Grigory Pasko: Person of the Year, Then and Now


The man from the magazine cover and the country in ruins

Grigory Pasko, journalist

Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда.

In the last new year holidays Time brought joy to the whole world by recognizing Putin as person of the year. Putin liked that.

Now it’s a different person – Barack Obama. It’s doubtful that Putin likes this.

The young oppositioneer Roman Dobrokhotov after he with his outcries had interrupted an appearance of president Medvedev and security had led him out of the hall wrote in livejournal: «They dragged me off to the office of the FSO [federal protection service–GP] and started to interrogate, finding out about my zhzh [«ЖЖ», the Russian abbreviation for “LiveJournal”, by which the portal is known in the country–Trans.] and the movement “My” Some kind of gray-haired general-chekist came in, conversed, went out and when he closed the door (slamming it just a tiny bit) the ceiling came crashing down in the office. The general got frightened, opened the door back a crack, looked at the collapsed ceiling: “Did I just do that?”, – asked. No-no, not you, they waved him off and he left».

I haven’t laughed as much in a long time as I did after reading thisepisode. I can picture generals just like that one very well: I haveseen them and have interacted with them many a time. But in the giveninstance the general, in my view, characterized with his response notonly his personal participation in the ruining of the ceiling, but alsothe participation of the entire KGB-FSB system in the ruining ofdemocracy in Russia, and indeed of the whole country in its entirety.Recall: after all, the principal task of the KGB was precisely toprevent the collapse of the USSR. Well, and were is that USSR today?But the chekists are alive. And not only alive, but also found in powerfor nearly ten years.

They’re wealthy – on account of the redistribution of the riches ofthe country to themselves into pockets (sometimes by way of openplunder, as was with YUKOS).


They – are impudent, cynical, cruel. They – love themselves and their organization, which they lovingly call «the office» [«kontora»].

Recently, their placeman in the power prime-minister of RussiaVladimir Putin decreed to call a hitherto nameless mountain summit inthe North Caucasus the peak of the Russian Counterintelligence-men. Thechekists liked that.

The federal security service [FSB] inherited the functions ofthe KGB. But in comparison with the period of the rule of Yeltsin itstarted to far more frequently pursue Russians and foreigners oncharges of connections with foreign intelligence. Recently, Putin &Co. got the housetrained Duma to adopt a package of amendments to laws,as the result of which to charge a person with extremism and espionagehas become very simple indeed. In so doing, practically no efforts andevidence on the part of the FSB are required.

The journalist Andrei Piontkovsy has written :«In the conditions of the political desert diligently burnt out byputinism, capable of ridding the country of it (putinism) in theshort-term perspective is only the part of the upper bureaucracy thathas preserved the instinct for self-preservation. On the contrary, anattempt to prolong its agony by means of force will turn out to bedestructive for Russia. The first psychological step towards thedismantling of this doomed formation will become the dislodging fromthe collective consciousness of its structure-formational mythologeme -the shining image of the “national leader”.

In the meantime, with the name of the «shining image» in Russia theyare already for a long time naming streets and raising monuments to him.

Even a cursory glance at the resources of the Internet leads to theconclusion: there are very many informational resources, THIS can notbe digested even by a very prepared person.

Even a cursory glance at the goods in just one chain supermarket ofthe type of Auchan leads to the conclusion: there are very many goodsfrom beyond the border, even very wealthy and gluttonous purchaserscan’t digest them.

Even a cursory familiarization with the results of the 9-year,unrestrained, not controlled by anyone rule of the country by thechekists with their placeman Putin leads to the conclusion: they don’tknow how to do a damn thing. Moreover, in period of sharpening of theactiveness of the opposition, the chekists are fitfully attempting toprohibit the Internet, while in an epoch of an economic crisis in manyways created by them, they’re attempting to prohibit the bringing in ofbeyond-the-border goods (with a concurrent appeal to buy only domesticones).
As a result of my musings on the nature and essence of gebism [(K)GB-ism–Trans.]the words of Mahatma Gandhi are recalled (by the way, Putin hadboastfully named Gandhi his only possible interlocutor in a talk on thetheme of democracy):

First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they try to fight you,
then you win.

Putin ignores his people. He laughs at the «marginals» [Russian for “fringe elements”–Trans.]from the opposition. He fights them and all manifestations ofdissatisfaction with his power. He doesn’t know Gandhi well. Like, bythe way, the country too, which he came to run by the long arm ofcoincidence.

P.S. From the author: This news the Russian mass information media published already after the article had been written by me.

«Vladimir Putin, having changed the presidential chair for thepremier’s, remains the most popular politician of Russia. According tothe data of a survey by the All-Russian Center for the Study of PublicOpinion, the inhabitants of the country chose him “person of the year”.

According to the results of the survey, 60% of Russians considerPutin the main politician of the year 2008, but the change of statusnevertheless did reflect on the popularity of the premier – in the year2007 there were 69% of such respondents».