Marfa Smirnova: Let's start with the news agenda. Do you think Russians are afraid of rebellion at all? I thought that our contemporaries, in fact, did not experience a single more or less bloody rebellion. 90s, coup, White House, uprisings in individual republics in the 90s. But this is not even the Maidan. Hence the question: is our society generally ready for a revolution from below?
Tamara Eidelman: I don't think so. For various reasons, but, in particular, because it is precisely this idea - "a Russian revolt, senseless and merciless", Stenka Razin, "everything will be destroyed" - this fear exists quite naturally. Because we have a tradition of historical memories of the Pugachev region, the Civil War. And this, of course, has been consciously emphasized over the past few decades. “As long as there is no war,” but by war is meant not only a war with other powers. The idea that the Russian people, if they take up pitchforks and spears, they will smash everyone, is very strong. And there is, of course, a reason for this. But it is also disbelief that there are any normal intelligent forces.
Vladimir Romensky: Tamara Natanovna, how much does a riot, a rebellion damage the reputation of a sovereign? How did the rulers of Russia at different times respond to such actions?
Tamara Eidelman: I would like to say, as many people already write, that rebellion destroys reputation and so on. It might ruin the reputation in the future. Historians will say: “That's because they rebelled. This shows that the social support has weakened, blurred," and so on. Very often the opposite happens: rebellion makes those who somehow hesitated more rally around power. Because - "oh, what terrible people are coming." It’s better to have today’s, inferior, but our own. The new broom sweeps cleanly, but we are already used to the old one. Such that all at once, “Oh, rebellion, cool,” went to hug the Wagnerites – I’m not sure that this is the case, unfortunately.
Marfa Smirnova: We, like Vladimir Putin, have never uttered the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin, whom we are talking about in one way or another. If you compare Yevgeny Prigozhin with some historical character... You yourself recalled Stepan Razin and Emelyan Pugachev, with whom the head of the PMC has often been compared in recent days. Who does he remind you of more?
Tamara Eidelman: He reminds me most of all of the villains from the James Bond films, and not Razin or Pugachev. Razin and Pugachev are cruel, bloody, such and such, but they really had some ideas about the will of the people. How Pugachev granted “land, water and a beard” to all his subjects, because he imagined that this was what people needed.
But I do not presume to judge. I'm not a political scientist, and even more so how to get into Prigozhin's head? I remember his first appeal - there was an absolute feeling that I was watching "Goldfinger" or something like that. Such a direct embodiment of evil in front of me. Maybe he is a brilliant actor, but I had such a feeling. He is no Pugachev.
Marfa Smirnova: And Pugachev was also executed on Bolotnaya Square.
Vladimir Romensky: Usually the rebels end up on the chopping block, but Putin still promises some kind of mercy. Here, too, it works.
Tamara Eidelman: "Rebellion will never end in success, otherwise it is called differently." It happened, by the way, that sovereigns lured rebels to their side and took them to themselves. Because a rebel is always an energetic person, followed by someone.
In the Time of Troubles, during the uprising of Bolotnikov, a variety of people went with him to Moscow. In particular, there were detachments of small landowners who went to defend Tsar Dmitry, the impostor. They, of course, did not consider him an impostor. And Vasily Shuisky, who was already tsar, bought out many of these detachment commanders, and they went over to his side right during the battle.
There were very charismatic Lyapunov brothers, to whom, of course, he promised a lot of things. And so they crossed over, became close to the king, made a career. Later, however, they sent the same king to a monastery when they got tired of him. And then one of these Lyapunov brothers was killed by the Cossacks.
So the fate of the rebels is not easy, let's face it. Anything happens. But in general, if I were in the place of any rebel, not only Mr. Prigozhin, I would not really trust the promises of the sovereign.
Marfa Smirnova: Maybe you can remember more historical examples of those who were pardoned after the riot. I remember Fyodor Dostoevsky, who was also taken to the chopping block and at the last moment he and his comrades-in-arms were pardoned.
Tamara Eidelman: No pardon. Their death penalty was replaced by hard labor, but Dostoevsky safely went to hard labor and spent four years there, and then another in a settlement. So I wouldn't call it that. That is, this is mercy in the sense that they did not execute, they only mocked, they took them out, but they did not execute.
If we mean “pardoned” exactly what “I won’t execute, but you will sit” - there are plenty of such examples. But such that the rebel was left, even if not in the same place, but given some important post to him, this is a very strange situation. I don’t think that this will be the case with Prigogine, no matter what they promise him now. You can promise a lot of things at first, and then ...
Vladimir Romensky: Let's remember how much Putin broke his word. There were no "polite people", then it turned out that after all, "little green men" stood behind their backs with machine guns. Now everyone is interested in the history and fate of General Surovikin, who was believed to be close to Prigogine. Is it always in history that a riot is followed by a purge and a search for possible enemies in one's environment?
Tamara Eidelman: And how without it? Rebellion is a threat. And even if you made an agreement with the main rebel... As far as I understand, any sovereign, and even more so a dictator, thinks all the time: “Who is around me? Who is this person who can change? Judging by what they are now saying and writing about Putin, he is very much afraid.
And of course, they are always afraid of the military. Because the military are those whom the army can follow. Claus von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler. And when the immediate rebels were arrested, even some were already executed, a huge purge began. Because they began to look for who they contacted.
It is clear that Prigozhin is also not just a romantic lone rebel. Someone was behind him. Of course, it is very interesting with Surovikin, who is generally suspected that it is he who should be responsible for Bucha, for example. I won’t be surprised if he is imprisoned – of course, the thought suggests itself that for some kind of corruption, but it will be very interesting if atrocities in Ukraine are also sewn to him. And the Russian state will turn out to be such a fair judge: behold, we punish.
Marfa Smirnova: Speaking of Stauffenberg. There was a Hollywood movie "Operation Valkyrie". Tom Cruise played Stauffenberg, who was just trying to organize an assassination attempt on Hitler.
I know that you are often asked about the future. You usually answer that you are not a futurist, but rather a historian. But I will ask the question this way: what do you think, who, apart from Putin, from his associates will be in the history books for my grandchildren?
Tamara Eidelman: There are different people in the history books, not only those who are praised. Therefore, you can be in the textbook in different guises. It seems to me that, of course, there will be those who are now standing next to him, who are organizing this. It will probably turn out to be Shoigu. I think it will be General Surovikin. Because quite a lot of materials have already been collected on him in connection with Bucha, with Irpin, and so on. And in fact, he was (so far today) one of the main candidates for the future Nuremberg. Therefore, it is very likely that he will be there. Well, Prigogine also recorded himself in any case, and without this rebellion. It is clear that about the PMC Wagner, about everything they do, they will talk and write a lot, unfortunately.
Marfa Smirnova: It seems to me that there are a lot of absolutely passing characters - relatively speaking, Mishustin. German Gref, in principle, too.
Vladimir Romensky: Yes, any prime minister, it seems to me, with the exception of Dmitry Anatolyevich, who sat in the presidential chair.
Marfa Smirnova: I think that Medvedev will also be forgotten.
Tamara Eidelman: It depends in what sense they will forget. It is clear that historians will write a lot about this. I would very much like your children, my grandchildren, and so on to learn history in a completely different way in the future. So that there would not be an endless enumeration of ministers, but more about ordinary people. Because all this rubbish is up there - well, yes, it is necessary for history to determine the main things that they did. But to delve into the difference between Mishustin and Medvedev - in my opinion, the task of a scientist, a specialist in this era, who will dig sources. But no more.
Vladimir Romensky: Returning to the rebellion. How do rulers usually try to save face after him? Probably, the actions of Vladimir Putin are also indicative, who used to be more and more in his secret residences with bomb shelters, and now he comes to Derbent, takes pictures with people, again draws not very skillful pictures on forums and so on. Putin again went to the people?
Tamara Eidelman: Well, he, too, like any ruler, needs to demonstrate in such a situation that it was a surge of outcasts, a minority, but there is a real people who love and appreciate him. This is always a very necessary, completely understandable propaganda move. Naturally, his contempt for the people and the perception of us all as cattle has not changed. But you need to show that the majority is for the president.
In general, normal rulers draw conclusions from the rebellion. It is very clearly seen how Catherine II after the same Pugachev ... Yes, Pugachev was executed. Catherine gave a secret order that he should not be executed as painfully as expected, but he was executed anyway. And then there was a whole series of reforms. She, of course, did not abolish serfdom, but she changed a lot. It was a reaction to the riot. Whether Vladimir Vladimirovich is capable of this or is he only capable of defiantly hugging the people - I'm afraid that the latter.
Vladimir Romensky: Or, on the contrary, the oprichnina - and let's take revenge on all those who stole, deceived the sovereign. This is also possible.
Tamara Eidelman: Yes. Not even necessarily an oprichnina, but some kind of purge. This is also very useful for two reasons. This is useful propaganda, because “these thieves are being punished” - this has a great effect on everyone. Although today, it seems to me, few people believe in it. Still, it is an understandable mechanism. On the other hand, why did Grozny need an oprichnina? Why did Stalin arrange purges in his entourage? Because those who are close to the king acquire very great power. And eventually they become independent, or at least feel independent. Then they must be removed and recruited new ones, who will completely depend on the sovereign. And then remove those. Carry out bloody or at least nomenclature rotation all the time. Otherwise, you will become addicted to them.
Vladimir Romensky: But these elites must understand that the ruler cannot always be pleased with them and that the hour is uneven, and they will end up there, at the Execution Ground.
Tamara Eidelman: Everyone thinks that this will not happen to him, that he is the most cunning, the smartest. Or simply “I will enjoy life now, and then somehow everything will settle down.” They only pretend to be smart, but in reality they are so ...
Marfa Smirnova: From historical experience, we know that usually after a dictator - in the history of the Russian Empire, for example - a softer and more liberal ruler always came. We hope that this will also happen soon. What do you think, will there be a new 20th Congress, will Putin's personality cult be debunked?
Tamara Eidelman: Yes, of course. The only question here is how far this debunking will go. I want to say once again that history is unpredictable and the most unexpected things can happen. But in a very large number of cases, in completely different dictatorships, in different countries, the dictator disappears somewhere. He died, he was overthrown, it doesn't matter. The dictatorship is over.
Vladimir Romensky: The Black Swan.
Tamara Eidelman: Yes. And then usually the first stage - a person from his entourage appears, like Khrushchev under Stalin, who softens the regime. He does not change the regime, he softens it. Khrushchev, on the other hand, could not think of changing the political system in order to dissolve the collective farms. He was the flesh of the flesh of this system. He softened her, nothing more. Thanks to him for this too, but, alas, it only extended the life of the regime for several more decades.
But the most interesting begins further. Will we take advantage of this change or not, will we change everything or will it be another “thaw”: so, a little less, and then everything remains as it was. The secret services are still in power, everything is still as it is.
The history of Spain, for example, is very similar to the history of Russia in its most diverse points. In Spain, Adolfo Suarez, who began to dismantle the Francoist regime, is also the flesh of the flesh of this regime. He was a middle-class functionary, responsible for radio and television. But he managed to completely dismantle everything. This is a very rare case when the person from above starts it.
And in most cases, the situation is as follows: softening, different parties appear, which are given the right to speak, speak, various public organizations. What will happen next? We will all squabble among ourselves, as it is now happening in the opposition, saying: “You are to blame. No, you are to blame. You misused that word, left late, didn’t leave,” or we will all be together, pardon the arrogance, to build a new Russia. This question worries me a lot.
The fact that some kind of condemnation will be simply because this whole gang around him wants mitigation for themselves - sanctions, somehow jump out ... It's not so easy for them to take and jump off. Prigogine's example shows this. These are their problems. We have other problems.
Marfa Smirnova: I'm still worried about what my friends' children will be taught. My close relative is a history teacher, takes the exam. And I have information that any mention of the NWO was removed from textbooks and from the Unified State Examination this year, arguing that “we will write about the NWO when we win.” How do you explain it?
Tamara Eidelman: This is something new, I have not heard of it. First, about the exam, how can we? He just passed, next year's exam is not ready yet.
Marfa Smirnova: Well, now in the Unified State Examination, I was told that there were no questions about SVO.
Tamara Eidelman: I think they just didn't have time to get them out. I wouldn't be fooled. It's a slow moving machine. Unified State Examination versions are prepared somewhere in January-February. Of course, the SVO already existed then, but even then they had not made these decisions. I don't know.
Marfa Smirnova: But do you think it will be planted in schools?
Tamara Eidelman: If the regime remains, of course. It is already planted. It is promised that the textbook will be released in September. A team led by Filippov, the same one who said that Stalin is an effective manager, is developing it. And there will be a separate chapter or paragraph about all this, which explains everything accordingly. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be. What were they, Prigogine, afraid of? And Prigogine is also not opposed to writing about all this.
Vladimir Romensky: Tamara Natanovna, how is the mental transformation of a society that has existed for years in one historical paradigm, where the party’s policy was coming from TV, the main source of information? Now people at some point will have to realize that they supported a terrible evil. From a historical point of view, how can this change in the minds occur and how much time is needed for this?
Tamara Eidelman: Formally, there is not much time for this. Everyone says all the time: "Just take Ostankino, and everything will go differently." Of course, the official line will change, a lot of people will immediately reorganize - journalists, programs in schools, everything. The question is how quickly internal changes can occur. This question worries me a lot. I understand that in Germany they were forced to repent from the first day, but they really felt it somewhere towards the end of the 60s, by the 70s.
Marfa Smirnova: Wait, not from the first day. Still, there was still the GDR. Time has passed, at least in half of Germany.
Tamara Eidelman: In the GDR they did not repent, of course, but in the GDR there was a different concept - that everyone was already punished. In our country all the fascists are punished, but there, in West Germany, the fascists are flourishing. But the GDR officially, of course, also renounced fascism. They portrayed themselves as a country of victorious anti-fascists: that's it, we have nothing to do with fascism. And there was nothing at all. I think that the fact that today neo-fascism, various extreme nationalist movements are much more developed in East Germany than in West, is due to the fact that nothing really took place there in Soviet times.
And West Germany has come a very difficult path. First, formal repentance, then the thought that everything, everyone is punished, let's forget, let's live in peace. And then, in the 60s, they gradually came to understand what had happened.
I don't like the idea that it takes generations, but I don't see any other examples yet. It is impossible for everyone to simply open their eyes. The country is already experiencing, and we have even more post-traumatic stress ahead, which will be different for everyone. For everyone who returns from the war, no matter what they do there. Even if they were sitting in the convoy, everyone will have post-traumatic stress. У родственников погибших, у людей, которые в это верили.
Как с этим стрессом работать — сложнейший вопрос. Это вопрос психологической работы, вопрос идеологической работы. И я очень боюсь, что вместо этого будет просто «ура, мы вот сказали всю правду, а кто эту правду не понял, тот предатель». То есть просто поменять полюса — «мы хорошие, вы плохие» — мало. Должны быть огромные внутренние изменения.
Марфа Смирнова: Насколько вам кажутся адекватными постоянные сравнения с фашистской Германией и утверждения, что нам всем понадобятся десятилетия, чтобы отмыть, так скажем, нашу российскую, русскую национальность? Я как-то брала интервью у Шлинка, немецкого писателя, который написал «Чтец». По нему тоже фильм сняли. И он мне рассказывал (он юрист), что его студенты ездили в Америку, примерно десять лет назад. И до сих пор, то есть шестьдесят лет спустя, семьдесят лет спустя, стеснялись в Америке говорить, что они из Германии, что они немцы. Нас ждет такая же судьба примерно?
Тамара Эйдельман: Да, конечно. Другое дело, что «все русские — кровавые убийцы или рабы и так далее» — идея, в общем, тоже фашистская. Потому что она предполагает передачу нравственных или безнравственных качеств биологическим путем и предполагает идею коллективной виновности целого народа. Ясперс сказал, что такие суждения о народе унижают достоинство отдельной личности. И целого народа тоже. И тех, кто это говорит, тоже.
Но то, что на России теперь будет это клеймо еще очень долго, — безусловно. И нам с этим жить и как-то определять уровень ответственности каждого из нас. Только каждый сам должен определить, если мы не говорим о преступниках.
Владимир Роменский: Тамара Натановна, много говорили про гражданскую войну, еще даже до мятежа Пригожина. Русский добровольческий корпус, легион «Свобода России», которые действуют в Брянской и в Белгородской области, то есть на территории России. Вы видите сейчас предпосылки для гражданской войны в России?
Тамара Эйдельман: Дело не только в добровольческом корпусе. Есть же поджоги военкоматов, еще что-то. Можно вспомнить «Дальневосточных партизан». Уже довольно много лет назад эти ребята нападали на полицию, еще на что-то.
Владимир Роменский: «Приморские партизаны», да.
Тамара Эйдельман: Но для гражданской войны в огромном масштабе нужна армия. Две армии, которые будут ее вести. Вот этого я не вижу — где она, эта армия антипутинская. А какие-то теракты, отдельные выступления, наверное, будут нарастать. Потому что чем меньше других способов проявления протеста — а нас лишают всего, — тем больше людей идут на обреченные способы борьбы. Так что я вижу скорее перспективу для терроризма, чем для гражданской войны.
Марфа Смирнова: Тамара Натановна, большое спасибо! Мне кажется, поговорили и о прошлом, и о настоящем, за которое скорее отвечал Володя. Я у вас все спрашивала про будущее. Надеюсь, до новых встреч и большое вам спасибо!
Тамара Эйдельман: Спасибо большое! До свидания!