Friday, December 19, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Russian Scoundrels Don’t Deserve Sympathy but Their Victims at Home and Abroad Do, Kirillova Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, December 19 – Many Russians and their neighbors are suffering from the actions of Russian scoundrels at home and abroad , and the former deserve our sympathy even if the latter merit only condemnation,  according to Kseniya Kirillova, a Seattle-based journalist who writes for Novy Region 2.


            In an article today, she says that the ability of Russians to withstand even the worst catastrophes is one of their best qualities, but not in the current case given that what is happening in their country and its neighbors is the direct result of scoundrel-like behavior of so many of them (


            “Difficulties are not so terrible when they are logical and temporary, conditioned by objective factors, often accidental and not connected with personal guilt,” she writes.  “In families, love helps people survive difficulties; in a state, patriotism; and in all cases, mutual assistance.”


            “That is often so, but not in this case.”


            The situation Russians find themselves in today is “a direct result of the destructive and criminal policy of the authorities which they have no intention of ending and which with each step they are making worse,” Kirillova writes.  The leadership has made the entire world opposed to Russia.


            But in this, the scoundrel quality of the leadership has been reinforced by the scoundrel quality of all too many Russians who are prepared to accept as justified anything the Kremlin does and to ignore all moral laws.


            Kirillova says that in speaking about this quality, which is covered by the almost untranslatable Russian world “podlost,” she does not have in mind those villagers who have been zombified by Moscow television into thinking that Ukraine is ruled by fascists and Banderites. One can accuse them more of ignorance than of scoundrelness.


But tragically, there exists “a still not small quantity of Russians who perfectly well understand what is being done in Ukraine and none the less approve it,” Kirillova says. And it turns out, she says, that there are a lot more of such people than she could have ever imagined. What is worse is that they are not stupid and in many cases are members of the middle class.


            Many of them do not believe government propaganda completely, but they accept the basic thrust of it. They are quite prepared to be skeptical about reports of “’fascists’” and “’the bloody junta’” in Kyiv – they may even pat themselves on the back for their skepticism – but they have accepted the Kremlin’s idea that might makes right, that the end justifies the means, and that because other countries have violated the rules, Russia must be allowed to as well.


             Kirillova says that her Russian interlocutors of this type are “convinced that Russia is doing everything correctly,” that “objective truth doesn’t exist,” and that “politics is in general a dirty business.”  Such attitudes, she says, reflect “a total atrophy of moral feeling and even of fundamental human instincts.”


            “Neither the fate of individuals nor the value of human life nor norms and rules … not even banal responsibility means anything for such people,” she argues. Instead, they celebrate what they believe is needed for the Empire, confident that in a nuclear world, they and Russia can get away with anything.


            Such people, she says, are accomplices in a crime, responsible not only “for the death of people” in Ukraine but also for “the collapse of Russia which has begun.” They talk about “the right of the strong” while forgetting that they will not always be such, and they support war on the territory of other countries forgetting that it could come to their own.


            For such scoundrels, Kirillova continues, there is no reason to have any regret in tht regard, but one must feel very sorry for “the innocent people who also must bear all the consequences of the economic collapse,” not just those who have spoken out against the war but also those who have in a cowardly fashion “buried their heads in the sand.”


            The writer asks forgiveness for her own harshness but notes that the greater her regret for the sufferings of the innocent, the more she understands that she “is not capable of feeling any sympathy for the scoundrels” who are responsible.  “Apparently,” she concludes, where there is no repentance, one won’t move forward without revenge. Alas.”



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