The world plays football and looks to Russia. Before sport starts, we dedicate this large, diverse, complicated and often misunderstood country to a focus. At beginning, Russian writer and journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky describes what has gone wrong in Russia's relationship to West since fall of wall.
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When Gorbachev waved fall of Berlin Wall, it was possible, enchanted from moment, to think that all or walls in Europe would now collapse immediately.
The Iron Curtain was crunching, and two worlds – bland, almost black-and-white socialist and colourful capitalist – looked at each or puzzled. We knew that you lived better, but had no idea how much better. You could think that everything is a little more barren with us, but you have not understood how we get along with it.Dmitry Glukhovsky
Dmitry Glukhovsky was born in 1979 in Moscow. He is Russian and writes books and columns. His books include Dystopias Metro 2033 and Futu.re. As a journalist he writes for newspaper Novaya Gazeta. His new novel text will be published in German in September at Europa Verlag.
These yours and our wall, this your and our curtain, resembled a dam that separated and held back millions of people at different pressures. It was blown up – or collapsed by itself (even if it was sealed in China again and still stands) – and people flooded swashed, mingled, leveled after a while at a certain level, at normal zero.
What you had was also accessible to us. What you knew was also known to us. The freedom to that we had never had, not an abstract freedom, but freedom to live where we want to do what we want, to sleep with whom we want, freedom to go to you on vacation, and sometimes to move forever, which was granted to us. And we used and abused that freedom.
The walls have not disappeared definitively, but y have been replaced by light metal fences – kind of barriers our police have built to allow our opposition to demonstrate within se gates.
There was no ideology in new "free" Russia, so re was no reason to continue rivalry and struggle with West. The West was tolerant and condescending to us: he did not erect any military bases in Moscow region, he did not demand disarmament and no reparations, he sent humanitarian aid...
I still remember how I got packets at school – for some reason with milk powder. Why just milk? Be it drum, dry or liquid, no matter. After all, it was a symbol and not a product.Fed up
Our industry manufactured tanks and machine guns, your produced television sets, video recorders and computers, fashionable clothing and popular music, popular movies and, last but not least, varied food. We wanted to be like you, at last we were allowed. The inhabitants of cities, drunk from endless consumption possibilities, knelt down before western Golden Calf.
We converted to your faith by consuming your things, learning names of your brands, penetrating your writers, and queuing up your TV series. At last we could eat what had been your privilege before, because our shelves were crammed with your food. We received communion with Croissant and Bordeaux. We came to you and looked at us – stunned and blinking in face of glaring pictures – your Barcelona, your Berlin and your London.
But now we've drunk your milk to a wave, ate your food enough, watched your movies and your capital cities. You too have become accustomed to us: you will not be surprised if you speak Russian on your streets.
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