Staunton, Feb. 6 – Moscow’s appeal to and promotion of isolationism in the United States is nothing new, Aleksey Makarkin says. It has a long history going back to Soviet times when communist leaders viewed such attitudes in “the main opponent” as a key to the advancement of Russian interests.
The Russian Federation is not as different in this regard as many think, the Moscow commentator says. On the one hand, and especially near its end, the Soviet Union was culturally conservative even though it remained politically radical and thus found common ground on artistic questions (t.me/BuninCo/4195 reposted at echofm.online/opinions/sovetskaya-rossiya-i-amerikanskie-izolyaczionisty).
And on the other hand – and this is a more important continuity, Makarkin argues – appeals to isolationists in the US have been an important part of Moscow’s policies since the first days of Soviet power. Indeed, such appeals have often been more important to the Kremlin than those to American communists or progressives.
Republican isolationists have often taken positions Moscow favored and thus were supported or at least not criticized by Soviet writers, the Moscow commentator says. They opposed American membership in the League and any US support for anti-Bolshevik movements, arguing that US taxpayers shouldn’t be involved in Russia’s internal affairs.
When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Moscow changed its approach and opposed American isolationists because it wanted American assistance. “But its pragmatic experience remained. Now, Russia and present-day American isolationists have more common grounds” given their common opposition to President Joe Biden over Ukraine.
And it is far easier for American isolationists now to support Moscow than it was in Soviet times. After all, Makarkin concludes, for them, “Vladimir Putin looks like a Christian leader who is defending traditional values” rather than a dangerous left-wing radical committed to atheism.