Anti-American sentiment in Russia

Russia has a long history of Anti-Americanism, dating back to early days of the Cold War. In some of the latest Russian population polls, the United States and its allies consistently top the list of greatest enemies.[1][2]


During the 1920s, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin described the American two-party system (that is, the Republican and Democratic Parties) as "meaningless duels between two bourgeois parties", both of whom were led by "astute multimillionaires" who exploited the American proletariat.

After World War II, the political contradictions between United States and Soviet Union started to grow. As a result, there have been growing anti-American sentiments driven by state media.

Cold War era politics

As early as the late 1940s, there had been decrees and orders issued by Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party to promote anti-American sentiments within the Soviet public.
For instance, Central Committee document #148 of 1949 read:[3]


1. In print news media such as "Pravda", "Izvestiya", "Trud", "Literaturnaya Gazeta", "Komsomolskaya Gazeta", "Bolshevik" and others, organize systematic publications of materials, articles and pamphlets, unmasking aggressive plans of American Imperialism, inhumane character of social and political order of the US, debunking American propaganda "fables" about American "prosperity", showcasing deep controversies in US economy, mendaciousness of bourgeois democracy, the idiocy of modern American bourgeois culture and morals.


15.The following themes should provide the basis for anti-American propaganda in press, radio and movies:
Capitalistic monopolies of US inspirators of aggression policy ...
US stronghold of colonial enslavement and colonial wars ...
Monopolies feed fascism on American soil ...
Democracy in US hypocritical coverup for absolute rule of capital ...
Myth of high standards of living for all social classes in US...
Myth of universal equality and equal opportunities for everyone in US...
Degeneration of American culture...
Decay of cinematography in US...
Corrupt American press...
Crime in US...

Decaying West

"Decaying West" or "Rotting West" (rus: "Загнивающий запад") was the term used in the Soviet era to refer to the social order and moral norms in US and other Western countries, which were allegedly corrupt and rapidly eroding.


List of Greatest Enemies according to latest Russian population polls.

"Public Opinion" Fund (2011)[1] "Levada" Analytical Center (2012)[2] "Levada" Analytical Center (2013)[4]
Rank Country/Region %
1  United States 26%
2  China 13%
3  Georgia 5%
4  Japan 3%
5  Belarus 2%
Rank Country/Region %
1  Georgia 41%
2  United States 35%
3  Latvia 26%
4  Lithuania 25%
5  Estonia 23%
6  Ukraine 15%
7  Poland 8%
Rank Country/Region %
1  United States 38%
2  Georgia 33%
3  Latvia 21%
4  Lithuania 17%
5  Estonia 16%

US and Russian domestic politics

After the mid-2000s, colour revolutions, with tacit support of the US took place in former Soviet States. The political climate and processes in Russia have intensified as well. Those revolutions were perceived extremely negatively in Moscow.[5]

US and political opposition in Russia

According to Russian media (especially major federal TV networks), the current Russian opposition has strong ties to the US and its allies. Furthermore, many government channels systematically broadcast documentaries, TV programs and journalistic researches, which claim that many opposition leaders are directly funded and supported by the US government, with an ultimate goal to destabilize the political and constitutional order in Russia.

Accusations have intensified during and after Russian legislative election, 2011, as well as Russian presidential election, 2012, which resulted in 2011–2013 Russian protests by the opposition.

In 2012, the major Russian national TV network NTV, created a series of documentaries called Anatomy of Protest (rus: Анатомия протеста) claiming that 2011–2013 Russian protests, organized by the opposition leaders, were carefully watched and influenced by some Western nations and the US in particular.

Some Russian officials interviewed in the film openly state that the US is actively working on bringing extremist groups to power in Russia, which would allow it to discredit Russia on the global stage and even to justify a military strike on the country.[6][7]

In May 2013, another major national TV channel, Rossiya 1, aired a special edition of Arkady Mamontov's program Special Correspondent titled Boloto. In the program, journalists accused Georgian politician Givi Targamadze of preparing the most fierce of the 2011–2013 Russian protests. Moreover, Targamadze is claimed to have gone through extensive training with the CIA and had funding from the US government to organize a political coup d'état or instigate turmoil in Russia.[8]

"Foreign Agents" and "Undesirable Organizations"

In July 2012, the Russian foreign agent law was introduced. It requires nonprofit organizations that receive foreign donations and engage in "political activity" to be labeled as "foreign agents", which carries, in Russian, strong associations with Cold War-era espionage.[9] Organizations are obliged to mark all their publications and begin each oral statement with a disclosure that it is being given by a foreign agent.[10] They are subject to inspections and raids. Several US-based organizations have been targeted including Human Rights Watch.

In September 2012, Russian authorities demanded the end of operations of the United States Agency for International Development. According to officials, some activities conducted by organization were hostile and undermined Russian sovereignty.[11][12]

In May 2015, the Russian undesirable organizations law was introduced. Russian prosecutors are able to target foreign groups whose "undesirable activities" are deemed to threaten "state security" or the "basic values of the Russian state". Given a notice from the prosecutors, such organizations have to disband.

Violators face fines or prison terms of up to six years. People cooperating with such entities are subject to fines and can be banned from entering Russia.[13] Duma deputy Aleksandr Tarnavsky, one of the legislation's coauthors, stated, "I do not think that there is a particular company that has to fall under this list. But if a company suddenly starts causing a lot of trouble, starts acting arrogantly and impudently, then in theory it could fall under the list of undesirable organizations."[14] The law was used to target the National Endowment for Democracy and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Extreme geopolitical views and theories

Despite being extreme, following views and theories are widely popular in Russian mainstream national media. They are voiced by top government officials and supported by major Russian think tanks and academia:

Centuries-long standoff between West and Russia

According to some popular Russian political writers and scientists, there is a centuries-long geopolitical standoff between Russia and Western nations, especially with Anglo-Saxon states such as the US and UK, which have been openly and covertly working on destroying Russia by any means since the times of The Great Game.

Imminent war between West and Russia

There are some political writers, active/retired general officers as well as other public figures in Russia, who openly claim that the war with US or NATO is imminent.[24][25][26][27]
Some believers:

Biological, weather, and other unconventional warfare against Russia

Many Russian top government officials and experts, believe that in many occasions Russia is being attacked by nonconventional warfare means.

Information warfare against Russia

In modern Russia, there is a common and widespread notion that Western nations (especially the US and UK) have been and still are actively engaged in an information assault on Russia. Many public figures openly state that the West is using a wide range of means to discredit the nation on a global stage.

US as global social and economic parasite

According to many Russian scholars, government officials as well as media, economic prosperity and wellbeing of United States is solely based on unfair advantages gained from US dollar's reserve currency status, dollarization of other countries economies, along with neocolonial wars for resources and predatory macroeconomic behavior.
Proponents of the view:
High ranked government officials



Imminent dissolution of United States

The imminent disintegration of United States is a widespread belief in Russia. According to the theory, the United States is torn by deep controversies in politics, economy, ethnic relations and overall society. This theory gained high popularity after the 2012 state petitions for secession.

Prominent believers:

Conspiracy theories


9/11 conspiracy theories are popular in Russia. According to many, the terror attacks were well planned and conducted by the US to justify the wars for oil in the Middle East.[62][63][64]

Dulles Plan

Main article: Dulles' Plan

The Dulles Plan or the Dulles Doctrine (Russian: План Даллеса or Доктрина Даллеса) is the central document of a conspiracy theory according to which the CIA chief Allen Dulles had developed a plan for United States to destroy the Soviet Union during the Cold war by covertly corrupting the cultural heritage and moral values of the Soviet nation. The plan was first published in Russia shortly after the dissolution of the USSR and was often quoted by prominent Russian politicians, journalists and writers.

Harvard Project

The Harvard Project (rus: Гарвардский Проект) or Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System was a 1950s research project funded by the USAF and conducted by Harvard University to study the economic and political order of Soviet society. However, some Russian political scientists and writers strongly believe that the main purpose of the project was to develop psychological and other means of influence over the Soviet people. According to believers, this research led the US to develop psychological and information warfare techniques, intensively used against the Soviet Union to destroy it.[66] Some believe that those techniques are still being heavily used against Russia, with the purpose of destroying and partitioning the country into several parts, which will be eventually annexed by the US and its allies.[67]


Moonlanding conspiracy theories are widely spread in Russia. According to 2011 polls conducted by Russian Public Opinion Center, 40% of Russians do not believe that US astronauts have ever landed on the moon.[68] All of the moon landing events would have been staged in a desperate attempt to prove that the US could get ahead of Soviet Union in the space race.[69][70]


"Pindos" or "Pendos" (rus: Пиндос) in the Russian language is a derogatory ethnic slur, used to refer to Americans. Originally, the term was used to refer to US military servicemen, but it gradually became a universal disparaging term to refer to all Americans. Other slur terms to refer to the United States such as Pindosiya and Pindostan (rus: Пиндосия, Пиндостан) have also been derived. Some sources claim that the term was first used by Russian military servicemen during Kosovo War, where it allegedly heard this term. According to Russian soldiers, it was perfect fit for "armed to the teeth and coward American soldier".[71][72]

According to Andrei Piontkovsky, "Eternal Pindos — is our Wandering Jew. We need him not as an enemy defeated, trampled and lowered but as heavily armed uncle in a pith helmet who dismembers our core Eurasian world, steals our unique nanotechnology and corrupts our highest spirituality."[73]

Recent events

South Osetia

After the Rose Revolution, the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia changed its geopolitical preferences and started cooperating much more closely with NATO and the United States. That led the US and NATO to conduct very close cooperative work on the issues of military training and equipment with Georgia, which had unresolved territorial disputes, including South Osetia.

In August 2008, those disputes resulted in a five-day Russia–Georgia war. The conflict spurred wave of anti-American sentiments in Russia.

According to Putin, the war was directly related to presidential elections in the US [74]

The official position was that the US and its allies deliberately armed Georgia.[75]

Some Russian officials called the war a genocide, accusing the US of supporting such inhumane actions.[76]

Shortly after the conflict, media producer and member of State Duma, Konstantin Rykov, created a documentary called War 08.08.08. Art of Betrayal. He claims that Georgia was trained and led by the U.S. into war with South Osetia and Russia. The reason being that the US (then under George W. Bush) was interested in increasing presidential candidate John McCain's ratings, and demonizing Russia as an aggressor was key to it.[77] The documentary had over a million views in first five days after being published online.[78]

Political assessment of "Arab Spring"

The Arab Spring has also acquired a very negative perception in Russia. Many of state officials and public figures expressed their concerns and condemnations.

That kind of scenario, they were preparing for us, but now they will try to enact it even harder. In any case, that scenario won't pass. But everything that's happening there, will directly affect us for decades to come.


Starting with 2014, the events following the Euromaidan, the international response to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine spurred a wave of anti-American sentiments in Russia.

At a government-organized "Anti-Maidan" demonstration in February 2015 gathering 35,000 people, the Maidan unrests were attributed to the United States. "Die, America" banners were on display and a speech stated, "Maidan is the smile of the American ambassador who, sitting in his penthouse, is happy to see how brother is killing brother."[81][82][83] In July 2015, Putin's top security adviser Nikolai Patrushev stated that "the US themselves started the conflict in Ukraine."[21]

According to polls by the independent Levada Center, in January 2015, 81 percent of Russians held negative views of the United States, a number that had nearly doubled over the previous year and that was by far the highest negative rating since it started tracking those views in 1988.[84] [85]


Within Russia

External video
Parody on anti-americanism on Russian TV

According to some Russian experts, anti-American sentiments are driven largely by domestic political climate and has little relationship to US foreign policy.[86]

In response to the growing anti-Americanism after the South Osetia War in the Russian intellectual-political class, the director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Boris Kagarlitsky, said, "Ironically, one of the dominant trends here is that we are anti-American because we want to be exactly like America. We are angry that Americans are allowed to invade minor nations and we are not."[87]

Medvedev's comments regarding the "Arab Spring", have also drawn substantial criticism in Russian blogs. Journalist Andrey Malgin (rus: Андрей Мальгин) has broadly criticized the merits of his statements.[80]

In 2013, journalist Vladimir Posner shared his opinion that the anti-Americanism is "harmful for Russia" and has solely irrational reasons. One is that Russian people have still not forgiven United States for "winning the Cold War" (in his opinion, the Cold War, which is not thought by Russians to be lost on the surface, is felt by them lost deep in their minds and is lost in fact). He considers the anti-American rhetoric by Vladimir Putin made to be approved by the nation.[88]

According to Moscow Carnegie Center Director Dmitriy Trenin, anti-Americanism in Russia is becoming the basis for official patriotism. Further researcher states that the Russian ruling elite have now stopped pretending that it follows the West and cherishes its declared values. Now, Moscow openly states that its values are not completely common with modern Western values in such fields as democracy, human rights, national sovereignty, role of government, the church, and the nature of family.[89]

Outside Russia

The Heritage Foundation cites that anti-American rhetoric is currently a standard feature of the majority of Russian mass media broadcasts[90] and cites, "The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia's problems on the West, particularly the United States. The partial success of this policy exposes a number of serious failures in U.S. public diplomacy, which has been in decline since the end of the Cold War."[91]

See also


  1. 1 2 ФОМ: Старый враг лучше новых двух, FOM: An old enemy is better than two new
  2. 1 2 Левада-центр: Друзья и враги России, Levada-center: Friends and Foes of Russia
  3. "План мероприятия по усилению антиамериканской пропаганды на ближайшее время". Документ агитпропа ЦК, Plan of measures to strengthen anti-American propaganda for nearest future. Agitprop document of Central Committee.
  4. «Левада-Центр»: главным врагом россияне считают США, Levada-center: Russians consider U.S. as a main enemy.
  5. Стенограмма пресс-конференции В. В. Путина на сайте Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Official Kremlin Website: Transcript of interview with president.
  6. НТВ: Анатомия протеста, NTV: Anatomy of protest.
  7. НТВ: Анатомия протеста - 2, NTV: Anatomy of protest - 2.
  8. Россия 1: Болото, Rossiya 1: Boloto.
  9. Barry, Ellen (2012-07-02). "Russia Introduces Law Limiting Aid for Nonprofits". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  10. Lyons, Kate; Rice-Oxley, Mark. "Harassed and shunned, the Russians labelled foreign agents by Kremlin". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  11. CNN: Russia boots out USAID.
  12. Washington Post: Russia boots out USAID.
  15. Кургинян: Строят мировую колониальную империю, Kurginyan: Building of world Colonial Empire
  16. Кургинян: Мировая игра и русские, Kurginyan: World Game and Russians
  17. Стариков: Большая игра продолжается, Starikov: The Great Game continues
  18. Стариков: Америка строила планы захватить Россию 60 лет назад. Планирует и теперь..., Starikov: 60 years ago, Amerika made plans to occupy Russia. And still making them now...
  19. Стариков: Распад США и сила принуждения, Starikov: Dissolution of United States and compelling force
  20. Стариков: "Кто финансирует развал России - от декабристов до моджахедов", Starikov: "Who's funding disintegration of Russia. From Decembrists to Mujahideens"
  21. 1 2 Patrushev, Nikolai; Kommersant, Elena Chernenko for. "Terrorism, Ukraine and the American threat: the view from Russia". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  22. Mackey, Robert (2014-12-18). "Putin Cites Claim About U.S. Designs on Siberia Traced to Russian Mind Readers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  23. Moscow, Oleg Kashin in. "How hallucinations of eccentric KGB psychic influence Russian policy". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  24. Военный захват России - дело времени, Military occupation of Russia - just a matter of time.
  25. АИФ: В США разработали "гуманный" сценарий уничтожения России. ПОДРОБНЫЙ ПЛАН, U.S. developed "humane" plan to destroy Russia. DETAILED PLAN.
  26. КМ: США продолжают холодную войну против России, U.S. continues the Cold War against Russia
  27. КП: Сайт WikiLeaks: Американцы создают систему ПРО в Европе, чтобы ударить по русским?, Wikileaks: Americans building Missile Defense in Europe, to strike Russians?
  28. США вынашиваются планы ядерной бомбардировки России, U.S. harboring plans of nuclear bombing of Russia
  29. Комсомольсая Правда: Мир стоит на грани войны. У России нет альтернативы, как быть готовой к ней, Komsomolskaya Pravda: World is on the brink of war. Russia has no alternatives other than to be ready for it.
  30. Кургинян: добьют Сирию, Иран, а через два года за Россию, Kurginyan: They'll finishing off Syria, Iran, and after 2 years will take on Russia
  31. Секретный план США: после газовой войны начнётся Третья мировая, U.S. secret plan: World War III will break out, after the "natural gas war"
  32. Большой Делёж. Мировая ядерная война на пороге. Часть I, Big Carve-Up: World nuclear war at our doors. Part-I
  33. Большой Делёж. Мировая ядерная война на пороге. Часть II, Big Carve-Up: World nuclear war at our doors. Part-II
  34. Большой Делёж. Мировая ядерная война на пороге. Часть III, Big Carve-Up: World nuclear war at our doors. Part-III
  35. Пентагон отрепетировал нападение на Россию и Китай. Часть I, Pentagon rehearsed the attack on Russia and China. Part-I
  36. Пентагон отрепетировал нападение на Россию и Китай. Часть II, Pentagon rehearsed the attack on Russia and China. Part-II
  38. Вирусы на службе Пентагона Viruses on duty at Pentagon
  39. "US bio-lab in Georgia violates Biological and Toxin Convention, Russia seeks its shutdown - Onishchenko". 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  40. Специальный корреспондент с Мамонтовым: Провокаторы, Special Correspondent with Mamontov: Instigators
  41. Специальный корреспондент с Мамонтовым: Провокаторы-2, Special Correspondent with Mamontov: Instigators-2
  42. Специальный корреспондент с Мамонтовым: Провокаторы-3, Special Correspondent with Mamontov: Instigators-3
  43. "Putin, Russian Prime Minister, Calls U.S. Parasite On The Global Economy". Huffington Post. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  44. Мы - колония США: Депутат-единорос Федоров рассказал о борьбе с "экономической оккупацией", We are the colony of U.S.: Member of Parliament from United Russia talks about fight with "economic occupation"
  45. Андрей Годзинский: Россия оккупирована!, Andrey Godzinskiy: Russia is occupied!
  46. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 1. 1 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 1. Part-1.
  47. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 1. 2 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 1. Part-2.
  48. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 2. 1 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 2. Part-1.
  49. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 2. 2 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 2. Part-2.
  50. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 3. 1 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 3. Part-1.
  51. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 3. 2 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 3. Part-2.
  52. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 3. 3 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 3. Part-3.
  53. Первый Канал: Большая американская дырка - 3. 4 серия, Channel One: Big American Hole - 3. Part-4.
  54. "Бесценный Доллар", "Priceless Dollar"
  55. "Бесценный Доллар 2", "Priceless Dollar 2"
  56. Всероссийская научно-общественная конференция «Глобальный социальный паразитизм (к 100-летию Федеральной Резервной Системы США)». RAS official website: Conference on "Global social parasitism (100 years to U.S. Federal Reserve System)" (2013-11-23)
  57. 19 декабря. Всероссийская научно-общественная конференция "Глобальный социальный паразитизм". Agenda for conference on "Global social parasitism" (2013-11-23)
  58. Глобальный социальный паразитизм. Video of the conference (2013-12-26)
  59. "КРИЗИС США – КРИЗИС РФ | U.S. Crisis - Russian Crisis". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  60. Распад США неизбежен Disintegration of U.S.A. is imminent
  61. Военная Тайна - Крах США Military Secret - Collapse of U.S.A.
  62. КМ: 11 сентября 2001 года: тайна американской трагедии, KM: 9/11. The Secret of American tragedy.
  63. КМ: «Загадки американской трагедии 11 сентября 2001 года», KM: Mystery of american 9/11 tragedy.
  64. КМ: «Провокации на службе политики США», KM: Provocations, serving the U.S. foreign policy.
  65. Свободная Пресса: 09/11: мировая трагедия и глобальная провокация Archived October 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Svobodnaya Pressa: 9/11 Worldwide tragedy and global provocation.
  66. Гарвардский проект: Из истории информационно-психологической войны против СССР, Harvard Project: History of info-psychological war against Soviet Union.
  67. Гарвардский и Хьюстонский проекты, Harvard and Houston Projects.
  68. Автор статьи: РБК daily. "Почти половина россиян не верит, что американцы побывали на Луне - РБК daily". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  69. КМ: АМЕРИКАНЦЫ НИКОГДА НЕ ЛЕТАЛИ НА ЛУНУ, KM: Americans never landed on the moon.
  70. Лунная афера США: американцы не были на Луне, Moon-fraud: Americans didn't land on the moon.
  71. Про пони и кино Archived October 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., About Pony and Movies.
  72. Уэсли Кларк едва не разжег Третью мировую войну, утверждает британский генерал, Wesley Clark almost set off World War III, says British general.
  73. Пионтковский, Андрей (2 July 2014). "Вечный Пиндос" (in Russian). Radio Liberty.
  74. Путин считает, что война в Грузии началась из-за выборов в США, Putin thinks that war with Georgia broke out because of elections in U.S.
  75. Владимир Путин: даю вам честное партийное слово, Vladimir Putin. I give you my honest word.
  76. АИФ: Как России финансово наказать США за поддержку геноцида, How should Russia punish U.S. for support of genocide
  77. "War 08.08.08. The Art of Betray". Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  78. Взгляд: «Война» перешагнула границы, Vzglyad: "War" stept over all boundaries.
  79. Президент России President of Russia
  80. 1 2 Пономарёв, Алексей (2011-02-24). "Не так поняли". Лента.ру.
  81. Mills, Laura. "'Die, America!' banners on view as Russians protest". The Independent (Ireland). Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  82. "Ведущие на "Антимайдане": "Майдан — это эмбрион Геббельса, фестиваль смерти под песенки макаревичей"". TV Rain.
  83. Azar, Ilya. "Russia's pissed off patriots. Meduza reports from the 'Anti-Maidan' march in Moscow". Meduza. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  84. "Международные отношения". Levada Center. 9 February 2015.
  85. Birnbaum, Michael (8 March 2015). "Russia's anti-American fever goes beyond the Soviet era's". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  86. Сноб: Путинская аномалия. Об антиамериканизме в России, Snob: Putin's anomaly. Anti-Americanism in Russia.
  87. Neave Barker, 26 October 2008, Al Jazeera Little love from Russia for US,
  88. Владимир Познер: Жители России до сих пор не могут простить США проигранную с треском холодную войну, Vladimir Pozner: Russian people have still not forgiven U.S. for losing the Cold War
  89. ДМИТРИЙ ТРЕНИН:Основой официального патриотизма становится антиамериканизм, Dmitry Trenin: Anti-Americanism is becoming a basis for official patriotism.
  90. From Russia with Hate: Anti-Americanism Rampant in Putin’s Kremlin, Heritage Foundation
  91. Russian Anti-Americanism: A Priority Target for U.S. Public Diplomacy, Heritage Foundation
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