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Tomas Venclova

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about the present political situation, they are also in Russian, but has not yet been published, translated by Vladimir Gandelsman. At the same time, when I’m talking to you, you may have noticed that I am more optimistic, such a cautious optimist, I try to be sober optimist, not exaggerated optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. not exaggerate optimism, but still rather optimistic. Iosif Brodsky told me: “You should not have engaged dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. “In vain do you do dissent. Not that it was bad, it’s good to do this you need to, but let those involved experts such as Vladimir Bukovsky, Ginzburg, in the end, Sakharov, but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. but not why. Therefore it is necessary to write poetry, it is necessary to have more time to poetry, to give more power to them, and you lose on this. ” Maybe Brodsky was right. I did write a little poetry, a lot less than the same Brodsky, but I write, however. But at the same time I became in recent years a permanent political commentator, and in three languages ​​- Lithuanian, Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge. in Russian and Polish, and sometimes even in English. Somehow it goes. How it works, it is not for me to judge.

– I’ll ask you to tell us what is the last poem. Just I wanted to say that the gentleman Venclova, who wrote, “I was a decree misfortune, like an arrow magnet,” and a person with whom I’m talking – is, of course, different people.

– As for the misfortunes and arrow magnet, yes, “I attract disaster, like a magnet attracts the north, and as a magnet, attracting misfortune to me,” this is the case in the original. That’s the formula. It is in some way related to his personal life. I then had a rough personal period, and poems about it in part. My wife Tanya, who, alas, is not present in the moment, always said that I am a person who produces the misleading impression in the world. That is, at first glance, full of gruel and a hat, and when necessary – Zheleznyy Feliks, do not budge it from its place. It seems that they can be manipulated, in fact, it is impossible not feature on some things it is very firmly. This is even in his personal life, not to mention the public life. these verses in the spirit of Cavafy and Milos, the action takes place either in antiquity, or the Renaissance. There, that was a respite, which seemed to us eternal galleons brought spices, fairs rustled in the squares, playing the flute under the arcades, schools reigned the spirit of wisdom, we admired the colors of mosaics, read poetry to each other in the gardens during the feasts. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse. We mocked the prophets, who said that this is all over. But the prophets for the umpteenth time were right. Heaven and earth will tremble again at their bases, Caligula at the gate, we have to blow out the candles, close the door. You see, you can recite the poem, which, incidentally, for poetry is not very good. These are the verses pessimistic. As you can see, what I say, not as bleak as what is said in verse.

Interviewed by Elena Fanailova

Sourse, 21/11/2014

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The another side of Putin’s nationalism

March 10, 2016

Speech Lithuanian poet, translator, essayist, literary critic and human rights activist, one of the founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Yale University professor Thomas Venclova with which he addressed the participants of the Vilnius forum of intellectuals (Trakai, 8-9 March 2016).

Following Adam Michnik, I would call themselves “anti-Soviet Russophile”.

In Lithuania, as in the other Baltic countries, Poland and all of Central and not only in Central Europe has long been a popular opinion that Russia – terminally imperialist country that respects only force, ready to submit to the dictatorship and therefore a mortal danger to its neighbors and to the world.

The danger would be stopped only if Russia disappeared from the globe, it is difficult to count. With this opinion, I never agreed to and have always said that the danger is not, as such, Russia, and the Soviet empire ideocratic, as an alien, even hostile to the interests of the Russian people, as well as Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, and all the other nations. At the end of the Soviet period ideocratic Empire became logokraticheskoy, that is devoid of any kind was the ideological foundation and retaining only their verbal shell. The liberation of our country, in my opinion, it was possible only with the participation or at least the benevolent neutrality of the Russian people.

And so it happened. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the so-called communist camp was relatively painless. As probably everyone in this room, I do not think his “geopolitical catastrophe” – on the contrary, I think the geopolitical necessity and a huge success for humanity. At the site of barren, brutal, extremely conservative Empire arose the country that can share values ​​in freedom. I was haunted by the fear – as if this decay is not turned genuine geopolitical catastrophe, that is, bloody wars. Fortunately, as long as twenty years, this did not happen – let’s say, almost did not happen. Was the Yugoslav war, two wars in Chechnya, Karabakh conflict and more, but it all seemed to be local. Now, it seems, we caught up with the story.

It would seem that opinions Russophobes confirmed. The Russian won fashistoidnye and even fascist forces. Internationally recognized borders forcibly violated. Instead boundaries appear fragile armistice lines over which continues shootout. Russia said the desire to turn back the course of history, to the times of the so-called multipolar – or rather, the Cold War, we, with a sigh of relief left behind. Vladimir Putin and his entourage are appealing to the extreme Russian nationalism, trying to turn it into a new ideological basis for its revanchist power. The majority of the Russian people support Putin – or, at least, so it now seems. The Russian intelligentsia again, as in the days Andreya Saharova, has to choose between conscience and badly understood patriotism, and not all of the test stand. Great victory was the destruction of the Iron Curtain between Western and Eastern Europe. Now he appears again, though shifted geographically.

Russia currently can not be called a totalitarian: but it is tough authoritarian regime, exacerbated by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the ruling elite.

This incompetence and irresponsibility, perhaps more evident than during the Soviet era. It is usually assumed that authoritarianism little pleasant but at least efficient. As noted by Ivan Krastev, modern Russia – non-functioning state, which, in fact, has no control over its economy and its regions. The best example of this – the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, who became “internal abroad.” At constant oaths of loyalty to Putin, Kadyrov really does not obey him, and from time to time puts him in a difficult position.

It is often said that in Russia played its role of “Weimar syndrome”. Parallel with the inter-war Germany there is multidimensional. Germany lost the First World War, Russia lost the Cold War. However, neither Germany in 1918 or Russia in 1991, hardly lost a big battle and is not subjected to the invasion of enemy troops on its territory. However, they both lost large territory, the imperial prestige, suffered economic hardship and thereby experienced psychological humiliation. This paves the way for revenge – in the end for Hitler in Germany and for Putin in Russia. It was possible to manipulate people’s consciousness, to promote “national myth”, as well as the myth of the “conspiracy of the imperialists” who allegedly seek to enslave and destroy the country, in what they are assisting the traitors, who caused the German (or Russian) stabbed in the back and continue their pernicious activities. Now referred to as a “fifth column.”

Revanchism lost in Germany, Italy and Japan after World War II, but it needed a complete defeat and the temporary occupation of those countries, accompanied by long-term education and re-education of society. It would be very sad if Russia failed in its revanchism only as a result of this defeat.

I hope that this will not happen, but the collapse of modern Russia is not excluded. Vladimir Putin is in zugzwang, where his every action leads to the deterioration of the situation. Western sanctions are more and more efficient (they were designed for long-term effect), the economic situation has changed for the worse. The so-called Novorossiysk project clearly failed – metaphorically speaking, of the Sudetenland, that is, the Crimea and the Donbass, has not followed the transformation of the Czech Republic, ie Ukraine into a protectorate. Here it should be noted that the Ukrainians, despite the defeat at Ilovaiskaya and Debaltsevo, were able to defend themselves better than expected.

Syrian gamble was to adopt Russian as a rival, even the United States and winner of Europe in the Middle East, but this has not led, now it appears to be exhaled and endangers primarily Russia itself. Further adventures are not excluded, but are less likely, than two years ago. NATO could not be split, by contrast, Putin’s actions have led to its strengthening. I do not think sanctions will be lifted, and for the foreseeable future.

This means a rapid increase in domestic issues and less possibilities of manipulating the population – with the “national myth” or anything else.

Before this impasse Russia is not an argument no one, including Stalin.

If you believe the sociological calculations, 58% of Russians now believe that the way Russia is fundamentally different from the ways of the West. This idea is supported by Western and Russian authors who argue that the legacy of the Byzantine Empire and Genghis Khan in Russia compelling (Chaadaev considered it disastrous, and “Eurasians” beneficial, but it is minor difference). In fact, it is obvious that Russia is much more related to the western rather than eastern civilization, and will always rush to the West, as if she neither prevented terror and censorship.

When the hard authoritarian Putin regime in Russia continue to operate the opposition forces. Viktor Shenderovich, once said: “Being a member of the opposition we have a lot of fun, as long as you are not killed.” Yet public opposition is now much more than during the Soviet era, and at their disposal not only samizdat. On the other hand, gestures, the lone dissenter in the Brezhnev and Andropov’s times, seemed to have a more significant impact than thousands of stocks right now. Perhaps this is only an optical illusion – we, Soviet dissidents, also called his case hopeless, but many of us, unlike the Decembrists and Herzen, saw the fulfillment of his dreams. But then there are objective differences. First, the regime has learned something and become more elastic; Secondly, many opposition leaders are now playing in the games offered by the regime, which did not exist; third, Western public opinion, unfortunately, supports the modern opposition with less enthusiasm than once supported the dissidents. But I again think that their cause is not hopeless.

The decisive historical shifts and changing mental paradigms occur quickly, sometimes instantly, what history teaches the February Revolution and the history of the collapse of the USSR.

Added last – perhaps the most important. The forces of nationalism much more tenacious than it seems. Often, they are no less dangerous and harmful than communism, which Putin’s Russia provides sufficient evidence. I am not a nationalist, but I believe in nationalism, striving to preserve their cultural identity has a positive and even necessary for the components of the world. Many in the Baltic countries and in Eastern Europe, Russian nationalism is considered an absolute evil, and his nationalism – absolute good or, at least, a natural and necessary response to the geopolitical ambitions of Putin’s Russia. I agree that the main fault lies with the one who more and more other – he has more responsibility. But there is a feedback, one of nationalism is another need in the other. Nationalism is no better small biggest nationalism. Nationalism Orban, Zeman, Mechyara, Leha Kachinskogo, and Marine Le Pen and her kind is the flip side to Putin’s nationalism and often finds a common language with him. In Lithuania such nationalism suffered now deceased policy Romualdas Algirdas Patatskas Ozolas and continue to suffer a lot of others.

I repeat the words that I say not the first time: nationalism finds love for the motherland and the people of the highest of all possible values ​​- above reason and justice, humanity and above ordinary decency. Yes, the country in which you were born and grew up – its landscape, the language, the history, the memory of past generations, a premonition of future generations, there is a very important matter. But if fate, or free choice of education gave you this rather than another country – it should improve, try to get her voice was heard in the concert world: and not the voice of guns, missiles, bombers, propaganda, and the voice of culture.

The protection of “their” at any cost is not patriotism, and even better exaggerated criticism at “their” than silence – or, worse, praise – their vices. Love the motherland is at war with its insulation, for insulation has a loss of history. Love the motherland means avoiding hatred, maintain a sober look at the world, even in war, whether it is cold, hot, or hybrid. That kind of love, and not short-sighted nationalism and blatant foreign help against geopolitical encroachments. I hope that we are capable of it, although it is only a hope.

Sourse, 09/03/2016

Caligula at the gate

November 22, 2014

Lithuanian poet and Soviet-era dissident, one of the co-founders of the Lithuanian Helsinki Group, Tomas Venclova, a friend Iosifa Brodskogo and Cheslava Milosha, made in Vienna on Norden literary festival ( “North”), which I read recently written a poem about modern history, it ends with the words “Caligula at the gate. ” Venclova recently gave an interview with the Polish weekly Gazeta Wyborcza, which compares Vladimir Putin with the “Petersburg hooligan” and said that the policy of the Russian president is unpredictable.

– I would like to clarify: you say that Vladimir Putin, on the one hand, demonstrates the unpredictability, on the other hand, he is very rational. How did you see how it can coexist in the same person, the more politician?

– I think that Vladimir Putin is quite an intelligent man, with all that his policy, I am quite negative. And the fact that he seems to be unpredictable – it seems to me, the game is to a large extent. He tries to be unpredictable, thereby misleading the West and their opponents, putting them in front as if intractable problems. Second, it seems to me that Putin still stuck in the Ukraine and did not really understand (even with his undoubted mind), how to get out from there. It is the party of the war, perhaps even more militaristic-minded than he is, he is trying to please and ours, and yours: do not quarrel too much with the West and at the same time wishing to please the immediate restoration of Russia as a superpower. This, of course, the problem is unsolvable, may fail. In many ways, this is the explanation of Putin throwing between different positions. One side,

– You are in an interview, even more sharply responded about him, saying that his behavior sometimes reminds you of the habits of the St. Petersburg yard bully. I quote true?

– More or less true. This dramatic statement may be somewhat incorrect in relation to the head of state, but nevertheless, it is about the case. He was brought up in this environment, he grew up in it, and, of course, some habits of it remained. A St. Petersburg yard bully, if you stand up for himself in his presence, usually inferior and sometimes even quite retreats. We occasionally see it. That is, the Crimea completely “our”, “we there did not intervene – this is just the will of the local people, we can not even resist it.” The same is even much clearer way, it is happening in the Donbass. That is so, and it is unclear whether it is for the self-proclaimed republic, or not at all in favor. He turns, gets out. That is the behavior of the courtyard of the St. Petersburg boys.

– It is noted that the Russian aircraft flying on the borders of the Baltic and Northern countries – it is also a provocative course of action?

– I think yes. This is simply an attempt to probe how the West will react to it. And an attempt to intimidate the Baltic countries, which have with Russia, with the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia heavy enough experience, so it seems (at first, anyway) that they are fairly easy to intimidate. There are heard voices sometimes tinged with panic. But in general – it’s blackmail, and the only way it should be perceived.

– But seriously, for example, in Lithuania someone perceives that Putin might want to protect the rights of the Russian population, and Russian-speaking population in Lithuania and in other countries?

– Most of the concerns of Latvia and Estonia. In Latvia, the Russian-speaking population a lot, almost half or more than half. Not all the population is set antilatviyski, but nevertheless, these people are there, and this, to some extent can be used. In Estonia the same. There Narva neighborhood where I was, incidentally, recently, they have always differed dramatically and now are different from the rest of Estonia. About the same as, for example, the Donbas is different from the rest of Ukraine. What it does not follow that there is something going to happen. I think the people there quite clearly understand that it is better to be in Europe than in Russia. And accordingly react. For more than 20 years they seem to have much time to figure out what should be even from my conversations with the Narva Russian-speaking, let’s say, the Estonians. Politically they are Estonians they are ethnically Russian. By the way, in Estonia it has always been a Russian layer. On Lake Peipsi, there are large Old Believer villages from the XVII century, and nothing to live in Estonia, the Estonian language and know the particular problems never arise. Just by the way, as the Estonian villages exist in the Pskov region. Estonians, too, could claim for himself these villages, but is not currently required, and rightly so, that do not require. In Lithuania, the Russian problem by themselves, and not because that Lithuania acted otherwise than Latvia and Estonia, she immediately gave all the people in Lithuania Lithuanian citizenship, so it is impossible to play on the fact that this apartheid, that is a humiliation that this persecution. This is not in Lithuania, this game can be. And in general the percentage of Russian citizens is less than about 7%, it seems. In the capital, Vilnius, the Russian did not prevail. Although I still remember the time when prevailed – it was in the Stalin era and the early post-Stalinist, Vilnius was a Russian-speaking city. Now it is not so. But in Riga and Tallinn, it is still to some extent true. From which, again, it does not mean that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely. that Latvia and Estonia fatally expect some trouble. There may be all sorts of attempts – it can not be excluded, but I think that significant results are comparable with Ukraine, will not be there, because these countries in the European Union, the NATO countries. Attempt to interfere would be a very fraught with consequences, to which Vladimir Putin is unlikely.

– What do you think about the mythology of the Crimea, that this is the “Crimea is our”? Some people spoke with such symbolic regret: Yes, we certainly understand that to enter the “green men” was indecent, but it’s still something our Crimea, it is our culture, our historical, our politically.

– You’ve got to say a few things. Indeed, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Sevastopol Stories”, “The Lady with the Dog”, poems of Mandelstam – all this is connected with the Crimea. Ukrainians have no such reservoir of culture associated with the Crimea – it is. But, say, Lithuania had a layer of culture, is highly related to the Kaliningrad region. The first Lithuanian book was published in Kaliningrad, in the then Königsberg, the first Lithuanian newspaper published in Tilsit, the present Sovetsk, the first collection of folklore, the first translation of the Bible came out in the Kaliningrad region – what was then East Prussia, the first Lithuanian great poet lived there. This is roughly the same as for the Russian Crimea. But if Lithuania has introduced to “polite green men”, it is not difficult to guess how Russia would react. So there is nothing surprising, Ukraine and the West react badly to the introduction of the “little people” in the Crimea. Such issues can be solved, but it is a long and complicated business. There are strict international procedures. I quote here Mihaila Vellera: imagine that privatizing a large communal apartment, some hall of legal error (maybe a lawyer was drunk as Khrushchev in 1954) is written not for me, and I firmly believe that this is my, there my aunt always slept on a cot. There are different ways of behaving in such a situation: you can go to court, you can redeem this hall, if you really need it and can not live without it, can be exchanged for some of his square footage, and it is possible to hit the master hallway with a knife, raped his wife, throw children in the window, the grandmother sell in organ transplantation. This is hardly the best way. It is, unfortunately, this method is chosen, Russia and Putin. That Russia will not forgive neither Ukraine nor the West, I think, ever. It will be necessary to address this issue in any other way, even after 50 years.

Others, about the connection of the Crimea to the Russian culture. We must remember that there are indigenous cultures still Tatar – is very well aware of Pushkin and up Tatar has been Greek, that is very well understood Mandelstam. So everything is more complicated than it seems at first glance. And Ukrainian some seam there too, probably has. How it will look like in 50 years, I do not undertake to predict, but I think that, in principle, what belongs to whom – it is in the modern world should not be as a matter of principle. For example, in Poland there is the city of Sejny near the Lithuanian border, populated largely by Lithuanians and also very important for Lithuanian culture history. But there Lithuanians have linguistic and other rights tamoshnem Mass at the cathedral, its museums, its schools. And because the border is open, they can go to Vilnius as much as they want, On the other hand, we can come in Sejny as much as we want. It becomes not so important that this place does not formally belong to Lithuania. It is simply a Lithuanian region in Poland. But taxes paid Warsaw, this is the main difference.

– In today’s tragic history of Ukrainian, Russian, Ukrainian, many people trace the continuation of the collapse of the Soviet empire. This is the story, which, as it has been delayed for 25 years. You see these parallels? Is it possible to compare the formation of the Lithuanian political nation of the time that is happening now in Ukraine?

– I think yes. Russian Empire splits in 1914, has been a hundred years as it breaks – from the beginning of the First World War. This process is sometimes accelerated, sometimes slowing down, but it continues. And perhaps, modern Russia continues to decay. Modern Russia, as we know, has returned to pre-Petrine border: none Baltic, no Ukraine, no Novorossiya so-called because the project “return New Russia”, which many in the Russian advance, turned out to be, at least on this day, untenable, and I think he even untenable. Russia has returned to the old border. I do not see anything wrong. Turkey has a huge Ottoman Empire, he returned to the limited space, and in fact, nothing bad happened to the Turks. On the contrary, they live better than in the Ottoman Empire, more civilized, more peaceful. There, too, there are nationalist currents and Islamic currents, but it seems to me that Turkey is so Europeanized, it cope with this. Such a fate I would wish and Russia. From Russia, I, too, there will not be a prophet, may still fall some parts, it is not ruled out. But even in that I would not see anything terrible for the Russian people.

– Once again I come back to Lithuania 25 years ago. What do you say about the reproaches the Ukrainians that they are too nationalist, or that they allow their nationalists too actively participate in the political life of the country? There are many fears that broadcast media, not only in Russia but also in Europe, people in Europe are taught that in Ukraine riot nationalism. Nationalists are there, it’s true. However, the Ukrainian society copes with this. What do you think, whether it is possible to compare with the old wave of Lithuanian dissident nationalism? Or in today’s world, we must find new words for it?

– You know, I’ve been in the Ukraine, and recently. There are, by the way, in the Crimea, visited Ivano-Frankivsk, visited Kharkov, visited Odessa. He was not, however, in the Donetsk and Lugansk, never in my life. Once passed the town Debaltsevo, which then appeared in military reports. I was in his own curious that the city, which I have seen with my own eyes, which once in the Soviet times, had dinner at a restaurant featured in reports. I can even imagine the landscape more or less where it occurs. But this part of Ukraine, I do not know, but Ivano-Frankivsk, for example, I know. I was not in great delight when I saw a monument to Stepan Bandera. I believe that Bandera hardly brought Ukraine a lot of good, on the contrary, I think it brought a lot of damage even in that ruined the prestige of the country and its national movement in the eyes of the world. In Lithuania, we have the same problems. In Lithuania, there were people who strongly ruined the prestige of Lithuania in the eyes of the world, especially in 1941. There is over, maybe even within the prevailing public opinion that believes or wants to consider them as national heroes, I do not consider them as national heroes. But, you know, democracy is democracy, every vote counts in a democracy. I think that violent nationalists either in Lithuania or not prevail in Ukraine. In Ukraine, it is obvious, they’re gaining quite a small number of votes and did not even take place in Parliament. So it is much less serious than it might seem, than it seems to many in the West. Then say how half of Ukraine, the characters for it – those who fought on the side of Stalin during World War II, and the other half – those who fought on the side of Hitler, how a country can exist? And how there is Spain? Franco half there, half of the former Republicans. Nothing there. How can there be a country, half of which speaks in Russian and half in Ukrainian? And how there is Belgium, where half speaks Flemish, half in French? No one says that the south of Brussels and the Brussels and he should be a part of France. No, they may well be a part of Belgium. There, too, there are problems, but small, and I have been in Belgium, has seen these problems, I have all of this, of course, are interested because the national question me as a Lithuanian interested by definition. Belgium united country, speaking in two languages. Just Latvia, for example, a single country where just under half of the population speaks in Russian – it does not mean that it should fall apart. It also does not mean that Ukraine has to fall apart. For some Spanish continues to be the hero of General Franco, for some Spanish continues to be the heroine of Dolores Ibarruri, well, that the country is living. This is the essence of democracy.

– This year, the Ukrainian events overshadowed such an important date as the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European Soviet bloc. Do you think that it was not then completed yet when the country left the Soviet space, and choose their own path? For example, that Lithuania is not enough and what are the benefits, advantages its inhabitants received from the exit of Soviet space?

– Pros quite obvious. Lithuania still lives better than ever in its history. This is partly due to the general development of the world: the world is better off than it has ever been in the history of our globe, in spite of all the problems of the Third World. However, there is generally the case goes smoothly, the time derivative is positive, not negative. The second advantage – the country has opened, you can go wherever you want, you can emigrate, you can return from exile, can be living in the Diaspora, to support all kinds of relations with Lithuania, because you can always, at any time and go back again, to chat over the Internet. This is not something that emigration in ancient times – is a kind of completely new phenomenon, it is not even emigration, in my opinion, I do so live. I was at first a classic immigrant, that is, man, who left and who had no hope of returning to their homeland. And now I’m at home when I want and as much as I want. It is not in Lithuania, while in Vienna, where we are now talking to you, I can print their works in Lithuania and as much influence on Lithuanian public opinion, thereby somehow I never immigrant. I think that is the future fate of the world. People of different nationalities live in different places, but there will be some of the world community, a global community who speak a particular language, and it is to some extent replace the state. Thus, openness and improvement of living standards. But that Lithuania is not enough? It lacks the experience of democracy. Democracy in Lithuania before the Second World War, before Sovietization existed only 8 years old, then it was an authoritarian government. Not enough enlightenment. Not enough just knowledge. There is a dark, excuse me, the Lithuanian public opinion, darkish most heavily agricultural. I’m not a big fan of the peasantry, which many consider sacred and inviolable storing eternal values, without which nothing will happen. So a lot of thinking people in Russia has always been, and there are many in Lithuania. I believe that the peasantry – this thing is transient and pulling in some anachronism in backwardness and isolation. This prevents Lithuania. Just as it prevents the Ukraine, maybe even more. This makes it difficult and Poland. There is “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Poland industrialized and urban, educated, open – Poland and eastern regions, namely peasant, anachronistic, a similar mentality with Lithuania and Ukraine, which votes are not always of the most intelligent people, so to speak, and it expresses its not always the wisest opinion. That is Eastern Europe hindrance. But in general, it must be said that Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries, in the 25 years uluchishlas even more than you would expect.

– If we talk about the structure of society such as “Poland A” and “Poland B”, Lithuania Lithuania peasant and modernist, then what can you say about Russian society, which seems to also have a similar model?

– Sure. In Russia, it’s even worse, because in Russia a backward section of society is stronger and more powerful than the reservoir. It ultimately comes down to the opposition of Slavophiles Westerners. I must say that Westerners and Slavophiles in the XIX century for the time being, as we know (Herzen wrote about it), found a common language. And later, too. We have at the time when the Soviet regime collapsed, there was some common front, for instance, Westerners Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn’s Slavophile. Once the Soviet regime collapsed, it turned out that it is quite irreconcilable positions. I am for the West, including myself, even for Peter I, despite my rather ambivalent attitude towards it. I think that many people in Russia, he did the right thing, without it there would not be a classic XIX century Russia, Pushkin Russian. This may be the best thing that ever happened was in Russia, it would not appear without Peter. That being said, Tsvetaeva, “the last posthumous gift immortal Russia of Peter.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. “The last posthumous gift immortal Peter Russia.” The same thing exists in Lithuania, we Westerners have their own, their baltofily that build and build on the model of the Slavophiles. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. And they hate the Slavophiles believe imperialists, villains, occupiers, and so on, but they are the same brand, but they have a different ideal, not the Russian people, and the people of Lithuania and the Latvian people. This is a dead-end path, and the path that leads to some positive changes – this is the way Westernist. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable. In our times we are quite dissident collaborated Westerners and baltofily, extreme nationalists. Once freed, it became clear that it is quite different orientation, and the orientation of the irreconcilable.

– You recently returned from St. Petersburg, I think what you’ve seen “A Russian,” because were in the intellectual club called “The order of the words.” How do you show these young people who came to your evening? For example, if the topic of Ukraine occurred, or it was only about the beautiful?

– You know, there it was only about beauty. The people there were educated enough to talk with them was interesting. However, one of them asked who was in the second circle of Hell in Dante? I think these things need to know. In the second circle of Hell in Dante were unhappy lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo. God be with him, someone knows someone knows. But it was at a level of such problems, not about contemporary politics. I had seen enough and “Russian B”, which exists in St. Petersburg. Suffice it traveled by train, I saw these men, even talked to them. It is very good in fact people. Also, I was not so long ago, and in this “Russian B”, namely in Chelyabinsk, where my grandson. I met his grandfather, grandmother, living in Chelyabinsk constantly. Nice people. Chelyabinsk is not produced a depressing effect on me. People like people, the city as a city. Life, of course, is difficult, but not as catastrophic as they say about it. Maybe I’m in two or three days did not have time to understand all the problems there certainly is, and quite large. I went to Russia with some caution, telling me that the strong assertive, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments. that strong aggressive mood, strong xenophobic, you feel it all in Russian. But damn it, I felt neither in St. Petersburg nor in Chelyabinsk, despite the fact that I am not Russian and do not hide. The general impression I have of Russia is better than you can make it yourself by reading the online portals and comments.

– And the people of the “Russian B”, for example, in Chelyabinsk, about “our Crimea” and Ukrainian politics could not talk?

– You know, there came the point. Maybe it was necessary to find out what they really think. But in talking to people is not a primary concern.

– When I talk to people of culture, usually I ask: how do you manage to combine the creative life with a certain political activity? Your – pretty high pitch, how do you manage to do all my life? What would you say to the people of creativity in the current situation, which is in front of “Russian A” daily raises the question: what do you do on the background of what is happening in the political life, against the backdrop of the military situation in eastern Ukraine?

– I’m not sure whether I succeed in life to combine these two things. It’s not just two different sides of my personality, but as it were two different personalities, and it is very different. In poetry, I would rather a pessimist, an optimist in politics soon. In poetry, I’m more for the individual, for the language of the national identity, and in politics I would rather the global, for globalization, for the unity of the world, including even a blurring of national faces. These are different things. In the end, every man to get along opposing impulses, I have them once distributed by genre. I wrote recently, for example, is very pessimistic poems about th