(Introduction to my post in the #RussianStereotypes series)
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.
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.