No Illusions Left, Iĺm Leaving Russia
Published: June 25, 2014 (Issue # 1817)
I want toáconfess that I did something foolish once when I was young. Back iná1993, I abandoned my university studies ináCalifornia andáreturned toáMoscow. European nations had signed theáMaastricht Treaty andáI dreamed that Russia would join theáEuropean Union.
It seems I was not alone. Former President Boris Yeltsin said, ôEurope without Russia is not Europe atáall. Only with Russia can it be aáGreater Europe, with no possible equal anywhere onáthe globe.ö
Yeltsin died, as have many other people andáideas since then. After theáannexation ofáCrimea, it became clear that not only Turkey andáAlbania, but even Ukraine would join theáEuropean Union before Russia does.
So, my dream ofábecoming aáEuropean citizen within my own country has vanished. Therefore, I will be moving toáBerlin shortly.
Theáidea ofáemigrating has tempted andáteased me all my life. But here I should make another confession: despite my knowledge ofáforeign languages andámy Jewish ethnicity, I am aápatriot, andáRussiaĺs ability toáôget up fromáits kneesö ináthe years since 1991 has been aágreat source ofájoy toáme.
I would love toánot only see how future events unfold ináRussia, but toáplay aápart ináthem byáhelping toácreate aátruly free pressáŚ theákind that, as ináthe U.S., would publish theárevelations ofámen like former National Security Administration leaker Edward Snowden.
Now that work has ended foráme. That is not toásay I accomplished nothing. Ináfact, some ofáthe media outlets that I had theáopportunity toáhelp create remain independent andárefuse toácompromise toáthis day.
But overall, my dreams were defeated. Now Russiaĺs mainstream media ranges fromáthe bulging-eyed hyperbole ofápro-Kremlin television anchor Dmitry Kiselyov, toáthe intellectual ôweĺre talking but nobodyĺs watchingö Dozhd television programs. Those somewhere ináthe middle are not only uninteresting, but bear no relationship toáthe mediaĺs primary functionáŚ namely, toáprotect theáweak fromáthe strong.
Now theástrong have lost all shame.
Facebook news feeds tell us that aáforeign rock star was banned fromáperforming ináRussia foráôpossibly promoting nontraditional sexuality toáchildren,ö theáauthorities blame theálatest Proton rocket crash onásabotage atáthe Khrunichev Space Center,ápassionate voices say it is time toáchange theáname ofáVolgograd back toáStalingrad, anyone holding more than just Russian citizenship must report theáfact toáthe authorities, Internet users must officially register their blogsůandáso on.
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