Putin’s Russia Demystified: The Search for Modern Russia
Putin’s Russian Demystified offers an insightful appraisal of the contemporary social and political situation in Russia, viewed through the lens of the Russian nation’s historical development.
On December 5, 2009 a tragic event in the Russian city of Perm shook the entire country. The reckless use of fireworks at the popular Lame Horse nightclub started a fire which resulted in the deaths of over 150 people. This tragedy offered yet another occasion to take a critical look at the state of affairs in Russia.
An unlikely preserved video recording graphically documents the fateful evening. A room full of good-looking, well-dressed young people sit at tables, watching a performance on stage. Everything appears to be normal, when the camera suddenly pans upward and we see that the ceiling has caught fire. The emcee looks at the guests and announces in a calm voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are burning.”
This tragedy combined all of the main vices of modern Russian life: irresponsibility, corruption and indifference. The Perm incident was not a result of accidental circumstances, but rather sprang from a regular phenomenon. The name of the night club, Lame Horse, is a fitting symbol of today’s Russia, and Russia’s modern-day motto is aptly expressed by the words: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are burning.”
Elgiz Pozdnyakov is a prominent scientist, professor and member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation. He has written several works on political theory and philosophy.