Navalny is a hero. Oscars made this imprisoned but unbroken enemy of the Kremlin known to the glitzy woke crowd. However, liberal opposition to President Vladimir Putin in Russia doesn’t have a chance until they stop aping Western wokeism and grow a Christian conservative resistance.
THE WOKE PROVIDE AMMO TO PUTIN
I have my own accounts with Putin. Two of my friends and teachers were murdered by his regime.
I came to the US in 1991 as a young reporter of the main perestroika newspaper, “Moscow News,” for an internship at TIME magazine. The recommendation was written for me by my friend’s mother, Galina Starovoytova, a human rights activist and member of the Russian Parliament. A few years later, she began investigating corruption in the mayor’s office of her native St. Petersburg. In the early 1990s, Putin began his career there. Soon she was shot dead at the doorstep of her apartment.
In 2003, my teacher in journalism, investigative reporter Yuri Shchekochikhin, died in severe agony from poisoning with an unidentified poison. He began to dig at the Border Customs mafia, the threads of which stretched to the FSB, the successor to the KGB.
But the West is doing everything to ensure that Putin’s criminal regime remains in power for as long as possible and enjoys broad popular support. Each new “progressive” insanity of the American Left provides new ammo for Putin.
HOLY RUSSIA AGAINST WESTERN SODOM
Putin’s propaganda does not even need to lie about the West, as it did during the Soviet era. It is enough to simply translate into Russian news from the USA: transgenderism; LBGTQI+ propaganda in schools; hormone therapy for children at their whim (often dictated by fashion and social pressure) and subsequent genital mutilation; persecution of parents who object to this; the destruction of families; brainwashing children about the collective guilt of the white race; throwing national heroes off their pedestals; absurdities of super-feminism; aggressive anti-Christian agenda; Big Pharma’s plandemics; total surveillance of the Big Data; environmental madness; and so on.
Even a fraction of this is enough for the conservative Christian majority of Russians to see the West as one big Sodom, as an anti-Christ.
Moreover, most Russians believe that this heavily armed Sodom wants to overthrow the regime in Russia — arrange a color revolution there and impose on Russians all the woke perversions under the guise of democracy, and using Ukraine as a proxy.
UKRAINE AS A “BRIDGEHEAD TO JUMP ON RUSSIA”
I grew up in Russia. I went through the Soviet army, traveled through its vast spaces as a reporter. I was in its prisons, monasteries, hospitals. I know what Russians think and feel.
Most Russians believe that the West launched its special regime change operation in Moscow back in 2004, taking the first step — the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, which won with massive support from the U.S. State Department and George Soros.
Most Russians also believe that the admission of Ukraine into NATO would likely lead to the deployment of U.S. military bases on Russia’s borders and nuclear missiles aimed at Moscow and the admission of Ukraine into the EU — the plans of the Obama administration, which Biden continued to implement — is a significant escalation aimed at the subsequent dismemberment of Russia. It would be transformed into a number of weak states subordinate to the Washington’s woke “obkom” (Regional Committee of the Communist Party, in the USSR).
In 2014, the vast majority of Russians enthusiastically welcomed the annexation of Crimea which they consider (along with Eastern Ukraine) to be Russia’s heartland. Boris Yeltsin’s transfer of these territories, populated mainly by Russian-speakers, to Ukraine in 1991 was viewed by most Russians as one of the greatest historical mistakes and injustices. The most prominent critic of that transfer was the great moral leader of Christendom, sworn enemy of the KFB regime, and Nobel Prize winning author of GULAG Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Obviously, it does not justify the aggression against Ukraine and the violation of international law, but we must clearly understand the thinking and feelings of the 150 million people of Russia. On the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Zelensky refused to give Putin guarantees that Ukraine would not join NATO and the EU. Most likely he was pressured to do so by the Biden administration. Putin sold this to his people as crossing the red line which required preemptive strike before the dragon of the woke West swoops down on Russia from the Ukrainian bridgehead.
“THIEF IS BETTER THAN A PERVERT”
The Oscar for Best Documentary was presented to the wife of Alexei Navalny. Putin’s regime tortures him in terrible Russian prisons because he is the most flamboyant opposition figure and the most fearless investigator of the corruption of the Kremlin mafia. Navalny and other political prisoners must be released immediately.
However, Navalny, even when free, has no chance of winning the hearts of the majority of Russians. He shows the Russian people that the Kremlin’s inner circle are corrupt kleptocrats. Most Russians shrug their shoulders and paraphrase another Nobel Prize laureate, KGB-hater and critic of handing ethnic Russians to Ukraine, poet Joseph Brodsky: “I prefer a thief to a pervert.”
For most Russians, the choice between the KGB regime and the LGB regime (as they see the Western political system) will be in favor of the former.
The Russian liberal opposition does not want to understand this. They rightly accuse Putin of violating human rights, of corruption, of cruelty. But how do most Russians see this opposition?
Leaders of the Russian opposition are mostly atheists, or at any rate not active members of the Orthodox Church, with which most Russians identify themselves. They never publicly condemn, unlike Putin, transgenderism and other perversions of wokeism, apparently so as not to lose the support of the “progressive” West. They praise Clinton, Obama and Biden and repeat lies about Trump’s “Russian connections.” In short, they are terribly far from ordinary Russians.
FREEDOM AND HOLINESS
The only chance to bring genuine democracy to Russia is to grow a Christian democratic opposition that will fight with equal passion for both Freedom and Holiness.
There are two difficulties here.
The clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church is completely controlled by the Kremlin. Yet there is hope for the laity, for the grassroots revival movement. Faith works miracles.
And it is very difficult to combine freedom and holiness in general – in any society. This is the main challenge of our civilization. This is the primary task facing America, Israel, and Europe.
The slogan of the Russian opposition, if they want to replace Putin, should not be “Fear the international court in Hague,” but “Fear God!”
Putin’s regime is not trying to legislate violations of Biblical laws. But this regime torments people, which means it is not afraid of God. Therefore, this regime is doomed.
However, the woke USA will not be able to hasten the end of Putin’s regime, even by supplying Ukraine with the most advanced weapons. As we have seen, every news of U.S. woke idiocy makes the Russians rally around Putin even more.
The point is not even in the new escapades of wokeism, but in the overall picture – in the philosophy of history.
MAN WITHOUT GOD AGAINST GOD WITHOUT MAN
The confrontation between the United States and the new axis of evil, China-Russia-Iran, is complicated by the fact that the West ceased to be the axis of good when it enthusiastically abandoned Biblical morality.
After the Cold War, the West put forward its THESIS – the end of history: the world will unite on the basis of profit and the cult of human passions (rights). Let’s call it A Man Without God.
The East put forward its ANTITHESIS with the bloody hands of Radical Islam – the world will be united on the basis of the cult of religious dogma: God Without Man. Russia and China are in the same camp. Only instead of the totalitarian Allah of the Islamists they worship a strong state.
The way out of the impasse is a SYNTHESIS of individual liberty and sacred tradition: an open society that freely chooses religious morality, a partnership with God.
America, returning to its Biblical foundation, will be able to easily tear Russia off the axis of evil. Russia is worth fighting for. It has a great Christian culture, there are almost 300 million Russian-speaking people in the world, Russia has huge resources and nuclear weapons. It should be an ally of America and a friend of an independent Ukraine, not an ally of China and Iran.
MARY AND MARTHA
My Russian Orthodox Christian friends believe that the Cold War between Russia and America is one of the deepest spiritual tragedies in history.
The two Christian superpowers, the representatives of the Eastern Church and the Western Church, should be allies, two sisters, like Mary (a more contemplative Russia) and Martha (a more practical America), serving God together.
Their conflict, as they see it, is the work of Satan, who first seduced Russia with Marxism, and now is seducing America with neo-Marxism.
Deep down, Russians love America – and would be happy to meet again on the Elbe.
THE NEW MEETING ON THE ELBE
On April 25, 1945, Soviet and American troops met at the German river Elbe marking the joint victory over Nazism. Russians study this episode in schools and sentimentally love it.
During the height of the Cold War the boys of my generation used to have posters with Rambo or Raquel Welch on the wall. For young Russians now, America’s hero is Elon Musk.
All generations of Russians would welcome a New Meeting at the Elbe: a joint Russian-American victory over Putinism and wokeism.
However, very few of them currently believe that it is possible: they are convinced that the entire West hates them for Ukraine and uses Ukraine as a weapon to dismember Russia and make it woke.
American conservatives have to show them that true America distinguishes between Putin and the Russian people. That most Americans are not woke activists but moral Bible-believing people. And that they believe in a Bible-based alliance with free, strong and independent Russia and free, strong and independent Ukraine.
That will deliver a harder blow to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine than the Patriot missiles.
*Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky, author of Universal Zionism, is an Israeli-American Harvard-educated theologian and political analyst.
**The author permitted re-posting this article, which was originally published in Townhall, on March 22, 2023.