Russian government spends almost 2 million rubles researching how ‘Russophobia’ threatens national security

Meduza

The Ministry of Culture has issued a procurement contract to the “Institute of Legislation and Regulatory Development” to conduct an investigation into “derussificating technology” and similar means of facilitating “Russophobia,” as well as a study on the proper government response to the use of such technologies. 

The institute is headed by Stepan Sulakshin, a former adviser to former Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin. The contract is worth 1.75 million rubles (more than $26,000). Sulakshin's institute will issue a report on “technologies of cultural Russophobia and state-administrational responses to this challenge.”

“The intensification of Russophobic discourse both abroad and within Russia represents a reaction to Russia objectively reaching the historical stage of national resurgence. If Russia does not back down from its intentions, then it is obvious that there will be a transition to phases of stronger confrontation and even stronger Russophobic content in information streams, for which the country must be ready,” the Culture Ministry says. The government's procurement announcement used terms like “cognitive weapons” and “fifth column.”

Independent State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov argued that the wording of procurement announcement mimics rhetoric used by Vardan Baghdasaryan, who's written alongside Yakunin in the past on patriotic subjects. Stepan Sulakshin has written several books in collaboration with Yakunin and Baghdasaryan, as well.