Russo… Files

Masha and the Bear

I’ve received a comment on my post “Russophilia & Russophobia…“:

...I would just state that perhaps there is no such esoteric notion of a 'Russian Mystery' in the minds of many 'Russophiles' [sic! - S.A.] who are rather urged by a sense of moral duty where they see oppression. [...]

I wasn’t trying to say that a (quasi-)community of Russophiles (here: pro-Russian sympathizers from foreign countries) explicitly believes – partly or wholly – in a ‘Russian Mystery’. My point was that such ‘Russophile’ beliefs and views in general have a substantial injection of mystification/klyukvification. Those who share these views and beliefs in most cases can’t notice the ‘klyukva‘ in their views, being too busy fighting the opposite (quasi-)community of Russophobes (here: Russia haters from foreign countries) on the internet and offline. It should also be noted that Russophobes often deny that they are ‘Russophobes’ (i.e. have anti-Russian bias, etc.) while Russophiles often identify as ‘Russophiles’ (i.e. pro-Russian, etc.).

The image of Russia has been for many years distorted in/by the MSM and popular culture (see my previous posts on this topic). Thus, it is distorted not only in the ‘anti-Russian’ perspective but in the ‘pro-Russian’ (or what is thought to be ‘pro-Russian’) and so-called ‘neutral’/’objective’ as well. When a super-simplified idea that ‘Russia’s not that bad’ or ‘Russia has/should have its own interests which do not necessarily correspond to US and/or EU ones’ is presented as some sort of highbrow analysis, it tells you volumes about the common intellectual level of contemporary Russia discussion in the West.

And no, I’m not trying to go the ‘Russophile-bashing’ way either. I have no interest or desire to be ‘pro-pro-Russian’ (Russophilophile) or ‘anti-pro-Russian’ (Russophilophobe). It’s a false dilemma.

To put it simple: if you deny or hate something, it doesn’t mean that you don’t support it (even against your will and/or knowledge of what you are doing). The ‘denial of the Western Grand Narrative of Russia‘, doesn’t actually challenge this narrative. Moreover, it’s a (double) negative identification/positioning – anti-anti-Russian – and substituting it with ‘pro-Russian’ doesn’t make it intrinsically positive…

To be continued.

4 thoughts on “Russo… Files

  1. I was anti Soviet Union, didn’t know anything about Russia. Now I support Russia, simply because I think Putin has a healthy attitude and also because I view the West currently as the aggressor. That is all. If in a few years this turns around, I could also change my opinion again. In that sense I never support anybody unconditionally.


  2. Pingback: Russia as… the West | Russian Universe

  3. I have been a Russophile for about 50 years and that may have been a bit irrational during Soviet times – though I understood the reasons for an Eastern European buffer against Western aggression – but now that Brother Putin has an 85% approval rating it MUST be the case that I was always right about what I intuited as “the Russian spirit”.

    It is beyond verbal explanation.


    1. I’ve never been against intuition and/or serendipity! And one can talk about the ‘Russian spirit’… Anyway, talking about it is better than drinking it))) In Russia’s case it’s often hard to predict something not b/c of some ‘mystery’ but due to the fact that there are too many factors which we know nothing about. P.S. Btw I do appreciate the current patriotic trend in Russia (you probably see it as ‘manifestation of the Russian spirit’) but I simply prefer to use terms like ‘positive self-image’, ‘identity building’, ‘Russocentrism’, etc.


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