Today we continue with this lengthy post which, I am afraid, meandered off in several different directions. We started with the theme of ethnic differences and how to build inter-ethnic harmony in a single state. Then we veered off into issues of class vs class; and Red vs White, which is still a burning issue in modern Russia. National Unity Day on Novermber 4 was supposed to paper over all these differences and bring all Russians together, regardless of their ethnic or class differences; all together holding hands and honoring non-controversial national heroes such as Minin and Pozharsky.
And then we talked about Crimean Prosecutor-General and Russian Duma Deputy Natalia Poklonskaya and how this fervent Romanov-groupie threw a monkey-wrench into all that “kumbaya” by comparing Lenin with Hitler. Here are her exact words, which she wrote on her LiveJournal blog, under the title: “Our Lord and Master (Государь) Nikolai II has no need of apologizers, he was blessed by God Himself”:
[a couple of paragraphs dealing with the events of the 1612 and the Miracle-Working Mother of God ikon… blah blah blah…]
[goes on to criticize a film in the making about Tsar Nikolai’s affair with a ballerina, Mathilde Kshesinskaya, supports those who demand that the film production be halted, goes on to rant about Tsar Nicholas being a religious martyr who was put to death for his faith and for his devotion to the Motherland, blah blah blah…]
[and finally, getting to the Red Meat section of her essay:]
Парадоксально, но изверги двадцатого столетия (Ленин, Троцкий, Гитлер, Мао Цзэдун), пролившие море человеческой крови, не вызывали такого отторжения, как убиенный со своей Семьей, добрый и милостивый Государь, кардинально улучшивший благосостояние своего народа и причисленный к концу двадцатого столетия к лику Святых.
Можно наблюдать феноменальное явление – реакция корчи вампира на солнечные лучи при рассвете, демонический страх перед светом – святостью Государя.
Paradoxically, these evil-doers of the 20th century (Lenin, Trotsky, Hitler, Mao Zedong), having shed an ocean of human blood, have not attracted as much scorn as this man [the Tsar], who was murdered along with his family; this kind and merciful ruler, who significantly improved the lives of his people and who by the end of the 20th century was enrolled in the list of Saints.
One can observe a wondrous phenomenon: How the Vampire winces at the rays of the sun at dawn, his demoniacal terror before the light – before the holiness of our Tsar.
END OF TRANSLATION
From Prosecutie to Prosecutee?
Her personal opinions aside, as well as the issue of whether or not Crimean Prosecutie Natasha Poklonskaya is some kind of religious nut, her explosive gaffes have made her the target of a criminal investigation. Which I vangize will go nowhere, but might still serve as a useful exercise on the boundaries of free speech among Russian officials. Readers may recall that I covered an earlier incident, in which President Putin himself offended those 45-50% of the Russian people who still revere Lenin as a national leader. Putin’s gaffe was not nearly as serious as Poklonskaya’s — at least he didn’t equate Lenin with Hitler — but it was still serious, and technically he could have been prosecuted too, I reckon.
Still on the topic of free speech: Cutie-Pie Natasha came out on the side of those who want to censor free speech among artists, in this case the filmmakers behind the “Nicholas and Mathilde” project. And there is some past history here as well, such as the previous censoring of an aberrant production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser. On the grounds that it offended the feelings of Orthodox Christian activists. Even though the opera production in question was no doubt dreadful (I didn’t see it myself, but I heard it was really bad!), the point is not the quality of the production, but the freedom of the artists to express their interpretations. People who find it offensive when a singing-dancing Jesus beds the Goddess Venus — well, if they don’t like it, then they are free to not buy a ticket and they have the freedom to stay away in droves. But don’t try to prevent other people from seeing it, that’s all I ask. What if this opera had been good? What if it were a valid and important contribution to the Wagnerian corpus? In which case, shutting these guys down would’ve been a blow to culture itself, no?
And since Poklonskaya attempted, with her Mathilde issue, to curb the rights of other to see what might well turn out to be an interesting movie, well, you know what they say: Sauce for the gander is also sauce for the goose. With the goose, in this case, being Cutie-Pie herself!
Poklonskaya’s egregious outburst about Lenin aroused the ire of the usual suspects, Gennady Zyuganov and the Communist Party, still an important political force in the Russian Federation. In addition, as I mentioned yesterday, Orlov Regional Deputy Ruslan Perelygin of the political party called “Just/Fair Russia” has submitted a request to the office of the General Prosecutor, demanding that Poklonskaya be investigated for Extremist speech. Here is what Perelygin wrote:
“It is sacrilege to compare Holocaust apologist Hitler with Lenin. The latter implemented the electrification of our country, he gave its inhabitants the ability to receive an education, he promoted the idea of equality of all peoples.”
Perelygin also pointed out that a similar ideological campaign against Lenin in the Ukraine led to the removal of all the Lenin statues there. [And, by the way, also served as the immediate spark to the Donetsk and Luhansk Resistance movements – yalensis]
Here is my translation of Perelygin’s petition to the Prosecutor’s Office:
N. Poklonskaya openly and unfoundedly harms the dignity of all those citizens of the Russian Federation who hold left-wing political views, when she slanders the political activist and leader of the Russian Revolution, V.I. Lenin; by comparing his ideas, his work, and his efforts with the activities of A. Hitler. Poklonskaya also negatively expounds on the leader of the friendly Chinese people, namely Mao Zedong. This has the effect of provoking a worsening of relations between the Russian Federation and China. With her actions, she provokes public discord and incites political hatred and enmity within society. By means of separating out a specific social group of people, and labelling them as “evil-doers of the 20th century”.
Perelygin makes a very important point about the Chinese angle. Namely, at this historical conjuncture, when Russia is under attack on all fronts from Westie nations; and one of her few remaining “friends” is China! And how offended a majority of Chinese citizens would be, to hear their Great Leader Mao referred to as an Evil-Doer.
Also note how Perelygin’s wording of his complaint very closely follows the wording of of the Russian legal Statute 282, which limits freedom of speech for certain types of political speech, labelled as Extremist.
Here is the wording of the Statute in question:
Point #1: Actions leading to the incitement of hatred or enmity, and also to the harming of the dignity of a person or group of persons along the lines of race, gender, nationality, language, origins, attitude toward religion, and also membership in a particular social group; such actions being committed either in public, or with the use of means of mass information, or with mass telecommunications or social media, including the Internet.
The punishment being a fine ranging from 300,000 to 500,000 rubles, or by garnering wages or other sources of income for a period from 2 to 3 years; or forced labor for a term ranging from one to 4 years; accompanied by divesting the right to serve or occupy a certain position for up to 3 years; or incarceration for a term ranging from 2 to 5 years.
[to be continued]