March 8th, 2007

rock

жить не по лжи

Solzhenitsyn once dedicated his life to the fight against the regime in which the state security machine made everyone feel an accomplice in turning the country into a prison camp. He has now become part of a society where the mass media are reduced to self-censoring impotence, Soviet style; dissident artists and writers are regularly beaten up; journalists who expose corruption and the abuses of centralized political power are murdered. And yet Solzhenitsyn is silent; silent even when his most cherished idea of saving Russia by strengthening the independence of local government, Swiss-style, was first ridiculed in the press and then trampled over by a presidential decree that reinstalled the central authority of the Kremlin over the whole of Russia. On the whole, Solzhenitsyn avoids public appearances these days and refrains from public utterances. And yet, he found the time and energy to express his approval of the recent cutting off of gas supplies to Ukraine for a discount price “because that country tramples over Russian culture and the Russian language and allows NATO military manoeuvres on its territory”. Oh well. My country, right or wrong.
Zinovy Zinik, Blue-collar Solzhenitsyn, The Times Literary Supplement, March 07, 2007