Federation Council hosts discussion of topical issues to combat Russophobia abroad

Grigory Karasin chaired the roundtable discussion.

To effectively combat Russophobia, it is necessary to improve Russian legislation, involve the resources of international organisations and work out new international mechanisms, Grigory Karasin, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said. The senator chaired a roundtable discussion, Topical Issues of Combating Russophobia Abroad, Legislative Support and Law Enforcement Practices.

The attendees included Deputy Federation Council Speaker Konstantin Kosachev, Russian senators, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department Maria Zakharova, Chair of the Russophiles National Movement (Bulgaria) Nikolai Malinov, Deputy Head of the World Russian People’s Council Konstantin Malofeev, Member of the Russian Civic Chamber Natalia Narochnitskaya, Head of the History and Historical Archive Studies Chair at the Moscow State Institute of Culture Leonid Reshetnikov, International Spokesperson for the Immortal Regiment Movement Svetlana Koneva, Director of the Institute of Russian Abroad Sergei Panteleyev, Member of the Russian Civic Chamber and St Petersburg TV Channel General Director Alexander Malkevich, Co-Chair of the Rossiya Segodnya Zinoviev Club Olga Zinovieva, as well as representatives from public organisations and the research and expert community.

“Today’s Russophobic campaign, as unleashed by the West, was meticulously conceived and masterminded long before the operation to combat Ukrainian neo-Nazis. The latter merely triggered the Russophobic hysteria; in fact, the United States and the US-controlled European Union simply pulled the trigger,” Grigory Karasin said. “From late February 2022, a systematic and discriminatory campaign was launched against Russians and Russian-speaking individuals. Attempts to ban and basically abolish all things Russian have led to the so-called cancel culture,” he added.

“Russophobia evolved as an irrational hatred for the Russian world, and it was promoted by the common European feeling of chauvinistic consensus, Grigory Karasin noted. “Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states are dismantling monuments and memorials in honour of Red Army soldiers who were killed while liberating Europe from Nazism. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, less than 100 of the 500-plus memorials, listed among monuments to Soviet defenders who were killed in Poland, remain today.” Official Riga is conducting a similar barbaric policy with regard to Soviet-era monuments, the senator said.

The participants also discussed information and reference materials on how to file complaints with the European Court of Human Rights. These materials are distributed in the Council of Europe member states. A database listing lawyers and law firms that can provide legal assistance to Russian citizens in difficult situations, including pro bono, has been updated. The Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) and the Foundation for Upholding and Protecting the Rights of Compatriots Living Abroad are also implementing a number of projects, the senator said.

In turn, Deputy Federation Council Speaker Konstantin Kosachev drew attention to more active ethnic and linguistic discrimination against Russians and Russian-speaking people abroad. He suggested using the term “ethnocide” to describe political and domestic-level developments. This term makes it possible to note that the policy of Russophobia runs counter to modern standards of civilised society, interstate relations and humanitarian law.

“The international community should recognise the transfer of interstate or political disagreements into the humanitarian sphere as unacceptable,” the Deputy Federation Council Speaker noted. He listed various tasks facing lawmakers and specialised agencies, including the need to meticulously record all violations involving compatriots abroad, persuading them to more actively uphold their rights and provide them with maximum possible legal assistance.

Director of the Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department Maria Zakharova has concentrated on various technologies for sowing hatred towards all things Russian. “To a considerable, if not a decisive extent, rampant Russophobia is, of course, the product of intricate information and media manipulation for tampering with public opinion among the collective West’s population,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman noted.

Vladimir Andreyev, Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Work with Compatriots Abroad and member of the Board of the Foundation for Supporting Compatriots Abroad, discussed the results of the World Conference of Compatriots Living Abroad, held in early November, and tasks to consolidate the potential of the Russian world.

The participants in the roundtable discussion conducted detailed assessments of the various opportunities and tools for countering anti-Russia propaganda and tasks to make this work more effective.

The relevant recommendations will be drafted following the event, Grigory Karasin concluded.