No other country in the world was as happy as Russia about the election of the new U.S. president. The Russian military supply store Voentorg even offered some holiday discounts to the U.S. in celebration of Trump’s inauguration. It seems that people in Russia were happier than people in the United States about Trump’s inauguration. It’s hard for me to imagine that during Soviet times, Soviet newspapers would respond to U.S. presidential elections with such an orgy of enthusiasm or that members of Politburo would hold parties to celebrate a U.S. election.
However, such a strange reaction by Russian society and the political establishment is the predictable result of government propaganda over the last few years. All Russian problems, success and failures are always connected to U.S. policy. The U.S. brought Mikheil Saakashvili to political power in order to spoil our life on the southern border. The U.S. arranged both Maidan uprisings in Ukraine to damage our life on the western border. The U.S. imposed economic sanctions on us so they could deal the final blow to our economy.
Most of the reports by federal TV stations during the last few years are about how we (Russia) are fighting back as forcefully as we can; how we are working very hard and proceeding by substituting imports. Putin and the loyal members of his United Russia party think day and night about how they can improve the lives of common people; however, all their attempts are useless because there is one very bad, terrible and evil Obama who wipes out all these efforts with just one stroke of a pen. This is exactly why we have a recession, a declining quality of life and problems in sports. (The World Anti-Doping Agency is a subdivision of the U.S. State Department.*)
Nothing depends on what we do. Our present and future is controlled by the U.S. administration. This is why there is extreme joy about the election of the new U.S. president. Hurray! The bad boss has been dispatched and finally replaced with a good one. Now we are going to reach a good quality of life. Grand princes of Moscow probably experienced the same level of happiness 700 years ago when a bad Khan passed away and thus there came a new one, less evil, because the princes understood that their future depended on the Khan’s good will. One day, if he chose, he could reduce taxes, another day he could choose to level cities to the ground.
Even though the Russian political elite has desperately provoked hatred of the U.S. (of course, being a colony is a humiliating situation, especially in the 21st century), the elite has still secretly adored the colonialist, i.e., the United States. Despite all the ambitious statements about the breakout of the Russian high-tech industry and the billions of dollars invested in Skolkovo and Rusnano, Russian authorities are still using iPhones and all the other American gadgets.** Russian authorities also prefer to buy vacation apartments in Miami, not Sochi or Gelendzhik.
Bans on certain members of the nomenklatura that forbid travel to the cities and prohibited them from having assets there (the Magnitsky Act and post-Crimean personal sanctions) provoked the most neurotic reaction by the Russian political establishment.*** Even though, according to their words, they would all be very happy not to ever see the doomed United States and its lewd “gayrope,” Russian politicians subject to sanctions that prevent their travel to the U.S. are still making a great effort to recover their right to vacation among Americans, especially after working so hard in this godforsaken colony that is Russia. A good example is Kiselyov’s fight for the right to travel to the hateful gayrope.**** Lesin, one of the main curators of the Russian propagandists, also chose to plan his retirement not in Russia but in the United States, where he died.*****
The politics of the ruling party over the last 15 years has brought Russia to the humiliating position of being a colony. Russian citizens were brainwashed that everything that’s happening in Russia is defined by the attitude of the West and particularly the U.S. toward us. Thus, here are all the jokes saying, “Obama again peed in the entranceway.”****** As we know, all the jokes are only meant in part. However, the most unpleasant part is that this is not only public relations; this is the Russian authorities’ precise attitude toward Russia. They treat Russia like a crude colony, which you only need to plunder without investing in its development, education or health care. This is why while working (or, rather, plundering) here, Russian officials send their kids to study and live abroad. So the strategy of the majority of Russian officials is pretty transparent: pillage the colony until there is nothing left and then leave to enjoy the life in the United States (where so many of them already have families).
Despite whoever will become president of Russia in the future, the main signal he needs to send to society is that our future depends only on us. Our economy is developing badly not because of the evil U.S. State Department, but because we have a corrupt judicial system, a renegade law enforcement system, bad roads and outdated infrastructure. Only we ourselves can change it all. Perhaps, as the first phase, we will have to turn to undemocratic means to accelerate change, like limiting the right of children and families of officials to study and receive treatment abroad. This might seem cruel, but on the other hand, 95 percent of the Russian population does not have the ability to study or receive medical treatment abroad and they are forced to use everything that’s available for education or treatment in Russia.
If officials begin to understand that their families and their children will have to get their education and receive medical treatment in Russia, then perhaps they will treat education and health care problems differently. Then we will all quickly see the appearance of modern schools, universities and hospitals. All the technology and standards were developed and widely known a long time ago; we just need to begin implementing them. The main thing is, of course, that we need to get rid of this slave colony mentality here that holds we are poor and miserable, and that the cold-blooded West is here with its principle of “their way or the highway,” and that our one and only hope is the new kind czar, Donald Trump.
*Editor’s note: The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation established by the International Olympic Committee to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports. It monitors the World Anti-Doping Code whose provisions are enforced by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.
**Editor’s note: Skolkovo refers to the Skolkovo Innovation Center, a modern technology business complex under construction at Skolkovo near Moscow, created to encourage science and technology companies. Rusnano refers to a government-owned joint-stock company created by the Russian government aimed at commercializing the development of nanotechnology.
***Editor’s note: “Nomenklatura” refers to a category of people within the former Soviet Union and other Eastern bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of activity in those countries. The Magnitsky Act of 2012 is a bill passed by the U.S. Congress and President Obama with the intent of punishing Russian officials by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of the U.S. banking system in retaliation for the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
****Translator’s note: “Gayrope” is a rude term ridiculing Europe's tolerance of gays or implying that Europe is completely gay.
*****Translator’s note: Dmitry Kiselyov is a Russian journalist, who has gained particular notoriety in the West for his commentary on gay people and statements made during the 2014 Crimean crisis. Mikhail Lesin was a Russian political figure, media executive and an adviser to President Vladimir Putin. Lesin died in a Washington, D.C., hotel room under unusual circumstances.
******Translator’s note: This passage is a reference to a specific type of joke in Russia in which Obama is blamed for all of Russia’s troubles, starting with the smallest domestic issues.