On Tuesday, February 21, Russian independent journalist and writer Arkady Babchenko left Russia and went to the Czech Republic. The Home of the journalist became the target of mass harassment after he published a post on Facebook about the crash of Tu-154 of the Ministry of defence over the Black sea. Babchenko then publicly refused to participate in the universal mourning for the victims. According to him, he was indifferent to the death of the staff of the Alexandrov ensemble, who “flew to Syria to sing and dance in front of the pilots to raise morale, to better the bomb” and the death of nine journalists of the Federal TV channels — “employees of the agencies of mass propaganda.” In a blitz-interview “” the journalist said on whether to return Home, what will change in Russia after 2018, why let the activist Dading, and that the Kremlin intends to do with the Donbas.
“Apostrophe”: What made you want to leave Russia and go to the Czech Republic? Whether it is moral pressure on you, which was accentuated after your statements about the Alexandrov ensemble?
Arkady Babchenko: There is information about the fact that I want to open a criminal case and put it is very “grown-up”. I didn’t wait that it will solve comrades in uniform against me. So I decided to ease the task and to leave Russia. While I would be here (in the Czech Republic — approx. ed.).
— How long you intend to stay in the Czech Republic? Whether you are considering the option of returning after some time in Russia?
I’m going back. Hope to be here long, of course. But as you go, not up to me.
— What do you intend to do in the Czech Republic?
— I have no way to do journalism as such. By and large, in Russia of all opposition journalists were banned. What I was doing, it was journalism in social networks. How to write in “Facebook” where is my material “gun” in Moscow or in Prague — not much difference. The same will take. I was in Moscow is not particularly out of nowhere and tried as little as possible contact with the outside world. I don’t think that can be very large changes in the Czech Republic.
— Why are you in the Czech Republic decided to run away? Here, for example, the Deputy of the state Duma Boronenkov found relatives in Kherson region and moved to Ukraine…
— When I will grow big and become a Communist, and marry the Opera singer, too, will come to you in Kiev. Actually, I have the circumstances. I just suggested to come here to live, I gladly took this offer.
— How would you describe the current government in Russia?
— In Russia there was a usurpation of power. In my opinion, it was a violent seizure of power in 2012, when the entire center of Moscow was filled with army and police — since established autocracy, a system, which according to the laws of development, only becomes stronger and stronger. No other options he can not be.
— Can be changes after the presidential elections in 2018?
2018 will have no value because, as long as there is Putin, the other of the power in Russia will not. Putin is now only 65 years old, he’s in remarkable physical shape. And medicine has reached such heights that those in power, it may be another 40 years.
Is there anything extraordinary from the forthcoming elections in Russia should not wait?
— Of course, because no elections in Russia. This is not an election — this is another play by Putin’s appointment as king on the throne.
— What techniques can be used by the Kremlin during the pre-election campaign? Will be a struggle around a common enemy, or will be tensions in the Donbass?
— Vladimir Putin does not need to use any techniques. Most now, it really supports. The opposition movement is crushed. Indeed, as already mentioned, is happening in Russia now, too, that in Germany in 1938-1939 year. Then the Gestapo was faced with the same problem: they were not whom to put. Not because they are all behind bars, and because public opinion in Germany had changed. And the country really began to support Hitler by almost 100%. Here in Russia, is now happening exactly the same thing. Public opinion changes and everyone starts to applaud Vladimir Putin, his rating is now really big.
Two years later, the murder Nemtsov: how’s the investigation going? How are things with the attitude of the opposition in General in the context of the upcoming elections?
— Nemtsov — can’t find anything, can not install anything or anyone to interrogate. The Kremlin will continue to pressure the opposition. They decided not to plant, or to carry out repression, this is a violation of rights, and can force on them is still some stuff to tell. So they adopted the strategy of squeezing people out of the country. First, it’s vague warnings and hints and then open: either leave, or you go to jail.
— Became aware of the fact that were released, activist Dading. This is a manifestation of some intentional demonstration psevdosvobody in the election campaign in Russia?
— I think it’s excessive act. May not have been a phone call directly. They are not told how to judge. The court simply took it and began to judge according to the law. In Russia what happens when you judge without direct pressure from the top, and release people.
— What, in your opinion, we can expect Ukraine in the Donbass?
— In the Donbass will be all the same as earlier outbreaks every six months. In the next year or two, the events will develop in this way. What’s next? Now if some expert or analyst will tell what will happen next — don’t believe him. No one knows. The world is changing. Nobody could imagine two weeks before Brexia what will happen Brakcet, no one could imagine that trump will win.
In recent times, there are many “peace” plans, even Yanukovych in his letters to the West offers its own solution to the conflict. How, in your opinion, the Kremlin is looking at these proposals?
— The Kremlin is not going to leave the Donbass, nor anything at all to do with him. The Kremlin cares. All this talk about what he wants Donbass to sell to Ukraine — is nonsense, he doesn’t care. It this situation is quite satisfied. Some negotiations, an exchange of some sort, please. Putin himself is going to do anything because he did not know what Donbas continue to do. At the moment: is the Donbass, well, let it be. At some point, when the situation changes, it can be used for a new offensive, a new big war.
That is, in your opinion, large-scale war of the Kremlin cannot be excluded?
— The Kremlin could start a major war not only in the Donbass, in Ukraine and abroad. For some reason now prevails the opinion that Putin Donbas fell into the trap. Nothing of the sort. While at the moment, he won all the wars that he started, and he got what he wanted.