«Latvia Renaissance foundation» President's Speech
on the Anniversary of the Foundation
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Exactly 5 years ago I went to the land of independent Latvia for the first time of my life. It was the 23-th of April in 2009. The trip from Moscow (the Air Baltic "Boeing") landed in the airport of Riga. I took a rented car and drove for breakfast to my father's Friend's of childhood house. I have to explain here that Latvia takes an important place in my family's history!
My father was born and grew in Riga, spent his youth on amber beaches in Jurmala and (I hope!) he will live long and placid life in present literary emigration. The Republic of Latvia allowed him a refuge and guaranteed the national protection, because he was a famous journalist and literary man who had to leave Russia in 2011 in order to not to find himself in a prison for an attempt to write an honest book and renew the historical justice and appeal the "Kremlin men" that is to recognize the fact of the Soviet occupation, apologize and pay complete compensation to the Baltic countries for the stay in the USSR.
My great-grandfather governed the big Soviet state farm with the symbolical name "Druzba" ("Friendship") in a suburb of the town Rezekne. My grandmother studied in the Medical Institute of Riga (Pauls Stradynsh was the dean of her faculty) and then she worked in a children's hospital in Riga. I grew in Moscow, I listened to family's stories about Latvia from my childhood: about its beautiful nature, the amber sea, honest and hardworking people, tasty and healthy food... But, as the fate willed, for the first time I was able to go to Latvia only in 2009! So, I was driving for breakfast to my family's friends who sheltered me civilly for my first visit time the country (I don't like hotels...) There is nothing that is able to exchange the atmosphere of the strong homely home! The first I was striking after Moscow was the cleanness. Next the miracle happened: I was let a road on an exit on a highway (It sounds unbelievably for people who ride their cars on Russia's roads).
Then I formulated for the first time for myself that it is the "European choice" in reality! In the next few days, due to the things I'd seen, I was made my first impression about Latvia: Latvia has practically got rid of rotten Soviet occupatuon and now it is successfully prospering along with civilization. Of course, there are financial problems but people (with rare exception) have healthy spirit and are true citizens of their country!
When I had come back to Moscow, I started to tell about my impression about the trip to my friends and was surprised about the reaction: "All of them are fascists", "Russians are oppressed", "Russians are beaten for Russian speech", "Russian pensioners are poor", "They are ungrateful. We've built factories but they don't want to speak in Russian". It is an incomplete list of stereotypes that are cultivated in Russia by "pro-Kremlin" mass media. There are lots of different things people are doing with the purpose of not to recognize the fact of the occupation!
Exactly for this reason I have organized an informational agency MAYDAYCO for giving the objective information about Latvia. The typical fact is that Russian functionaries, seeing the words "the Republic of Latvia" in the application for the registration, had "decided the issue" about my mass media for nearly a half a year (instead of the fixed 30 working days)... Subscribers of the agency MAYDAYCO - people who have money and their personal opinions and are able to make decisions - want to get truthful information and not the national propaganda! We'd made serious progress after the first year of the work: a stream of tourists from Russia has increased for the last years (as well as a stream of people who wish to buy immovable property in Latvia). And I perceive this like the real result of the successful work of the informational agency.
In the meantime "the phantom of the dark imperial revenge" is wandering in rooms in the Kremlin. The colonel-president and his retinue have already shown that they don't give a damn about elementary norms of the world law, occupying a part of Georgia in 2008 and the Crimea recently under lying pretence of "the defense of Russians" (It would be better if they protected Russians in Moscow that is full of guest workers); They even are ready for the reconstruction of the USSR under "the new" name "The Customs Union"! They have set the problem to gain imperial revenge. Their purpose is the renascence of "the superpower that is feared in all the world". They are trying to materialize the imperial nonsense they were stuffed with in youth, and they won't stop even before the threat of the war. All of this, I think, constitute a serious menace for the peaceful future in beautiful Latvia!
They are lying to their citizens on national television and, unfortunately, this national lie is perceived seriously by some part of population of Latvia.
It is exactly the "population" because the citizens of the Republic of Latvia had understood all of the tings long ago! There is no reason to argue and try to convince this "population". They are seriously ill, they have the imperial "occupant's illness". They are incurably ill and, unfortunately, they are dangerous for the civilization.
I am writing these words because I want to declare to everyone: not every Russian people are mad imperial freaks, there are followers of the European values among them too! Independent Latvia as an integral part of the civilized Europe excites my sincere admiration, taking into account the monstrous Soviet heritage that the country has to overcome on the difficult road to the European civilization!
In a few years I was being a journalist in the Republic of Latvia, I began to respect, love and became faithful to people who had got free from the "imperial" occupation and who are leading their country to the European civilization.
Then there appeared an idea to make a certain "platform" where sensible and conscientious Russian people could support Latvia even privately since the "Kremlin men" don't want to consider the things of the compensation for the Soviet occupation of the strange country. In spite of the continuation of the "Russian imperial obscurantism" that is the annexation of the Crimea, we continue to labour for the welfare of free people of Latvia. And it's not because of that it is profitable, prestigious and fashionable, but we are just listening to our hearts!
P.S. Our family has organized Latvia Renaissance foundation in the hope of that we will be able to gather a little bit money of this unextinguished debt in the post-Soviet space; We hope we will find honest and conscientious fellow citizens but the last events have shown that there are ever less common sense in Russia! However, lots of people leave the country, but others, who before the Russian occupation of the Crimea began were interested in collaboration with the Fund, now are talking: "We are afraid for our business and for our relatives' lives, we cannot transfer money to the Foundation!"