Stealth Russians, or the Western Media Blind Spot

(Introduction to my post in the #RussianStereotypes series)

Western master discourse of Russia in one collage
Western master discourse of Russia in one collage

Look at that! That is a complete f*cking fraud, and it looks 100% real. This is the greatest work I’ve ever done in my life – because it’s so honest. Wag the Dog.


Less than two weeks ago I was writing a post on Russian stereotypes in my phone lying on the beach in Sudak, Crimea (btw a post with photos from my vacation to come). A man behind me who happened to be a refugee from Donbass was telling his story to another man (there are many refugees in Crimea). The wind was carrying his words to me as the tide was stealing some of them. Suddenly I thought about ‘little green men’ aka ‘polite people’ who were invisible to the West for some time. Being a rather polite person myself, a short guy who loves wearing green [in fact, I had my favourite military shorts on at that moment which ‘rhymed’ with my ‘military surname’ – Armeyskov – derived from ‘armiya’, i.e. ‘army’ in Russian] I laughed at the idea that I’m invisible to the Eye of Sauron Western media – a stealth Russian. 😎 “Now you see me, now you don’t!”

This idea filled a lacuna in my reflections concerning Russia’s image in the Western media. ‘Stealth Russians‘ are educated, young, successful Russians who want Russia to be a democratic… superpower. They are less likely to be seen in the Western media than a unicorn despite being not mythological creatures but a group of intelligent Westernized patriotic Russians. Of course in the BBC/CNN-reality they either don’t exist or are presented as smart and evil Ruskies who are put in the readymade categories of Russian bad guys: ‘communists/Nazis/fascists/spies/hackers/orcs/wildlings’, etc.

Russian minstrel show must go on!
Russian minstrel show must go on!

On the contrary, there are ‘TV screen Russians‘ who are disproportionately represented in the Western media despite being a very small minority in Russia working in the ‘Russian minstrel reality show‘. More about them and the Pussy Riot effect in my next post on Russian stereotypes.

8 thoughts on “Stealth Russians, or the Western Media Blind Spot

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  6. I am currently attending a series of lectures on international security in Rome, at the Ministry of Defence. Russia is nearly never mentioned, but its shadow stretches upon the auditorium. The NATO partnership with Russia has been a failure, because NATO has never had the will to make it function. Many expect to bring about a regime change in Moscow. Set aside the foolishness of such idea, I guess this is another interesting evidence of how the West is unable to confront the real Russia and it needs a sort of unreal depiction of it in order to reason in terms of foreign policy. Be Russia a strategic partner or even a strategic competitor. Or even a enemy but, for God’s sake, be it a real country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Conspiracy theories aside, I guess propaganda is like A-bomb: the fact that you used it can’t guarantee that you won’t be a victim of radiation. It looks like everybody is an expert on Russia nowadays. In ‘reality’ many people are only under the influence of media-radiation supporting the master narrative without questioning it. Anti-propaganda pills, anyone?) In the Western media ‘real Russia’ is in the blind spot, so it doesn’t exist (at least for those under the influence of this ‘radiation’). The ‘real Russia’ they are talking about is a ‘cold war 2’ hallucination, a klyukvified simulacrum. Russia isn’t perfect but it’s not Mordor.


      1. Sure. Well, approaching a different culture is in itself one of the most difficult challenges anyone may face. It requires a constant awareness of one’s own prejudices and a constant balance between what seems to belong to a culture and what actually belongs to mankind as a whole. Both good and evil.
        With Russia it may be even more difficult, because it is part of european history but it can’t be reduced to it. The more a world is close, the more we are blind to its features, like the letter in the famous tale of Poe. Anyway there are supporters of Russia that are simply bewitched by the idea of a second cold war that reverses the outcome of the first.
        Indeed it seems that in this western comedy the main character never appears on stage.

        Liked by 1 person

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