This is not the first time in my life I witnessed aggressive division of opinions of most Russians, opinions on many subjects: religion, patriotism, art, but especially on the situation in Ukraine. These days Russian State TV routinely calls all supporters of Maidan “neo–fascists”. It’s not very shocking. What shocks me, it is the fact that this opinion is shared by many Russian intellectuals… Including some of my friends.
It shocks not only me. Here is a quote from a post of a Russian blogger Victor Penkin, reposted by many:
“Recently, it became difficult to talk to people. Even with friends. Even with sensible people. Even with sensible friends.
“You just saying a word – and it immediately becomes an occasion to refer you to one or the other camp. ‘Ah, so you’re “red”? … “White”? … “Green”? …’ ”
Certainly Internet helps spreading this tendency.
I read what many of Russian people are writing on the Internet, and I cannot believe my eyes. I don’t know Olga Kurguz, but I know that we have mutual friends, mostly Russian theatre personalities. Here is how this woman characterizes the new Ukrainian government:
“They are really darlings for Europe and America. What could be sweeter for the West then throwing Russia to these hordes of marauders, to ignite the war with their hands? They do not take into account only one thing – it’s not the outskirts, it is Kievan Russia! (Kievan Russia was a medieval Slavic state with its capital in Kiev that was the forerunner of modern Russia S.Tsuk.) Russian Baptismal font! Satan is plotting to destroy the most sacred with hands of madmen… But God can’t be mocked! Rebels will fall as their leader, the devil.”
Is Olga Kurguz insane? Is she an example of an outrageous extremist?
I do know of Nina Sadur. She is a known writer and dramatist, one of the voices of Perestroika. Seven collections of her plays and prose are published. Her new play is successfully performed now in Moscow and Italy.
Here is her Internet statement: “If Putin will surrender Crimea and Sevastopol with millions of Russians to Ukrainian rebels, he will not just lose his rating, the entire Russia will put her curse on him.”
Friday February 28th morning one of the most prominent Russian democratic historians and Journalists Nikolai Svanidze, speaking on Radio sadly asserted, that if Putin decides to invade Ukraine and annex parts of it, most Russians would happily support him.
Of course not all share such attitudes. These attitudes shock not only me and Svanidze but many other Russians.
Here is a quote from a post of a psychologist Ludmila Petranovskaya:
“When I read yesterday about the fact that in Sochi during the biathlon race Russian spectators were shouting to Ukrainian female athletes: ‘Drop down! Lose!’ I did not believe it at first. Well, somehow it is absolutely beyond imaginable.”
Being a psychologist, Petranovskaya compared behavior of anti–Ukrainian Russians with the behavior of wife molesters cursing their buttered wives: “Do you think, bitch, you are somebody?! I loved you. I fed you. And you, ungrateful bitch, trash, well, nobody, and you’ll cough up blood, filth, you’ll come to me crawling on your knees!.. You think I do not understand? Think I do not know who has advised you? You have no brains of your own, chicken, imbecile. I know where you had heard this crap… Do you think someone needs you? Who needs you, sleaze, trash!? ”
According to Petranovskaya anti–Ukrainian Russians react exactly the same way: “Why they do not like us? Why they do not want to be with Russia? Why? After all we are fraternal peoples. After all, we are brothers, bitch, you’ll wash yourself with blood, scum!”
Andrei Makarevich, one of the most popular Russian rock singers/writers (kind of Russian equivalent of Bob Dylan) wrote on Friday, February 28:
“I’m worried about the events in Ukraine. But much more I worry about what is happening in this regard in our country… Such unbridled propaganda and so many lies I cannot remember from the worst periods of the Brezhnev era. Guys, what are you trying to do? Create public opinion for the introduction of troops into the territory of a sovereign state? Chop off the Crimea?
“You already managed to turn into zombies fairly large number of idiots and ignoramuses with unstable psyche. They are eager to take arms to save the Russian-speaking population – as if it appeals to this. And they believe it! Guys on TV, what are you trying to create? Hatred between the two nations living side by side? Guys, we are to live with them. We still will be neighbors. And preferably friends. And how they’ll live, they decide themselves .
“Or you are eager to shoot? They say patriotism gives strength. Not for long.”
Russian army in Crimea. February 26, 2014