“Listen, do you respect Lenin?”
The father of 25-year-old Krasnodar resident Matvey Rizhanin obtained Polish citizenship a few years ago and moved to Warsaw. Since then, Matvey has visited his father twice – both ended traumatic for him.
“I don’t know if I’m so unlucky or if the country isn’t mine,” he says.
Two years ago, when Matvey first came to Poland and went to a bar with a Polish-speaking friend, the locals didn’t like his Lenin T-shirt.
“Also, it was so stupid, “Hey, do you respect Lenin?” Actually, they’ve been glaring at us ever since I told the bartender we were Russian. Generally, we “hang out” with them on the lawn near the bar and spend the rest of the evening all together in the ER,” says the man.
This year, Riganin visited Poland after the start of special operations in Ukraine in May.
“I went to the store last night. He was speaking Russian on the phone as I was walking. To go to the 24-hour market, you have to cross the football field where two men were hitting the ball at that moment. I must have spoken loud enough and they called me. They asked me in English if I was Russian or Ukrainian. Is it Russian? The men immediately approached, but for some reason my instincts didn’t work, otherwise why did I start talking to them?
In general, I was already kicked in two minutes. As I understand it, I get paid to “kill Ukrainians”. Thanks for not getting killed.
From my own experience I can say that this was not an abrupt attitude of the Poles towards the Russians. I encountered Russophobia in Poland before the special operation. For example, my father avoided such problems. At least it didn’t get a direct negative. But it’s also about the environment. “It’s definitely not going where it can be attacked by aggressive young players or extremists close to football,” he said.
“I was not afraid to say that I am Russian. everywhere except Lithuania
Nelli Odintsova, 26, has been touring Europe with a young man since May 21. During this time he visited Lithuanian Vilnius, Netherlands Groningen and The Hague, German Koblenz and Überlingen, Swiss Arosa and Italian Arko and Limon.
“In the Netherlands, when people learned that I was Russian, they were always positive to me and expressed their sadness about the situation of my fellow countrymen. They always asked if they could help in any way, they sincerely sympathized. None of the people I spoke to saw the Russians as the worst evil, which made me gasp. I was really worried about this before the trip.
Everything was fine in Germany too. For example, I talked to several girls – Germans learning Russian – who were happy to talk to a native English speaker, they were happy to see me, and everyone I met was very friendly. The Swiss, I’m Rusken, said something like: “Great!” And they often explained what part of Russia I was from. They asked about Siberia. That was the end of their interest in my nationality. No one in Italy talked about special ops.
I have not always felt any pressure in Europe, on the contrary, I have not felt support and sympathy. In the countries I have been to, no one has violated the Russians. The only problem: if you heard someone speak Russian and you could go to meet him, now for obvious reasons it is better not to do this.
But otherwise, all Europeans are super supportive, I was never embarrassed to say I’m Russian, I didn’t experience pressure. Except for one country. It was Lithuania.
When the hotel staff spoke to me, they did not wish me a good day, did not say goodbye to me and did not say hello, even though they did all this about foreign guests. Literally in front of me, guys from Canada walked past the reception to the exit, exchanged a few sentences with them and wished them a good time and looked at me even though I was walking right behind them.
The hotel I stayed in was one of the best in the city. A few days later, in Lithuania, I was rude to a bus driver when I tried to learn Russian from him, even though many people in their country spoke it.
But I don’t think it’s related to special ops, I’ve encountered hostility before in Lithuania. Now he just got a little more aggressive, ”Odintsova shared her impressions.
“Very painful for the country”
30-year-old Nastya Nikayeva went to England in May. There, his friend invited him to the celebration of his wedding in the city of Lewis.
“I lived in London most of the time and encountered absolutely no negativity, but I received sympathy and support most of the time. Although it is directly unpleasant at the wedding.
There is a custom in England: to say words of gratitude to all guests and to list who came from where. At the celebration, I knew only the groom and his guests, and only strangers were present with the bride.
In general, guests are from Italy, Portugal, etc. As he began to say, everyone shouted uncontrollably: “Hurray!” When I said “Russia”… there was silence. Total. When they called the next country – Australia – everyone screamed again.
It was very painful for Russia. I am not ashamed, it hurts so much,” the girl recalls.
“There are better things to do in Africa”
Yevgeny Mironov, 23, was in Kampala, Uganda, from March to April this year.
“At that time, the local press wrote about the special operation almost daily, while the main media sources were English, which broadcast the Ukrainian position. Sometimes the press published the speeches of the Russian ambassador or quoted President Vladimir Putin. This only happened three times during my stay there.
At the same time, Ugandan citizens did not care about this situation at all, for almost two and a half weeks in the middle of special operations, the most discussed news was not special operations, but the death of the vice president. their parliament.
The only thing Ugandans were worried about was the rise in food and fuel prices in conjunction with the anti-Russian sanctions. An interesting situation happened, when the local president Yoweri Museveni told the citizens to be prepared for the rise in prices due to the situation in the world, a day later the opposition replied: Now you are closing this with a global crisis. ”
In general, the situation with both Russia and Ukraine, and Russians, Africans do not care.
For them, our countries are too far away, and all whites are perceived only as a source of money and in general “one face”. It doesn’t matter if you’re white from Russia or Europe, no. There are more important things to do in Africa,” said the young man.