by Natalya Dvali, Editor
Dissident and journalist Valeria Novodvorskaya called Yakov Krotov, "the true priest", which the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) "drove to a private apartment," a man who "quite drawn to the apostle in the level and holiness, and he is exactly as I imagine St. Andrew and evangelist Matthew. Faith – is a talent, and exactly father Yakov Krotov [...] could Christianize Russia." Few people know that Novodvorskaya was a parishioner of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Moscow and regularly came to services of the father Jacob.
Native Moscowite, writer, publicist, radio host, creator of one of the largest church libraries in runet Yakov Krotov was born in 1957 in a family of teachers. In 17 years, was baptized by Archpriest Alexander Men. Graduated from the History Department of Moscow State University named after Lomonosov. He worked in the State Public Historical Library and the Central State Archive of Ancient Acts of the USSR. He was fired from everywhere for anti-Soviet thoughts and unreliability. In 1990 he earned with translations (he speaks English, French, Polish and German languages, knows Latin) and with journalism. In 2002 Yakov Krotov became a priest of the Apostolic Orthodox Church, in 2007 - a priest of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
In an exclusive interview with "GORDON" father Jacob told why it is a lot easier to convince people that fell victims of propaganda or to turn to God atheists than to reach the philistine, about a dislike of President Vladimir Putin to himself and that "to go to the Maidan is easier than to not bribe and abandon a good salary for an idea. "
The speech of the primate of ROC fully justifies the invasion of Russia: there is a civil war in Ukraine
- Weren't you offended when Patriarch Kirill presented the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh TV to the TV host Dmitry Kiselev?
- Awarding Kiselev may surprise only a very naive people. Now are such times that I would not be surprised if the Patriarch posthumously award the Order of St. Sergius by Dmitry Kiselev. We live in a world that is completely upside down.
- I was struck by the words that were said while giving the order: "for their hard work for the good of the Church and of the Fatherland."
- Awarding Kiselev - unimportant act compared to those speeches that Patriarch Kirill says since March 2014, when the Crimea "entered" into the Russian Federation. The speech of the primate of ROC fully justifies the invasion of Russia: there is a civil war in Ukraine, and so on.
General Director of the Russian International News Agency "Russia Today" TV presenter Dmitry Kiselev and CEO of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Oleg Dobrodeev received from the hands of the ROC Patriarch Kirill Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh II degree. December 22, 2014, Moscow, the Throne Room of the patriarchal residence in the Danilov Monastery. Photo: patriarchia.ru
Unfortunately, this position is not only of the Moscow Patriarchate, but the Russian intelligentzia. It is enough just to mention the well-known journalist and writer Alla Bossart, as well as the widow of philosopher Gregory Pomeranz poet and translator Zinaida Mirkin. This position is of suspension: say, in Ukraine there was a change of government, it is always fraught with tragic consequences, but it is not our problem. Intelligentzia closed its eyes to the obvious, namely, the Russian-Ukrainian war, alas, not the first and not the last one for the past 500 years.
- Why is a part of Russian intellectuals convinced that there is a civil conflict in Ukraine, not war, provoked by the invasion of a neighboring state?
- The current situation - the apogee of years of conformism and survival tactics that many people in Russia adopted in 1968, when Soviet tanks invaded Czechoslovakia. During the "Prague Spring" we stood at a fork: a tiny part of the intellectuals signed a letter in support of the Czechs, went to Red Square to protest, but most refused.
There was also a third way, which the father of Alexander Men followed. This is the non-conformist way, but not the way of protest demonstrations. Unfortunately, it turned out to be unsustainable for most of people. In general, since the late 1960s, the Russian intelligentzia slowly but steadily followed the path of conformity and aggressive political apathy.
The most terrible thing is happening today is not in the Donetsk
airport or on the front but in the rear area, where the future of Ukraine
- Cossacks and Russian "volunteers" in the Donbass talk about "Russian world" and "protection of Orthodox cradle." Neither in the two wars in Chechnya, nor in the war with Georgia was anything like this. Why in the conflict with Ukraine, Russia is actively using religious rhetoric?
- Let me clarify two things. First, it is not about religion, it is about pseudo-religion, simulating the spiritual life. The late Sergei Averincev wonderfuly compared jingoistic patriotism of the XIX century and the 1990s of the twentieth century. There was apple, bread and other quass. Now, we have the same, but it's Ostankino's quass. Religiosity, which you mentioned - a form without content, there is no fortitude and faith.
Second specification. It is necessary to speak not about two, but about three wars in Chechnya. Coming to power of a dynasty of Kadyrov designated the end of the second and the beginning of the third Chechen war – guerrilla one. Ukrainians cannot underestimate, with their tradition of resistance to the Soviet mode till 1955, protest moods which the last 12 years in Chechnya only amplify.
The head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. Photo: asfera.info
In the 1990th in Chechnya absolutely European, not religious fight for independence began. The first president Dzhokhar Dudaev was absolutely secular person, as well as his two successors. The Kremlin initiated a religious factor and hunting for religious extremists in Chechnya. It is more convenient to Russia to speculate with religiousness because she in the 1990th refused Marxism and communism.
– You speak as if the religion can only be alternative to communism.
– Communism is the movement including the protection of poor, internationalism, even if it is proletarian one. It contradicts Christianity not in everything. These are deeply positive properties. But communism always was for Bolsheviks only a sheep skin, and both Europe and the USA hooked on it. The West was sure: collapse of the USSR and the termination of communism automatically means that Russia will become good. Alas, the Russian Federation became not only worse, but considerably degraded.
In the Soviet Russia there was no communism, and there was a Leninism – absolutely cannibal ideology. Stalin – is just a small mold of Lenin. After collapse of the USSR and disappearance of Leninism the Kremlin needed an idea, therefore he also picked up Orthodoxy, unfortunately. Picked up only because except for communism and Orthodoxy the Kremlin did not know anything. The pseudo-church in Russia was created in the 1970th, was financed by gaybist, but after the 1991st pseudo-Orthodoxy began to dominate.
– I correctly understood: pseudo-Orthodoxy – a new ideology of the Kremlin that it was more convenient to seize others lands?
– The virus harms only the weakened organism. The Russian pseudo-Orthodoxy became stronger in Ukraine only because and in your country there is pseudo-Orthodoxy, and your organism is weakened also, but not because of external factors.
The country house of Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra's vicar, metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). Photo: tsn.ua
I came to Kiev in March, 2014 and was absolutely shaken by magnificent country houses of church figures in a green hollow near Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Both in orthodox, and in Greco-catholic, and in the Protestant – in all Ukrainian religious denominations there is a clergy self-interest, clericalism, national arrogance and desire of cheap good fortune. (Clericalism – the political direction seeking for establishment of domination of the church organizations in political and cultural life of the country.–"GORDON").
It is much easier to leave from under influence of the Moscow patriarchy, than to be imposed not or because of inability to do something of vanity. There are priests who as Saint Dimitry of Rostov spoke, bear the service "not for the sake of Jesus, but for the sake of bite of bread". Or you want to say in Ukraine such are not present? They are, and a lot of them! This sticky pseudo-religious environment makes Ukraine vulnerable before enemy invasion. The most terrible things happen not at the Donetsk airport or on a front line today, but in the rear area where the future of Ukraine is being solved.
All inhabitants of the Kremlin, including the patriarch Kirill, are treated in Switzerland
, there is a clinic for "peculiar people"
– Current Kremlin mode is other form of Leninism or the new phenomenon – a putinism?
– It is a lot of honor for Putin to call the last 15 years in Russia a putinism. I speak as the historian. I do not see in Putin anything original. Lenin had a book "Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism", and so the putinism is a highest stage of Leninism. I do not think if Vladimir Vladimirovich is informed by my words, he will be offended. On the contrary: he will be really happy. Both Stalin, and Putin only small transformations of Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich in a percentage ratio spilled much more blood, than his successors.
– But Putin is quite live, vigorous and, apparently, will once again be re-elected in 2018. So the Russian leader will have enough time to surpass Lenin's "achievements".
– It is good that you reasonably and impartially count all options. Your assessment is closer to me than the one I see on the Internet. The former Putin ministers, economists, prime ministers of a Yeltsin era, political strategists like Gleb Pavlovsky and Stanislav Belkovsky are incredibly popular in Ukraine because they tell pleasant things: like, Russia will collapse, days of Putin are considered, wait for a palace or military coup.
I do not see the slightest psychological, economic and social reasons for Putin's overthrow and disintegration of the Russian Federation. Though... The mankind has still not quite understood a role of atomic weapons in modern history, and this role is much more, than it seems to us. The nuclear weapon is not simple means of control, but it also means of internal political domination. I think, they put the scenario to Barack Obama's desk at which Putin uses a nuclear bomb, but not against Lithuania, Ukraine or Poland, but against Russia. I would not exclude this option. Ideologically and psychologically for the Russian President everything is ready: Putin's enemies appear to be enemies of Russia, "foreign agents", so to destroy them means to destroy not the friends but the strangers who got inside.
Christmas Eve, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an Orthodox Christmas service in honour of protecting veil of the Holy Mother of God in Otradne village in the Voronezh region. Photo: kremlin.ru
– But if nuclear missiles explode in the Russian Federation, Putin will die also. I have a feeling that the Russian leader does everything possible to live longer.
– If I were Putin I wouldn't rejoice to my longevity. It is possible to do sport continuously or to use the best medicine in the world, but … You know when the physicist, the founder of a hydrogen bomb Andrei Sakharov became a dissident? Andrey Dmitriyevich took a pencil on his free minute and counted, in how many time will grow quantity of diseases in Russia and the world from radioactive fallout after explosion of a bomb. Radioactive emissions in the atmosphere, according to Sakharov, will reach critical number at the beginning of the XXI century. And not radiation diseases but usual ones will increase: hearts, liver, kidneys, lungs, immune system. So the organism that was grown up among weak radiation will react quite this way.
I am 57 years old, Putin – is 62. We were born before explosions, but we were children when radioactive fallout rushed in the atmosphere. No doctor will rescue us from it though all inhabitants of the Kremlin, including the patriarch Kirill, are treated in Switzerland, there is a clinic for "peculiar people". Being deeply ignorant, the person of anti-knowledge, as well as all gaybists, Putin obviously does not understand consequences of use of atomic weapons, does not understand that such radiation; he thinks he will survive. By the way the American politicians of the 60th years also did not understand radiation consequences, I hope, now it is not so.
Putin doesn't love Russia also; he technically does not love anyone, even himself
– So, Russia will not break up, there will be no Putin's overthrow and, despite everything, the Russian president will live for a long time. Forecast is unfavourable for Ukraine...
– Strength of Putin – centralization of the power in Russia. But, at the same time, it is his weakness. Our hopes are in the bible legend about Babel because the centralized power will bury itself.
The rigid dictatorial system is doomed to falling. In Russia there would be a radioactive desert, if not the West long ago. But you should not demand to stop this feed from the West, otherwise a wind will carry radioactive fallout for the whole world. It is necessary to influence Russia precisely and much more actively, than now. To influence not only with economic, but also military sanctions. The whole world needs to develop new ways of resistance to dictatorships. Especially as the Russian incident – is one of potentially many ones. China is also not a good boy, and you should not overestimate his peacefulness.
Moscow, Crimean bridge, March 2014. Yakov's one-person picket against invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine. Photo: Denis Styazhkin / styazshkin.livejournal.com
The international League of the Nations organization stopped its existence in 1946 because could not fight back Hitler. Its place was taken by the United Nations, but also it has to end because it could not resist to Putin. It is necessary to create the new organization which will fight back at the same level at which there is an aggression – at the level of citizens. Sooner or later the Internet and means of informing will have to turn into means of resistance to the evil, to become the instrument of self-organization of citizens in the face of threat. Then questions "Whom should we give money to?", "Where should we build defences?" and so on will be decided by not secret political negotiations, but direct democracy. They will be decided by not the nations and governors, but by citizens of the whole world.
– In one interview you called the war in Ukraine not the international and even not interstate conflict. What did you mean?
– My records in Facebook often are commented by Ukrainians who has photos with written words "God loves Ukraine" on their avatars. I always answer: God does not love Ukraine, Great Britain, Nigeria, or the USA, God loves the person.
The tragedy of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kharkov, Odessa, Kiev and Lviv is not because Putin does not love Ukraine. Ridiculously! Putin does not love Russia also; he technically does not love anyone, even himself. Attempts to write off policy of the Kremlin for madness of the Russian President are absolutely rotten from the point of view of moral theology. Putin is absolutely sane and rational character who stopped loving himself long time ago. He in principle does not understand that the philanthrophy means. It is a trait of all gaybists.
Do you know, what connects Putin and Russian "volunteers" on Donbass? These characters first of all do not love themselves, and therefore look for any opportunity to ego-trip. These are the crippled, internally devastated people. The main healing which God bears to the person is a healing with hatred to himself. Therefore it is important that we should not stop trying to forgive and love such characters. As Bulat Okudzhava sang: "Maestro, do not leave efforts...".
I know how it is heavy, but it is necessary to give the second, third, 100-th chance even to philistines. Forgive and do not count. It is the only way to revive in person the love to himself. For example, on Forgiveness Sunday I at remove bans from all whom I blocked in the Facebook. I start with a clean slate.
Valeria Novodvorskaya and Father Yakov, 2009. Photo: from Yakov Krotov's personal files
– is a kingdom of Antichrist
, the country where everything is sterile as in a hangar with atomic bombs
– I am not sure that I, as well as many citizens of Ukraine, will have enough forces to forgive and love Russia and Russians again…
– Madam, you do not have to love the whole Russia! Love Petya, Vasya, Manya, love the specific person. Russia – is an abstract concept, the specific person is not Russian, Ukrainian or Jew. I paraphrase the apostle Pavel: for Christ there are neither Greeks, nor Jews, nor Russians, or Ukrainians. There are even no men or women. You do not simply love the man. There are a lot of them, but you do not rush on everyone only because he is a man. You love specific Mykola, Peter and so on. Selectively love.
And where in Russia you saw Russians? I assure you, Putin for years tried to gather people for his team with surnames ending with "ov". He was choosing through so many people and still there were not enough for external counterintelligence, so it was necessary to put, by tradition, the Jew, though with the surname which ends with "ov". (Mikhail Fradkov, since 2007 heads Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.–"GORDON").
It is impossible to love the whole Russia from a garbage can to a glamour. It is also difficult with specific people; I will not love that does not smell as the person. A problem of modern Russia – is terrible sterility. It is the country without the smell of the person, without labor sweat, a place where strange music constantly sounds, but people lost their musicality long time ago. There are no smells, there are no sounds, and everything is sterile, as in a hangar where atomic bombs are being prepared for loading. It is sterility of death.
Kiev, Institutskaya street, 2014. Photo: Yakov Krotov / krotov.info
Putin's Russia can be placed in the museum as the ideal town in a snuffbox. Everything is smoothed out. By the way, a verb "is smoothed out" appeared in Moscow. Today's Russia – a kingdom of Antichrist, the town in a snuffbox.... It is not necessary to love a snuffbox, fall in love with this tiny person and it will start growing.
– Think, in Ukraine there is a smell of the person and labor sweat?
– I do not think, and I know it, despite 70 years of the Soviet power. The Bolshevism is a powerful force which can create nothing by definition, but preserves that overtook. Russia was preserved on October 25, 1917 during October revolution. Ukraine was partially preserved in the 1921st (formation of the Ukrainian Soviet socialist republic), partially – in the 1939th (when the Western Ukraine was attached to USSR) and 1948. In this late partial preservation also there is a reason of a relative safe condition of Ukraine in comparison with Russia.
But it is necessary to remember that there was a good chance in the 1990th which Ukraine has lost. With collapse of the USSR the economic situation of Poland was much worse, than at other countries of a social unit. But thanks to Leszek Balcerowicz (the ex-Deputy Prime Minister and the former Minister of Finance of Poland, the author of the Polish economic reforms.–"GORDON") and the Polish intellectuals the country moved forward, it was not afraid to become free.
– Poland in the late eighties – the beginning of the 1990th carried out shock economic reforms. It is unlikely that the Ukrainian power, even after the Maidan, will do the same.
– In some sense I give a suicidal advice, but Ukraine should pass the same way thanks to which Poland became economically more successful and europeanized country.
Kiev, Maidan, 2014. Photo: Yakov Krotov / krotov.info
– Then why you consider this way a suicide?
– Poland had to pay for economic success with presence at Seim of atheistic fraction, loss of influence of church and so on. Heroic resistance of the Polish clergy to the Bolshevist mode is forgotten. It appeared that to struggle with communists is one thing, but not to be the greedy manipulator in the free country – another.
If Ukraine defends the national independence, ii will be integrated into Europe, and in 10-15 years you will have less vyshivanky (national cloth), you will attend church less, you will read less Taras Shevchenko, and listen more to the American pop-music. But the real belief is forged not in need and not at the front, but in satiety, abundance and wellbeing. Have you noticed that most of all believers live in poor Africa, Asia and Latin America, and least of all – in safe Western Europe and the USA?
Ukraine should pass a temptation of gold to find the real belief. It is necessary to fight for the European choice, realizing that together with the rights and freedoms of the Western world the atheism, blasphemy and empty temples will come. It is a suicide, but such suicide of an infantile being in itself is followed by revival to adult life.
In Soviet period instead on of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow there was a pool. In the childhood I often swam there. The pool was so arranged that you physically could not swim away on a path before you plunge into disinfecting solution. I hated this because I had problems with eyes and I was terribly afraid, but you had to have them opened. This is exactly what Ukraine has to do today – to dive with the head in disinfecting solution: it is terrible, it pinches, but it is necessary to pass through it with open eyes. To pass it without self-deception. Only this way the true belief is given.
Blood of Nebesna Sotny is not only on the Kremlin people and Yanukovych, but also on millions of indifferent Ukrainians
– It seemed to me, Ukraine already passed through the most terrible: executions on the Maidan, thousands of dead on Donbass.
– Maidan – is a great event reminding the Russian standing for democracy in August of the 1991st. But human life consists not of great virtues or great sins, it consists of small daily lawlessness, which as quicksand, suck in. If you throw a stone to the person rolling in quicksand, he will not escape. He needs a long strong rope.
The abyss, in which because of the Bolshevism we all got in, is a hole with quicksand, and velvet revolutions of 1989-1991 and numerous Maydans in Georgia and Ukraine is a stone which will not help to escape. The main thing begins after the Maidan. In Russia the victory of democratic forces in the 1991st was not supported with daily small boring work, as a result by 2015 the country was developed on 180 degrees. The same occurred in Ukraine after the first Maidan of 2004, revolutionary euphoria was harmful.
Strangely enough, but it is easier to go on the Maidan, than not to bribe, to refuse a good salary for the sake of idea, to go to the principle to the detriment of career.
Kiev, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, burnt House of Trade Unions, 2014. Photo: Yakov Krotov / krotov.info
– So, the moral choice of the specific person is more important, than post-Maidan changes in the country?
– I am really boring, but when I hear: there came the post-Christian times, I always deny: the Christian civilization has not become yet, we live during a pre-Christian era. I advise the same also to you: do not think that you live in a post-Maidan, now is a pre-Maidan. It is necessary to do everything that threat of the third Maidan was minimum again not to bring the country to a sin of bloodshed and death of both guilty and innocent.
The blood of Nebesna Sotnya is not only on the Kremlin people, Yanukovych and his performers, but also on millions of indifferent Ukrainians who after the Maidan-2004 started to let things slide. After events of 2013-2014 it is very important not to start to slide things again. This way no new authorities will help, there has to be an initiative from below.
The well-known rescue of euromaidan protesters on the night of November 30, 2013 in the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is after all not an initiative of the church authorities. Gate to hackneyed students whom Berkut pursued, were opened by the most local little men. They opened it at their own risk. The initiative from below should be repeated again and again.
Maidan began with the aspiration of people to be integrated into the European Union. But Europe is not geographical, but cultural concept. For me Europe is not Rome with its magnificent constructions, not London with Buckingham Palace, it is not Paris with Louvre. For me Europe is Amsterdam in which there are no palaces of the Supreme governors and in general some noticeable buildings of state institutions, but there are lovely small lodges and the strong developed civil society.
– But after all Maidan designated civil society in Ukraine. We just need time and political and economic stability to develop it.
– The other day I read news that in Ukraine were cleansed only 300 officials. Ridiculously! The number of prosecutors, police officers and security officers is still three times more, than in Europe, almost as much as in Russia. It is necessary to reduce much more actively the state and to expand influence of civil society. When they tell me: "The grass will grow up", I answer: "The horse will die". "Stability" is the main word-decoy on which the putinism grew. Life in principle cannot be stable if it is human life.
It is much easier to persuade a philistine or to turn the atheist to God, than to reach the indifferent inhabitant
– What I, the ordinary citizen of Ukraine, have tools to influence power in which the overwhelming part of officials and law enforcement authorities was anyway connected with Yanukovych's regime? If the third Maidan – is not an exit what remains?
– In Germany the late deceased Markus Wolf made agents of "Stasi" nearly 70% of the population. It was madness, but Wolf was not only the German, but the Jew, and therefore twice pedantic person. He managed to enlist the most part of Germans. (Markus Johann Wolf, the head of foreign intelligence of GDR in 1958-1986. "Stasi" – the ministry of state security of GDR, closely cooperated with KGB.– "GORDON"). In Russia gaybist are goofs, but they also managed to make, directly or indirectly, agents of KGB (now FSB) notable part of the population.
Ukraine is in the middle between Germany and Russia. You have an extensive pro-Russian secret-service network. It is necessary to start urgently and seriously the cleansing of officials. Novodvorskaya often said that it is not necessary to lag anybody, it is necessary to tell the names. I will tell more: maybe it is necessary not to dismiss everybody, but names and dirty tricks should be disclosed and to have the constant list on the Internet. And it is even more important, it seems to me, not to increase security service which would resist to the Russian agency, but to reduce the controlling state institutes, to look for public, obvious ways of opposition to the secret evil, to create the constitutional state in which it is simply impossible to be the agent of foreign will. It is necessary to clean that leverage by which officials can determine destiny of the country. The good state is the well cut off state.
Kiev, view on Sofia Square and St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery. Photo: Yakov Krotov / krotov.info
What tools do you have instead of the next Maidan? It is necessary to create that in Western Europe and the USA is called as a horizontal network. The democracy grows from below. It is necessary to begin with ourselves: to reconcile with whom you quarreled because of money, the alimony, career; to improve the friendly relations with neighbors and colleagues. Thus it is impossible to renounce the principles, corruption begins not from officials, and from us when we give a weak point and are ready to bribe.
– I am afraid, after so many victims on the Maidan and on Donbass many Ukrainians will not be able to reconcile, excuse me, with philistines in own country.
– I perfectly understand what you are talking about; there is the same situation in Russia. But, first, for me a philistine – is not an abusive word. The philistine is my father who was a convict and wore a prison wadded jacket with big advantage. (Gabriel Krotov, the teacher, was arrested in 1957 in half a year after the son's birth, carried out in the Soviet camps of nearly 18 years.–"GORDON").
Secondly, philistines are not only in the east of Ukraine, but also in Kiev. Capital philistines are special; they do not follow the pro-Russian position, but they are indifferent, narrow-minded and peasants. It is much easier to persuade a philistine or to turn the atheist to God, than to reach the inhabitant who thinks only of where cheaper to buy red fish.
Father Yakov. Photo: Wikipedia
Nevertheless, I will tell Ioan Zlatoust's words: "The river flows, ashore there is a tavern in which people drink. But the river still flows. And let them drink not from it, but from a barrel. Our business is to flow". And so, our business, excuse me for soviet words, to conduct explanatory work. Speaking in church language – to testify. I admit, in Russia I do not support talks with philistines, there is no sense. I hope, in a year - two will feel better, but in Ukraine I would be more active.
– It cannot be more active. Now people even divorce because of policy?
– You should not get into front arguments; it is possible to make a knight's move: to organize a seminar, lecture, a concert, still something. At the level of citizens, but not of the state. For me Europe is not the French academy of Sciences, which president is a philistine 200%. Europe is not old aristocratic families, kings, marquises, dukes. Read the letter of the descendants of the Russian titled noblemen, long ago living in the West who supported Putin's policy. What a nonsense they wrote? For me Europe is an academy, but in the Italian sense of the word, that is not the highest scientific institution, but tiny community of ordinary people.
The Kremlin machines stamp t-shirts with Putin and sell them across all Russia. People buy them. But everything will be erased. Remember, how in Andersen's fairy tale "The old house": "Yes, gilding will be erased, but the pork skin remains!". And the vyshivanka is for a long time because there was a symbol of political life at the level of citizen – citizen, it is a stitch between you and someone. And even only one person with another position will come to tiny evening of verses of Shevchenko, but he will be dearer, than 100 of others, shouting of patriotism. As well as to God one repenting I better than hundred Pharisees.