The howling wolf outside: the psychosis killing Russians

What is causing this crippling paranoia of the West?

Madelaine Lucy Hanson
3 min readMay 28

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The wind sweeps in low across the thick snows and weeps around the edges of the village. In the dark thickets of the Siberian forests, nothing meets the glimmer of gaslight but the slur of night and the unforgiving cold. And somewhere, unseen, sweating and licking and heaving and hungry and wanting, lies the wolf.

In traditional Russian-Orthodox peasant folklore, the devil does not dance around with his pitchfork, he lurks, unseen and unnamed, in the darkness. He is wolf-like, searching, brutal in his pragmatism to feast, destroy, savour on the flesh of the fallen good. Rasputin, a Putin a hundred years ahead of his time, manipulated this fear of the dark to indulge in his own power; convincing ladies of the court to engage in sin in order to expose themselves to the Devil and reject him. Fear, in Russia, is in itself the tenuous, the intangible, the inexplicit, the lurking. What is bad, truly bad, evil in it’s most puerile form, is forever beyond understanding, waiting on the edges of the village to pounce, watching, hungry for your downfall.

It’s easier to blame ghosts than yourself.

Putin has cultivated a deep, profound fear of what lies beyond ‘Russianness’ and his own brand of kleptocratic brutalism. Accepting gay people isn’t kind, progressive, or obvious, it’s foreign. Devilish. Wicked. The gays, much like the wolf, want to feast on your children. Accepting transgender people isn’t tolerant, fair, or reasonable, it’s foreign. Devilish. Wicked. The trans, much like the wolf, want to rip up the body of your baby. Accepting the west isn’t wise, self-promoting, or sensible, it’s foreign. Devilish. Wicked. The west, much like the wolf, wants to destroy Russia, rip it up in her teeth with her jealous hunger. Fear the wolf. Fear what lurks beyond.

Of course, the problem never was the wolf in the dark.

The problem has been rotting, stinking, festering and splintering with maggots and larvae within the village for many years. The problem has been grasping and groping and gorging itself on the grain, the gold, the goodness within the village for many years. The problem has been gnawing and licking at the bones of the…

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Madelaine Lucy Hanson

26 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk