Saturday, October 21, 2017

150 Years Ago, Tyutchev Invented ‘Russophobia’ to Describe the Attitudes of Some Russians to Other Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 21 –Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev writing in French first used  the term “Russophobia” on October 20, 1867, to describe the hostility some Russians feel toward their own country and its problems and their willingness to overlook any difficulties in other states, Russian blogger Sergey Tsvetkov says.

            This week thus marks the 150th anniversary of that event and, as a round date, should become “Russophobia Day,” a holiday that is unlikely to catch on in Putin’s Russia despite the ever greater frequency with which the Kremlin leader and other Russians to denounce the criticism by Russians and others of Russia (

            But Tsvetkov did express pleasure in the fact that this year on this anniversary, even Vladimir Putin made use of the term in a public speech, albeit using it to attack not primarily other Russians as Tyutchev had but foreign critics of Russia and the Russian people, two categories both inevitably bracket together as one.

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