No lunatics in the Kremlin—they are pragmatists

Analysis & Opinion

by Alexander Nevzorov

Alexander Nevzorov

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




Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , ,

  • albertphd

    Interesting thought that the pro-Russian take-over of Crimea this month (March 2014) was based on pragmatism, not lunacy?! Time will very shortly tell the difference, of course. Because time is what this blitzkrieg-style of conversion is all about. If I’m not mistaken, the laws, currency, language, time-zone, and border-posts of Ukraine’s Crimea have all been replaced by Russian counterparts?! Hmmm?! why the mad rush?! Well, I think it’s obvious. The referendum had printed ballot sheets with the ‘X’ already placed on the pro-Russian side, Russian citizens (who do not qualify for a referendum in Ukrainian Crimea) were voting not once but several times. None of the legitimate voters of the Crimea (Ukrainian citizens who were loyal to Ukraine) were allowed to vote. And so figures and results were pulled out of thin air and purely fabricated–as all the civilized world knows all too well. And for what reason? Because time is running out. When the legitimate elections are made on 25th May 2014, Putin does not wish Ukraine (including the Crimea) to be able to voice their honest true opinions. So, he sends in his ‘little green men’ (unidentified as if from Mars?!) to try to pretend that this Russian Referendum in The Crimea is for the rights of all non-Russian “Ukrainian citizens” of the Crimea (“Ukrainian citizens” who as ‘Ukrainians’ had the right to Ukrainian banks, Ukrainian laws, Ukrainian Courts, Ukrainian Police protection, Ukrainian military protection, Ukrainian customs, Ukrainian language, Ukrainian time-zone, Ukrainian, freedoms, and so on) but instead Ukrainians living in Ukrainian Crimea are being uprooted and displaced by Russian invaders acting as if they owned the country, acting as if Ukraine was already part of Russia. These ruffian Russian invaders from the restrictive Russian regime of Vladimir Putin, a Russian billionaire Oligarch who managed to slither his way into power, now believe that they can slither they way through the Ukraine and the rest of East Europe with the mistaken mad motive to manipulate their Russian propaganda to the free and civilized world?! Through the ludicrous notion that they can act on a precedent that Adolf Hitler set in his take-over of Europe 75 years ago–to break all International Law and Treaties between nations in the name of ‘lebenstraum’ (or ‘living space’)–they fantasize that they can do likewise, an illegal action which makes absolutely no sense. Russia is the largest nation in the world! It does not need any more ‘living space’! It does not have the population base that China or India have for instance! The Russian claim to invade the Crimea in order to protect Russian-speaking Crimeans is as absurd as Hitler’s claim to invade the Sudetenland in order to protect German-speaking Czechs! It’s all a ploy, a ruse, a pretext in order to use military force to take what is not one’s own to take. It is theft outright–just as Putin gained his 130 billion dollars of personal assets through theft. There is no honor code among the Russian mafia (unlike Italian and other forms of underground crime), and so it follows that there is no respect for rule of Law, nor International Treaty Rights with Putin, the leader of the pack, the Don of Russian Oligarchs. For the world to pretend or to wishfully conclude that Putin will stop with the Crimea, or with the Ukraine is sheer lunacy. Putin is a crack-pot, plain and simple, yes, ex-KGB and all of that, but underneath it all–he’s just a plain ordinary thug who thinks like a thug and acts like one. Force is the only language his kind understand. And the sooner that the West wakes up to that reality, the sooner the growing bubble of this ego-maniac can be burst–and then, and only then, can life return to a degree of normalcy and pragmatism.

  • Dalton

    Excellent article, and by a Russian no doubt. I hope he doesn’t end up Nemtsoved.