Below is my translation of an interview with Andrei Karaulov, published in “Argumenty i Fakty” on the 30th of January 2016. The information in this interview underlines and strengthens what I previously wrote in the articles, pertaining to the Wild 90s: The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory and another of Karaulov’s articles that I translated, For Russia 90’s Were Worse Than WWII.
One highlight from the article below:
Liberal historian Boris Sokolov counted how many people died over the course of only two years – 1992 and 1993 – during the so-called “reforms” of Gaidar and Chubais. 150.000 more than during the executions of 1937-1938.
Andrey Karaulov was born in 1958 in town Korolev. Journalist and writer, winner of TEFI, Author of TV programmes “The Moment of Truth”, “Russian century”. Author of the documentary films “Unknown Putin”, “Khodorkovskij. Pipes(dead bodies)” (translator note: the inserted character creates the pun), “A Common Fascism”. Author of the books “Around Kremlin”, Russian hell”, and other.
Olga Shablinsky, “AIF”: “It looks as if a new war is coming! We’ve quarreled with almost the whole world,” – it’s a conversation that I recently overheard, expressing the mood of so many… And at the same timet Karaulov writes on his page on the social networks: “Why is Putin not afraid of isolation?” Andrey, are you not worried with these feeling of a coming war?
– I want to ask you two questions. When and where did the first mobile phone appear? You don’t know? The answer is: in 1969. Leonid Brezhnev walked with it around his dacha, next to it, in the bushes there was a “Volga”, stuffed with equipment, but the handset worked exactly like a mobile phone – not from a wired network. Later the trunks of all government cars were equipped with a huge box with an antenna – “Angara” mobile communication system. And in 1992, Khasbulatov was holding the first real mobile phone released the pilot plant at one of the institutes of Dubna. But then reformers cropped up: one – the Minister of Economy, we all know of the other – Chubais. The plant and the Construction Agency were cut… disappeared as if they never existed! These “leaders” did not understand what they were doing. Well, they did not understand anything at all! And America and England got passed on the right to be called the “homeland” of mobile phones. If Dubna patented them back then, today they would have fed the whole of the Russian Federation, just like oil and gas do.
Now the main question: where did the cell phone come from? The answer is: it is one of the technologies that were used by two great men – Michael Yangel and Vladimir Utkin.
Now on to the next question: when and where did the Internet appear? Experts know, but I shall remind you: the first Internet (it’s prototype, if you like) was used by Yuri Andropov. This system was called “Mais”. It, too, hails from the Military-Industrial Complex. Only the members of the board of the KGB had access to “Mais”. The system was primitive. But the info from the “Database” on those USSR citizens who peaked the interest of the KGB or were part of the nomenclature came up instantly.
In other words, both the mobile phone and the Internet are the products of the Soviet defence industry.
The liberals (I suspect none of them were anywhere near any defence factory) are incessantly yelling that today’s Russia is militarising, that our “Korolev of today” – the great Russian scientist, academician Yuri Solomonov, and his colleagues are mad, creating one missile better than another, that all these expensive toys, including IL-80 of academician Henry Novozhilov will ruin our country. I also know how to yell. That does not take much wit… What is this mighty Soviet IL-80 drone? It is a “flying nuclear suitcase”! It is from this plane that the command to launch all of our terrestrial and submarine nuclear missiles comes, if for some reason the President, Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces can not give the launch command themselves. And where will they fly? At those who decided that Russia is a third world country…
Now the most interesting – what will happen if IL-80 too becomes incapacitated in the air? Then a missile is launched, Americans call it “dead man’s hand”, and it issues a command to strike back…
No one else has such a nuclear shield, like our country today. We are ahead of the Americans by 15-20 years. When the US State Department, having given things some thought, speaks nowadays of the possible lifting of the sanctions from Russia in 2016, this is not surprising. It’s too late to fool around with Russian.
Each missile means tens of thousands of the latest technologies, many of them (well, almost all) have a dual purpose – not only military, but also civil. Solomonov put the chips from the “Topol” missile into the “Lada-Kalina” car. Military factories support over a dozen other industries. It is at the Solomonov’s factories that the monorail was developed in the 90s (Luzhkov applied it in Moscow), water purification system, the new X-ray machines and so on. New military technologies will make you happier, as well as all the citizens of Russia.
– And how will rockets make each of us happy?
– By giving us a complete safety! For our children and our grandchildren, too. America is the only country that can start a third world war. But the US has a law: if the enemy can (even in theory!) inflict an unacceptable damage, then the US will never attack that country. And unacceptable damage to them means 12% of their territory. So there will be no war. Through the operation in Syria, Putin has shown to everyone that the world is no longer unipolar, that it isn’t purely American. Those who yesterday were laughing at us, do not laugh today, after Syria. Today, we are as strong as ever.
A gang of thieves
– Andrey Victorovich, talks about our missiles, of course, inspire pride… But it would be nice to hear “the little man” as well. For example, my neighbour, who is crying: “Pensions are not enough for anything”.
– We must always believe the little man, because he is always right – what reason has he to lie? Why, despite the real successes of our country (defence is an enormous part of the economy) dollar so suddenly shot up relative to the rouble? Today, the best minds say that the rouble is undervalued by a third. And if the rouble is undervalued, why the hell did it drop relative to the dollar?! With these missiles! Say thanks to Anatoly Chubais – he was one of those who developed the scheme, where the rouble got pegged to the oil price. Some villains turned up, who agreed that the oil in our major export commodity. They started to play on it. But I am sure that Putin will instruct the Investigative Committee to conduct a supervisory investigation. And soon everyone will see that there is no connection between the oil price and the exchange rate of the rouble.
– But I also remember very well the pre-stock-exchange times – how my grandfather was on the verge of suicide when all his savings of many years evaporated – 5000 Soviet roubles. Granddaughters’ weddings were postponed…
– You have just mentioned the worst of the problems of the end of the twentieth century. Liberal historian Boris Sokolov counted how many people died over the course of only two years – 1992 and 1993 – during the so-called “reforms” of Gaidar and Chubais. 150.000 more than during the executions of 1937-1938. And, mark, so far no one got punished for that! And then there was 1994… The flywheel of reforms spun even harder…
Today neither Gaidar nor Chubais are in the power. We live in a different country. But people are still scared. Here you are talking to me about the little man. So as not to be a little man, it is necessary not to unduly frighten ourselves with the stories about the acts of terrorism, and to know the true heroes of the country and be proud of them! This is the genuine Russia.
It is necessary that the TV screens instead of reporting about disasters, started showing reports about the revived the great enterprises, about young workers, children, high school students, who come to the defence factories after school, how future professionals are made of them.
We live in a country of myths, but not of little people. People will read our interviews in “AIF”, and they will no longer feel as little people. Deceived – yes, not knowing much – yes. But proud of their country. Those who wants to know the truth, will always find a way. One just has to want to.