In 1966, the lovable crew of the Спрут landed in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Hollywood’s rendering of these Russians in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming would prove to be the exception to the rule in Western media for years. A staple of Western entertainment since the mid-20thcentury, Russian adversaries have not faded from the limelight in the post-Cold War era. Rather, Western portrayals of Russian antagonists have largely continued to reflect contemporaneous states of Western-Russian relations. By studying Russian portrayals in Western media (namely television, film, and 21stcentury video games) within their historical context, one can trace the evolution of the Russian prototype as it habitually mirrors various milieus of Russia’s relationship with the West. This paper posits that the “New Cold War,” yet another era of Western-Russian relations, has recently given rise to a new form of Russian adversary in Western entertainment outlets. The nature of Russian enemies in media has shifted, but the enemy has nonetheless remained the same from the time of the Cold War. With the reelection of Vladimir Putin, moreover, Russia has increasingly seized opportunities to confront the decade-old Western tropes.
"Meet the New Villain, Same as the Old Villain: The New Cold War in American TV, Film, and Video Games,"
Of Life and History: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: https://crossworks.holycross.edu/oflifeandhistory/vol2/iss1/5