On the Island of Sakhalin
by Valeria Novodvorskaya
August 12, 2009
Translated from the Russian by François Guillaumat
While our greedy authorities, hungry for other country’s territories, passionately cling to some stolen Japanese islands, tiny pebbles in the ocean, the inhabitants of another island, a large and undoubtedly Russian one, are busy collecting signatures.
I received a call from a certain local democrat. His name, address and appearance, I will not reveal for anything, lest some terrorist in Guantanamo Bay remember that said democrat, many years ago, equipped for their last mission the Boeings which crashed into the twin towers.
Unbelievable, says you?
Well, no more unbelievable than what happened to human rights defender Alexei Sokolov, when a criminal convicted five years ago suddenly remembered (did he have pains of conscience?) that his accomplice was that very same human rights defender, and Sokolov, acquitted from a false charge, was then jailed again (without bail), on the no less false charge number two, keeping in mind false charges number three and number four.
So let the Sakhalin democrat remain incognito.
He told me a very interesting story: They are there to collect signatures for the reattachment of Sakhalin to Japan. And he wanted to know where to deliver the signatures.
It turns out that some people from Sakhalin have visited the island of Hokkaido and got indescribably enthusiastic. They are learning the Japanese language and collecting signatures. They want to live in and, more importantly, bring their children live in this rich, well-groomed, ultramodern, good country, not at war with anyone.
I advised sending the petition to the Japanese emperor: Quite possibly they might meet with a favorable receiption, either because the emperor saw the possiblity of obtaining compensation for the theft of his islands or because he was flattered at being called a superior civlization. Grabbing what belongs to others whilst neglecting what is your own, this would appear to be the secret slogan of the Soviet regime, Putin included.
In 1941, the Chekists blew up their water towers and factories, mines and dams, ordering the people to kill cattle and burn crops, fishing nets and boats so that they would not fall into enemy hands. Yet, as to how the civilian population would live, the Chekists did not give a thought. In fact, they didn’t really intend living at all and considered anyone remaining in occupied territories to be a criminal. The attitude lingered long after. The Chekists prefered that the hungry and freezing peoples of the “northern territories” perish (they survived because of Japanese humanitarian assistance) than hand them over to “the Japanese samurai.”
If you recall the history of the Perestroika, only one Gennadi Burbulis (of all those democrats who got to power) dared to say that its islands should be given back to Japan, since we had no need for them at all. But under the hail of insults and accusations, with the silence of Yeltsin who did not dare to argue with the people even on that occasion, the cries and screams silenced Burbulis, and after that there was no more talk of surrendering our plunder.
Usually state officials refer to the fact that Japan was an aggressor in the Second World War and that’s why the islands were taken from them, as a penalty. But if that’s so, then I know another country which unleashed the Second World war and should be considered an aggressor. That lovely country is also our Russia, for better and for worse. And if you punish Japan for its participation in the war, then, to begin with, they had already been punished, and even beyond measure – with atomic bombs, and second, Russia did not gain only those islands, but also a piece of Poland, Western Ukraine and Belorussia, and Bessarabia too, that is, Moldavia. However, that booty left our pirate hands after the  Belovezhye [accord, which officially disbanded the Soviet Union], but a slice of Finland has stayed with us until now (Vyborg and its surroundings). Apparently, as a consequence of the aggression against Finland in 1939-1940. After all, the Soviet Union was excluded from the League of Nations for this aggression! Why, then, has Vyborg still not been returned to Finland?
However, our establishment democrats are not eager to give Japan its islands, not even “Solidarity.”
One well-known democrat took offence from Irina Hakamada and therefore decided that no island be given to the Japanese. I do not know where she stands on the issue right now, but I do know her brother takes part regularly in protests in Japan, demanding that Moscow return the islands.
I also know one way Japan might be given the desired islands, as a reward for humanitarian service: At the beginning of World War II the Japanese consul in Lithuania, Tiune Sugihara subsequently recognized as one of the “Righteous among the Nations”, issued Japanese visas to the Jews, saving them from deportation and the gas chambers. And the Japanese, despite their alliance with Hitler, took them under their protection and saved their lives.
But then, after all, events are running ahead of us. And from Putin’s sweet life all are drawn, like migratory birds, towards warm regions, to the nearest neighbors. Kaliningrad, that is Königsberg (yet another bag from the garbage pack of the Soviet looters), has long been dreaming of returning to the fold of the first European economy. They even have an entire organization, agitating for inclusion into Germany. If we shared responsibility with Hitler in starting the war, then why leave us Königsberg and Kant’s grave? Because of the “philosophers’ steamers?”
The Far East looks with sorrow to the American side and also towards Japan. (Probably, Alaska does not think of joining the Russian Federation either.)
The Caucasus can’t bear it any more either. It will soon start to seek suitors, offering in return: the caviar, the fish, the oil.
How long after that will the hunters in eastern Siberia and the fisherman of Baikal, in the oil and gas barons of western Siberia,those in the fair Krasnodar Region, in the warmth of Sochi, those evicted from their homes in the wake of the Olympics, be seekign foreign shores as well
We won’t have to wait for long. Indeed, the beginning of the end is already happening (at least morally) in the holy of holies of the regime – in the army and defense sectors. Some resentful senior officers who had not received their promised apartments have sent to the U. S. a statement that they would like to volunteer for the U. S. Army. There they have everything: apartments, salaries and benefits, and all honestly, without fraud and corruption.
That Sakhalin petition is not a curiosity. They will soon start collecting signatures in Moscow.
There is one thing left: To declare Russia a disaster zone and to distribute land and people to the United States, Japan and the EU.
And leave Putin, Medvedev and the Chekists behind in the Kremlin, at Lubyanka, and in the White House. And show them to the occasional tourists for a fair entry fee.