Another Russian Patriot off to Siberia
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Alexander Pushkin.
It would be hard to think of three greater Russian patriots, wouldn’t it?
So naturally, the people of Russian handled them as follows: Pushkin was killed, Dostoevsky was put up against wall facing a firing squad and almost killed, and Solzhenitsyn was deported.
Meanwhile Josef Stalin, one of the greatest mass-murderers of Russians in their history, was given total power as a dictator and is lionized to this day.
Doesn’t quite make sense, does it? Except in the sense that it perfectly explains why the average Russian man works for $4/hour and doesn’t live to see his sixtieth year.
And if you think this kind of behavior ended when the USSR collapsed because of it, you’d best think again. Vladimir Putin, a proud KGB spy, currently rules Russia at the behest of the Russian people, and then there’s the case of Lieutenant Vitaly Efremov.
On May 3, 2008 Efremov posted a homemade rap video patterned on Eminem on the Russian version of YouTube. Amazingly, it’s still there to this very day, and you don’t need to speak Russian to appreciate it. It’s been viewed almost 100,000 times and has collected nearly 100 comments.
Entitled “A Letter to the Minister of Defense,” the video chronicles in horrifying detail the abusive day-to-day conditions under which ordinary Russian soldiers spend their pathetic lives after being drafted into the neo-Soviet army. It doesn’t even begin to touch upon the very worst aspects of such “service,” which include the barbaric “dedovshchina” hazing ritual that has permanently scarred so many young Russians and led countless victims to commit suicide.
The Kremlin’s response? Five months later it transferred him to a post in Siberia, where his ridiculously small monthly pay prevents him from traveling back to his home in St. Petersburg to visit his family when on leave.
The move was sadly predictable, given the way the Kremlin has treated dissidents from Oleg Kozlovsky to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. But that doesn’t make it any less barbaric. The Kremlin is telling soldiers, and the world, that it has much to hide, that it won’t even allow soldiers to use humor or satire as a way of dealing with the appallingly crude conditions under which they live. The Kremlin is saying it will create an isolated world of ignorance and no accountability, where policymakers do as they like free from consequences and unware of mistakes. The Kremlin is saying it will condemn Russia to a neo-Soviet future even more bleak than the disasters the country has just passed through.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin continues to pretend to be a “strong” leader. In fact, he’s childishly weak and pathetic, unable to tolerate criticism or even jokes about his leadership, exactly the same phenomenon that characterized the USSR. And how could it be otherwise? Putin is a proud relic of the Soviet era.