Note to our readers: These are letters from a comrade of ours who currently lives in Russia. English is not the first language of HCE so please be understanding. In other to preserve the integrity of these letters, we kept the original phrasing as best we could.
Author: HCE - Published by Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism March 22, 2022
Thank you for your message and concern. My wife and I are passing through a difficult phase in our lives. After our second vaccination in December, we, for some reason or other went through a period of being sick, myself in a light form while my wife gave me a scare. Anyway, that is behind us. Barbara, I thought that in my late years, being 80 years old now, we would settle down and I would take good care of my wife, go for long walks in the forest-parks of Moscow. Fate however, had other plans for us, and here we are in the midst of another war and sanctions surrounded by nations led by clowns, comedians, lunatics, and obsessed madmen. Allow me to give you my opinion on a number of issues.
The dependence of Europe on Russian natural gas
The US tried all the possible tricks to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Generally, they want this energy market for US companies, in spite if the fact that gas will be in liquid form and transported by ships. The port that has to receive the liquid gas must have a very expensive plant. Besides the market factor there is the geopolitical factor of having Europe depending on the US for their energy. Russia has always delivered through thick and thin and always will. I wonder whether the US and their companies will be just as trustworthy.
Zelensky's dirty bomb threat
Chernobyl is the place where the terrible catastrophe happened is located in the Ukraine. Zelensky declared that he would consider making an atom bomb if not given the security guarantees that he was asking for from Europe and the US on the second day of the war. He had in mind using materials from the damaged reactor and make a "dirty bomb". I think that was the last straw. Russian special troops immediately moved to occupy Chernobyl. Thank goodness not a single shot was fired as the Ukrainian troops laid down their arms. The 8 years that the people of Donbas served as a shooting gallery for the Ukrainian nationalists and fascists has finally come to an end. Chernobyl at the present is being patrolled by joint Russian - Ukrainian units. There is a huge Sarcophagi covering the damaged reactor (if you see a clip or pictures, it is so ominous and awe striking. It makes you shiver).
The Mood of the Russian people
Now let me discuss the mood of the Russian people who I see on the street, the people who I talk to, and what I read and watch on local tv. Russians differ in their assessment of the war. By far the broadest section supports their president, and especially their armed forces. They are mainly working class, solid people, nationalists, and the majority of the left including CPRF.
Since the nomination of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats' obsession with Russia's and Trump's supposed ties with them, these Democrats have played a terrible role in pushing the Russian people more to the right. Anything that is seen as part of the Democrats, like BLM, MeToo, or LGBT is derided here. White supremacy is on the rise. I have tried on many occasions to explain, for example BLM. The conversation usually begins with "I don't take a knee before a N." So, I have to explain the rules of US football, who Colin Kaepernick is and the conditions of his kneeling during the national anthem. Presenting the subtleties of this is not easy when Russians are already riled up. The Communist Party in Ukraine was prohibited many years ago and in this void came nationalism and religion. Both cards were used to divide the Russians and the Ukrainians. Russia has officially declared that the aim of their operation in the Ukraine is demilitarization and denazification.
Then there is a loud minority of very young people guided by NGOs financed by the West, part of the humanitarian intellectuals, artists, and actors. They are against their army and its operations in the Ukraine. The Russian government has started taking measures against openly anti-Russian channels like Echo Moscow and Dozhd/Rain.
The situation in Russia is characterized by a retreat of the liberals and pro-western opposition. The polls show that the support for the president is 75% as of today, March 11. The street is calm, my apartment is near a university and campus and I see hundreds of young people going about their studies. I see people shopping, and I go shopping too. No panic, no rush. If the West thinks by imposing draconian sanctions it will change the mood of the people, then it is right but exactly in the opposite direction, instead of the critical and quite often satiric attitude towards the authorities. In fact, they are consolidating and supporting it. A new world is being born and Russia with all her faults and problems is the midwife and godmother. I will stop here but I have lot more to say. Please let us continue with the dialogue
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