David McDuff translates heroic neo-Soviet dissident Valeria Novodvorskaya from the virtual pages of Grani.ru:
The fact that we in Russia are being ruled by criminals (Chekists are not just a Camorra but something even worse, because they are zombies who climbed out of the grave of the Soviet Union) is not as frightening as the fact that they are unprofessional losers . The war with Georgia is not only a crime, it’s a mistake. I can’t explain the behaviour of Putin, Medvedev & Co. except by supposing that they have completely lost their marbles. To the question “What are we fighting for?” the answer this time can be: “I’ve left my peasant house and gone to fight in Georgia to get some land back for the Chekists. Farewell my family, farewell my friends! Lubyanka, Lubyanka, my Lubyanka!”
Mikheil Saakashvili was skilfully provoked, dragged into conflict, and brought to the point where he attacked Tskhinvali. And had he not done that, a sarcastic Georgian opposition would have wiped him out, as they once wiped out Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who tried to prevent the Mkhedrioni paramilitaries and other guerrilla groups from robbing and plundering in Samachablo, which is South Ossetia, and who granted Abkhazia the status of a constituent entity of the confederation. The Georgian parliament disagreed, and for supporting Abkhazia, after the ”clever” Shevardnadze had sent his troops there, both Zviad and his parliament, who had already been driven out of the country and into Chechnya by the Georgian “patriots”, or militarists, were excluded by the Union of Georgian Citizens from the body of the Georgian nation (sic!). And among the present opposition in Georgia there are people who have called directly for war to be declared against Russia. Handing power to them would mean to court disaster and possibly a nuclear Armageddon.
For too long did the Russian “peacekeepers” stir up war in South Ossetia in order to prevent it, and too zealously did the Russian air force bomb Georgian villages beyond the borders of Samachablo (South Ossetia) so that the poor Georgian president would not be exposed to danger. One might have thought that the public, completely open annexation of Samachablo by Russia would already be sufficient madness. But that was not enough for Putin. And immediately the command was given to Abkhazians, who had long ago lost their dignity and pride and become Russian mercenaries helping to occupy the Kodori Gorge and Pankisi.
When refugees cry from the television screen: “Help South Ossetia!” – one can sympathize with them, but when one hears the voices from the crowd of poor Ossetians: “Help Abkhazia!” (And who else besides? Transnistria? ) – one starts to think of a mob. It means that the Chekists want to grab Abkhazia in their paws. And not only Abkhazia. The Russian troops entered Georgia. Gori, Senaki, Poti and Tbilisi Airport (the compass locator has been destroyed, and only elderly Georgian pilots will risk take-offs and landings). In the port of Poti, which is under a 95-year lease to the investment authority of a sheikh in the United Arab Emirates (Russia is also going to be sued by him on an international level) there were no military vessels. They bombed the oil pipeline that circumvents Russia. Bandit troops, a bandit country. The “tough guys” in Russia have settled things for everyone and have decided that this is how it is going to be everywhere.
At the UN, Churkin says that Russia’s aim is to get rid of Saakashvili. The last time the world heard such a thing, it was from the Jesuit Fathers in the sixteenth century. The annihilation of “impious princes”. Religious fanatics killed Henry III and Henry IV. Since then, other killing has been done, but not out loud. Has the Kremlin decided to write its own Mein Kampf? Or have they all gone out of their minds? Georgia is being criss-crossed by ownerless columns of tanks full of Cossacks, “volunteers” and other marauding riff-raff. What are the Russian tanks doing in Gori? Gathering weapons? Or maybe it’s mushrooms and empty bottles?
These artificially created Russian citizens and this war that was launched as though to protect them — that is plain ordinary fascism. And were it not for America… It appears that George Bush has at last realized what kind of serpent the West has been clutching to its bosom, and has taken a decisive stand for Georgia and against Russia. The powerful hand of the United States has been placed on the chalice of freedom and western values. The humanitarian aid that is being brought on US naval vessels and air force transport planes is an attempt to stop the war. The globe is still turning, and it has not yet been necessary to use the nuclear potential. John McCain writes articles like a Russian dissident. The presidents of Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and the prime minister of Latvia hold a rally, hand in hand, as on the Maidan in Kiev.
No one has supported us except Cuba and the patented tyrant Lukashenko. We have been thrown out of the G8 and from the civilized world into the cesspool of the outcast. And if South Ossetia and Abkhazia had simply wanted to secede, no one would have defended Saakashvili. The rights of a people take precedence over the rights of a state. But what they are seeking is not freedom but profitable slavery; they have not made passports of their own, but have been given Russian ones. . They are merely collaborators, not insurgents. Only the United States can save the Georgian people and the Russian recruits from mutual destruction. By now, I’m afraid that no one will save Russia. We shall be cursed and rejected by mankind.
great article, and it makes a great point. putin and his gang really are unprofessional losers. we too often inflate the strength and discipline of the kgb, fsb, russian army, etc
putin’s smart, far smarter than bush— but must of the guys in the fsb, duma, army, etc are just careerists—-guys just trying to do as little as possible to collect a paycheck. anyone who’s ever lived in russia knows this is true. work discipline is still a joke.
the ussr collapsed under the weight of its own laziness, inertia and incompetence. putin’s russia will do the same.
Wow – I didn’t know there are any Gamzakhurdists left outside of insane asylums. Zviad the Great…. ha. ’nuff said.
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Thanks for the thoughtful, respectful comment which clearly shows your intelligence and desire to have constructive dialogue!
You’re a witless gorilla. Thanks for making Russia looks so good!
Dorogaya Valeriya Ilinechna….spasibo za to,chto vi est!!!
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Translation — “Dear Valeria Ilinechna [the author], thanks for being you!”