Amid the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war that saw Russia forcefully invade Ukraine, their action has however inflamed Russophobia around the world. It has gotten so extreme that Russian movies are now being pulled out from Film festivals, Russian-owned restaurants are being vandalized and given negative reviews, Russian vodkas are being evacuated from shops and poured out on the streets. People who chose to show their solidarity with the people of Ukraine have been unleashing their anger at innocent Russian citizens.
While sanctions are being pelted at Russia, States of the west are seizing the properties of Russian oligarchs, prominent Russian citizens are banned from music and sporting activities which have seen FIFA and UEFA ban Russia from world football. As if that is not enough, a Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev was dropped from a concert because of his nationality, and out of the pain he tweeted, “the truth is that every Russian citizen will feel guilty for decades because of the terrible and bloody decision that none of us could influence and predict”.
Major brands and businesses in several European countries are boycotting Russian-made products and are reportedly discriminating against Russian-origin customers. Russian citizens have been receiving harsh treatment around the world ever since the inception of the war, especially those in the United States where two congressmen, Eric Swalwell and Ruben Gallego publicly called for kicking every Russian student out of the United States because they believe that these students are the sons and daughters of Russian oligarchs.
Registration for Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 9 (Sep 12- Dec 3 2022) has started. Register here. Cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program.
It’s disheartening that innocent Russian citizens get to face this unjust treatment, which makes it seem like a lot of people have for a long time harbored hatred against Russians but have been looking for an event or incident to let it out. A professor of political science, Idlir Lika, had warned that such unbridled racism might end up playing well into Putin’s hands by confirming his antagonistic worldview of the west.
With ordinary Russians being treated harshly, Putin might feel justified in thinking that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century and that Russia’s aim should be to restore the USSR to save itself from annihilation from the hands of the West. Personally, the unfair treatment innocent Russian citizens are receiving from the West, and other parts of the world have been taken over the board. Never in history has two wrongs made a right.
Despite the fact that Russian citizens protested against their leader for his illegal invasion of Ukraine, which sent a message across to the world that they were never in support of his act. It still seems a lot of people got so overwhelmed with their emotions and chose to ignore the innocent Russian citizens by still going ahead to treat them unfairly. Russophobia is aimless and serves no purpose, it is rather a form of injustice that creates the conditions for long-term animosity and hate that will complicate future social and political relationships.
The whole scenario now looks like it is the world against Russians and not Putin. Does the West feel that their actions towards innocent Russian citizens will push them to the wall where they will be left with no option but to rebel against their leader Putin and as well overthrow him? I do not see a possibility in that. The actions being pelted out on innocent Russian citizens is appalling because attacking a person or an institution simply because they are Russian without regard for their position in the war is not in any way a show of solidarity but rather an act of hypocrisy and jingoism.