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Новомова How Russia blurs reality with the help of a newspeak: “Anglo-Saxons”

About 1600 years ago, Germanic tribes migrated to the British Isles. Today these tribes are known as the Anglo-Saxons. In the terminology of Russian propaganda, this word is used in relation to the British, residents of Great Britain, Americans, Australians, Canadians and representatives of other nations who speak English. Moreover, the term “Anglo-Saxons” designates English-speaking Westerners specifically as “evil”, “warlike”, and “morally corrupt”. “Arrogant Saxons” is a word with the same meaning as “Anglo-Saxons”, but with an additional emphasis on the supposed arrogance, rudeness and insolence of citizens of Western countries.

In November 2021, the press secretary of the Russian President Pieskov, commenting on publications in the American press that Russia was preparing an invasion of Ukraine, said that “the Anglo-Saxon media are whipping up hysteria”. In January 2022, Pieskov again resorted to similar rhetoric: “The Anglo-Saxons, of course, are significantly increasing tension on the European continent. Here we Europeans have something to think about”. In these two cases, one can trace the tactics of reflection typical of Russian propaganda, used, in particular, to divert attention from the real state of affairs.

In 2022, while presenting the World Cup match between England and the USA, a “journalist” from a Russian TV channel called British football players “arrogant Saxons”,  thus demonstrating his disrespect for them. And he did it twice in half a minute. It is not surprising in fact, because a few months earlier in the mentioned incident, the same “journalist-TV presenter” called the Polish football players who refused to play with Russia in the selection for the 2022 World Cup “vile creatures”. It is significant that he said this with a “Z” symbol on the T-shirt - a symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The use of the words “Anglo-Saxons” or “arrogant-Saxons” serves to reinforce narratives of supposedly Western imperialism and interventionism, portraying these countries as orchestrators of events or policies that harm Russia and perhaps even its allies. That is, the “Anglo-Saxon world” in the minds of Russian propaganda is trying to conquer and dominate.

Contrasting the Western community and Russians, propaganda also resorts to the term “Westerns”. As a negative universal term, the word “Anglo-Saxons” is also widely used by propagandists in the context of conspiracy theories. The Detector Media has a section with the appropriate name, the materials of which can be viewed here.

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