Georgy Satarov on the attack on Memorial: “A future which is beginning before our very eyes […] What we see here is fascism.”

15 October 2021

An extract from the programme 2021 broadcast on Ekho Moskvy on 15 October 2021. Presenters: Ksenia Larina and Vitaly Dimarsky

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Эхо Москвы]

К. Larina […] What questions do we have? I’d like to start with the most recent events. You and I were planning something, but after yesterday’s pogrom at Memorial (recognised as a foreign agent, ed.), I think we need to begin with this because it’s something quite extraordinary. I just want to remind our listeners that these are not the same people who used to come to Memorial and act as provocateurs at similar events (I’m talking about SERB and other hooligans), but, according to witness accounts from Memorial staff themselves, these were completely different people, groups of rather energetic people, all of a similar age, physically fit guys and clearly not ideological. These are people who have been sent to do a job. I’d like to ask Georgy Aleksandrovich, how does he see this situation? Is this a signal to which we should pay attention?

V. Dymarsky And who is sending this signal?

G. Satarov It is a very bad signal because – I will risk defining this in the way I do for myself – this is a sign of fascism. This is a typical example of an action by stormtroopers backed by the authorities, an organized action because there was a handler there in plain clothes who knew the scenario in advance and who organised it all. For some reason, they set what is proudly called the National Guard against a handful of elderly people. The Russian, supposedly, National Guard. It’s disgusting, in my view.

And this explains something that is absolutely ridiculous – this stigma of a foreign agent, which is beginning to multiply so much that soon it will be impossible not to run into a foreign agent in the metro in rush hour. However you stand, your elbow will be poking into a foreign agent. If you don’t see these people as stormtroopers, it looks very strange, because there is a huge number of foreign agents who continue to perform their agent function and the only thing that is imposed on them is the increased reporting requirement. But, in fact, it turns out that this labelling performs the function of the white crosses during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. They need to stigmatise people, they need these white crosses, and then the stormtroopers will know to whom they can do what. This is the demonstration of what, in fact, it is. That these crosses, these marks have not been put there for nothing, they were put there with an eye to the future, a future which is beginning before our very eyes.

V. Dymarsky Well, that was the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. But in times closer to us, we remember the synonymous phrase: “enemy of the people.”

G. Satarov Well, yes.

К. Larina There was something even more recent. Don’t forget the Pamyat organisation. Do you remember? I remember when they raided the Central House of writers, you’ll recall. It was also a pogrom.

G. Satarov It was a development that was stopped. And in this sense there is almost nothing else for us to remember. What we see here is something different. There is a consistent series of events here. And if, before, the FSB handlers didn’t show up at the SERB actions, now they are there and make themselves known.

V. Dymarsky So this is not just their action, this is an action with the connivance of the authorities?

G. Satarov Not connivance. This was a joint action, of course. And this is terrible.

К. Larina All the more so because in this case instead of protecting people… They called the police, because these thugs had burst in. What did the police do? They closed the doors, let everyone in, let no one out, recorded the names of everyone in the audience. Not only that, they also took personal data from all the members of the audience and asked them why they had come, what they were doing there, and if they had any criminal records. And in the end, as I understood from the accounts of eyewitnesses, every one of these stormtroopers, as we are calling them, who had been detained by Memorial staff, was released. And they summoned Rachinsky.

G. Satarov Yes, yes, yes. And if we don’t call things by their proper names now, this will happen again and again.

V. Dymarsky And if we do call things by their proper names?

G. Satarov If we call things by their proper names, what we see here is ‘fascism.’ And I state this openly. And I am ready to answer for this in court. And I’m ready to give the necessary evidence, the appropriate analogies, and so on and so forth. I am ready for that.

К. Larina Georgy Aleksandrovich, what is the purpose of all this? To intimidate the public, or something else?

G. Satarov Naturally, to intimidate. […]

Translated by Simon Cosgrove

Leave a Reply