- What, from your point of view, allowed Russia to go beyond the scenario that you described in your book and which seemed inevitable at that time?
- If you answer briefly, - Russian people. I then underestimated his role and importance. In those years I was very pessimistic, and it seemed to me that the people could not resist the processes that were going on in Russia at that time. The people, as I then imagined, were absent from the political and historical arenas. It was not his fault - then there were no leaders and intelligentsia of the Russian people.
In 1991, the next occupation of Russia began. And the people did not understand this fact, no one explained this fact to him, and therefore the occupation took place without mass resistance. A quarter of a century has passed, and not only those 25 millions that remained outside the country, but most of those living in Russia realized that the West is not the "earthly paradise" for which it was issued in those years.
Now in Russia there is a rather wide discussion that the collapse of the USSR is the result of betrayal. I am not satisfied with this statement of the question to the full. Betrayal happens when there are certain conditions for its occurrence. And if there are no such conditions - there are no traitors or their influence on the events is not fatal. For example, during the Second World War or the Great Patriotic War, as you call it, in the USSR there were many people who betrayed the country. Nevertheless, the country survived, the USSR won. Therefore, from my point of view, the emphasis in the dispute about the causes of the collapse of the Union does not need to be done on treason.
Why did the USSR fall? We did not understand that the ideas and ideals of the West by the time of the fall of the USSR had already infiltrated here through television and cinema. And at that time the dominant world idea belonged to the West, not to us. And today, unfortunately, today's Russia is dominated by the ideas of capitalism, the West.
- But still something has changed since then in Russia in a positive way - I mean the deepening of the understanding of processes outside and inside the country, the realization of their role and place in space and time?
- Yes, a quarter of a century in Russia have become better aware of many things. And in this sense, the upheaval that happened in Ukraine, clearly demonstrated to the Russians, in particular, that the West does not like Russia, does not accept and will not accept it as an equal partner.
Today, Putin understands that if he wants to remain in power, to remain in the country's history as his savior, he must rely on the people. Did this happen by accident? I think that here we are dealing with a conscious choice. And the question arises: did the people create Putin or did Putin help the people create themselves? I do not know the exact answer, but probably the first part of the question is more relevant to reality than the second.
Over the years, I changed my view of many things. For example, to the idea of progress, I had one attitude when I first came to Russia as a correspondent. I had a somewhat different approach to the same idea already when I was writing the book "Farewell, Russia!". And today I understand that there are forces, factors that influence the development of events much more than purely material ones. There are spiritual forces that do not always, however, manifest themselves in the right, so to speak, forms and formats. Here you can relate the forces of history, tradition, culture. And this is one of the factors that keeps Russia.
Nevertheless, I look with concern at developments in Russia. Since today in the country there are the same "themes", the ideas that were in the 90. And the present generation is essentially educated on them. They are projected onto the minds of Russians through television channels, through other media every minute. And this flow is constantly growing. That's why I say that we are all "formatted" by them - their ideas, their way of life.
This greatly weakens the ability of the Russian people to protect themselves. And if things go on and on, the support that holds the country, from my point of view, may collapse.
- But even the West itself is experiencing such loads today that on its seemingly super-strong foundation, large cracks are already clearly visible ...
- The civilizational project of our opponents is an endless, uncontrolled consumption, this is wealth for a very narrow circle of super-rich people and poverty, actually slavery for billions of people, this is the destruction of nature.
And this project is dying today. And realizing this, the West can do everything, including total destruction of everything and everything. If you, in Russia, the crisis was organized outside the country and brought here, then the crisis of the West, primarily the US and Europe, is the result of its own development and, accordingly, degradation, because there can not be an endless growth in consumption in conditions of limited resources .
Now the West, whether consciously or unconsciously - is unimportant, creates prerequisites for reducing the intellectual level of the entire population of the planet. The West is preparing to turn people into slaves, into biorobots and will try to make a new monster man using the latest technology. For its own salvation, the West of the potential is ready to engender a new society, where there will not even be a hint of liberal-democratic freedoms and humanism. It will be a gigantic authoritarian system where people will not be completely free and absolutely not happy. And all this can happen if there is no force capable of changing this scenario.
It should be taken into account that despite the crisis, the West is still very strong. At his disposal are many tools that allow him to maneuver, preserve and even strengthen his position. Trends in the modern world are developing almost exponentially. And those who do not see this and believe that one can stop, think, reflect, or even return for some time back - is deeply mistaken. In the world there is a race with time. And who is not able to withstand such a pace is doomed to retirement.
Now it is necessary to collect all the forces, to self-organize as much as possible and to strengthen the barrier to the penetration of the West into Russia. And if the West becomes alarmed, frightened, then its expansion will slow down. And in this sense, the fact of the existence of Russia now is the only factor capable of stopping the West. If Russia does not exist, if it is weakened and can not respond, there will be a war.
- Do you have specific recipes, how to avoid development in the worst scenario, how can we not leave the race with time?
- We need to analyze why in the 1990-X years ideological barriers were broken, why in 1991 the structure of the Soviet Union created by the revolution collapsed. I think that we need to create a think tank that would deal with the analysis of what happened from the time of the revolution and to the death of the USSR. And from this point to build a picture of the world, of what we have today. Such a picture is not created anywhere in the world, including in the US. And without it, we not only do not understand how, what and why happened, but we also will not be able to understand what the world is facing. So the think tank is necessary. It should be a group of people who, analyzing the real situation, could develop a concrete action plan for the future, for example, for five years.
For example, now in Europe a huge political vacuum has formed. Europeans themselves do not know what to do - neither Germany, nor France, nor Italy. I do not know the specific recipes, but for Russia, in my opinion, now is the time to offer Europeans their initiatives, to look for structures, institutions, even individual people with whom partnerships can be established. And in this situation, Russia does not have its voice in the West - except for Putin's voice. The Russian president is the only Russian information source. But this is clearly not enough. Why should not Russia buy one or more television channels and not start using them to talk with millions of Europeans !?