Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Russians of Two Minds about Emigres, Makarkin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 20 – Russians who grew up in Soviet times or who are strongly influenced by those who did are of two minds about emigres, Aleksey Makarkin says. On the one hand, they adopt the politically correct view that all should have the right to live where they want. But on the other, they view emigres, and especially successful ones, as traitors.

            Until recently, the former was the dominant view in post-Soviet Russia; but now because of changes in Russia’s relationship with the outside world and the dramatic increase in the number of emigres and especially successful ones, the second view has returned and is now dominant, the Moscow analyst says (rosbalt.ru/posts/2023/01/20/1982374.html).

            Those who go abroad are breaking with the people, most of whom because they only recently were peasants or in the position of those who could not even imagine going abroad and thus believe that anyone who does should suffer. If such people don’t, then in the minds of Russians in the past and again now, they must be traitors in some fundamental sense.

            Such attitudes appeared to have faded until the last several years, Makarkin says; but now they have returned in spades, promoted by the regime which benefits from such views because they act as barriers to the influence that Russians abroad might otherwise have on the population in their homeland.

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