State-sponsored hatred

Who are the people Putin’s government considers ‘enemies of Russia’?

State-sponsored hatred
Photo: Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

For our leaders, lying is as easy as breathing. But they remain honest about some things. They are sincere in their hatred.

When it comes to every enemy of the Russian government that it happily destroyed, it is easy to see why the authorities hate this specific person, what that person had done to them. Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya, for example, — back at the beginning of Putin’s reign — had been writing about Chechnya, thus, had crossed not only various colonels, as we were led to believe, but also the higher-level officials — she had destroyed the “correct” picture of the situation [in Chechnya].

On the other side of the time scale, there is Ilya Yashin, who was just sentenced to 8.5 years in prison. The situation is clear here, too. The government exists through lies, while Yashin was telling the truth.

But that is only half the problem — the bigger problem is that he was telling the truth with conviction, and everyone believed him. Thus, he was destroying the pillars. And what can one do with this enemy? Off to prison, of course. He is a sinner, too. After embracing the hard and thankless job of leading a municipality, he committed a terrible transgression — he showed to everyone, both the opposition and pro-Putin people, that power could be wielded differently — that people in power did not have to steal and could be honest instead, the government did not have to live in the clouds of traditional values. That the government could care about people’s lives instead.

He also demonstrated that Putin’s enemies are not only good for talking (chit-chatting, as propagandists call it) but at achieving things, too. And by the way, they are good at it. It is clear that, for all these reasons, [Yashin] could not be forgiven.

And the thing that hurt [the authorities] the most is that while people in power consider everyone to be their vassals, some Russians, in particular Yashin, consider themselves to be free people. And it would be one thing if they just thought that — but they act accordingly, too.

They get told, for example, to flee Russia, but they respond by telling [the people in power] to go to hell.

This is why he was sentenced to an insanely long term, although I am sure he will not have to serve it — all of this will end sooner. And Yashin, by the way, has contributed significantly to making sure all of this will come to an end.

So, when it comes to specific enemies — Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov, Alexey Navalny, protesters, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilya Yashin, and many, many others — there is some rationality present, albeit a messed up one. But they hate the others, too. They also hate people who have never opposed them.

What did the Moscow School of Civic Education, founded by Elena Nemirovskaya and Yury Senokosov, do to them? The school has just celebrated its 30th anniversary in Berlin — not in Moscow, unfortunately, due to it being exiled. The school did not engage in politics — it educated instead — and did so well; hundreds of people studied there, including some of today’s pro-Putin figures.

What did they have against the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, also known as Shaninka? It taught students by international standards — that was the entire reason. The school did not engage in politics, conversations held with students were about deeper things — Hegel, Locke — no mention of neither Putin nor Navalny. But it is currently unclear whether the school will survive. Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences was shut down indefinitely. The European University at St. Petersburg — the best Russian humanitarian sciences education institution — is walking on the edge, there have already been several attempts to close it. The Higher School of Economics has also, by the way, been made redundant — what for, one wonders?

And why did they start attacking the LGBT community? It would seem that the government should not care who is sleeping with whom — as long as there is no abuse and children involved? But no, they will be punished! Of course, there is an element of political calculations involved — gay people are not loved, let us attack them, then the population will see that we dislike the same people, and they will rally around us.

So, there they go: in the middle of a war, they have organised a heated and pointless, of course, campaign on banning gay propaganda, which did not exist anyway. Even though the LGBT community did nothing to deserve such treatment from the government.

But the main reason for the attack is that many of them are cave-like homophobes, thus, their hatred has no need of justification, just like an anti-Semite’s hatred of Jews. 

By the way, some of the people in power are, of course, homosexual. But the homosexual people in power do not partake in the fight for gay rights, do not ask for their sexuality to be respected, thus, they are not the enemy, and they are forgiven. Additionally, they are quite active when it comes to oppressing the LGBT community. Just like some policemen proved their loyalty to Hitler by being particularly cruel to the local population during the Great Patriotic War.

Who your enemies are says more about you than who your friends are. A friendship can be pragmatic, accidental, shallow. Hatred — that is sincere!

For example, our leaders are friends (attempting to become friends) with India, China, Africa — but no one knows what they actually think about them. In my opinion, it does not matter.

But when it comes to the US and the West — not their quality of life, which they are envious of, but their ideas, which were the reason for their current quality of life — they hate these ideas sincerely, whole-heartedly. And then, a lot of things about this country become clear.

But that is politics. When it comes to the country itself (outside of politics), their domestic enemy is anyone who differs from their ideal follower — an obedient soldier. Their enemies are often apolitical, sometimes even loyal to them, but talented people. Among the persecuted directors and actors, there are not only those who at some point opposed them.

They hate anyone who is talented — just look at the faces of people they appointed as “foreign agents” and compare them to the faces of pro-government people — among a few exceptions, you will be faced with deep mediocrity. 

Their enemies are scientists, primarily, humanitarians whose calling is to see the world as it is and not as the great chief claims it is. Their enemy is anyone who not only does not want but also does not know how to march in formation, who does not wear a uniform (a captain at the officer drills I happened to be at during my university years used the adjective “uniform” as a synonym for the word “beautiful”).

Their enemies are people who are different from the masses but who do not hide their differences and sometimes even highlight them and their right to be different. Their enemy is diversity and people who create this diversity — with their art, clothes, behaviour.

But their enemies are not only people from the intellectual and creative elites. Their enemy is anyone who wants to live their own life, the people that make up the foundation of a normal society and that were referred to as the bourgeois by the current government’s predecessors. The people who do not want to die for their idiotic ideas (better to die for his ideas than from drinking too much vodka, Putin previously explained). Their enemies are people who enjoy life and all it has to offer — this is how deeply sad their moral gatekeeping is.

They hate talent, intelligence, joy, and happiness. They hate life itself. Their God is death. This is the God they serve.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.