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Russia Is Western

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Russia, the EU member state

"Russia's only real geostrategic option — the option that would give Russia a realistic international role and also maximize the opportunity of transforming and socially modernizing itself — is Europe."
Zbigniew Brzezinski
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Any sort of setting in which Russia (or Kievan Rus', if in this continuity it never disintegrated into Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) is an inalienable part of the Western community, closely integrated with the Atlantic powers, and a member state of EU, NATO or whatever conglomerate of Western countries. If the storyline involves any sort of geopolitical confrontation, it would generally be between this alliance of countries and some Eastern bloc, usually led by China or Islamic states.

In Real Life, it is a matter of debate whether Russia should be seen as a Western country or as a separate entity (possibly a "bridge" between East and West); however, most agree that Russia is culturally closer to Europe and the West than to any other civilizational type (such as Middle Eastern states or Central Asian countries, which were previously part of the Russian empire). The issue is that if one were to look at works presented even before the east-west divide was cemented in the Cold War, the Russian Empire was considered to be distant enough (and also due to most of its land being east of the Urals and in demographics) to have a lot of Orientalist tropes applied to it. Nor is this idea exclusive to Western Europe. Russian monarchs as far back as Peter the Great even made it a point back then to "westernize", showing this idea is Older Than Steam.

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Nations once part of Russia such as the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova are considered western, however. The Central Asian nations are obvious, and the three Caucasus nations of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan find themselves in a similar bridge with Russia.

Compare Heroic Russian Émigré, for post-1917 Russian emigrants who are Western-oriented and opposed to the Soviet regime.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Code Geass, Russia is initially a part of the European Union, and later becomes a part of the Holy Britannian Empire (with St. Petersburg becoming the Empire's capital). The third bloc, which opposes both EU and Britannia, is the Asiatic Chinese Federation.
  • In Bubblegum Crisis 2032 continuity, Russia, together with Germany, is the most important member of the franchise's version of the EU, and helped Japan to both rebuild after the disastrous 2023 New Kanto Earthquake, and to maintain its neutrality in the 2025 Sino-American war. Well, at least in one version of the timeline. The first episode, created before The Great Politics Mess-Up and the end of the Cold War, discusses that the critical technology may leak to the Communists.

    Literature 
  • In Ada, or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov, most of the world is ruled by a Russo-Anglo-American dominion (North America is settled extensively by Russians, and Russian is one of its languages, along with English and French). They are fighting the Golden Horde in this world's version of the Cold War.
  • In The Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy, US and Russia cement a friendship after the Cold War, and join forces to confront China.
  • Victoria has the restored Russian Empire ally with America, the Catholic states, and the German and British empires against their common enemy, a Middle Eastern Coalition.
  • In 1984, Russia has conquered continental Europe to form the superstate of Eurasia, while the rest of Asia is unified as "Eastasia." Unusually for this trope, Great Britain (where the story is set) is not part of this European bloc, instead becoming "Airstrip One" of the US-dominated Oceania.
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    Music 

    Video Games 
  • A common outcome in Crusader Kings 2 if the 867 start date is picked. The Rurikids who rule over Rus will often convert to Catholicism due to proximity to, and power of the western catholic realms, and will not convert to the orthodox church. This will lead to close diplomatic relations with western kingdoms, them joining crusades, etc.
  • Empire Earth 2: Russia was added in the expansion as part of the Western civilizations (the Far East had Korea, Japan and China, while the Middle East had Turkey, Babylon and Egypt), allowing them to build Wonders such as the Parthenon, the Brandenburg Gate, and the Pentagon.
  • In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn Russia is one of GDI's allies which is mostly supported by western countries in contrast to most of Eastern Europe and China which are either allied or controlled by Nod at the start of the war.
  • In People's General, Russia comprises the Western Alliance with the US and several other nations against China-dominated Eastern Alliance.

    Real Life 
  • Becoming a NATO and EU member is actually a possible scenario for Russia's future, but even amid detente, relations with NATO and the EU are likely to sour as they are to sweeten.
  • From the cultural aspect, Russia (particularly its literature, music, painting, philosophy and architecture) is classified as a part of the West. The fact that Slavs as a whole are unambiguously European helps the case. For Asian countries especially, the description of the Soviet-US conflict during the Cold War as "East vs. West" is liable to cause some head-scratching (or else scoffing at the idea that white people think Europe and its ex-colonies are the whole world), since they see both Americans and Russians as part of the Western World.
  • The Islamic countries invariably see Russia (and all the other Christian states) as a part of the Western world; a number of European scholars are also inclined towards this point of view (for details, check out the Other Wiki). Ironically, Christianity itself originated in the Middle East, and the Russian Eastern Orthodox faith itself is a cousin to the appropriately named Oriental Orthodox churches such as those in Egypt and Ethiopia. Thus, while the Russian faith is "Eastern", Oriental Orthodoxy still treats it as western.
  • Many Russians also think their country belongs in the West, while others may actually be inclined to Eurasianism which rejects the idea that Russia can be classified as East and West, so that it has a form of exceptionalism and special role in the world as a bridge. Interestingly, almost nobody among Russians thinks that the country is Asian, largely due to the above mentioned point of Slavs being a European ethnicity. While the majority of Russia's territory is in Asia, the majority of its population is both Slavic and living in west of the Urals, and thus European by any plausible definition.
    • Another school of thought in Russia makes a distinction between "Europe" as a historical and cultural entity and the "West" as a political bloc, typically associated with NATO and US leadership. This school of thought is generally sympathetic to the former and critical of the latter, and defines Russia as "European but not Western".
    • After the end of the Cold War, this was distorted to very unfortunate undertones that still endures to this day, especially when dealing with products made in Asian countries (and Russia) and exported to western countries, and it can be classified to any of these following cases: Any reference to "the West" in English-speaking media (and other western countries, for the sake of fairness) could be refering to 1) all western countries, plus Russia, Latin America and the Slavic countries, 2) all the member countries of the NATO, 3) all the countries from the Anglosphere, and in the most extreme cases, 4) the U.S. and Canada, and finally, 5) the United States exclusively.
  • Defied by Those Wacky Nazis. Part of their propaganda effort to justify Operation Barbarossa was the claim that Russia was an Asiatic country, often accompanied by racial imagery of the Soviet Union's ethnic minorities.

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