Monday, December 4, 2017

Three ‘Winged Words’ from Russia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 4 – More than their Russian counterparts, Russian commentators are given to summarizing their arguments in what they themselves call “winged words,” brief but felicitous and highly apt expressions that capture and express their larger arguments. Three especially wonderful examples have surfaced this week:

            First, responding to the arguments of some in the Russian Orthodox Church that the murder of the Imperial Family must be investigated to see if that action was “a ritual murder” and the Russian government’s willingness to take part in this display of bigotry, Russian journalist Yuliya Latynina has expressed what most people of good will feel about this horror.

            On her Access Code program, she suggests that Russian investigators shouldn’t get bogged down in details but should immediately try to determine whether the Jews killed Christ, precisely the kind of bigotry that calls to investigate the 1918 killings as “ritual murders” reflect (

                Second, Mikhail Kulakov, a Russian regionalist writer, says bluntly “I want the Tatar-Mongol Yoke Back!” because unlike Moscow today, the Mongols did not destroy villages because they understood that the more villages that existed, the more taxes they could collect, something the Kremlin does not appear to get (

            The Yoke was satisfied with a tax rate of ten percent on the places it conquered, he points out, while “now, the Russian ‘federal’ collects from the regions up to 78 percent of all taxes” and doesn’t give much back in return except laws and regulations that restrict the freedoms of the people there – again something the khans chose mostly not to do.

                And third, on his radio program, Moscow commentator Matvey Ganapolsky points out that “Russia has only two exports” at het present time – “hydrocarbons and hatred” – because no one wants or expects anything else from it as long as Moscow continues its current policies at home and abroad (

                In an increasingly inter-dependent world, the commentator suggests, such exports not only are not enough to make one’s way in the world but guarantee that “the imports” it will be offered in exchange are often not much of its own liking as well. 

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