I am Russian. That’s how I feel and therefore, that’s what I am. I was born in Russia, in the Soviet Union – in what was and still is a stunningly beautiful city on the Neva River called Leningrad.
For some reason, out of the almost 20 books that I have written, only 2 (if I am not mistaken) have been translated into the Russian language and published in Russia. How come? My books are available in about 40 languages. Even in Turkey, in the Turkish language, five have been printed.
Perhaps during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin era, Russia and I drifted apart. Not fully, but to a great extent.
I am an internationalist, an anti-colonialist fighter. I have worked in about 160 countries, writing about the horrors that are being spread by Western imperialism. I was screwed many times, battered and injured, tortured and even condemned to death. My Russia is a Russia of principles, of justice and courage. My grandparents fought for such a nation, and half of my relatives died, defending it. In the past, during those few terrible years when Russia was enchanted with the North American and European cheap glitter and lies, we found ourselves, unfortunately, far apart.
Of course, Russia’s obsession with the West did not last long. The country is too educated, too independent-minded. It cannot be fooled for decades. ‘My country’, my abstract, imaginary but nevertheless beloved homeland, got humiliated, robbed and almost destroyed by political and market fundamentalists in Washington, London, Paris. After the demolition of the Soviet Union, the life expectancy of Russian people dropped to sub-Saharan African levels. In those days, during one of my visits, I saw scientists from akademgorodog selling their libraries in the Novosibirsk subway underpass, in the bitter winter cold. Russia was shaken, stripped of its essence, and stepped on. The West gave nothing, it only took. And once the Soviet internationalism was out of the way, the United States, U.K. and France began the unbridled plunder of the world: Iraq, Serbia, Libya…
For several years, I looked in despair at how Russia was collapsing, losing its dignity, selling its great tangible and intangible achievements for a pittance. And how the West was laughing at it; grinning with its muzzle, expressing profound cynicism and scorn.
Yes, this is when Russia and I parted, for a short period of time. I did not want Russia to kneel – I wanted it to fight: for itself and for the world, as it always had done. Like most of the Russian people, I wanted the Soviet Union back; I felt embarrassed to see how cheap and sleazy capitalism was replacing Communist and Internationalist ideals. I felt deep scorn for the naiveté of Gorbachev, and right after that, for the perverted destructive servility of Yeltsin. For the sake of its own people and the world, Russia had no right to be weak; so much depended on it.
I wrote about it, about what I was witnessing, but Russia was not ready for me then. Many people there were searching for shortcuts. Countless honest people were spat at, degraded.
Eventually, majority of people understood. The government changed. Pride returned. The dark days of humiliation did not last long. Russia, indignant and righteous, once again got up from its knees, and confronted the Western usurpers and imperialism. It regained its soul, its compassion, and its great culture.
From that very moment, I regained my Motherland. This was the Russia that I knew, respected and loved. The Russia for which I was willing to, wanted to, fight for.
And a big, tough ideological fight it has been, since the moment that Russia began defending its interests and its people, as well as billions of oppressed human beings all around the world!
I speak the Russian language fluently. It is my ‘mother tongue’. But English is my ‘working language’. I have written some 15 books in English. It has become the tongue of ‘ideological combat’, and I feel comfortable using it for this purpose. The English language is my weapon of choice.
As I said earlier, for some reason, not much of my work is known ‘back home’, in my mental and emotional home, in Russia; a country where I was born and which I love, but where I have almost never managed to live.
The translation of dozens of my essays by the great Russian translator Andrey Maysov may change all this, very soon. I hope it will. I am grateful to him, for his determined labor; more grateful than he knows.
For many years, I have travelled all over the world, making documentary films and writing books. All this was “for the front” – for that intellectual, ideological front; for “my” countries: for Russia and China, Venezuela and Cuba, Syria, as well as many other ones.
I do not believe in ‘objectivity’. Objectivity is yet another British colonialist invention; a cover up for crimes committed all over the globe, and for propaganda with which billions of brains had been infected. In the name of objectivity, the most outrageous and devastating lies have been thrown around.
I fight Western propaganda with my essays, books and films. And by fighting it, I am trying to protect both Russia and all those colonized people of the world.
I do all this because I believe that Western imperialism is the only real danger that our planet is facing right now. If it is not defeated, humanity will not be able to survive.
My work is designed as a detox to Western indoctrination. It is a tough counter dose to the mainstream media lies, to entire institutes and NGOs in North America and Europe, whose only purpose is to turn both victims and victimizers into nihilist intellectual zombies.
I do not expect Russia or China to be ‘perfect’. I do not believe in perfection. I only want them to be human. And human they are. And they behave as such. The other side is not: for centuries it has been plundering, murdering and deceiving entire continents.
I don’t know whether this book will make my writing popular in Russia. I hope it will. Not for my own sake, of course, but simply because I think I now clearly understand how the global dictatorship functions, and I want “my countries” to know, too; to be ready, prepared and alert.
I want to ‘go home’, which for a writer means only this: to be able to share thoughts and feelings, fears and hopes with the people from his, no matter how distant, motherland.
[My book in Russian: “What you are not supposed to read”]
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Four of his latest books are China and Ecological Civilization with John B. Cobb, Jr., Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. His Patreon