I’ve recently got a letter from my kuma (godmother of my child), who lives in Moscow but has Uzbekistani origins. We were friends. However, 2014 changed everything. We appeared on different sides of the tracks. Our relationship has almost finished. And here – the letter full of grief and reproach. No need to write how she sees the situation. I came up with the idea to write how we see the situation. Sort of essays in letters. Today is the first letter.
My Dear Friend!
Yes, you are a Russian citizen and you assert your right to love your country.
I understand it is hard to live in the country and reject it. One thing is to love the country and not love or even hate its government (back in my days in the former Soviet Union we mastered this skill, but you are too young to remember the classical soviet). Quite recently, being a very young though adult person you made it to the Russian neo-soviet. By the way, not everything was good and easy in your life. You have the experience of life in the city where your – let’s say – not very Slavic appearance made you feel fear in the underground… It is Moscow city. Or did I forget something?
Another thing – how not to love the entire country. With its birch- and witch-trees and a willow bush above the river. With wooden architecture. With its literature and music.
Bastards are everywhere. Big mouths and demagogues are everywhere. Irresponsible people with the whole gamut of mental issues are everywhere. Hooligans and the right (and the left) radicals are everywhere. Talking about a country one should think in political terms and speak in these terms, too.
My dear friend, how to brand the political order of Russia? Is it a democratic federal republic? Like Germany? Of course not. I think it is a pseudo-democracy like “the soviet”. There exists only one party of power. All other parties are pure decorative formations that have no chances. When some strong personality gets a chance then…. The example of Khodorkovsky is too vivid. Not many people remember that the soviet satellites also used to have a fictional multiparty system.
In fact, the party of power as was the communist party in the USSR is not a party. It is a parasite of power and it sucks the country dry. It is a self-service group and it has a one-man leader who is not in this group. Really, could the emperor be a party member?
Russian political order is as republican as it is democratic. Said otherwise, we deal with “republic-monarchy”. Here we can remember Azerbaijan, and North Korea, and Syria. Putin has not become a tsar since he wants to be an omnipresent omnipotent god. Zero option. But – mortal.
Perhaps you do not completely apprehend the reason of my disgust to your god-emperor-president. I guess the experience of “communication” with the Major Valeryevich in the late seventies and the early eighties and forever featured my attitude towards the men of the Committee for State Security. Some of my dissident friends (I do not name them, they are still alive) used to say that KGB (Committee for State Security) is the only force capable of reviving Russia. KGB revived it. I saw Russia risen from her knees and I was terrified. KGB is capable of giving birth to and reviving monsters. God, could it be it was your divine will? I don’t believe it. I remember the trailer – Putin walking along the red carpet through the great halls of the palace. Recurrent inauguration. It was a repulsive sight.
No, not just the player himself. Those who applauded him on both sides of the red carpet. They literally devoured the boss with their eyes. If they had had jaws instead of eyelids and teeth instead of eyelashes, they would have eaten Putin up unto the last bone. It is said retinue plays the king. I might also add – slaves do the slave-owner.
Is it possible you do not understand that your country is undergoing the revival of the personality cult? That people breed autocracy? Pushkin in his poem “From Pindemonte” wanted to depend neither on tsar nor on people. Maybe because he sensed that tsar and people are united? It is said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. To that I will add – and covered by the red carpet.
Demos is the father of the dictatorship. However, dictatorship has a mother, too. It is ideology.
Ideology of the Russian Federation, this counter-intuitive formation is eclectic and reminds me of a shish kebab on a skewer. This skewer is militarism. I would call it historical (or hysterical) militarism.
I will continue tomorrow. Finally, I want to say that we love you very much. And we don’t love Russia. The way it is. Moreover, we will never see it otherwise. Not me for sure.