Staunton, January 20 – Many Russians date Russophobia to the Cold War while others say it emerged at the time of the Crimean conflict a century earlier, but Vzglyad commentator Vladimir Veretennikov says it has been around for far longer than that as have sanctions based on that idea. He dates both to 1480 and blames the Germans for inventing both.
Moreover, according to this commentator, those responsible – the leader of the Teutonic knights Bernhard von dem Borch for the former and the Hanseatic League for the latter – used these tactics not because Russia constituted a real threat but rather to solve their own problems (vz.ru/world/2020/1/20/1018748.html).
According to Veretennikov, von dem Borch used a supposed Russian threat to build up his own authority via “a good little war” against representatives of Sweden and the Vatican and the Hanseatic League used sanctions against Russia to gain market share in the trading of key commodities.
On the one hand, this article is simply a curiosity. But on the other, it is important because of the three messages it sends: Russophobia and sanctions against Russia are much older than many think. Neither is abut Russia but is about the nature of the West. And both are rooted in religion and economics rather than ethnicity.
More than that, this article highlights something that is often lost sight of. The Putin regime does not have the ramified ideological structures that the Soviet state did, but when Putin sends a message, many in the Russian media are more than ready to follow his lead and even extend his words int new areas as well.