Courtesy of the Echo of Moscow radio station’s website: a powerful video (in Russian). Lyudmila Ulitskaya, one of the most talented and accomplished among the contemporary Russian writers, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s (www.khodorkovsky.ru) 18-year-old daughter, Anastasiya, accept the Znamya literary journal’s prize awareded for the Khodorkovsky-Ulitskaya correspondence as the magazine’s best 2009 publication: http://echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/649284-echo/.

This, in YT’s previously stated belief and ardent hope, is yet another sign of the imminent end of putinism as the most shameful page in Russia’s post-Soviet history. Just one year ago, this kind of openly anti-Putin public ceremony would have been unthinkable. Now, however, the fear of the thieving (link in Russian; just one salient example of Putin’s activities in St. Petersburg Mayor’s office back in ’92: http://www.anticompromat.org/putin/salie92.html) erstwhile small-time KGB snitches’ authoritarian regime’s repressive might is all but gone in the upper layers of the fractured Russian society. All it took to puncture the natural gas- and oil-filled balloon of the putinist mythology with regards to Russia’s supposed rising from its knees in order to become the world’s leading “energy superpower” and sole “island of stability,” thereby offering itself up, with its wondrously workable governing model of “sovereign democracy,” as a viable geopolitical alternative to the much hated/much envied America’s grasping vision of the unipolar world — all it took, again, was just such a tiny small trifle as the ongoing world-wide economic crisis, which hit the oil-and-gas corporation called Russia harder than any other developing country in the world and has brought it right back to its original awkward kneeling stance, rendering Putin impotent to continue upholding his end of the bargain in the tacit compact he entered in with the country’s populace, exhausted and confused as it was at that point by the political and econiomic tumult of the ’90s, back at the time (somewhere around ’02) when the oil prices started going through the roof: to wit, you the ordinary Russian citizens don’t concern yourself with the matters of Russia’s governance and domestic and international politics and all that superfluous type of stuff, such as free elections (or any other kinds of meaningful elections, in point of fact) and freedom of speech on television, freedom of assembly for the political opposition, etc., etc. — and we, in turn, will make sure that every year your salalries will grow by at least 10-20%, as will the old people’s pensions, and there’ll be plenty of food in the stores, and some of you will be able regularly to travel abroad, to the beaches of Turkey and Egypt, say, and buy cars, etc. Well… It was fun while it lasted, this rainbow mist of unheard-of oil revenues. Now that whole joyous ride is over. Once again, just like back during the apogee of the ’80s Brezhnevian morass, the country finds itself wholly dispirited, thoroughly deflated in its sheer lack of vision for the future; it has at present no animating idea behind its existence (other than one calling for the continued obscene enrichment of the human oil slick that are the putinesque plutocrats currently in power) — and, just like it was the case back in the ’80s, the end seems nigh for this pathetic period of the First Post-Soviet Restoration. Putin, in his excess of hubris, appears to have pushed the country too far back into the recent past — with nothing to show for it, really, other than, again, the unimaginable wealth for the fortunate few — and now the pattern of late-Soviet history is likely to re-emerge and reassert itself:  people wake up from their sated slumber, the fearful adoration of the self-appointed national leader and/or his bobblehead seat-warmer ebbs and then fades altogether from the country’s atmosphere, and the latter quickly becomes the butt of popular jokes (anekdoty), starts eliciting a measure of pity mixed with loathing in the country’s collective mind… all of a sudden, it is considered bad form to say anything good or even mildly non-derisive about him in private… and the rest indeed is history. Putinism, as a hodgepodge of the lowliest domestically oriented  techniques for hoi polloi’s comprehensive brainwashing, down to the point of its complete lobotomization, is unsustainable without the majority of people’s half-dormant acquiescence; it is entirely incompatible with citizenry’s mental alertness.  

Is YT being excessively optimistic in his… his… whatever those are:  assessments, predictions, projections? Yes, perhaps, and almost certainly so. But — it costs nothing to dream, after all, and the higher the dream the freer it comes. We better ourselves by dreaming the impossible dreams. Here’s hoping, then, that Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who by now has become the imprisoned conscience of Russia, and at least one of the country’s current rulers end up, you know, trading places, in the foreseable future, like in that old Eddie Murphy-Dan Ackroyd eponymous movie… only different.

Here, finally, is the Shakespearean quote posited in this post’s subect line. Speaking of Macbeth, Angus says:  “Now does he feel his title / Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe / Upon a dwarfish thief.” 

YT wonders if the current rulers of Russia have ever read “Macbeth.” He would be willing to bet half of his imaginary kingdom against the hind quarters of a dead horse that they have not.  

And here, below, for the cognoscenti of the Russian alphabet, the new hybrid letter designed to address some certain aspects of the current situation in the country:




  1. If only more people could read about this..

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