I can bet in this duel won the second: Evgeni
Kiselyov, who recently brought Grigory Yavlinsky and Anatoli
Chubais to the ring of the Glas Naroda programme. Ignoring
the intentions of opponents to increase the tension of
the struggle, Kiselyov held a discussion at a level, which
enabled the viewers to independently make up their minds.
When Sergei Kovalyov (Ed. famous Russian human rights
defender) appeared on screen and I heard the voice of
a man woken up somewhere in Perm, I realised that I had
probably never seen such a brilliant usage of the possibilities
of television. Two things made me take up my pen and write
this article, despite the fact that a great deal had already
been written and said on this programme.
Chubais called Yavlinsky a "traitor" several
times, as he referred to the article "Six Conditions
for Maskhadov" in "Obschaya Gazeta". I
was struck by the acuteness of the opponents' accusations.
In the duel the enemies forgot about rapiers or pistols
and instead took pitchforks and shafts.
Each word belongs to a time, when it was used most frequently,
and has its requirements. The word "traitor"
brings us back to the Great Patriotic War (Ed. the name
of The Second World War for Russia) and, certainly, to
Stalin's trials. This word led Sergei Kovalyov to remember
his previous experiences that he would not wish anyone
Chubais' choice of such a word made Sergei Kovalyov remind
him that all the last three prime ministers came from
the security services. In addition developments are quite
symptomatic: we consider imperialism as an external enemy
and dissidents as the enemy from within.
Yavlinsky defined all of Chubais' statements as an extreme
form of bolshevism, which is also true: Bolsheviks could
not survive without "treachery", as pensioners
and pioneers were suspected of betrayal.
Yavlinsky simply permitted himself to speak out: he called
for a suspension of a mass attack, a cessation of total
bombings and humiliation of the refugees, as all these
measures have merely served to increase the number of
people ready to turn their weapons against us.
As you understand, Yavlinsky cannot change military orders.
So why should he put to the wall for a proposal? Is this
all the depth of the democratic reservoir of Chubais?
Not only this. Maybe the strongest and most dangerous
trait of Chubais' character came out here. He devotes
himself totally to his goals and treats anyone standing
in his way as a traitor. A traitor towards Chubais, his
ambitions and his aims.
Today he has waged his future on Putin, but he understands
full well that the latter will not be able to survive
at the top without a victory in Chechnya. Incidentally,
no one has yet determined what total victory implies?
How many miles of ploughed and burnt-out land without
a sign of a living human being should be demonstrated
as confirmation of victory?
With respect to the astonishing acuteness of the discussion,
this is unusual for public debates in Russia. I see here
a continuation of a long-standing process that has affected
public morals. Tonnes of compromising materials, a video
with the Public Prosecutor General and prostitutes and,
finally, the Prime Minister's wish to "piss all over
the bandits, shooting them in the toilets " - what
By the way, it is quite characteristic that Chubais considered
that he had been hurt, when Yavlinsky permitted himself
to make unpleasant remarks about Chubais. Finally, proud
of his cold-blooded reaction, Chubais remarked: "I
don't call you a liar, villain, or scoundrel - we are
having a polite, intelligent discussion."
Consequently, Anatoly Chubais, while accepting what he
said to Yavlinsky, continued to define his area as the
world of the intelligentsia. Surely this is ridiculous?
The outcome of the dispute was virtually decided before
it began. Both participants have been at the top of the
political elite for the past decade. And the results of
Russian political history are considerably more revealing
than all the speeches of the opponents and their "home-baked"
questions and answers.
Yavlinsky wanted to ascertain the price of the responsibility
assumed by Chubais and his colleagues. It is known. Failing
in economic reforms and driving the country into poverty,
Chubais and his colleagues have made the danger of a communist
revival more real. In trying to avoid it, they bet on
an incapable president, packing their consciences into
a box from a copy-machine (Ed. allusion to a well-known
scandal with the box where the honorarium for Chubais'
presidential campaign organisation was virtually removed
from the Russian White House).
It makes no sense to explain now where it has driven
Elena Bonner (Ed. Academician Sakharov's widow) considers
that all the events in Chechnya constitute genocide. Yavlinsky
advocates a suspension of the wide-ranging military operations
there. But Chubais thinks that the war is against terrorists,
rather than with the Chechenian people.
Incidentally, how is he going to differentiate them from
the people? Line them up and expect them to split into
two files bandits - on the right and civilians - left.
However, his conscience did not persuade Anatoli Chubais
to resign as Deputy Prime during the tragedy in Grozny.
So he will clearly manage to control any other stirrings
of his conscience.
Frequently when two people argue, I offer my backing
to a third party: Anatoli Pristavkin, (Ed. writer and
Chairman of the Pardon Commission with the President of
the RF), who said: "It is disgraceful that discussions
concern anything whatsoever, other than the sufferings
of the people."