Robert Stark, “The Stark Truth: Interview with Igor Artemov” (Voice of Reason Radio Network, 21 May 2012)
Where does he find his interview subjects? In this episode of The Stark Truth, journalist Robert Stark speaks to Russian nationalist, writer and founder of the Russian All-National Union Igor Artemov who (to me) has some very intriguing opinions of contemporary Russian politics and politicians. In a nutshell, Artemov considers that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has been reconstructed as a quasi-Soviet state which persecutes Russian nationalism and that it is a mistake for people to believe that Putin is a Russian nationalist. He discusses what has happened in Russian politics, culture and economy since the downfall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, gives his opinion of Putin as a leader and politician, contends that Russian nationalists are being persecuted by the Putin government and considers the country’s future with respect with immigration and the overall world agenda.
Although his English can be stilted and his accent is strong, Artemov is quite easy to follow. He explains why he formed the Russian All-National Union in the context of the damaging effect that the Soviet Union and the general Sovietisation policy had on Russian culture and nationalism. There is a discussion of how Russian nationalist parties have been treated by Moscow since the early 1990s and how their fortunes have varied. During the Yeltsin period, when political democracy seemed to be at its peak, Artemov explains that nationalism was stifled and that this blockage of nationalist parties has continued under Putin. Artemov considers that Putin’s rule has brought down on Russia a reconstruction of the Soviet state and that Putin himself is a puppet of the globalist elites based in Europe and North America. The aim therefore of Putin’s government is to weaken Russian culture and spirit.
Artemov’s opinion on immigration in Russia is that the huge numbers of people coming from Central Asia and China are undermining wages and living standards among ethnic Russians and leading to a rise in crime and drug abuse in cities and large towns. In particular, Russian Orthodox Christianity is being weakened by the influx of Muslim peoples from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Artemov’s view is that Putin’s government is reinstating the multicultural policies of the Soviet Union.
Artemov’s opinion on the oligarchs is that they are the least of Russia’s problems and the real rich people are bureaucrats, senior members of the security forces such as police and the FSB. Many oligarchs are actually supportive of Putin and his government as they benefit from the corrupt system that the government has formed and supports, and those oligarchs who have fallen foul of Putin have done so due to personal enmity or issues between them and him.
Political elections and the process of registering as an electoral candidate are delineated in some detail and Artemov points out the obstacles involved for candidates, particularly independent candidates.
After a pause for a break, Stark and Artemov switch to a different topic about mixed-ethnic marriages in the Soviet Union. The Soviet policy was to encourage such relationships as a basis for creating the New Soviet Man but in reality most people involved in such liaisons recognised their mixed nature and origins and cherished them. The conversation switches to Chechnya which Artemov considers to be a semi-independent state supported by Moscow. Later Artemov discusses the role of Russian Jews in Russian politics and the advantages that having dual citizenship of Israel and Russia confers.
The situation in Syria is dissected with Iran seen as encouraging Islamic separatists in Syria and Israel not playing a beneficent role either.
Overall Artemov is an interesting and articulate speaker whose opinions deserve some consideration even though I don’t agree with many of them. His suggestion that oligarchs overall support Putin and Putin promotes himself as champion against corporate corruption and criminal activity by singling out particular individuals like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Boris Berezovsky for tender care merits a closer look. As to the issue of immigration, I am not so sure that Putin is deliberately using migrants to dilute the ethnic Russian population and weaken the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church but it would be worth following the Putin government’s attitude to the current Pussy Riot trial and the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in influencing or determining the trial’s outcome and the sentence imposed on the foolish women as a way of determining what the real government attitude towards Orthodoxy is. It may very well be that Putin’s strategy, if such exists, may be to convince the Russian public that he is acting in their best interests and that he is a strong, decisive leader by picking off easy targets like Khodorkovsky because by doing all this, he can carry out an agenda favourable to the emergence of a New World Order from which he and his supporters benefit.
I suppose if Putin really were acting in the long-term interest of Russian people, then among other things he would have done more to support Colonel Gadhafi’s Libya and prevent that nation from falling into chaos, and Syria currently would not be a magnet for Libyan rebel mercenaries eager to exploit the unrest there; he would have demanded more accountability to Moscow from current Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov regarding apparent human rights abuses in Chechnya and the opaque political culture there; and he would have tried to shift Russia’s economy away from dependence on primary industry and energy exploitation towards a mix of light and heavy manufacturing faster and more emphatically than he has done so far. Admittedly Putin’s task is difficult in the face of a world hostile to him and his government and he probably does have to tread carefully but with the rest of the world threatening to go down in flames and poverty, Russia must be a beacon to inspire others and provide hope and Putin could be the leader who achieves that.