are "Nga ngố" (idiot Russian) and "Nga Sô" (Soviet Russia), commonly as anti-Russian remarks.[178]

South Korea[edit]

Due to the history of the Cold War and the Korean War, where the Soviet Union and South Korea fought on opposing sides, relations between Russia and South Korea have been almost non existent until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Even so, opinion about Russia and Russians in South Korea remains low, particularly due to Russia's support for North Korea.[179] A common pejorative term against Russians in Korea is "로스케" (Roske, the same as English Russkie).


India, same as Vietnam, is often perceived to be several few Russophile nations, and in fact, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union allied with India in a controversial relations, despite India was not a communist country. However, since 2010s when India becomes more independent, economic and politically, anti-Russian sentiment also starts to grow. The most notable one for the rise of Russophobia in India is because of recent relations between China and Russia, as the former is also India's adversary competing for influences in Asia, which impacts negatively on the relationship.[180]

In 2018, the statue of Vladimir Lenin, a symbol of Russian/Soviet communism, was demolished in Tripura when the Right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party won a major seat in the state, ending the communist domination for more than 20 years.[181][182]


Anti-Russian sentiment has been increasing in Venezuela due to Russia's support to Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro during the Venezuelan crisis, which the opposition, strongly anti-Russian, are hostile toward Russia.[183]


China and Russia had been at war in the past. Russia and China both had historical expansions, which later led to war between two nations. The Russians later invaded Central Asia, and drove the Chinese out of Outer Manchuria which had been annexed by Russia and eventually, belongs to Russia today. Russia and China even later went to some fierce border clash during the communist era of Soviet Union, and border conflict which almost resulted by using nuclear bomb from the Soviet Union against China.[184] Today, there is no more border disputes as all were settled in 2004, however fears about Russia's military involvement remains relevant in China.


Throughout the Syrian Civil War, the Syrian opposition is one of the most Russophobic group in Syria. Their main accusation is because of Russian military involvement on Bashar al-Assad's side, Russia's continous rejection of any wrongdoing throughout the Syrian War[185] further strained relations between anti-Assad groups and Russia. Russophobia often goes with Iranophobia in Syria when the Syrian conflict escalates, mainly due to Assad and the United States involvement against Syrian Armed Forces.[186]


Iranians perceive Russia as one of its biggest enemies in their history and perhaps, one of the worst countries Iran had ever fought with. That was due to Persian Empire’s defeats to the hand of Russian Empire spanned between 17th to 19th century conflicts. Russia was seen as an invader who destroyed, forcefully converted and demolished Iranian heritages in occupied territories.

During 20th century, Russia as USSR had involved in Azerbaijani and Kurdish separatist movements, making Russophobia grew rapidly in Iran. This remains high since despite recent Islamic Government tried to silence its dissidents over it.

Due to Russia's support of the Iranian government, many protesters started chants of "Death to Russia" after the 2009 Presidential election.[187] Another reason maybe historical grievances and Russian atrocities against Iran and Iranians.


Anti-Russian/Soviet sentiment started in Somalia when the USSR condemned Somali invasion of Ogaden during the Ogaden War and even sent troops to fight for Communist Ethiopia against Somalia. Throughout the Ogaden War, Somalia was one of the strongest Russophobic nations in Africa and the world.[188]


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.[189][190] 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 anti-Russian country surveyed.[191]


Grievances against Russia in Afghanistan dated back from the Soviet Union's conquest of Afghanistan. Moscow's attempt to put Afghanistan under its communist influence bearing the name of Democratic Republic of Afghanistan fueled the anti-Russian resistance in Afghanistan led by Ahmad Shah Massoud. Today, Russia is still being seen among Afghans as perpetrator of what would be, the path of tragedy for Afghanistan.[192][193]


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",[194] 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."[195] 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."[196]

View of Russia in Western media[edit]

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").[197][198] 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."[199]

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."[200]

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.), 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"[201] (+26, U.S.).[202][203]

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."[204]

In practice, anti-Russian political rhetoric usually puts emphasis on highlighting policies and practices of the Russian government that are criticised internally - corruption, abuse of law, censorship, violence and intervention in Ukraine. Western criticism in this aspect goes in line with Russian independent anti-government media such as (TV Rain, Novaya Gazeta, Ekho Moskvy, The Moscow Times) and opposition human rights activists (Memorial). In defence of this rhetoric, some sources critical of the Russian government claim that it is Russian state-owned media and administration who attempt to discredit the "neutral" criticism by generalizing it into indiscriminate accusations of the whole Russian population - or Russophobia.[12][205][206] Some have argued, however, that the Western media doesn't make enough distinction between Putin's regime and Russia and the Russians, thus effectively vilifying the whole nation.[207][208]

Derogatory terms[edit]

There are a variety of derogatory terms referring to Russia and Russian people. Many of these terms are viewed as racist. However, these terms do not necessarily refer to the Russian ethnicity as a whole; they can also refer to specific policies, or specific time periods in history.

In English[edit]

  • Russkie — refers to the Russians as uneducated, prostitute or lamely arrogant. This is the most common Russophobic remark.
  • Soviet Russia — a mocking word combining "Soviet" (referring to old communist Russia) and "Russia" as a whole.
  • Russcunt — a hatred term downgrading Russia and Russians as a whole, but it is not widely used.
  • Moskal — it was used as a historical designation used for the residents of the Grand Duchy of Moscow from the 12th-18th centuries.[209] Today it has become an ethnic slur referring to the Russians living in Russia used in Ukraine, Belarus,[209] and Poland.[210]
  • The Russians are coming — it was derived from Swedish's "ryssen kommer". It became widely popular since translated to English at late 19th century, to describe threat from Russia.

In German[edit]

  • Moskowien — it is known as "Muscovy" in German, used commonly in Western Europe more than Eastern Europe. Today, the word used to refer Russia and Russians as a pejorative term in Germany, seeing Russians as somewhat neglected and ugly.
  • Untermensch — first used by Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler issued Russophobia referring Russia and Russians, together with other Slavs like Poles, Serbs and the Jews as a pejorative word. It means "under people".

In Polish[edit]

  • Moskal — derogatory term against Russia and Russians.

In Swedish[edit]

  • Rysshärjningarna — meaning "Russian ravages", memorize the barbarism. It was first used during the series of Russo–Swedish Wars, first recorded at 1730.
  • Ryssen kommer — literally "the Russians are coming", used after the Great Northern War. It was soon translated to English and become a popular call, over the Russian threat.

In Vietnamese[edit]

  • Nga ngố — which means "stupid Russian" or "idiot Russian", used to mock someone who is lame, basically uneducated and awkward, mostly against Russians.
  • Nga Sô — derived from English's "Soviet Russia".

In Croatian/Bosnian[edit]

  • Ubij Rusija — a common hatred call by Croats and Bosniaks "kill Russian", referring to Russia's as an unofficial enemy, mainly due to Russia's support for Serbia, its Orthodox allies. Croats are majority Catholics while Bosniaks are majority Muslims.

In Georgian[edit]

  • ღრუსი (ghrusi) — a combination in Georgian language of "ghori" (pig) and "rusi" (Russian), meaning "Russian pig".

In Ukrainian[edit]

  • Москалі (Moskali) — literally "Moskal" in Ukrainian, in reference to Russians in global in negative term.
  • Кацапи (Katsapi) — meaning "goatee beard" or "butcher", used in regard to Russians as "shopkeeper" in derogatory term as barbaric axe killers.

In Belarusian[edit]

  • Маскаля (Maskalija) – derived from "Москалі" as anti-Russian remark, looking down on Russia and Russians in Belarus.

In Korean[edit]

  • 로스케 (roske) — derived from English's "Russkie", same meaning of Russia and Russians in derogatory term.

In Finnish[edit]

  • Ryssäläisyys — literally "Russian fears". It was derived from Swedish's "Rysshärjningarna", also deemed to consider Russia as a barbaric country.

In Japanese[edit]

  • モスカーリ人 (mosukāri) — derived from old Slavic "Moskal". Japanese associated Russians as jackals and imperialists, or typical lazy Russians.

In Chinese[edit]

  • 黃俄鬼子 (Huáng é guǐzi) — literally "Yellow Russian Devil", a specialisation of the term "洋鬼子" (overseas devil). Used to describe the Soviet Communist, and also Chinese Communist under the influence of USSR.
  • 匪俄 (Fěi é) — literally "bandit Russia", used in Nationalist China in the martial rule after retreating to Taiwan, in the same sense as the term "共匪" (communist bandit) for Communist China[211] because the nationalist government believed that China Communist Party stole mainland China under the instruction of communist USSR.[212]

Russian nationalist ideology[edit]

The issue of anti-Russian sentiment has become an indispensable part of contemporary Russian nationalist ideology.[12][213] Sociologist Anatoly Khazanov states that there's a national-patriotic movement which believes that there's a clash of civilizations, a global struggle between the idealist, collectivist, morally and spiritually superior Eurasia led by Russia, and the corrupt, materialistic, decadent, morally and spiritually polluted West led by the United States.[citation needed]

This national-patriotic movement charges that for centuries the West has plundered Russia of her natural resources, trying to bring Russia to her knees and undermining Russia's messianic and self-sacrificing mission to enlighten and save mankind, with the collapse of the Soviet Union as evidence.[citation needed] In their view, the United States want to break up Russia and turn it into a source of raw materials. The West being accused of Russophobia is a major part of their belief.[214]

According from Russia's Sputnik, it compares the rise of anti-Chinese sentiment similar to the rise of anti-Russian sentiment, claiming both Russia and China suffered similar xenophobia launched by Western propaganda to exaggerate fears of Russia and China globally.[215]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]