The word “Russophobia” has been used very widely in the past couple of years by Russians and by “friends of Russia” abroad to describe the campaign of vilification of President Putin in particular and of the Russian people more generally that the U.S. led West has practiced with rising volume and shrillness ever since the start of an Information War launched in 2007.
In the course of the “Special Military Operation,” the Kiev regime has taken the lead in disseminating vicious calumny about the Russian military. We have heard about “massacres of civilians” in Bucha by retreating Russians. We have heard about Putin dispensing Viagra to his soldiers so that they might carry out sexual violence against Ukrainian women in occupied areas under their control. These and similar allegations have been repeated endlessly in Western media as if they were proven facts. They were not and are not anything more than bare-faced lies. The image of savage Buryat and Chechen units within the Russian armed forces has been so widespread that even Pope Francis spoke publicly against these peoples from the Vatican. The apologies later extended by his Secretariat were made privately to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so the damage of this calumny will not be undone.
I suggest that we consider the Russophobia as just a new manifestation of an old trick of those preparing the public for war and managing popular emotions in a jingoist direction. It is all about dehumanizing one’s opponents to make killing more acceptable than Scripture and the basic disposition of civil society would allow.
In many essays I have remarked on Russian foreign policy as being “reactive” rather than aggressive. And so it is in the Information War domain. The Russians took it on the chin when the Bucha narrative was spun in Western media. They whined and complained, but did not fire back.