Moscow: freedom fighters challenge Putin
Boris Fedjukin, leader of the Libertarian Party, has not fled abroad like other opposition politicians. This war 'cannot be attributed to the will of all citizens in Russia'. Dissidents subjected to constant checks and searches. "Russians value freedom more than it seems".
Moscow (AsiaNews) - If not interned in camps, most opposition political leaders in Russia have fled abroad. Instead, the young president of the Libertarians Party, Boris Fedjukin (see photo), who heads an unofficially registered formation active in various locations, with its headquarters in Samara, a large city lying on the banks of the Volga, wants to stay at all costs. In an interview with Radio Svoboda, he explained his hopes for the future of Russia.
According to Fedjukin, 'our country is split in two: on the one hand, there is an elite of obsessives, who support Putin's crazy plans, propagandists and 'siloviki', men of strength and order, who only want to preserve the current order of things. These reject all calls for peace, and bear the responsibility for the deaths and massacres'. All others, the politician explains, 'are cut off from choices, have no voice and are marginalised, subjugated by propaganda, and are merely passive witnesses to the madness in power'.
The majority of Russians are unable to realise the tragedy of the war. Fedjukin says that every morning he has to explain to his son to 'not believe the teachers when they praise the war and Putin', and in the evenings he interrogates him to find out what they have tried to inculcate in him. Police officers have already been to his house several times to search it, and the young activist has been put on the list of 'Russophobes 2022', which issues notices to all websites warning them not to publish his anti-war statements.
Members of his party have tried to contact 'libertarians around the world' to explain that this war 'cannot be attributed to the will of all citizens of Russia'. Fedjukin did not flee, to continue to testify to the values he believes in, 'individualism and the right of every person to seek happiness where and how they believe', without condemning those who prefer to go elsewhere: 'I made the choice to stay, first and foremost out of duty to my loved ones'. He talks about his son going to school, his wife, his elderly father, but also about home and work. He emphasises that 'my roots are in Russia'.
The authorities subject the families of the escaped activists to systematic pressure and searches. Boris says he 'feels sick at the thought of making my relatives and friends pay for the consequences of my actions'. The constant searches 'of Stalinist memory' test people's patience, are psychological torture before being a measure of real oppression, since they almost always end in failure; the real punishment is always having vulgar and threatening men in the house, who turn everything they find without logic or real purpose.
Fedjukin adds that he remains in Russia out of loyalty to his party comrades, starting with his wife Alisa, who are trying to imitate the dissidents of the Soviet period in order to make at least a faint voice in favour of peace heard 'like those who took to the streets in 1968, to condemn the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and let the world know that not all Russians are imperialist fanatics'. Today the libertarians, rather than on almost impossible public demonstrations, focus on the defence of rights with legal aid, and try to present candidates in municipal elections, as in Moscow and Saratov.
The worst thing, Boris explains, is that 'they didn't take away all our freedoms in one moment, we would all have had a tremendous shock, but they took them away little by little in a systematic way, and there seems to be no end to this process'. The problem is not so much the 'ridiculous lists of Russophobes or 'inoagenty', enemies of the fatherland' that are almost 'a sign of distinction and honour', but the systematic handing over of data and information on the lives of dissidents into the hands of the security forces, 'which take our breath away'.
Yet the young politician is not entirely pessimistic: 'The Russians value freedom more than it seems, and after so many experiments with authoritarianism, we now know how dangerous the state can be. The state brings suffering and despair, 'the Russian people know that they have to rely only on their own strength, we have a libertarian spirit, and we will be able to be reborn from this'.