Limonov 1998 in "The eXile"


                       by Eduard Limonov in The eXile n°36



February 1990. In very undelicate form I have given definition to a Gulf War: "Bunch of big Mafia bosses (UN forces of 27 countries) giving a punishment to a small crook (Saddam Hussein)." Published at Liberation my interview wasn't a first crack in my reputation of "eXiled Russian writer," but it was big crack.


December 1990. Weekly L'Idiot International published my article "Masochism as a State Policy in Gorbachev's Russia." That text was refused by "London Times," "International Herald Tribune," "Nation," "New Yorker," as well as "L'Humanite"-French Communist Party newspaper.


August 19, 1991. In early morning, interviewed live by French Television channel "Antenne-2." I have greeted "GKChP" [the coup to overthrow Gorbachev-ed.] as necessary measure to stop disintegration of Soviet Union. Big chunk of my reputation was gone.


November 1991. I went to a Serbo-Croat war at Slavonia in Vukovar. Shocked and disgusted by tortured corpses of Serb kids and elders, retrieved elsewhere amongst the ruins of just-liberated territory by Serbs town of Vukovar. I took Serbian side in conflict. Coming back to Paris I wrote about that dirty war in Parisian "Choc du mois," "Révolution," "L'Autre Journal," at Moscow's "Sovietskaya Rossiya," at Belgrade's "Borba." As television of France, of Moscow, and even that of Belgrade taught simple folks that Serbs are villains, large masses of those countries started to hate me, overnight.


Summer 1992. I was invited by Mr. Zhirinovsky to become a member of his shadow government. I was named Director of Al-Russian Committee of Investigations. Terrible blow to leftovers of my reputation.


Autumn of 1992. War in Bosnia. At Pale-capital of Serbian Republic of Bosnia, in military cafeteria, I was approached by a BBC television film producer Mr. Pawlikowsky.

Pawlikowsky suggested me to interview Mr. Radovan Karadjic, leader of Bosnian Serbs, for his movie. During three days BBC crew have filmed President of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and me talking, visiting positions of Serbian army. Dishonest, BBC boys also in secret have filmed me firing submachine gun near Sarajevo.

In 1993-1995 that very film was showed in England, in the United States, by Franco-German channel "Arte," etc. I got a reputation of a bloody killer all over the Western world.


1992-93. Participation in wars at Transdniestr, in Abkhazia and Kninskaya Kraina (in Croatia) made me a dangerous scoundrel's image in Western world and in Russia.


Summer/Autumn 1993. In Paris, "Le Canard Enchainé," "Le Monde," "Libération," "Le Figaro," etc., virtually all French press have attacked "National-Bolsheviks conspiracy at weekly L'Idiot International." One of a few most dangerous figures of conspiracy is Edward Limonov, member of editorial board from the very start of L'Idiot.


October 1993. Participation in White House (Russian Parliament) uprising. After the crash of uprising I have saved myself, leaving Moscow by train, disguised. For three weeks I lived in hiding at Tverskaya Oblast.


In the very end of 1993 I found myself an object of public hate in France as in Russia (although in Russia I was also admired by millions of people). I was hated even by some Serbs, namely democratical Serbian intelligentsia.


Been hated by a large television audiences of a whole Western and Russian world feels exciting. It is a big challenge. Mentally I felt myself as Superman, attacked by the hordes of zombied Lilliputians.

But literary critics in France refused to write about books of politically non-correct writer. Or they, bastards, wrote, but in hateful manner.

Michel Polac, very known personality of a French literary world wrote of my book "Big Western Hospice," "Limonov is a thinker for a skin-heads."

Consequently, the publication of my books "Big Western Hospice," "The Death of Modern Heroes" (1993), "The Murdered Sentry" (1995) were unknown to public, so they didn't sell well. One after one my publishers turned their backs to me. Finally, even my Parisian literary agent and longtime friend Mary Kling have stopped work with me.


Theoretically I always knew that there is "no liberty or the enemies of liberty." But applied to my own person it proved to be painful.


So, no bread for a lover of Serbs. No bread for a politically non-correct writer. No bread for an enemy of Gorbachev. No bread for a Yeltsin's adversary. No bread for those who think differently. Luckily Russia is still non-monolithic society, so I can gain my bread here. For now.


Recently some friend send my from Paris one curious publication : "Négationnistes". Page 162, I found such lines about Limonov : 

"English television channel have filmed him, firing at Sarajevo. Those images were shown on Arte and were submitted to the file of the prosecutor of International Tribunal at Hague for War Crimes"

Some people are unsatisfied with me having lost my bread, they dream about seeing in the Hague's cage.

                                                                     Edward Limonov

Limonov 1997 in The eXile

              LIMONOV’S COUP D’ ETAT



I have lived through two of them. The first time was in Serbia. Belgrade. February 1993. Mighty knock in the door of my room at hotel “Majestik” at 4a.m. Paratrooper-Sergeant picks me up. We are starting our voyage to Serbian Republic of Kninskaya Krajina, which Croatian regime wants to conquer. I am following sergeant downstairs. It is freezy night. On the neighboring street we enter sleepy old bus, full of peasants, seems to me. Our way is going to be long and dangerous through Balkans. We will follow narrow corridor through Bosnia to Banja Luka and then through Herzegovina to Knin, the capital of Kninskaya Krajina.

As we have reached Serbian border with Bosnia “peasants” preparing their passports and various permissions. I am taking out my permission, (“Dozvola” in Serbian”) to enter Kninskaja Krajina, signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic. I met him Friday in Belgrade. Actually what I carry is “mandat” asking all the local Serbian officials to help me as they can. “Hide it!” says young lad seating next to me. “Yesterday Kninskaja Krajina experienced a coup d’etat. Minister of Interior Milan Martic issued the orders to arrest group of ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs among them. If you don’t want to be arrested yourself don’t show your “mandat” to anybody. Tore it!”

Luckily, Serbian border guards are friendly with “peasant” population of the bus. Nobody asking us about papers. After quarter of an hour old bus is continuing its way in the snow. My “peasants” move, laugh and step by step transforming themselves into soldiers. Lad who have announced me coup d’etat is assembling Thompson machine-gun, extracting parts of it from his bag. In half-an-hour the bus is transformed into a travelling combat unit armed to the teeth. Even I, foreigner, is owner of a Yugoslavian made pistol, Browning type, present from military commander of Wogosca district near Sarajevo, souvenir of my Bosnia war in 1992. Now I am going to fight as a volunteer in Kninskaja Krajina. Milan Martic was then minister of Interior. President of Republic was at that time KhadjicÑex-dentist. I tore “Dozvola.” It was better to travel without any paper…

Today, the State of Kninskaja Krajina doesn’t exist anymore, invaded by the Croatian Army. All my fellow travellers soldiers are dead.


September 21, 1993. Moscow. 8p.m.

On the state television President Yeltsin announcing his decree #1400. Parliament is dissolved. At 8.20 I am taking taxi heading to the headquarters of newspaper “Dyen” on Tsvetnoi Boulevard. At 9p.m. eleven of us (my friend captain Schurigin among) are debarking from two cars in front of Russian “White House,” the House of Soviets. We are volunteers to defend the House of Soviets from the troops of President.

The People’s Deputies are scared to death. Security measures at entrances of the White House are draconian. We are signing up our names on the list of volunteers. We eleven are on the very first list of volunteers. After almost one hour we are finally admitted into the House of Soviets. Two generals, one of them Tarasov, a People’s Deputy, conducting me and another volunteer to our assigned post at the principal entrance #1, facing the River Moskva. There are two militiamen already in place plus two of us, making four defenders of entrance. After brief interrogation by generals (Did you served in the Army? Have you military grade?) it was me who was appointed as commander of the post. As generals find out that I have wide and recent military experience: five wars in 1991 – 1993.

“Will you give us a guns?” asked I.
“Yes, we will,” said general Tarasov.
“When it’s gonna start…” said general Tarasov. “The ammunition room is next to you.”

And he pointed at ammunition room guarded by militiaman. I wasn’t in agreement. Through glass doors of entrance #1 one could see the first lines of special militiaÑmen of Yeltsin, dangerously close, closer than our own ammunition room.

About midnight I went to the 16th floor to sign a Declaration of Support to the rebel Supreme Soviet of Russia on behalf of parties and organizations. My signature was seventh, just after General Titov’s of National Salvation Front. My National-Bolshevik’s Party, just born on September 8, 1993, was baptized that night.

The next few nights I have spent in headquarters of General Achalov, who was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Defense of rebel government. I have witnessed whole chain of events leading to the tragedy of October 3rd and 4th. I saw immobility, lack of initiative of Achalov, deficiency of energy of Chief of State Security Committee Barannikov (former Yeltsin head of KGB), and simple stupidity of their entourage. President #2, General Rutskoi, himself gave example of indecision. One day he ordered to give us weapons; in a few days he ordered to collect them; and in few more days gave order to re-distribute them. So I learn how not to do coup d’etat. Already on September 24th it was clear to me that Rutskoi and his men are too small for the job of coup d’etat. Nevertherless I have supported them to the end and only a miracle saved me from bullet and death on asphalt near the entrance of Technical Center of Ostankino in the evening of October 3rd. Television talked about me been wounded and dead. But I survived and so I will live to see third coup d’etat.

It will be mine. 


This article first appeared in the zero issue of The eXile in February 1997.