«Do not stop being proud that you are Russian»: interview of the head Foundation to Battle Injustice with psychologist Nadia Hilton

Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Nadia Hilton, a Russian psychologist who has been living in London for more than 20 years. Hilton shared with the head of the Foundation her experience of working with children who had to face Russophobia abroad, told who benefits from inciting hatred towards Russians, and also gave some tips for Russian citizens who have become victims of anti-Russian sentiments.

Nadia Hilton

Mira Terada: Hello, Nadia! Thank you for joining us today. Could you please tell our viewers and readers about yourself?

Nadia Hilton: Hello, Meera and viewers! My name is Nadia Hilton. I am 60 years old. I was born in Yakutia, and I’ve been living in London for 21 years. I have a private practice as a psychologist and a coach, and I’m also a writer.

M.T.: Please tell us about your experience of dealing with Russophobia abroad.

N.H.: There have always been bullying, but now it became more severe to Russians. It didn’t seem to concern us, but the granddaughter had troubles at school, she even stopped going to school.

Children of my acquaintances were homeschooled, because they were constantly poked, other children drew swastikas, tore up their books, took away their bags.

One child was beaten, but wasn’t seriously injured. In some schools, of course, we must pay tribute, the directors gather meetings, write letters to parents so that they explain to their children that it does not matter what nationality children are, they do not participate in the war, the children are not to blame, and so on . But some schools are simply turning a blind eye. I had a client, a boy, he had a trauma. He was beaten in a school toilet. The director saw, turned away and went. That is, she approves it in this way. One woman was offered to resign because she is Russian.
I used to say that there is no aggression from Ukrainians. But a few days ago, our Ukrainian neighbor yelled at my husband: “You are a fascist, you took the plate number off the car.” We had a Russians plate number on our Bentley. Naturally, now we removed it so as not to provoke. The neighbor said, “It won’t help you. My husband will beat you and your car. We were shocked. I say: “Oksana, what do we have to do with it”? There was also a meeting of the Bentley Owners Club. My husband is member of the club. One of the club members from South Africa said: “The Russians must be expelled from the club. Vlad should definitely be expelled, he also has such a plate number. Did you change it? But still, we all know that you are Russian.”

M.T.: Are your rights to free speech infringed? Can you express your opinion calmly? Can you easily communicate in Russian surrounded by citizens of another country?

N.H.: I have never been told not to speak Russian. In fact, there is no such strong harassment. Russian restaurants work, shops work, everything is the same. Russian car service also works.

The Arabs are very supportive, the Serbs, they say: “Hold on, we support Russia.” Others are neutral.

M.T.: You mentioned a case where one of your acquaintances was asked to resign because she was Russian. Is it fair to say that it is more difficult for an employee who is connected with Russia to get a promotion?

N.H.: It didn’t happen before, but now we see it.

M.T.: In the past few years, Western propaganda against Russia and its citizens has become more aggressive. In your opinion, why do they do it, and who benefits from it?

N.H.: This is a cold war with America.

England has always been an ally of the USA. Here they offer to take all the money from Abramovich and send it to the Donbass, to freeze our money in bank accounts or to take away real estate from us.

That is, as always, the Russians are to blame for everything. But I think Putin knows what he’s doing. He probably has reasons. We do not know much, and I think that in future, in a year or two, everything will become clear, and we will again be respected people. Until then, we have to be patient. As we say, be tolerant, but don’t let them to offend you, if they start to offend, then, of course, you need to stand up for yourself.

M.T.: Western human rights organizations, which pretend to be the main fighters for human rights and freedoms, persistently ignore the problem of Russophobia and the oppression of Russian citizens abroad. Do you think the hypocrisy of Western human rights activists is primarily related to the political agenda of the establishment, or is it something else?

N.H.: I think yes. It’s just politics, because when you meet they say: “Well, you understand, now it’s just such a policy, now it’s just such a trend. But don’t worry, we’ll wait and close the case.”

M.T.: In your opinion, is active agitation against Russia and everything connected with it also due to geopolitical processes?

N.H.: Yes, of course. Too strong neighbor. It’s scary. They seem to be doing something all the time. But at the same time, we are very interested in us. They have a great interest in us. They are afraid, but very much interested. Recently, a lot of Russian clubs and Russian schools have been opened. They learn Russian. There was a lot of interest, but now it has faded a bit. By the way, I want to say that last night we drove through London. So many buildings are painted yellow and blue, which is to say they are so supportive. No country has been supported as much as Ukraine. Buildings, flags, bridges, all in two colors.

M.T.: At the end of January last year, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a bill according to which sanctions will be introduced against foreigners who violate the rights and freedoms of Russians. Do you think this will help get rid of Russophobia?

N.H.: I doubt that here they will pay attention to Russian laws. They are only guided by their own and the laws of America. American law is in force here, but the Russians, they are, it does not count. Diplomas do not count, the law recognized that the child will stay with mother, but this is in Russia, this is not considered, we do not take all this into account.

M.T.: What advice would you like to give to Russian citizens who have been victims of Russophobia abroad, as you are, people you work with, your friends and acquaintances?

N.H.: I can not say not to pay attention to it. Breathe deeply, as they say, calm down and do not stop being proud that you are Russian. Believe me, there are a lot of people who love us. Change the environment, after all. Maybe it’s time to change job, find something better. Well, we can only survive on positivity and support for each other. Go to Russian meetings. Russian communities, including women’s ones, have become more active here, and so on. There are many communities of interest, there is a strong support of Russians among themselves. It brought us together, by the way. This situation has strongly rallied the Russians here abroad. Previously, we seemed to be jealous of each other, but now we can feel the unity. By the way, there was a case, I forgot to tell about it. The Englishman kicked out the Russian wife and said: “I’m not going to feed Putin’s spy.” That is, some families are also breaking up.