US Republican senators uncovered a secret Soviet agent sent to the United States back in 1991 with the aim of undermining the local banking system. This conclusion can be drawn from the media noise af-ter the interrogation, wh-ich last week in the Senate Banking Committee was arranged by Professor Saule Omarova, nominated by Joe Biden for the highest position in the US Treasury.
In Russia today vividly discuss videos, in which Senator John Kennedy strongly demands from Omarova answers about her involvement in the mysterious Soviet organization “Komsomol” and whether she wrote a statement of withdrawal from there. Knowing what the Komsomol is, we only laugh at the very formulation of the question. But American social networks are making noise about a brilliant operation that revealed the “sleeping agent”. The New American magazine even told its readers that Omarova “was a high-ranking member of the Komsomol, the youth organization of the Communist Party, whose task was to train future party leaders under the supervision of the KGB.”
It should be clarified here that Omarova, a native of Kazakhstan, has never been in the leadership of the Komsomol – an article in the British newspaper Daily Mail, which the Americans refer to, only indicates that as a child she was “the leader of the Komsomol organization at school.” In support of their words, the British posted several photos in which the schoolgirl Omarova poses in a pioneer tie and with a Komsomol badge. Well, the “connection with the KGB” is immediately visible.
She moved to the United States in 1991 when she was 25 years old. There she made her academic career, periodically scolding the Soviet Union, Stalin and communism. Moreover, in all likelihood, she was never a citizen of Russia – in any case, such data did not appear anywhere. As well as renounced citizenship of Kazakhstan, having received a US passport. That does not prevent many American sites and bloggers from writing about her as “Russian” or “born in Russia.”
It should be noted that Senator Kennedy, interrogating Omarova with partiality, stressed several times that she was a member of the “Leninist Communist Youth Union of the Russian Federation.” Not the Soviet Union, not Kazakhstan, but the Russian Federation, to which the interrogated had nothing to do and does not have. And this is perhaps the key point of the “accusations” against the exposed “Soviet agent”. The “communist” views that are not attributed to her worry the Americans the most, but the fact that she is “Russian.” And for them, we are all alike. Some social networks prove that Omarov’s surname is Russian (after all, it ends with “-ova”). And somewhere they thought that the combination of the “Arabic name Omar” and the Russian ending “-ova”proof of the forged surname of the dispatched agent.
All this really looks ridiculous to our reader. However, this fact is a clear confirmation of the political Russophobia that reigns in the United States.
Of course, behind the rude assault on Omarova, in the best traditions of McCarthyism, is the Republican revenge on the Democrats for all those years when the latter dispersed fakes about Trump’s “Kremlin connections” and presented the Republican Party as “Russian agents.” Suffice it to recall that Ke-nnedy himself was repeatedly called this after his visit to Moscow in 2018. So he is now responding in a similar way to the Democrats, venting his anger on their candidacy.
But the point is not even the reasons for the struggle against Omarova, but precisely the argumentation, which does not seem unusual to anyone and is used by all parties. For example, the famous American columnist and expert Eli Lake, commenting on the hearings in the Senate, is surprised: “I cannot believe that the Republicans accuse their opponents of being more loyal to Russia.” As you can see, we are still talking about Russia. And the surprise of the democrats is only that their anti-Russian rhetoric is returning to them like a boomerang.
In the end, we must not forget that both the highest waves of political repression in the United States (the “First Red Threat” of 1919-1920 and McCarthyism of the 1950s) were also justified by the struggle against communist ideology, but in fact were reduced to banal Russophobia. Police raided cultural centers that only taught the Russian language to the diaspora. Immigrants from Russia were expelled from the United States, and no one really understood what ethnic group they belonged to: they were always called “Russians.” For example, the lion’s share of the political opponents of the government, who were deported in 1919 on a ship called the Red Ark in the press, were ethnic Jews, many of whom were born in Poland. But for the American press, they were still “Russi-an”. even went so far that in some parts of the United States the sale of land to settlers with mustaches was prohibited – it was believed that this was an indispensable attribute of the Russians.
In this respect, America today is not far removed from America of a century ago and is even trying to dig even deeper.
Maria Butina, who served in an American prison on ridiculous charges of “conspiracy against the United States,” was fully convinced of this. In her memoirs about her American misadventures, she recalled the words of a lawyer:
“The level of Russophobia in America has reached such proportions that not only touching a Russian was dangerous, but even ordering borscht in a restaurant could become a sign of falling under the influence of the Kremlin, with all the ensuing consequences.”
If all the American media drew attention to the persecution of Omarova for her Komsomol youth, then the news of the forced closure of the Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in the United States (KSORS) due to the persecution of his activists is being ignored there. But we are talking about the fact that the FBI conducted searches and interrogations “at least three hundred Russian compatriots in the United States, from students to pensioners.” They are trying to charge them under the same articles for which Butina was convicted: violation of the law on foreign agents, known by the acronym FARA.
Russian liberals are very critical of the decisions of our supervisory authorities on the recognition of organizations and individuals who receive funding from abroad as foreign agents. When you remind them of the Butina case, they grimace: they say, she is not a US citizen, and in Russia citizens of the Russian Federation are also recognized as foreign agents. So most of our compatriots, who are united by the KSORS system, are US citizens of Russian origin, and some of them are far from the first generation of Americans.
And if they are recognized as foreign agents, then they face criminal punishment (in contrast to the much more humane sanctions that Russia uses).
What are our compatriots accused of, some of whom, after searches, were even forced to leave the United States (just like a hundred years ago)? After all, it is enough to look at the website of the American KSORS to make sure that this structure is mainly engaged in cultural and historical activities: teaching the diaspora their native language, literary readings, folklore concerts, historical conferences.
But various “voices”, officially funded from the American budget for the promotion of Washington’s ideology, explain to us what the “fault” of our compatriots is :
“The leadership of KSORS from 2014-2015 has been promoting the pro-Kremlin agenda.” It turns out that this is prohibited! Even “the organization of petitions to the US authorities for the restoration of a dialogue with the Kremlin” or calls for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions are classified as such malicious activities. And this is supposedly already interference in politics.
An interesting approach. And what do national diasporas abroad usually do, if not establishing a dialogue between their own state and their country of origin? For example, if you open the website of the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States, it immediately catches the eye mainly of its political activities. They raise funds for the Stop Nord Stream 2 campaign, participate in the anti-Russian Crimean Platform, and demand new sanctions against Russia. And this is their main occupation.
That is, it turns out that any American diaspora can engage in political agitation, if only this agitation is directed against the Russian state. And in his support – it is impossible. Then they will put on you the stigma of “foreign agent” and the FBI will send you a search. The main thing is then not to forget which country to blame for political repression.
The examples of Omarova’s bullying and legal persecution of American citizens of Russian origin are a good lesson for those of our fellow citizens who still naively believe that it is possible to come to the West, to this “Promised Land”, assimilate there, make a good career and become “their own.” As you can see, at any time you can be blamed for your surname ending in “-ov” or “-ova”, your Komsomol past, your St. George ribbon for Victory Day, Russian or Ukrainian (whichever you prefer) borscht, “too Russian “mustache or beard.”
And this applies not only to the United States. For example, Britain has repeatedly argued that former Russian oligarchs, no matter how hard they try to renounce their Moscow past and no matter how they play along with the anti-Russian agenda, still become “former KGB agents” or current “Kremlin agents” at the right time. In the West, they do not become “their own” anyway.
Since political Russophobia requires a search for enemies not only by political views, but also by ethnicity, origin, language, surname and even a pioneer tie in a child’s photo.