Russian opposition to mark 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Vilnius
30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: What happened to the euphoria? | To The Point
Participants of the Free Russia Forum will discuss the prospects for the country’s political transformation, taking into account the dynamics of public sentiment
On November 9 and 10, the VIII Forum of Free Russia will take place in Vilnius. It will be attended by civil activists from various regions of the Russian Federation, representatives of the main opposition organizations and protest groups, politicians and public figures, international experts, bloggers, journalists, as well as representatives of the cultural community..
The Vilnius Forum is a discussion platform for discussing the domestic and foreign policy of Russia from a critical point of view, and as the FSR participants have repeatedly stressed, it is not possible to hold such events in the country itself at the moment. About 500 people from more than fifty Russian regions and 32 countries of the world applied for participation in the VIII Forum of Free Russia.
The correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America” talked with some of the participants in the upcoming FSR to find out what they are going to speak at the site of the Vilnius Forum.
“People don’t see prospects”
Politician and economist Dmitry Nekrasov will be the moderator of the section “Dynamics of public sentiment in Russia”. The speakers will be asked to assess the socio-economic situation in the country, the potential of protest activity and the opportunity for the authorities to restore public confidence..
Nekrasov himself notes that different trends are observed in different strata of society. “In a very small politicized part of the middle class in large cities, there were significant dynamics associated with the elections in Moscow and the dispersal of protest actions. In one part of this politically active group of the population, there was a certain radicalization, and in another part, there was apathy associated with the growth of repression, and a desire to leave the country, “Dmitry Nekrasov shared his observations..
In addition, the interlocutor of the Voice of America stressed that economic stagnation and freezing of the growth of incomes of the population contribute to the strengthening of social pessimism: “People do not see prospects, they are deprived of hopes for the future, and this generates discontent and even aggression. But until these sentiments are channeled, and I would not say that this affects the readiness of the so-called “broad strata of the population” to actively protest ”.
Addressing future participants in the discussion, Nekrasov expressed a desire to dwell in more detail on specific trends observed in the public mood of Russians. “In fact, a lot of different events are happening. And if the speakers will single out some individual trends, backing them up with research data on changes in the attitude of the population to various aspects of life, it would be as interesting as possible. At least, I plan to ask all the participants clarifying questions, ”promised Dmitry Nekrasov.
“We need a Russian Nuremberg”
Sociologist and Publicist Igor Chubais announced by one of the participants in the section “Prospects for the transformation of Russian statehood.” The discussion here will focus on the comparison of modern Russia with the Soviet Union: is it possible to call the Russian Federation an empire, should post-Putin Russia still consider itself the successor of the USSR, is it possible to resolve the Crimean problem in the foreseeable future, and is lustration a necessary condition for overcoming totalitarianism?
To resolve the crisis of Russian statehood, according to Chubais, it is necessary to correct all the mistakes made after the Bolshevik coup of 1917. “Therefore, the first thing that Russia should do is forgive the process of complete and deep decommunization. In other words, it will give a legal assessment of what happened in the days of the USSR and after the USSR. Without this, Stalin’s shadow will grab us by the throat until it suffocates us, “says the source of the Voice of America..
The second step, according to Igor Chubais, should be the restoration of continuity with historical Russia. “Not everyone knows about this, and not everyone understands, but in 1917 there was a break with our historical tradition. Russia and the Soviet Union are two completely different states, roughly like the Third Reich and the Federal Republic of Germany.
And we need to take everything of value from the history of Russian statehood. I will not talk about this in detail now, because this is too big a topic, “he warns..
And he continues that in order to get out of international isolation, future Russia will need to take into account the experience of Western democracies. At the same time, Chubais believes that the disintegration of Russia should not be allowed. “If this happens, we will not avoid a civil war, because so many weapons and means of mass destruction have been accumulated like no other country. Decay will mean a man-made disaster, and twenty million –
thirty will flee to the West, which will make life impossible there. Therefore, it is necessary to strive to preserve the integrity of the country “, – Igor Chubais concludes.
“We understood that the map of Europe was changing”
A special section will be devoted to the last years of the existence of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the communist regimes with the so-called “Eastern Bloc”, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the events that went down in history as the “Autumn of Nations”.
One of the participants in this section is a deputy of the Seimas of Lithuania Mantas Adomenas – in an interview with the correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America” said that at the end of the 80s he was an active participant in all events dedicated to the return of the state independence of his homeland.
“We then felt that we were not alone. A year before that, it seemed to us that everything could end in the same way as the “Khrushchev thaw” ended with the arrival of Brezhnev – everything began to seethe a little and then came to naught. But when the democratic elections in Poland began, the “velvet revolution” in Czechoslovakia, and, of course, the fall of the Berlin Wall, we realized that history is on our side, and that we are part of the process that might redefine all the borders of the Cold War. and put an end to the imperialist seizures of the Soviet Union, “- says the Lithuanian parliamentarian.
Mantas Adomenas also mentioned that in the works of many Soviet historians it is written that the events of 1989 should be considered the beginning of the end of the USSR. “But in the summer of 1988, rallies were held in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, where hundreds of thousands of people spoke out precisely with political demands. And, of course, there was a feeling that we were a little bypassed. But the main thing is that we understood that the map of Europe was changing, and we had hope for the revival of our independence. And that was the most important thing, ”says a participant of the Free Russia Forum.
Summing up the results of the last thirty years in the so-called “post-Soviet space”, Adamenas calls this time an “unfinished democratic revolution”, when in some former republics the process of political, economic and social reforms was completed, while in others it was slowed down. “Regarding Russia, at first it seemed that events would proceed according to the optimistic scenario, but now we see that these hopes have not been justified. Therefore, remembering the peaceful democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe is very important, you need to study their logic and ideology in order to work on the process of transforming the regime now. After all, when the regime is so absurd that it cannot adhere to its own ideological postulates, then the time comes for a peaceful change of power. I really hope that someday such a time will come in Russia too, ”sums up Mantas Adomenas.