Shortly after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began, many ethnic Russians around the world sensed a surge in hostility towards them. A wave of Russophobia is being fanned by mainstream media and Western politicians. Just speaking in Russian can be enough to attract harassment and discrimination.
Some Russians report being fired from their jobs, just because of their nationality. They may be denied apartment rental or forcibly evicted without notice. Some have even been threatened with physical violence. Russian embassies are being vandalised. There are reports of bank accounts being closed without explanation, others have said that even their children, who were born in Europe, are being targeted at school.
Experts recommend ignoring the social media haters and reporting any threats of violence to the police, but enduring the onslaught still takes its toll psychologically.
Several Russian emigrants talk about violations of their rights and the atmosphere in which they now live. How are Russians coping with hostility and intolerance?