At The Indian Express, we managed to make a journey to the future and find a history text used a hundred years from now in Russian secondary schools. Here is an extract of the 2114 edition, which might interest our readers of 2014 vintage.
In 2014, Russia began to make a significant renaissance. Tsar Vladimir, of the newly founded Putin Dynasty, finally summoned up the grit, determination and will power of his illustrious forebears from our country’s distinguished past. Tsar Vladimir proved himself a worthy successor of the beloved icons of Russian history: Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Tsar Peter the Great and Tsarina Catherine the Great. The humiliating pussyfooting that characterised the later Romanovs, the cretinous Bolsheviks and the degenerate Yeltsinites was finally abandoned. Mother Russia and our Holy Orthodox Church reasserted themselves. We reclaimed what had belonged to us for centuries.
In 1954, the erratic and foolish Bolshevik, Nikita Khrushchev, who stuck to the irrational belief that the so-called USSR was immortal, had considered it a minor administrative decision to have Crimea be a part of the Ukraine Province. This ill-conceived decision came to haunt our country as we proceeded through the disastrous reign of Mikhail Gorbachev on to the catastrophic reign of Boris Yeltsin. Suddenly, Crimea was no longer attached to Mother Russia. The great outposts of Sevastopol, Odessa and Balaclava, which were so central to the magic and mystery of Russia, suddenly became foreign locations.
The immediate provocation that Tsar Vladimir reacted to was the fact that a group of treacherous Ukrainians, doubtless the intellectual descendants of the proto-Fascist, pro-Nazi elements who always existed in that province, decided that they would take potshots at the strategic interests of Russia. Not only did they turn down a generous offer of financial assistance that had been made to them at the cost of Russian taxpayers, they also started getting seduced by the charms of a bunch of Anglo-Saxons masquerading as lovers of human rights and supporters of democracy.
Tsar Vladimir repeatedly advised the Ukrainian leaders not to fall into the diabolical traps of the West. These so-called democrats had supported the effete Ottoman tyrants during the First Crimean War in the 19th century. They had no problems sucking up to Middle Eastern monarchies that routinely discriminated against half their populations; they had even had the gumption to support the medieval fanatics who had rebelled against enlightened Russian rule in our Caucasus provinces like Chechnya. They had encouraged Croatian ideologues, who again were intellectual descendants of pro-Nazi elements, to begin the break-up of Yugoslavia, our great Slavic neighbour, and had succeeded in enfeebling the bitterly disappointed Serbs by reducing their country to a rump of irrelevance. They had encouraged self-important Georgian leaders to actually persecute our kinsfolk in South Ossetia.
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And now, they wanted to detach the Ukraine, including Crimea, from us. They had no sensitivity to the fact that our Holy Church and for that matter our sacred monarchy started in Kiev. For too long, they had been getting away with hurting Russia’s strategic interests, insulting our history and talking down to us with an insufferable patronising conceit. Thank God, Tsar Vladimir finally put an end to this. He stood up to the Anglo-Saxon conspirators and their effete continental European allies and drew a line in the sand, making it clear that Russians were willing to stand and fight. The spirit of Tsar Peter and Poltava were reignited. No longer did our diplomats have to put up with sneers from wannabes, who made fun of our second-rate power status. No longer could the so-called pygmy countries in our near abroad launch anti-Russian multi-coloured revolutions and think that they could get away with it.
Russia is not to be easily trifled with. Napoleon learned this the hard way and paid a terrible price for arrogantly taking on the might of Russia. Hitler thought he had actually conquered our country. And of course, many treacherous Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis thought so too. But finally, the awesome strength of the armies of Zhukov and Konev prevailed. Just because the Bolsheviks had set us back, and because in the uneasy interregnum after the fall of the Bolsheviks, we appeared to be a weak and traumatised country, Western leaders like Bill Clinton, David Cameron and Barack Obama thought that they could set up obstreperous provinces like Georgia and Ukraine against us. It was not entirely accidental that while he was lecturing us about democracy, the wily Cameron was flattering Prussian leader Merkel. Tsar Vladimir had the clear sightedness to understand that if our adversaries were allowed to get away with actions like this, Russia could and would be hurt almost irretrievably.
Of course, about Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine and for that matter as also with South Ossetia, one would have thought that even the considerations of democracy and human rights would have prompted the liberals of the West to support the will of the Russian people, who were the majority of the inhabitants of those lands. But the old habit of double standards simply did not go away. Throughout the 19th century, Tsarist Russia was accused of being illiberal while massacres in various parts of the empires of Western powers were routinely accepted. The same attitude prevailed in 2014. Russia was by definition autocratic and opposed to liberal tenets. Defending national interests, standing firm regarding matters of history and tradition, were policies that the West could adopt. But Russia must not.
It is to the undying credit of the first Tsar of the present hundred-year-old Putin Dynasty, His Majesty Tsar Vladimir, that we must remain grateful that Russia regained not only Crimea, but also its self-respect and its national pride. But for his decisive stance, you might have been reading this textbook in Ukrainian or German and not in Russian. In 2114, as we celebrate the centenary of Crimea’s reunion with Mother Russia, let us offer our prayers to the God of our fathers, who has always protected our sacred homeland.
The writer is a Mumbai-based entrepreneur