By Edward Limonov
On March 26, Russians will elect lieutenant-colonel Putin to the post of Russian President. What is he going to do with our country?
Historically, Russian rulers all could be divided into two distinctive categories: imaginative activists and passive reactionaries. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Vladimir Lenin were all imaginative activists. While Nicholas II or Leonid Brezhnev were passive reactionaries. But if one will count real events of their reigns, one will see that imaginative activist Lenin is responsible for more or less same amount of Russian corpses as passive reactionary Nicholas II, who started a bloody war with Japan, as well as got into First World War. Thus, for an average Russian citizen it is matter of no importance to which category of rulers Vladimir Putin belongs to. As to me, he is definitely a passive reactionary. Proofs? For three months of his performance as temporary President of Russia, Vladimir Putin did no action whatsoever. Chechen War was started in last August by President Yeltsin administration. Apart from Yeltsin's Chechen war, all the "actions" of pale lieutenant-colonel Putin were the words. Tons of wishful thinkings. About national pride, about discipline, about order.
How Russians will live under Putin? Russia will attempt to finish a war, then to recuperate from consequences of Chechen war, of only action where country was thrown by Yeltsin's will. All the forces of the country will go into black hole called Chechnya. All four years of Putin's first term in office will be spend on attempt to finish guerrilla war and then to pacification of Chechnya. So, Russia will pour in Chechnya millions to resettlement and reconstruction programs. But all of it will be done in vain, because Chechen boys will never forgive to Russians their killed fathers. Russian boys will not forgive either. So, Russia will work hard to prepare Chechnya for a new war with Russia. Imaginative activist will let Chechnya be independent country as it is too evil to live in peace with Russians. But Putin is passive reactionary.
Imaginative activist will start immediately after he got the actual power. He will not wait to be elected. For example, if Edward Limonov would receive a power in manner in which Putin have received it from Yeltsin, within a week Edward Limonov will clear Russian prisons of 60% of prison population. So, about 600,000 will walk out of prison gates, those who were convicted for minor offenses. Within a month of Edward Limonov's reign Russian troops will overtake Russian-populated northern Kazakhstan. Because Limonov is imaginative activist. Because he is a good fellow and feel by heart the sufferings of prisoners and sufferings of Russian population in Kazakhstan. But Vladimir Putin did nothing during his term as prime minister (seven months) and he did nothing during his term as President-Interim. Even in his appointments Vladimir Putin wasn't imaginative or innovative. No single controversial appointment was made, no such appointment what will enrage public or give her hope for the better. Putin just tossed Yeltsin's appointees around. Imaginative activist Edward Limonov would immediately give a life to dusty bureaucratical governmental boredom of appointing, say, to cabinet a new Minister of Cultre: popular singer Mumii Troll. This appointment will force people smile at least. Russian present government is macabre, dull, unsupportable. No, Putin seats surrounded by bellied, bald and gray-haired assholes, who believe that they are great politicians. Because Putin soul is dead, he has no talent for life.
Westerners, that is their peculiar trait, are always concerned about Human Rights. Those concerns doesn't stop them from bombing Kosovo, however, but nevertheless Westerners worried about Human Rights. Westerners should know that Vladimir Putin is traditional macabre Russian ruler, so he is kind of innocent man. He believe that rights always and everywhere belongs only to ruling class and to policemen. Because in Russia rights belongs to ruling class and to the police forces. Human Rights of Chechens I don't care, but our present police forces dearest very Russian police forces are brutal torturers, corruptionists and drunkards. Yes, they are little less brutal than Uzbekistan's police forces. For seven months in prime minister's office Putin did nothing to stop police brutality, or at least to diminish it. Meanwhile, Russian population openly admits that they are afraid of its police forces much more than they are afraid of criminals. In order to teach Russian police to respect Human Rights of its countrymen Putin should send all two million militiamen to fight somewhere where they will be killed as soon as possible, preferably to Afghanistan and to start from zero. To recruit young, fresh police force and to educate them to respect Human Rights.
Russia is in terrible shape. Russian judicial system is tied up with federal and local administration: It is never achieved independence. It is unjust. We Russians, suffering of it. Putin could start to reform police, to reform prison's system, to reform judicial system as early as last August, even under Yeltsin. Anyway, Yeltsin wasn't capable to understand all those details. But Putin, supposedly brand new Putin, wasn't he taught in law school of Leningrad University?
May be all those seven months Vladimir Putin was busy with economics? If so, we don't see what results he have achieved. Our poor economy less poor for now, because world prices of petrol are at its highest. But we know that petrol importing countries are working on organizing downfall of petrol prices. So Russia will be back to its usual dying state very soon. As to statements of vice premier Mr. Kasyonov about some economical growth, they are made on even of election.
We, Russians, forced to admit that apart from some success as a chatter-box, apart from business-lie appearance, non-drinking habits, apart from comparitavely young age, Vladimir Putin have achieved nothing for first seven months in power. Not bad guy, not good one either (Chechen War was started by Yeltsin!). Passive reactionary. And it is very very very doubtful that Putin will be able to so something useful for Russia during next four years.
So, babushkas will have their reasonably miserable allowances, oligarchs will have their pleasures to count money, militiamen will beat a shit out of citizens, Americans will supervise with pleasure as Russians are cutting into pieces their nuclear submarines in Severodvinsk, thousands will die in Chechnya and in overcrowded awful prison. Meanwhile, President Putin will visit ballet-theaters, universities, military bases, will open some congresses and conferences. Country will be bored to death and given to rule of bureaucrats and policemen. The best expression of essence of expected Putin's reign will be a popular Russian hit:
"My boss is no-drinker, no-smoker
I wish he'll drink and smoke..."