Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Russophobia Doesn’t Mean Now What It Used To, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 24 – During perestroika times, “Russophobia” emerged as a term of abuse that anti-Semites grouped around the Pamyat Society applied to “the Jewish liberal-cosmopolitan intelligentsia.” Now, the Putin regime has taken this word “from the marginal discourse of Russian chauvinists” and put it to a different use, Igor Eidman says.

            Today, the Russian sociologist and commentator continues, “all those whoo speak against the present-day Russian regime are called Russophobes,” according to the kind of logic which is absurd on its face and collapses upon even the most superficial examination (

                “You don’t love Putin,” this logic runs, “means you do not love the Russian state, which means you do not love Russia, which means you do not love Russians, which means you are a Russophobe.” And it is applied by the powers that be most often to those who oppose “attempts at the rebirth of the Russian empire and the seizure by Russia of neighboring territories.”

            “With just the same success, one could call anti-fascists and opponents of the rebirth of the Third Reich Germanophobes.”

            There are very few real Russophobes, people who hate Russians, Eidman says, reporting that in his experience, he has met only one real one, “an oligarch protected by the Chekists and feeling himself just fine under Putin. “Judging from the regime’s policies directed against the majority of the population, it is just such Russophobes who are in power in Russia now.”

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