Russophobia Leads Us to Assume the Worst of Russians – and Assuming They’re Demonic Could be Dangerous

Image Source: Denis-Auguste-Marie Raffet – La Caricature – Public Domain

Anti-Russian feeling has a long history and it is easy to foment Russophobia, whereby all Russian actions are prejudged as evil and any pretence to a balanced approach to a crisis in which they are involved is abandoned.

The very word “jingoism” comes from an anti-Russian song sung in British music halls during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78:

We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do
We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too
We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true
The Russians shall not have Constantinople!

Patrick Cockburn is the author of War in the Age of Trump (Verso).