Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

'You Didn't Know That Russia is Fascist?'

Journalist Elena Kostyuchenko asks who bears responsibility for what Russia has become.

Gavriil Grigorov / TASS

On April 5, journalist Andrei Loshak wrote a post about leaving Russia, citing the murders of civilians in Bucha and the Russian soldiers who allegedly took part in the war in Ukraine and sent huge parcels filled with household goods, appliances, electronics, and car parts from Belarus to Russia. "I do not want to live and cannot live in a country where they give orders and pay salaries for killing and robbing civilians," Loshak wrote. “When I left Moscow, perhaps forever, I was struck by the faces of the passengers on their way to Yerevan. I would say they were the faces of cultured people. I saw similar faces at rallies in Moscow, and now I keep seeing them in Tbilisi. These are probably the only Russians here now. Look at the degenerates crowding the shipment offices in Belarus. They really are Orcs. You can imagine what this gang of Bulgakov’s Sharikovs [street dogs in the bodies of people] will quickly do to Russia.”

MT asked journalist Elena Kostyuchenko's to respond to Andrei Loshak's statement.

I see that Andrei and some other people with nice faces would like to start dividing Russians into separate breeds. We are elves, they are Orcs. We are professors, they are "Sharikovs." "I do not want to live and cannot live in a country where they give orders and pay salaries for killing civilians," Andrei wrote and then left, perhaps forever. There are good Russian faces at the rallies in Tbilisi, just like in Moscow.

My dear Andrei Loshak! I am younger than you, so it’s odd that I need to remind you that in Russia we had the First Chechen War, the Second Chechen War, the five-day war with Georgia, wars in Donbas and Syria. There was Nord-Ost and Beslan, and there is still Chechnya. In Russia 177,000 people with disabilities live in psychiatric institutions that are really concentration camps. In our country, LGBT people have been "socially unequal" since 2013, and Jehovah's Witnesses are jailed for their religion. We have torture and murder during torture in police stations, prisons and jails. We have a president-for-life, a cult of personality, a church that has merged with the state, political terrorism, and state propaganda. We have fascism — and it didn't appear a month ago.

You didn't know we had fascism? The world says they didn't know. Maybe you didn't know either?

You're embarrassed to say the word "intelligentsia," so let me say it. Some people are twice lucky at birth: they are born a little smarter than average and into families where this is appreciated. Life gives them the opportunity and motivation to read books, to learn, to think. While our peers in the city of Rubtsovsk in Altai Krai are working in metallurgy plants, serving customers at gas stations, and trying to fit in so that they can survive, we are learning, learning, learning. They go to the army; we go to universities. Do you know why society gives us this opportunity? So that we can look back and look forward, pave the way, and if the way turns out to be wrong, catch our country on the edge of the abyss.

How did we fight fascism? Oh, we described how it was coming and developing. 

If fascism has arrived, it's not enough to just do your job. And it turns out that peaceful rallies against fascism don't work either.

But now that the monster has grown and started to eat so much and in such a way that the whole world has noticed, you can simply leave, disassociating yourself from the murderers who send parcels of loot to your poverty-stricken villages and separating them into another, separate breed of "not-us.”

They will have to pay for what they have done. What about you? And me?

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.