|Why I don't like Gorby
By Irina Malenko
… Nobody in Ireland has asked our opinion while inviting him into this
Yes, I know for quite a while already that our voices do not really
but never yet was it so blatantly obvious as it is today.
How would the Irish people feel if Oliver Cromwell was granted freedom
Any objections? Why not – he is a real historical figure and was very
at his time…
At the last Russian presidential elections in which he dared to participate,
the Darling of the West, Mr. Gorby received just 0.51% of the vote.
a single region of my home country did he get even 2%. So, when I am
my opinion now, this isn't just my opinion. It is an opinion of the
of my people, whenever you like it or not.
My relatives were lucky. If I was in Dublin on the 9th of January this
the chances were big that I would follow the destiny of the Latvian
Alina Lebedeva who is now facing 15 years in prison – for having symbolically
hit British prince Charles on his face with carnation flowers – “flowers
the Revolution”, as we call them.
…Interesting, how many years can you get for this in Ireland?…
… I wouldn't choose carnations. Id pick up beautiful roses. With as
as possible. Well, Mr. Gorbachev should have been used to it by now:
happened to him several times in his home country where he appears
now so seldom
that we even started thinking that he has emigrated for good. Once,
lady was giving him a bunch of roses, then she quickly turned it upside
I smashed him on his smiling face. And another time, it was a young
has lost everything because of those “reforms” for which the West is
to Mr. Gorby: work, security in life, opportunity to study, ability
be afraid that you won’t be able to afford to be sick (do you know
that in some
parts of my country nowadays they already operate you without anaesthetics
you can’t pay in dollars?) ; basically, any form of a decent life for
being for himself and for his children. He has powerfully hit the cheek
Ex-Comrade Who Was Dreaming To Be Mister all his life, saying:
“I have been
dreaming to do that for a long time!”
In Russia both these “terrorists” were not just not arrested the way
everybody, including the policemen, were cheering at them.
The Westerners –even those who consider themselves to be left wing –
understand why the majority of my people did not love such a sophisticated
tastefully dressed lady as Raisa, Mrs. Gorby. They explain it by all
ridiculous reasons: jealousy, our natural wilderness etc. It
to explain to them that in our culture – in that culture in which I
up – we are used to value people by THEIR OWN achievements and contribution
to the society. The very western conception of The First Lady – a woman
is being considered important not because of her own achievements,
of whom she is married to – is alien to us. In fact, it is deeply humiliating
for any modern, educated, independent, intelligent woman, and for our
before Gorby all the ways in life were broadly open. (It is thanks
to his “democracy
and freedom” that Russian women now get fired first, have to sleep
boss in order to keep their jobs and when being hired have to sign
that they will not get pregnant for the next 3 years…)
First Lady for me symbolizes the same what the Afghani chador
the Westerners: a woman who can not realize herself in the society
and who needs protection of a man in order to do that.
But we, Russians, do not speak badly about our dead ones. It is our
so, let’s better look at those who are still desperately trying to
their own political grave.
“Such a pity that you didn’t let Gorbachev finish what he has
started!” – I
hear so often from my Western friends who as a rule have no idea about
neither before Gorbachev, not under him, nor after.
They think they know, but they don’t. In 1991 I was planning to
Studies at the University of Leyden in the Netherlands – but have abandoned
this idea, after discovering how many plain lies about my own country
to repeat in order to pass my exams. They weren’t just exaggerations
comments; they were plain lies, like, for example, that we didn’t have
But I noticed that too many people here also simply do not want to know
did we live. It will destroy the whole vision of the world that they
from childhood on. It will make them feel uncomfortable, because they
start questioning their own way of life. It is therefore far more convenient
to dismiss everything that doesn’t fit into your mental picture created
media and the schools, as “communist propaganda”. I met people in the
who were trying to tell me what life was like in the country where
I have lived
for 22 years – while they have never even been there. Unlike these
really have the right to compare both systems as I have lived for
in the West now, in 4 different countries.
It is far more comfortable to think that you are receiving an important
figure in Dublin today. A figure that “did something good”. The only
good for whom?
When I was passing the State Exam for Interpreters in the Netherlands,
received a bad mark for “country knowledge” – simply because I dared
with my well-fed Dutch examiner who stated that “Russia is flourishing”.
… Our population is diminishing with 1 million per year. (The Irish,
remember your own Potato Famine and your own emigration, full of bitter
and broken hearts?). Premature deaths, an enormous amount of murders,
war, emigration… In Moscow there are about 50.000 homeless children
we didn’t have even during the darkest days of W.W.II!
There are 3 to 5 millions of such children in the whole country.
The same as
the whole Irish population!
You can’t tell me that we had it “under communism” too. I have
– you have not.
I do not like Gorbachev. Just as many millions of my compatriots.
What should I like him for? For the freedom of speech?
Yes, such a freedom when the ruling “Cat Vas’ka is listening and continuing
I was always saying what I think, my whole life, and nobody even threatened
to send me to any GULAG.
And you can’t feed a nightingale with the fairy-tales.
Freedom of movement?
For those 3 % of the population who are spending their holidays
now – while millions have lost even their only opportunity to visit
in the neighbouring Ukraine once a year, because they can not afford
And when we, finally-free-to-move people, come here to the West, we
welcome. Unless we come with the stolen millions, of course…
Would Irish people be interested to know how an ordinary Russian family
(husband, wife, 2 children and granny) nowadays manage to survive solely
granny’s miserable pension and self-grown potatoes and gherkins the
Probably they won’t. It’s much nicer to talk about “human values” to
gentleman like Gorby who would not even know how much an average
Before giving this gentleman freedom of your city, why don’t you ask
women what we think of the Godfather of the modern Russian Mafia State?
of us who still remember that before 1988 you could freely walk on
at night, and nothing would have happened to you. Until this distinguished
and his spin-doctors (interesting, who was financing them?) have
our males that “erotica is a part of world’s high culture”. And
how, from that
time on, it became impossible to walk on the street or to work in the
without constant fear that you can be grabbed under your skirt at any
Today our women and children are being sold into sex-slavery in the
West – as
much as 50.000 of them per year. This is also Gorby’s heritage .
But would the Westerners be able to understand me – if at the end of
on the most wonderful holidays of the year they are being shown programs
“Highlights of the British Television” where penises and boobs are
the screen, people are telling each other whom and how they shagged,
is supposed to be “very funny”? It might be possible that they
already do not
know any “culture” other than this…
… I remember Gorby's visit to Rotterdam where I lived at that time.
head of state was acting like some sort of escort service offering
for dinner for the rich Western entrepreneurs. Among Russian emigre
there were continuous rumours that Mikhail Sergeevich was even entertaining
them with singing Russian folk songs accompanied by a guitar….
He has fallen much in price since though: if Bill Clinton can still
charge for his company at the dinner table ?100.000, poor Mikhail Sergeevich
can get no more than lousy ?8000… As far as I know, it was the highest
only bid he got offering himself for dinner at an Internet auction.
… I could say oh so many warm words for your highly respected guest.
But I only
want to say about a Somali refugee whom I met in the Dutch city of
An old man who has lost all his family, including 7 little beautiful
during the civil war and the American intervention in his country.
He was cursing
the man who is receiving freedom of Dublin today, saying that there
is no balance,
no parity in the world today, no stability, and that Americans were
enter his country just because of what Gorby did on a world-wide scale.
Today, remembering tears of this old man who had to come against
at this age in his life into a completely alien for him country
and to live
among complete strangers who do not care, who has lost everything what
the sense of life for him, I would like to ask the Irish people: what
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev do for your country?
No, don’t give me quotations about “democracy and freedom” in general.
sort him out ourselves. A politician should be judged by the
has the life become better for the majority of his people because
of his politics
Anybody who has experienced excellent standards of free education and
care in Cuba, can say that by this criteria Fidel Castro is a democrat.
Gorbachev is clearly not. He has destroyed both in his home country
not built anything decent in return. He has been far too busy
writing the books
and giving lectures around the world (for a good honorarium,
of course!) about
What did he do for you?
Many of you nowadays are complaining or at least, are concerned about
of asylum-seekers and refugees” into Ireland , among whom “too
or “shameless economic refugees”.
How blind shall one be not to see the direct connection between what
philosopher, ex-dissident A. Zinovyev calls “Catastroyka” (from the
) and this catastrophic growth of the refugee numbers in the entire
is more and more noticeable on Dublin streets today!
Or maybe that is exactly why you have invited West’s favourite Teddy
Dublin today – to tell him “go raibh mile maith agat” for having
all of us
with you today?
I love Ireland. But I doubt I would want to live here or in any other
full-time – if Mr. Gorbachev wouldn’t have made with his politics
for any decent human being in my own country impossible.
If I were him, I’d wake up in cold sweat every night and think about
those who perished after his “Catastroyka” – as lives of all
of those who died
in the civil and international armed conflicts, those who drank himself
because he wasn’t able to feed his kids, those who cut her veins because
was sold abroad as an animal to satisfy sexual fantasies of distinguished
gentlemen with thick wallets , are on his conscience.
He has taken away from me the very thing freedom is impossible without.
freedom to make choices.
I have spent 12 years of my life in the West. Some Russians might still
an illusion that “it is worth to suffer in order to build Western-style
and democracy”. It isn’t. The life that I see and live
here, is most definitely
not worth to suffer for.
In fact, a lot of things people here can only dream of (free good
with no waiting lists, free education, low rents, job security, 18
maternity leave, the list can go on and on and on) we already had.
given it all away for an empty promise of “freedom”. Freedom for those
pay for it. Slavery and misery for the majority that works to feed
I am human being – not an animal. I do not want to live the kind of
life I have
here – where “man is a wolf to a man” and your only joy in life is
a pint of
beer, shop-till-you-drop and watching somebody’s erected penises on
TV. I do
not want to live in “Russian Columbia” of today that differs from it
its material conditions.
Before, when there were 2 world systems, people had choice. It
easy to emigrate, but those who wanted, always could find the way.
Today I have no choice. I am being imposed on a life style that is deeply
to me, - and I am being told that “this is freedom”. I have nowhere
to run from
And I see again and again the surprised faces of my Irish friends to
tell that, given a chance, I would like to move now back to Soviet
knowing all the shortcomings of the life we had. I’d leave behind everything
without what they can’t imagine their lives. Without any hesitation.
An Old Russian jokes ends with: “Well, we’ll have to start everything
beginning!” I am not afraid of that.
Laughing, I am telling to my Irish friends about their guest: “ You
him, if you like him. But there is no warranty: we won't take him back!"
And I won’t to say “Cead mile failte!” to Mr. Gorby in my