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Russian Culture Ministry Finances Research Into ‘Derusificating Technology’

NEWS BRIEF

The Russian Culture Ministry announced the winner in a competition for a grant to research “derussificating technology” and other ways “Russophobia” can be generated. The Moscow-based non-profit “Institute of Legislation and Regulatory Development” will receive a 1.75-million-ruble ($27,000) prize to investigate “Russophobia.”

Russophobia is a “reaction to Russia objectively reaching the historical stage of national resurgence,” said the Culture Ministry. It is also a term increasingly used in Russian political discourse. The Interior Ministry’s press secretary Maria Zakharova frequently recites that “Russophobia is just business” that westerners profit from.

The institute that won the grant is led by Stepan Sulakshin, a former advisor to Vladimir Yakunin, Russia’s ex-Russian Railroads chief. Yakunin was a member of President Putin’s inner circle until he fell out of favor in 2015. The Institute is expected to report on “technologies of cultural Russophobia and state-administrational responses to this challenge.”

In interviews, Sulakshin stresses the distinction between Russia-phobia and “Russophobia,” one is aimed against the Russian political system and the other against Russian ethnicity, he says. He believes that in the past few years media “attacks” on Russia from the west have evolved from “Russia-phobia” to campaigns against Russian “civilization.”

Read more on this story at Meduza.