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Grigory Pasko: Interview with Zakhar Prilepin

zakhar-2.jpgTalk of a writer with a lieutenant-colonel Grigory Pasko, journalist Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда. In the writer Zakhar Prilepin’s essay “Поедем на авто, несогласный?” [“Shall we take a drive, dissident?”] (the book “Я пришел из России” [“I came from Russia”], Limbus Press, the year 2008) is described the dialogue of the author with an employee of the FSB (the feesbeshnik [FSB-nik—Trans.] speaks first):

“Look here, you’re a famous person – but you’re not afraid that they’ll use you?” “Who can use me, if I myself don’t want this? The CIA? The Pentagon? A masonic lodge?” “Well, something could be offered to you too…” “Nothing can be offered to me, I have everything. Things can only be taken away from me.” Further on, the author comes to the conclusion that he and his interlocutor are really not all that different. “The difference, really, is in one thing: if it will be necessary to ‘seat’ me [lock me up—Trans.] – he will ‘seat’ me. But I wouldn’t ‘seat’ him…”, – the author of the essay concludes his musings.


The essay was written in the year 2007. I recalled that about ten years ago the gebisty [’GB-ists, as in “KGB”—Trans.] had conducted such talks with me too. And had also asked the question: does it not seem to me that I am being used? And had also not said who specifically, in their opinion, was using me: the CIA, maybe, or a masonic lodge, maybe… And I, I recall, also answered something along the lines of how it was useless to use me. The fact is that it was the chekists themselves who wanted to use me. Just like their employers had used them. They never did understand that far from everybody is capable of being used, because they measure everybody against themselves: against their level of venality, intellect, disingenuity…The writer Zakhar Prilepin (real name – Yevgeny Lavlinsky) in his books told remarkably much about himself, and with astounding honesty. I seems that he did not conceal from the reader anything that he was ashamed to the point of impossibility of admitting. He described how he loved, and how he had waged war in Chechnya in the composition of a police detachment of special designation (OMON). As a writer, he became noticed, and that means – attractive for the FSB. Zakhar met with Surkov, Medvedev, Putin – he met as a writer, not as a member of a masonic-chekist lodge. And that’s why he has been on the FSB’s radar screen for a long time. And also he – is a member of the unlawful and unregistered party of the National-bolsheviks, the head of which – the writer Eduard Limonov – the FSB has been interested in for so long and so thoroughly that he’s already managed to “sit” [do time—Trans.] both in Lefortovo and in camp.The chekists are in general inclined to be interested not in secret enemies of the motherland, not in real traitors and spies, not in those who truly want to cause harm to the state, but in those who are in clear view. What for?I think because they’re afraid. They’re horrible cowards. They’re afraid that someone is going to become so popular among the people that he’ll be able to lead the masses after him with his word and that these masses will sweep away any leadership. They –the toadies of this leadership – don’t bother asking themselves the question about why the masses would want to sweep away the leadership. (And the masses want this perpetually). What is important for them is not to allow the appearance of such a person, who would be able to head the masses, to “kindle [their] hearts with a word”, to inculcate in them with his creativity, his utterances certain thoughts. Thus the KGB feared the bard Vladimir Vysotsky. Thus the FSB feared the journalists Yuri Shchekochikhin and Anna Politkovskaya… Thus the outcomer from the KGB comrade Putin feared – and fears! – Mikhail Khodorkovsky.Of course, they will never fail to tell authors that they read their books/interviews/articles – but only because “you’ve got to know your enemy”.And they let writers/journalists/political essayists understand that they’re watching them. May God be with them, those watchers: let them watch to their heart’s content. But unfortunately, as experience shows, they don’t stop at that. Then they climb with their muddy boots into the life of those who write. Then they “sew together” a criminal case for them. Then they “seat” them in jail and in camp…It’s hard to scare people like Limonov and Prilepin. But not all people who write are so brave. That’s exactly what they’re counting on. So there would be no noticeable people in the country. So that all would be gray – as gray as the toadies’ bosses from the KGB. So that the authors of brave thoughts would not (heaven forbid!) shake the foundations of the gray mass of the people with their seditions ideas and conclusions and would not force this people to do the most frightening thing from the point of view of the toadies – think.In the books of Prilepin there’s a lot that’s worth giving thought to…From the essay by Z. Prilepin “Господин президент, не выбрасывайте блокнот!” [“Mister president, don’t throw out the notebook!”]:

“I nevertheless hope that the person upon whom it has befallen to lead a country in not the easiest years will still manifest himself as a good and merciful ruler. Even in relation to those people who have strayed in something. There is still time to correct something. There, in the notebook, was the word ‘amnesty,’ and two more words: ‘free elections.’Don’t throw out this notebook, citizen lieutenant-colonel.”

A note from G.Pasko:Zakhar wrote this after a meeting of young writers with president Putin in the year 2007. Since that time, Putin hasn’t amnestied and hasn’t pardoned anyone. Today the practice of non-mercy is being continued by Putin’s placeman Medvedev. Apparently, Zahar made a mistake in the addressee: he asked the wrong person for mercy for those “sitting” in jails. And another thing: Zakhar, apparently, had forgotten that lieutenant-colonels, just like all military and semi-military in Russia, respond not to the word «citizen», but to the word «comrade»: this is more habitual for them since time immemorial, since back in those times when the country – like today – was run by a committee of state security.