Yablokov | Antisemitism Studies
Putin’s Russia has often been described by foreign observers and the media as the country where conspiracy theories proliferate in public discourse. To a large extent this is true: many Russians believe there is a foreign plot to undermine Russia. Accordingly, they share anti-Western attitudes which, in turn, can be used by the authorities. Russia’s long history of antisemitism leads one to ask how it has operated during Putin’s years of rule. While many Russians were keen on antisemitic conspiracy theories during the 1990s, after 2000 anti-Jewish animus in the public realm declined. In fact, many high-ranking politicians and journalists caught sharing antisemitic ideas in public have been forced to apologize for their behaviour. This article seeks to explore the peculiarities of antisemitic conspiracy theories within the larger Russian culture of conspiracy after the collapse of communism in 1991.