Monday, April 27, 2009

Preobrazhenskiy/Bukovsky Interview

Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy, a former KGB/FSB officer who now lives in the United States, recently interviewed the Soviet dissident and Russian opposition party leader Vladimir Bukovsky.

They discussed the KGB infiltration of the Russian Church, Putin's deception of world leaders including President Bush, and the manner in which President Obama is likely to be deceived. Here is an excerpt:
Preobrazhensky: Kremlin propaganda has openly called America the number one enemy. Many Russians are sure that America wants to destroy their country. Recently, the President of Ingushetia (the Russian Caucasus), an official person, has said so too. For Americans, it is hard to understand that Putin doesn’t need friendship with their country at all. He mostly needs the U.S. as a symbol of the exterior threat, which is so necessary for consolidating Russians in a time of crisis. Also, the ideas of American democracy penetrated into Russia in 1990s, so Putin has to cauterize them.

Bukovsky: The editors of the Western media tolerate the tone of their Moscow correspondents. The west has managed to justify even Putin’s severely anti-Western Munich speech by explaining it on the basis of some domestic factors. The Western leaders do not want to make Putin angry, naively believing that it will help them. While in fact that is just what Putin needs. Putin tells the West: “You are hostile!” and the West makes all possible concessions in order not to anger Putin again. Because Americans live in a society without conflicts, hostility causes stress, under which Americans have not been accustomed to live. But we Russians can tolerate it very well. Because we have been brought up in an atmosphere of police arbitrariness, of total boorishness. We all have stood in endless queues for many hours in order to buy something in the empty Soviet stores. Americans are much more vulnerable than Russians.

Preobrazhensky: And that is why Obama wants to improve relations with Russia.

Bukovsky: “Improving relations” is a senseless phrase. The West was also improving relations with the Soviet Union in the period of d├ętente, but it resulted in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Preobrazhensky: But the new American President wants to seriously understand what is separating us.
Coincidentally, I have just read books by both Preobrazhenskiy and Bukovsky and will review them here shortly.

The interview is on FrontPage Magazine.