Staunton, June 17 – In the course of an interview conducted by Ani Ayvazyan, Aleksandr Genis, who has become prominent as a Russian émigré writer and commentator for some Moscow outlets, makes five observations which cast a bright light on some of the darker developments in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
· Genis says his “favorite president was Vaclav Havel,” adding that he “dreamed that [Academician Andrei] Sakharov would head a Russia freed from communism and [Yegor] Gaidar would be his prime minister. Instead of this, the secret services are running the country. This is equivalent to having entrusted the Gestapo to carry about the de-Nazification of Germany.”
· The essayist admits being mistake in his “assessment of the changes in post-Soviet society,” but he says that he “did not believe that 83 percent” of Russians “could support [Vladimir Putin’s] aggression in Ukraine.”
· He says that “Russia is the motherland of [his] language. And the motherland of the majority of [his] readers. [That] Russia is an indisputable part of Europe; it is the one which interests [him].”
· Under today’s conditions, the writer continues, “free Russian culture will be able to survive in the near abroad beginning with a reformed Ukraine. Right now, independent Russian television exists only in Kyiv.”
· Moreover, Genis says, “television journalists as such do not exist in Russia. Those who present themselves as such will be condemned as the heirs of Goebbels.” What they do is “crude propaganda. Such a situation is impossible in America because competition does not allow presenting only one point of view. Unfortunately, few in Russia understand this elementary truth.”