On the eve of April 1 US Ambassador in Russia Alexander Vershbow made a statement which was not funny at all.
He said that the number of crimes committed on the motives of nationality or race, had greatly increased in Russia for the last 10 years, and would complicate the situation in Russia. Russian ASI news agency reported about this statement and published two pieces headlined “Russia will collapse if Russian society does not get rid of xenophobia” and “Russia can be defined as the most nationalistic country”.
The entire country reputation has been libeled with no proof. Surprisingly, the would-be teachers of tolerance are expressing xenophobia and hatred to Russia. There is a Bible postulate about the people seeing minor fault in others, but ignoring big fault in themselves. The US ambassador tries to moralize on the issue of skinheads, “This tendency demonstrates some defects in Russian society, it can weaken the security of Russia and finally complicate the relations between our countries. Discrimination against fellow-citizens is extremely anti-patriotic in such a multicultural country as Russia”.
Our domestic political scientist Vladimir Likhachev expressed similar outlook at the conference having issues of nationalism on the agenda by saying that “nationalism in Russia is no longer radical, the xenophobia outlook has been accepted by the authorities, the police and even the clergy of Russian Orthodox Church”. Mr. Likhachev believes that today Russia is probably one of the most nationalistic countries.
Diplomatic ethics can be forgotten – the ambassador of another country is teaching us patriotism, while local political scientists are bringing serious accusations.
Let us have a closer look at this.
In March the issue of tolerance was discussed at the forum “Youth Policy and Education” organized by the Presidential Envoy for Siberian Federal District. One of the opinions was that Siberia has the unique experience of maintaining good neighbor relations between a variety of ethnic groups for many centuries, and this experience deserves being presented at an international conference.
Real facts undermine the above statements. Russian Monitoring Service of Anti-Semitism Incidents “No Anti-Semitism” named 63 Anti-Semitism Incidents in the world in February. Most of the incidents of this kind happened in the USA (14), Great Britain had 8 incidents, Germany – 5, Russia – 5, France – 4, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus – 3, Kyrgyzstan and Latvia – 2. If one calculates the ratio of the Anti-Semitism incidents to the amount of people in the country, Russia will be not on the list of leaders of Anti-Semitism.
Some opponents can say that this example is not convincing proof, and Russia is accommodating neo-KKK. I recommend such people to read Jewish newspaper “My People” from March 15. Its front page article is headlined “How Jews are being annihilated in contemporary Germany”. The story is not about gas chambers, it is about the aggressive policy of German protestant communities proceletizing Jews. The author of the article wrote, “Even the Soviet Union had no such outrage!” "Today Catholic and Orthodox Churches recognize that Jews have the right to be saved within their own religion, while Protestant Church denies this right for Jews”. In this case, what are the civilized countries are going to teach Russia? How to burn heretics to death or kill Jews from machine-guns? The situation with tolerance in Western countries is far from perfect.
Recently I had a conversation with well-known Orthodox writer, deacon Andrey Kuraev (he came to Krasnoyarsk for delivering lectures). I told him about frequent visit of American missionaries to Siberia. These Americans are saying they research folklore, and buy amulets and other “items of cult” of native people. They purchase these items not for museum exhibitions, foreign preachers burn these pagan symbols in public. Father Andrey said, “In this case American religious sect missionaries demonstrate that they have more pagan outlook that the native people of Siberia. For Americans the amulets are personifications of demons, they are ready to burn the items considered just souvenirs by local people. I believe, in this way Americans demonstrate their attitude to different cultures”.
Americans had better deal first with their pagan outlook, Satanic movie industry and xenophobes who recently draw swastikas on the Memorial of the Killed in the WWII at the Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC.