Most Russians Believe There is a Worldwide Conspiracy against Their Country, VTsIOM Says

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 20, 2018)

Two out of every three Russians (66 percent) say that there exists a group of people abroad and at home who are seeking to rewrite Russian history, replace its traditional values, and undermine its greatness, according to the results of a new VTsIOM survey. Only 26 percent say that there is no such conspiracy directed against Russia.

The poll results which were published today show that older and less educated Russians are more inclined to believe in the existence of such a group than are younger and more educated ones. Those who believe in such a conspiracy say it is being carried out above all by promoting homosexuality (wciom.ru/index.php?id=236&uid=9259).

Nearly half of young people (48 percent), those between 18 and 24, say that those speaking out in defense of gay rights in Russia “are not pursuing destructive goals.” But unfortunately, those holding the opposite position are a majority.

Oleg Chernozub, head of the research center at the Presidential Academy for the Sociology of Administration, tells Russkaya liniya that “it is quite obvious” that groups pursuing those goals do exist and that the Russian state must take steps to block these destructive efforts (ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/08/20/mirovoe_zakulise_protiv_rossii/).

At present, as the poll suggests, Russians who believe in a conspiracy are focusing on sexual minorities; but there is a long tradition in Russia of viewing such conspiracies as ultimately being organized and conducted by Jewish groups. And it is not difficult to imagine that those who see gays as the problem now may see the Jews again as problem in the future.

Perhaps the most notorious of Russian groups supporting such anti-Semitic notions was the Union of the Russian People which organized pogroms at the end of imperial times. One of its most important figures was Nikolay Markov or “Markov II” (because he was the second Markov in the Duma.

After the revolution, he went into emigration where he published the still-notorious and since 1991 republished diatribe, The Wars of Dark Forces (in Russian; Paris: Doloy Zlo, 1928) which blamed the Jews for all of Russia’s problems. He ultimately cooperated with the Nazis and sought to mobilize ethnic Russian emigres against the Soviet Union.

That similar horrific ideas could be the default outcome of those in Russia today who hold such conspiracy thinking is suggesting by the plethora of articles in recent weeks about a supposed Rothschild conspiracy against Russia (e.g., tsargrad.tv/articles/civilizacija-zhertva-vojny-amerikanskih-jelit_153356).

[Article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/most-russians-believe-there-is.html]