By John Russell
As thousands of Russians continue to flee the country to avoid being conscripted to fight in Ukraine, a propaganda video warning of interactions with LGBTQ, Black, and vegetarian people in America has gone viral.
The video began circulating on pro-Kremlin telegram channels and has found its way onto Twitter. It features three skits in which a Russian couple find themselves confronted with supposed American values on a plane bound for the U.S.
In one scene, the couple are alarmed to discover that a woman seated in front of them is married to another woman.
In another, a flight attendant takes the husband’s meal away because a vegetarian passenger objects to him eating meat.
In the third scenario, a Black passenger attempts to jump the line to the bathroom. When the Russian husband objects, a flight attendant and several white passengers insist that the Black passenger be allowed to go ahead.
“His people have been oppressed by the white men for centuries,” one white passenger says according to a translation of the Russian dialogue. “We owe a debt to all African Americans.”
В РФ запустили ролики против лавинообразной эмиграции. Типа в США страшные однополые браки и “надо извиняться перед неграми”.
В прекрасной путинской России тебя всего лишь насильно забреют в армию и кинут в пластиковом шлеме со ржавым автоматом под хаймарсы в холодный окоп. pic.twitter.com/9O1ctwP8xR
— Пeрзидент Роисси (@KermlinRussia) October 5, 2022
“In the Russian Federation launched videos against the avalanche of emigration. Like in the USA there are terrible same-sex marriages and ‘we must apologize to the blacks,’” the Russian parody Twitter account @KermlinRussia captioned the video last week. “In beautiful Putin’s Russia, you will just be forcibly taken into the army and thrown into a cold trench in a plastic helmet with a rusty machine gun under the [HIMARS].”
On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the partial mobilization of an additional 300,000 troops to fight in his ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Following Putin’s announcement, flights to neighboring Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia reportedly sold out. The draft order has led to long lines at Russian borders, as men of fighting age attempt to flee the country along with their families.
Following the Russian annexation of four Eastern Ukrainian regions, Putin delivered a speech on October 7, in which he criticized the U.S. and NATO and accused Western countries of pushing “perversions” on school children.
“[Western countries] spit on the natural right of billions of people, most of humanity, to freedom and justice, to determine their own future on their own. Now they have completely moved to a radical denial of moral norms, religion, and family,” Putin said.
Addressing “all the citizens of Russia,” he then asked, “Do we want to have, here, in our country, in Russia, parent number one, number two, number three instead of mom and dad? Have they gone mad out there? Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed on children in our schools from the primary grades? To be drummed into them that there are various supposed genders besides women and men, and to be offered a sex change operation? Do we want all this for our country and our children? For us, all this is unacceptable, we have a different future, our own future.”
In July, Russian lawmakers proposed expanding the country’s existing anti-LGBTQ “gay propaganda” law to include people of all ages. In its current form, the law, signed by Putin in 2013, is supposedly meant to “protect children” from any “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.”