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To Be Russian

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70 years since the great Victory. 70 years since the Soviet people saved the world by smashing Nazism. 70 years since they, almost immediately, joined yet another fight, against Western imperialism and colonialism.

20 or perhaps 27 million Soviet people, mainly Russians, lost their lives defending our planet against Hitler’s hordes. Then hundreds of millions of others dedicated their lives to building a much better, and egalitarian world.

Without the Soviet Union, without the Russian people, there would be no freedom, no independence for Asian, African and the Middle Eastern countries. There would be no revolutions possible in Latin America.

This is why the West hated the Soviet Union, and that is why it hates the Russian people. It lost its colonies, it lost its propaganda war, and it lost its monopoly on defining everything under the sun.

On May 9 1945, the entire world changed. Humanity began moving forward, again. Slowly, unevenly, often making terrible blunders and detours, but forward nevertheless! Colonial shackles began breaking. People on all continents were dreaming again, about true freedom, equality and the brotherhood of men. That beautiful red flag flying from the roof of Reichstag in Berlin made these dreams possible.

The Soviet people had proven that human dignity and freedom are worth any sacrifice. The Victory Ode was written with their blood, in the most generous way, so it could inspire generations to come!

But the greed and nihilism of the West refused to die. The obsession with controlling and plundering the world had reached an unimaginable peak. All the forces of the Empire were mobilized. Light and hope were confronted by darkness and cynicism. Beautiful and pure dreams were antagonized by corruption. In an orgy of dirty tricks and deceptions, the Soviet Union was destroyed.

In one single historical moment, the oppressed of the world lost their most powerful guardian.

What followed was complete horror. The Empire began destabilizing one country after another: in Africa, Asia, in the Middle East and even in the former Eastern block. Millions of people were destroyed, exposed, unprotected, totally abandoned.

Fascist hordes thought that this time, finally, they had won. In Moscow, Yeltsin, an alcoholic and lackey of the West, began shooting his own people on the street, and bombing his own Parliament. That was “democracy” the newspapers in Paris, London and New York wrote almost immediately. This was what the West dreamed about: a weak destabilized Russia, mad, drunk, on its knees, at mercy of the Empire.

I travelled to Moscow and Siberia. I saw Russian scientists in Novosibirsk selling their libraries in the bitter cold, at metro stations. I saw old war veterans begging, and selling their medals. I saw Russian workers starving, their salaries unpaid for months.

Then something happened. Russia never kneels for too long. It rapidly detected the lies coming from abroad; it recognized the trap. In just a few, short, dreadful years the Russian people experienced life under the fascist boot of the Empire. It was like a war. Life expectancy went to dogs. Country lost tens of millions.

Russia had to raise or die, as always in its history. It rose. Indignant and determined! And as always in the past, when it stood up to confront the evil, it was doing it not only for its own people, but also for all humanity!

Russia has regrouped under new Russian flag. It is not perfect and not as ‘socialist’ as many of us would like it to be, but there is a great Soviet inertia in Russia’s foreign policy, as there is great pride and determination to improve the world, to protect the weak.

70 years since the Great Victory! This year, Russia is not only celebrating an anniversary. It is rejoicing over its rebirth.

***

I am Russian. I was born in Russia, and my mother is half Russian and half Chinese. But even my Chinese part comes from Kazakhstan, from a former Soviet republic. My grandfather, Hussein, was a top ‘commissar’, equivalent to a cabinet minister, an ethnic Chinese, a linguist, a man who died many decades before I was born.

I grew up in Czechoslovakia. My father, a scientist, comes from Europe. Since an early age I lived in New York, but then I hit the road, and never stopped until now. I am an internationalist. But deep inside, I am Russian.

I don’t know whether I qualify to be a Russia. As a kid, I used to have Soviet passport. My happiest moments in life were when I was a child and my mother took me, every summer, to Prague airport, where I was taken to a plane departing for Leningrad. My grandmother was waiting at the other end.

My grandmother, Elena, was not just some ordinary babushka. She was a combatant, a woman who fought against the Nazis, defending her beloved city, her Leningrad. She dug trenches, confronted German tanks. She was decorated twice. She was the kindest woman I ever met in my life. She taught me to love poetry and literature. She told me hundreds of stories, some beautiful, some frightening. Thanks to her, I became a writer, a Russian writer, although I write my fiction exclusively in English and most of my latest films were made in Spanish.

My almost entire Russian family died there, in Leningrad, during the Siege, decades before I was born.

Every year, during two summer months, my grandmother was spoiling me silly. Or I thought that she was. Now I understand that for her, it was like a cultural combat, an attempt to inject into me all that was great about Russia.

She would save for ten months, and then when I came to visit her, she would take me to opera houses and theatres, to museums and parks surrounding Leningrad. She cooked delicious food for me. She also took me, at least once a year, to Piskarevskoe Cemetery, where the enormous statue of the Motherland is spreading her arms in grief. “Nobody is forgotten and nothing is forgotten”. The golden letters are carved into the granite. 1.5 million died during the Siege of Leningrad, and many are buried there, in countless rows of mass graves.

I grew up. I became a writer and a filmmaker; I circled the globe. But wherever I went, these simple words were following me, were engraved into my psyche. My grandmother was always with me, too, and so were the city, the sacrifice, and the Victory!

I don’t know whether it objectively makes me a Russian. But I feel and act as one.

***

To be Russian… By now, ‘Russian’ is not only a nationality; it is a verb. It means: to stand against oppression, against Western imperialism, to be building bridges between the countries that are resisting Western imperialist terror.

And there are many “new Russians” now. Not those from the Yeltsin era, not the capitalist buffoon characters! No, “New Russians” I am talking about are both patriots and internationalists. And some of them have often not a single drop of Russian blood. But they are proudly defending the world, and they are joining forces with Russia, China and Latin America in their determined struggle for better planet.

I know several great new Russians. Some are my comrades, like renowned Canadian international lawyer, poet, novelist and thinker Christopher Black. Like Peter Koenig, Swiss economist who left World Bank in total disgust, then turned around and openly attacked the establishment. Or like my ‘compa’, Patrice Greanville, a New Yorker/ Chilean/ Argentinean chief editor of legendary “The Greanville Post”.

These people are working relentlessly, smashing lies that the Empire is spreading throughout the world: lies about Russia, lies about Soviet Union, about the Second World War, and about Western imperialism. These are Russian, real Soviet people!

***

For centuries, Russia was being stabbed and deceived by outsiders. It was fooled, tricked, ravished.

Many countries that Russia had liberated, betrayed her in the most vulgar manner. Czechs and Poles desecrated monuments to its soldiers – to those boys who sacrificed their lives for Prague and Warsaw at the end of the Second World War. Eastern Europe opened its doors to NATO and European Union. Out of pragmatic selfishness, people abandoned their beautiful ideals, including Internationalism, and instead joined the oppressors of mankind – the Empire.

The more these countries prostituted themselves, the more bellicosely they were willing to shout Western propaganda slogans, directly insulting and provoking first the Soviet Union, and lately Russia. Pitiful and avaricious lackeys and collaborators with Western imperialism have been, continuously and desperately, searching for at least some moral justification for their betrayal. So they twisted history and invented “facts”, added few millions here and there. Then they invited Empire’s soldiers and allowed torture chambers to be constructed on their territory. Once again they were ready to participate in any aggression against those who have been defending the usurped and plundered parts of the world.

Recently, the West triggered the conflict in Ukraine, where it helped to overthrow legitimate government in Kiev. Then, immediately, it began fueling hysterical anti-Russian sentiments. But the more obvious was the situation, the louder became the voices of the anti-Russian pact, in both Western and Eastern Europe.

Ukraine, Syria, and Libya – all these conflicts have proven that no logic applies, anymore. The West wants to destroy countries that are standing in its way of total global control, and it will try to reach its goals, by all means. The propaganda apparatus is always ready to justify any terrorist act committed by North America and Europe. No international legal mechanisms are available, to protect the victims.

Only great force can prevent the tragedy. Russia is that force. China is another. That is why the Empire is terrified by the rise of those two great nations.

Yes, this time, after all those centuries of pain and suffering, Russia is not alone. It is standing tall, and it can finally count on its friends. Some of the greatest minds on earth are joining forces with it. Forget about Eastern Europe! The mightiest country on our planet – China – repeats again and again: “China and Russia are each other’s most important strategic partners”. It is clear that Russian and Chinese people will not allow this planed to go down in flames!

The entirety of revolutionary Latin America is with Russia and so are dozens of other independent and proud nations worldwide.

In the Middle East and Africa, in South America and many parts of Asia, Russia is increasingly seen as an enormous moral force. Russia is synonymous with hope. Not for those in North America and Europe, but for those who were, for centuries, suffering under their boot.

Whenever I speak publicly, in Eritrea or South Africa, India, China, even Timor-Leste, people want to hear about Russia. What will Russia do next to prevent attacks against Syria or Iran, against Venezuela?

I always say: “Russia is alive and well! And so are its friends, from China to Venezuela and Cuba!”

I never lose hope. I repeat: I sincerely believe that soon we will defeat colonialism and fascism, and build one beautiful society on this scarred but wonderful planet. And it will be created on the ideals we are now commemorating and celebrating.

“I salute the 70th Anniversary of the great Victory! Thank you for saving the world! Congratulations, Russia!”

And then I roll up my sleeves and work, day and night – for Leningrad, for what my grandmother stood for, and for Russia and for the humanity.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 11.36.55 AMMy Revolutionary Grandmother and Grandfather.

 

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

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