March 22, 2018 Special Dispatch No. 7394

RT Editor-in-Chief Simonyan: Putin Landslide Is Payback For Western Arrogance

March 22, 2018
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 7394

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Russia Today television channel, wrote a column for the state RIA news agency titled "Why we no longer respect the West". She claimed that Putin's crushing majority in the March 2018 presidential elections represented a backlash vote against the West. The West loved to preach to Russia but usually failed to practice what it preached and therefore it forfeited the respect of Russian, who formerly craved a Western lifestyle. When confronted by the false choice between liberalism and patriotism, the Russians instinctively chose patriotism. Putin has been transformed from a civil servant to a supreme leader (vozhd) a term reminiscent of Soviet and particularly Stalinist times and for this too the West is responsible.

Simonyan's column did not go unchallenged. The expatriate Russian historian and authority on Stalinism Irina Pavlova called the piece a "manifesto of modernized Stalinism." She warned Russian opponents of Putin that their insularity made them oblivious to such widely shared opinions and this accounted for their unrealistic appraisals about the imminent demise of the Putin regime.[1]

The following is a translationof Simonyan's article.[2]

Margarita Simonyan (Source:

"In general the West should now be terrified [but] of Putin's 76% [share of the vote]. But [it should be terrified] of the fact that during the [2018] elections in Russia 95% of the population backed conservative-patriotic, communist and nationalistic ideas. The liberal ideas were left with a deathly 5 % of the vote.

"My western friends, you are guilty of that result. It is you, who put us in 'Russians do not surrender' mode.

"I've been telling you for a long time: find normal advisors for Russian affairs. Toss out those freeloaders.

"[You lost our respect] because of your shortsighted sanctions, heartless humiliation of our sportsmen ( including the disabled) due to your Skripals and ostentatious waffling on core liberal values such as the presumption of innocence (by the way, at your end this waffling coexists side by side with the coercive promotion of ultra-liberal ideas in your own countries); because of your mass hysteria, which only makes a healthy person exude a sigh of relief that he's living in Russia and not in Hollywood; because of your post –elections mess be it in Germany or in the States, or the Brexit-zone; because of your harassment of RT [ the Russia Today TV channel) since you can't forgive it for using your freedom of expression and showing the entire world that this freedom is not intended for beneficial use, but was invented only for ornamentation, like a kind of a crystal mop – it shines from a distance but it is useless for cleaning up your stables. [Thanks to] all those unjust things and cruelties, the inquisitorial hypocrisy and your lies you made us stop respecting you. [That goes for] you and your so-called values.

"We don't want to live like you anymore. For the last fifty years – openly and secretly - we did want it, but not anymore.

"We don't respect you anymore. We also don't respect all those whom you support. And that applies also to those who support you from within [Russia]. Those are the aforementioned five percent.

"You and only you are to be blamed for that – Western politicians and analysts, reporters and intelligence officers.

"Our people are capable of forgiving a great deal. But we don't forgive arrogance, just as any other normal people.

"It would have been worthwhile for the only remaining empire amongst you to learn the history of its allies – [some of them] former empires. And [it could have also learned] how they screwed up the empires. It happened exclusively because of their arrogance.

"White man's burden, my ass.

"Yet, the only empire amongst you does not respect the history; they teach it badly, and all this will end as it usually winds up under such circumstances

"For now you have rallied us around your enemy. The minute you've designated him [Putin] as an enemy, you rallied us around him.

"Prior to that, he was merely our president and he could have been replaced. Now, he is our supreme leader. We won't allow him to be replaced. You've done that with your own hands.

"You are the ones who pitted our patriotism against liberalism, though they are not intended to be mutually exclusive. You've done this in such a way, that we have chosen patriotism in this false dilemma.

"Yet, many of us are genuine liberals. Take me for example.

"So, let it [retribution] keep leaking down all over you... All this will go on for quite some time. "


[1], March 19, 2018.

[2], March 19, 2018

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