Ludmila Alekseeva: An epidemic of imperialism has seized hold of Russians’ minds

posted 13 Feb 2015, 14:30 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Feb 2015, 14:42 ]
5 February 2015

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group

This disease has spread massively after the annexation of the Crimea, Ludmila Alekseeva, a former Soviet dissident, human rights activist and head of Moscow Helsinki Group, has told the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita (translation in Russian:

“This is a terrible situation that compromises the Russian authorities,” says Ludmila Alekseeva with regard to the story of Svetlana Davydova who was released from a pre-trial detention center on 3 February. “No government with even a bit of common sense would lock up the mother of a two-month-old baby, to say nothing of the six other children. Knowing she would never have run away from Russia, why imprison her? Firstly, all these allegations against her are illegal since Russian security services have no right to eavesdrop on foreign diplomatic institutions. And they must have done this, since otherwise how would they know that the woman called the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow? Secondly, this whole process resembles the Stalin era when people were sent to jail without investigation and trial.”

Ludmila Alekseeva also emphasised that, in countries with similar political systems, people like Svetlana Davydova are in the minority.

“Svetlana Davydova could not bear to look at how the Russian authorities are sending youngsters to the war in Donetsk, and then the mothers of those soldiers receive coffins with their sons’ bodies. Her prosecution is being put on show since the authorities decided to use it as a warning sign to other citizens”, Ludmila Alekseeva says.

The human rights activist also drew attention to the fact that in Russian society there are people who are not indifferent to the fate of Davydova.

“In a few days more than 50,000 signatures were collected in support of the woman. In Russia people who think differently, people do not agree with what is shown on state television, face serious problems. They are put under pressure at work or at university, since the majority of people in Russian society are suffering from the illness of imperialism. This disease has spread massively after the annexation of the Crimea, thanks to which Putin's popularity has soared." 

According to Alekseeva, the mother of seven children has become the victim of Russian imperialism.

“I never thought that after the fall of the Soviet Union this epidemic would again invade the minds of Russians. The worst thing is that not only the rich approve these ideas, but also the poor, who have never benefited from the system. People like this think, ‘It doesn’t matter that I am poor and have nothing, what matters is that I am a citizen of a great empire which everybody is afraid of.’ As for me, Russia is the great state of Pushkin, Lermontov, Tchaikovsky and such a state does not need to achieve anything by means of fear. I would like other people to respect my country, but not to be afraid of it,” Ludmila Alekseeva stressed.

Source: Khartiya ‘97

Translated by Faina Babintseva