Thursday, August 17, 2023

Anti-Semitism Spreading in Russia as Part of Attack on Everything Non-Russian

Paul Goble

             Staunton, Aug. 16 – When Vladimir Pastukhov said a few months ago that anti-Semitism was returning to Russia as part of state policy, many commentators dismissed the words of the London-based Russian analyst as “alarmism” (

            But events since that time and especially the attack on the Jewish origins of people by actress Valentina Talyzina ( have prompted Pastukhov and others to conclude that he was right earlier and that Russia now races a new wave of this ancient evil.

            Indeed, Pastukhov says that what has been said leads him to conclude that something like Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaign “against rootless cosmopolitans” may be about to begin given that this development in the nature of Russian xenophobia suggests that “the imperialist war will become a domestic civil war” instead (

            “Apparently,” he continues, “anti-Semitism is a built-in and mandatory element of the agony of despotic power in Russia. We see it every time when the situation appears to be moving toward a finale. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the path from Pobedonostsev to pogroms was very short.”

            “In the middle of the 20th century, the path from Victory to a campaign against cosmopolitans was even shorter. And towards the end of the Brezhnev-Chernenko era, there was again a sharp upsurge in nomenklatura anti-Semitism. Today, as Viktor Chernomyrdin would say: ‘This has never happened before, and here it is again.”

            Another commentator agrees. In an article for Novaya Gazeta Evropa, Vyacheslav Polovinko argues that the rise in anti-Semitism among officials and the populace of Russia is an outgrowth of assertions of Russian superiority and attacks on everything and everyone non-Russian (

            “Elements of an anti-Semitic campaign at the state level have been obvious to the unaided eye for six months,” he says, right along assertions that we Russians are good and Jews, Tajiks, Uzbeks Anglo-Saxons and Americans are bad are close to the definition of extreme ethno-nationalism.

            And what this has led to is that “instead of the struggle against Nazism,” the Kremlin has resolved “to head it,” a campaign that will be directed not only at Jews but at all the non-Russian minorities inside the current borders of the Russian Federation and at people in neighboring countries as well.

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