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My Political Biography – Chapter 1 by Eduard Limonov

This was published on The Other Russia of E.V Limonov website in December of 2019, which can be found here in Russian

Chapter 1

Due to the lack of operational communication between the publishing house and the author, who is in custody in the pre-trial detention center of the FSB of Russia, the book is published in the author’s edition, without checking names and dates.

I confess that I do not even remember in detail the coming of Gorbachev. Shown on French TV channels. They said “young”. Before that, they died one after another: Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko. I was ashamed in front of my French friends. I have always boasted of the power of Russia, and here the only thing known about Russia is that coffins are carried to the cemetery. Well, I thought: “Young is good,” and nothing more. An additional factor of inattention to Gorbachev: Natalya and I parted ways. It was the spring of 1985. By June, Medvedeva and I parted ways, only to get back together in January 1986.

And later, throughout the second half of 1985 and throughout 1986, it was completely quiet for me on the other side of the planet where Russia was located. Once there were rumors that the vineyards were completely cut down, even in Georgia and Moldova, they said that in this way the new Secretary General was fighting alcoholism. In France – “cut down the vineyards” – sounded barbaric. Even Attila did not allow himself that. I interpreted what happened as wild tyranny. And calmed down. Everything was as always.

The fact is that for the other side of the planet where the Motherland is located, I have been calm all these ten years. I mean the first ten years lived in the West. I was sure that conservatism reigned stably and harshly there, that Russia was securely frozen. The fact that Russia was frozen was a certain inconvenience for the Russian intelligentsia and people of art, so I thought. But the same circumstance has a positive effect on the fate of the workers and peasants. They are privileged, though they don’t realize it.

I confess that I did not expect any changes in Russia from within, I completely ignored the influence of the dissidence movement on the authorities. He believed that the authorities had successfully crushed the dissident movement, forcing the most violent abroad. Of course, I could not have known that there were dissidents in government structures, including the KGB. Of course, I could not know that a certain A. Yakovlev was sitting in the USSR Embassy in Canada and that when Gorbachev, already a member of the Politburo, appeared in Canada, this Yakovlev managed to inspire Gorbachev with some of his ideas, which in a few years would first destroy the Eastern Bloc – the socialist camp, and then the USSR. There is no doubt that Yakovlev drew some of his ideas, if not directly from dissidents, then starting from the very Soviet atmosphere of the 70s in Russia – an atmosphere of cynicism, disbelief in the ideals of communism. (In essence, disbelief in any ideals. The ideology of philistine cynicism dominated and still dominates in the country.) In contrast to the clearly decrepit communist ideology, Yakovlev, who served as ambassador to Canada for 11 years and had seen enough of the country, following the ideas of the then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, offered Gorbachev a liberal-federalist ideology for the USSR . At one time I described in detail the Yakovlev-Gorbachev couple and their Canadian relations in my book “The Killing of the Sentry”. Even in twenty-million (not our Siberia) Anglo-French Canada, Trudeau’s ideas did not take root, they turned out to be too smilingly unrealistic, and soon Trudeau left power.

First of all, Gorbachev decided to “liberate” Eastern Europe. Note that the first dissident demonstration on Red Square took place in August 1968, during the days of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. A little over twenty years later, the “velvet revolutions” in the Eastern Bloc were organized from Moscow. As if Gorbanevskaya, Delaunay and Dremlyuga did not serve their terms and went abroad, but quickly ran up the steps of the party ladder, and now the countries of Eastern Europe are being “liberated” from the highest chair in the country.

Later I heard that Gorbachev allegedly sold out, that he was an “agent”… It is absurd to suspect that he was bribed. How can you bribe the emperor with what? The emperor, the master of the half world, has everything. Therefore, he is a village idiot, one of those who graze goats, blows his nose in his hand and speaks indistinctly, difficultly … In fact, it turned out that way. He was persuaded to give up Eastern Europe. What they promised him in return – a wonderful shiny mirror or a hat with red feathers – we will never know.

Did he think about the consequences of the velvet revolutions? Did you think that he opens volcanoes, so many volcanoes at once, that he opens bottles where genies languish, that he releases bacteria into these countries that will make them sick, writhe, die? A person with bureaucratic-command thinking, I think, did not care about such trifles. He also did not think about breaking the balance of power, Yakovlev convinced him that the West is our good brother.

In the fall of 1996, Mavromati and Salnikov took me to the Cinema House to meet Gorbachev with the voters. I squeezed my way into the second row and immediately asked him a question from my seat. Aloud. Got up and asked. It was impossible for everyone else, but he allowed me. “Let him talk. I know him, I saw him in the cinema…” (He meant television.) I said: “My question will be correct in form and unpleasant in essence: Mikhail Sergeevich, when you sleep, don’t you dream of bloody boys? stand in your eyes? Even if you leave Russia, take Serbia, where I have visited many times … Do you know that you are hated by many people there for letting Germany unite? In the Balkans, at first she secretly began to support the Croats in their separatist aspirations, supplied them with weapons. Croatian fighters began to train on the territory of the former Soviet military camps in Hungary. Russian planes, from which the identification marks were scraped off, began to drop Soviet weapons to the Croats at night. Don’t you dream of bloody boys?”

The hall was seething and indignant. After all, his supporters gathered – the Moscow intelligentsia. He cleared his throat, stood up… “Well, that’s how it is… Yes, they would have united anyway… a historical pattern…” In his voice, one could hear resentment that he followed a historical pattern, and he is accused of it. A maniac accused of murders could have said the same with resentment. After all, he obediently followed the “voice”, how could one disobey the “voice”? So it is with Gobachev’s historical regularity.

When he gave away Eastern Europe, my healthy mind was indignant. The blood of generations of peasant ancestors from the Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod villages boiled with hatred for the man who gave away the land we conquered. Didn’t we pay a hundred thousand soldiers’ lives for the capture of Berlin, so that every big-ass bastard with hammers climbed our wall?! It was on the graves of our dead that you encroached – this is how I perceived the Sabbath at the Berlin Wall. Yes, it was a turning point. I began to hate Gorbachev in the late 80s, when the KGB and GRU officers organized the surrender of the Eastern Bloc countries. All this shame was abundantly broadcast on French television.

Why didn’t he turn to anyone for advice? Russia jumped into waters that it did not know, and grunted against the stones – Yakovlev knew the West little and poorly. He studied it from the window of the embassy limousine.

Even then I realized that Russia was heading for ruin. That it simply does not have personnel who understand the modern world. Therefore, tragically, they made a mistake, orienting themselves in it. Democrats idolized the West, orthodox communists hated it as a “stronghold of capitalism.” And it was only necessary to understand the West. And among the political class that came to power, as well as among the political opposition, there was not a single person like that. And the stubborn country of petty tyrants did not want to turn to those of its compatriots who had vast experience in dealing with the West – to emigrants. Unlike the Eastern Europeans, they looked into the mouth of their emigrants: Poland – Pope Voytila, Nobel laureate Milos or Brzezinski, and the Serbs of Bosnia began to be led by the American professor Karadzic, the president of Yugoslavia for some time was the emigrant writer Chosic, Vika Freiberge is the President of Latvia, an immigrant from Canada. You can name dozens more names of ministers from Eastern European countries and the Baltic countries – former emigrants or dissidents, like Havel in the Czech Republic. But not Russia, no, Russia itself with a mustache, and without the help of experienced people with idiotic enthusiasm, has done such troubles that you can’t clear up even in centuries. (And above all, it left 27 million Russians outside the Russian state!) No, it was not Russia that rejected the people of experience. This is the class from which Yeltsin, Gorbachev and Zyuganov came out, hostilely rejected any stranger. Knowing? This is just what we needed! Bukovsky? What are you, he will do this to us! Zinoviev? No, no, we’re on our own! So not a single emigrant, not Bukovsky, not Solzhenitsyn, not Limonov, was useful to the country. They were rejected by the nomenklatura. This corporate will of the nomenklatura put me in jail. The same bureaucratic caste strayed in 1992 into the Party Council of the National Salvation Front. And there was no place for emigrants in opposition! The traditions of the nomenklatura administration do not allow strangers.

And Gaidar? They will object to me. And he is not a stranger. Economic columnist for the Kommunist magazine, adviser to the Central Committee on economics. And Sobchak, a professor at Leningrad State University, a specialist in housing law, before being a democrat, was a prominent figure in the St. Petersburg nomenklatura.

I still hate both Gorbachev and Yeltsin with all my being. At the same time, I have to admit that both of them are very common archetypes of the Russian peasant. One sort of eternal technologist Misha is a small person. Maybe not dangerous, if you do not put him in a position higher than a technologist, dull-witted, conceited. I correctly noted in “The Killing of the Sentry” how symbolic his licked hat made of rare fur of some sea animal. The hat symbolizes tasteless claims, vanity, the desire to stand out in such a petty way. Among other things, he put on the eccentric liberalism of Yakovlev, resolutely put it on in front of everyone, not embarrassed to show off in it solely due to provincial vanity.

Yeltsin is a cruel and brainless party tyrant. Absolutely devoid of a sense of historicism, otherwise he would never have decided to disperse the USSR just to take power in Russia. The hardware move – to destroy the office of Gorbachev by disbanding the Union – was conceived only as a reshuffle, a maneuver. Say, we will disband the USSR, then we will collect the CIS. Yeltsin, I think, never entered his head that the CIS would not meet. I think he is simply not sufficiently developed and educated to understand that there are ideologies (communism was just a way of power for him), that nationalism is the same reality as a loaf of bread. Yeltsin did not take seriously accomplices in the crime, Kravchuk and Shushkevich, both of them were not from the party nobility, they were not members of the Politburo, they were simply summoned to Pushcha, and it was assumed that they would never disobey. The other eleven leaders of the republics were not summoned at all. For what? Let’s bring it to your attention. The main thing is that Gorbachev should remain without a post. When the CIS did not get together, I think Yeltsin was not very upset. Well, they lost 15 rooms in the house, but there are still 89 left. Were some of the lost rooms large and warm? Well, we have 89 more. But where will they go for a long time? 15 large rooms will definitely come crawling! They will return.

By the way, Zhirinovsky expressed the same feelings in those years. They will crawl, economic need will force them. And only I wrote with knowledge of the matter, expressing common sense:

“Power is sweet and beautiful, even if you took it in the bare mountains, where there is nothing but sheep. And you only have a hundred horsemen in shaggy hats. And surrender your power to a neighbor in exchange for economic benefits (from Russia, my God, which herself in the ass, what goodness!) no one will run”

All this Russian disgrace – the moment of the skirmish between Gorbachev and Yeltsin (the Foros captivity and the following days of August 1991) – I watched with disgust. At the time of the betrayal of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, I was in Serbia. In the ruins of Vukovar, in the town of Shid, where the headquarters of the command of Slavonia and Western Srem was located. I was filled with indignation. I suppose that the Russian layman did not understand the historical moment, did not understand that the irreversible happened, that in December 1991 the Russian Empire and Russian civilization collapsed. But our historical enemies understood this very well: Germany understood, Turkey understood, those who will have to profit at our expense in the future understood, China understood. Why isn’t the United States of America on this list? The United States is the enemy of all. The United States acts as a distant instigator and intriguer, they sit there in the distance, choose, Where would they intervene: Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, and they intervene tactlessly and stupidly, as a rule, destabilizing the situation even more. The results of their intervention are negative: Korea has been divided for fifty years, eternal, already entered the 21st century, the war of all against all is raging in Afghanistan, 11 years of unfavorable disgrace in Iraq have lasted, conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo, somehow glued together, have spread to neighboring countries, where the United States did not plan to distribute them. It is impossible to say that all these bleeding pieces on the planet bleed in the interests of the United States. The United States is a provincial and clumsy country and wins like a vulture as countries bleed each other out in battle. So it was in the 1st and 2nd world wars … In the case of the USSR – a huge colossus, with Stavropol – the size of a walnut – the brain of Gorbachev committed an act of suicide. I think that the Americans exaggerate their role in the world, they are not winners at all. They only come on their gunboats to look at those who have already killed each other or committed suicide. George W. Bush attributed America’s victory over Russia in the cold psychological war. No, it was the village fool Misha Gorbachev who defeated Russia. And this hardware scoundrel, the Sverdlovsk regional committee secretary, cut the USSR into 15 parts with a clumsy hardware maneuver, although he just wanted to take away the position from Gorbachev. However, Gorbachev left Yeltsin already at war, a country of conflicts seething with blood. Already in 1988, the first illegal armed groups were created in Karabakh. At first, “the ruler is weak and crafty” – Gorbachev ordered the arrest of the “Karabakh Committee”, which General Albert Makashov did. But the next day, Gorbachev was afraid of his decision and ordered the release of the members of the Committee. It became clear to the whole world that the ruler was weak.

Once again I will explain my mentality of those years. For me, Russia was most important. I found its political system imperfect, it was clear that the system was outdated. But I exaggerated for myself the degree of stability of a huge state that stretched from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to the Bering Strait, from where Alaska is visible. I didn’t fear for Russia. This is generally a strange and hardly explainable instinctive feeling – anxiety for the Motherland. So, until 1988 I had no anxiety for the Motherland.

I remember I was at an international writers’ conference in Hungary, organized by the American Wheatland foundation. It was held at the Hilton Hotel in Budapest. On the second day, we were taken in a large tourist bus on an excursion to a medieval castle. Next to me in the seat next to me sat the grey-bearded Alain Robbe-Grillet, a little further on his wife Jeanne de Berg and the young Jean Echenoz, all of them from the French delegation. Next to the bus, a military van suddenly pulled up on the road and kept up. Looking out the window, I saw the lieutenant’s epaulettes. The lieutenant in Soviet uniform was talking animatedly about something with the driver. The lieutenant’s hand with a cigarette was exposed to the window. “L’Armée Soviétique, l’Armée Soviétique…” — the French recognized the van with fright. And I calmly smiled. I tell you, I was calm for my country in those years. I thought, she is frozen solid. It turned out that there was liquid mud under the crust.

And then there was the suicide. And since then I’ve lost my temper. None of those involved in this knew what they were doing. This is not an apology. I just want to say that narrow, specific, local, petty momentary interests forced them to act suicidal. In February 1992, I met Colonel Alksnis (he recently visited me in prison), and he told me that almost all 2,200 deputies of the USSR Supreme Council voted for the self-dissolution of the USSR, and only eight were against! Among them are Alksnis, Umalatova, Kogan, Avaliani, Shashiashvili, Nosov, I don’t remember the names of two more. Just think, the ratio is 2.200 to 8! And of these eight – a Latvian, a Chechen, a Jew from Latvia, two Georgians and one Siberian Vavil Nosov! And the Supreme Soviet of Russia, 1,100 deputies, unanimously voted for the dissolution of the USSR. The composition of the two Councils with a total number of 3,300 people ruined the Great Motherland, leaving the permafrost, the worst lands! How could this happen? The fact is that they were not brought up properly in admiration for the conquests of Russia, for the military glory of soldiers, commanders and tsars and Bolshevik Caesars. The fact is that narrow-minded cynicism has taken the place of ideology. The fact is that the morals of the regional party committees, all these bastard pigs, have prevailed. Family and self-interest ruined the state. Manipulations and hardware moves in the struggle for power won over ideology, statehood, and common sense. of all these stray pigs – prevailed. Family and self-interest ruined the state. Manipulations and hardware moves in the struggle for power won over ideology, statehood, and common sense. of all these stray pigs – prevailed. Family and self-interest ruined the state. Manipulations and hardware moves in the struggle for power won over ideology, statehood, and common sense.

In The Killing of the Sentry, I quoted the great philosopher Chioran:

“Great Empires are never defeated. They commit suicide” –

understood the great swindler, our contemporary. So the Russian Empire committed suicide, the Russians themselves fired a bullet into her forehead.

I realized that this is a personnel problem. All the upheavals of 1988-1993 did not bring forward a single truly new idol. All the Soviets didn’t understand a damn thing. They again needed Lenin and a sealed carriage with advanced emigrants. Russia was ruined by the stupidity of professional apparatchiks. Fresh ones: Sazhi Umalatova, an employee of the Red Hammer factory in Grozny, aviation colonel Alksnis, people’s deputy Nosov, journalist Anpilov, lieutenant colonel Terekhov – promised to become bright leaders, but the System, turning with a creak, was already crushing all living things. Officials rose to fight with strangers. The system mercilessly crushed the democratic camp as well. Father Gleb Yakunin, Ponomarev, Orlov, Kovalev, they were all thrown out of power, Sakharov died, his wife Bonner went into exile, new officials were not encouraged.

So not only that the sealed wagon was not accepted, but those few who were were expelled.

Eduard Limonov

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