Anti-Americanism in Russia

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Anti-Americanism in Russia is not a new concept, just like Anti-Americanism in the world is not a new concept. There always seems to be some new report on Anti-American sentiment somewhere in the world, whether it is the September 11th terrorist attacks to the most recent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans; Anti-American sentiment is arguably universal. It does not help that the U.S. is also the super power, the largest consumer, and a major influence in the lives of its own people and people across globe. Recently, though, there has seemed to be an increase in Anti-Americanism in Russia.

WWII to Cold WarEdit

The United States relationship with Russia has always been a tenuous one, with both countries vying for supremacy in a time where the world was in a state of disarray. During World War II, the United States and the former Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. Americans had been concerned about Soviet communism and about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical and unstable governance. The Soviets also resented the United States ongoing refusal to treat the USSR as a legitimate participant in the international community as well as their delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these issues fueled the distrust and hostile relationship between the two super powers.Postwar Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe fueled many Americans’ fears of a Russian plan to control the world. Meanwhile, the USSR came to resent what they perceived as American officials’ aggressive rhetoric, arms buildup and interventionist approach to international relations. All these factors led to the Cold War that lasted from 1947 to 1991, after which the Soviet Union had dissolved and many new Eastern European states were formed and the world was widely considered unipolar, the United States being the only super power.


Russian president Vladimir Putin (left) and United States president Barack Obama (right)

Policy MakingEdit

In 2013 there is a definite and tangible hostility between the U.S. and Russia. With United States president Barack Obama's election in 2008 and re-election in 2012, and his reiteration of creating stronger ties with Russia it was thought that the United States and Russia could move from tolerance to understanding. Unfortunately because of recent policies from both governments, any future cooperation has been halted. It seems that these two countries are in a policy war, taking offense at any policy that seems to be Anti-Russian or Anti-American and then creating policy to counter it.

  • The Dima Yakovlev law
    • Russia's new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children
    • Opponents of the adoption ban argue it victimizes children to make a political point. Russia's adoption ban was in retaliation to a new U.S. law targeting Russians accused of human rights abuses
    • Proposed law would require children of state officials to return home after studying abroad or perhaps bar them from leaving at all
  • Yet another would require cinemas to show Russian-made films at least 20% of the time; or be subject to fines up to 400,000 rubles ($13,3000).
  • A provision to keep Americans from working in politically-oriented NGOs
  • Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of Liberal Democratic Party, proposed a law that would bar the use of “Americanisms” and other foreign words. (Violators could face fines or even sacking from their jobs.) Gone would be the Russian cognates for “leader,” “boutique,” and “sale,” among dozens of others.
  • Russia has required all shipments of US meat to be tested and proved free of a controversial animal feed additive: the ractopamine.
    • The measure effectively amounts to a ban because the US considers ractopamine safe and does not test for it. However, the US claims that the move violates WTO regulations

The Act will deny visas to the U.S. and freeze the assets of those in the Russian ruling elite implicated in Magnitsky’s murder and other human rights violations and corruption.

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