ATAfter years of latent war, Russia again openly attacked Ukraine.
Days of shame. Blackest days in our history.
The attack, which had been announced, was still a surprise.
But the poison of enmity had been simmering for a long time.
Many now say President Putin is solely responsible. And that the Russians are overwhelmingly against the war, even if they are afraid to show it openly.
It may be that a considerable part of society is against war, mainly for selfish and common-sense reasons. But that takes nothing away from the question of how this war was made possible: politically and psychologically.
To the question of post-imperial Russian racism.
Which was and remains the foundation and fuel of Putin’s aggressive policy – foreign or domestic policy.
And this racism will not disappear on its own, even with the departure of Putin.
The Russian Federation is a multinational country.
The Russian Federation is a racist country.
It is a post-imperial racism, deeply rooted in our consciousness and our culture, our language and our ordinary view of the world, which counts not one, not two, but dozens of nation-objects, arranged in one multiple and fluctuating chauvinist hierarchy.
In the mid-1990s and early 2000s, when Russia was waging war in Chechnya, racist attitudes focused on people from the Caucasus. There was even a semi-official term, a cliché straight out of an ignorant policeman’s report: “Individual of Caucasian Nationality.”
It was this “individual of Caucasian nationality”, a collective portrait, who was the target of ordinary nationalism, nourished by the narrative of the oppression of the disorganized “white” Russians by the “black” mountaineers. It is this “individual of Caucasian nationality” that state propaganda, in order to justify the war in Chechnya, has tried to present as the face of the enemy, the invader, the terrorist; like the image of evil.
Then, during the good years of Putin’s rule, when Chechnya was permanently occupied, many workers from the Central Asian states (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and others) came to work in Russia. And another racist image has emerged, peddled by popular culture. Now he was a “yellow”, an Asian, a “Djamchout” [caricature d’ouvrier immigré tadjik] collective, dirty and uneducated, but cunning, an inferior creature whose function is to serve the newly and suddenly enriched white masters. In the beginning, Putin’s Russia was rich to death; the construction industry was booming, and it was profitable to exploit undocumented workers, whose living and working conditions were no different from those of slaves, for next to nothing. This odious scenario is, alas, still very common in Russia today.
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Source: Le Monde