Kremlin security boss dates back roots of ‘West’s Russophobia’ to times of Czar Ivan the terrible

May 12. 2021

Source: EU vs Disinfo

One recurrent trope, documented several hundred times in the EUvsDisinfo database on disinformation is “Russophobia”. The word implies that any criticism of actions, performed by Russian state actors essentially is irrational; a kind of mental disorder.

The database offers a plethora of colorful examples. Russian state radio Vesti FM suggests that Russia is the Jews of our time – “a persecuted nation”. Kremlin-owned RT claims well-documented cases of cyber-attacks, performed by Russian state actors, are mere “Russophobia”. Nationalist Zhurnalistskaya Pravda writes that German chancellor Angela Merkel suffered an episode of Russophobia at a public event. This last example clearly demonstrates the idea of criticism towards Russia as a mental condition.

Read also: “Russophobia” as a Russian propaganda tool

Nikolay Patrushev is likely not a household name outside Russia, but in Russia, he is one of the most powerful men. Patrushev is a Secretary of Russia’s Security Council – a small, unelected inner cabinet that advises the President on matters of national security. Formally, the Council is chaired by the president, but Patrushev’s role is to lead the day-to-day business of the powerful body.

Color Revolutions

Patrushev has frequently accused The West of attempting to stage “color revolutions” in Russia. Alexey Navalny is, according to Mr. Patrushev, a Western project to destabilize Russia. In a recent in-depth interview with Russian weekly AiF magazine, he outlines the explanation for Western animosity against Russia: Russophobia.

Western Russophobia did not appear yesterday; it has a very long history. Several hundreds of years ago there were attempts to discredit our country. Take Ivan IV – who for some reason is called “The Terrible” in the West. Western chronicles started to circulate the dark legend about him as a fearsome tyrant already at his lifetime. They wanted to distract the attention of the Europeans from what was going on in their countries. They did not like that the Russian tsar did not succumb to their claims on political and moral leadership.

To be honest, Western chronicles in the mid-16th century did not really indulge in details on political processes in Muscovy. Ivan the Terrible was the ruler of a rather newly established country; one of several states with roots in the medieval Kyiv Rus (a questionable opinion as some historians see Muscowy as one of Golden Horde’s successor states, – Ed.). Ivan conquered the neighboring states, initiating his country as a European power with colonial ambitions.Russian sources, chronicles from Pskov and Novgorod, describe in detail Ivan’s atrocities. The only Western powers to care about Muscovy were Poland and Sweden. And possibly England: Ivan proposed to the English Queen Elizabeth. Unsuccessfully.

The disappointed ruler of Muscovy replies:

We hoped that you were the ruler of your kingdom and that you rule and care of the honour and benefit of your state. That is why we entered these negotiations with you. But it appears that other people, merchants, and not you, rule. People who do not care, neither about our crowned heads, nor about the benefit of the country, but only about the profit of their trade. Apparently you are, with your womanly knowledge, merely a common woman.


The consequences of the Tsar of Muscovy getting the elbow from the Queen of England is still a key element in the Kremlin’s foreign policy. To date, the Kremlin bears a grudge against the “Anglo-Saxons” as the worst and most cunning enemies of Russia. Ivan might be the first documented case of Kremlin Anglophobia.

But Mr. Patrushev is right: Ivan the Terrible is a sad victim of malign mistranslation. The epithet “Grozny” was introduced by Russian historian Vasily Tatischev in his History of Russia (1768). The Russian word грозный, ”grozny” does not really mean ”terrible,” but rather “someone, who evokes awe” (in fact, terrible/fearsome really is the first meaning of грозный, other meanings are formidable, redoubtable, menacing, threatening, stern, ferocious, etc, the capital city of Chechnya, bears the same name – Grozny, – Ed.). Maybe Queen Elizabeth would have been more inclined to Tsar Ivan’s proposal, had he signed the letter “Ivan the Awesome.”


  1. The image of Ivan reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comment in his 1987 movie Predator, when he pulls of the alien’s visor to reveal its face : “you are one ugly motherfucker’.
    Note also the Mongol lineage stretching from Ivan, to Lenin, to Brezhnev, to the tiny poisoner.
    Top putler UK shill Peter Hitchens has been deploying the R word in his sewage slurry articles in the Mail since at least 2008.
    A phobia is an irrational fear. However, is completely rational to fear a bunch of murderous savages. Especially when you have to live next door to the fuckers. Obviously Hitchens is working under orders.

  2. Not sure how you can have Russophobia before the country called Russia existed, but I’m not Russian, thankfully.

    • All these centuries have passed and all these invasions and wars and persecutions have passed and never, not once, did any Russians ever do anything wrong. According to the Kremlin. And if they did do something questionable it is an internal political matter. Now it is even worse since the tiny descendant of Genghis Khan proclaimed Moskali law trumps international law.

  3. “…the idea of criticism towards Russia as a mental condition.”
    Criticism towards mafia land is a normal response to this criminal entity. It is akin to criticizing a pedophile, gangster, corrupt politician, stret thug, insatiable businessman, wife beater and so on.

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