German EU official uses racist rhetoric claiming Russians don’t value life
A European Union official has used racist rhetoric to dehumanize Russians, claiming they don’t value human life, and are therefore not Europeans.
The fact that the EU official is German is also eyebrow-raising, considering the country’s fascist history and genocidal attacks on Russians.
Florence Gaub is deputy director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies ( , to discuss the Ukraine war on its top news program Heute, hosted by prominent journalist Markus Lanz.
She used this large platform to launch a racist rant essentially claiming that the Russian people are uncivilized non-Europeans who don’t care about human life.
This is the kind of racist BS they are now spreading in the EU: this #NATO advisor, @FlorenceGaub spews her version of Nazi-Germany's trope of "Untermenschen"
USA in the Vietnam War also claimed: "Asians just don't care about death, like us".
Disgusting dehumanisation#NotoNATO pic.twitter.com/ZsEk051VVf
— Paul #SaveSheikhJarrah Dva (@zoolooy) April 13, 2022
“We should not forget, even if Russians look European, they are not European, in a cultural sense,” Gaub declared in the German-language interview.
“They [Russians] think differently about violence or death,” the EU official continued. “They have no concept of a liberal, post-modern life, a concept of life that each individual can choose. Instead, life simply can end early with death.”
To try to justify her bigoted views, Gaub said that “Russian life expectancy is quite low, as you know. It is 70 for men.”
She failed to explain that Russians had a healthy life expectancy under socialism in the Soviet Union, but after the United States and Western Europe overthrew the USSR from 1989 to 1991, they imposed brutal capitalist “shock therapy” on Russia that caused life expectancy to fall precipitously.
A 2001 UNICEF report
found that the grueling capitalist reforms forced on Russia in the 1990s caused 3.2 million excess deaths, leading life expectancy for men to drop by six years.
In this period of Western-imposed mass privatizations and free market fundamentalism, 18 million Russian children were pushed into poverty. Over one-third of the population lived in poverty, with mass unemployment. There were high levels of child malnutrition, and a steep increase in HIV and tuberculosis cases.
The Russian Federation was not able to get back to the level of life expectancy it had had under socialism in the Soviet Union in 1989 until 22 years later, in 2011.
In other words, it took Russia two decades to recover from the devastating economic attack waged on it by the Western powers.
A graph of Russian male life expectancy shows it precipitously fell after the overthrow of the Soviet Union
In her racist rant, Florence Gaub, the German European Union official, conveniently failed to mention that life expectancy is even lower today in Ukraine than it is in Russia.
Ukraine’s post-Soviet regime also suffered from the capitalist shock therapy imposed on it in the 1990s, although not quite as badly as Russia. Despite this, Russia’s life expectancy surpassed that of Ukraine in 2015.
(For context, Cuba has a higher life expectancy than the United States
, despite the fact that Cuba is a relatively poor, formerly colonized country that has been under an illegal US economic blockade for more than 60 years
Despite these disparities, Gaub claims Russia is the country that does not value human life, not Ukraine.
Many Western government officials likewise insist that Ukraine is a model of “democracy,” despite the fact that the authoritarian regime in Kiev banned communist parties and left-wing symbols, arrested elected opposition lawmakers, and shut down critical media outlets long before Russia invaded in February 2022, and have since prohibited another dozen opposition parties
Western colonialists’ long history of claiming their victims don’t value human life
Instead of addressing any of this historical context, the EU’s Florence Gaub chose to use racist rhetoric and claim that the political conflict in Ukraine is a product of Russian culture, that Russians simply don’t value life.
“That is why they treat death differently, people simply die,” she claimed.
The notion that a population targeted by Western imperialist powers supposedly doesn’t care about human life is a centuries-old colonial trope
‘They don’t value life’: How the US empire dehumanizes its victims, from Indigenous genocide to Vietnam to Palestine
European settlers claimed Native Americans did not value human life to try to justify their genocidal colonization of the Americas.
The US Declaration of Independence itself echoes this racist rhetoric about “the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
To justify Washington’s decades-long war on Vietnam, which led up to to 3.8 million deaths
, top US General William Westmoreland similarly claimed, “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner… Life is plentiful; life is cheap in the Orient. The philosophy of the Orient expresses that life is not important.”
US general who led mass-murdering war in Vietnam (3.8M dead) claimed "The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as a Westerner" pic.twitter.com/WsTaeeb7iK
— Benjamin Norton (@BenjaminNorton) July 5, 2017
Today, officials from the Israeli apartheid regime frequently dehumanize indigenous Palestinians
by claiming they don’t value life.
US politicians make the same racist comments about the Chinese
, to justify Washington’s new cold war on Beijing.
Now German militarists are rehashing this racist rhetoric to accelerate the new cold war on Russia.
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