Viktor Shenderovich on Valeriya Novodvorskaya: There have been few so clearsighted in our age

17 May 2020

Viktor Shenderovich, writer, journalist, laureate of the Moscow Helsinki Group human rights award

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

Today marks 70 years since the birth of Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya.
The outstanding and brave Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya…

Her hatred for tyranny, combined with her literary gift, placed her on a path paved by Herzen. Novodvorskaya was a brilliant political writer, but what made her unique were not her literary abilities.

There have been few so clearsighted in our age. There are countless people with convictions, but I can count on two hands those who are willing to put their fate on the line for their convictions!

She was under-appreciated in our country, and the widespread reaction to the name Novodvorskaya is an excellent analysis of the trash that we have produced in place of brains and honour.

‘Libtard!’ Oh yes, of course.

Even her own people would shrug and say, “Well, Lera… She’s an extremist, what can you do?”

Her extremism consisted of a clear separation of black and white. Our norm is to timidly tend towards blindness.

When, as a 19-year-old, she handed out leaflets in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses after the disgraceful acts in Prague, the elite were the mute deputies of the Supreme Council and the hardcore “ Soviet Writers”. They were the norm. Could a person of sound mind have spoken out against the Soviet regime? And domestic doctors, the successors of Dr. Mengele, tortured Novodvorskaya in a Kazan psychiatric hospital.

(Those who later laughed at her appearance as a result of the torture are, by Russian standards, also perfectly normal people, wouldn’t you say?)

When Novodvorskaya was tried for desecrating the national flag in 1990, after the disgrace in Vilnius and Riga, the elite who went under this bloodstained flag were functionaries who had succeeded in ‘reshaping’ themselves under perestroika and other ambiguous menials of the receding Soviet mentality. And she was a ‘libtard.’

Time has changed the scenery, but not the disposition.

When Novodvorskaya was tried in 1994 for civil war propaganda and inciting ethnic discord, Moscow was covered in swastikas, and Nazis were spreading their trash on television. The people who really started a civil war a year earlier were already walking free. The thieves who were the first to get the benefits of privatization finished off the country, Yeltsin’s generals prepared the First Chechen War… All of these people were the elite. And Novodvorskaya was a ‘libtard.’

And an extremist too, of course. Well, yes, she demanded that the Сommunists and those associated with the Lubyanka be put on trial! Of course she was an extremist, what else could you call her? The ones who were normal people, the serious statists from the Lubyanka itself, waited out the Time of Troubles and were quietly preparing their revenge…

And there’s your answer, as the Little Prince would have said.

Yes, Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya was a ‘libtard’ and extremist. The murderers are our elite, and we are all ruled by them – and they are the norm and the conscientious citizens. That’s why we all live in such a dismal, bloody, and hopeless pile of shit. It’s a sin to complain.

It’s a choice.

And she at least tried.

In loving memory of dear Lera. In loving memory.

Translated by Nina dePalma

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