1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Putin Q&A to TIME magazine and what I like about it December 26, 2007

Filed under: blogging,communication,geography,personal,politics,world,writing — axinia @ 9:13 pm

 photo: TIME

Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin was chosen TIME’s 2007 Person of the Year. What a scandal! The Austrian press even forgot to write about a damage of one Alpine oil tube and ecological consequences of it while negative featuring Russian President.

I was actually going to post something about the unfair attitude to the Russians in the western media, even made up a nice title ( “Bad Russians everywhere, even in The Golden Compass Film”)… And here comes Mr. Putin, my dear President to help me out! 🙂

I really enjoyed reading his brilliant interview to the TIME magazine putting them all right, with the typical Russian directness, with dignity and self-confidence.

Here are Putin`s answers I like the most:

What do you think are American misconceptions about Russia?
Well, you know, I don’t believe these are misconceptions. I think this is a purposeful attempt by some to create an image of Russia based on which one could influence our internal and foreign policies. This is the reason why everybody is made to believe, like, it’s O.K. to pinch the Russians somewhat. They are a little bit savage still, or they just climbed down from the trees and probably need to have their hair brushed and their beards trimmed.

Americans wonder why the recent Russian elections could not have been more open and why, for example, Garry Kasparov was put in jail.
Why did Mr. Kasparov, when arrested, speak out in English rather than Russian? When a politician works the crowd of other nations rather than the Russian nation, it tells you something.

What about the conflicts you’ve had with former Soviet republics on gas prices?
What conflicts? There are world prices for gas. Why should we sell to anyone below the world-market prices? Do Americans? Could you come to a store in the U.S. and ask, “Well, I’m from Canada. We Canadians are close neighbors. Give me that Chrysler at half price”? What would you hear from the salesman? “You, idiot! Go away!”

Unfortunately the online interview was not fully listed. I learned from another (Russian) source that Putin actually made a great point on the western attitude to Russia: (in my own translation)

 “We keep getting this kind of a message: “We are waiting to accept you in our family of civilised western countries”. But who told you that your civilisation is the best? And then they wisper in our ears: “We are ready to accept you, but keep in mind that we have a patriarchal family and you have to listen to the eldest”. I really love that passage!

Russia has its own long and truly unique history and I honeslty do not see many reasons to claim that western civilisation is the best. Hopefully the humanity will find out the best form of its existence. But the first step should be a mutual respect and not the ego-driven politics.

LOVE, axinia

Relevant posts:

Democracy or Demo-no-cracy?

The Fire, The Water and The Copper Trumpets


14 Responses to “Putin Q&A to TIME magazine and what I like about it”

  1. axinia Says:

    I also like the way TIME gives its reasons for choosing Putin the person of the year.
    Sure, it is flattering to any Russian ego, but stil.. It is also very true:
    Russia lives in history—and history lives in Russia. Throughout much of the 20th century, the Soviet Union cast an ominous shadow over the world. It was the U.S.’s dark twin. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia receded from the American consciousness as we became mired in our own polarized politics. And it lost its place in the great game of geopolitics, its significance dwarfed not just by the U.S. but also by the rising giants of China and India. That view was always naive. Russia is central to our world—and the new world that is being born. It is the largest country on earth; it shares a 2,600-mile (4,200 km) border with China; it has a significant and restive Islamic population; it has the world’s largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and a lethal nuclear arsenal; it is the world’s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia; and it is an indispensable player in whatever happens in the Middle East. For all these reasons, if Russia fails, all bets are off for the 21st century. And if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.


  2. radha Says:

    I also feel the same towards the Chinese culture.

  3. axinia Says:

    Interesting, radha. would be great if you could post something about it on your blog!

  4. radha Says:

    yes axinia, i will, may the inspiration come! blessings!

  5. radha Says:

    After reading this post i went downstairs to the library and the Time issue with the interview was there. i also enjoyed reading it. actually i love Putin, his face reminds me my father, they both have the same age and discipline (like the one to go swimming every morning). the simple+daily+human side of our politicians are always the ones which interest most. In this interview i can understand the truth about this man. His thoughts reveal his inner reality, which is quite positive. Thanks a lot for posting it! luv, r.

  6. axinia Says:

    THanks, radha, I feel pretty much the same 🙂 PUtin reminds me of my father too – in his character, and of my husband in his looks :))) He is a great person anyway, at least the best Russian ruler over the century, that is for sure. I also heard SM said he is a realised person…

  7. wishtobeanon... Says:

    Hi Axinia,
    I came here from Nita’s blog. When I was a child, I was in love with the USSR (really!) after reading the wonderful magazines like Sputnik, Misha, Soviet Literature and other Russian story books and fairy tales. In spite of all the western propaganda, I still have a soft corner for Russia. I love the literature and folk tales. I hope your country continues to produce great authors, artists and scientists.

  8. axinia Says:

    thanks, wishtobeanon… that is a very sweet and touchy comment.

  9. axinia Says:

    One exxlent article I found in Financial Times – a kind of declaration what the West should do with Russia 🙂

    let me make some quotations:

    “First, forget about trying to turn Russia into a democracy from the outside. If Russia is to develop into a democracy, it will be done largely by Russians. Foreigners can help only at the margin – and only when the time is ripe, which is not now.”

    “The US and the EU should encourage widespread Russian fascination with the west. That absorption does not make Russia a western country, but it suggests Russians can be drawn towards western values, by promoting everything from scholarships to London shopping trips. Also, western companies in Russia can do much by spreading international corporate standards.” – please note this statement: Russians can be drawn towards western values (!!!!!!???????!!!!!!!!)


  10. Raj Says:

    I remember once reading an article where Putin was asked something like” what doyou think is important for people” or something like that ,and he answered ” self-realisation”. That puts Putin way up for me as far as a world leader is concerned. I also heard that he received his self realisation from a Sahaja yogi.

    Incidently, I have a Sahaj sister in Siberia, so I am Russian too!!! 🙂

  11. axinia Says:

    Hey, Raj, thanks for this lovely comments. I was also very ipressed by Putis`s first speech (8 years ago) when he said that the greates value of Russia is its spirituality. He did not mean the church, but the general spirituality of Russian people which is obviously there…

  12. leelajesus Says:

    Very interesting post Axinia! That´s true that in the West the medias are giving us the feeling Putin is a kind of dictator that suppress his people. 3 years ago I spent some time in Russia and spoke a lot about the russian politics and Putin with the people there.

    I was quite surprised with which sympathy and support people spoke about him. They showed me a very different picture to the one I had before and the one that is generated again and again by the western medias.

  13. axinia Says:

    Here is one interesting link to the words of Shri Mataji about another Russian leaders, Gorbachev and Lenin, very interesting! http://sahaj-az.blogspot.com/2008/04/gorbachev-and-lenin.html

  14. Cahata Says:

    Maybe beter to check on vibratons and compare to other good and bad caracters in history ?

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