In December of 2016 a very important event occurred for the author of this article: the authorities of Republic of Latvia have granted me political asylum. The whole process of receiving it was not accomplished right away, it took more than a year due to consideration and scrutiny, but it was accepted. However, I would not bother readers with this subject again, if it concerned exclusively and only me. Nevertheless, to the delight of some and the sorrow of others, the situation is more serious: the decision of the Latvian authorities is also unquestionable moral victory for Russian right-wing opposition, that is leading the fight against Putin's tyranny within the Russian Federation and abroad.
It is no secret that in Russia for a long time certain political forces try to privatize the concept of "opposition", though rather unsuccessfully. What are these forces? It is not easy to understand their ideological alignment at first glance, especially for an outside observer. In the sense of historical continuity, they are spiritual and genetic heirs of Soviet opposition Marxists and sovietesque liberals. To cut a long story short, they are kids of “creative intellectuals" coming from Arbat alleys and grandchildren of old-school commissars.
In the sense of worldview, it is a group with strong sectarian characteristics. On the one hand, this group is in opposition to ruling forces, on the other, it is afraid of the Russian people as much as of the government, or even more. For this reason, during the mass protests against election fraud of 2011-2012, the leaders of this wonderful sect fled to negotiate with the Kremlin, they have been scared, no less than Putin, of uncontrollable popular indignation. Speaking of political affiliation, without any serious justification, this group likes to align themselves as "liberals" and even "right-wing".
However, we can not say that this alignment is entirely wrong. They can be called "liberals" and "right-wing" - but only within a certain discourse. For example, Bukharin was considered right wing in the framework the CPSU of the late 1920s. Moreover, Gorbachev could be considered a liberal in the Communist Party of 1980s. However, as such, they were considered only within the Soviet system, but outside of it, they were explicit representatives of the left wing ultra-communist discourse and were evaluated accordingly
The whole story is in many respects similar with the "Russian liberal opposition". (Which is not so surprising, since it consists largely of people who grew up on “proper” Leninism and "Yugoslav model" dreams from the sixties.) In the framework of Putin's state machinery, they can consider themselves as the liberals or the right. However, outside of this system they can be classified as nothing, but carriers of left-liberal and in many respects - neo-Soviet (some sort of neo-Bukharinesque) ideas.
This clique has all opposition media controls in Russian Federation and for a long time. Moreover, it is actively using them, forming informational agenda.
In particular, this group is brainwashing their readers and listeners to accept the idea, that there is no other opposition to Putin in Russia, except them (running with a bottle of whiskey to Moscow mayor's office or administration of the president to arrange themselves another cash sop). That the right wing discourse amongst Russians is degenerate soviet eurasianism a-la Dugin and neo-Bolshevik DNR-LNR. That Kremlin-employed fool “Hirurg” (“Surgeon”) and other Poklonskaya-like personas represent Christian conservatism.
It must be admitted that in 2014 Russian right-wing camp got over through a serious split, because of the Crimea and the subsequent war in Ukraine. Nevertheless, this split became a cleansing storm that helped national-conservative camp to get rid of all sorts of Soviet and crypto-Soviet miasma, which purulent flow of "Crimea is ours" took away in the direction of Donbass.
No wonder, that the greatest losses were namely among the self-appointed "ideologues", childish loser-bloggers, whose limit of fantasies is “nutritious feeder” organized by administration of president. As for nationalist Russian youth, the percentage seduced by Soviet revival was much smaller.
Now, this right wing medium is one of the vanguards of the actual Russian opposition. In addition, it is already clear that in Russia, as in Eastern Europe of the near past, without a strong alliance of national-conservative and democratic forces, a real fight against Putin's neo-Bolshevism is impossible. (Not by chance, such an alliance is the nightmare of our opponents - and not for the first year!)
It would seem that those who consider themselves Russian liberals would have to seek to form such an alliance. But alas! It is impossible to use the word "liberal”, as applied to a great many of them, without the quotes. The alliance described above, that helped the Eastern European countries to overcome the communist totalitarianism, frightens them - for two reasons. Firstly, they are afraid of the Russian people much more than of Putin's dictatorship, even if it openly tends towards totalitarianism. That is to say, the strategic reason.
Secondly, there is even pettier consideration. Over the past twenty-five years this clique got used to play the role of the "only opposition" and perhaps even of the post-Soviet "salt of the earth". Moreover, over the years, in this role, without any sense, they were draining various resources from the US and the European Union, ranging from informational support and ending with grants. Now this non-honorable group simply fears that Trump administration (obviously deeply unfamiliar with the sympathy for the left-liberal forces) will just push them away from financial and media “trough”. From exactly that “trough”, from which they so gloriously guzzled for more than a decade - to the delight of the Kremlin and themselves.
For all these reasons, in the information environment under their control, the Russian "liberal" "opposition" industriously tramples down any accurate mention of the right wing in Russia. Conservatives and nationalists of the political right are labeled "Nazis" and "Putinists". They present (mainly to Western public) Dugin, Kurginyan, and even some clown as Gubarev from Donetsk as a standard for "Russian nationalism". As for true right-wing, it usually stays unnoticed. Sometimes – blatantly ignored.
In this context, the decision of the authorities of the Republic of Latvia to grant political asylum to a Russian right wing conservative has a very significant meaning for all Russian right wing. For it is a recognition of the fact of the existence of the right wing opposition in Russia by the NATO and EU member state. Which is fighting for the freedom of its country and is subjected to real persecution on the part of the Putin regime.
After our existence and our efforts will be noticed and recognized in the European Union and by the Kremlin propagandists, it will be somewhat more difficult for the "self-righteous clique" to pretend that the right and conservative discourse in Russia is either Dugin or Girkin. It will be a little harder to blank us out. There will be more opportunities to tell the free world the truth about the real state of the Russian people and the forces that are fighting for its freedom.
And, of course, we will make use of these opportunities.
There is only one thing to do in the meantime - to thank the Republic of Latvia for such great assistance - the assistance provided not only for one person, but also for all Russian right-wing opposition.