No to Russophobia!

tchaikovsky image2

Above: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the world’s greatest music composers, has been the subject of a ban due to extreme Russophobia fuelled by Western war propaganda. http://www.classicfm.com

24-03-2022: As Russia’s DeNazification operation in Ukraine tightens the vice around the puppet government of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the US, NATO and European Union (EU) governments haplessly hang on to risible and discriminatory bans against both living and dead Russians. Claiming to oppose a conflict which it clearly provoked, the West whips up a form of discrimination that levels with the worst forms of historical racism, via sports, culture, media, travel and other areas. Flying in the face of everything the Olympic movement ever supposedly stood for, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the extraordinary call for Russian athletes and officials to be banned from all international sporting events, which was then extended to Belarusian athletes and officials.[1] This was the trigger for the international football (soccer) federation FIFA to follow suit by banning Russia from competing in the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup.[2] Russia has appealed the ban, but it is likely they will prevented from taking part in the world’s largest sporting event this year.

Extreme cancel culture

Plumbing the depths of degeneracy, the International Paralympic Committee banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the Beijing Paralympics in March. This was in fact a backflip on an original decision to allow them to compete as neutrals with the Paralympic flag and Paralympic anthem.[3] To discriminate against people with a disability to advance a nefarious political goal is unspeakable behaviour, but such are the non-standards of the ruling classes of the West. In tennis, Russia and Belarus have been banned from all team events, but players can compete – for now – as neutrals in ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Womens Tennis Association) events.[4] However, if British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has his way, top Russian player Daniil Medvedev may have to denounce Russian President Vladimir Putin if before he is allowed to play in this year’s Wimbledon tournament.[5]

Some have pointed out that such a demand, aside from not residing within bounds of rationality, could very well place Daniil Medvedev and his family in extreme danger if in fact he complied. Returning to his homeland of Russia while denouncing his President at a time when the country is fighting NATO backed proxies (including Nazis) obviously places him in a precarious situation. Thankfully, thus far Medvedev and other players have not yet been forced to do so. The sheer absurdity of demanding that professional sports players take a public political position should be apparent. Athletes are not involved in politics (or not while playing their sports anyway), and despite having a somewhat public profile – have basically no relation to world events they have no control over. Using pressure to force public figures to conform to intense political propaganda is a hallmark of totalitarianism, of which the US/EU/NATO governments are now providing the world with a textbook example.

Media, music, travel and cat bans

By no means is sport the only endeavour to be hit by the West’s extreme Russophobia. Russian classical music composer Tugan Sokhiev resigned from his post as director of the Bolshoi Theatre and the National Capital Orchestra after coming under intense pressure to denounce President Putin over Ukraine. He stressed his opposition to conflict in any form, but it was not enough. In his social media post explaining his actions, he castigated the Toulouse town hall for cancelling the Franco-Russian musicals he helped to create.[6] Exposing themselves as counterposed to the very democratic ideals they claim to uphold, the EU has banned Russian news services RT and Sputnik not just from satellite TV, but all online platforms.[7] Not content with censoring information from Russia, the EU went on to ban Russian owned, Russian registered or Russian controlled aircraft from their airspace. Not surprisingly, Russia reciprocated the move for EU aircraft in Russian airspace.[8] The ban by the EU means that Russians cannot even travel into Europe.

Even Russians who have passed away over 100 years ago have been banned. A University in Milan at first cancelled a course on Russian literary giant Fyodor Dostoevsky, only to re-instate it a week later after a backlash.[9] The Welsh Philharmonic Orchestra in Cardiff cancelled Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music  – from an all Tchaikovsky concert – saying it is “inappropriate at this time”.[10] Dostoevsky is one the best writers of all time, and Tchaikovsky is one of the best music composers of all time. Is the West seriously attempting to cancel all Russian culture for political gain? The notion that the enormous contribution that Russians have made to the world in the sphere of culture, music, the arts, sports, science, technology etc., should not be studied by anyone in the West is of course absurd. Yet the prize for absurd attempts to ban anything Russian was the International Cat Federation imposing a ban on Russian cats from entering any of its international competitions![11]

Imperialist war cannot be waged without racism, or forms of extreme discrimination which “justifies” it. So it has been throughout history, and so it is with the war of the US/EU/NATO powers against Russia via Ukraine. It should be noted that the current intolerance towards Russia could not have been activated without the preceding two years of racist type discrimination against the “unvaccinated” during the Covid “pandemic”. The real aims of imperialism remain regime change in Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This is despite the co-operation of the governments of Russia and the PRC with the West’s various forms of Covid repression. Regardless, working people have a vital interest in the military defence of Russia and the PRC in order to avoid the potential catastrophe of a world war. At the same time, the forging of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties remains a critical need, to help guide the working class away from disaster and towards a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

http://www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports/ioc-calls-for-russian-athletes-to-be-banned-from-all-sports/2985511/ (22-03-2022)

[2] https://www.jurist.org/news/2022/03/top-sports-court-refuses-to-end-fifa-ban-on-russia-participation-in-2022-world-cup-playoffs/ (22-03-2022)

[3] https://www.si.com/olympics/2022/03/03/russia-belarus-paralympics-beijing-ban (22-03-2022)

[4] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/russia-banned-from-team-events-in-tennis-but-players-can-still-compete-as-neutrals-in-atp-wta-tours/articleshow/89936101.cms (22-03-2022)

[5] https://www.cbssports.com/tennis/news/daniil-medvedev-may-have-to-denounce-vladimir-putin-in-order-to-avoid-wimbledon-ban/ (22-03-2022)

[6] https://www.tellerreport.com/life/2022-03-06-russian-orchestra-conductor-tugan-sokhiev-leaves-his-post-in-toulouse.H1lMoFOz-q.html (23-03-2022)

[7] https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/02/eu-rt-sputnik-ban-live/ (23-03-2022)

[8] https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/europe-russia-ban-each-others-airlines-from-flying-on-their-airspace/ (23-03-2022)

[9] https://www.ansa.it/english/news/2022/03/02/ukraine-dostoevsky-course-reinstated-after-cancellation (23-03-2022)

[10] https://reason.com/2022/03/09/cardiff-philharmonic-orchestra-tchaikovsky-is-canceled/ (23-03-2022)

[11] https://greekreporter.com/2022/03/10/russian-cats-banned-international-cat-federation-competitions/ (23-03-2022)

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