We have heard of Islamophobia and homophobia but those are not phobias. They are not indicative of mental illness. But Russophobia seems to be. The Left and to some extent the Right never stop talking about the Russian "danger" when Russia is absolutely no danger to the United States. NOBODY in his right mind attacks a major nuclear power. Even the Soviets did not do that. Yet in both Congress and in the media there is this obsession with Russia. Such an obsession does appear to me to identify Russophobia as a true phobia.
Let Vladimir Vladimirovich detail some of that irrationlity. The video below starts with a long-winded "question" from an American woman in which she asks why Vladimir Vladimirovich does not speak more warmly of the USA. After a couple of minutes of that we hear from Vladimir Vladimirovich.
The hook on which American commentators hang their hostility to Russia is his acceptance of the request from the democratically elected Crimean parliament for Crimea to become part of Russia. Since Crimea is and always has been populated overwhelmingly by Russians, that made perfect sense.
It is customary among Russia's critics to criticize the elections for the Crimean parliament but all sorts of international observers were present -- including the ineffable Jimmy Carter -- and found no significant irregularities. There are probably more irregularities in American elections -- with illegals voting.
Crimea became a problem in the aftermath of the Soviet implosion. Hastily drawn lines were put on the map which did not always take proper account of the ethnicity of the people affected. So adjustments were inevitable.
How would Americans feel if in the aftermath of some political problem, Florida were hived off and assigned to be part of Mexico? That was exactly the sort of problem that Russia faced in Crimea and in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Vladimirovich simply legalized a people's movement and won wide praise for it in Russia.
Particularly during the reign of King Obama, many conservatives liked a lot of what they heard about post-Soviet Russia. Russians generally are intolerant of political correctness and that is reflected in the policies of their government. It is certainly refreshing that Russians don't idolize sexual abnormality. Fortunately Mr Trump has come along to bring also to America critical thinking on many issues of political correctness.
Russia is a great country -- the largest country on earth by a long chalk. And it has a vivid cultural life that we all to some extent can enjoy. Below are two songs that are very popular in Russia, Both are simple sentimental songs -- nothing warlike or aggressive about them
The first (Cranes) is sung by Dmitry Hvorostovsky, an excellent bass baritone who seems to be little known in the West. Spelling his name could be the problem! In the second Hvorostovsky combines with renowned Russian soprano Anna Netrebko to act out "Moscow nights". Netrebko is a rather shy person when she is not belting out one of the great operatic arias and Hvorostovsky brought that out at the beginning by saying she was the girl he wanted.
Look at the audience. They could be Americans if we did not know otherwise. All Northern European peoples are essentially identical genetically. Any differences are tiny. Almost all differences are cultural. Russians too are our people. They are not our enemies.
Finally, I am putting up a video of "Volga Boatmen" sung by the magnificent Russian bass Leonid Kharitonov. Again there is nothing aggressive about it. It is basically a very simple sea shanty. It does however remind us of the strength of Russia. It basically tells of determination and endurance, essential Russian qualities, and Kharitonov conveys that very well
So that is my toe-dip into Russian culture -- in the hope that it may make some tiny contribution to friendly relations with a great country and a great people.