Two friends of my revolutionary youth, each of them in his turn said to be a renegade and each a traitor to the National Bolshevik Party *, are projected by themselves on the fresh, calf-shit-colored cell wall of the Lefortovo prison. Both friends faded from the Eternity of History into life in time. Life has its advantages. The mighty, bronze weight of History has its own advantages. It’s harder for me, every day of prison crushes, even going to the bathhouse is like washing in front of a gas chamber. But you will not refuse me consistency and integrity of character. In Lefortovo, eternity is played out. A party is being played out in Moscow.
So. The large, bearded face of the classic of Duginism is Alexander Gelevich. A thin, feline, sideways face with piercing black eyes – Taras Adamovich. Three of the four founding fathers of the National Bolshevik Party have exotic patronymics: Alexander Gelievich Dugin, Taras Adamovich Rabko, Eduard Veniaminovich Savenko (Limonov). These patronymic names must mean something, maybe the exoticism of National Bolshevism? (It is also true that Leninist Marxism was an even more exotic ideology in Russia in 1917.) The fourth founding father is Egor (Igor) Fedorovich Letov.
Despite such a completely Russian, coachman surname (arc, a bell under the arc), Dugin has the body of a Tatar Murza, like Baburin. A plump, cheeky, belly, busty, bearded young man with ample thighs. Full of exaggerated emotions – that’s how he seemed to me at the evening of the newspaper “The Day” in the cinema “Oktyabrsky”. Then I saw him for the first time. 1992 I was sitting in the presidium, and when he came out to perform, back to us, I remember being struck by the small ballet “pas” that made his legs, movements inappropriate for the massive figure of this young man. He had a habit of standing on one leg completely, suddenly pushing the other back, on the toe. In 1994, I remember watching his same “pas” in the Master disco, where the “Extremist Fashion” festival took place, then Dugin was dressed in riding breeches and shoes! In this outfit, his toe foot looked Oscar Wilde ambiguous. Dugin’s “disciple” – Karogodin – was dressed in a black Nazi suit, rented at the theater, and Taras Rabko sported an overcoat and a Red Army soldier’s Budyonovka. I gave an interview to Vesti, standing between two extremists: a nationalist and a Bolshevik.
That evening in Oktyabrsky, I also noted that Dugin had arbitrarily usurped the connection of the patriotic opposition with the Western right. He spoke with greetings from the parties of many European countries at once, from Italian, French, German, even, it seems, Swiss and Finnish right. He read out the greetings of obscure groups and little groups, and whenever he announced: “We are greeted by a party … from Belgium … a party from France … a party from Italy!” The hall burst into applause. During the last years of my life in France, I became close to the largest right-wing party Front National and met its leader Jean Marie Le Pen, with the owner of the newspaper “Minute” Gerard Penzelelli, with the staff of the magazine “Le Chok de mois” and “Minute”, with the editor of the magazine ” Krisis” by Alain de Benoist, therefore he knew well the situation in the right movement. The parties in whose name Dugin welcomed the hall were microscopic groups. After his speech and before the banquet at the House of Writers, I told him about this, asking if he knew that with the possible exception of “La Nouvelle Europe” – Thiriart’s organization – these are all sects, not parties. Dugin smiled hooliganly: “You know, Eduard, for people sitting in the hall, support from abroad is important, and not how many people are in one party or another.” He was right, of course.
“Our young philosopher,” as Prokhanov announced to the public, got drunk that evening at a banquet in the restaurant of the House of Writers. The whole beau-monde of the patriotic movement was present there: Kozhinov, Shafarevich, generals Titov and Makashov, Zyuganov was sitting to my left. And just at that moment, when I was talking with Zyuganov (there was something like an intermission, those present stood up, who wanted to, and talked as they had to), Dugin appeared from behind Zyuganov, his flushed face was already on one side. “And what are you, Edward, doing with these?” He nodded contemptuously towards Zyuganov. The latter, however, showed typical Russian tolerance towards a drunkard: “Pay no attention, Edik, it happens to our Sasha.” “Let’s drink hard
Dugin did not leave me that evening. I have detailed the following episode in “A Hero’s Anatomy”. Three of us left the banquet: Prokhanov, Dugin and myself. Prokhanov left us at the church where, they say, Pushkin got married. Then a scene from the program “Crime” played out. Drunken Dugin kicked a passing foreign car so that a dent formed. The car stopped, a man with a pistol jumped out of it and, clicking the shutter, pointed the pistol at Dugin. Dugin – the hat has gone astray, the scarf is hanging – suddenly declared: “You know, but I’m Limonov!” I told the man with the gun that Limonov was me and I apologize for my drunk friend. The man swore, lowered his gun, got into the car and drove away. There was some symbolism in the scene on the street, which was confirmed in the future – Dugin sometimes mistook himself for me, I think sometimes he really wanted to be Limonov. This episode, tragic in its essence, did not turn me away from Dugin. A small speck on a philosopher’s reputation, that’s all. Not even a speck, if you look at the image of Dugin in the Russian tradition. Even in the German tradition, the alcoholic, bohemian, drug addict was, as we know, Hitler’s teacher. In May 1993, fresh, fresh from the war in the Kninska Krajina, I arrived in Russia. And already on May 9 he led a column of the National Bolshevik Front. Events then took place at a feverishly spasmodic pace. Dugin walked beside him. We wrote Order No. 1 on the National Bolshevik Front, standing on the humpbacked bridge near the White House, only stepping aside from the crowd that was always seething there. It was a few days before May 9th. I wrote down the order. Its essence was reduced to the combination in one political body of the ideas of social and national justice. This is a very important policy document. He outlined the first strokes of the ideology of National Bolshevism. Taras Rabko was not with us, perhaps he took exams in Tver or went to his parents in the city of Kimry. Or maybe he didn’t exist at all, that is, I haven’t met him yet? But there was a girl photographer Laura Ilyina, she captured this historical moment on film and if she didn’t lose it in her turbulent life, then maybe one day the photos will be published. (Laura Ilyina was later present at many tragic episodes of my personal and political life. She was even present during the last hours of my life together with Natasha Medvedeva, on July 11, 1995. True, she then took several photographs at my request, which I now regret. A lot had to be done. History needs to be recorded. And false modesty deprives humanity of the exhibits of future museums.)
Taras Adamovich Rabko appeared before me for the first time on the stairs of the Literaturnaya Gazeta plant. As I was leaving The Day, Tatyana Solovyova (she still works with Prokhanov) called out to me: “Here, Eduard, I want to introduce you to a young man, he is your admirer.” The admirer, a tall, thin, round-shouldered young man, his eyes shone, he almost stuttered with excitement. We started walking down the stairs, talking. Since he read me carefully, there was something to talk about. It was May 1993 outside. Then Taras became extremely useful and absolutely indispensable. In fact, he provoked me to create a political organization. Little cat head, innocent eyes of a crook.
Perhaps the history of National Bolshevism would have developed faster for a whole year if it were not for the confrontation between the Supreme Soviet and Yeltsin. In essence, they were overwhelmingly people of the same camp, it is enough to recall that with the same Supreme Soviet, Yeltsin declared the sovereignty of Russia, with him he buried the USSR. The confrontation, in fact, began back in May and gradually slipped to the events of September 20 – October 4.
By June 1993, we agreed to work together with Dugin and Rabko. There was no such thing that everyone swore there on fire or cut their hands and mixed the blood. When the National Bolshevik Front collapsed, a conversation took place between me and Dugin that a National Bolshevik Party should be created, that the principles of struggle for the national state and for socialism should be combined within one party. Rabko undertook to register the first cell of this party, the main goal was to patent the name for himself. He made inquiries and was told that it would be easier to register the organization with the regional department of the Ministry of Justice. He got down to business.
I returned to Paris to try to get money for a newspaper. I visited Alain de Benoit, the intellectual leader of all European right-wingers and editor of the magazine Krizis, initiated him into the newspaper project and asked for his help. Alain de Benoit, sighing, explained that each issue of “Crisis” costs him 80 thousand francs, or 15 thousand dollars, he barely publishes 4 issues a year. Even after I explained to him that my newspaper could be published in 10,000 copies for $200, that I needed only about $5,200 a year, he did not help. May he be forever ashamed of it! I asked Gerard Penzelelli for money, and he said that he could not help. I even turned to a well-known fascist philanthropist, an old Italian countess, but it did not work out. And to Count Six de Bourbon-Parma, heir to the French throne,
Dugin? I guess he was waiting to see if we were successful or not, to join if he saw what was going on. This was his operational mode of existence. Later, when we met Heydar Jemal, we talked a lot about Dugin, our former colleague and friend. And they came to the conclusion that Dugin always needs a leader, that he himself is always led and does not function alone.
Rabko was the most successful that summer. He successfully submitted documents for registration of the party. Sly Taras looked, I think, with radiant violet pseudo-naive eyes at the aunt from the regional department of the Ministry of Justice and conquered her heart, beating under her blouse and bra in the depths of a vast full body. The hyper-energetic Rabko also undertook to publish the Program of the NBP. He published this lilac little book with his own money: he had worn out banknotes of pounds sterling for a long time. With great difficulty, Taras managed to find an exchange office that was not afraid of his lost pounds. As a basis for the text of the program, we took my article “The Manifesto of Soviet Nationalism”, published in the newspaper “Soviet Russia” a year before. I just added to the text and changed Soviet nationalism into Russian. We put Order No. 1 as the first material in the “Program”. I did the editorial work on the text at the rue de Turenne in Paris. The crafty Taras adapted the conductors of the international train “Moscow – Paris, Vostochny Station” to transmit correspondence. I, receiving and sending correspondence, gave the conductors a gray piece of paper in 50 francs. It was only slightly more expensive than the air package, but much faster and more reliable. Everyone was satisfied.
Once, with correspondence from Taras, clippings from newspapers and magazines arrived. All of them concerned a rock singer unknown to me by the name of Letov. “He is our Man,” Taras wrote in huge letters, so that there were six lines on the page in total, “he read The Disciplinary Sanatorium, we need him. If you come, you must definitely meet him!” Indeed, in one of the interviews, Letov quoted the Disciplinary Sanatorium. This is how I first heard about the fourth founding father. Subsequently, we received NBP membership cards in accordance with the order in which we appeared on the historical stage.
Limonov – ticket number 1,
Dugin – ticket number 2,
Rabko – ticket number 3,
Letov – ticket number 4.
From whom did you receive? From me.
I arrived in Moscow on September 16, because the date of September 8 was on the certificate of registration of the Moscow regional organization of the National Bolshevik Party. I didn’t hesitate. Before leaving, a series of supernatural events (I wrote about them at length in Anatomy of a Hero) let me know that the trip was going to be unusual. In the center of Paris I was stung on the head by three wild bees, I saw for the first time in 14 years of my life in Paris a drowned man in the Seine, something else happened. I arrived, however, without fulfilling my main task: I did not get money in France for the publication of a newspaper. I took all my money to Moscow, but it was catastrophically small. I got poor. Just at that moment, on June 12, a campaign against National Bolshevism began in the French press, and my name was intensively declined and conjugated everywhere on the front pages of newspapers. There was no need to rejoice. I was hastily made into an enemy of the French people. And naturally, the publishers shunned the enemy of the people. I managed to sell the manuscript of The Killing of the Sentry to L’Age d’Homme for only 5,000 francs. Only because it was headed by the Serb Vladimir Dmitrievich, once enemies, we united with him on the basis of love for our slandered, unfortunate homelands. I think that my Serbian military campaigns tipped the scales in favor of Dmitrievich’s decision. “La sentinelle assassinée” was released in France as a black book only in 1995. The Russian text, included in one volume with the “Disciplinary Sanatorium” under the general title “The Killing of the Sentry”, was published by the publishing house “Young Guard” and fatally arrived from the printing house on September 18, 1993, two days before the start of the state crisis. Frightened, the leaders of the “Young Guard” detained the book in warehouses until November and thought more than once about whether to put it under the knife.
So I came from France empty.
Immediately upon arrival, we rushed to look for a room for the party: Taras and I. Dugin played and walked with his daughter and worked on his articles. Limonov and Rabko visited several regional executive committees, I think that’s what these institutions were called. In the Avtozavodsk district executive committee, we were immediately given a table and a telephone in a common room filled with employees. And they gave me the key. “After six, the employees leave, and you can have your meetings. During the day, sit your boyfriend down so that he can answer the phone,” we were advised. We wanted a private room, so we kept looking. In the Dzerzhinsky District Executive Committee on Prospekt Mira, the chairman was not there, we were asked to call in a few days later. (I stopped by there on September 23 or 24, handing in my machine gun before leaving the White House.
Thus, the affairs of the party advanced. There was registration, there was a contact phone number, there was a printed program of the NBP in a lilac cover the color of jelly (or women’s panties of the Stalinist era, as we joked among ourselves), the issue with the newspaper remained open. I wanted to gather everyone who, to one degree or another, promised me cooperation. There was a newspaper name. It was invented by a poet, hooligan, journalist Yaroslav Mogutin, at that time a co-author of my publisher Alexander Shatalov. By the way, it was at this wild, always quarreling couple that I stopped when I arrived in Moscow on September 16th. I slept in their kitchen, by the radiator, at a wooden table. Every morning I drank the bouillon cubes I had brought with me, ate dark French chocolate and set off to build a party. So the name of the newspaper was given by Yaroslav Mogutin. However, it is also true that in the work “We are a national hero” written by me in 1974, “lemon T-shirts” and all sorts of other accessories invented by me appear. Therefore, Mogutin, who read the work “We are a national hero”, was inspired by me.
If we are talking about symbols and accessories, then you need to know that the flag of the National Bolshevik Party was created by an artist who worked for Shatalov: Dima Kedrin. Dima was the author of the covers of all my books published by the Glagol publishing house. Red background, white circle and black hammer and sickle – this is how Kedrin designed the back cover of the book of my articles “The Disappearance of the Barbarians”. It included the fantastic story “The Disappearance of the Barbarians” and some chapters of the “Disciplinary Sanatorium”. So those suspicious subjects who, smelling our flag, suspect us of Hitlerism, are forced to disappoint: the author of the flag is a peaceful, apolitical artist Dima Kedrin, in recent years he has been painting landscapes of Italy. “The Disappearance of the Barbarians” came out in 1992, when the party had not yet been thought of.
In the summer of 1994, Rabko and I simply copied and increased the proportions of the flag while sitting on Kalanchevka in a ruined apartment. This flag, later called “sail” in the party, four by two meters in size was the reason that in June 1994 the owner of the apartment, Lenochka Pestryakova, expelled us from her premises. We turned to her on our own with a request to sew a flag for us. On June 10, 1994, the Conference of the Revolutionary Opposition was to be held together with Barkashov and Anpilov. We urgently wanted to decorate the hall with our flag, but Lena was a designer and a seamstress – she sewed for Slava Zaitsev in the House of Models. But here I ran a year ahead. I’ll be back.
If I am not mistaken, it was during those four days that remained before the state turmoil that Shatalov arranged a meeting for me in his kitchen with Dima Kedrin. I informed Kedrin that I was going to publish the Limonka newspaper. “It would be nice if you, Dima, mocked up the newspaper’s logo for us.” Kedrin, apparently expecting all sorts of adventures from me, immediately agreed and accepted the order. Of course, I wasn’t going to pay, and Kedrin didn’t expect me to pay. It was a fascinating experiment.
On September 20, I was about to go to bed (I wanted to sleep in Shatalov’s kitchen). Suddenly, all television programs were interrupted on all channels and Yeltsin, white with anger, appeared on the poisonous screen of the small Shatalov kitchen TV “SONY” and read out Decree 1400. Without listening to the end, I began to dress, getting dressed I found Captain Shurygin on the phone (how I wanted to drag him into fathers -the founders of the NBP! But he refused and in the end became too much of a journalist and much less of a warrior, and I wanted him to join the party – a warrior). In the premises of the Den newspaper, Shurygin was celebrating something with his comrades. I told him what had happened in the country, said goodbye to Shatalov and Mogutin, took a taxi downstairs on Bashilovskaya Street and drove to Tsvetnoy Boulevard, where the newspaper Den was located in the building of the Literaturnaya Gazeta complex. (in a couple of weeks the paper will be smashed by the Democrats at this address). From there we drove in two cars to the White House. By nightfall, I had already taken up my post at entrance number one. Became a defender of the White House. Two weeks of confrontation followed. On October 3, four hours of victory and freedom came, the capture of the mayor’s office. The first wounded was Captain Shurygin. Taras and I saw how he was being dragged, a grenade sticking out of the torn, unnaturally white flesh of his leg. Eyes rolled wildly. By evening, Taras and I came under fire near Ostankino. Then there was the rout. All these events are reflected in the “Anatomy of a Hero”. I was going to write a big book about the bloody state crisis of 1993, I collected rare newspapers of September-October 1993, but my hands did not reach. Throughout October 1993, I was hiding on the outskirts of Tver, with the student Rabko and his grandmother Anya, who recorded the phone,
Then there were elections.