The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown are eliciting predictable glee from Russian media outlets, some of which are making it seem as if a race war is about to break out in America.
An RT article, “Protests Against Police Tyranny have Spread Across the Main Cities of the USA," suggested that the nation is on the brink of chaos as the "rage of Americans ... spreads across the entire country." Sputink i Pogrom, a nationalist newsmagazine, tweeted out, "What do you think? Should Russia grant Obama asylum in Rostov after the Ferguson Maidanites occupy Washington?" And Svobodnaya Pressa, a popular Russian news website, ran an article calling the Ferguson protests “AfroMaidan,” in reference to Euromaidan protests in Kiev, Ukraine, earlier this year.
In that Svobodnaya Pressa article, Sergei Bespalov, the docent of the humanities division of the Russian Academy of Agriculture and State Service, attributes the events in Ferguson in part to the “fact” that white Americans have “prejudice towards African-Americans … in their blood.” Bespalov predicts further unrest, adding that “if [Obamacare] is cancelled, this could … provoke racial conflicts,” and that “a significant part of African-Americans and Latinos could perceive [Obamacare’s cancellation] as a challenge from the white majority.”
It’s hardly surprising that the Russian media jumped on the opportunity to use the events in Ferguson as “proof” of American hypocrisy. But explicitly linking Ferguson to Maidan reveals the Kremlin's deep fear of dissent—the fear that any breakdown in authority will automatically lead to widespread chaos. Look at what happens, these articles imply, when you give the people too much power.