Congresses and Docs

Memorandum of Political Alternative, an updated version of 1.03.2019

Memorandum of Political Alternative

YABLOKO's Ten Key Programme Issues


YABLOKO's Political Platform Adopted by the 15th Congress, June 21, 2008

The 18th Congress of YABLOKO

RUSSIA DEMANDS CHANGES! Electoral Program for 2011 Parliamentary Elections.

Key resolutions by the Congress:

On Stalinism and Bolshevism
Resolution. December 21, 2009

On Anti-Ecological Policies of Russia’s Authorities. Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 253, December 24, 2009

On the Situation in the Northern Caucasus. Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 252, December 24, 2009


YABLOKO’s Political Committee: Russian state acts like an irresponsible business corporation conducting anti-environmental policies


Overcoming bolshevism and stalinism as a key factor for Russia¦µ™s transformation in the 21st century


On Russia's Foreign Policies. Political Committee of hte YABLOKO party. Statement, June 26, 2009


On Iran’s Nuclear Problem Resolution by the Political Committee of the YABLOKO party. October 6, 2009


Anti-Crisis Proposals (Housing-Roads-Land) of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO. Handed to President Medvedev by Sergei Mitrokhin on June 11, 2009

Brief Outline of Sergei Mitrokhin’s Report at the State Council meeting. January 22, 2010


Assessment of Russia’s Present Political System and the Principles of Its Development. Brief note for the State Council meeting (January 22, 2010) by Dr.Grigory Yavlinsky, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee. January 22, 2010


Address of the YABLOKO party to President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev. Political Committee of the YABLOKO party. October 9, 2009


The 17th Congress of YABLOKO




The 16th Congress of Yabloko

Photo by Sergei Loktionov

The 12th congress of Yabloko

The 11th congress of Yabloko

The 10th congress of Yabloko

Moscow Yabloko
Yabloko for Students
St. Petersburg Yabloko
Khabarovsk Yabloko
Irkutsk Yabloko
Kaliningrad Yabloko(eng)
Novosibirsk Yabloko
Rostov Yabloko
Yekaterinburg Yabloko
(Sverdlovsk Region)

Krasnoyarsk Yabloko
Ulyanovsk Yabloko
Tomsk Yabloko
Tver Yabloko(eng)
Penza Yabloko
Stavropol Yabloko

Action of Support





Programme by candidate for the post of Russian President Grigory Yavlinsky. Brief Overview

My Truth

Grigory Yavlinsky at Forum 2000, Prague, 2014

YABLOKO-ALDE conference 2014

Grigory Yavlinsky : “If you show the white feather, you will get fascism”

Grigory Yavlinsky: a coup is started by idealists and controlled by rascals

The Road to Good Governance

Risks of Transitions. The Russian Experience

Grigory Yavlinsky on the Russian coup of August 1991

A Male’s Face of Russia’s Politics

Black Sea Palaces of the New Russian Nomenklatura


The Hidden Cause of the Great Recession (And How to Avert the Nest One)

by Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky

On the results of the Conference “Migration: International Experience and Russia’s Problems” conducted by the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (the ALDE party)

Moscow, April 6, 2013

International Conference "Youth under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response"
conducted jointly by ELDR and YABLOKO. Moscow, April 21, 2012. Speeches, videos, presentations

What does the opposition want: to win or die heroically?
Moskovsky Komsomolets web-site, July 11, 2012. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina.

Building a Liberal Europe - the ALDE Project

By Sir Graham Watson

Lies and legitimacy
The founder of the Yabloko Party analyses the political situation. Article by Grigory Yavlinsky on radio Svoboda. April 6, 2011

Algorithms for Opposing Gender Discrimination: the International and the Russian Experience

YABLOKO and ELDR joint conference

Moscow, March 12, 2011

Reform or Revolution

by Vladimir Kara-Murza

Is Modernisation in Russia Possible? Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky and Boris Titov by Yury Pronko, "The Real Time" programme, Radio Finam, May 12, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky's interview to Vladimir Pozner. The First Channel, programme "Pozner", April 20, 2010 (video and transcript)

Overcoming the Totalitarian Past: Foreign Experience and Russian Problems by Galina Mikhaleva. Research Centre for the East European Studies, Bremen, February 2010.

Grigory Yavlinsky: Vote for the people you know, people you can turn for help. Grigory Yavlinsky’s interview to the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, October 8, 2009

Grigory Yavlinsky: no discords in the tandem. Grigory Yavlinsky’s interview to the Radio Liberty
September 22, 2009

A Credit for Half a Century. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Natalia Bekhtereva, Radio Russia, June 15, 2009

Sergei Mitrokhin's Speech at the meeting with US Preseident Barack Obama. Key Notes, Moscow, July 7, 2009

Mitrokhin proposed a visa-free regime between Russia and EU at the European liberal leaders meeting
June 18, 2009

by Grigory Yavlinsky

European Union chooses Grigory Yavlinsky!
Your vote counts!

Reforms that corrupted Russia
By Grigory Yavlinsky, Financial Times (UK), September 3, 2003

Grigory Yavlinsky: "It is impossible to create a real opposition in Russia today."
Moskovsky Komsomolets, September 2, 2003

Alexei Arbatov: What Should We Do About Chechnya?
Interview with Alexei Arbatov by Mikhail Falaleev
Komsomolskaya Pravda, November 9, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky: Our State Does Not Need People
Novaya Gazeta,
No. 54, July 29, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky: The Door to Europe is in Washington
Obschaya Gazeta, May 16, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky's speech.
March 11, 2002

Grigory Yavlinsky's Lecture at the Nobel Institute
Oslo, May 30, 2000



Yabloko: Liberals in Russia

By Alexander Shishlov, July 6, 2009

Position on Some Important Strategic Issues of Russian-American Relations

Moscow, July 7, 2009

The Embrace of Stalinism

By Arseny Roginsky, 16 December 2008

Nuclear Umbrellas and the Need for Understanding: IC Interview With Ambassador Lukin
September 25, 1997

Would the West’s Billions Pay Off?
Los Angeles Times
By Grigory Yavlinsky and Graham Allison
June 3, 1991

Grigory Yavlinsky: “Stop killing Ukrainians and stop killing Russian soldiers. Stop it!”

Youtube channel Zhivoi Gvozd (Live Nail), complete transcript and English susbtitles in the video, 19.03.2022

Vitaly Dymarsky: Since I was instructed, Grigory Alexeyevich, to ask you the first question…

Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, please.

Vitaly Dymarsky: But I have two of them. Absolutely hackneyed: “who is to blame?” and “what to do?”. Where do we start?

Alexei Venediktov: This is the third question.

Grigory Yavlinsky: The whole society is to blame, everyone is to blame.

Alexei Venediktov: I would like to discuss this. I watched your interview with Vladimir Kara-Murza…

Grigory Yavlinsky: Maybe I should answer right now?


Alexei Venediktov: No, just wait a second. Why exactly do you think that the whole society is to blame?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, because the system assumed such a development of events, that’s it. A system without an independent judiciary. A system without elections. A system without a really elected parliament. A system in which there has been an authoritarian government for 20 or 30 years, and a super-authoritarian government for the past 20 or 15 years. Because the system even changed the Constitution that we had, in such a way that it made the authoritarian power absolutely off the scale.


It is also to blame because no one wanted to see this in the mass-scale sense. The post-Soviet intelligentsia did not want to see anything, chatting all sorts of nonsense. The political scientists didn’t see a damn thing. As there was nothing of the kind. Well, this went on for years, despite the fact that the author of this entire system, Vladimir Putin, told all this in perfectly direct manner, maybe not so much perfect as direct, every time he said it verbatim, every seven years: in 2007, 2014, 2021, when he wrote his article, in the summer [of 2021], on July 12. Well, it was all clear then! Not to mention how they destroyed the NTV [independent television channel] right on the second day after the elections… Well, what is there to talk about now? So what…


Alexei Venediktov: But does anyone here object?


Grigory Yavlinsky: And so what, and so what?


Alexei Venediktov: Grigory Alexeyevich, why did the system have to necessarily lead to military clashes, military events?


Grigory Yavlinsky: And because it is a dead end system, it has no way of development, it has no prospects. It has no other way of development, no other way to resolve issues. Besides, it was obvious – it never talked about the future at all, it never talked about the perspective. It did not at all assess what would happen, where Russia was going, how it would develop – it only looked back. Just recollect, [it talked about] worthy things like the Great Patriotic War, these are all worthy things, but this is all that was in the past.


Vitaly Dymarsky: [The so-called] “effective managers”…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Instead of moving forward. In addition, it was, well, in general, it was obvious that, sorry, it neither protected not promoted any values, fundamental values…


Vitaliy Dymarsky: Why does this system suit the society so much then? Where is society here?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well…


Alexei Venediktov: An interesting question.


Grigory Yavlinsky: You see, when… I would divide [the notions] here. There is such a great desire to say that the people, they are… But I can say: the peoples are generally about the same everywhere. They live about the same life: they have children, they have jobs, they have parents, they have survival. Life is kind of…


Alexei Venediktov: Health, education…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, that’s it. It is everywhere, all over the world, just everywhere, as it should be. And the question…


Vitaly Dymarsky: This is what is called a “swamp”, right?


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, this is what is called the people for me.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ha-ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s for me. I am part of it.


Vitaly Dymarsky: From the point of view of the electorate.


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, I am part of it, I am part of this people. I think that this is not a “swamp”, I never mean to say anything like that. It is just people, they live like that, that is how the world works. It is the same in the United States, and it is the same in Great Britain, Europe, Africa, and everywhere. Just the conditions are different. The people for me is a word with a capital letter.


Alexei Venediktov: What about society?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Society is a slightly different thing, because there are elites, sorry for the expression, or what we sometimes called “intelligentsia”, or “post-Soviet intelligentsia”, as you like, and the government is a reflection of it. And if it digests all this, endures, adapts, and arranges some kind of comical scenes from this and sits in all of this, well, that’s it, in fact, that’s all. It is the object of dialogue with the authorities.


Alexei Venediktov: Not the people?


Grigory Yavlinsky: But what about the people? The people live, I should reiterate again, they live their lives; they trust those who have received appropriate education, who, excuse me, do nothing else, just talk, etc., etc., etc., pretending to be something… They look at such a person, they trust him, and it will always be so, it will always be like this. Well, that’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: Grigory Alexeyevich, wait, let me clarify. Was there the people or society at the rally yesterday? Yesterday, all these people with flags and shouting “Forward Russia!” [at a pro-government rally] – were they the people or a society?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Ah-ah-ah. I do not know. This is who was invited to serve this one…


Alexei Venediktov: No, well, but it wasn’t the intelligentsia…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right… They invited those whom they considered necessary to invite, they invited such people. So what? Well, what is it? On a grand scale, this is a drop in the ocean. And besides, who can he rely on? Ase the salary and the future depend on these, but what about those? Those betrayed them, they did not protect their interests. They did not protect their children, they did not understand what was happening and what would happen. They didn’t want to understand any of this. They (sorry, this is not the place to talk about this) called for voting for the communists, who now support this war in every possible way. Well, so what? That’s it.


Vitaly Dymarsky: I would like to ask you. If the system was such and you saw it, what it was and where it was leading, but you still tried to do something within the framework of this system, well, “do something” – to win the voter, whom, as it turns out if we follow your logic, is impossible to win for you, I mean for Yabloko which represents such views?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, first of all, I will answer like this: well, I worked in the system that was here. I thought that…


Vitaly Dymarsky: … that it was possible, right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I have not thought about it, I have no other system, I have no choice. I have no choice. This is not such a thing that I am either in this system, but if I don’t like this one, I will go to Vologda and will work there in another one – no, I don’t have such a choice. I was not going to leave the country, because everything is different there, it is just a different story. Therefore, I worked in the system that we had. This system was laid down in 1992, in 1992!


Vitaly Dymarsky: So you think that…


Grigory Yavlinsky: So, listen, why do I want to talk about it? Because I believe that if we do not deal with the causes now, and you are asking the right questions, we will again later fall into this in some form. War is a terrible tragedy, but it is also the moment of truth. Now you have to think. If I had tried to have such a conversation with you six months ago, you would not have talked to me, you would have laughed at me and that would have been the end of it. And now the time has come to think.


Indeed, this system was laid down in 1992, when they arranged, artificially staged a hyperinflation of 2,600%. But you are smart people, and you understand, what kind of privatisation can be there after such hyperinflation. Only the criminal one, as the respected Mr. Pastukhov discussed with you the other day. Only the criminal one. And now I’ll tell you that, when a merger of business and government, and property and government takes place, then such a merger denies freedom of speech in principle (because it will speak about all of this), it denies the court in principle, it denies parliament in principle, etc. That’s it. And it gave birth to the president we got.


Alexei Venediktov: Excuse me, but in the 1990s there was freedom of speech, and we saw courts that…


Grigory Yavlinsky: The system. So do not make a mistake: there was no system then yet. I should explain: it does not shape up in an hour, it was taking shape, it was gaining… For example, it had a trial, powerful trial operation [of presidential election fraud] in 1996, you see, these were trial things, it was taking shape, and it took its shape by 2000. It can not shape up in two minutes. And what did it [the system] do first? it dispersed [the independent TV channel] NTV first of all, that’s it.


Vitaliy Dymarsky: But then another question. Well, is that really… This system that has taken shape, it did not depend and does not depend today on who became the head of this system in 2000?


Grigory Yavlinsky: It gave birth to the one it needed.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yes, because after all, there could have come a person without a background in the secret services, etc., and could it have been different then?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Listen, subjunctive [mood]…


Alexei Venediktov: Ok, well…


Grigory Yavlinsky: We don’t have enough time for the subjunctive mood to discuss the odd ways and things.


Alexei Venediktov: Come on, Grigory Alexeyevich…


Grigory Yavlinsky: It [the system] nominated, gave birth, and brought to power the one it vitally needed.


Alexei Venediktov: But at the same time, the basis of this system, as you say (sorry, a contradiction), is the merger of this criminal business, as you say, and the government. What did Putin do? He removed business from power, he just broke it.


Grigory Yavlinsky: No.


Alexei Venediktov: No?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Not like this.


Alexei Venediktov: And how?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I’ll tell you now.


Alexei Venediktov: This is a question.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Calm down.


So, I didn’t say that in the first place. Listen carefully. I said “criminal privatisation”. I did not say that the business was criminal, I said that the procedure for transferring property was, well, as it was said, erroneous at best, but most likely criminal.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That is. The merging of property and government is a system that rejects in general all other democratic, whatever…


Now: using this system, Vladimir Putin brought the entire business to its knees, and that’s it. And business could not support Ekho Moskvy [a radio station with dissenting opinions, switched off from broadcasting on 1 March, 2022], but only Gazprom, which was ordered to support Ekho Moskvy. And business could not support political parties, and I had to beg, beg for these funds for… Business could not be engaged in a democratic organisation [of the state], court or something else. And business is a serious, important component, and he brought it to its knees. Therefore, Alexei Alexeyevich, there is no contradiction here – on the contrary, it is all very consistent. And by the way, you may remember such an idea as a compensatory tax?


Alexei Venediktov: Of course.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I put forward the idea of ​​a compensatory tax. This is the tax that Margaret Thatcher introduced when she privatised, you know what? – railways, because they are monopoly and they got monopoly…


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: So the topic was invented… Not to take away property, not to revise privatisation, but to make a compensatory tax, special funds, etc. Do you know what the answer to me was? “Do you want them to be independent?”


Alexei Venediktov: Ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: “This will never happen”. That’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: That is…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because they sort of paid…


Alexei Venediktov: …and paid off.


Grigory Yavlinsky: …and paid off.


Vitaly Dymarsky: …and paid off.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, they have transferred onto [it]… And what I was saying was: they need to be released into a normal existence, let them work as a real business, and not as part of the state. The answer was “no”, “as [in this case] I am taking a folder [with a dossier] and…” What did he do to Mikhail Khodorkovsky? He did exactly that to Khodorkovsky. He [Khodorkovsky] tried something there, to sell Yukos to Exxon, and he [Putin] said “no”, he said, “This is mine! How did you get it?” “That was the law back then.” “Who wrote these [laws]?” And that’s it, that’s where this conversation ended.


And he [Putin], showed on his [Khodorkovsky’s] example, but first, there was the NTV channel, so he showed on his example: the whole business will be on its knees. And it has been standing on its knees to this day. Look, they came to him, led by Alexander Nikolayevich Shokhin, [Chair of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs], and said “that is that”. This is one reason, this system is one reason.


There was the second reason, there are two of them: the rejection of the state-legal assessment of Stalinism and the Soviet period, a categorical refusal…


Alexei Venediktov: How did it affect all this? Why is this the reason?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Why is this the reason? Because all the mechanisms of that [Soviet] era began to gradually recover, starting, say, with the anthem. Here comes the [new Russian] anthem [borrowed from that of the USSR]. So you want to say that… This is such a combination, I want to tell you, a combination of the coat of arms of the Russian Empire…


Vitaly Dymarsky: …and the Soviet anthem.


Grigory Yavlinsky: The Stalinist-Soviet anthem and a kind of democratic flag – what is it? This means that there is no holistic understanding of the future. That’s it. And then, gradually, they started to adopt these acts, those acts, some laws, other laws, which, in general, followed from the modern understanding of Stalinism.


But we have to understand one subtle thing here. Stalinism, which everyone expects should have caps with  stars, harness, riding breeches, high boots – no, it will be a modern thing. Do you know what is special about it? Fear. The meaning of modern postmodern, postmodernist Stalinism is fear that needs to be instilled in everyone. That’s it, and it will work almost automatically. And all this was done many times by different methods and in different ways.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Tell me, do you think the system does not see that the country is going to a dead end in this way? It… What task does it set for itself, what is its goal? Power, maintaining its power, wealth, being rich, developing the country? In general, how does this system see its perspective, its actions?


Grigory Yavlinsky: The peculiarity of this system is that… I really want to tell you, friends, what its peculiarity is. It argues in the context of the 19th century. It does not understand…


Alexei Venediktov: Not even the 20th century?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Nope. It does not understand time, it does not understand history and time. Generally speaking, politics is not “having one’s own way by all means”. Politics is an understanding of history and the moment. If you’re wrong…


Vitaly Dymarsky: And this moment in history.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. If you make a mistake, that’s the end of it. Just make one day a selection of publications for your magazine, to show how…


For example, the Belovezh Accords [on the dissolution of the USSR]. The whole world was moving towards globalisation, Europe was building the European Union, but Russia was carrying out a radical disintegration, in one night, etc. Here go the consequences, in 30 years. Because that is not how such things are done.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Why only Russia? Everyone fled [the USSR].


Alexei Venediktov: Yes. Why not Ukraine?


Vitaly Dymarsky: Why not Ukraine?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Nothing of the sort.


Alexei Venediktov: Why not Ukraine? I also read the documents, all…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Me too.


Alexei Venediktov: So they we were to this referendum, I mean Ukraine.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Listen, don’t make me smile.


Alexei Venediktov: But I want to cause a smile.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because Russia was of decisive importance at that moment, its approach was decisive. Because Russia and partly Ukraine signed an economic agreement in the Kremlin a month or two earlier…


Alexei Venediktov: …which was written by whom?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Which I wrote.

Alexei Venediktov: Please [say it louder], to the public.


Grigory Yavlinsky: An economic agreement was signed between all the former Soviet republics in the Kremlin, on 18 October. Who didn’t sign it? It was not signed by Zviad Gamsakhurdia [then President of Georgia], well, he was a special person…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: You know that. Azerbaijan did not sign it, well, it is also clear why, because there had just been a conflict in Karabakh.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Karabakh, yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Everyone else did sign, either as observers or as direct participants, for example, the Baltic states as observers, Vitold Fokin, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, directly supported. What was the agreement about? It ran (and they all signed) that there would be a banking union, a common currency, a common customs space, common tariffs, etc. Well? Certainly, war is much less obvious from such development than from radical disintegration.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, you know, Grigory Alexeyevich, one of the advisers to President Zelensky’s office spoke here the other day, it doesn’t matter now, but I think his surname was Arestovich, who said that this war, the military actions between Russia and Ukraine, were inevitable and even if Russia was headed by (I quote) a liberal or a democrat, Russia would still attack Ukraine, Arestovich said. Based on today, do you think that we were all steadily going to this? Was it unavoidable? After the Belovezh Accords..?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Absolutely “avoidable”.


Alexei Venediktov: I would like you to…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Absolutely “avoidable”, it was just necessary to pursue different policies. True, something of the kind was boiling in the heads all the time.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, Crimea has always been in their heads.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They really had something like this in their heads. I even have… Not even Crimea, they had more in their heads. I can tell you some amazing things, but it is for a separate…


Alexei Venediktov: Why “avoidably”? Why “avoidable”? Why not inevitable?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because this means work, this is politics. If the criterion of your policy is to prevent war, then it can be prevented and that’s it. It just needs to be dealt with, this is a special policy. But if you do not have such a restriction, then you are trudging there. Please, understand…


Vitaly Dymarsky: It is not that there are no restrictions, but there is such a desire.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, that’s another matter.


Please, understand, I just wanted to say: I think that what is happening is absurd, because this thing does not have any intelligible goals, and most importantly, prospects. It cannot end in anything, and this is a very big story, a danger. And this is a tragic, bloody absurdity.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Don’t you think…


Grigory Yavlinsky: You see, it is not just some kind of operation, it is just an absurd case. And this is very serious, this is a colossal challenge. Because no one today can guess how it will end and what it will lead to. We are now, as I have already told you just now, we are in free flight, we will see where all this will lead.


Vitaly Dymarsky: But doesn’t it turn out that this is generally such a method of existence, a form of existence of this system, about which we have already partially spoken about that there are no goals, just there? “Movement is everything, the ultimate goal is nothing”, according to the old…


Alexei Venediktov: You said it yourself, this was a dead end.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I told you this…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Not only, not only in this matter, not only with Ukraine.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Now I will explain. You have asked a good question, correct, and convenient. In the 21st century, this is a disaster. In the 19th century it was a different matter, but in the 21st century… Why? What and difference?


Alexei Venediktov: Why?


Grigory Yavlinsky: And now I will explain. In the 19th century or in the 18th century, the territories were of key importance.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They were conquered, taxes were collected from there and they lived off it. In the 21st century…


Vitaliy Dymarsky: And more harvests.


Grigory Yavlinsky: (Yes.) …only the head matters, only the consciousness of people, only their souls, their hearts. If Russia had built a state in which everyone wanted to live, then all of Ukraine would have been nearby. Because, by the way, nobody let it into Europe. After all, they did not want to help it all these 30 years. They did not apply the Marshall Plan to it, but they should have, it was necessary to do so. They didn’t do that.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Why? Were they also guided by the division of the world?


Grigory Yavlinsky: They have the same postmodernity, they also have postmodernity.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ha-ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They have Trump, they have, look at the right-wing opposition, the extreme right, in France, I don’t know what poor President Macron will do with it now. They have also an absurdist opposition there in general. If they link up again, Le Pen with this…


Alexei Venediktov: … Éric Zemmour.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, what is there? Look at…


Vitaly Dymarsky: …Germany?


Grigory Yavlinsky: …at Britain, look, it figured out how to break the European idea, get out of there via Brexit. So what? And its Foreign Minister tells us that they will protect the Baltic states through the Black Sea. Do you know it?


Alexei Venediktov: But this is reality.


Grigory Yavlinsky: The reality of what?


Alexei Venediktov: This postmodern story is the reality.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Is this all together with Trump?


Alexei Venediktov: Certainly.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Alexei Venediktov: This is the reality.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, true. It is not necessary to comply with it to such an extent. Under these conditions your responsibility, mine, ours is to do everything possible to move in the other direction, even by millimeters.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Good…


Grigory Yavlinsky: There is such a thing all over the world. What degree of popularity such [ideas] have is another question.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, Grigory Alexeyevich, but the same Trump, the same En Marche of Macron and everything that you have mentioned, all this modern Western absurdity, following your logic, is it also a product, not a coincidence?


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, it is…


Vitaly Dymarsky: This is a product of time and circumstances.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, exactly.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Doesn’t this generally mean such a general crisis of the development model that, in fact, has existed so far? And each in his own way, skillfully or not skillfully, tries to break it and change something in it?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right, correct. [My monograph] “Political Entropy”, a whole monograph, I gave it to you. Right. It is connected…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Apparently, I read it.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Exactly, I hear it in your question.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ha-ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: What is the reason for this? This is due to the fact that there really was a clash of human capabilities and new digital technologies and all new technologies in general. There happened…


Vitaly Dymarsky: That we cannot, humanity cannot digest this?


Grigory Yavlinsky: A person simply cannot even catch up with this.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, you know, you have a phone, you use 5% or 3% of the functions in this phone, it is just that a person cannot walk like that, because… This is where transhumanism emerged, this is where other such trends emerged. This is all serious. But for our country it is of particular importance, and I will tell you why.


Alexei Venediktov: Why?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because postmodernity, which is connected with these phenomena, which has come to the whole world, it is based on modernity, which has been there for centuries…


Vitaly Dymarsky: …and we didn’t have modern.


Grigory Yavlinsky: …and we didn’t have modern. Postmodernity has come to us without modernity, this is “post-Soviet”, and this is a terrible story.


Alexei Venediktov: And then, and what then…?


Grigory Yavlinsky: And then we have to work.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, Grigory Alexeyevich, “we need to work”…


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, we have to work, and then we have to be smart. Enough to engaging in farce, enough to engaging in clownery, and we just have to be smart, understanding what responsibility we all have to generations, the country, everyone, our children, and our grandchildren.


Vitaly Dymarsky: We have moved, as I understand it, to “what to do?”.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, I answering the question Alexei has asked me.


Alexei Venediktov: In my…


Grigory Yavlinsky: I can move on to what to do.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yes, but… You see, you said it well, but it is all at the level of appeals.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I will tell you now.


Vitaly Dymarsky: At the level of appeals. Must be…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Just a moment.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Excuse me, this is not the first time we have been talking, you tell this before every election…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Vitaly Dymarsky: …that we need to be smart, that we need to…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Vitaly Dymarsky: So what?


Grigory Yavlinsky: You don’t tell it. I tell it, I tell it – but it is necessary that you [journalists] tell it, that Alexei tells it.


Vitaly Dymarsky: But we do tell. Here we are telling the truth.


Grigory Yavlinsky: This should be told, like now, and not just by me.


But I will tell you now what to do. First, I am not going to teach anyone, I am not ready to give lectures and tell anyone what to do. In general terms, I tell you, as people whom I have known almost all my conscious life, what I think. I can tell you what I am doing.


Look, in mid-January, we published a Plan for Donbass, which was developed with a whole group of experts on what needs to be done so that a war does not break out. We published it on 27 January. After two weeks, we formed groups and offered mediation at the level of people’s diplomacy, a very difficult thing, but it was simply vital to do this. Third, we organised the entire negotiation process, using the fact that we are members of the Liberal International and ALDE, we tried to involve all of them and we received support.


When this catastrophe broke out, we created a special platform for the exchange of prisoners and for the exchange of the bodies of the dead. We have some tools, we turned to the Red Cross, we… In general, we turned to all organisations, turned to the Red Cross and that’s it. I can’t say that there are any achievements, you yourself understand what kind of… We collected signatures, and this is also a whole story, we have 87,000, and 7,000 people signed up on our website only. Now people get scared and say, “Remove my signature”, and we are taking it off.


Alexei Venediktov: They get scared.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They get scared, they get scared, and we take off [the signatures], you see? I checked for our programme with you, and I brought you the following information: 63 people fell under repression in Yabloko, 63 people, 63!


Vitaly Dymarsky: From Yabloko?


Grigory Yavlinsky: From Yabloko in Moscow, Rostov, Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar, Pskov, Kemerovo, and Bashkiria. People are under terrible pressure.


Vitaly Dymarsky: “Traitors of the nation”?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Anything, whatever they [the police] could come up with. For example, the pressure on Lev Shlosberg is very strong, they even conducted searches at his father’s flat, and his father is 93 years old. Well, 93 years old, it is still good… Thank God that he survived it. Then his wife disappeared… Well, there’s a whole story. This is what we do and what…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Listen, the local authorities also use this to settle scores.



Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s right, absolutely. Oh, this whole thing will now form a direction, because the speech of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin the other day – what was that? I want to tell you again, maybe it will come in handy for you… This is my job, so I am telling you. He has led the left-nationalist movement, he wants to take [it]… He understands that the development will be in that direction.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, looks like that, right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Not towards democracy.


Alexei Venediktov: To the left, leftward.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And it will develop in the left-nationalist direction. That is all that, these people, as you say, who are [supporting Putin] there with flags – this is all there.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And he understood this…


Alexei Venediktov: …and takes over.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. He just takes it on.


Alexei Venediktov: Well done! Well, that is, if he felt that… Wait, that the people went…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, certianly. Well, look, the sanctions, the living standards…


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, certainly.


Grigory Yavlinsky: …unemployment, crime – it is all going to happen now. What does it give birth to? What kind of moods does it create? And here we are talking really about the people. People say wow…


Alexei Venediktov: So I am talking about the people.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They say, “Wow! Wow! It costed 500 roubles, now it costs 1,500 roubles – how it can be?”


Vitaly Dymarsky: And what about the people? Why do people think that the “damned West” which announced the sanctions is again to blame for this, and not the government that brought the situation to this?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Here, here. Ha, very simple – because they tell people so. And there is no other discussion with them.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, how? Well, you say, we say…


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, it is very…


Vitaly Dymarsky: We are talking, but no one hears us.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, no one hears, because…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, but we should not…


Grigory Yavlinsky: We must admit one thing and take it into account, and proceed from it, the most important thing to recognise, after all, it is of decisive importance, Alexei, what is it? Television. For the people television [is of key importance]. The Internet doesn’t work that way. Why? Because it wildly diversified, which is why it couldn’t create…

Alexei Venediktov: Propaganda should be monopoly, it should be total.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Here, total, not so much even monopoly.


Alexei Venediktov: Right, total.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Total.


Grigory Yavlinsky: But we have all the channels, we don’t have any other channels…


Vitaliy Dymarsky: And hammer away at the same point.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right, hammer away. And they all hammer away at the same point, and there are no other points.


As for the Internet, it works differently and solves other problems. Do you want an example? The Internet has never been able to do anything for the Yellow Vests.


Alexei Venediktov: True.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because these are activists, this is activism, and activism has its own laws, its own rules. These are good, heroic people, but only they will never solve a single political problem. They… It is all arranged differently. The Yellow Vests will not… Remember Occupy Wall Street?


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yes.


Alexei Venediktov: Of course, we remember.


Grigory Yavlinsky: It was a gigantic movement, gigantic! Again, it was a product of networks – so what? And nothing: they could not produce a leader, they could not do politics, they could not do anything. Take Arab Spring, they even had a leader, and then everything, how did it end? All I can…


Vitaly Dymarsky: We had [the movement of] long distance truckers…


Grigory Yavlinsky: We also had all sorts of protests. We did have efficient protests, I will give you an example now: in the early 2000s, remember, pensioners came out.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ah, pensioners.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They wanted to make them…


Alexei Venediktov: It was not the Internet, it was not the Internet.


Grigory Yavlinsky: It was monetarisation [of their in kind benefits, when money offered did not cover the benefit even in the least].


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, true.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And they came out and saw it: oh-oh-oh, this…


Alexei Venediktov: Wait, this is different, Grigory Alexeyevich, this is different. This is the same as with COVID and QR codes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, I wanted to say…


Alexei Venediktov: This was Putin’s electorate which came out.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right. And not only the electorate – it is a significant, [it was] a decisive part of the people, yes, that’s right.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yes, but I don’t know whether Putin’s electorate came out, or didn’t come out, or part of them came out when they raised the retirement age…


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, they didn’t come out.


Alexei Venediktov: No, they did not come out, it only seems to you that they did, but they didn’t come out then.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They didn’t come out then.


Alexei Venediktov: They didn’t come out.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I can tell you why they didn’t come out. They did not come out because these were very good years in the mid-2000s. There has never been such a rise in the living standards in Russia as in the mid-2000s, such dynamics, and such a level, and such crazy shops, nothing like this has ever been there before.  Certainly, all this was attributed to this government. But in general, I should repeat it once again, just recollect: when oil prices go down, Russia becomes a friend, a comrade, well, maybe not a brother, but at least…


Alexei Venediktov: … a partner.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ha-ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: In the beginning, the first half of the 1970s, oil prices were falling – what was happening?


Alexei Venediktov: Helsinki [Accords reducing Cold War tensions].


Grigory Yavlinsky: Helsinki. Oil prices were rising – what was going on? The Afghan war. Oil prices began falling – [and there was] perestroika. Oil prices were rising – [we had] 2007. That’s it. Experts know it all, here’s one … Well…


Alexei Venediktov: Grigory Alexeyevich, [would like to ask you about the movement] to the left, let’s not get away from this left-nationalist movement. Do you think that now Vladimir Putin and his team are taking over, if I understand correctly, this leftist agenda, since the people are moving to the left? They just feel it and grab it? And?


Grigory Yavlinsky: What? Nothing, they will lead it and that’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: So what?


Grigory Yavlinsky: What? Well…


Alexei Venediktov: What will this mean for the country?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Anything. It is only part of the story. If the left-nationalist movement comes to power, let us say, on its own, then everyone who thinks that it will be better is mistaken – it will be even worse. They have this kind of internal plot now.


Alexei Venediktov: Yeah.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Now he [Putin] wants to lead it himself, well, for obvious reasons, what Alexei said, he gave his assessment outside of some moral categories, he simply said that it is like playing in the meadow…


Alexei Venediktov: Certainly…


Grigory Yavlinsky: And I wanted to draw your attention here to such a trend. Because this trend allows you to do everything. It allows you to shut up everyone, and so on and so forth. It is such a trend, it is so special.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, they have shut everyone up and then?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I don’t know, I can’t…


Alexei Venediktov: The economy? But, something that costs 1,500 roubles will not cost 500 roubles back, simply because they shut all up, right?


Grigory Yavlinsky: In such a system it is easy to find the guilty, Alexei.


Alexei Venediktov: They will find the guilty.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right.


Alexei Venediktov: But still, it won’t cost 500 roubles.


Grigory Yavlinsky: You will tell this to people. They will crush the guilty.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, that is easy to understand.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Vitaly Dymarsky: The guilty will be…


Alexei Venediktov: Well, they have crushed all – but what’s then?


Grigory Yavlinsky: So, what happened today, today they used Kinzhal missiles…


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: …and today they used Bastion missiles.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, that’s right. This is what the General Staff of the Russian Federation says, we do not invent this.


Grigory Yavlinsky: We do not invent anything.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: What territory was shelled?


Vitaly Dymarsky: Western Ukraine.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, Odessa was shelled by Bastion, in my opinion, and Kinzhal was in the Lvov region.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Western Ukraine.


Grigory Yavlinsky: They shelled it…


Alexei Venediktov: Either Ivano-Frankivsk or Lvov.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Ivano-Frankivsk.


Alexei Venediktov: Ivano-Frankivsk, right?


Vitaly Dymarsky: Grigory Alexeyevich and I …


Grigory Yavlinsky: This is our message today.


Alexei Venediktov: This is our message, our Russian…


Grigory Yavlinsky: An official message.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: What does this mean? To whom is this a message?


Aleksey Venediktov: Well, it is clear to whom – Joe Biden, not Vladimir Zelensky.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, these are the prospects. Are you asking for perspective? Here it is.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Well, of course, we will always find enemies to blame for something…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, that’s it. “And we will go to heaven” [“as martyrs”, as Vladimir Putin once said].


Vitaly Dymarsky: “And we will go to heaven”…


Grigory Yavlinsky: So that to make it finally clear – “And we will go to heaven”.


Alexei Venediktov: Listen, Grigory Alexeyevich, you know this team, although it is not yours, they are very cynical, pragmatic, market-oriented people in terms of wealth. They don’t want to go to heaven, they want to be here, and in paradise all are equal.


Grigory Yavlinsky: You know…


Alexei Venediktov: Am I wrong?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Do you remember this joke? “Where are you taking me?” – “To the morgue.” – “But I’m still alive!” – “But we haven’t arrived yet.” Just like this. They see what is going on, but fear… There is fear.


Alexei Venediktov: And they also have fear.


Grigory Yavlinsky: In general, this entire team is organised on fear. Have you seen the latest reports, what does it look like?


Vitaly Dymarsky: We saw it, right, the Security Council…


Grigory Yavlinsky: The Security Council…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Haven’t you seen it? It is all like this, of course, that’s how everything is arranged there, that’s how it should be arranged there, that’s how it should be for them. No one can object to anything and no one can discuss anything. That’s it. It is fear.


Generally speaking, here I will tell you what. Certainly, this will be some dismatching. I think that the contribution of the Russian people to world civilisation is very significant. And, relying on history in this sense, I believe in the future. I don’t know how it will turn out now, I don’t know how all this will develop, in what forms. I think that we will have to go through a very difficult period, very difficult time, including a left U-turn like this… It is not even a left U-turn, even I don’t know…


Vitaly Dymarsky: A leftist?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I do not want to use such strong terms, because there is enough headache.


Alexei Venediktov: Leftist, there is such a good historical term.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And even further.


Alexei Venediktov: And even further.


Grigory Yavlinsky: It is a kind of leftist-nationalist, extreme left turn. It is not just the left who want a Gosplan [a planned economy] back or something.


Vitaly Dymarsky: As a mirror of the right-wing nationalist…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. It is right here.


Alexei Venediktov: Well…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Because in the conditions of the war and a lot of  blood and the victims, in the conditions where someone is killed every day, every minute, this will be a big turn, this will be a very serious matter. This is all you have to go through and that’s it. But I believe in our people, I believe in the future of our country.


The only problem is that today I can no longer say how it will all be. I do not know how. I can make some guesses, but I don’t even have enough guesses, because I don’t know how this absurdity can develop, moreover, satanic absurdity. I don’t know, I can’t. But it all has to come to an end somehow. I hope that it will not come to a nuclear war. I hope that it will not come to the Third World War and a clash of such a scale. I really hope so, because if it goes like this, then it is hard for me to discuss anything at all.


Alexei Venediktov: Listen, Grigory Alexeyevich, it always seemed to me that this team belongs to the party of merchants. Here is Putin bargaining, “You give me this, put me at the common table, and then I…”, “and what can you give me for this?”. But a nuclear war does not envisage bargaining. The threat of a nuclear war may envisage bargaining, but a nuclear war does not provide for bargaining, as there is already nothing to bargain for there.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I’ll tell you, skipping logic a bit: do you understand how someone driven into a corner can behave? That’s it, mind you…


Alexei Venediktov: Well, then the issue of getting someone cornered becomes central.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And it is one of the most significant issues, it is, it’s just not the topic of our programme.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, true.


Grigory Yavlinsky: It is very significant.


Vitaly Dymarsky: And this… So, do you think this was a mistake for those who drove them into a corner?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I am not going to teach anyone…


Vitaly Dymarsky: I understand, but you can give your assessment.


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, I propose to word it differently in this context: keep in mind, do not completely drive [them] into a corner, or you may get something that you never dreamed of. Keep it in mind. Because I am asked such questions all the time, “Can this happen?” – “Maybe”, I answer.


Vitaly Dymarsky: But look, not driving [them] into a corner, ok. On the other hand, then it turns out, that once again everything has worked out, it has worked out, well, in the sense of being a success again, again all this bargaining, which Alexei has just spoken about, ends with everyone losing.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s where the problem lies. This is exactly what you have just outlined, this is exactly why it is impossible to say how events will develop and how they should develop. Because it is absurd, you know.


Vitaly Dymarsky: We all know how it should be, only they are so…


Grigory Yavlinsky: I can tell you only one thing, how it should be. Let’s say one thing, only one thing, but it’s definitely the right thing – stop…


Vitaly Dymarsky: …killings.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. Stop killing people.


Vitaly Dymarsky: That’s right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Right now, immediately.


Alexei Venediktov: Stop shooting.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s it, stop it. Then further events can develop like this, like this. Stop today, stop killing Ukrainians and stop killing Russian soldiers. Stop it! That’s all that I can say.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, I can tell you…


Grigory Yavlinsky: This is what we have at the moment. And further already… Well, further… Further will be further.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, Grigory Alexeyevich…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Nothing is done, until this is done…


Alexei Venediktov: Grigory Alexeyevich, in a conversation with Macron, I know this, how can I put it, from reliable sources, when Macron said this – “a truce”, he was told “no”.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well…


Alexei Venediktov: Putin said “no”.


Grigory Yavlinsky: This is a position. Because he said that there was worse to come, he said this to Biden.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: He said that there was worse to come.


Alexei Venediktov: “There is worse to come”, right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: There is worse to come. Here is an answer. And this is for you, Alexei Alexeyevich, an answer to your own question, when you said that we somehow thought that they were barganing…


Vitaly Dymarsky: They are barganing.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, correct.


Grigory Yavlinsky: And here is the answer.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, why, this is raising the stakes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. You hope this means bets, you know, there are bets and bets, and then…? And everyone will again begin to moan about this: “And who would have thought?”


Alexei Venediktov: Well, yes.


Grigory Yavlinsky: If they get the time for it. “Who would have thought?”


Vitaly Dymarsky: “Well, it’s absolutely impossible…”


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes: “Well, okay, what… Who is this …?” That’s it. I am telling you very seriously today, this is still… This is an important topic, it is not just about the past, all the context and all these reasons. That’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: After all, there is the responsibility of society, you spoke about it with Kara-Murza, but didn’t finish, I would like just to talk about this piece that you didn’t finish, because this question comes up all the time. We determined that we kind of divided society and the people, well, linguistically anyway, and what is the responsibility, not guilt, but the responsibility of society?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Everyone has his own responsibility.


Alexei Venediktov: Individual?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Let everyone…


Alexei Venediktov: Individual, right?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Including. Let everyone think about his responsibility himself. Let everyone think for himself.


Alexei Venediktov: And yours?


Grigory Yavlinsky: It is big.


Alexei Venediktov: In what way?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I could not convince… I failed to convince…


Alexei Venediktov: Whom?


Grigory Yavlinsky: You, Alexei Alexeyevich.


Alexei Venediktov: Me?


Grigory Yavlinsky: You. Our last interview was right on this topic and you all laughed and smiled.


Alexei Venediktov: I still laugh and smile.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, you no longer laugh and smile so lively.


Alexei Venediktov: I can do it livelier.


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, I do not advise this.


Alexei Venediktov: Right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: This is not quite right now… The fact that we…


Alexei Venediktov: So, what is your responsibility?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I failed to convince, I failed to achieve understanding, I failed to raise people, I failed to do it – that’s my responsibility, my personal responsibility, that’s it. This is what I had to do, it was my job. Let everyone decide for himself.


As for society, I will tell you what. I said this after Beslan [the act of terror, when whole school were taken hostages by terrorists]: we have a lot of good people in our country, but by and large we don’t have a society. Well, as I am saying this rhetorically, society is responsible, meaning that we are all responsible, all of us. But if we talk about society as a society then we have a little of post-Soviet intelligentsia, and, in fact, that’s all. And the society… There are many good people, and this is also part of this story, because the society, if it were a society, would not allow much of what was happening.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Why doesn’t such society exist? Why didn’t it form up?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well…


Vitaly Dymarsky: Did the authorities interfere with it? Did this system interfere with it? Or just objectively there were no conditions?


Alexei Venediktov: Everyone interfered.


Grigory Yavlinsky: A very good question. First, we are all post-Soviet people, and there was a fake Soviet society, we all come from there. Then the authorities were not interested, but the society, maybe… But it [the government] stumbled upon it when the war in Chechnya began.


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, I remember.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yeah.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Then there was society, society rose up then.


Alexei Venediktov: There was [society].


Grigory Yavlinsky: …categorically. In the second war [in Chechnya], it was already [absent]…


Alexei Venediktov: Where did it disappear, since it was there?


Grigory Yavlinsky: And this is how the reforms went, excuse me, and this is how… Alexei, I will say an important thing now, you will not agree – this is how the 1996 [presidential] elections were held [with much fraud]. It was clear where it was all going. This is how the 1996 elections were held.


Alexei Venediktov: So what happened to society?


Grigory Yavlinsky: They killed it, they killed it.


Alexei Venediktov: Ah, they killed society?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Therefore, in 1999 [when the Second War in Chechnya began] this was no longer the case, everyone was already shouting that… What did they shout in 1999, do you remember? I’ll remind you – “The Russian army is reviving in Chechnya, Yavlinsky stabs the Russian army in the back [saying that the war in Chechnya must be stopped]!” Who said it?


Alexei Venediktov: Anatoly Borisovich [Chubais, one of the architects of the present system].


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: [He said it,] the first part of it, anyway.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s how it was. And [he also said] the second part.


Alexei Venediktov: I don’t remember that.


Grigory Yavlinsky: But I remember.


Alexei Venediktov: I remember the first part.

Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, and the second one. Because there were [parliamentary] elections then, this is 1999, and the [second] war [in Chechnya] started then. And how did it start? It started with explosions of houses, on which there is still a discussion about what it was. The war began. And I said… And there were elections. I said that this should be stopped, bombing of the population in Chechnya, I am categorically against it, this cannot be done. You did something in the northern part of Chechnya and that’s it, don’t touch it, and don’t move on. They resolved the issue of entering Dagestan, because there was a raid into Dagestan…


Alexei Venediktov: Yes, right.


Grigory Yavlinsky: We have resolved this issue, that’s it, stop it, you can’t do this any longer. And what was the reply? That I am stabbing [the army] in the back and that’s it. And then, remember my debates, all this audience gathered there, and only one person came up to me three years later and said, “You were right, Grigory Alexeyevich,” it was Otto Latsis, who was sitting there [in the debates] on the other side, there was no one on my side at all. “Because they should be taken to task!” “Well, we need to “waste them in the outhouse”!” – that’s how it all started. That’s how it goes on.


Alexei Venediktov: And I am speaking about society, and now you want me to talk about this politician or that politician…


Grigory Yavlinsky: No, there is none. You are asking about what is missing. There are good people, but we do not have [society]. There are no trade unions. Have you heard the words “trade unions”? They don’t exist here either. We are left as a single, I might say, political party, and that’s it, there is nothing else here either.


Vitaly Dymarsky: There is no self-government.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s right. They are developing the Sirius project instead,  which does not envisage self-government at all.


Vitaly Dymarsky: But society is being formed there [in self-governing].


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, you said it… Sorry that… Well, what else can I say? Here is the answer.


Alexei Venediktov: But for me this is not the answer, because where are these good people? If all people are good, but the result produced is sh*t, how can it be?


Vitaly Dymarsky: And they cannot produce society.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Okay, I’ll answer you in person, off the air, because it will be…


Alexei Venediktov: Well, now he has just deceived everyone, all people.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Ha-ha.


Grigory Yavlinsky: You see, to have society, there must be, in addition to other things, a dialogue between the authorities and society, there must be representatives of this society, there must be many things. All this must be built, you see, this must be built. And when, for example, human rights defenders say, “We are defending rights in the country that has no law”, or journalists say that they are “above the fight”, when this fight takes place between the totalitarian system and everything else – where are they, above the fight, where? This is where problems arise. Well, besides, for 30 years no one has promised you to build a society.


Alexei Venediktov: This is true.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, that’s it. This is such a difficult period. Once again: the meaning now…


Vitaly Dymarsky: We were not promised [anything] at all…


Alexei Venediktov: Nobody promised us anything at all.


Grigory Yavlinsky: That’s what I have been telling you. So, here is the answer to your question. This must be done.


Alexei Venediktov: Wait, is this a zigzag, or is it logical, what is happening now? Or is it a zigzag? Or “you have taken the wrong places” [as Boris Yeltsin said at a Cabinet meeting suggesting he would make changes in the government]?


Vitaly Dymarsky: With the letter “Z”.


Alexei Venediktov: Well, yes…


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. This has been a development for many years.


Alexei Venediktov: But it was non-linear after all.


Grigory Yavlinsky: It was almost linear.


Alexei Venediktov: Do you think it was linear?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, almost, there were some… There was the opening of a monument to the victims of political repression – and at the same time the opening of a monument to the Kalashnikov gun, and there is only a kilometer between these monuments in the Garden Ring, etc. That’s it.


Alexei Venediktov: People like both the monument to Kalashnikov and, apparently, the monument to the victims of political repression.


Vitaly Dymarsky: So this is society.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes. People have the right to be different, people have the right to be different, and they are different. It makes sense that now we need to talk more and more about what kind of perspective we should prepare.


Alexei Venediktov: I absolutely agree, absolutely agree.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Someday, maybe we will meet again, although you are already in Lefortovo [prison], but still, maybe we will see each other…


Alexei Venediktov: Well, you know, today “our” judge, the judge of the Lefortovo District Court, who has been trying Alexei Navalny, she was appointed today a Judge of the Moscow City Court by a presidential decree.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, even more so.


Alexei Venediktov: No, it’s like that… The verdict has not been passed yet, but she has got her appointment already.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Well, this is what it is… So, this is… Today we are living through the end of the era, and a double one: the era of 1917, which began in the autumn [coup d’etat] of 1917, and the era of post-Soviet modernisation, which collapsed, this is the end of it. The end is so hard. But after it, if there is no final catastrophe, there will be life. We must learn lessons, understand the causes and prepare for the future in every way, in every way. That’s all that needs to be done now, that’s what I’ll do to the best of my ability. We must prepare for the future that will come. Only it will come after this left-nationalist, leftist-nationalist U-turn.


Alexei Venediktov: Is it mandatory, or can it still be avoided?


Vitaly Dymarsky: I still want to ask…


Alexei Venediktov: Wait. Can we avoid it?


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes, this is an important question. Nothing is necessary under these conditions, only the proportions and chances are different. These chances are very, very high. But I am not a Cassandra…


Alexei Venediktov: Not a shaman…


Grigory Yavlinsky: And I am neither a Hitchcock, I can’t come up with a scary scenario and I don’t want to predict some terrible things. I believe in my people and in our country. It’s just that after 1917, after 70 years of communism, after people from this Soviet system made reforms, and how they made them, well, we have to go through it.


Alexei Venediktov: Vitaly, just one minute left.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Yes, one minute. I wanted to ask, because everyone forgets about them and today we have never even talked about it – I want to ask about Ukraine, especially since you and me, we were both born in Lvov. (Yes, I see, one minute is left.) Ukraine, and in general the outcome of this “special operation”, as it is called, will somehow affect Russia and the events taking place in Russia?


Grigory Yavlinsky: The outcome… First of all, I don’t know what the outcome will be.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Whatever it is.


Grigory Yavlinsky: But I can tell you that in addition to the terrible tragedy, Ukraine has a chance to become a European state.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Is there still a chance?


Grigory Yavlinsky: I think so. If the unity in society will be just like it is now. I have no right to say anything more about Ukraine, because I have no right.


Alexei Venediktov: Thank you very much.


Vitaly Dymarsky: Thank you.


Alexei Venediktov: I remind you that Vitaly Dymarsky and Alexei Venediktov interviewed Grigory Alexeyevich Yavlinsky.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Thank you.


Alexei Venediktov: How was it written in The Three Musketeers? “We will meet again.”


Grigory Yavlinsky: I hope so.


Alexei Venediktov: See you at this table again.


Grigory Yavlinsky: I hope so.


Alexei Venediktov: And I know that’s the difference.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Good. I hope so.


Vitaly Dymarsky: At any table.


Alexei Venediktov: At any table.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Yes.


Alexei Venediktov: Thank you very much.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Thank you, guys.








Grigory Yavlinsky

is Chairman of the Federal Political Committee of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO, Vice President of Liberal International, PhD in Economics, Professor of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.