Lithuanian poet and former anti-Soviet leader Thomas Wenklova said that Russia had “retreated” and that in many respects the situation there was worse than it had been during the Soviet Union. He admitted that he did not expect an aggression against Ukraine.
Wenklova participated in a discussion organized in Prague by Gulag.cz, an organization closely associated with the Russian monument.
He spoke of the situation in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s, when disenfranchised people were denied the right to participate in a culture that did not agree with the ideology of a single bond. He said that many young people had lost their illusion after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact forces in 1968 and that he had already undertaken this process in connection with the dissolution of the Hungarian uprising in 1956.
Wenklov and other dissidents found themselves on the brink of social and above all cultural life in the Soviet Union. Some of his colleagues and friends on the Helsinki Committees, founded after 1975 to demand that basic human rights be upheld in the Soviet Union, received compulsory psychiatric treatment. Others were able to publish underground literature, called samistati, and smuggled it abroad. Some others, including Venklova, emigrated to the West.
“In many respects Russia’s situation is worse than it was during the Soviet Union.”
In an interview with the Polish newspaper Wenklova said he felt that the Internet and social media were less influential in Russia today than they were in the Soviet Union. – It will change over time. He said that in Soviet times, underground prints were said to be unreliable and that over time they were effective.
He acknowledged that for twenty years it seemed to him that such acts could not take place in Russia. “In many respects, Russia’s situation is worse than it was during the Soviet era,” he said.
Discussion in Prague
The main topic of discussion with Wenclova was the participation of Jassa Clotz, a literary historian at New York University, on the issue of reaching out to the Western public opinion of the current anti-Putin and anti-Putin movements from the Soviet era onwards. Anti-war in Russia.
Despite the efforts of him and his colleagues from the Russian diaspora in the United States, Klots stressed that the issue of respect for human rights in Russia was not a major topic in the media. “I can see the difference between what happened 40 years ago and how human rights are perceived in Russia now,” he said.
The claim that almost all Russians support Putin is now so popular that Wenklova insisted that “all Russians are guilty.” He also said that the Germans during World War II were all backed by Hitler. He recalled that this support ended in 1945. In his view, Russia’s current situation is similar to the period from the beginning of World War I to the period when support for hostilities was expressed. “After a few years, a change has taken place. Now, in a few months, in a year or two, the situation will change and the support of the Russians for the war will decrease,” he said.
Main photo source: EPA / Yuri Kochetkov
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