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Nikolai Svanidze: I’m actually a journalist and historian

Николай Сванидзе: я действующий журналист и историк

Caressed by the power of modern Russian historians are in a life and death war with those who try even slightly critically reflect on what was happening with Russia, Russia, Soviet Union during the last 1000 years.

Anyone who even slightly in their arguments deviate from the line adopted at the highest level of government for the newly launched history textbook for secondary schools, severely criticized and excommunicated from the fellowship with a wider audience. On the pages of this collective work events in our land, watered down with even more passion than did the ideological Department of the CPSU during Soviet times. What to want: then in the Politburo did not get random people, all of them are repeatedly overcome the sieve of professionalism, competence, knowledge of real life.

Under the steamroller of propaganda are naive young people who are not blinkered look, first time looking into our past and, naturally, asks a lot of questions, and professional scientists who have used each of your reply to prove serious archival research. In the latter category is Nikolai Svanidze, who received a classical education at the historical faculty of the Moscow state University back in the Soviet time and, driven by their life of their ancestors, their families, used to distinguish between the proclaimed slogans and reality.

“Tsar Peter liked order, almost like king John”

Nothing unusually in the family of Nikolai Svanidze dashing in the pre-war period did not happen. His grandfather, whose name he inherited, was destroyed in 1937. According to Nikolay Svanidze, he shouted: “long live Stalin!”, rather was beaten during the interrogation. The reason is simple: he was a responsible party worker in Transcaucasia. When there was appointed Lavrenty Beria, started a persecution that tragically ended with the death of Ordzhonikidze.

Perhaps the root cause was just a distant relationship with his grandfather first wife of Joseph Stalin. According to some accounts, the young Dzhugashvili loved his Kato. During the funeral (she died a year after the wedding from tuberculosis or typhoid fever according to different sources) in Tirana of the future clouded his mind, he leaped into the dug grave. Removing his companions had great difficulty.

In this sense an interesting parallel that arises between the Father of Nations and Ivan the Terrible, who was known to be passionately in love with his first wife Anastasia Zakharin-Yuriev. Only she was able to calm down the violent temper of the young king. When the king lost his beloved, he began to relate to his later wives, and the people as expendable, not caring for them any sympathy.

But it was a small digression. Nikolay Svanidze, a historian with profound knowledge of English (he studied at the Moscow specialized school) from 1977 to 1990, he worked at the Institute of USA and Canada Academy of Sciences, including under the leadership of academician Arbatov, and then in the early 90s he lectured on the history of Western Europe.

“I have a stick, I’m the father!”

The birth of a new Russia to Svanidze, primarily due to the beginning of his entry into television journalism. Turning point in the career and fate have become involved in the work of backup Studio “Ostankino”, in the regular exits in the program “Vesti” Svetlana Sorokina, Sergey Torchinsky, Viktor Vinogradov in that memorable night of 3 to 4 October 1993, when they were taken off the air other media.

The price of this risk was fallen on Svanidze popularity. He, along with Sergey Dorenko until April 1996 led the information-analytical program “Details”, then there is his own program “the Mirror”.

But, as a professional historian, is much more interested in a scientific approach to what is happening in the country, that has led to this, and what would never return to the gloomy totalitarian past. “Court time” (this was especially exciting: a co-host was Svanidze Mlechin, Leonid and Sergey Kurginyan, who had, depending on topics, to act as the lawyers, prosecutors), and then “Historical process”, published in 2010-2012 became clashes of different opinions on momentous events in world history. In addition to the well-known Russian characters court time were subjected to Gaius Julius Caesar and bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the path of development of China.

Since then, almost 15 years have passed, Nikolai Svanidze hated the Stalinists (in the broad sense of the word), the Imperials, monarchists of all stripes. They see in him someone whose views do not leave any chance of dominance, the dominance of ideology over truth and concealment do not fit into “the policy of the party and the government” of facts and logical conclusions.

“Rather to give freedom, more Soon freedom to give”

Nikolay Svanidze is one of the few journalists who fruitfully worked in the early 90s and managed to maintain tolerable relations with the current Russian government. It to 2014 as a member of the Public chamber of the Russian Federation, actively served on the Commission on countering attempts to falsify history, does not cease to participate in the Council for development of civil society and human rights under the President of Russia. He manages to save his face and says: “I will leavethe profession in the case ifI plugged mouth”.

At the same time, preserving the official status of political commentator on national television, but almost not appearing on the air, openly declares that he is often ashamed of what is happening in his country. His “with a hangover in Donetsk “our” someone fighting” or of the parallel joining of Crimea with speculative situation, when politicians begin to invite residents of the Russian Volga region to hold a referendum for joining to rich of Switzerland, bordering with many articles of the criminal code.

He believes that it is impermissible to pull out from the canvas of history a few facts that help to motivate today any arbitrary decision of the authorities. When a person throughout his life faced with multiple interpretations of the same fact when he failed to understand that telling what he saw with his own eyes, he either becomes a trimmer, not having independent thinking and desire to be active, or, even worse – endless cynic, not wishing to take anything seriously.

“Land was plentiful, about well there is no”

Nikolai Svanidze own view of why Russia became what it is. He believes that there are some “landmark” decisions of the rulers, who determined the country’s path for many years to come. To their heritage to get rid of, we must first be aware of their impact, and then find ways to overcome their influence.

So, your Alexander Nevsky battle on lake Peipus decided that the next century Russia will go in the future is not with Europe, but hand in hand with the Mongolian khans. And he could ask for help from chivalric Europe and many years to fight the alien to the Oriental civilization, not let someone else’s blood to enter into the Russian gene pool, not to accept the style of government of the Eastern empires.

Ivan the terrible, who completed the liberation of the country from the tribute to the Tartars, for some reason did not go to finish off the Crimean Khan, and turned to Germany, which as a result has violated the progressive development of Russian civilization and led to troubled times. In the end, he showed already a United Europe that he is not her friend, but an enemy that is entrenched for generations.

Peter the great, Catherine the Great understood that Russia is a European country. But either one could not get rid of the notion that Russian people are not ready for true freedom. The country is heavily borrowed Western technology, the highest bar introduced the European way of life, but ordinary people all this concerns. The local nobility, who consider all this empty whim of the monarch, gave birth to the country in a terrible bribery and corruption. Catherine first ways tried to liberalize Russian life, but tired and gave up.

The heyday of the autocracy in Russia reached under Nicholas I. the cruelty, the pettiness, rancor destroyed in the Russian nobility the remains of ancestral honor. Its the last Bastion fell when, alas, an unnamed Russian officer attempting the future Emperor to seize him by the collar replied with dignity: “”Your Imperial Highness, I have a sword in hand.” It was then wildly sounding now born, but raised on the shield the motto: “Orthodoxy. The autocracy. Nation”. Count Sergei Uvarov said back then: “our Nation has the absolute devotion and obedience to the autocracy”. And now that we are trying to be proud of.

This “brace”, praised the President of the constitutional court of Russia – serfdom. Just as Europe is leaps and bounds moving towards progress and freedom in Russia believed that “it is firmly established and inviolate. It is impossible to abolish it, and to anything”. It was caused by wild fear of tsarism after the French revolution (nothing like in modern times?). This prolonged lack of freedom of the peasants allowed the Bolsheviks to the new scenery to repeat exactly the Russian Imperial system. This same action takes place in the Russian territory now.

Of the fatal effects of retraction of Nicholas II in the First world war and the disastrous consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact has already been said enough.

By the way, as subheadings in the article used quotes from a poem by count Alexey Konstantinovich Tolstoy “history of the Russian State from gostomysl to Timashev”.

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