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Americans constantly portray Russia as the enemy, but what do Russians do?

Russian people do not obsess about America at all now, nor did they while Russia was part of the Soviet Union.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Americans are immersed in a culture that is steeped with war dramas. If there is not a real war to depict, it is common to create a drama from a “what if?” style of fantasy. In that regard, American cinema is well-supplied with movies about Russia, the Soviet Union, the Cold War and possible alternate histories.

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Do these titles look familiar?

  • The Hunt for Red October
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Thirteen Days
  • Rocky IV
  • Crimson Tide
  • The Day After
  • Red Dawn (1984)
  • WarGames
  • Rambo
  • Threads
  • Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

A similar sense exists in the American literary scene, with books like Red Storm Rising, 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Cardinal of the Kremlin, Invader, Alas Babylon, On the Beach, Lord of the Flies, and many, many others. All of these books, some of them not American, but still Western, infuse the Western culture with one main basic idea:

Communism is an enemy ideology. Russia is / was the world’s largest and most powerful Communist nation. Therefore, Russia is an enemy of the West, and regardless of any different developments in history, Russia is not to be trusted.

Taken in this context, Russiagate and its associated controversies and sanctions are not anything new for the United States, because Russia has “never been trustworthy” and so this is “how we deal with these untrustworthy people.”

The news rhetoric has been almost 100% unanimous on this point, and American political figures appear to be either lost in the belief that this is true, or afraid to give any rebuttal or correction to it. All except Senator Rand Paul and President Donald Trump at this point.

But what about in Russia? Do the Russian people feel the same way about the Americans? Was there such a framework for literature and cinema in the Russian culture both in the Soviet times and since? This is a point whose answer is somewhat elusive to many Westerners, because one of the primary characteristics of Russian life is that the people read and speak Russian. Russian is a language that is difficult to “fit in” to anything commonly understood among Westerners. The letters are different, and the language often sounds to Americans like the Russian is speaking backwards. We can identify the language by its sound but, aside from words like “Da” and “Nyet” (Да, нет), most Americans have no idea what is going on when a Russian speaks.

However, some experience in Russia and discussions and pseudo-interviews on this topic reveal some surprising facts:

  • During the Cold War, Russians did not consider the Americans or the West to be a threat. Indeed, the response from Russian people who are now about fifty years old is pretty consistent. Russian citizenry did not consider the threat of nuclear war with the West.
  • Russian movie and literary themes rarely concerned themselves with Communism. From the period of the 1960’s until the end of the Cold War at least, this was true. Communism was an established fact of life, but it was not common to find real communist ideologues. The image of “Party Orthodoxy” that was portrayed in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was a rare occurrence. Party membership advanced economic opportunity, so it was a calculated move for many in the Soviet Union or its satellite countries to be loyal Party Members. But that is usually about as far as things went.
  • Russian movies almost never focused on the ideology of Communism. Some classic movies in Russia during some of the most stressful moments during the Cold War were movies like “The Irony of Fate / Enjoy Your Bath! (Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!)“, a romantic comedy poking fun at the rigidly planned cities under Communism; “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (Москва слезам не верит)“, a 1981 Academy-Award winner in the Foreign Film category, which was a profoundly deep life-story drama film. Other movies included moral comedies, such as “Sweet Woman (Сладкая женщина)” that delivered a funny and tragic message about the error of materialism. These movies and others evoked almost no references to the Communist style of government in place. In fact, the stories in all these movies take place at “ground level” – in the area of exploring personal and funny themes. IMDB’s website carries this list of the fifty best Soviet Era films. Of this group, only one film is about the October 1917 Revolution, “October: Ten Days that Shook the World”, and only one other film “The Sacrifice” made in 1986 by Andrei Tarnovsky as an expatriate from the Soviet Union, refers to World War III. Most movies on this list are dramas, comedies, a little bit of science fiction and war movies about WWII / The Great Patriotic War and World War I.
  • After the Cold War, Russian people got more interested in America and the West, but generally they preferred their own country, and still do to this day. A commonly held view in America includes the story of the Russian Bride who comes to America to escape the horrible conditions in her own country. This is simply not the case. While it is true that life in many small villages in Russia is in often quite primitive conditions, this is not always so. Further life in the large cities, where most Russian people live, is quite modern. It is not as uniformly luxurious as the expanse of the US, but it is far from desperate. Life in Moscow, Samara, St Petersburg, Irkutsk, Saratov, Sochi – all these and other places have most or all the creature comforts of the West, at lower prices and one is not required to leave the country to have a good life. However, it is also true that many Russians are quite curious about the West, and they come and many of them stay. But the fable of the greedy Russian woman who marries to use men for their money is mostly the result of a few bad actors.

This can be examined in two significant ways, though there are certainly other points of view. One would be to maintain that the reason there were no movies made about Communism was because the Communist government forbade it. This is a point of view that is popularly held in the West, and was especially expressed during the height of the Cold War during the 1970’s.

Another point of view is to note that the Soviet Union after the 1950’s was in a modification stage anyway. The glory of the Revolution was old and faded away, and most people were concerned with living daily lives. The victory of Communism was not as important as dinner for the family.

The causes for the differences between Russian and American viewpoints are debatable without end. But the result is very interesting as it bears on current times. In the majority, Russian people fear and despise war. They do not have any desire to invade other nations, though they support their military actions, and they have no desire for war with the West. President Vladimir Putin has maintained this point of view publicly on countless occasions.

The Russian social mindset is collective. Not just “collective” like in “collective farms” under Communism, but rather a principle known as:

Sobornost (Russian: Собо́рность, IPA: [sɐˈbornəstʲ] “Spiritual community of many jointly living people”)[1] is a term coined by the early Slavophiles, Ivan Kireyevsky and Aleksey Khomyakov, to underline the need for co-operation between people, at the expense of individualism, on the basis that the opposing groups focus on what is common between them.

The character in people that sobornost develops is that Russian people pretty much love Russia. They are interested in the welfare of the country, and they know the country’s success is their success. It is not very common to think of one’s own life as completely independent of the needs of others for Russians. This certainly developed through 1,000 years of Orthodox Christianity, which embraces the same view.

It also makes it less important for there to be an “enemy” to fight. 

The combination of rugged individualism and great prosperity in the United States may be two factors that create the need for an enemy to exist so that we have something to oppose and defeat. This is a topic worthy of further exploration in the future.

The Russian people’s reaction to the actions of the West, particularly the United States and England in recent years, has been a mixture of frustration and sadness. But it is also infused with faith, especially among the Orthodox Christians of the country. They know that when the Church is despised, the nation fails. They know this from experience, and they also know that as long as Russia remains true to the Church and its Lord, nothing will defeat it.

The frustration over the West is akin to the feelings a parent might have as they watch their teenaged son or daughter destroy themselves with drug-use and riotous living. They cannot stop it, but it is very sad to watch. More to come…

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Valeria NollantomtiredofthemedialiesAdrengSeán Murphy Recent comment authors
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Valeria Nollan
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Valeria Nollan

Excellent analysis. It will surprise many in the West that this part of the world is not the center of the universe for Russians (as I have written elsewhere). Russians deeply love their language, culture, and country. Many whom I know are saddened at the ways in which the West is destroying itself, while Russia keeps making improvements in the quality of life of its people and its national security. It was the West that invaded and brutalized Russia twice in the 20th century. If the West isn’t careful, it will become mostly irrelevant to Russia.

tom
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tom

Brave New World, Animal Farm and On The Beach have absolutely nothing to do with Russia, the USSR or communism. Let’s not go overboard in our desperation to throw together a grab-bag of titles.

tiredofthemedialies
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tiredofthemedialies

“The frustration over the West is akin to the feelings a parent might have as they watch their teenaged son or daughter destroy themselves with drug-use and riotous living.” what a silly article and above statement. The united snakes is diametrically opposed to anything Russian, and seeks to demonise, destabilise and then invade. (and both military-industrial complexes profit from this) Don’t the Russian folks know about the 26 or so united snakes bases which surround the Rodina, or the very many united snakes-funded chemical and biological weapons establishments ?? (Seven built in Banderastan in only 12 months) Gosh! I wonder… Read more »

Seán Murphy
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Seán Murphy

How is Lord of the Flies either communist or anti Russian? Has the author of this article actually read any of the books he lists?

Adreng
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Adreng

I agree that there are not many Soviet and Russian films with the United States as an enemy. This does not mean, however, that there are no films about wars against enemies. WWII (the Great Patriotic War) is a recurrent topic both in Soviet and post-Soviet times – the percentage of films about WWII is probably much higher in Russia than in Western countries. But these films have a different function. While Holliwood’s enemies are often matched to the ideological needs of the day, Soviet and Russian cinema dealt with the Nazis more often. These films about WWII do not… Read more »

slavko
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slavko

Interesting question that THE Durak poses here “… but what do the Russians do?”

For starters, the Russians invade the neighbors. And that’s a biggie.

Kenny Lee
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Kenny Lee

A country whose society embraces traditional Christian moral values is blessed.

Nexusfast123
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Nexusfast123

America is like a petulant child that has never grown up. After WW2 the US had everything – control of most of the worlds technologies and markets, trusted custodian of the world’s financial system, etc. They have this strange obsession with being warriors. Amusingly they are not particularly good at that and unlike other nations they have not experienced mass death and privation. They have pissed it all away to a point where the US will collapse economically or be turned into ash.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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