The Long History of Russophobia: Starting with its Religious Roots

Hits: 1195

The former editor of the Tribune de Genève, [Guy Mettan-RI] visited Moscow and presented his new book Russia and the West: A Thousand Year War, which reviews the phenomenon of Russophobia: its roots, historical evolution and modern incarnations. Izvestia had a chance to interview him.

What inspired you to write about this?

There are two reasons why I began this work. The first is a personal, family reason. In 1994, my wife and I adopted a Russian girl, who now is now 25. Her name is Oksana, and she is from the Vladimir region. After we adopted her, I became interested in learning as much as possible about Russia and becoming familiar with this large country. In the 1990’s, one could obtain Russian citizenship after adopting a Russian child. So we did that: my wife and I are citizens of Russia and Switzerland, and Russia became part of our family’s life and history. I am a citizen of Russia, but I pay taxes in Switzerland.

The second reason why I started this work is professional. My trips to Russia gave me an opportunity to learn what this country was all about. I understood how big the difference was between the Russia presented in the Western media and the one I saw myself. I just couldn’t bear to watch this situation, and decided to investigate the reasons.

What made me actually start this project was the events in Ukraine in 2014. I saw the Western press systematically supporting one side, expressing only one point of view – that of the government that usurped power in Kiev. And I decided to figure out why this happened.

It’s important to understand that I wasn’t trying to answer the question of who was to blame for the events in Ukraine. I was interested in why the Western media presented this story in their own way. What was at the root of such a heightened negative relation to Russia?

Could you tell us a little about the main thrust of your book?

I looked at history and concluded that all this Russophobia started when Charlemagne created the Western Empire 1,200 years ago, laying the foundation for the Great Religious Split in 1054. Charlemagne created his empire in opposition to the existing situation, when the center of the civilized world was Byzantium.

The most shocking thing I realized was that everything they taught us in school was wrong. They claimed that the dissidents belonged to the Eastern Church, who split from Rome. Now I know that what happened was just the opposite: it was the Western Catholic Church that dissented from the universal church, while the Eastern Church remained and still is Orthodox.

In order to shift the blame from themselves, Western theologians of that time launched a campaign to justify putting the onus on the Eastern Church. They used arguments that returned again and again as part of the confrontation between the West and Russia. Back then, in the Middle Ages, they began referring to the Greek world, i.e. Byzantium, as a “territory of tyranny and barbarism” in order to disavow responsibility for the schism.

After the fall of Constantinople, when Byzantium ended, and Russia took the place of Byzantium as the Third Rome, all those superstitions, all those lies about the desacralization of the Hellenic World, were automatically transferred to Russia.

It’s strange to see the notes of Western travelers through Russia starting in the 15th century: they all describe Russia in the same terms they had used to describe Byzantium. These fabrications, this criticism considerably increased after the reforms of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, when Russia became powerful on the European political scene. And by the end of the 18th century, it had become Russophobia.

Born in France under Louis XV, it was used for a while by Napoleon to justify animosity toward Russia, which stood in the way of France’s expansionist policy. The “Will of Peter the Great” was used by Napoleon as a justification for his Russian campaign.

We can compare this with modern times, when in order to achieve their goals, Americans invented the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Russophobia existed in France as a political ideology up until the 19th century, when after losing the Franco-Prussian War, France realized that its main enemy was no longer Russia but Germany, becoming Russia’s ally.

As for England, Russophobia appeared there around 1815, when Great Britain, in alliance with Russia, beat Napoleon. Once the common enemy defeated, England reversed course and made Russia its enemy, feeding Russophobia. Since the 1820’s, London has used an anti-Russian ideology to mask its expansionist policies, both in the Mediterranean and in other regions – Egypt, India and China.

In Germany, the situation didn’t change until the end of the 19th century, when the German Empire was created. It had no colonies, and there was no place to get any from, since England, France, Spain and Portugal had got a head start. All the colonies having been allocated without Russia, a political movement appeared in Germany that sought “‘expansion toward the East”, i.e., modern Ukraine and Russia. This attempt failed during the First World War, and later, Hitler used the same ideology.

It’s no accident that German historians were at the origin of what is known as “revisionism”, the tendency to understate the USSR’s contribution to the victory over the Third Reich, overestimating the contribution of the US and Britain.

The third type of Russophobia is American, and it began in 1945. As soon as they defeated Germany through joint efforts with the USSR, at the cost of millions of Soviet lives, the same story born after the victory over Napoleon in 1815 was disseminated. The US reversed course and yesterday’s ally became its major enemy. This is how the Cold War started.

The Americans used the same arguments as the English in 1815, claiming that they “fought against communism, tyranny, expansionism”, their arguments hardly differing, except for the so-called fight against communism. This turned out to be a gimmick, because when the Soviet Union collapsed, the confrontation between the West and Russia didn’t end.

The nineteenth century story is repeating itself: the US keeps talking about a “threat” supposedly emanating from Russia, in order to achieve its own goals, promote its own interests, and pursue its own expansion. Today it demonizes Russia in order to place NATO missiles in Poland, using the same words and arguments that Napoleon used 200 years ago.

Once at an international conference in the mid 1990s, I spoke to a journalist from Denmark. He told me why Europe was so afraid of Russia: “See how big Russia is, and how small Denmark is. We were always afraid of you. We are still afraid of your aggression”

If you look at the map, you will see that the territory of Russia dominates all of Europe. So when Europeans look at the map, they feel anxious and concerned, because “such a huge country cannot be anything other than a threat.” Besides, European maps deliberately depict Russia as even bigger than it really is, increasing Russophobia. Its immense size is great for European cartoonists, who traditionally draw Russia as a huge bear standing over a tiny Europe.

Recently, I read the following statement by a French author: “Europe is a peninsula in Eurasia.” What would you say to that?

Today Europe is frustrated. As a colonial power, it dominated the world for two and a half centuries. Today the situation is totally different, and Europe is uneasy. It’s used to playing a different role. That’s why it’s anxious. On the one hand, the European ego finds itself in this uncomfortable situation; on the other, the European Union has reached the limits of its development and has internal problems. That’s why it’s easy to blame Russia for everything.


Originally appeared at Izvestia – Russian daily news. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova.

Source: Russia Insider

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
When Canada Invaded Russia
The corporate media presents Russia as militaristic but ignores Canada’s invasion of that country.100 years ago today a popular revolt ousted the Russian monarchy. Enraged at Nicholas II’s brutality and the horror of World War I, protests and strikes swept the capital of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). Within a week the czar abdicated. Later in the year the Bolsheviks rose to power in large part by committing to withdraw from the war.The English, French and US responded to the Bolshevik’s rise by supporting the Russian monarchists (the whites) in their fight to maintain power. Six thousand Canadian troops also invaded. According ...
READ MORE
The Kosovo “Powder Keg”
While all eyes have been on the U.S. presidential campaign, such foreign-policy hot spots as Syria, Iran and Pakistan, and the increasingly frosty relations between the United States and China, a simmering problem in the Balkans threatens to come to a boil. The most serious clashes to date involving angry Serb inhabitants of the northern portion of Kosovo and international Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeeping personnel erupted on November 28. Thirty German and Austrian soldiers were injured, some by small-arms fire and Molotov cocktails, when KFOR troops tried to remove roadblocks that Serb residents had erected. Those barricades have been the most ...
READ MORE
Obama’s Ukrainian Coup Caused 2.5 Million Ukrainian Refugees into Russia
On Tuesday, March 7th, Russia’s top parliamentarian dealing with the Ukrainian refugee influx into Russia — dealing, that is, with the people who have fled Ukraine as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych — presented the first-ever comprehensive number of asylum-applicants from Ukraine who have received asylum there after that February 2014 coup. The Russian government had never before publicly provided a number, but does have an established system of processing refugees, including assignment of official refugee status, which «allows the recipient various social benefits, including unemployment compensation» and so each Ukrainian refugee has ...
READ MORE
Albert Einstein’s 1948 Letter to the New York Times Comparing Israeli Politicians to Nazis
Albert Einstein’s 1948 letter to the New York Times If we want to understand the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we can turn to a trustworthy Jewish source: Albert Einstein. Einstein was a humanitarian and peace activist, in addition to being one of the greatest scientists of all time. What did this extremely intelligent, wonderfully wise and warmly humane Jew have to say about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? In a landmark open letter to the New York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why Israel’s militant Zionist leaders were not to be trusted and did not deserve money ...
READ MORE
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Media narrative: Hateful protestors stormed the Macedonian parliament after an ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi was elected speaker for the first time. Truth: Protestors stormed the parliament because Xhaferi was declared speaker in an illegal, unconstitutional manner as part of an ongoing coup d'état. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his ethnicity. Even though Xhaferi was "elected" in an irregular manner, the US and EU have already stated they recognize his appointment. This now paves the way for ethnic Albanian parties and the smaller of two main Macedonian parties (Social Democrats) to proclaim a government without the constitutionally required go-ahead from the President of the Republic. The latter has defied ...
READ MORE
The Destruction of Yugoslavia: International Justice or NATO “Battering Ram”
With the March 24 ICTY decision condemning Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes, exactly 17 years after NATO began its bombing spree on Serbia,  international criminal justice revealed itself once again as an instrument of US and NATO foreign policy. [They chose that the 24th of March to render judgment regarding Karadzic iquite deliberately with a view to erasing the history of NATO crimes.] If any doubts persist, it is worth remembering how the Former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, David Scheffer, perceived that tribunal. Writing about it in his memoirs, Scheffer wrote unabashedly: the tribunal was an important judicial tool, and I had enough ...
READ MORE
Southeastern European Organized Crime & Extremism Review
The following research is a review around the theme of Southeastern European organized crime, mainly in the period 1995-2007, highlighting the emergence of powerful regional “Mafias” with an actual global presence. The main focus is the Albanian criminal syndicates centered on Kosovo. The research is composed by previous material of the writer, some of which was presented in international workshops.  Moreover the issue of radical Islam is being overviewed in a second part,for the same period, along with information regarding  the state of affairs of the Muslim communities in the region.Narcotics and the emergence of crime syndicates in the BalkansThe ...
READ MORE
Next Intifada?
The Deal of the Century proposed by acting US President Donald Trump once again opened a Pandora Box of the Israeli-Palestinian relations in the Middle East.[1] It is very rational to predict that the Palestinian answer to the Deal of the Century is going to be in the form of intifada’s uprisings which can return back the region for several decades back in the past. Therefore, it is worth to remind ourselves about the main causes and timeline of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict.   What is conflict about? The Zionist Israeli-Arab Palestinian conflict today is one of if not the most significant global ...
READ MORE
Is it an Empire? See the Facts
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.SaveSave
READ MORE
Facts of the Korean War: UN Security Council, Instrument of US led Wars, Blatantly Biased Against North Korea
Recapitulation of the Facts of the Korean WarNovember 7, 1950:  “Just when there was a lull in the fighting and it looked as if peace were possible, MacArthur staged a gigantic and murderous raid directly across from the Chinese frontier, destroying most of a city in an area where bombings had been forbidden to prevent border violations.” “There were reports,” The New York Times said October 15, that General MacArthur had ordered the first bombings of North Korean cities without authorization from Washington.” “General Stratemeyer, commander of the Far East Air Forces described the attack:  ‘when fighter planes swept the ...
READ MORE
Understanding Balkan Geopolitics
In his latest interview for Serbia’s National Public Service Radio, Srdja Trifkovic discusses the geopolitical significance of the Balkan Peninsula, through the centuries, in the context of today’s complex strategic equation in Southeastern Europe. Q: The Balkan Peninsula is an area where empires, cultures and religions have clashed for centuries. For starters, can we define the geostrategic significance of the Balkans, or at least to outline some of its permanent features? ST: Those permanent features are primarily geographic. The peninsula is the land bridge between Central Europe and the Middle East. At the same time, it is the point of encounter and ...
READ MORE
US Declares Hegemony over Asia
Never has US intentions in Asia been so obvious. Attempts to portray America’s role in the region as constructive or necessary have been ongoing since the end of World War II, however, recently, with Asia able to begin determining its own destiny for itself, the tone from Washington has become increasingly curt and direct.US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s remarks during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore were all but a proclamation of US hegemony over Asia – a region of the planet quite literally an ocean away from Washington.In Reuters’ article, “U.S. flexes muscles as Asia worries about South China ...
READ MORE
The Occupied Golan Heights: How Israel Thrives from Syria’s Natural Resources
We all know how the story goes. The Golan Heights is Syrian territory that has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. It was then controversially annexed in 1981, despite the UN calling the efforts “null”, “void” and “without international legal effect”. Today it is still internationally and legally recognised as Syrian land, but Israel persists with its possession.Of course, such persistence can prove to be quite lucrative when the land is abundant in resources – especially land as fertile as the Syrian Golan – a generous source of gushing waters and game changing oil reserves.In fact, the ...
READ MORE
Mother Teresa India Charity ‘Sold Babies’
A woman working at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has been arrested for allegedly selling a 14-day-old baby.Two other women employees from the centre have been detained and are being questioned about other possible cases.Police took action after the state’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) registered a complaint.The charity has not responded to BBC requests for comment.“We have found out that some other babies have also been illegally sold from the centre,” a police official told BBC Hindi’s Niraj Sinha. “We have obtained the names of the mothers of these babies and are further ...
READ MORE
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
On May 18th, Britain’s Guardian headlined “West and Russia on course for war, says ex-Nato deputy commander” and reported that the former deputy commander of NATO, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff (who was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe from 2011-2014), expressed outrage that Britain isn’t urgently preparing for war against Russia, and also reported that “He describes Russia as now the west’s most dangerous adversary and says Putin’s course can only be stopped if the west wakes up to the real possibility of war and takes urgent action. … In a chilling scenario, he predicts that Russia, in order to escape what it believes to be ...
READ MORE
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
One of the most ingenious propaganda weapons ever developed is that the powerful nations of the West—led by the United States—have a moral responsibility to use military force to protect the rights of people being repressed by their governments. This “responsibility to protect” (R2P) always had a dubious legal standing, but its moral justification also required a psychological and historical disengagement from the bloody reality of the 500-hundred-year history of U.S. and European colonialism, slavery, genocide and torture that created the “West.”This violent, lawless Pan-European colonial/capitalist project continues today under the hegemony of the U.S. empire. This then begs the ...
READ MORE
Russia and the Cold War 2.0
The Cold War 1.0It is a pure historical fact that “in a sharp reversal of its withdrawal from Europe after 1918, after the end of World War II Washington employed all available tools of public and cultural diplomacy to influence the hearts and minds of Europeans”[1] as a strategy of the US-led Cold War policy against the USSR,[2] and after 1991 against Russia up today. Undoubtedly, the US succeeded after 1990 to transform herself into a sole global military-political hegemonic power – an unprecedented case in the world’s history.[3]It is usually and generally considered that the end of the USSR ...
READ MORE
Je Sius La Serbie 1999!
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.SaveSave
READ MORE
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
What a fine race it has become! Both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are competing in it as a who is the ‘tougher guy/gal’ in what could be easily described as a 21st Century Tarantino-style (or Scorsese-style) political pulp fiction gore. What they both utter, may often sound like some staged bluff: “Are you talking to me? Hey, there’s nobody else here… Are you talking to me?” But just think for a moment what would really happen if one of them sticks to his or her ‘promises’ and ‘principles’, after getting elected! (The bullets would be flying, the nukes exploding, and millions ...
READ MORE
A Biography of Kurt Waldheim (Austria)
The U.N. Organization was established in 1945 for the very security reason – to preserve the peace in the world. We believe that the governmental bodies and administrative structures of the U.N. have to be composed by the proved democratically oriented politicians and magistrates but above all this requirement has to be applied to the post and function of the U.N. Secretary-General. Nevertheless, in the history of the U.N. there is at least one (extremely) problematic appointment to the post of the U.N. Secretary-General: Kurt Waldheim from Austria.On the official website of the U.N. about its fourth Secretary-General one can ...
READ MORE
When Canada Invaded Russia
The Kosovo “Powder Keg”
Obama’s Ukrainian Coup Caused 2.5 Million Ukrainian Refugees into Russia
Albert Einstein’s 1948 Letter to the New York Times Comparing Israeli Politicians to Nazis
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
The Destruction of Yugoslavia: International Justice or NATO “Battering Ram”
Southeastern European Organized Crime & Extremism Review
Next Intifada?
Is it an Empire? See the Facts
Facts of the Korean War: UN Security Council, Instrument of US led Wars, Blatantly Biased Against North Korea
Understanding Balkan Geopolitics
US Declares Hegemony over Asia
The Occupied Golan Heights: How Israel Thrives from Syria’s Natural Resources
Mother Teresa India Charity ‘Sold Babies’
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
Russia and the Cold War 2.0
Je Sius La Serbie 1999!
The Empire Wants Ms. Hitllary Clinton, The Conqueror!
A Biography of Kurt Waldheim (Austria)
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu