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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nossik on Litvinenko

According to Technorati, the most significant Russian language blog which discusses events in Russia is the Live Journal blog of Anton Nossik, who goes by the screen name "dolboeb." Here's what Nossik wrote about the Litvinenko killing:

Теория и практика заговора. Вчера вечером в лондонской больнице умер Саша Литвиненко.Всё, о чём ему интересно было говорить при жизни — заговоры спецслужб, покушения, тайные козни.Звучало это как чистой воды паранойя, нажитая на почве слишком долгой работы в органах.Но ведь прав оказался в итоге.А жаль.К тому, что пессимисты выигрывают все пари, я уже привык понемногу. Теперь главное пари своей жизни (и смерти) выиграл параноик. Хочется снова сказать "Нет, ну, Саша, ну, ты не прав, ну, так не бывает". А некому сказать-то.
Here's how Veronica Khokhlova over at Global Voices translated it:
A Conspiracy: Theory and Practice. Sasha [nickname for Alexander] Litvinenko died last night at a London hospital. While he was alive, all he was interested in talking about were special services’ conspiracies, murder attempts, secret plots. It sounded like pure paranoia, acquired as a result of too many years of work in the organs. But he ended up being right. A pity. I’ve slowly gotten used to pessimists winning all the bets. This time it’s a paranoiac who has won the main bet of his life (and death). I feel like saying this again: “But no, Sasha, you are wrong, it can’t be so.” But there’s no one to say it to.
To be sure, it is encouraging that the leading Russian-language blog puts forth these thoughts. One might have hoped for a bit more detail and some attempt to fix blame and suggest solutions, but after all this Russia.

The post generated a heap of comments, and Veronica translates a representative sample. They divide into three groups: (a) Litvinenko deserved it, it's perfectly normal to kill defectors, Russia is no different than any other country; (b) Litvinenko killed himself just to have the last laugh on the Kremlin; (c) as Nossik wrote, it's a "pity."

What Nossik meant by "pity" is a typical Russian mystery, a riddle wrapped in a mystery surrounded by an enigma. Perhaps it was also just a "pity" that millions of Russians were sent by Stalin to be exterminated in the Gulag Archipelago. Veronica quotes Litvinenko as stating to the Kremlin in his final words: "May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people." She then characterizes Nossik's statement as "nowhere near as straightforward as Litvinenko’s last statement - but as telling."

Telling, indeed. La Russophobe couldn't find a single commenter expressing pointed outrage directed at the Kremlin. The first commenter states:

"It all resembles the [Soviet times]. Russians, aren’t you scared to live??" {Всё напоминает славноприсные , не такие далекие времена. Россияне, вам жить не страшно??}

But nobody makes any attempt to suggest practical steps Russians should take to prevent themselves from becoming the next victim of this neo-Stalinist purge. There seems to be some hope when someone responds to this question by stating:

"Let me answer your question with a question: Aren't the Russian people ashamed of themselves? I myself am only Russian on my mother's side and I'm not a "non-Slavic Russian citizen" (a very strange word for me), but I'm still ashamed of myself. It seems to me that I'm somehow to blame for this killing. :(" {Позвольте немножко иначе поставить вопрос: Русские, вам не стыдно?Я сама только по матери русская и не россиянка (странное для меня слово), но все-таки стыдно. Каким-то своим бездействием и я виновата в этой смерти :( }

And yet, it seems the only ones who can actually see and speak the truth are those who are not "fully" Russian. Nobody really develops this theme, and many others blame democracy for Russias woes (as if France and American didn't suffer hugely before creating stable, prosperous democratic states). Thus, one commenter responds: "Aren't the Russian people ashamed of themselves?" The ones who should be ashamed are those, including obviously some who are commenting here, who helped pull down the USSR, a great and powerful country, and exchange it for one where life with human dignity is impossible. This is what democracy has brought us, so that now the word is just profanity to Russians."

1 comment:

17 ugly raccoons said...

Here La Rat lying again. Россиянин (россиянка) not means 'non-Slavic Russian citizen'. Russian citizen might be called россиянин (россиянка) regardless if he (she) is Russian by ethnicity or non-Russian by ethnicity.

Sorry, La Rat's link with reality is quite unstable.