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Debating Russophobia

A polemical opinion column written by San Francisco State University’s Andrei Tsygankov has set off a series of debates over the use, misuse, and misunderstanding of alleged “Russophobia” in the U.S. presidential campaign. The most comprehensive critique I’ve read on the article comes from blogger Lyndon Allin over at Scraps of Moscow, whose opinion I highly value. He writes, “I found this column disturbing enough to be worthy of such a lengthy response because it appears in the Moscow Times at a moment when the bilateral relationship appears to be at a fork in the road, and some in Moscow may believe that Tsygankov’s kaleidoscope – in which isolated critical comments about Putin by McCain and Clinton are multiplied by reflection into a full-blown campaign of “increasing” Russophobia – is a valid lens through which to view the American political and media scene, which could bolster the arguments of those in Russia who would prefer to prolong the nostalgia-inducing atmosphere of Cold-War-style posturing which has gone on for too long already.” Check out his full critique here. Thanks, Lyndon.