A few days ago Lev Shlosberg, member of the council of the Pskov region, stood up and addressed a silent audience. They all listened in awe. He attacked the prevailing mood in Russia, comparing the attacks on “people’s traitors” and the mass patriotic hysteria with the atmosphere in the 1930s under Stalin. And if that was not enough, he continued to expose the corruption in the governor’s office, the deal and tricks that allowed the ruling class to enrich itself and keep the rest of the population in poverty. “These are the real people’s traitors,” he said, “these are the people that ruin our country.”
Dear colleagues. Over the last week, in our country and namely in Pskov oblast, the high-ranking government officials, including the acting governor, for the first time in decades, spoke about the enemies of the society, of the enemies Russia, about the fifth column and the traitors. This attempt to restore dictatorship means that the country turns into a machine eager to destroy those who think differently. This is a disturbing fact, because resurrecting the former repression matrix demonstrates that the Russian government is on the way to destroy those who dare to disagree.
Our country paid a heavy price for such attempts in the past. It looks like there are those who would like to do it all over again. The current events could be described as mass government insanity. Each person chooses whom to follow, what to say, and to what advocate for. Some will think that these things are insignificant, that it doesn’t matter if a person participates in bullying, lies and badmouthing, as long as he will claim to be clueless afterwards, and washes his hands. But this time you won’t be able to wash your hands, history does not forgive such things.
In his statement about the ‘fifth column’, delivered on March 19, 2014, the acting governor Andrey Turchak not only voiced his own (or somebody else’s) lie. He posed a challenge. He challenged not only me personally, but everybody in Pskov who can critically appraise the events and actions of the government, just because it is an inalienable right of every citizen. This challenge was dropped openly, and it is a direct threat to those who disagree with the authorities and speak up publicly, to protect the society from the government’s violence and despotism.
On behalf of all these independent thinkers with self-esteem, who did not lose themselves to this psychotic atmosphere, I speak to you, Mr. Acting Governor Andrey Anatolyevich. I know you will hear my words. I declare, I accept the challenge. All the attempts to name and claim the enemies of the Pskov oblast are aimed to turn people’s minds to the artificially fabricated myths and fears, to divert them from the real national tragedy, – that is the economic crash of the Pskov oblast to the point of seizing to exist as an independent region. Today I name the real enemies and point out the real treason of the Pskov oblast. And what is the real treason.