Adam Borowski

Surgical psychological strikes

Propagandists and regime officials have children. Doesn’t matter which regime: Russia, Iran, North Korea or some other pleasant place on the planet. I say: target their children. No, I don’t mean violence, don’t worry. We don’t want that and we’d just give more than enough ammunition to these regimes to justify their atrocious actions around the world. Look, life consists of intimate interactions, correct? That guy you play tennis with. That woman you talk to at the bank. That psychotherapist who knows most, if not all, of your secrets. That waiter who knows you’re cheating on your husband with some rich guy and just smiles when he sees you with your husband on the weekend ordering a steak.

Well then. The children of propagandists and regime officials often go to school, work and live in the West. Imagine a daughter of some Russian propagandist handing in an essay to a teacher at a Swiss boarding school. The essay is in English, of course. The teacher smiles at the girl and asks, ”Tell me, how does it feel to be the daughter of a man calling for genocide every day?”

That’s what I’m talking about. Surgical psychological strikes when they least expect it. They might hide their names and last names but someone, somewhere, always knows who they are. Now, don’t ask them stuff like that all the time. Don’t make a scene. No, no. We don’t want them to get used to it.

Do it from time to time. Keep them on their toes and make their idyllic lives a bit less idyllic. They will never know who is going to ask them what and when. Normally, I’d be against such tactics but you don’t get a pass when your parents ought to be tried by international crime courts. Sure, these children can just laugh it off, pretend they don’t care, or, indeed, are proud of it – doesn’t matter. Call it planting seeds. They are going to know that there could always be someone out there who’s going to call them out on their BS. Maybe they are going to be vacationing on a small island, convinced no one knows them, only to be told by a waitress that she refuses to serve them? Or a realtor who refuses to do business with them. Now, I know. You’re laughing. Money, money, money. All about the money. They will find someone else, simple. Yep. You’re right. They will. Money talks. But I still believe there are virtuous people out there who – at the risk of losing a customer or a student – are going to do what’s right. All it takes is one person, remember.

I don’t know how many people read my blog. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. Writing this blog is cathartic for me.

Now, about Russophobia. Russian propaganda often insists that Poles are Russophobes. Here’s my take.

In 2008, I took part in Russian language workshops at a prestigious (Russians think so, not me, I can tell you that much) Russian language institute in Moscow. I’m not going to write the name, I’ll just say that the Institute is named after a famous Russian poet. Anyone with more than two brain cells reporting for duty can figure out which Institute I mean.

Back in 2008, I had no ill will toward Russia. Sure, I knew about Russian oppression of Poland but it wasn’t my focal point. If anything, I was neutral towards Russia and curious about Moscow and their legends and stories (particularly the Dyatlov Pass and stories about UFOs). Sure, Moscow has a great subway. I couldn’t help but snicker at Tucker Carlson’s ”revelations.” The guy who can’t string a sentence together in Russian other than da and da svidanya, yet we’re supposed to believe he’s such a great fan of Russia. Give me a break.

Whatever. Don’t try to make sense out of all this madness. It’s 99% about the money, anyway.

When I arrived at the Institute, they had no record of me as a student. Then, I wasn’t told where my room was, I was just left to wander the hallways of the Institute. I just walked around until I stopped being polite and asked a random Russian woman to help me find my room. Guess what? It worked. Then, the whole schedule was a disaster. Total chaos, yet again. No lessons. Again, after applying pressure, everything was fine.

The room was more or less okay apart from the bathroom – atrocious. Mind you, we’re talking about the elite Institute for foreigners. A representative place. I walked around the Red Square and had no idea – at the time – there’s a monument there to brave Russians who kicked the Polish invaders out of the Kremlin in 1612 or so (yep, a badge of honor, huh?)

That’s why I know Russia has little to nothing to offer. Nice subways and monuments of proud knights on horseback don’t make up for all the rest, sorry. The whole Russkiy mir is a sham, an excuse to rob, rape, exploit, enslave and exterminate. Do you really think that the Poles, Ukrainians and others would resist being dragged into the Russian sphere of influence so much if Russia really had so much to offer? Come on. Be reasonable. We’d have asked to join Russia a long time ago! Clearly, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, I mean Russia. No propaganda. Just the facts, Ma’am. Russian world is crap and chaos.

When I worked in China, I was amazed by the people’s desire for progress. Chinese people want to see progress and they understand what’s wrong with China. Their country has a lot to offer. Russia? Russia is just a giant gas station with nukes and a murderous intelligence apparatus (set up by a Pole – Feliks Dzierżyński – no less). Their propagandists are just Putin’s girls. And Putin the pimp can always swap his girls for a newer model out of boredom or spite.

Does that mean there are no foreigners in Russia who love it there? Of course not. Life isn’t linear. Not every Russian is a lying, thieving, snitching son of a vodka-imbibing bitch. Just 99.9%. Nah. Kidding. Hope it isn’t that bad. It’s just 80%.

Just because a bunch of fools and/or opportunists from the West taking part in some Russian economic forum are going to be touted by Russian propaganda as an example that Russia is a cool place, I say: no, thanks. I’ll pass. Today, they are the useful idiots and tomorrow they are going to be discarded when Russians no longer need them as propaganda props. Same old story.

About the Author
Adam Borowski is a technical Polish-English translator with a background in international relations and a keen interest in understanding how regime propaganda brainwashes people so effectively. He's working on a novel the plot of which is set across multiple realities. In the novel, he explores the themes of God, identity, regimes, parallel universes, genocide and brainwashing. His Kyiv Post articles covering a wide range of issues can be found at