by Natalia DVALI
The newspaper photographer, the artist, the designer and the historian by education Rustem Adagamov is known under network name drugoi, – one of the most popular bloggers of the Russian segment of the Internet. The total number of subscribers of Adagamov's Facebook page, Twitter account and "LiveJournal" blog – over 400 thousand people, monthly number of visitors – about three million people. In the journalistic circle Adagamov is considered as the real competitor of the Russian electronic mass media.
Nearly 10 years the blogger lived in Norway where he was invited to work in the western advertizing agency. In the middle of the 2000th he returned to Moscow, participated and actively covered the protest movements, entered the Coordination council of opposition. In the 2013th Adagamov left Russia and moved to Prague after the Investigative committee brought against him a criminal case "on suspicion in commission of crime, the criminal code of Russian Federation provided by Art. 131 and 132 (rape; violent acts of sexual character)".
The case appeared after the former wife of the blogger Tatyana Delsal in interview to the pro-Kremlin newspaper "Izvestiya" and Russia Today TV company accused Adagamov of corruption of the 12-year-old Norwegian girl. Adagamov rejected charges: "How can I comment this? There is nothing more dreadful than the offended former wife". The Norwegian police did not confirm the Delsal's words. Representatives of opposition declared that the Kremlin began campaign for discredit of one of the most influential Russian bloggers.
In interview to the “GORDON” Rustem Adagamov told why many sane Russians "started arguing as cave savages", about why nobody on the West is interested in Russian Federation and why Ukraine should not build the new state on slogans "Glory to nation – death to enemies!"
– Aren't you afraid to give interview to the Ukrainian journalist?
– Of course, no. I consider Ukraine my native land where 30 years ago, in the Crimea, my son was born. And I don't care about any persecution though as soon as I quit main profession of the designer and started being engaged in the blog, in Russia they tried to talk over me by different means.
– In August of the 2014, just before massive approach of Russian Federation army to Donbass, you wrote: "I think that Ukraine will not survive till winter, the Russian bear will win it". Do you still consider the same?
– The situation has changed. Putin's plans and his environments changed after they understood, when they saw to what deadlock they trapped with the situation with the Crimea, "DNR" and "LNR". But this deadlock is even worse because absolutely terrible war in Donbass will last for years now. There is no way out. In any case, I do not see it. I very much sympathize Ukraine which during 25 years didn't participate in any wars but how you will further live with this terrible, infernal war in the east – is unclear.
– Why Ukraine causes such aggression in the Russians?
– When I was asked: "On what subjects do readers of your blog most sharply react?", I always answered: "On the Ukrainian question". It began long before the war on Donbass, annexation of the Crimea and the Euromaidan. I felt an aggravation of the Ukrainian question after Orange revolution of 2004 when Viktor Yushchenko became a president and radicalization of society began.
– Radicalization of Ukrainian or Russian society?
– Including Ukrainian. I came to Kiev in 2009, was at some festival in which Oleg Skripka participated. I remember how there was a crowd walking down the street Bank, girls wearing vyshivanka and wreaths, there was a lot of music, but among procession there were also people dressed in the UNA-UNSO form. It impressed me a little. I do not consider Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich as heroes, they are the same collaborators, as Kvisling in Norway (Vidkun Kvisling – the Norwegian politician who was actively cooperating with the Third Reich. In the 1942nd year he was assigned the minister-president of Norway by the occupational authorities of fascist Germany. He was executed in the 1945th.–"GORDON").
In the civilized world, especially European, it is impossible to build the new state on radical slogans, it will not be accepted, because nationalism in multicultural society – destiny of outcasts.
– Don't you exaggerate radical nationalism in Ukraine? At presidential elections Dmitry Yarosh won 0,7% of votes, Oleh Tyahnybok – 1,16%. The party "Svoboda" in general did not enter Verkhovna Rada.
– I perfectly know that national radicalism – not dominating ideology in your country. Moreover, I understand that the Western Ukraine is also not subject to nationalism, despite statements of the Russian propaganda. But thus the nationalist rhetoric dominates in the Ukrainian mass media and social networks. It dominated on the Maidan also. "Glory to nation – death to enemies!" for me the nationalist expression is not that slogan that should lead the majority. Results of both presidential, and parliamentary elections in Ukraine confirmed it.
– How do you feel radicalization of the Russian society?
– I stopped to communicate with four close people who, as well as everybody in the Russian Federation, went crazy because of the Ukrainian question. Literally went mad, I can't say in another way. I considered them absolutely sane, but suddenly they started arguing, as cave savages. The world hasn't seen such weapon before …
– You mean the Kremlin propaganda?
– Yes. there existed a biological, chemical, nuclear weapon, but television in the form in which it is used in Russia, didn't exist before. The most terrible that the government uses this television weapon against its own people. The aggression increased in society. It is visible on reaction of people to tiny anti-war pickets which continually take place in Moscow and other cities. Some people stay with posters against war with Ukraine. Earlier they would not have been notice, but now the aggressive crowd attacks them.
– Did you receive any threats?
– I receive them constantly. Sometimes people write to my Facebook: e.g., when you return to Russia, we will skin you alive. Messages appeared not only from the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, they began to write from the middle of the 2000th. I even got used to them.
– Nearly 25 years passed after the collapse of the USSR, the new generation of the Russians seeing the West grew. Why it is so easy to make them hate the USA, or Georgia, or Ukraine?
– I ask myself this question and I do not find the answer. I do not understand why so easily they succeeded to fool huge number of normal people in Russia. I have no explanations when sane and educated people after watching the TV say: "All Ukrainians should be turned into nuclear dust", "We are surrounded by the enemies dreaming to seize Russia". What a nonsense! People who say such things, do not even understand: nobody on the West is interested in Russia, nobody wants to do them the harm.
The world leads the normal, quiet life. Europe and the USA have a mass of own problems, anybody does not care about Russia which suddenly started defending from everyone. I lived many years and I still live in the different western countries, nobody never told me: "Hey you, Russian, we will show you who wear the pants here!.". Trust me, they don't just care.
– Hatred grows not only to Putin's regime, but also to Russians in the Ukrainian society. Does it offend you?
– I understand Ukrainians.I understand with my mind, but not with my heart. It is difficult for me to accept when the Ukrainian writes: "Russians, I hope you will die". This is the same madness, as well as Russian expressions about Ukrainians.
– How the western society perceives the Ukrainian-Russian conflict?
– I communicated with the Norwegian and German friends, talked to the foreign journalists working in Moscow. All of them consider war of Russia with Ukraine the national tragedy. After collapse of the USSR in 1991 the big mistake was made – there were no desovietization and decommunization in society. Nobody worked with Post-Soviet society, did not overpersuade it, did not teach people to be free and civilized citizens. There still was absolutely savage Soviet psychology In Russia, it needed to be squeezed out the same way as Nazism was squeezed out of Germans.
– And how do foreigners treat the Russian President Vladimir Putin?
– I did not ask so directly, we communicated about a situation in general. The Russian President turned into a default figure long ago, everybody perfectly understands what kind of person he is. The West consider that Putin is the integrated image of KGB who seized the whole power in Russia again.
But, once again I will repeat, the problem is not only in Putin, the problem is in society in which there was no conscious desovietization. I have no hopes that Russia will become part of the European community and the civilized world sometime. Conventional Putin is everything that Russians need. Nothing will change in Russia even if there will be no Putin. Absolutely nothing.
– Perhaps, after all, the matter is in the specific leader of the state? There were neither propaganda, nor repressions, nor external aggression at the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
– After Stalin's death Nikita Khrushchev at the XX congress of CPSU delivered a speech about a dethronement of a cult of personality, the "Thaw" began, they allowed to hold the World festival of youth and students in Moscow, the Industrial Output of the USA exhibition in "Sokolniki", Khrushchev even visited America. But soon again everything disappeared, and the USSR began to be isolated.
The Russian society is very infantile. A few years ago they started to claim: "Stability is necessary, and discordant with the Kremlin policy disturbs it" and right there the most part of the population nodded: because of oppositional marches we cannot walk in the downtown, we need stability. Suddenly the need for stability has disappeared – now they need war. Again society in large quantities agreed: Let it be the war – and hundreds of young people without brains went to Donbass to kill citizens of Ukraine.
– And if with a wave of a magic wand the Russian TV will start talking about the European values, about freedom and democracy, will describe the real events Ukraine of times of the Euromaidan, the inhabitant will accept it?
– If to explain everything to Russians on fingers – in a year, or two, or 10 years – they will change. After all we had "reorganization" in the mid-eighties when there was continuous "a world, friendship, and so on", the people adored the USA, wrote from delight that it is possible to go abroad. Russians are just children whom we need to explain how the world lives. After all they still do not know it Therefore they were so easily believed in the stereotypes like: "The West dreams to force Russia to the knees, to destroy it".
– Is there anything you would like to tell Ukrainian readers right now?
– I am a pacifist, I do not want any wars, aggravations, mutual hatred. I just want to tell people: think, how many artificial pressure around today's situation.
– And from Ukrainian side also?
– Yes. The authorities purposefully play off us against each other, but Ukrainians and Russians have actually, nothing to divide. I have no recipes and councils how to stop the war. I very much sympathize both Ukrainians, and Ukraine. Things that happened to your country, I cannot call otherwise than a knife in the back to the friend. I have nothing more to add.