Saturday, October 1, 2011

Russia and Putin: Do the two deserve each other?

Living in the US and in the periphery of your mind being aware of Russia's political tribulations via Twitter and other (mostly liberal) websites is one thing. But to live in Russia and to have main political news announced to you on state's channels is a whole new, happily forgotten experience for me. And it's not a good one.

If you think that Fox News and CNN are non objective, think twice. Because you don't know how a truly biased TV looks or sounds like! And it looks like that: United Russia convention gets 10 minutes air time in a news block, while the two main runner ups, Just Russia and The Communist Party of the Russian Federation get 2 minutes each. Another episode is the coverage of the public argument between President Medvedev and then Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin that on a state's channel was turned into a 5 minutes monologue by Medvedev, interrupted by one word from Kudrin. (I wish I were exaggerating.)

It is simply sickening. But the most offensive of all to a thinking mind is the realization that Putin and Medvedev must really despise the very people they are ruling. Would they so blatantly and fearlessly lie on public television if they were not sure that Russians were nothing but a herd of brainless sheep?

Just two days ago, in an interview to the heads of Russia's main TV channels, Dmitry Medvedev addressed the rumors about the predetermination of the upcoming presidential elections with these words:
“Any politician can lose an election, along with his or her political party. In our country’s history, as well as other countries’, that’s what happened more than once. Anything may happen. There’s no predetermination.” 
Any politician whose name is NOT Vladimir Putin  and who is NOT backed up by the all mighty United Russia. That's more like it. Nevertheless, Medvedev continued, traditionally insisting that only Russian people could decide who was to become the next president...
Are we, Russians, really nothing but a herd of brainless sheep ready to swallow any story fed to us from the top, ready to see our freedoms taken, our ideals crushed, our future predetermined?
I can't help, but wonder...

There is also this famous saying:
"Every nation has a government it deserves."
Hard to argue, of course, but I simply don't want to believe this. All I know is the feeling of helplessness. Helplessness, mixed with fear of speaking up against the powerful, historically living deep inside the Russian psyche. Do the two together make an excellent herd? You tell me.

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