Week 11: May 4 – May 11, 2022

Summary of the Week 11: May 4  – May 11, 2022


Inna Rogatchi (C). Condition of Light. 2022.

The time in May around May 9th, Victory Day, as it is known in Russia, was this year nervous for many people around the globe. People were concerned that the Russian leadership might go further in their aggression, to celebrate the date which they have made a hysterical propaganda tool for their population. That did not happen. Instead, the official celebration was brief and muted, with leadership looking tense and uncomfortable. We also saw all those crowds in the rallies all over Russia, with defiant masses, not just being stuck in  their history three generations back, but enjoying it, or making the impression of it. It really does not matter. 

What does matter is that the country, a huge country that occupies the 8th part of the Earth’s territory, with a population of 145 million people, has come to its fiasco, on so many levels, almost all levels of life.  It is a political fiasco, military fiasco, diplomatic fiasco, economical fiasco, humanitarian fiasco, scientific fiasco, international cooperation fiasco, communications fiasco, development fiasco, and – morale fiasco. Each of these fiascos can be analysed in detail, and perhaps it is worth it, for the educational purposes. But maybe, it is not. Because fiasco is fiasco. It is obvious, and it is definite. 

It indicates a qualitative change that has occurred to Russia as the result, readiness, conduct and support of the Mean War.  It was a matter of choice, and the worst possible one was taken.  If that leadership would not be sure that it is largely supported by the Russian society, there would be another option on the Kremlin table. 

The total, multi-dimensional fiasco of Russia tells graphically about serious transformations in that society. Too serious to be ignored. I call the change the transformation in absence of light. The core of the tissue of public and individual life in Russia has been corroded to the current state of post-humanity. It has excluded them from the life and normal functioning of the world in so many respects. And it will have deeply negative long-term consequences. At least two generations will feel the consequences of this qualitative change.

 The Mean War turned out to be counter-productive in a mega proportion. As some of the Ukrainian leaders have mentioned recently, ‘Soon Ukraine will have two Victory Days, but Russia has already lost its own’. Dead-right. In no time, Mr P & Co have achieved extraordinary results in so many directions they could hardly dream about: the level of global awareness with Ukraine, Ukraine’s history, Ukraine culture, Ukrainian language, Ukrainian people. The Russian ‘liberators’ have made 45-million Ukrainian citizens to become deeply devoted patriots of their country, absolutely justly so. 

And at the same time, and by same means, the Mean War has turned Ukrainians to massive rejection of anything Russian. Until this very time, Ukrainian cities , despite changing a lot of the Soviet time’ street-names, were keeping  a lot of them still, additionally to the names of subway stations and all other toponames. Additionally, there are a lot of memorials to Russian culture figures, and many museums connected with Russian culture. This all will be gone very soon now, in a sweeping desire by the wide Ukrainian public to get rid of anything that reminds them, not to mention, memorialise anything Russian, would it be Pushkin, Tolstoy, Rachmaninov, or any other Russian name.

This is not a witch-hunt. This is a natural reaction to the Mean War. No enemy ever would be able to cause more harm to the meaning of Russia, Russian history, Russian culture, Russian language in a neighbouring country of Ukraine then the Kremlin leadership and its stunningly useless barbarian army. Ukrainian people will not only not forget, they will reject Russia and anything Russian for at least two generations ahead . Morally, it is worse than any Versaille Treaty for Russia. 

But it is rejected not by Ukraine only. Their allies are few and pathetic, their stand in the West is compromised completely and for foreseeable future. They are self-made pariahs of the civilised world. They are genuinely not interesting subjects to the world any longer. 

For twenty years, from 1945 until 1965, there were no celebrations, nor was it a cult of May 9th, Victory day, in the USSR. Why so? Because the memory of the horrors of the extremely difficult war was very near. People should not be reminded about what has become a very painful part of life for every Soviet family, literally so. From 1965 onward, until the end of the USSR, it was an appropriate celebration, modest, inner, organic, warm and humane. There was no fuss, and everyone understood that it was first of all the day of the veterans, those who really physically were risking their lives in the very difficult fight against the Nazi Germany. 

The last twenty something years, from 2000s onward, an empty, cold, pretentious, false hysterical narrative have replaced the Victory Day making it a propaganda tool of a worst sort, cynical and shallow. 

The sad story of modern Russia is that the best of their collective memory of the XX century has transformed from real enthusiasm to gloomy reflection, and from justified celebration to deep sadness. They are big enough to live on their own. And they ought to exist in that self-mode for a long time ahead. Because they have made the doors of the world to be shut on them. Humanity does not co-exist with inhumanity. This is against the laws of human nature. 

Day 77: May 11, 2022, Wednesday


Inna Rogatchi (C). Memory Landscape XX. 2021.

The situation on the ground after merciless shelling by the Russian ‘liberators’ in Mariupol was such that many people who were coming out from the basement barely understood what was going on there. Some people can sustain the pressure, and some cannot. Some can sustain shelling, destruction, murder, and some not that strong. So from the basements in Mariupol appeared many completely disoriented people. 

They were taken care of. They were told by ‘the liberators’ and their representatives that Ukraine is no more, and that they would be taken very good care of in mama-Russia. There they would be provided with a good lodgings, they would be sustained financially, they would be helped with a very cheap bank loan only for 2% of annual premium, they would be provided with jobs. Everything for you, our dear brothers and sisters. 

Just one thing: in order to receive the whole package, you are not expected to live in Moscow or central Russia. Those packages are available only for those people from Ukraine who would like to live in the Far East, in Vladivostok region. Our Vladivostok is very developed, as you might know. 

Plus: in order to become a legitimate receiver of the package, one has to decide at once, now, on the spot. Those packages are extremely popular, you see, and if you would like to get it, you should decide at once, and to sign those documents, also on the spot, here, here, and here. OK, well done, you are all set, we will take care of your transportation. 

These disoriented people were all pushed, not physically, but in a logistic way, to a very prompt decision, and soon, to physical trains which delivered them all the way to the Russian Far East. Not even in Vladivostok, but to a small village 200 km from there, which is literally nowhere land, I’ve checked.

While they were travelling all that long, they realised that they were fooled in a big way. Those fantastic loans with 2% interest are provided only to those who are under 35, the Ukrainian replaced people learned while travelling, nobody told them about that special clause before they signed the papers. And most of them are over 35, as it was obvious to those ‘liberators’ who duped them on purpose. 

Instead of a ‘large and developed’ Vladivostok, people who used to live all their lives in a big city as Mariupol is, were placed, forcibly, to small villages 200 km from Vladivostok. In some other cases, people were also placed by cruel deception to simply awful places, such as abandoned camps, literally, the places where the utilisation of the Soviet arsenal of biological and chemical weapons was conducted in the 1990s. These places are lethal, period. 

Instead of promised good apartments, people are placed in their new places for a month at a time, after which they are responsible for finding and paying for their apartments, with no work provided. 

Of course, nobody pushed them in the trains coming to the Russian far East. They were ‘simply’ outwitted. ‘Simply’ disorientated. ‘Simply’ provided with false information. “The liberators’ ‘simply’ used the people’s fear, terror, fatigue to orient them towards the direction which was directed by those bastards who has envisaged and carried on such a smart plan. 

‘The liberators’ have confiscated those people’s passports, initially it was told to them that passports are collected for ‘a registration’. But then those poor fooled people have realised that their passports have not been returned to them for many weeks. It means that even if they would have the energy – the strongest wish they all do have – to try to get themselves out of those holes, they are unable to do it without their passports.   

“If only we could have a few days, like two -three days, after we got out of our basements, to come back to normality, and to think a bit, never in our life we would not agree to anything like that. It was a trap. What do we have to do now?” – those desperate people told the journalists of Radio Liberty who did manage to speak to them on their ordeal. 

Trapping people, treating them as slaves, confiscating their passports was a very well-known practices in the Stalin’s USSR. Now, the Mean War spreads its meanness beyond the hot-spots of fire. It lures people into the terrible traps in the most mean way, cruelly, shamelessly, and it treats them as slaves. In the XXI century. Bloody Hell. 

Day 76: May 10, 2022, Tuesday


Michael Rogatchi (C). Backstage. Fragment. 1995.

One of the most repulsive pictures in my life stays in front of my eyes days after I saw it for the first time, a few days ago when I was getting a mass of various materials regarding the preparations for the Victory Day celebrations in Russia. It is a picture from a hospice there where elderly dying patients were forced to wear cheap caps imitating the Russian /Soviet/Red Army military caps which are not the part of the Russian army uniform for decades  by now, but which has been a super-hit in that mass militant-like hysteria in Russia for several years by now, getting to the peak around the Victory Day on May 9th. 

We used to see the children wearing it in enlarging quantity, each year claiming yet more younger children pushed by their parents and teachers to that idiotic mass fashion. When it started, those wearing it were teenagers, it was a game, sort of . Now, several years later, the children wearing it are in kindergartens, and it is frightening. As my good friend mentioned, ‘they look exactly like the children marching in the Hamas camps’. 

At the same time with the children, those caps known in Russia as ‘pilotka’, are worn now by more and more ageing people, those kids’ not only parents, but also great parents. And it is not caps with the Red Army star only, there are also strips and shoulders  on the outfits for the kids, demonstrating that people who are enthusiastic about this mass cheapening in Russia, do not have a clue what a real army is about and what a real strip and shoulder means. There are also false rewards, tin medals and banners on those outfits worn by 5-6- year old kids, and younger, not to mention toy weaponry of all sorts.  To say that they all look idiotic in that cheap military masquarade it is to say nothing. But they seem to like it.  

More,  in the gift packages for those invited to the VIP-zone seats in the Red Square, there was that cheap pilotka cap, plus a scarf in the colours of their aggressive St Georgiy militant cult, menacing dark orange and black, a similar badge, and some other military-like things for common use. In telling gestures, many of those present at the VIPs lounge made a point of immediately put those awful caps on themselves, some of them in combination with scarfs and badges. Ministers, special advisers, senior officials were in such a hurry to demonstrate their loyalty, looking pathetic, even among themselves. My colleague was present there  and this is ‘a field-report’, so to say. Nobody smiled there, and nobody celebrated. They all were on duty, I was told.

All this enthusiasm and preferences  is the bosses and the crowd’s own business, of course, and first and most of all it tells about those people who like to make mannequins from themselves and their children. We saw millions of them on May 9, 2022 on the streets of various cities in Russia bursting into the streets for mass rallies known as “Immortal Regiment’.  

The Russian leader who was very tense, concerned and largely unhappy during the military parade on the Red Square, has become his own self while marching – not more than for 10 minutes, of course – in front of one of such huge columns in Moscow down-town.  During the military parade, he was very much afraid for his own skin. To the degree that they decided to cancel any airshow, the best part of the parade. After the menace in his head passed, and he was leading the crowd in pilotkas, he was relieved and happy, he knew that the crowd was for him. And it was a huge crowd.

Nobody forced those crowds. Of course, everything there was thoroughly organised as it always is the case there, especially now, during the brutal war they are carrying on in the most savageous way. But all those millions marching through the streets of Moscow, St Petersburg, and every other Russian city, were people who volunteered to come in support of the ultra-patriotic current Russian narrative of the WWII, but yet more importantly, those who would like personally support their leadership of blatant liars and brutal aggressors. 

The way in which the Mean War is waged against Ukraine does reflect the character of this crowd. That’s why this mass supports P, that’s why it lives on lies produced by their boorish  propaganda as on oxygen. 

So, those good, normal people in Russia in possession of conscience and those who share normal humane moral values are in utter minority. All our friends are like that, and we are glad about it. But in all those rallies, there was present and current Russia, its undeniable majority, and this is the major reason to be concerned about the fact that such country with such population has a huge nuclear arsenal. 

I feel sorry for those honest, good, talented, able, aspiring  people with conscience who turned out to be trapped in that Empire of Absurd. But those people do not define that country. They are decent and good, but they are an utter minority there. 

How merciless one should be  to force the old dying people to wear those idiotic farcial pilotkas. This is the image of Russia today for me. And until this will change, it doesn’t matter who leads them, one P or another. It really does not matter. Russia’s biggest problem is that crowd.  False, shallow, and cruel.  

Day 75: May 9, 2022, Monday


When talentless people are in charge, sooner or later the result is disastrous. For Russia, it happened later, but it is obvious. Their celebration of the victory over the Nazi Germany which has been built into the cult, tastelessly and falsely, this year was the reflection of their army’s fiasco in their aggression against Ukraine. Minutes before the show started, information appeared that the peak of the military parade, its airshow has been cancelled, both in Moscow and in every other Russia’s city which has planned it.  The reason? ‘Bad weather conditions’. Those ‘bad weather conditions’ were obvious on the screens of the direct translation from the Red Square. In fact, the weather was perfect. One of the less experienced female journalists reporting from the spot, was enthusiastic about ‘wonderful sunny weather here’. Poor thing. She might be left without a premium for working on a holiday. 

Being faced with an unexpected change of the script, Russian official TV did not find anything better to replace the suddenly disappeared demonstration of an air might with their filming of the general rehearsal of the show, just two days ago, on May 7th. We learned that 77 aircrafts, including historical ones,  had been chosen to fly over Moscow to symbolise the 77th anniversary of the day. Among those 77, was an old IL-80 known also as the aircraft of a Judgement Day, the monstrous aircraft whose purpose is to accommodate a Russian leader whoever he would be, during the nuclear war. That old machine was sent for some modification a couple of years ago. Instead of modifying it, somebody in Taganrog, the city where it was sent, looted dozens of computers from there and some panels – to exchange it for a miserable sum as metal scrap which it most likely was. 

We also were told by the commander of one of the aircraft units, Su-27, that they were about to fly over Moscow forming a Z-letter in the air, as that military pilot explained, in a matter-of-fact way,  ‘to demonstrate the title of the operation’. Indeed. 

Thanks to him, it was for the first time from the beginning of the Mean War in February 2022, that Russia’s side has stated the meaning of the Latin letters on their tanks of the country which uses a Cyrillic alphabet. We all knew that latin letters V, O, and Z used all over that pathetic country convulsing in militant hysteria, meant V( ladimir) O(leksandrovich) Z(elensky), the first letters of the name of the president of Ukraine whom the Russian leader has ordered to eliminate directly to his Chechen trustee Kadyrov yet three weeks before the Z-operation started, on February 3d, when ordering Kadyrov to the Kremlin. But official Russia never explained to its 145-million population using a Cyrillic-alphabet why there are the Latin letters on their tanks and what the hell it means. Now it was slipped by the commander of the SU-27 squadron that such is the official name of the operation. It is always good to hear things from its original sources.  

But there were no Z-ts on public display in the places where the authorities were instructed to drop it. Because it looks too German, some people say. And it is in a foreign, un-patriotic alphabet, anyway. In the places where the local authorities were not instructed in time, or over-did in their Z-zealotry, poor Russian state TV had to cut off their direct translations repeatedly, and to run the news which had been shown just five minutes ago. It had never happened there before. The excusing smiles of the anchors were telling. 

The leader looked very concerned, and actually very ageing, indeed. It is actually seen, it is imprinted on the mugs of them all on the top of the current Russian power, a very rapid ageing. In those two months, all those persons have aged for ten years at least. It means  that they all are under permanent pressure, they are concerned, some of them are frightened. They all are obviously unhappy, very gloomy, but most of all concerned, from the top to the toe. It was obvious in the direct translation from the Red Square today. 

The man who has started the Mean War, was not assured of himself at all, in a manifesting way. His speech, which he corrected as he pronounced it, and from which he decided to drop several passages, as it was seen from the direct transmission, was a defensive offence, not the other way round. He was insisting that Russia ‘ had no choice but to start’ this operation. He obviously was not believing a word of what he was reading from that speech. It never was like that. 

In the direct transmission from Sevastopol, the Russian state TV anchor was literally astound to see what appeared on the screen: a huge portrait of Stalin decorated with flowers, and ceremonially brought in the front of large column of people, in the way in which the Russians carried on the portrait of their successive tsars in front of manifestations. In ten seconds, the direct transmission from Sevastopol was cut off, with more repetitions instead of direct transmission, accompanied with the guilty smile of an anchor. In 40 minutes, ‘direct’ transmission from  Sevastopol was back on the screen, corrected, with no Stalin visible any longer. 

The same tricks were in use from every place there in Russia where the Z-letter was not just visible, but dominating the landscape, as in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan where obviously military hysteria of the worst sort is thriving.

On the day which has become a false cult in Russia nowadays, this year, at the moment of the Mean War, there was anything but a holiday both in Moscow and all over that Z-country. It was a stressed demonstration of loyalty, with no self-conviction in what they are doing at all, starting from the leader, his bodyguards to the members of the Russian government. What  a pathetic, stressed, semi-aborted show. Not surprisingly though. When a country de-victorises its own victory, the result is exactly as we saw on May 9th, 2022, on the Red Square: forced gathering of concerned people. Nothing more. And no air show at all. Cancelled. Judgement Day must be near.  

Day 74: May 8, 2022, Sunday


We know that Russian ‘liberators’ liberate Ukraine as terminators. Such is their style of a third-rate superman. We saw many museums in Ukraine targeted, burned down, shelled off, erased, completely destroyed, including a large and important museum which was the house of the primary Russian Tsaikovsky composer. As my Italian music colleague mentioned at the time: “Let’s see what they will do when they discover that ‘their’ Tchaikovsky was half Ukrainian ( on his paternal side)”. I replied to my colleague that they would not believe it and would call it ‘the Western propaganda’. 

This time, they did hit, on purpose, a historical building of the XVIII century in the Kharkiv region. This was a very well-known place which was a large and very pretty park with this XVIII century manor  house in which Hrigory Skovoroda died and where he is buried there in the park. The house was a very well-done museum of world importance. And certainly, of importance for Russia, because Skovoroda is known – or probably was – as the father of the Russian philosophical mysticism, and all Russian big names of that sacral for them direction originated from the Skovoroda’s works who were all written and published in Russian. This year is also the year of Skovoroda’s 300th anniversary of birth. Additionally to being a philosopher of a primary importance for Russia, Skovoroda was a renowned poet, composer and famous teacher.

My friends visited the beautiful and very well maintained house-museum of the major Russian philosopher in a largely Russian-speaking ( formerly )  just a couple of years ago, and I was told about how well it has been renovated and how neatly maintained. It   was the case with many museums and parks in Ukraine, I have to emphasise in a special respect towards people who worked hard on that for years, and who wanted their country and their places to be nice, beautiful and well-maintained, unlikely in their giant neighbourhood where there is stunning and depressing  picture of rusted land in so many places apart from their capitals and some large cities. This is a medical fact, which probably drove jealous-crazy some of the small-minded neighbours who love to destroy and who feel their machism fulfilled in that primitive sport. 

The beautiful authentic and historically important building of the XVIII century was hit by a Russian missile directly.  When the world erupted in furious condemnation, some while after , as if nothing happened, Russian army issued a statement about ‘successful destroying two building harbouring the commanding positions of the Ukrainian nationalistic army in the Kharkiv region’, addressing indirectly their next exploit to the totally destroyed by a direct hit museum, house, park and burial place of the great philosopher. 

We have been learning the meaning of the contribution of  Hrigory Skovoroda in school. As heavily marginalised as Soviet schools were ideologically, the Soviet official school curriculum respectfully and dutifully recognised his input into what was known as Russian culture internationally. Millions of students in Soviet universities all learned Skovoroda’s works and legacy in a substantial detail because he has become the origin of the mighty direction of the Russian civilization in its philosophical part. On his grave in the destroyed now park next to the very old oak under which he used to work under, and which has been bent together lovingly and with great care, preventing the oak’s self-destruction, by Ukrainian people who worked in the museum, the epitaph and all text is in Russian. 

People and the Russian Emprire authorities  in Skovorodinovka village near Kharkiv where the house of Skovoroda’s friend and patron Kovalsky is located, making the epitaph in the year 1794, had no clue that their idiotic successors eleven generations later will make the entire 45-million Ukranian nation of which a large part was natural Russian-speakers, especially in that area, the Kharkiv region, to turn their hearts from their native language, and willing to speak Ukranian instead, in their just defiance and in their absolutely justified indignation with anything Russian brough to their peaceful life with missiles, fire, death and total destructions by the brutes who has appeared from the Planet Ignoramus. 

My friends, who had visited the Skovoroda Museum a couple of years ago, and who are themselves internationally known historians, have told me: “We will not forgive that to the Russians, too. We will not.” They are very kind people, peaceful, educated, whose families were deeply and productively rooted into Russian language and its culture. My mother knew the famous father of the husband, a Russian-speaking and Russian-writing teacher and writer from Kiev, well. We, the next generation, are suffering together, in unison,  during all those 74 days of this Mean War. Now, the tone of my friends has become steel-like. People have their boundaries. People’s suffering has its limits. Ignorant arrogant imbeciles cannot proceed in their barbarian way endlessly. They will meet the entire country which they attack, not only sustaining and defying this sheer evil, but also turning to hate them. With a good reason. And with all following consequences.  

Day 73: May 7, 2022 Saturday


If I did not know the source of the episode, I would not believe it. So surreal it is. But I know the source, and the story is the fact. It needs a new Magritte to visualise it. 

In March, there was an important meeting among Russia’s top-museums senior staff called in by the Ministry of Culture. There at the Ministry, a special working group has been established to go through ALL the content of ALL major Russian art museums. To check if there is nothing politically incorrect is featured there, in their new Z-reality. 

Then, a member of the Ministry’s working group on museums internet content provided mandatory instructions and also ‘strong recommendations’ from the Ministry to the museums regarding their sites’ content. 

Among those official instructions and recommendations were the following ones: images featuring doves are forbidden from the sites, including any Picasso and alike; any dove  should be taken off site. 

Also are officially mandatory forbidden: clouds, especially dramatic ones, black & white photos, anything sad. In the category of recommendations, butterflies were featured. ‘ ( Images of ) butterflies are not recommended. We are not forbidding it definitely,  like doves, it should depend on the context and theme, but in general, we are not in favour of butterflies. Perhaps, it would be better to take them off, to be on the safe side’, – a quote from the Ministry of Culture representative’s guidance for Russian top art museums to update their sites immediately.  

“You have to put an immediate thorough attention to ( your museum) sites. We have checked it all by now. You all have to make rapid changes there all over. Change everything according to our guidelines now and be attentive in the future. This is a very serious matter, and we will follow your sites permanently”, those called for the special meeting were told determinedly. 

A lot of damage has been done after that historical meeting already. For example, a large exhibition of the classic of Russian post-modern art Grigory Bruskin which was opened at the Tretyakov Gallery in March, marking the 75th anniversary of now 77 artist, was shut down promptly, due to its ‘inappropriate’ from the point of view of the Ministry of Culture content. It did not matter that just five years ago Bruskin was chosen and invited by the same ministry to represent the Russian state and its culture at the Venezia Biennale with the very same compositions which were exhibited at the show at the Tretyakov. After there was no Bruskin with his anti-totalitarian art in the Tretyakov Gallery physically, the whole content of it, a very rich material, was whipped off the Tretyakov Gallery’s site in a blink of an eye. As it never existed. Gone. Charmingly, the artist was unaware of any of it until his exhibition was taken off both from the halls and from the site. Why bother? 

The person who was present at the meeting and who was a senior art expert at the leading Russian state art museum, has left her position voluntarily. She is not alone in that sad process. Russian museums were praised among the art experts world-wide for a very high level of their curators and specialists. From now on, they will be known for the North-Korean style of management of their sites cleaned off doves, clouds, sad pictures, black & white images, and possibly butterflies. No, Magritte would not be able to visualise this extreme nonsense either. My hopes are all for Banksy now. 

Day 72: May 6, 2022, Friday


We could all laugh our heads off this story unless it involves living old couple who got themselves into the trouble and who were and are used shamelessly by Russian exemplary stupid propaganda jerks. 

In March, when there was an intense Russian ‘liberators’ attack in Kharkiv region, they came shelling a particular village. One elderly woman was trying to appease the aggressors to the best of her long life experience. So she found an old red Soviet flag somewhere and came out with the flag in front of the liberators. She thought to calm them down and prevent the imminent destruction of her house and village. She failed. Everything was shelled down, her house, her village, and her elderly husband was severely wounded. 

The ‘liberators’ went further in their deadly attack, but some of them have photographed a petite old woman with a disproportionately large flag. The image was a gift from heaven for a hopeless Russian propaganda machine: babushka was real. 

What followed was as pathetic as it can be in a place ruled by dummies. Babushka with a red flag has become a meme of the Russian liberation of Ukraine. The image, extremely badly done, has appeared  everywhere: posters, panels, stickers, souvenir dolls, banners, so-called paintings, and so-called sculptures in several cities of Russia, plus in the Russian-controlled territory of Ukraine. An usual for them hysteria and fetish  growing as a snow-ball towards the climax of that hysteria planned for May 9th. 

Following the total failure with the Operation Ukraine, the Kremlin  administration has changed their main curator of the task, tasking with it the first deputy of the administration senior Kirienko  who was born by an Ukrainian mother. He is trying hard. To the degree that he decided to participate personally at the next opening of the momentarily done cheap plastic babushka sculpture at the Russian controlled territory of Ukraine where he visited to inspect and to boost the effort. 

It was a scene from a movie about drug-cartel bosses’ life in Latin America: everything is dead-serious and everything is hilariously pathetic. And so blisteringly cheap as the material for so-called sculpture featuring babushka. Senior Kirienko was ignited in his reverence of babushka in his opening speech: “Oh, this Russian woman, this heroic Russian woman!.. If I only knew her name, I would bow down to her toes!.. If I only knew!.. She is the Babushka for all Russia! Yes, she is!” Kirienko, as his boss, and as it goes with patented evildoers,  is a heavily sentimental type with a highly labile psyche. 

The real babushka, meanwhile, whose name is known very well and for over a month by now, Anna Ivanovna Ivanova, is spending her time now in a hospital together with her husband who is still treated there from the wounds from the “liberators’ shelling. The old couple simply has no other place to live, as Anna Ivanovna’s desperate gesture to save her house and her village was totally ignored by the Russian bandits in military uniform on the ground. 

Anna Ivanovna is very angry with them. She spoke to the press several times already and set the score with ‘the liberators’ clear. “It is such a lousy situation there in our village after they came and shelled us. What had we done to them? I tried with that old flag to calm them down. I hoped that they would not destroy our house, and our village. But no, they did destroy it all, and they wounded my husband, an old innocent man. It is so lousy what they were doing here”, – she told anyone who wanted to hear her. 

So, Kremlin fresh-made anonymous babushka-for-all-Russia turned out to be the next blunder. Why do they ignore to do a minimum home-work in order to preserve themselves from non-stop international self-ridiculing? Because ruling mediocre and below that does not have a clue about very term ridicule, not to mention its meaning. Let them enjoy that ghastly new anti-art of all-Russia’s babushkas all over the place which so successfully cancels itself. 

Day 71: May 5, 2022, Thursday


Michael Rogatchi (C). The Third Eye. 1991.

One does not know to cry or laugh on daily news from the Russian Land-Behind-the-Glass, the fact is that they astound us with incredible regularity. Recently, there has been a trial in St Petersburg which considered the case of a man who went to protest the Mean War with a slogan. That slogan contained nothing more than a quote. The quote was the following: ‘ World is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength’. As students from the high school know worldwide, the phrase comes from George Orwell’s ‘1984’. But who the hell is that George for the Russian police in St Petersburg who have arrested the man with this quote on his sheet of paper, and opened an official trial against him – or George Orwell? – for ‘discreditation of the Russian army’, the most popular new article in the Russian criminal code which has been added there as soon as the Mean War has started.

So, there was a real trial in St Petersburg. The trial decided that George Orwell did not discredit the Russian army. How could he, indeed, have been dead since January 1950? Luckily, the female judge from St Petersburg did not like to ridicule herself to the world. St Petersburg is a cultural capital of Russia, after all. The prosecution was very unhappy. Possibly they will appeal the decision. 

But the elderly women in Ulan-Ude which is far from St Petersburg was not so lucky. She was driven straight to the police station by the driver of the bus who has decorated the front window of his bus with a large Zieg-sign, the sign of loyalty in Russia nowadays. Modest pensioner politely and quietly asked the driver ‘to take off the sign of war’ from his bus in the city which buries the young soldiers who are killed in the Mean War daily. For some reason, Burjaatia of which Ulan-Ude is capital has a disproportionately high number of soldiers sent to Ukraine. And they are killed en masse there. 

So, the bus-driver has driven that woman directly to the police station, and she has been trialled and sentenced to a week of imprisonment, this is given a seriously bad condition of her health, according to the legal authorities there. 

In another true Orwellian style, a prosecution in Moscow is preparing for yet another trial: several protesting people there were so desperate that they were ready to commit a public suicide. They were arrested, and charged initially with hooliganism in the public place. But prosecution has changed the article. They will be trialled for terrorism now. 

We used to say that Soviet reality was truly Orwellian one. We used to say that post-Soviet reality was sometimes Orwellian, as well, but to a much lesser degree. And now, in what I call a post-humanity period of Russia, their reality is quasi-Orwellian one. I wonder, did George Orwell who visited the USSR and saw some of its niceties with his own eyes, was also inventing, even if in his head, something like post-Orwellian prose, post-Orwellian world, post-Orwellian perception, and post-Orwellian values? He might be. 

Orwell was Kafka of his time. And his capacity is not enough any longer for description of the realities of Russia’s daily life from February 2022 onward. 

There is another phrase in ‘1984’, the essential book of mankind. And I have to admit that this phrase seems prophetic to me when I think about what Russia has become: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”