ST. PETERSBURG (Dagbladet): In the course of a few days the dead mother to the Russian civil rights movement, Ludmila Aleksejeva, and Russia celebrated the 100 anniversary of the poet and the prisoner Aleksandr Solzjenitsyns birth. President Vladimir Putin appeared at the funeral of Aleksejeva, and in celebration of Solzjenitsyn, he held the speech. Solzjenitsyn was the Soviet union's most famous dissident, and Aleksejeva was both a soviet dissident, but also one of the most prominent critics of the political streamlining during the Putin. The Russian president's presence at both occasions is paradoxical, logical, and many will think, not so little rude.
In celebration of Solzjenitsyns the 100-year day was Putin a little bit at home. For even if Solzjenitsyn was a nationalist, he was also the brave dissidenten who wrote about and documented the terror in the soviet prison camp system. His first book, from the camps, "A day in Ivan Denisovitjs life", was both a literary and a political bomb. With the had the Soviet union been an international superstar of a dissident, that was nearly impossible for the government to touch. It was this rebel Putin also laid down the flowers, a new statue of the poet-dissidenten in Moscow. He called Solzjenitsyn for a "true and real patriot" who did not allow any to speak reproachfully of the fatherland.
He stood up against every expression of russofobi, said Putin. And used thus signalordet for the Russian government's reaction to negative criticism from abroad. Everything from the criticism of Russia's relationship to Ukraine, to accusations giftdrap, and interference in other countries ' elections, characterized as expressions of "russofobi".
And Putin had obviously right. Nasjonalisten Solzjenitsyn, who believed that Russia would eventually be the salvation of the world, was undoubtedly a true and real patriot defending Russia and the Russian - not least the orthodox faith - in one and all. After that he returned from his american exile in the 1990s was Solzjenitsyn a string and alvorsfull prophet that held the day of judgment of all modern. Salvation in the Russian as it had once been, was his utopia. Not so unlike the dreams of the most ultra-nationalist currents that are a part of Vladimir Putin's political coalition today.
But it was also much that was different. A year after that Solzjenitsyn in 1974 was expelled from the Soviet union, got the young Putin a job in the KBG in her hometown in what was then Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). One of his tasks should have been to monitor the systemkritikere, and people who, for example, wrote and read samizdat editions- typed copies of prohibited literature - including books that Solzjenitsyn no longer got released in the Soviet union.
Many in the Russian the opposition reacted when Putin appeared in Ludmila Aleksejevas funeral. She was 91 years, and was one of Putin's leading critics. What he did there, in this funeral was also a celebration of endurance and regime criticism, where all of Putin's declared enemies that could, were present? One of them who could not come, was 77-year-old Lev Ponomarjov, Aleksejevas long-time friend and colleague in the menneskerettighetsmiljøet. He applied for leave from the prison, and got no.
Ludmila Aleksejeva was a human rights activist all from the 1950s. She was eventually expelled from the Soviet union in 1977, but just as Solzjenitsyn, turned her back after the Soviet collapse at the beginning of the 1990s. And she was one of the strongest critics of Putin's war in Chechnya from 1999, and of tilbakerullingen of the Russian democracy after Putin became president at the stroke of when Russia was ticking into a new millennium, 2000.
the Rejection of the Ponomarjovs the application about to drop out of the jail to participate in the Aleksejevas funeral shows that Putin's participation in the funeral services was no outstretched hand to the Russian menneskerettighetsmiljøet. That nasjonalisten Putin used an opportunity that Solzjenitsyns 100 birthday to give political messages is logical and understandable, even if it's bad with his time as a young KGB agent.
The funeral to Aleksejeva and 100-year programme to Solzjenitsyn shows is that Putin is the completely dominant figure in the Russian public. He plays on all tracks, and all run halves, with the greatest facility. Now he has shown that he also plays away from home.