by Alexander Nevzorov
If Crimea had been taken from a strong, rich, courageous country, it would have been a noble and honest victory. But it was taken from a bleeding, wounded, immobilized country. And this is called looting.
I’m not a moralist. I see nothing wrong in looting; a lot of things that are completely unnecessary for a dead or dying person may be quite handy for someone who is still alive. The problem here is that sometimes the wounded can recover and start reclaiming what was stolen while they were unconscious.
A wounded person who had his boots pulled off while he was unconscious will recover and ask, “Where are my boots, damn it?,” and he will go and take them back from the one who appropriated them. And then the real fun will begin. In fact, we cannot say whether Crimea is Russian or Ukrainian until the story is over, until it is complete. And it is not complete yet. It all depends on how fast revolution-tormented Ukraine comes to its senses.
True patriots of Russia must understand that the situation is not only incomplete—it has not even begun to unfold. It is too early to feel elated; it is too early, too unreasonable, too untimely. Still, Russians are rejoicing; it is because they refuse to see reality. Any form of patriotism is a substitution for reality.
Patriotism has no other use other than for military purposes. It’s like the lock frame of a machine gun—it cannot be used for anything else. Where there is patriotism, some kind of a war is bound to start in a year or two, either big or small. It is because we patriotism needs an outlet.
For a little while, a mix, a hodgepodge of patriotism, chauvinism, and imperial thinking, can substitute for many nutrients essential to Russians. It is like alcoholics substituting everything, including toothpaste, with vodka.
But it is not the authorities who are to blame. Authorities and power were filling the tank of the people’s car with truth, law, justice, honesty, and laws to make it move… But it didn’t move! The nineties were years of freedom; even in 2000 there was something like freedom of press, something like freedom of assembly, something like human rights and respect—all those things that are alien to Russia.
And now they’ve filled the gas tank with a familiar mix of chauvinism, obscurantism, imperial thinking, and anger—and yes, the car started rolling, it started moving! It is not surprising that the authorities will fill the car up with whatever makes it move. There are no lunatics in the Kremlin—they are pragmatists.
Only once was Russia fortunate enough to have a good tzar. Let me list his accomplishments here. He opened the borders of Russia; he decided to organize universities; he allowed foreign currency to circulate in Russia; he annulled the ban on theatrical performances; he took serious steps to modernize the state system. You know who it was? False Dmitry I! A villain… His deeds are great. And yet he is remembered with hatred and rage!
Russia will always find whips and lashes for herself. Stalin was not a paratrooper from Mars. He personifies people’s cravings for a dictatorial, autocratic, despotic, paranoid ruler. Russia loves this kind of personality. How long did Russia put up with Ivan the Terrible, a man who was not amused by anything other than mass murder?
And now I don’t care a dime—let them annex Zimbabwe if they wish.
Translated by Halyna Kaluzhna, edited by Robin Rohrback