Russia has observed the European Union’s response to the migrant crisis, and has subsequently begun executing calculated steps to capitalize on this humanitarian crisis. The influx of refugees has fuelled momentum in xenophobic right-wing parties in Europe. The rising anti-immigrant sentiments predominately align with the conservative authoritative values of Russia’s Kremlin party. Consequently, this has allowed Russia to feed xenophobic fears and hatred, granting them an avenue to establish allies and regain power and influence with the European Union.
The migrant crisis has shaken the foundation of the European Union, as they have struggle to successfully handle situation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel initially stated “If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for.” The EU had once presented quotas of migrants to be met by European countries, they were determined to rise above adversity and help the refugees in desperate need of asylum. The narratives of acceptance and compassion were apparent in the demonstrations made from European leaders by opening their borders. This has now become a historical account, due to the isolated terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, generating fear amongst citizens of Europe, causing pressure upon governments to close their borders and reject asylum to refugees.
The rising fear of refugees in the European Union, has unleashed a vulnerability which has essentially moved the political direction of Europe, towards more conservative right-wing politics. The Kremlin party of Russia has noticed this shift of European politics and they are not wasting a moment on capitalizing upon this. Russia desires to have its conservative values and principles reflected in the modification of European politics. Therefore, they are feeding the fears of xenophobia and, with the German election around the corner, they hope pro-Russian parties will soon be elected in European nations. Consequently, this will result in allies who admire Russia’s anti-immigration and authoritative governing, ultimately strengthening their status and power.
As a result, the Russian media has rapidly begun spreading propaganda through media, where they have exaggerated and fabricated false reports about migrants. The most alarming fabrication claimed that migrants had raped a 13-year old Russian girl in Germany, which was accompanied by a fictitious video. By tapping into the rising fear in Europe, Russia holds a strong opportunity to alter the principles of Europe. There is presently a large shift in European politics and the political reaction to the migrant crisis is going to redefine European politics for years to come.
Russia is renown for their authoritative conservative values that are echoed in their political climate, the world watches as they blatantly refuse to abide by international law and continue to infringe upon human rights. Through capitalizing on the fears of Europe, their ideologies have begun trickling through, which can ultimately unleash unprecedented consequences upon the international community. In order to combat these dangerous consequences, there needs to be more efficient leadership in the EU and internationally towards concocting a viable plan for integrating and accepting refugees. Once the leaders of the world begin to fall victim to frivolous fears, this is when we begin to see the values of humanity crumble. Historically, we have watched fear and ignorance place power into the hands of tyrannical regimes, and it is people who take action that prevent history from repeating itself.