Hanna Smith
hanna.smith [at] helsinki.fi

Tuomas Forsberg
tuomas.forsberg [at] helsinki.fi

Conference secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

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2013
The Aleksanteri Institute

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hy

Bykov, Ilya

Anti-Americanism in Today’s Russia: Examining the Political Campaign on Dima Yakovlev Law

The paper deals with the trend of increasing Anti-American rhetoric in contemporary Russia. As a basic example, the author uses the case of enactment of so-called Dima Yakovlev Law by Russian authorities in December 2012, which is considered to be a response to the Magnitsky Act passed by the Americans in November-December 2012. The Anti-American campaign began by the approval of the President of Russia - Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly expresses the view that the orphans should not be adopted by parents abroad. This idea has been supported by all political parties represented in the Russian parliament. On the other hand, representatives of the so-called non-systemic opposition subjected. On 14 January 2013, about 20000 people marched against the Dima Yakovlev Law in Moscow.   The author examines the impact of this political campaign on public opinion in Russia. Very many conflicting poll results were published in the Russian media recently. The author collects and compares them. He concludes that the political campaign on Dima Yakovlev Law splits public opinion in Russia on two almost equal parts. In order to verify this conclusion the author took an opinion poll in St. Petersburg. The results show that Anti-American campaign on Dima Yakovlev’s Low not only splits public opinion but polarizes it: respondents either strongly approve or strongly disapprove of this law. Anti-Americanism in Russia became a major political trend affecting not only domestic but also foreign policy. For example, Russian position on the Syria crisis mainly depends on domestic policy, in which Anti-Americanism plays important role in political mobilization of supporters and in legitimization of political regime.