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[Below is a translation of several major excerpts from a speech given by Valeria Novodvorskaya on Dec. 30, 2010 to The New Times News, a Russian newspaper. She is discussing Russian dissidents’ loss of faith in the West and in Obama — and for this reason she calls the new year the “Death of Illusions.” The video of her speech (in Russian) can be seen on YouTube.]
I think that it is time to turn to Tolkien, for darkness is descending upon the world. This is not because of the volcano (or whatever it was called), but because a new age has begun, and the sun will not rise. It has begun because the West — our hope and our foundation, our Promised Land to which we looked in admiration — is giving up its perennial principles and values. It is an époque of a total and absolute betrayal, the year of absolute betrayal.
Obama was everyone’s hope, for we thought that he was a pupil of Salinger and would be saving us, lost children, in the rye over the abyss. We thought he would protect us from lies and would not let us fall — and that there would be an end of double-faced diplomacy and the beginning of some integrity. What, however, have we witnessed instead? Perezagruzka (resetting) – restarting of friendships. We have witnessed the most shameful acquiescence, the flattery of Putin and Medvedev. And it is done with a total shamelessness that does not have an end.
And the whole world joined in, following this course with the greatest of care. Britain is altogether silent; it has stopped its objections. There is a total change of policy in Germany. Angela Merkel no longer notices or mentions the nightmarish events that are taking place here. In Italy, Berlusconi has not noticed us or cared about us for the longest time, and Nicolas Sarkozy is selling warships to Russia, two Mistral warships, so that he can make more employment for Frenchmen. And he spits at the reality that he is creating, for these Mistral warships will sail to the Crimea, to Georgia (Caucasus). It is a total betrayal. It is a betrayal of Georgia as well, a country that has not, after all, been accepted into NATO.
We should not forget, of course, that our countries and their citizens are also betraying themselves. There was this catastrophic election in Ukraine when its population voted for Yanukovich not simply out of error, nor out of snobbishness. The people had given up striving and exchanged freedom for promised satiety, altogether as real Sovoks (that is, a people formed by the Soviets). But they did not get far after this vote. And now they will have to live through the result of their choice.
In the local elections, Yanukovich collected some votes even in the western part of Ukraine. . . (something that has never happened before). And now they have started a criminal investigation against Yulia Tymoshenko in order to silence her. And the party of Yuschenko — that had been pushing Ukraine towards the West and NATO — did not collect any voices. This is a total retreat, a retreat back into Sovok (the Soviet regime). And just think of the acquiescence of the West in that retreat. Those Western values (for which we here are prepared to die, to give up our lives for the act of the defense of freedom, that very American Act) are now exchanged for gas, oil, some minor gifts of space for an airplane landing and for the veto process.
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