Originally Posted by Curryong
There's no 'anti-Russian frenzy' going on in Australia at the moment, and I suppose we'd be classed as a Western country. I'd say it is more a US/Democrat issue linked to supposed Russian involvement in the recent Presidential election.
If anything I'd say we are more perturbed about Chinese activity in the South China Seas than anything else, though even that's not having that much of an impact.
I welcome a new book on Nicholas II, actually. Anything that can shed light upon his reign and his successes and disastrous failures should be valuable. As it is written by a recognised historian I doubt it's going to be a diatribe against the entire Russian people, even if Nicholas's death and that of his family was a ghastly one.
Agreed, there isn't any sort of anti Russian frenzy going on in New Zealand at present. China is seen as the bigger cause for concern.
The real issue about the Russophobia here is conflating the present Russian goverment with the population at large, even taking into account the fact that Putn himself enjoys considerable support (the goverment overall is a different story). How Putin and the Russian goverment are going to commerate both the February and October revolutions, along with remembering the Civil War that followed, is going to be interesting. Nicholas, Kerensky, or for that matter Lenin himself, don't fit eaisly into the narrative of the greatness and fundamental conservatism of the Russian imperial (in the general sense) state. Permit me to explain some of the background issues here and why this is important for understanding the context of things like the upcoming Nicholas biography I mentioned above.
Nicholas, although basically a conservative and maybe not as reactionary as suggested was still weak and incompentnet and his inability to control more elite and popular support was a major factor in the collapse of the imperial goverment, along with the First World War. He did not deserve the end he got but he still had a great deal to answer for - so therefore not useful as a frontman for someone with White sympathies - they prefer men like Kolchack and Kornilov. Kerenksy was a dithering blowhard who failed to do the sensible thing i.e. Get Russia out of the war, and was a liberal to boot so automatically anathema to someone like Putin.
Lenin however.... he is tricky to say the least. On the one hand his mummified corpse is still on display in red square and is still regarded by many as the man who not only saved Russia from complete collapse but also began the modernisation of Russia (this isn't the case but many still believe it though). On the other hand there are a lot of more conservative Russians (including Putin according to some reports) who resent him for singing the treaty of Brest-Livtosk, which pretty much gave away much of the Baltic, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, for granting the right of succession to the non-Russian soviet republics and for being very emphatically modern and forward minded both in term of his social and cultural views. On top of that he also pretty much started a civil war against the remaining whites (who it does need to be said were foreign backed and were explicitly trying to go back to a modified version of the old order - think Francoist Spain or Nationalist China) and anyone else who got in the way. The liberals and some of the left dislike him for these reasons. You can see why this might be causing a historiographical headache in some quarters(!).
It should come as no great suprise therefore that Putin and co would probably like to ignore this years anniversarys and continue to focus on the Second World War, and similar events instead. But somthing this big and important can't be swept under the rug so they will need to do somthing. It'll be interesting to see how they will fudge this one...
Friday essay: Putin, memory wars and the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution
PS/ the 1905 revolution (i.e. The one that started the beginning of the end for Nicholas) was also commerated with chirping crickets as well by the authorities and society at large so make of that what you will