March 22, 2003 by AK
It looks like Russia’s birth rate is still dwindling, but it is hardly the case in Moscow. And there is immigration – from the Caucasus, China, Ukraine, Vietnam, Africa, etc. Not that I’m worried “we” might lose our identity – there’s not much to lose. Ethnically, Russians are a mixed bunch anyway, but my point is not ethnicity. People with a strain of essential “Russian goodness” in their blood and soul are many. Those without a strain of essential Russian evilness are many fewer. The great qualities of Russia’s finest individuals are offset by the vices of many others – and their own: the well-described extremities of holiness and depravity within. Not only there is a victim for every murderer and vice versa, but lots of people have been both murderers and victims in this country over the centuries.
There’s artistic creativity and scientific talent, faithfulness and endurance – but there are also weakness of mind, addiction, and proneness to despair. Trust and honesty experienced on the personal level are seldom extended to dealings with government bodies and management of public affairs – that would be out of place in a plutocracy. I wouldn’t lament the disappearance of Russia as we knew it – except the circle of people I can broadly call my peers. I don’t mind being the last of the Mohicans, but I want my fellow Mohicans to be remembered and understood.