Putin’s Russia Demystified: The Search for Modern Russia
Elgiz Pozdnyakov is a prominent scientist, professor and member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Russian Federation. He has written several works on political theory and philosophy. In this book Elgiz Pozdnyakov offers an insightful appraisal of the contemporary social and political situation in Russia, viewed through the lens of the Russian nation’s historical development.
The work on this book was already complete by the night of December 5, 2009, when an event took place in the Russian city of Perm that shook the entire country. As a consequence of the reckless use of fireworks at Perm’s ironically named Lame Horse nightclub, a fierce fire erupted that took lives of more than 150 people. This event offered yet another occasion to take a critical look at the state of affairs in Russia today.
A miraculously preserved video graphically renders the facts of the tragedy. It shows a packed room of good looking and well-dressed young people sitting at the tables, as apparently the entire beau monde of Perm had come to the club on that night. Onstage a fantasy-like show is unfolding, accompanied by the popular song I Rock You, while a charming MC entertains the guests. Everything appears to be proceeding normally, the night is at its peak, and suddenly the camera pans upward and we see that the ceiling has caught on fire. The MC looks at the guests and announces in a calm voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are burning.”
This tragedy combined all the main vices of modern Russian life: irresponsibility, corruption and indifference. The Perm incident is not a result of accidental circumstances, but sprang from a regular phenomenon. Indeed anywhere one might go nowadays – to the movie theater, to a restaurant, to a supermarket or pool — there is no guarantee that the ceiling will not fall down, the staircase not collapse, or the building not catch on fire. The 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.”