Russian dissident Eduard Limonov now believes Russia's president has done some good
This article originally appeared at Eduard Limonov's Live Journal blog. Translated from the Russian by Svetlana Kyrzhaly
Neither Putin needs me, nor I need him.
I'm not looking for a job, a position, a reward or an apartment. Since last December I've stopped appearing as a guest in TV-shows produced on his television, I don’t go there, though they ask me to come, I think it's beneath my dignity.
And generally I protect my independence. I'm very arrogant, so you know.
And he has the secret services, the army, why shall he need me? Yes, he shouldn’t.
Just don’t go too far when it comes to him.
He is an authoritarian leader, but not an evil one. It is that he could be much worse.
The fact that he is not evil, and tolerates many things that I wouldn’t tolerate, for example, - the proof of this is the existence of a whole constellation of treacherous mass media, for example, which write and speak nasty things about Russia and our people, and about Vladimir Putin himself.
Either his understanding of democracy is false, or he just tolerates.
He was not interesting in two consecutive terms. Maybe he learnt, maybe he built something that we didn’t understand. For example, he built the army, and we have just seen that now.
Some of his political actions in recent years deserve an applause.
For the Crimea I give him a ten on the five-point scale. For his support of the uprising in Donbas, on the same five-point scale - well, a three, because he supported it, but he doesn’t have determination to bring to a logical end, to Novorossiya.
No, no, I'm not so naive not to understand the whole complexity of the situation with Ukraine, I understand, but still he didn’t finish with Donbass and it leaves an open wound. Americans usually do this – turn everything upside-down and go away, and there are the two Koreas behind them hating each other for 60 years, Iraq and Libya were deprived of their statehood, and now Donbass will redden under the ashes, like a volcano, promising to explode.
It is bad that Russian regime is oligarchic capitalism. It is no good for me that Putin clearly favours the oligarchic capitalism. There are a lot of his minuses and mistakes.
It is very bad that the historic blame of such figures as Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Gaidar is not condemned. Putin is in the chain of the memory of these figures, it is necessary to break it off, and from the position of the state power to condemn them, to pour on their memory and graves with scorn and disgust. We must condemn these three, because they prevent the restoration of the historical ties between Russia and the Soviet period of our history, and this period was the most historically productive. We have the gap, but we can’t live with the gap, neither can the country, nor individual souls.
It is necessary to undo the results of privatization. To nationalize the major stolen facilities. Urgently. To make all sorts of crooks, who call themselves 'shareholders of Yukos' being, in fact, fences for stolen goods, go straight to prison, and not go win multi-billion-dollar lawsuits against Russia in international courts. Putin will not dare to undo the results of these privatizations.
Syria is much more dangerous than Donbass. But Putin went there, so it was not cowardice that restrained him in Donbass.
Syria is more dangerous than Donbass, because the NATO and US aircrafts are nearby, they fly at a distance of spittle. But he went there. In this case, I applaud him, as for Donbass.
I remember everything, and National-Bolsheviks [Limonov's radical right-wing party - ed.], who passed through the prison system in his time, and how the authorities insulted me personally, when thet didn’t allow me, with the help of the police, to run for president in 2012.
But we are contemporaries with Putin, we can do nothing about this. And anyway, he is in charge of Russia and 'Russia is all, the rest is nothing'.
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