Eduard Limonov in English - 1
An extensive website dedicated to Eduard Limonov, with unusual photos and videos, and much new information. (2017)
<------All the links. In French, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian.
THE VERY COMPLETE FIRST PAGE :
PROSE AND PROTEST
Writer and politician Eduard Limonov talks about his work and politics. Eduard Limonov and his
bodygards volunteers. Labour Day parade. Moscow, May 1, 2012. -- ENLARGE PHOTO
With a new novel and a poetry collection freshly published and a music album about to be released, the 69-year-old author and dissident
Eduard Limonov — whose biography won a major literary award in France last year — came to St. Petersburg last week. He came not, however, to promote his literary achievements, but to support the 12 local activists of his party The Other
Russia, now on trial for oppositional activities and facing sentences of up to four years in jail.
Near the court, Limonov was met by massive police presence, and followed by plainclothes agents in two cars when he was driven away by activists after speaking to the press.
In March 2009, Limonov announced that he was going to run for Russian presidency in the 2012 elections, and published a presidential manifesto called “Limonov
2012.” He demonstrated that he was serious in November last year, when he stated that he would give up the French citizenship that he received in 1987. Under Russian law, presidential candidates cannot have dual citizenship.
However, when Limonov and his supporters came to a hotel in Moscow on November 11, where they were to hold an assembly to nominate him as a candidate, they found the hotel surrounded
by the police, while signs announced that “urgent repair work” was underway in both of the conference rooms that he had rented.
The assembly — attended by more than the quorum of 500 — was held in a rented bus outside the hotel, but a week later the Central Elections Committee refused to register him as a candidate on formal grounds.
The refusal was backed by the Russian Supreme Court the following month. Limonov was the first of seven candidates, including the Yabloko Democratic Party’s leader Grigory Yavlinsky, to
be denied registration as a candidate.
“Whether we’re good or bad, we’re quite prominent personalities in Russian politics and society,”
“What the liberals did was silly; thousands of observers were everywhere,
and they still cannot present the authorities with anything substantial. Violations? Yes, there were violations, but all these videos are nonsense.
“They should have said from the very beginning: If seven independent candidates were dismissed, it made the elections illegitimate. What kind of proof did they need? What observers? They
should have made a stand on it. It was not only in my interests, as a person who was denied registration, but in the interests of society as a whole. It was evident and comprehensible.”
Limonov describes the state of Russian society as a “distorting mirror.”
“There’s a mutual agreement to see the world the way it is presented to us,” he said. “People have to destroy this agreement and learn to see the world as it is. Because
the real world does exist, and it is not good to us.”
Limonov believes Russia
lost a rare historic chance to defeat the Kremlin during December’s 2011 anti-electoral fraud protests, when Solidarity leader and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov and other liberal leaders made separate agreements with the authorities and
moved the December 10 demo to the more remote Bolotnaya Ploshchad in order to get it authorized and avoid a police crackdown, instead of insisting on the central Revolution Square, close to the Kremlin’s “sore points,” as Limonov suggested.
He described the liberal leaders’ behavior as “treason.”
turn, the liberals accused Limonov of wanting “bloodshed.”
Limonov, who hung out with the Ramones and other punk bands in his days as an émigré author in New
York from 1974-1979, said that the imprisonment of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, two of whom have been in custody since March 3 after performing a “punk prayer” in one of Moscow’s best known cathedrals, had harmed the
Russian Orthodox Church itself.
“They’re girls, a punk band, they should
have been released long ago so that the church would not disgrace itself,” Limonov said.
Church declines in the eyes of society with every day. It proves that it’s not only barbaric and archaic, but that it’s also silly. [Pussy Riot] didn’t hurt God, but the church hierarchy. I’m not on either side, I’m on the side
of my country, and such stupid scandals are very telling of a certain underdevelopment in our society.”
Autobiographical novel called “V Syrakh” (In Cheeses) - 2012
Limonov appears to be as prolific as ever. In the past couple of months, he has published a collection of poetry called “Atillo Dlinnozuboye” (Long-Toothed Atillo) and an autobiographical novel called “V Syrakh”
(In Cheeses), named after Moscow’s historical district Syromyatniki (“cheesemakers”) where Limonov lived in the mid-2000s.
“The world sees poetry as sort of retro, something that
eccentric people do,” he said. “So as one of those eccentric people, I’m happy to indulge myself in writing it. Since leaving prison, I’ve already published five collections of poetry, one after another.”
“I stopped reading novels 25 years ago; I have no interest in fiction. What I read is crazy
books. Crazy ideas are the most interesting and the most reasonable.”
Limonov expressed far more enthusiasm when speaking about his upcoming book, to be published by Ad Marginem publishers in Moscow later this month. Called “Illuminations,” it is a collection of subversive views in which
he attacks generally accepted truths such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
“I think it’s an astonishing book, it reexamines many hypotheses, mainly dealing with the origin of man, why he
was created,” Limonov said.
“It’s a very interesting thing for
me to do, because I know how to do everything else. It’s a collection of paradoxical things that will attract attention, regardless of whether that is desirable or not.”
Limonov’s poetry will also be featured on a 28-track double music album titled “Limonoff.” Produced by his occasional lawyer Sergei
Belyak, the album features about 20 bands — from the electro-punk band Barto to the St. Petersburg veteran avant-rock band NOM — who have written and performed songs based on Limonov’s poems.
Featuring a photo of Limonov holding an electric guitar on the cover, “Limonoff” is due out on the Moscow label Soyuz later this month.
“[Belyak] got in touch with many different music bands, including Spanish bands, Latvian bands, Ukrainian bands, whoever,” Limonov said.
“Mostly up-and-coming ones, but also some veterans. I didn’t take part [in selecting the bands], but I listened to some of it. It’s interesting. He simply gave away my poems
for the bands to choose. I don’t know why he did it, but it’s fine by me.”
International interest in Limonov
both as a personality and political activist has been on the rise since last year, when French author Emmanuel Carrère’s “Limonov” became a best-seller in France and won the Prix Renaudot, France’s second
most coveted literary award after the Prix Goncourt, in November.
Limonov lived in France from 1980 until 1991, when he returned to Russia.
“Emmanuel Carrère is a very influential man and if some
other person had written [the biography], it would probably have gone unnoticed,” Limonov said.
he has a reputation as the best or one of the best French authors, he’s from the upper French bourgeoisie, his mother is the secretary of the Academie Francaise, his father is a major industrialist. ‘Limonov’ was made a phenomenon. It’s
enough to say that [President Nicolas] Sarkozy has already spoken about the book four times.
won three awards and only didn’t win the Prix Goncourt because of its subject. As the award’s secretary said, ‘It was not [Carrere] who was not given the award, it was his subject.’
“They are divided in that wonderful country. Some think Limonov is a hero, while others think that he’s an adventurist and
an anti-hero. I think it’s good to be either.”
The St. Petersburg Times - May 2, 2012
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
THE TIMES - May 7, 2016.
About the book of ultra-liberal Charles Clover : "BLACK WIND, WHITE SNOW : The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism"
Yale, 304 pp - April 2016
THE TIMES - May 7, 2016.
"The eXile" ( 1997-2008 ) was an important Moscow-based English language biweekly free tabloid newspaper, aimed at the city's expatriate community, but also read a lot by young people educated in Moscow.
It combined outrageous, sometimes satirical content with investigative reporting ( 25.000 ex, and website with lots of consultations )
"The eXile", led by American reporter Mark Ames, with Matt Taibbi (1997-2002), regularly publishes columns by
Eduard Limonov .
Eduard Limonov wrote his polemical
analyzes directly in English.
Here they are in their entirety :
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
An "The eXile" Roundtable with Edward Limonov
- April, 16 2004
Limonov interview after his two years in prison for "arms trafficking"
and "an attempted coup in Kazakhstan".
Jake Rudnitsky, John Dolan, Limonov, Mark Ames
Last week, National Bolshevik leader and eXile hero Edward Limonov sat down with eXile editors Mark Ames, John Dolan and Jake Rudnitsky to discuss politics and literature.
What follows is the part of the interview about Limonov's own books, the practical side of writing, and his views on what makes for quality literature.
eXile: To me, "His Butler's Story" [ "Histoire de son serviteur" ] is one of your best books. One of the reasons I was shocked when I first read it was that somehow you managed to describe what Jenny,
an ordinary American of the time, was like. I read that and looked around at the rest of American literature and nobody repeated it. I always wondered what made it so hard to Americans to describe carefully what was happening. You needed to go to a Russian...
Edward Limonov: Probably really because I was new and fresh from the other world. What I saw was probably banality for the Americans. And I came from a completely different
social situation. And I had some kind of a good eye...
eX: When you came for the first time, what did you get from Americans, what influences?
LIMONOV : I had very different influences. For example from my boss and from his employees and friends I learned a lot practical. Even from
now I have that from Karla for appointments. She taught me a lot of things like how to organize myself. Not like she was sitting with me and saying write down this, but we worked every day and so she said me and eventually I found myself living in France I
found myself using this business discipline.
That is undeniable, absolutely. Then it was ordinary places like Jenny -- her real
name is Julie Carpenter -- her father was an FBI agent and she and her friends especially her brother...
mean the guy who was a stoner?
LIMONOV : Yeah, they see I'm reading something boring on in kitchen and he says you should not
read this bullshit and gives me High Times magazine. Not only that but also the books. For example that was Julie who recommended to me to read Bukowski. And other things...the Beatniks I guess. Then the books of B. Traven. He's the best to write about the sailors, really macabre things.
eX: What American literature
did you know before you went to America and how did your view of American literature change?
LIMONOV : Very little
-- I knew what was translated, Socialist stuff, Theodore Dreiser. Hemingway was read by children. But later I read Hemingway and a lot of other writers in English and they are really something. I liked the style.
Later I read many things. A couple of years after arrival, it took me some time to learn the language, its rhythm. But about influences, basically good writers. My young friends have been very helpful to introduce me to punk.
eX: We wanted to ask you about punk...
LIMONOV : Yeah, because it started in '75 and I lived in New York at this time and I immediately knew that something happens on the Lower East Side. And I been on the Lower East
Side before because a lot of Polish, Ukrainians, Russians immigrants lived there. Russian Jewish stores and all that. Some friends of mine lived in St. Marks Place. I went to all the concerts in CBGB. All the American lower east side punk.
eX: Richard Hell and
LIMONOV : Yeah, Richard Hell!
eX: Is punk part of the National Bolshevik iconography?
LIMONOV : It's probably not a coincidence that when we thought about the creation of the party, one of us, my young friend Taras Rabko, he found Yegor Letov, the Russian idol. He spoke about my books in some lyrics. He said we should contact him as a great influence on Russian youngsters. And so we did, we contacted him and because of that many first National Bolsheviks
came from that, Russian punks. Even now a lot are coming...
eX: I've got a naive fan question... Did Jenny (or Julie) read "His Butler's
Story?" Or Peter Sprague [Limonov's billionaire employed, portrayed in "HBS"]?
LIMONOV : Yeah, Julie read it, I guess so.
eX: Did they respond to it?
LIMONOV : No,
I just know the connection. I know some part of my friends' biography for example. My boss he told this...
always wondered what happens when they read it...
eX: Like Elena [Limonov's ex-girlfriend, portrayed in "It's Me, Eddie" - "Le poète russe préfère les grands nègres", in French]...
LIMONOV : Yeah they read about it. When in '93 I received a phone call from Kostya Bondarenko, that's the guy in Podrostok Savyenko ["Memoir
of a Russian Punk" - "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence"]. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for various things. But, unfortunately the next day we got thrown out of that rented premises. He didn't have my other phone. He called me
and I was busy with some people and I said call me later. That's how it happened. But many of them, most of them died. Now it's a movie...
eX: "Podrostok Savyenko" ("Memoir of a Russian Punk" "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence"
in French ) is a movie?
LIMONOV : Yeah, the movie will come out by the same guy who made Brigada. It's called Russkoye -- he took the name of
my book of poetry. It will be out in theaters in autumn. Now they will be showing it in some festivals. I don't know what it will be. I sold them the rights when I was in prison and it helped get us out of prison.
THE MOVIE :
eX: One technical question: Podrostok Savyenko and Molodoi Niigodai ["The Young Scoundrel" - "Le petit salaud" in French] you wrote in third person, and "Eto ya Edichka" [It's Me, Eddie - "Le
poète russe préfère les grands nègres"] and Istoria ego Usulga ["His Butler's Story" - "Histoire de son serviteur" in french] in first. Why
did you choose one over the other?
LIMONOV : Maybe for make a difference in Eto ya... Because those books were supplied
by remarks and some places...
eX: Especially in "Molodoi Niigodai" [ "Le petit salaud" ] there's a lot of distance from your characters -- you call
him by whatever job he has at the moment. He's the bookseller or the aspiring writer. Like each one is a separate character...Was it more difficult to write it that way?
LIMONOV : It
was very intentional. I was in France and I wanted to be a professional writer and I said to myself never again will I touch an ordinary job. I wanted to be only a writer. I will absolutely lead a disciplined
life and write one book a year. Sometimes I'd write two books a year. That's why I published 17 books in France. So I wanted to write and explore some... as I always hated to invent people. I wanted, I found it artificial.
eX: You don't like what's called fiction?
LIMONOV : No. I hate it. I find it inadmissible.
eX: From a writer's point
of view, or from a reader's?
LIMONOV : From a reader's and a writer's.
eX: What about Dead Souls, for example?
LIMONOV : You wouldn't read Dead Souls for the
pleasure. [laughs] I like Gogol like Lovecraft.
eX: You know
Michel Houellebecq has written a book about Lovecraft? You've written a lot in prison. I'm reading V
Plenu u Mertvetsev [Captive of the Dead, an account of Limonov's life in prison]. How did your experience compare to Dostoevsky's?
LIMONOV : I wrote also a
book called Po Tyurmom [From Prison to Prison - In France : "Mes prisons" aux éditions Actes Sud 2009 ]. It will be available in probably a week or two. The book Po Tyurmom is really about the characters, about the people that I met. They are non-fictional
characters, everybody uses their own name, their own face. It is a book about prison. But what I wrote about in V Plenu..., that was a different kind of prison, a very lonely kind of prison.
eX: Only one cell mate...
LIMONOV : There isn't other prison population with you
and it focuses on my own reaction to prison. But here I manage to cheat the prison authorities. It was not forbidden to write but to take out what you wrote. What I did actually, it was probably not bad as Lefortovo administration. And now they have to take
everything first because the lawyer of Khrodokovsky or the lawyer of Platon Lebedev. Just yesterday I read that they search every lawyer now. Because if they didn't they would be very unhappy about what happened. I'm proud of what I did [laughs] because I
managed to smuggle out one and a half thousand pages.
eX: Did most of the prisoners have politics?
LIMONOV : No, I guess it's on the contrary. Most of them don't think politically. They probably participate in politics even without their will, because their position in society
is, anyway, is opposition. Even if they probably don't understand their role in society, each of them I saw like a small revolutionary because they are really break, everyone of them break some rule of society. My view of prison is really different than common
view by a Russian writer.
eX: Is that informed by your treatment when you were in prison?
LIMONOV : No, I know that because I present my manuscript of this very book Po Tyurmom to a different publisher because most of them said that is contrary to the Russian tradition because I am
associating myself with the criminals. They say, look, Solzhenitsyn was against the prison world. He hated the common criminals. And on the contrary I felt like I am one of them. We all suffered and we all have
the burden of punishment. And some of them are really great figures. I in a certain sense admired their being convicted to the life in prison. I saw about 30 of them for a year in Saratov prison. More than thirty, actually for capital punishment.
eX: What do you need to do to get capital punishment?
LIMONOV : Oh, you know, for example that band, city of Angorsk from Saratov region, they judged same time as me and they are responsible for the five killings, five dead. And some other people, six dead.
Those are bandits, really. But they never touch the common people. They say we kill each other, what's wrong with that? Why we deserve... But many of them are describing how they behave themselves before the sentence, after the sentence when it's already different.
This time you are already past the waiting for the ceremony in the prison to send the people to the court. They sending from the floors downstairs and in that moment for about two hours you have the possibility to talk to stay together. You are separated by
five or six places but anyway there are always about twenty people.
eX: Maybe it's easier for you because in Podrostok Savyenko you describe about growing up in a place where criminals were admired. And I was wondering is that unusual for you -- how you decide in "Podrostok Savenko" ( "Memoirs
of a rusian punk" - "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence" ] you're not going to be the good boy anymore -- or do you think Solzhenitsyn knew that culture and tried to forget it?
LIMONOV : I don't know about Solzhenitsyn, but I felt
solidarity with them. As I said we've been suffering together. What can be more serious than life in prison? It's like you are already dead. And I felt the same because until the day of sentencing I expected to have the big huge sentence, convicted by four
articles of the code. And after twenty five years, twenty years -- that's kind of a dark hole. After that and you are dead, really dead. So you are living that life with them. And so I thought absolutely like a brother to those people and they felt the same.
I don't say anything bad about those people. In a way they are brave because in a way they could be much, much terribly worse. But they are much more human than the people who kept us inside, then the convoy as they call them, the militsia men who are always
stupid, loud, aggressive, swearing constantly. They are degenerates, the prisoners in comparison to them were very delicate. They never say something to irritate you. It's accepted the confrontation in some places but it's very rare actually, because they
all in the bad situation and they don't want to be... if they respect you at least. It probably could be different, but I don't know. I never had... So actually it was natural for me. Maybe I also judge them from the highest point of view, from one step from
eternity... if you imagine yourself to be sentenced to fifteen years, you are living in this world, and not in the world of fears. The criminals they committed their crimes sometimes in a few minutes. Or maybe they prepared in committing it for one month.
Then they are people like others. On the contrary the law and the people inflicting the law, enforcing the law are constantly committing the crime. Nobody understands, but that's it. The criminal world in its small way is in a sense a victim of its own emotions.
Of the moment.
In "Molodoi Niigodai" [ "Le petit salaud" ], you tell the cop Zilberman that "Kostya Bondarenko is not a criminal, he's a romantic"...
eX: Your new book is Po Tyurmom, or Prison to Prison, [ in France "Mes prisons" Actes Sud - 2009 ]
which echoes Castle to Castle [ "D'un château l'autre" ] by Céline...
LIMONOV : Yeah,
probably I found that the title of Céline's book is very good.
eX: When Céline put out his book, he said in a very cynical way that WWII was a very good thing
for his literature. Did you feel that way when you were arrested?
LIMONOV : I should at least say it give the best for
my writing. It's like the situation when you are in an extreme -- in extreme situations you always see better, think better sharper, probably men need danger to be efficient. And I think those eight books of mine are in a way something new than what I wrote.
Not reminding me of my other books. And sometimes it even achieves brilliance. But I let myself on purpose to write this, because I saw this reality. I live in it, so it's reality so basically works for publishing.
eX: And you see and hear things that you wouldn't. I remember there's a long description of Moscow radio stations, I guess because there's no choice...
LIMONOV : It was a part of my universe. It's not only that I choose it, but it was a big part of my living, I talk about it and think about it.
eX: There's a great section about hot songs that make you think about fat American women doing aerobics...
LIMONOV : Something like that tortures you if you live in this country, but you don't think about it because you can get away. In prison you can't. Back to Céline -- he said, after prison in Denmark, there are only two types of people in the world: people who've been to prison and people who don't know shit.
very good prisoner's proverb: who was in prison won't laugh in circus. [laughs] No, those people are great. I don't know why, maybe I'm brighter than whoever, but I felt a certain greatness and I was proud that most of them respected me.
eX: It's unusual that you have a lot of compassion for those prisoners and you even feel like you owe them, you want to bring their story out.
LIMONOV : Yeah, I promised them. That's why wrote that book. Especially I promised this one guy, Andrei Sherchenko, that I would write the life
in prison. And from his first appearance the book started. And I discovered incredible characters. There were two older boys, one was 18, they raped, killed 11 years old girl. And you know they were totally hated in prison by everybody as the whole. But some
guys, I know this guy Telnikov, his klichka, nickname was "Tikho." So he said -- we were standing in a cage talking about those two -- because they'd been kept away just in a hallway chained up to some pipes. And a lot of the younger guys said, "If I had a
chance I would just strangle them." Then that guy said, and he was very respected, "Shut up, asshole, what do you know? Maybe everything is invented by the policeman. You know those suckers. And the guys already suffer enough." It was great, like the best
gangster from the old movies. And he had great humor. When he was in court the judge said, "If you don't want to fire at people, why didn't you fire at the sky?" He said, "I was afraid that the bullet would land on me." They are totally ruthless, yes, but...
Or like they were afraid one of the guns used in the killing would be recovered by police. So they went to the place where they scalped it to re-buy the gun. But they got tired and they cut the guy. Incredible.
eX: What sort of hierarchies are there among the prisoners?
LIMONOV : This was Saratov prison, which was a red prison. It means that it was ruled by the police. But anyway there are some hierarchies actually. That is by the hierarchy of
crimes. Not only, but it's most important. When I was delivered to Saratov from Moscow and I was in a cage alone and it was next to about thirty people and the officers came and I was asked to say my article for the crimes for which I was accused. I said it
and it was silence in the next cage. Because 205 it is terrorism, 208 is formulation of military, 222 is the reference to the buying and keeping weapons and then 280, instigation to overthrow the government. They had never heard it. Then one of the ugliest,
most terrible looking, he asked, he said, "Hey Uvazhayemii [respected one], you are from Moscow?" I said, "Yeah, from Moscow. Your prison is red?" One of them said "Red 'til dead." First of all it is cause of crimes. But most of the prisons now in Russia are
red, except for strangely enough Butyrka is a black prison. Black is where the prisoners are ruling. It doesn't mean they are doing what they want, but at least they are living in cooperation with the militsia men. Butyrka is black and Matrosky Tishina is
also black. But for example Khordokovsky is sitting in the inside of the territory of Matrossky Tishina but that is a corpus where all the guys in all the rooms are FSB. It's the same at like Lefortovo.
eX: Why did they move him from Lefortovo? Lebedev was in Lefortovo.
LIMONOV : Actually it's the same conditions. It's difficult to say. But they never keep the co-defendants in the same prison, or never in the same block. For example in Saratov prison I was in the third block and another
of us was in the fourth one and then two others were in the wings and two of our guys were in the prison in another city.
last question, about the eXile. What would you change about our newspaper?
LIMONOV : I think that if you become political, then
you would suffer more. You see, our newspaper Limonka became very political and we lost a lot of readers. But we have no chance. We don't have the money to make it bigger to make it culture and politics. But we
have no money for the moment. It was the whole spectrum before, but now it is only the half. I think you have everything, but you cannot throw out your reklama.
" The eXile" - Moscow - April,
----- ----- ----- -----
Eduard Limonov and his bodygards volunteers take part in a May Day procession in
"The St.Petersburg Times", April 30, 2009
By Sergey Chernov
Eduard Limonov talks
about his plans to become president of Russia.
The city’s central Bukvoyed bookstore was surrounded by the police on Monday, with several
police vehicles parked on Ligovsky Prospekt and Ploshchad Vosstaniya, camouflaged OMON special-task officers waiting around the corner and a group of senior police officers picketing the entrance.
event that drew the police presence was not a political rally, but a poetry reading. The poet, who came to St. Petersburg to showcase his new anthology of poetry, was Eduard Limonov, who alongside former chess champion Garry Kasparov, is one of the Kremlin’s
biggest irritants. The impression created by the heavy police presence and Bukvoyed’s packed room was that poetry is important and, once again, dangerous.
I saw the OMON, I thought for a minute they had come to listen to my poems,” Limonov joked before starting to read. Eight members of the public — and Limonov’s banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP) — were arrested for no apparent reason
as they were entering the bookstore, and eleven more were detained later that day after a group of NBP members went to Police Precinct 76 to find out what had become of their missing comrades.
think it should be attributed to the madness of the regional police authorities,” Limonov said in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times at a central coffee house on Wednesday, the third and final day of his visit, during which he also planned to
meet local members of the NBP, take part in a discussion on “the tactics and strategy of the opposition during the economic crisis” and present his presidential program for the 2012 elections.
“Of course, it looked shocking to me as well,” he said. “It’s understandable when there are political protests — that’s not normal either, but maybe they’re afraid of some outbursts of emotion or whatever.
But in this case it was a totally peaceful event. They’re madmen, what else is there to say? The authorities are already very afraid of simply my name and face, because there have been cases in which people in the provinces have been prosecuted for having
my books or pamphlets in their possession under article 282 [of the Criminal Code], for extremism — on the basis of my name. At the same time, maybe that’s a good thing, because it suggests I am not insignificant as a politician.”
Limonov’s new book of poetry is called “Boy, Run!” (Malchik, Begi!) and is published
by the St. Petersburg publisher Limbus Press. Limonov, 66, described it as a message to his two-year old son Bogdan, who was born on Nov. 7, 2006.
“The dramatic story of my family is in
there, among other poems,” Limonov said.
“We have two children now (although when I was writing the book, there was one, but nevertheless), I am not on the best terms with my wife,
but this happens in the world pretty often. I blame my wife entirely, rather than myself. This book is written in order to get my son on my side, morally.
“Boy, Run!” Limonov's book of poetry - 2009
that’s not the only reason. There are a lot of so-called ontological poems of a universal character, and a story of a family drama at the same time. There’s a photo of my son, who was wearing his older sister’s hat for some reason, on the
front cover, and then there’s me wearing a hat and looking extremely evil on the back cover. No, not evil - rather sort of fiendishly content — smiling, laughing.”
couldn’t help touching on social and political issues in his recent poems.
“There’s a lot [of political poems in the book]. There are several poems about Natsbols (NBP members),
it’s basically all the poems that I’ve written since my previous book of poems, from 2006 to 2008,” he said.
Limonov said he stopped writing poetry for a long time after he
emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1974, but resumed while he was in prison in Russia on charges of illegally purchasing firearms in the early 2000s.
“My first poetry work was in the late
1960s and early 1970s,” he said.
“Then I didn’t write for a long time, when I moved abroad. There was one collection called ‘My Anti-Hero’ (Moi Otritsatelny Geroi)
written abroad, but really I started writing again in prison, and after I got out of prison.”
At the packed Bukvoyed on Monday, the audience was predominantly young. Most appeared to be
university students, and applauded vigorously after the poems were read.
“It means it’s interesting for them, and the book is dynamic, emotional and strong, in my view,” said
“You can’t always evaluate your abilities concisely, but in this case it turned out to be an emotional, fast-moving book. The critics accused me of everything — from
madness, to being graphomaniac and God knows what else. But in reality, poems like the ones I write are very difficult to write.
“They only appear to be simple — people get deceived
by exact rhymes, because they think that exact rhymes are something very simple. In fact, it’s a great art to put completely unusual content into rhyme. I think it’s a very successful book in this sense.”
For those familiar with his prose, essays or speeches, the poems are unmistakably Limonov’s. “It’s my own particular vocabulary and stance. It’s a success — I never thought that I would be writing
poems at my age and that they would be like this,” he said.
But the main reason for Limonov’s visit to St. Petersburg was not to present his poetry, but to declare his intention
to run as an oppositional candidate in the 2012 presidential elections.
“Why so early? To convince people that I am serious as a candidate and, first of all, to make the opposition realize
that I am the most appropriate candidate at this historical phase,” Limonov said.
“I hope that during the next three years I’ll be able to silence the skeptics. Of course,
I would not be allowed to present my presidential program at Bukvoyed, so we showcased the book of poetry.”
Limonov was asked to speak about literature rather than politics during his
visit to the city — and not only at Bukvoyed.
“100TV channel kept calling [local NBP leader] Andrei Dmitriyev yesterday evening requesting that I refrain from talking about politics
this evening. Apparently I have to talk about Gogol,” he said.
“It’s all fear of the authorities. They are scared of my personality. I am very happy about that, because it
opens up great opportunities for me.”
During his visit to St. Petersburg, Limonov discovered that he was being closely followed by the police. Around 30 NBP activists were waiting to meet
the politician at offices provided by the local branch of Kasparov’s United Civil Front (OGF), but he had to cancel the meeting due to the police surveillance. The activists were told to leave “in small groups,” so as not to attract the police’s
attention and get arrested like on Monday.
“Yesterday, I was followed by lots of cars — we were jotting down their number plates — for many hours,” he said.
“Then we made a break. I was speaking on Radio Liberty, but afterwards, they started following us again — we spotted at least three cars. There was a car with police agents in front, a car behind,
and one alongside us. I decided that I didn’t want to endanger the opposition activists and bring that crowd of agents there. The risk to me is the same in either case, but I didn’t think I had the right to put them at risk. So we were forced to
cancel the meeting. Nevertheless, they didn’t leave us, and continued to follow us for hours.”
A smaller meeting did however take place later in the evening. In Moscow, Limonov going
outside does not put the police on panic alert, but he said he has always felt the attention of the police there too.
“It happens in Moscow, too, they are constantly eavesdropping on me
— not only the telephones, but it’s most likely that my apartment is also bugged. I was visited by an American friend with a device for detecting bugs, and we found out that it’s located somewhere in the attic. There was always some knocking
coming from there (I moved into this apartment recently) and I suggested that he stood on the chair and tested that area. And there was a horrifying crackle. But since after my first arrest, 34 tapes of my conversations were presented in court, I have every
reason to insist that this is indisputably eavesdropping.”
Limonov, who was frequently described as an “extreme nationalist” in the 1990s but joined Kasparov’s United Civil Front to form the pro-democracy coalition
The Other Russia in 2005, came with his presidential program, which claims that the first thing he would do if elected would be to restore democracy in Russia.
“I decided to take this
step after I observed the presidential elections in 2008, when oppositional leaders failed miserably in the presidential campaign,” said Limonov. Former Soviet dissident and political prisoner Vladimir Bukovsky and former prime minister-turned oppositionist
Mikhail Kasyanov ran for presidency in 2008, along with Kasparov.
“All of them tried, but none of them tried in a serious way, it was somehow lighthearted,” Limonov said.
“When you’re taking such a serious step as running for president, you have to be extremely serious, otherwise next time people will shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Why should we vote for a candidate
who even didn’t try seriously?’
“For instance, Kasparov was denied a room in which to hold a meeting of his initiative group, 500 people, and he calmly announced on Dec. 13
without even speaking to us, his allies who were helping him, that he had been denied the room and so he had decided not to run. You don’t do things that way. It’s offensive to people, both to voters, and to those who worked for him, including
us, because we were helping him to get elected as a single candidate — perhaps not only from the whole opposition, but from The Other Russia coalition. We made him our single candidate, we tried and we worked.”
Unlike Kasparov, Bukovsky did manage to hold a meeting of his initiative group. “But he didn’t even start to collect signatures, which is also neglectful,” Limonov said. Bukovsky was not allowed to run in
the end on the grounds that he allegedly has a British passport and is therefore not qualified to under the Russian law.
“He simply didn’t take it any further,” Limonov said.
“You have to be determined to resist all these tricks. Tomorrow you’ll be told that you have to have all three buttons on your jacket, and if you lack one, you can’t become president. It’s
absurd, complete absurd. There should not be things like that. I will be stubborn and determined, I have said we will press for registration even under a hail of bullets, because no pretext will work in my case.
“I’m a very well-known man, and if they don’t want to register even me, if they find a ‘missing button,’ I won’t tolerate that. We’ll be rioting, we have people. You simply have to have real determination
that Kasparov and Bukovsky, as it turned out, lacked.
“Kasyanov went further, but the signatures he collected were declared false. They should have foreseen such a possibility. And Kasyanov
started his election campaign too late, just like Kasparov and Bukovsky. It was announced just over a month before the deadline. That’s no good, people have to know in advance, to weigh everything up, to make their choice in advance and decide whether
they should help or not. I want to try and mobilize people, to convince them.”
Limonov believes he has the qualities to become the united opposition candidate for the Russian presidency.
“It’s not about me,” he said.
“I simply want to say to people, ‘See, every protest movement had a leader, and these
movements were personified by their leaders — Solidarnosz in Poland had Lech Walesa, Czechoslovakia had Vaclav Havel. Havel is not the finest playwright in Czechoslovakia, and Walesa was not the most profound mind at that time. But they were deliberately
selected and people stood by them. It’s like a flag.
“A leader is like a flag, people gather around them. They should have overall merits, they might have some drawbacks too, of
course, as Walesa had — these should be considered negligible, obviously. Power is personified; for eight years it was Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Now it’s personified by two people—this is also not bad, because people know who. They always
say ‘Putin’ but they mean the whole system, the whole regime. The opposition should be personified, too.”
Limonov’s first task is to be recognized as a candidate by the
opposition, including Solidarity, the democratic movement that Kasparov launched last year.
“Liberals have many leaders, they’re all highly intellectual, they have more access to
the media, but what does ‘many leaders’ mean? They all argue with each other,” Limonov said.
“Kasparov came fifth after voting in the Solidarity movement when they were
electing co-chairmen. I think [Boris] Nemtsov came first. But this is a narrow circle, not a country.”
Limonov, who described himself as “a democrat, but not liberal,” praised
liberal politician Irina Khakamada who said she had left politics because “it’s not our time now.” He said liberals could only expect 12 percent of the vote in Russia, and that Nemtsov’s 13.5 percent in the recent Sochi mayoral elections
was an absolute maximum.
“I’m not perfect. I’ll have to convince many, but from the results of past elections I have become convinced that as a person of rather left-wing views,
as more of a people’s person than, say, Kasparov and Kasyanov, I have more chances than them, no doubt.”
“We thought for three years that Kasparov would be our leader, we wanted
to promote him and actively helped him. But when we saw him wavering, making a lot of mistakes, that he had no determination — he stopped going to Dissenters’ Marches — it hurt our people a lot.”
As Limonov’s party was banned for “extremism” in 2007, he now officially goes as the chairman of The Other Russia’s executive committee. Despite his criticism of Kasparov, Limonov said that he was prepared to keep cooperating
with him. But he admitted it was not the best time for The Other Russia.
“Kasparov’s interest has gone into Solidarity, which I consider an imprudent move,” he said.
“To leave a broad coalition for a narrow one is not rational, it’s not clever. But nevertheless, the overall energy and finances that Kasparov has — unlike us — they have all been rechanneled
“It’s natural that The Other Russia should suffer from that. Yesterday I was informed that the OGF has decided not to participate in the May 24 meeting that we’ve
been planning — we wanted to have a sort of Dissenters’ Meeting.”
Presidential elections differ from other elections, and their nature ensures that Limonov is in with a chance,
“It’s the only place left where personality means something, because parliamentary elections are fully party elections, as the one-vote districts were cancelled,”
“My party has long been banned, but here there’s a chance to use the overall goodwill of people that I’ve managed to accumulate. I have opponents, but I believe
that there is much more goodwill, and I can use it as capital.
“We should take advantage of my notoriety. Have we together spent an unimaginable number of years in prison in vain? Was
all that suffering for nothing?
“I’ll have to win people’s hearts. I’ve already won many, because by working with Kasparov, we showed that we are civil people, we didn’t
try to get ahead of the rest.”
Despite the problems of The Other Russia, Limonov is positive.
“It’s bad in
one sense, but it’s very good in another sense,” he said.
“We’ll stop creating endless organizations, and will try to unite under the flag of one man, one personality
— in this case, under my name and under my flag. If there is another person, let there be another one, but for some reason I have become convinced that I’m stronger than my allies — even by seeing how the authorities are afraid of me.
"The St.Petersburg Times", April 30, 2009
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
National Bolshevik Party - 5th Congress - 2004
THE BALTIMORE SUN
July 10, 2005|
By Douglas Birch
Russia : A group of mostly young activists has become a
political force seen as a threat
by the Putin administration.
MOSCOW - The small group of young political activists had
scarcely arrived at the imposing Uzbek Embassy, where
planned an unsanctioned
protest, when police swooped in.
Apparently tipped off, scowling officers with Moscow's Rapid
Reaction Force methodically hauled off 10 National Bolsheviks.
The leader, Olga Shalina, who wears a lapel pin depicting a
hand grenade, finished only half of her prepared statement
before she was dragged away.
"Out with tyrants!" she shouted. "Revolution!"
The abortive July 4 demonstration was a brief skirmish. But it
was just part of a larger battle between the administration of
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and a one-time fringe
political movement, which authorities fear has grown into a
threat to state power.
`Damage' to Kremlin
"In the Kremlin, they are hysterical," says the National
Bolshevik's 62-year-old leader, Eduard Limonov. "They are like
a bull that sees a red cape, because we don't believe in playing
by the rules of their game. We are really doing damage
The government, in turn, is engaged in a crackdown on
Limonov's group, which has attracted thousands of
Russians in their
rebellious teens and 20s. A Moscow court
ordered the party banned June 29, after prosecutors accused it
of trying to form an illegal armed group.
A few days later, 39 party members went on trial in a
courtroom for allegedly
trying to "destabilize" the government,
after party members briefly occupied the presidential offices
near the Kremlin on Dec. 14. Experts said it is one of the
largest mass trials in the post-Soviet era.
Bolsheviks has been repeatedly denounced in recent
months by Kremlin officials and in the state-controlled media.
Earlier this month, a national television channel aired a
broadcast comparing Limonov to Adolf Hitler. A new pro-Putin
youth group, "Ours," was formed last year specifically to
counter the threat of the Bolsheviks, political experts
Putin's deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov has told
interviewers that the National Bolsheviks "pose a danger" that
should not be underestimated, and he warned that "coups
could be attempted."
Masha Lipman, a political expert with the Moscow Carnegie
Center, said the crackdown was an overreaction by authorities,
reflecting the Putin administration's obsession with
"The Kremlin, with its policy of overdoing control, is seeking to
bar all activity that may be unexpected - to cleanse
space in Russia,"
Party members are frequent targets of violence. Since January,
group officials say, there have been 15 attacks in Moscow
gangs of young men carrying
iron bars, baseball bats and road
Limonov says the
attacks are part of an overall Kremlin strategy.
"Putin has demolished politics in our country," he said. "He's
created a police state on the pretext of the Chechen war. He
created in Russia a kind of dictatorship - modern, of course -
camouflaging his policies under the title of democracy."
The National Bolsheviks were born in the 1990s as a movement
of punks and skinheads. But in recent years, the party
transformed itself into
a more conventional, and powerful,
It helped organize nationwide protests last winter against the
Kremlin's efforts to reduce subsidies for social services.
joined with Russia's
embattled liberal democratic parties in
calling for the Kremlin to loosen its control of the courts,
parliament and the media.
And the party, which once supported the war in Chechnya,
calls for Russia to abandon
the republic to separatists.
The core of the National Bolsheviks' appeal is its militant
nationalism, probably the
single most powerful political force in
Russian politics. Putin's popularity, experts say, is linked to the
perception that he is a strong leader who has restored much of
Russia's dignity and stature in the world, and has tried to
reassert the nation's influence in Eastern Europe and Central
For many young people, though, Putin has been too timid.
Limonov claims Putin "made a terrible mistake" after the
September 2001 attacks on the United States by accepting the
establishment of U.S. bases in Central Asia. "We're becoming a
colony of the West," he said.
Party with flair
The party has also attracted attention - and recruits - through its
flair for street theater. National Bolsheviks, who call themselves
NatsBols, have splattered eggs and smeared mayonnaise on
political targets. In May, party members with alpine equipment
scaled a hotel facing Red Square and unfurled a giant
Putin, Get Yourself Out!"
On the one hand, one Moscow party official said, these antics
have gained the party "credibility." On the other, said
spokesman Pavel Zherebin,
they have led to the jailing of some
of the party's most active members.
Kirill Medvedev is a
young great russian poet.
Excerpt of his book : "It's no good" - Editors : N+1/UDP - 2012 .Translated by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, Bela Shayevich
"The author of the most brilliant individual project of the past few decades is, of course, Eduard Limonov.
Hence, during the nineties and until recently, it was practically impossible to find a vantage point from which a critique of Limonov would sound persuasive.
To moralize about his excessive “frankness” meant exposing oneself as a hypocrite.
To accuse him of “fascism” usually meant succumbing to faux “demo-schizoid”
sentiments. Those who tried to write about him in a facetious or directly negative vein (e.g., Lev Danilkin in Afisha magazine, or the writer Alexander Kabakov) made flagrant fools of themselves because they instantly wound up in the system of coordinates
set by Limonov himself.
In this system, the critic automatically came out looking—on the strength of his record as a writer, politician, and man—like Limonov’s
This has to do, of course, with the universal persuasiveness and effectiveness of Limonov’s style and lyrical hero, and the fact that Limonov himself
is a glossy mags journalist and critic and ideologue and whatever else you like.
But it also has to do with the fact that any criticism automatically provokes (even when Limonov himself
does not make this explicit, although sometimes he does) a “tough guy” reaction from the position of experience: live the life I have (visit as many cities and countries, write as many books, romance as many women, form a charismatic independent
political party like I did) and then you can criticize me.
All his heroes, even people more famous than he himself (for example, Salvador Dali), end up looking like fairly miserable secondary characters
on the pages of the brilliant novel of his life.
That is, by using the genuinely unique “experience” transmitted through his books, by first combining literature with biography (life-construction),
and then both of these with politics, Limonov really has removed the possibility of comprehensively criticizing his life and work for a long time to come.
There is, however, the sense
that after a fifteen-year reign the age of Limonov’s cultural hegemony (in which there were definitely progressive elements along with the National Bolshevism and red-brown ideologemes) is coming to an end.
Nowadays, his political career (irrespective of whether it lasts much longer) plays a directly negative role, forcibly locking the entire politics of resistance and leftist politics along with it into the tropes of Limonov’s
life project—the cult of personal charisma, the strategy of the media scandal, etc.
That is why leftist groups now have such a hard time opposing the purely spectacular tactics of the National
Bolshevik Party, which is underwritten by the Limonov project.
With his cocktail of Nietzscheanism, nationalism, and “leftism,” shaken and stirred with a good measure of
autobiographical authenticity, Limonov has been able to attract a number of protest-minded Russian young people to his battle flag.
Excerpt of his book : "It's no good" - Editors : N+1/UDP - 2012 . Translated
by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, Bela Shayevich
------ ------ ------
1 controversy among many others - 1998
Edward Limonov column publish in The eXile - Moscow-based English-language biweekly .
Mark Ames was the emblematic editor-in-chief of "The eXile" (1997-2008)
(with Matt Taibi 1997-2002)
Column 8 June
By Edward Limonov
Mark Ames asked me to write "about crisis."
Crisis? What crisis? Which one crisis? Russia is in permanent state of crisis from March 1985, when senile Politburo of Soviet Union's Communist Party have chosen fatal destructive Mikhail Gorbachev as its General Secretary.
Twelve years of convulsions, of agonies, of dying. But we are still alive. Our collective body have tragically shrinken, big members of that body, the "republics" of South Russia and those of Central Asia are amputated.
So, we are invalid totally handicapped body, only a huge thorax without hands and without legs. Useless thorax cannot act, it just seat there between China and perpetual frost of Arctical Sea. It just seat and rot.
I feel deep shame to be a Russian, deep shame to drag my fucking Slavic face across the world. To be a Russian in 1998 it is like to admit that you are village idiot, having feeble brains.
We Russians, when
we decide to be a peaceful, instead we demonstrate to the world our super-stupid masochism, because we always overdo things. Beside that, we are at our best when we aggressive, we cannot be a peace-loving, timid nation. It is apparently not our cap of tea.
For 13 years now we are voluntarily, without an invitation, licking Yankee's big ass, and even fat asses of small European nations. Nobody even ask us to perform that licking job!
first Westerners didn't believed at our masochism. As late as in 1988, big Fritz Helmut, enormous pork wearing a jacket have called Gorbachev "a Goebbels." Because his straight German brains refused to believe that Russians are masochists. Big Fritz Helmut
apparently badly read Russian literature. He forget that together with an aggressive masculine heroical features of national character (it responsible for heroical actions such as taking Berlin in 1945), we Russians have such a nightmarish feature as a "Russian
Soul." That fucking Russian Soul!
The fact of having it should be considered a high state of treason, should be punished by capital punishment, death by strangulation perhaps. If our men are alcoholics, and they
are, if our women too friendly with strangers, and those bitches are, that because of Russian Soul. That very Russian Soul what makes us highly attractive to the foreigners.
Sort of mystical stupidity that push
us to give our women to strangers, give our territory to unheard countries as Ukraine and Kazakhstan, give our blood, heads, and genitals to such bloody beasts as Chechens.
We are more naive than
American Indians of 17th century, when invaded by sinister scoundrels of Europeans. We gave up 27 millions of our people to dangerous regimes of our enemies. We gave up warm seas and beautiful subtropical resorts.
We almost begged that big chunks of our best territory were taken from us. We worship all foreign goods, including mediocre cultural production of Hollywoodian Jews (we call it American culture), and even Spanish-born soap operas delighting our unexperienced
senses, just like American Indians worshipped Yankee that brought mirrors and whiskey.
We are perfect people to be exploited, cheated, deprived of possessions, sexually and otherwise abused, and finally
being killed and eaten.
Yes, being eaten. Because after all the things what been performed on us over last 12 or 13 years, the only logical conclusion of process will be to do just that: to dismember our bodies
and eat us.
Crisis? No. Total degeneration of our Russian nation. Long, painful degeneration. We are dying, we killing our babies: 4 millions of babies per year. In 2040 it will only be 60 million of us, not 130
million as today.
And next to us lives Asia. Pitiless, cruel, rich in children, with obedient women and brave, fanatically fighting men. Islam's religion guards Asia severely, codex of "Sharia" gives its moral
strength and ruling over the lives of 1 billion of souls. We enviously watching Asia.
One day someone as crazy as Limonov ill force Russian to adopt Islam, and it will put an end to our "crisis." Then we will eat
you, Westerners, dearest Yankees, and arrogant Europeans.
REACTIONS IN THE NEWSGROUP OF DAVID JOHNSON ABOUT RUSSIA :
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998
From: "William K. Wolf" <Wol...@osu.edu>
Subject: Re Limonov in the eXile
Dear Mr. Johnson,
In my opinion, the article below, recently published in your Russia List, is of deplorably
low quality and unworthy of inclusion in your list.
It contains obscene language and makes sweeping judgements that are insulting, not to mention racist.
the level of analysis is very low. In short, it is GARBAGE.
This is the kind of thing one reads on the Russian "culture" listserves, where idiots and facists freely vent their anger and
By all means please do allow alternative points of view
to be expressed in your list, but why not require that ALL submissions meet at least minimal
levels of civility and intellectual rigor?
I would like to encourage you to exercise your perogative as editor more vigorously.
you for continuing to provide your superb information service on Russia. I enjoy it vey much.
Center for Slavic and East European Studies
OSU : Ohio State University
------- -------- --------- ----- ------
Answer by Mark Ames, Director of The eXile
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998
From: "Mark Ames" <exile....@matrix.ru>
The following is a letter I sent to William Wolf of OSU in response
to his request to ban Edward Limonov from the Johnson's List.
Dear Mr. Wolf,
I read your attack on Limonov and thought you might like to know why Limonov
He is, after Solzhenitsyn, perhaps the best-known living writer in Russia. He is far more loathed than Solzhenitsyn, but in many ways more relevant.
His political party, the National-Bolshevik Party, which is based on ideologies combining far-left and far-right revolutionary
theories from the 20s and 30s, claims a few thousand members scattered throughout
a number of regions in Russia, mostly with young people.
His influence is considered valid by the radical opposition.
As a writer, Limonov
is one of the most widely-read living Russian writers.
His works have been translated into over 20 languages, including Hebrew, Estonian, and Japanese.
are taught in graduate seminars in Western European universities, and his first novel, "Eto Ya, Editchka"[ "It's me, Eddie" ] which was banned for 15 years in Russia, sold over 500,000 copies when it was first published here in late 1991.
This year, he has published a large non-fiction work in Russian, and will begin issuing his collected works of prose and poetry in a multi-volume set.
ask why David Johnson published Limonov's piece? Because he is relevant, that is why.
His style and views may be offensive and repulsive; indeed, Limonov insisted to me, when he first started
writing for our paper, that he write in his distinctly Russified-English (he hasn't lived in America since 1980) in order to capture his authentic voice.
I think that to knowingly publish articles
with grammatical errors is a bold, even avant-garde move that no other pretentious writer in the world would have the nerve to
do, and I don't think that this very authenticity, or lack of "civility," should
be a cause to censor him from the Johnson List, even if a few middlebrow-types get quesy.
The Johnson List, as I understand it, is a forum for scholars, journalists, and various Russophiles/Russophobes
to learn as much about what is currently going on in Russia as possible.
For tips on how to carry on "civil" discussions, go to a Miss Manners board; if you only want to read those opinions that
don't upset you, then skip over any Johnson List article datelined "the eXile".
Otherwise, I think it would be absurd to deprive readers the right to read what the "radical opposition" thinks
about today's state of things.
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
The eXile closes because of state harassment
New York, June 19, 2008
The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by
the closing of the alternative English-language
biweekly THE ExILE in Moscow.
The paper announced on its
Web site last week that it was forced to shut down
after nervous investors withdrew support in the wake
of a politicized audit of its content.
“Russian authorities are using politicized inspections
and broadly worded extremism legislation to silence
critical journalists and media outlets,” said CPJ Europe
and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova.
“In the case of The eXile, the state’s targeted harassment
has had a chilling effect on the investors. We call on
Russian authorities to withdraw all claims against the
paper and to allow its staffers to continue their work.”
Investors withdrew support after the publication’s
content was audited June 5 by officers from
Rossvyazokhrankultura, the state media regulatory
The eXile has posted a fund-raising appeal on
its Web site. In the publication’s
trademark style, the note
thing is, it takes money and we have none,
zero, aren't even getting paid any more. We need help.
That's what this mayday is about. You want us in the
foxhole with you, fighting against all that's good and
decent in the name of all that's funny and honest?
Then cough it up, soldier!”
Rossvyazokhrankultura officers who
reviewed The eXile apparently
lacked a sense of humor.
Mark Ames, the publication’s founder and
editor, they were conducting an “unplanned audit” of
the paper’s editorial content. “Their very first
question was about writer and opposition leader
Eduard Limonov,” Ames said on his blog. “The
officials asked us why Limonov was in our paper. …
Why did we publish him? Why was he on our masthead
as a contributor?” Limonov is leader of the banned
National Bolshevik Party and partner with former world
chess champion Garry Kasparov in the Other Russia
coalition. Both Limonov and Kasparov have been
airbrushed from the Russian mainstream media, and
authorities have forcibly dispersed
Limonov wrote a regular column for The
eXile since the publication started in 1997.
Ames said officers took several issues carrying
Limonov’s work to check for “extremism,” “inciting
national hatred,” “pornography” and “pro-drugs
propaganda.” They also told Ames and his staffers they
had received complaints from unnamed Russians who
purportedly thought The eXile degraded Russian culture.
A spokesman for Rossvyazokhrankultura downplayed
its role in the closing, telling Reuters: “We have not
closed the newspaper. … We have taken away copies
for routine analysis.”
eXile routinely criticized both the Kremlin and the
West, using strong and irreverent language, according
to local and international press reports. The paper was
known for its political satire, which often tackled
serious issues such as corruption, crime and poverty.
---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Here is the address of a remarkable blog dedicated to Limonov by a Russian young fan, who now lives in Berlin:
there are thousands of pages - IN ALL LANGUAGES - : articles, photos, videos ... each more amazing than the other. The best website dedicated to Limonov :
----- ----- ----- ----- -----
***** THE YOUNG SCOUNDREL *****
( Following MEMOIR OF A RUSSIAN PUNK )
Traduction of an Eduard Limonov book
by John Dolan
See here :
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