Thursday, May 07, 2015

70th Anniversary Of End Of World War II Marked By Fascism In Russia

Guest post written by Andrea Chalupa, Forbes

Ms. Chalupa is a journalist and the author of Orwell and The Refugees: The Untold Story of Animal Farm.

Reggie Yates is clearly fearless. The black British reporter traveled to Russia for the BBC to understand the recent rise of fascism. In addition to discovering a mini Comic-Con glorifying Putin, he was also harassed for being black at a nationalist march founded by the president and was calmly informed in one interview that the mixing of races is impure and leads to mutations. (Yates is mixed race.) The charming and buoyant reporter at first smiles through the absurdity, but the bigotry gets to be too much for him. His emotions begin to show on his face. Twice we see Yates abruptly end an interview and rush for the exit.

Xenophobia has been an upward trend in Russia even before recent tensions with the West. Yates gives us a stomach-turning glimpse of a montage of YouTube videos celebrating vicious attacks on immigrants, including a man sitting on a bench who is suddenly kicked in the face. He also interviews an immigrant who was randomly stabbed on the street only to have the doctor refuse to treat him because he was an immigrant.

A 2013 poll by the independent Levada Center found that 69% of Russians believe the country has too many immigrants. The discrimination even targets citizens of post-Soviet countries and regions, like the Caucasus. Ironically, Putin and his supporters call for the return of the Soviet Union yet don’t want to live alongside the very same people Russia once colonized.

A vile pride has taken over the country. It is the design of a dictator who severely restricts press and internet freedoms, legislates homophobia, and exalts the invasion of much smaller neighbors. Journalists and opposition leaders have been arrested and murdered under Putin’s watch. Soviet history is even being rewritten to glorify Joseph Stalin.

(More here.)

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