• 2007-12-19
  • By Gundars Sondors
Referring to your editorial (opinion) of [issue] # 585, "Politics of paranoia:"

After reading the piece, I, a person raised in the former Soviet Union, can only say this: Welcome to the club! All Westerners in this regard seem to me like "new kids on the block." The utterance, "Those who aren't with us are against us" has been around for decades. It's a typical formula of the Stalin era. It was brought to life effectively when millions of people disappeared without a trace. Can you imagine the scope of those actions?
But who cares! It's not worth cooling one's mouth in modern Russia. Do you personally know any Russians who wouldn't want their empire back? They are almost nonexistent. Ask people here in the Baltics. For me the collapse of the Soviet Union was the best [thing] that could happen. For the predominant part of Russians, it's a great personal loss.

For a human being raised in Western democratic traditions, being an anticommunist is supposedly normal. The word "anticommunist" was a very bad word in the Soviet Union, just like [the use of the word] "democrat" [now is in Russia]. It's like calling names.
The same goes for "intelligentsia." It's been colored negatively in Russian for ages. So, if Russian politician have been rattling about double standards applied by the West, you simply should know there aren't any other Russian standards except for double. It's quite common in any sphere of life to think one thing, say another and do a third.

... If you look back into their history, there's just a heap of lies because history [in Russia] has always been a political instrument, never a science. Here's just one example: The Russian ambassador to Latvia has said Russia has never ever occupied a single country. Anywhere it went, it went as a liberator. Sounds good, doesn't it? Or a [statement] from a Russian TV channel: "Russia has never started a war; in this regard we, Russians are unique."

Sorry for being spiteful and cynical, but it's the way I see things. Being a Russophobe for me, alas, is natural. As I say, Russia has only two serious enemies 's the mirror and the echo. It's sad that the country that has never experienced democracy is now saddled with what Putin calls "controlled" democracy. [That's like being], as the Russians, ironically, used to say: [being] a little bit pregnant.

Gundars Sondors
Jelgava, Latvia

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