The Wild ’90s: How Russia Was Without Putin (by Nemo)
This is a follow-up to Lada Ray’s latest article Why St. Petersburg Metro Bombing Coincided with Putin – Lukashenko St. Pete Talks.
In it we discussed the St. Petersburg bombing, how it’s linked to the preceding ‘anti-corruption’ protests in Russia and Belarus, Dmitry Medvedev, Lukashenko’s blunders, and Putin-Lukashenko meeting in St. Pete.
Today, FT contributor Nemo (Stanislav Sokolov) is offering us a very telling glimpse into what was happening in Russia during the ’90s, before Putin came to power. This is a must know in order to put contemporary events into proper perspective.
Tomorrow’ I’ll offer you a third article of this cycle, in which I’ll tell you more about Russian anti-corruption protests and the truth behind them!
After the events in Moscow, when kids were abused by the “opposition” and the overall anti-Russian/anti-Putin rhetoric, I got angry – it hit too close to home. I published now a new article: The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory. Part 2.
Which is part my take on the events, part my own recollection from the 90s, and part translations of people’s testimonials. You are welcome to use the materials in it if you are going to write an article about the recent unrest in Belorussia and Russia.
All the best,
With his kind permission, I am offering you Stanislav Sokolov’s article about Russia’s Wild ’90s, and how Vladimir Putin changed that!
Two years ago I published an article The ”Wild 90s” in Russia, as reflected in people’s memory, where I translated one testimonial of a survivor of the Yeltsin’s Wild 90’s in Russia. Such survivors are many, yet many more perished – in Russia more people died during Yeltsin than during WWII. In that article I also detailed Yeltsin’s coup d’etat of November 1993.
Now, a few days ago, the ignominious Navalny organised an “anti-corruption” rally in Moscow and several of Russia’s cities. I am not going to go into the details of how only 8000 people out of the 12 million population of Moscow was seen at this colour revolution attempt. I will not go into details of how Navalny turned to the political paedophilia, luring school-aged kids onto the streets with the promise of paying them €10000 if they manage to get arrested, and how the “political speeches” of said kids said that they want to buy sneakers. The use of kids seems to be in the instruction book of any colour revolt worth its name (see “protests” against Charles de Gaulle). I will not go into the details of how Navalny – a jobless man – manages to own expensive car, finance organisation of revolts and produce Hollywood-class films, and why this corruption fighter has several criminal corruption cases over him regarding illegal forest deals.
What I want to go into detail about, is the main chant of Navalny and co., of all the anti-Russian, Russophobic traitors organising such revolts: “Putin must go”. That’s all of their agenda. They say absolutely nothing about how Russia should be governed or about the future. At best they position themselves as the next presidents and say a few abstract words about how there’ll be no corruption and everyone will be equal. Aha! The same manifestos were proclaimed in 1917. And in 1991.
And this is what I am coming towards. All the Navalny-class “liberals” are aiming to bring Russia to the condition of the Yeltsin’s 1993-1999 era. The Desolation of Yeltsin as I like to call it, referring to the Desolation of Smaug.
By 1999 the “progress and democracy” in Russia reached such levels that the population was dying out from hunger, military and statehood all but destroyed. Foreign NATO-sponsored Islamic insurgency in Chechenia was at its peak. Here is a link to an article from Lenta.ru from 29.09.1999 with the telling title “Russia begs USA for a little more food”. Sad and detrimental, yet it fully reflects the reality of those days.
My family and I were touched by those events before we emigrated in 1993. I remember well how I had to stand at the entrance to a market, selling toys, books, plastic bags (yes, the Western plastic bags, if you could get your hands on them, were worth a few kopeks), various small items from home – anything, just to get some money so as to buy food and set something aside for the vague plans for the future. We were a middle-class family, my grandfather forked in the 50s at the Far East, where the Soviet government paid the so-called “Northern money”, so were well-off, until 1992, when the whole country and its population got robbed over night. By the likes of Berezovskij, Yeltsin, Kuchma, Nemtsov, Khodorkovskij, Navalny, Kudrin, Yavlinskij and other “communists” cum “oligarchs” and “democrats”.
The upper right corner in the image below illustrates what it was like from my point of view, selling your last things.
Do you remember the 90s? All of the “civilised West” are our friends, while USA is the best pal.
Below I want to translate testimonials from several people of that time, as they recall it now, warning the youth of today not to repeat the same naïve mistake as the one that brought chaos on their own heads.
The first collection of testimonials starts as an open, public domain letter, titled “Anyone, who remembers well what happened in the 90s, should be grateful to this man…”, and it originally appeared at LiveJournal here.
I turned 17 in 1991.
All the trash that is now criticizing Putin was in power back then.
I don’t remember anything good of what they did. I remember how they destroyed my country, I remember how people were not paid wages for years, how a professor of nuclear physics worked with me and cleaned animal skins with a scythe, how my mother, having worked for 23 years as a head nurse of the paediatric intensive care unit and revived many a dozen children, became a “shuttle trader”. (Translator note for the Westerners: people went to China or West and bought some cheap goods, smuggled them and tried to make a living reselling)
I remember the gangs of bastards, collecting tributes, even from old ladies selling sunflower seeds. (Translator note: market gangs, the utmost dregs of society. Berezovskij came from that “environments”.) I remember how kidnapping for ransom in my city of Nalchik was turned into an industry, and how the filth that did that was considered respectable people.
I remember how happily Americans were let into the most secret military facilities, how for their sake aircraft, missiles, submarines and other achievements of my homeland were cut to pieces.
I remember the poor old people begging. I remember the downtrodden Afghan war veterans, who were mutilated in battles, served the orders of their Motherland, are now spat upon by today’s “liberasts” (Translator note: common in today’s Russia folk by-name, combining the words for “liberal” and “homosexual”).
Shall I continue???
I also remember how, two weeks after Putin came to power, the kidnappings stopped. I remember how the Chechens, whom I personally always respected, from the enemies of Russia were reborn into her faithful warriors.
I see how my country began again to build gas pipelines, aircraft, ships and so on. I see how my sons, like I in my childhood, become proud of their country. Everything is relative.
Hence is the question: How can “liberasts”, who sold their Homeland, have the audaciousness to blather all sorts of nonsense about Putin? What have they left after themselves to him, to bark that “Putin ruined” something?
It is, first and foremost, their fault in what is going on in Ukraine today, it is they, who have created this situation in 1991. Nemtsov and his ilk… there must be no monuments to them, least of all in the centre of Moscow. (Translator note: “Liberals” push for that after the Western sacrificial murder of Nemtsov in Moscow). They need to be burned and the ashes scattered to the wind.
Appeal to the young people: do NOT believe the “liberatst”, don’t look up at the “stars” (what a retarded term), like Ksenia Sobchak, do not take the example from prostitutes and bastards. They are all lying.
We are the greatest country in the world. Ask how many achievements ranging from military exploits and to science, sports, and everything else, belongs to our compatriots.
Do not let those, whom we taught to wash, teach us culture. (Translator note to the Westerners: Russian Anna Yaroslavna (born in 1024), when she became the Queen of France, brought with her the tradition of frequent washing – banja, which is common in Russia, yet was viewed as strange in the then W.Europe., as well as introducing at the French Court the custom of eating with silverware, of reading, and many other civilisational traits.)
Don’t let those who begot fascism, the Inquisition, and other atrocities, teach us the love of mankind. Those who marry perverts in the Churches, teach us human values.
We are Russia, and our path is different from theirs.”
© Authorship lost, anyone who survived during the restructuring can subscribe to this…
Comments from the post with additional testimonials:
Tatiana Potapova: “I, too, remember the gangs of bastards who held the markets in fear. Snickering masters of life. And I also remember homeless children, lousy, dirty, hungry, who raided the trading rows of the markets and would grab from the shelves anything edible. I pushed food into their hands. There were so many of them! The officials were not interested in their fate. Where they lived? If they had parents? Nobody picked them off the streets and into boarding schools for approximately ten years. Since Putin came to power, children were rounded up and sent to the boarding schools. Now, those officials who ruthlessly robbed the people and as a result small children ended up on the street, hungry, unwashed, not having seen any kindergartens or schools… now these officials hate Putin and call him a thief… They project their sin onto Putin. Probably because they can get neither sleep nor rest.”
Olga Malinova: “I remember the 90s. My brother and I wanted to eat one day, went to the kitchen, found only the millet and vegetable oil. We pulled our last few rubles, and spent them on a loaf of bread.”
Valery Vishnyakov: “We borrowed money from the neighbours for a half of a black bread. And our father was an oil industry worker. He was just not paid the money. I used to give my food to the younger brother. Parents still do not know about that… Give us back Stalin. The iron curtain. The Soviet Union…”
Liliya Karimova: “I Remember how bad it was. I went to the post office for aid money, but the money were not transferred for more than six months. Used to come home crying not knowing what to cook, it was good that the collective farm gave grain that we would bring to the mill – at least we got bread, and had our own cow, otherwise I would have died of hunger. Writing this now and crying.”
Maria Glova: “I was unable to go after the school to Institute, as parents – doctors – had their wages delayed and they were afraid that I would not be able to find food in another city. In those days we lived off the garden, planted potatoes, ploughed field 5 days in a week and spent 2 days in the garden.”
Eketerina Yasakova: “And I remember only too well the 90s. Terrible years. My children then were just toddlers”
The second testimonial article is titled “The answer to those, who say they live badly in Putin’s Russia”. This material is much more down to earth, gritty and grim, like the years it describes.
Subtext: “How I was surviving in the ’90s, in Russia without Putin”
A young man in his 20s wrote to me from his iPhone from Russia about how his life sucks “under Putin”. I briefly described to him how I lived without Putin in the late 90s.
I will write this again, maybe it will come in handy to someone from Ukraine.
Woke up, thank God that I’m alive. Had breakfast, tea with jam from my grandmother. That’s all the food. There is nothing more to eat.
Later in the morning.
There is no work, the factory was bankrupted by Nemtsovs-Kasyanov and other f*ing privatizers, nothing to do… But the tea, even with jam is not food. It is necessary to find food. Mobiles did not yet exist, so I go to a friend who is in the same position, but worse, because he has a wife and a son. What are we going to do, where to look for food? Decided to go fishing.
Morning, closer to dinner.
Threw in the net from a boat probably constructed during Lenin’s time. Waited. While waiting, caught some frogs, made a campfire, roasted frog legs, ate them. Wanted to smoke, but have no money… walked down the street, collecting the “butts”, nearby others like us harvested, started swearing at us, saying that’s not our territory. We calm them down. Will not go into details of how… you survive however you can.
Rummaged through all of the waste dumps already, not a single thread of metal left. (Translator’s note: People scavenged any metal and sold it to collectors. Pipes, machinery, anything got melted. The same process is going in Ukraine now. If anyone wants a glorified fictitious parallel, think Rey from Star Wars, The Force Awakens.) Telling my friend – let’s go to the village nearby. We went. Knocked at the first house. Explained why we came to a grandmother, age 80. We collect metal, if you have any, we can help to dig up the garden lot as the payment of it… Grandmother asked to plough up 3 acres, flooded in the spring. We did that. Plus I, as a radio hobbyist, repaired antenna on her TV. She gave us 8 kilogrammes of aluminium pans, and even money!!!
For the money we immediately bought a pack of cigarettes and 2 Snickers. We ate the Snickers right away, to at least have some strength, had a smoke and went to deliver metal to the collectors. Delivered, got a few kopecks… But at least that’s something. Went to the nets.
Afternoon snack time.
Came to nets, and there see some blokes pulling them out and taking our fish. Without hesitation, we beat them up very very seriously, although we knew that they are in the same situation as us. But to steal at the time of hunger from your own people is worse than being a liberal! Took out fish and went home.
Gave part of the fish to the wives, carried the other part to the market. Sold for a penny, but at least that’s something. Bought pasta and sugar. Brought that home. Bought for the remaining money 0.5l of homebrew from a local hag.
Late in the evening.
Sitting at the porch, drinking, smoking and looking to a brighter future. A radio of Chinese make says: An unknown to anyone Vladimir Putin may possibly become a temporary figure after the ailing Boris Yeltsin…
So, young people of 20-30 years. If your life is shitty in Russia, under Putin, look at Ukraine now, or at my personal experience of survival in the ’90s. Although, all the same, you’ll learn nothing.
Sincerely, Pavel Smirnov.
Putin’s promise in 2000: “I shall be with the Army, I shall be with the Fleet, I shall be with the people. And together we shall rebuild the Army, the Fleet and the Country.” And he didn’t lie. Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich.
Lada Ray’s Afterword
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