Flower of Victory

NEW – August 7, 2022

The Russian Empire is a balance of two deep historical forces: Russian centralism, the flourishing of which marks the greatness of the empire, the writing of great poems and symphonies, and the achievement of great victories. And the forces of disintegration, crushing centralism, bending the vertical of empire, turning a great state into fragments, breeding civil strife, troubled times and bloody civil feud.

Wise rulers in all ages have maintained this balance, prolonging the existence of the empire. And when the forces of disintegration got out of control, the great reign of Kievan Rus ended, and the specific lands fell under the hooves of the Tatar cavalry. The centralism of Ivan Vasilyevich Grozny’s empire was collapsing, and the Moscow tsardom was plunging into terrible turmoil with the death of the country and people. Disintegration energy exuded, melted the iron trunk of the Romanov empire, and it collapsed like a rotten tree. Stalin made a great effort to suppress disintegration, drive the demons of destruction into the hell from which they came, and build a Red Empire unprecedented in the world. The Soviet government is a clever, careful balance of two imperialist forces: hard centralism and moderate liberalism that does not reach the boiling point.

This balance was destroyed in perestroika. Centralism was destroyed, the patriotic-minded intelligentsia, the statesmen in economic management were brutally suppressed, defamated, “Russian fascism” became the definition of everything that was called state and patriotic. Liberal came to mean everything that did not recognise the primacy of the state — whether it was powerful oligarchic corporations or irrepressible liberal intellectuals who preached freedom in politics and sexual relations.

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The Yeltsin decade was a time of eradication of everything that is connected with the Russian, deep. This extirpation was a continuation of the de-Cossakisation, persecution of the Church, the expulsion of the Russian intelligentsia from Russia.

The liberal urban prose of Yury Trifonov and the rural, native Russian prose of Valentin Rasputin were two directions in which the Soviet historical consciousness developed. During perestroika, the Russian vector was crushed, and the liberal element filled the entire volume of Russian post-Soviet life. Universities, theatres, the presidential administration, the scientific community, pedagogy, newspapers and television, and diplomacy — everything was in the hands of liberals, who reproduced themselves, stifling all the encroachments of Russian traditionalism. Everything Russian, patriotic was brought to the periphery of public life, and the word “Russian” became, if not a synonym for fascism, then a synonym for loser.

With Putin’s arrival, slowly, almost invisibly, a centralist patriotic consciousness began to reappear on Russian horizons. Once again, the Russian imperial renaissance began to squeeze liberals out of many areas of Russian life.

Putin’s rule was marked by a clear and hidden struggle between these two principles, a clash of names, reputations, interests, energies, cultural and philosophical schools. The return of Crimea was a triumph for Russian patriotism and a huge political and spiritual defeat for the liberals. The special military operation in Ukraine was a giant push that knocked down a huge flock of liberal artists, politicians, businessmen, scientists, and trade figures from their perch. All this powerful, energy-filled crowd rose up and was suddenly transported to other limits, leaving behind a colossal void that smoked like a crater after an exploding shell. Now this void must be filled by patriots who were kept in the dark for decades, and who were momentarily blinded by the bright sunlight pouring into Russia from Donbass. Patriots have been kept away from universities, political institutions, literary and artistic awards for many years, and today there is a clear shortage of ardent artists, clear speakers, skilled managers, and brave philosophers.

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This shortfall will be filled. Its replenishment is already taking place. But this is accompanied by a hidden, implicit struggle taking place in the bowels of today’s Russian society, where many roots and mycelium left by liberals have been preserved. The tops flew away — the tubers remained. These tubers produce underground sprouts, and they appear on the surface of the earth. The fight continues. It is felt in decisions related to defence, culture, and economic policy. And it is implicitly present in the strata of today’s Russian reality. From these deep struggles, the soil stirs — as if an invisible mole is crawling, squeezing out the pitted, loose earth to the surface. We can’t guess the secret directions of its underground mazes. But the Russian Dream is rushing over us in the Russian azure. Its flight is anticipated by all the great Russian seers, prayer books, military commanders and leaders. This is the Russian Dream of a luminous, immortal, entrancing Russia, which knows no darkness, but only immortal grace.

The Russian Dream is a Russian Victory.

Springtime, wet with tears,

Over a Motherland riddled with battlefronts,

Victory, you fly in a wreath of roses,

Wrapped in bloody bandages.


Aleksandr Prokhanov

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