Putin does not like people. We are just a means.”

In 2004, Anna Politkovska, journalist Novaya GazetaHe wrote a book called Putin’s Russia. It was immediately published in English and was translated fairly quickly into most European languages, notably in France by Buchet-Chastel in 2005. Anna Politkovskaïa provides a comprehensive portrait of Vladimir Putin.

It was a warning to the whole world but he was not heard. We didn’t want to hear that. Two years later, on October 7, 2006, Putin’s birthday, she was assassinated. We are republishing an excerpt from this book here.

Read also: The war in Ukraine live: a special meeting of the UN Human Rights Council will be held on Thursday

document. I wondered for a long time what triggered my fierce rebellion against Putin. Why did you resent him to the point of writing a book? However I am not his opponent or his political opponent, I am simply a citizen living in Russia. I’m only a 45-year-old Muscovite, which means I knew the Soviet Union at the height of its communist decadence in the ’70s and ’80s, and I didn’t have everything they wanted to find me again at this time…

I finished my book on May 6, 2004, specifically May 6. Tomorrow it will all be over. The March 14 elections did not result in a miracle to challenge its result. The opposition accepted everything and surrendered. That is why tomorrow is the day of the second inauguration of Putin, who was elected president with an insane majority of the votes of his compatriots – more than 70%; And even if we subtract 20% of the vote added by fraud, there is enough for the presidency in Russia.

Read also This article is reserved for our subscribers Dmitriy Muratov, Nobel Peace Prize “on behalf of Russian journalists victims of repression”

There are only a few hours left, May 7, 2004 he will arrive, and Putin, this typical Soviet colonel in KGB, with narrow provincial views, typical of a colonel, with the nondescript side of a lieutenant colonel was not even able to do so. Rising to the rank of colonel, the behavior of a KGB officer accustomed to spying on his comrades, upset (there is no political opponent, there is no party that does not keep pace with Putin’s invitation to the inauguration), this small character like Akaki Akakievitch, from coat by Gogol, [ce personnage insignifiant] He will ascend… to the throne.

indifference in society

The great throne of Russia. Brezhnev did not suit us. Andropov seemed to us bloodthirsty, despite the justification of democracy. Chernenko was stupid. Gorbachev was not satisfied. Yeltsin forced us from time to time to sign with us, fearing the consequences of his decisions… Here is the result. Tomorrow, May 7, this 25th-level bodyguard who takes his place in the hoop holding the crowds when the procession of the greats of this world passes, Akaki Akakievich Putin will tread on the red carpets in the throne rooms of the Kremlin. as if it was really mr. We will see royal gold sparkle everywhere, employees will smile meekly, comrades, all the young KGB officers who took up their important posts under Putin, comrades will stand attentive …


Soviet retaliation became apparent with Putin’s coming to power. Let us admit that it happened not only because of our own carelessness and indifference caused by the weariness of our eternal revolutions. It happened under the cheers of welcome from the West. First, Silvio Berlusconi [président du Conseil italien], similar to Putin and his chief defender in Europe. But also Tony Blair [le premier ministre britannique]Gerhard Schroeder [le chancelier allemand]Jacques Chirac [le chef de l’Etat français]Not forgetting Jr. Bush [le président des Etats-Unis]. No obstacle stood in front of the entrance of our service chief [surnom toujours donné aux agents de la police politique ; anciennement Tchéka de 1917 à 1922] in the Kremlin. not the west. There is no significant opposition within the country.


A little discursive: We don’t talk about Putin anymore but about us, the Russian public. The people who are pro-Putin, the people who push him forward, who have an interest in seeing him take the throne for a second time, the people who make up today the administration of the president who runs the de facto state rather than the government. (merely carrying out the will of the president), nor Parliament (which produces the laws the president wants), these people follow the public’s reactions with great interest. It’s a mistake to think that they don’t care.

And just to note: The people responsible for everything that happens are us. us first. Not Putin. Our position on Putin who mocks Russia, our position is limited to “Kitchen Gossip”, He has allowed Putin to transform the country unhindered for the past four years. The indifference shown by society is immeasurable. It is an indulgence for Putin in the next four years. Our response to his actions and speeches is not only weakness but fear. And this fear that we are, we have shown to experts rooted in power. This only reinforced their desire to treat us like cattle.

criminal nature

The KGB respects only the strong, it devours the weak. Should we not know? However, we were often weak and crushed. For the Soviet Dag, our fear is honey. There is no better gift for him than to see the crowd tremble, and he must submit to his will. (…) Putin has more than once publicly demonstrated that he does not understand in principle what the discussion is. Private political discussion. According to Putin, a subordinate should not argue with his superior. A subordinate who allows himself to be this is the enemy.

Read also: “Letter to Anna”: back to the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Putin behaves this way not on purpose, and not because he was born a tyrant or tyrant. He was raised this way. This is what he learned at the KGB and he considers this system to be exemplary, something he has stated publicly more than once. This is why Putin once we categorically disagree with him“Stop the hysteria”. This explains his refusal to hold pre-election discussions. It’s not his element, he’s incapable of it, he doesn’t know how to have a dialogue. It is exclusively a “a soliloquy”. According to the military model, as long as you are sub-standard, you are bound to be silent, but once you become the chief, you can only talk about others and all there is to it. “subordinates” Forced to pretend to agree. A kind of ideological abuse, which sometimes turns, as happened with Khodorkovsky [l’ancien fondateur et PDG de la compagnie pétrolière Ioukos a été emprisonné dix ans à partir de 2003]or physical extermination or overthrow).


tragic cases

Why do you hate Putin? Because the years go by. This summer marks five years since the second Chechen war, which began until Putin became president the first time. We cannot see the end of it. (…) None of the murders of children that occurred during the bombings and the purges since 1999 have been solved, and the killers have not taken their place in the dock. Putin never called for an investigation even though he was said to love children (…) Why did you hate Putin? for all this. of its criminal nature. to make fun of him. his racism. to eternal war. for lying. For gas spill in the hall of Dubrovka Theater [en octobre 2002, la prise d’otages à Moscou par un commando islamiste tchétchène s’achève avec l’emploi d’un gaz mortel par les forces russes] who killed a lot of people [130 personnes]. For all the innocents who were killed throughout his first term. Fatalities we could have endured without it. (…)

Read also This article is reserved for our subscribers Vladimir Putin in 23 essential articles, from the archives of “The World”

Having mistakenly given enormous power to Putin, he disposed of it with dire consequences for Russia. I don’t like him because he doesn’t like people. He does not support us. despise us. He looks at us as just a means to him, and nothing more. Means of achieving personal power goals. That’s why he can do with us what he wants, play as he wants. Kill us at will. We are nothing. And though he rose high by mistake, he is now our Caesar and our God; We must worship and fear Him.

In Russia, there were already leaders with a similar worldview. This led to tragic situations. to bloodshed. for civil wars. I don’t want any of this. That is why I hated this typical Soviet check that walks along the Kremlin red carpets towards the throne of Russia. (…)

It is impossible for me to accept that a political winter will remain in Russia again for several decades. I would like to live a little longer. I would very much like our children to be free. And that our free grandchildren are also born. Therefore, I would very much like the melting to come as quickly as possible. But only we, and no one, can raise the temperature of the Russian winter above zero. Waiting for the snow to thaw in the Kremlin, as it happened under Gorbachev, is today foolish and unrealistic.

Translation: Elisabeth Muraviev

Le Monde in Solidarity with Novaya Gazeta Team

Novaya Gazetathe legendary newspaper of Dmitry Muratov, the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, and Anna Politkovska, who was assassinated in 2006, were forced to stop publishing on March 28, while a new sheet of bullets fell on the latest Russian independent media, as a result of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Since then, part of this brave liberation team that has taken the path of exile has been trying to keep it up Novaya Gazetathrough the media Novaya Gazeta. Europe. This newspaper writes about Russia, Ukraine and Europe in both Russian and English, and intends to continue its investigative work and provide information about everything that is happening in Russia and in relation to Russia.

A few days ago, editor Novaya Gazeta. EuropeKirill Martynov appealed to the European press. We can no longer publish a newspaper in our country. We ask you to help us publish and distribute some of our articles throughout Europe on the occasion of May 9 »when Vladimir Putin presided over the traditional military parade to celebrate Russia’s victory over Nazism.

the world I immediately decided to respond. And proudly welcomes the writings of his colleagues who have added a text by Anna Politkovskaya, written on May 6, 2004, three days before the military parade on Red Square. Out of solidarity and support for the press and work teams Novaya Gazeta.

Caroline Mono (Editor of “The World”))

Editorial board of the independent Russian opposition newspaper
Kirill Martynov, journalist for the independent Russian opposition newspaper

Find articles on “Novaia Gazeta. Europe” published by “Le Monde”

Find articles on “Novaia Gazeta. Europe” published by “Le Monde”

Leave a Comment