Friday, September 27, 2019

Putin’s Departure is Inevitable but Overcoming Chekism Requires a Struggle, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 23 – All too many Russians think that the problems they face are entirely the work of Vladimir Putin and that with his departure from the scene, everything will automatically correct itself, but “what is important,” Igor Eidman says, “is not so much the figure of Putin as the social corporation which he represents.” 

            “During perestroika,” the Russian sociologist observes, “there were politicians more outstanding and more charismatic than Boris Yeltsin.” But Yeltsin succeeded because he had come “from the high party nomenklatura which would never support” any radical outsider because they wanted to retain power (

            Today, “the Chekists have turned out to be the most vital and aggression part of this elite and came to power by various routes. The chief competitor of Putin, Yevgeny Primakov was also among their number.” But Putin won and “up to now represents the interests and shares the worldview of precisely this social corporation.” 

            That fact and not his personality have defined the specific features of his rule: “paranoid fear of the West, xenophobia, pathological lying, attempts to solve complicated problems with the help of secret special operations, contempt for human rights and freedoms and for democracy.”

            According to Eidman, “the future of Russia depends on whether the Chekist corporation will hold power after the inevitable, sooner or later, exit of Putin – at the very least, he is no immortal,” although that corporation could prove to be.  That group pulled off the trick of presenting to the Russian people “a false ‘Stirlitz’” in 1999; they may do so again.

            That is why the state the chekists control now does so much to defend their reputation, praising them and justifying the repressions in which they were involved, Eidman says. What is thus needed is “an information attack on Chekism, which will unmask the crimes not only of particular individuals but of the entire criminal institution.”

            “The Chekist Carthage,” in short, “one built on force and lies, must be destroyed.”

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