Lucian Kim writes: If Russian officials are to be believed, the reason people worry about what Russia might do next is because they suffer from Russophobia, an irrational fear of all things Russian.
In February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov assailed the “fashion of Russophobia in certain capitals” during a visit to Germany. Then Russia’s defense ministry accused General Philip Breedlove of Russophobia. The commander of U.S. forces in Europe had testified that the United States and its allies were “deterring Russia now and preparing to fight and win if necessary” following the Kremlin’s military adventures in Ukraine and Syria.
“Russophobe” has become a convenient label for anyone who disagrees with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior at home and abroad. You are not criticizing an authoritarian leader and his erratic policies; you are instead attacking the Russian nation.
Russia’s state media churns out reports on how enemies are tirelessly seeking to isolate the country — when in fact it is Putin’s own actions that are closing off Russia. [Continue reading…]