Dobriansky and Ryvkin: Russian Propaganda is Racist and Obscene

Two former U.S. Presidential Administration staff members are encouraging the U.S. Government to improve the effectiveness of American foreign diplomacy.

The former administration staffers, who both worked for prior Republican administrations, encouraged the U.S. Government and Congress, “to revitalize America’s public diplomacy infrastructure,” in the context of intensified Russian propaganda, which they characterized as, “racist and obscene.”

“Consistent with our core values, the United States must lead in challenging Moscow’s racist propaganda and highlighting the moral narrative of democracy, tolerance, human rights and rule of law,” Dobriansky and Ryvkin wrote in their article in the Washington Post.

Dobriansky was Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration, and Ryvkin is a constitutional lawyer, who served in the Justice Department under both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The authors allege that in recent years, “racist and obscene rhetoric,” against foreign leaders has become one of the main elements of official Russian discourse. “Russia’s print and electronic media channels carry stories depicting Obama as lazy and incompetent,” Dobriansky and Ryvkin write. 

They continue, stating that, “Shops sell bumper stickers, posters, T-shirts and cardboard cut-outs with images of Obama as an ape and a chimney sweep. One Russian city held a contest inviting children to kick Obama’s cardboard image. Obama has been burned in effigy on numerous occasions, and zoo animals have been named after him, including a black piglet at the Volgograd zoo.”

The authors believe that all Americans, “should be outraged,” by the Kremlin’s campaign, and should support a forceful response.

They support the adoption of a bill proposed by Edward Royce, a Republican Congressman and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Eliot Engel, a Democratic Congressman, to help strengthen the U.S.’s diplomatic policy.

“Winning the global battle of ideas is an essential part of fostering a stable democratic world order,” Dobriansky and Ryvkin summarize. The aforementioned bill provides for the improvement of missions and objectives, and aims at raising the effectiveness of U.S. international broadcasting managed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. It establishes mission of The Voice of America radio broadcast and unites Liberty/Free Europe radio, Free Asia radio and the Middle East broadcasting network into one organization, outside the framework of the Federal government.


  Russia, USA, Propaganda, Racism