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‘Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.’ Enoch Powell, Rivers of Blood speech. April 20, 1968. Against the backdrop of the Ukrainian conflict, Western Russophobia has risen to the level of insanity, Chinese analyst Zhang Tengjun claims in the Global Times on the public display of the letter ‘Z’. The symbol has become a symbol of Russian support.
‘It looks like the West has gone too far in its Russophobia, writes Zhang Tengjun. For example, Zurich Insurance removed its Z logo from social media after it became a symbol of Russia’s support for the Ukrainian conflict. As Reuters explains, the letter Z is used as an identification mark for Russian military equipment taking part in the special operation. It is also used by the 78 per cent of Russians who support the government’s decision. According to the news agency, the Swiss insurance company did not want to be mistakenly considered Kremlin bots.
A Chinese analyst notes that the letter Z was boycotted in several European countries at once. For example, the media reported that on Saturday, two federal states in Germany banned the public display of this symbol. Two MPs in Lithuania called on their government to follow suit. Such sanctions against the letter Z were ridiculed by Internet users: one of them mocked that, based on this logic, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, should also change his surname, because this letter is in it.
The ban on the use of the letter Z personifies the Russophobia that has gripped the West, the author of the article argues. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, everything related to Russia in the field of culture, sports or art has suffered. Russian composer P.I. Tchaikovsky was banned, as were Russian cats. Now it’s time for the letter Z. Russophobia of the West rises to the level of insanity. The persecution of Russian culture has begun, and with this approach, rational and adequate voices are barely audible, the observer writes.
At the same time, the West hopes to present a united front, shaping public opinion to isolate Russia. According to Zhang Tengjun, the main reason for this behaviour lies in the fact that the power, status and international influence of the West is weakening, while empathy towards Russia is growing. In the light of possible threats or challenges, Western countries are not strong enough to deal with Russia alone, and therefore they need to have more supporters on their side.
Now America and Europe are doing their best to avoid direct military intervention. The Chinese analyst sees this as a concern that in the event of a war with Russia, they may bring misfortune upon themselves.
Zhang Tengjun is sure that in the current situation, such petty tricks of the West as the prohibition of the letter Z will not affect the development of the conflict in any way, this is mainly decided on the real battlefield.
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Most likely, it will end with compromises that will not be fully beneficial to the West. Western tricks will not hurt Russia, which clearly and decisively pursues its goals, the analyst believes, so it makes no sense to play them. Such attitudes and sentiments will also mislead Western society.
In the future, relations between Russia and Europe may deteriorate, although Europe must maintain a dialogue with its neighbour, from which it cannot escape.
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