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Director of Russian U.S. and Canada Studies Institute debunks anti-Western propaganda and quickly loses his job
Valery Garbuzov, the director of the U.S. and Canada Studies Institute at Russia’s Academy of Sciences, has been fired, according to two of Garbuzov’s acquaintances who spoke to Meduza.
On the morning of September 1, Garbuzov was removed from his position “by decision of the founder” of the institute, says a Meduza source. He is still listed as director on the institute’s website. There have been no official reports of his firing. Garbuzov himself declined to comment.
Shortly before he was removed from his position, Garbuzov published a column in the publication Nezavisimaya Gazeta, in which he debunked myths about the West favored by Russian propagandists and described Russia’s place in the world. In the article, which appeared on August 29, the scholar wrote that Russia has not left behind “the charge of foreign policy expansionism.” First, he argued, the country’s leaders constructed the myth of world communism, and then invented several others, including about American imperialism.
Garbuzov suggests that the myths propagated by the current Russian authorities are spread via a state propaganda machine composed of “well paid professional political manipulators and participants in a number of televised talk shows.” The myths include the supposed crisis of globalization and the “Anglo-Saxon” world, anticolonial revolutions, the loss of American dominance, a global anti-American revolution, and the collapse of the West.
“The purpose of all of this is quite obvious — plunging society into a world of illusions, accompanied by the rhetoric of great power and patriotism, the undisguised and deliberate indefinite retention of power at any cost, the preservation of property and the political regime by the current ruling elite and the oligarchy that is fully integrated with that elite,” the column reads.
State propaganda media outlets critiqued the publication, though it’s unclear whether Garbuzov’s firing was related to the column. Meduza asked the U.S. and Canada Studies Institute, but at the time of publication had not received an answer.
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