2017 In Review: Two Post-Truths

Editor-in-chief of Russiangate Alexandrina Elagina sums up the results of the outgoing year
30.12.2017
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For the New Year, people dream, they hope for a miracle, make plans for a new life. Only at the end of 2017, building optimistic plans for the near future seems an incredibly stupid idea.

Firstly, a person who was supposed to reflect on the changes long ago, does not plan to start a new life from scratch in the new year. Secondly, you do not expect anything good from the changes: which of your friends will be arrested, what idiotic law will the State Duma pass again, what media will be crushed by Sechin's grievous lawsuit?

There is a feeling that everyone is frozen in anticipation, like before some injection: let's do it and get it over with. But nothing happens. Leviathan slowly devours himself, but can’t finish its feast. This tense expectation is incredibly overwhelming for everyone. And people around, seven years after the performance of Sveta from Ivanovo, “dress worse”.

True, some people look to the future with hope. It’s not so bad, they say, no need to dramatize.

You know, in general, our opinions are often far from equal. Our worlds, including the myths of the social stratum, are completely different. Everyone has their own post-truth.

For example, the case against Serebrennikov. Look at him, what a bastard, they say. Stole the money, left his accountant, made a scandal in the media, and is still indignant. And how was it supposed to be? Slowly, without attracting the media’s attention, he should have hired Maslyaeva’s lawyer. Ditching your people is against the rules.

My rhetorical question – why do not they find fault with other directors and artists, although everyone is a part of this imperfect system of state financing, that is, everyone, in one way or another, violates the law – remains unanswered. More precisely, the objection is – it will come to them, just wait for it. The Serebrennikov case is just the beginning of the fight against corruption in the theatrical sphere!

Why not start this fight with someone more loyal to the government? In fact, then it would be a case indicative for others – look, we will spare nobody, even our people. Or “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”?

Or, for example, the case of ex-Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev. Look, they tell me, this is the first trial of the minister since tsarist times! This is a signal to everyone: stop taking bribes. Look how officials came running after the verdict, they’re even afraid to take a basket with sausages! This is the beginning of a large anti-corruption program, it's time to intercept this agenda from Navalny.

Well, I say, let's suppose it is so, even though the court did not explain the origin of the money. And, apparently, Ulyukaev was not put in prison for bribes – whether he took or did not take any in his life – is not proven. The former minister was tried for the fact that he intended to contradict the head of Rosneft. So what does it mean: under the auspices of corruption articles, it’s possible to jail anyone they want to?

In that case, let's check the sons of Chaika – has the prosecutor papa helped them in business? Or Shuvalov – where did he get so much real estate? Oh, even better – let's check Prime Minister Medvedev? Is it true that nominal funds store a bunch of his property for millions of dollars? Now that would be a proper signal!

Well, why are you so radicalize, answer me. You generally just let me criticize - you can not see the boundaries. Let the grandfather retire quietly.

The thing is, there, at the top, is the following theory: Putin needs guarantees to leave. "He, like an old dictator, understands that his fate can turn out sadly. He needs guarantees that he will leave as a hero on a white horse in the sunset at the end of the film with his billions, and no one will touch him, his family, or his surroundings, "one official told me.

Such a course of events also means that the caps will remain on all residents of the Rublevka, beautiful offices in the White House, in the highest echelon of regional power. Okay, the motive for this song is clear.

There are, of course, people who do not want either a change of the president or democratic reforms. Head of the Russian Guard Viktor Zolotov and head of Rosneft Igor Sechin are one of those, my sources say. They frighten the president and hound him – look, if it wasn’t for you, the “master”, a civil war would break out. Look at these schoolchildren who filled Tverskaya. Do you want such a fate for your country? Do you want your government to end up like this?

There is even a myth that Putin was going to perform Yeltsin-style, i.e. say goodbye to the country in the New Year's address. Valentina Matvienko would become the head of the government. The transition to a parliamentary republic would begin. But because of the rallies, this plan was canceled in November. But if they had not radicalized...

For me, all this sounds funny. Firstly, because rumors about such a subterfuge were popular back in 2011. Secondly, wait a moment... Your people are not happy. They send each other memes, poems and songs about messed up officials who are resting on their own yachts in Dubai, whereas their own salaries are actually decreasing. And if you are young and always studied for the best grades, you will never go up the career ladder – because, as the old joke goes, every minister has his own son.

And all these mistakes are not the ones made during the last year. These are the mistakes of the people, who were too busy with their own enrichment to notice that the winter is coming. And now someone is dissatisfied with this? Now, you must dance!

I would like to see that in the new year, Russiangate’s investigations end with prosecutor's checks and court cases, and not with stupid accusations of conspiracy. That officials and businessmen, instead of trying to crush it, would understand the world, which is outside their armored cars and palaces.

In my New Year there is no stigma “foreign agent” for those who criticize power. Roskomnadzor has left the media alone, it no longer sends notices for improper coverage of suicide, does not block “unwanted” media. Mediazona collected enough monthly subscriptions. And my friend Ali Feruz, who has been held in the temporary detention center for migrants for four months, meets me at the airport of a third country. The authorities of my country no longer hold him hostage to Russian-Uzbek relations.

Probably, all my desires are reduced to one – that in the New Year we learn to listen and accept each other, not look for an enemy in our neighbor, but see him as an ally.

After all, everyone has his own post-truth, but also a common country.

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