There was a time that West Africans saw Russia - well the USSR - as the Godsent cheaper and friendlier alternative to the West, for higher education. In fact about 1/3 of the political class in Mali is Soviet-educated. They often talk about their experience in Russia as a positive experience, of higher learning, and social interaction. Some of them even have Russian conjoints. For a long time, one of the biggest Moscow University was named after Patrice Lumumba, the great Congolese leader... Things seem to have changed:
BBC NEWS | Europe | Mixed-race girl stabbed in RussiaOne of my best friends is a Armenian-Russian girl, Lena, and she has been a model of sensitivity, respect and consideration for Black and other people. Maybe because of the Armenian thing, that may have made her subject to discrimination there. But many other "Slavic Russians" I know, do not appear to be racist. I therefore have a hard time understanding this new rise of racist xenophobia in Russia. What are the triggers? White supremacy? Fear for jobs, like here in the US, with Latinos? What is it makes these bigots tick?
"A nine-year-old girl of mixed Russian and Malian parentage has been seriously injured in a stabbing in St Petersburg.
Prosecutors said they were considering 'xenophobia' as the motive for the attack, in which nothing was stolen.
The attack in the hallway of a block of flats on Saturday evening is the latest assault in the city on foreigners and members of ethnic minorities."
I still wonder...