By Natalya Dvali, Editor
Robert Rozhdestvensky was a cult Sixtiers poet, author of several hundred songs, including "Do not think of seconds haughtily", "Something is wrong with my memory", "My years – my wealth". This year it is 20 years since his death. Out of 62 years of his life, Robert Ivanovich lived 41 years with his beloved wife, the literary critic Alla Kireeva.
Alla Borisovna herself cannot answer how they, being so different, managed to keep family. Rozhdestvensky was an idol of the generation, a poet favored by the Soviet government, while Kireeva was a rebel and a straight-shooter who had hated the Communist party and the Soviet system for all her life. "Robert really believed sincerely in everything he saw and heard, – Kireeva recollected in an interview to the Gordon Boulevard newspaper. – I remember, he suddenly declared that he was going to join the party in 1978. I could not stand this, "Well, you do like that: one statement to the party, and another statement for a divorce to the registry office. I will not live with a party member!"
One expressive episode testifies to Kireeva’s invincible character. The former Head of the Department of Presidential Affairs (of both Yeltsin and Putin) Pavel Borodin came to the 70th anniversary of the poet Andrey Voznesensky. While the Kremlin official was going on the stage, Kireeva, sitting in the first row, exclaimed loudly, "The thief has to be in prison!"
"The last thing I remember were mad eyes of Zoya Boguslavskaya (Voznesensky's wife. – GORDON). – Kireeva admitted. – It just escaped... Pavel Pavlovich (Borodin. – GORDON), of course, was a charming man... Damn it! You are a poet! Robert would have hung himself if I had told him, "Let's invite Pavel Pavlovich..." We’d better eat dried crusts instead of bread than invite such people!"
– Alla Borisovna, do you understand what Putin tries to achieve?
– He does not need either the new USSR or the Russian Empire. Putin's purpose is to build “a storehouse for fur coats” for himself and his immediate environment. These are business challenges and nothing more.
– And Vladimir Vladimirovich assures that "the worst tragedy is alienation of the Ukrainian and the Russian peoples" allegedly promoted by the West.
– Putin arranged all the main important tragedies of Russia over the last 15 years with his own hands. I stress once again: tragedies have been arranged by him and him only!
– Judging by opinion polls, the Russian people do not think so, otherwise how to explain the 84% rating of the Russian President?
– Today almost everybody in Russia likes Putin, and tomorrow when the state starts taking people’s money to ensure supplies to the Crimea and to support fighters in Donbass, they will change their mind. The Kremlin’s promises about the creation of "Novorossiya" will soon disappoint and even irritate most of the Russians.
– And there will be a Maidan on Red Square?
– Russia is not strong enough for its own Maidan, robberies and bloody banditry will begin instead.
– Why is it Ukraine that causes such aggression and hatred among the Russian population?
– Most of the Russians are zombified with the television propaganda. People forgot how to think and work and it does not want to. Therefore, the neighbor who took its destiny in hand, causes rejection and irritation.
– It is strange that the younger generation who do not know the USSR, but understand what the West is, yielded to the propaganda.
– The youth grew up in Russia with the TV turned on, they trusted and trust it completely. They got stuck in the Internet network, they read some nonsense instead of books. There is a very strong propaganda in Russia, it alters consciousness, it is a real fact for me.
– How do you escape from the Kremlin propaganda?
– I read Russian classical literature, I do not watch TV where the same people talk nonsense passionately and insanely. I am fed up with it. It is impossible to influence me with propaganda.
– Why are there so many representatives of Russian intellectual elite – writers, actors, musicians – who do not oppose Putin's policy, but even support it actively?
– Because they have a slavish, servile soul.
– Did you notice that there was not a single poet among Russians who signed the letter in support of Putin?
– Poets are a subtle matter. It is good that you noticed it in Ukraine: there are no signatures of real poets under this letter. And it is great. I understand why there is contempt for Russians in the Ukrainian society. It is awful. It will take decades of hard work to restore previous relations.
– Do you personally experience sanctions?
– I am so old that I seldom go shopping, so the Western sanctions did not affect me. And Russia’s retaliatory sanctions look childish. It is an awful kindergarten habit, "You did so? Then we will do so!" When a Russian citizen says, "It is good that the Western goods are banned, the domestic producer will rise now," he does not understand how much time and technologies are need to grow wheat, for example. But what can we do, these are Russian people...
– How will the Russian-Ukrainian war end?
– It is impossible to predict. The Kremlin government is unpredictable, it is absolutely unclear that what it will want tomorrow. I think, eventually, Ukraine will become a free European country, and Russia will continue rising from the knees.
– What would you wish to our peoples?
– I wish Ukraine to become a real firm fist and try not to hate Russia. Believe me, not all Russians are to blame for what is happening now. I wish Russians only one thing: to open their eyes, to start thinking brains and to understand finally, who is making a fool of them and why.