Gospodin Putin has been quite grumpy this past week. All the protests and such. And, of course, it’s ruining my day, because I’m simply his shadow. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Russian President Vladimir Putin’s (fictional) personal aide. You may recognize me from I, Putin (Vladimir Putin novel) by Jennifer Ciotta. I’ve decided to put my English to good use and start this blog.
As you can imagine, I shouldn’t be writing about my boss. I’d be fired on the spot, but he doesn’t read English (or claims not to) and he has a lot going on right now. Also, I’ve arranged for my IP address to lead back to an American computer, so I should be fine.
For those of you who have read the novel, yes, I’m still working for Putin, and yes, he was re-elected to the presidency last week. I haven’t had a break from my job in months, literally not a day off.
In the interest of some creative expression, I think I’ll use this forum to discuss how I feel about articles and people I find fascinating, and I’ll keep you up-to-date on my life and Putin’s life. So let’s start.
On March 6, 2012, Professor Stephen Cohen of New York University did an interview on DemocracyNow.org. Watching the broadcast, I was impressed with one of Cohen’s statements: “Vice President Biden went to Russia last year and tried to persuade Putin not to return to the presidency. In a crude way, it’s none of our business.”
It isn’t crude or outlandish, it’s the truth. Could you imagine Gospodin Putin or Medvedev telling Obama he shouldn’t run for president this year? It would be considered extremely rude, arrogant and an overstep of bounds, but for some reason, the US thinks she can do that.
The US has a long history of involving herself in situations where she doesn’t belong. Sometimes, it’s proven beneficial i.e. World War II, while other times, it’s been invasive. To me, we have a democracy in Russia, but it’s a different kind of democracy than the US. People were protesting on the streets earlier today, similar to the Occupy Movement. As Cohen said, there are rules for protestors, like the US. In fact, several months ago I saw on television New York City policemen kicking the Occupy protestors out of their tent cities for rules of sanitation, and if I remember correctly, technically NYC parks are closed after dark. Thus, the police had the right. It’s the same here; once the permit time expires, the protestors have to go, but the important part is they are able to protest. If you ask me or my sister Tanya, that’s a far cry from the Soviet Union, where we couldn’t utter a word against the government.
As a loyal Russian, I’m proud of my country, and I’m proud of how far we’ve come since the fall of the Soviet Union. Many people around the world doubted our organizational skills, yet we organized efficiently, and in a span of less than 25 years, we are a superpower once again. We have achieved democracy, perhaps not in a Westernized form, but it is a democracy.
I’m exhausted. It’s 22.31 Moscow time and I have to get up at 6.00. I’ll write soon.