Sunday, July 22, 2018

For First Time since 1999, James Bond Will Go Up Against a Russian: Moscow’s Hybrid Response

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 22 – For the first time since 1999, the next James Bond movie will have a Russian as 007’s antagonist, according to the British press. The producers of the latest in the series of Bond Films are currently looking for someone to play the part who is “from Russia or the Balkans” (

            During the Cold War, the Soviets were a reliable enemy in Hollywood films not only about spy wars but also in other genres as well, a pattern that once violated after 1991 sometimes led to improbable and absurd searches of an “enemy” country, such as happened when the producers of The Might Ducks – Two made the squad from Iceland into the heavies.

            In the 1990s, it was no longer politically correct to show the Russians in the role of heavies in movies about political or military themes; but the rise of the Russian criminal world meant that Hollywood movies often featured characters from that world as adversaries of police forces in the West.

            Russians are not pleased but not at all surprised by this latest Bond development. Moscow political analyst Aleksey Makarkin tells Slovo i delo that it appears that the film producers have decided that most Americans want to see Russians as enemies (

                There are Americans who “sympathize with Russia,” he says, “but their influence on the public sphere is not that great.” Therefore, Makarkin continues, he “doesn’t think that the film will generate any protests in the West,” however much Russians may not like being cast once again as enemies.

            But Moscow appears to have come up what can, in the age of Putin, best be described as a hybrid response.  Robbin Young, a Bond girl in an earlier film, told the British press that she has sent intimate photographers of herself to the hacker Guccifer 2.0 (

            She says she was “in shock” when she discovered that her online correspondent wasn’t a gentleman from Romania as she had thought but rather a group of 12 hackers who have just been named in an indictment by the United States for their work to destabilize the American political system.

            The actress says that she is devastated by all this. 

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