Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief Inna Novikova sat down with historian Alexander Fursov to speak about Russia's foreign and domestic policy.
"In connection with the collapse of the world prices on oil, many analysts say that the times that we are living now are very similar to the times of the 90s when the Soviet Union broke up."
"The Soviet Union did not break up because of the oil prices, although it did create a number of problems for the country. The myth was created to conceal the consciously made choice of the then Soviet administration. The choice was to deliberately destroy the Soviet Union. They lied when they said that the Soviet Union was starving in 1990-1991 because of very poor harvest. On the contrary, the harvest in the Soviet Union was fantastic in 1990 and 1991.
"During the 80s, a whole group of people appeared in the Soviet Union, who wanted to remove the Communist Party from power. The West won the game back then. Gorbachev and Shevardnadze where only the exterior facade, and we will probably never know the names of the real puppeteers. If you believe when they say the Soviet Union broke out because of oil, just look at the share of oil in the export of the Soviet Union and in the export of today's Russia.
"Chaos around Russia never stops from growing, but our goal is not to let the chaos in. The strategy of controllable chaos is a fundamentally new strategy. We can see it developing in the Middle East and along our borders. It is very hard to struggle against it but we need to learn how to live in a completely different world. Who could ever think 20 years ago that it would be possible to commit terrorist acts in the centre of Moscow, that all metro passengers would have to listen to announcements warning them about the danger of terrorist attacks. This is the reality that we're dealing with today."
"What about the contradictions between our internal and external ambition? The majority of Russians fully support the foreign policy of the country,the but have many questions about economic policy of the Russian government."
"This is a very serious contradiction that cannot last long and will have to be resolved in the nearest future this way or other."
"Do you see any ray of light in the dark kingdom of the Russian domestic policy?"
"For the time being, I don't. Of course, Russia has got up from its knees but now everything depends a lot on how the situation unfolds in the world. The future depends on the people and to which extent they are ready to fight for it and even sacrifice something for it. When people live in times of the crisis and Chubais says at the same time that he has a lot of money - this is not good."
"Chubais is a notorious character."
"Chubais is part of the authorities. The Russian authorities need to properly estimate the times that Russia lived under Gorbachev and Yeltsin not to go back to those times again. President Vladimir Putin says that the destruction of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical catastrophe. However, this catastrophe has a name - the first name and the last name. This Soviet Union did not break up just like that. Three people gathered and signed something. The fourth person did nothing to stop them. We need to have a legal approach to what happened back then."
"But this is a very difficult step to make."
"I'm not saying it's easy. Being in power is a hard job to do. It means that you have to be responsible and take risks for very unpopular things. Yet, a traitor shall be called and judged as a traitor. Such things exclude understatement. One cannot curse and praise one and the same thing at once."
"History shows us that assessments may alter with time. The things that were generally seen as negative in the past can be seen as positive in present times. We can brand Gorbachev, but it may turn out in 20 years that everything that he did was right and that he even saved us."
"From whom did he save us? This relativity theory is a favourite trick of our liberals. The Soviet Union was a nuclear power with a very strong economy. In 1991, Margaret Thatcher acknowledged in Houston that the Soviet economy was a threat for Western economies during the 80s. Gorbachev came to power in 1985 and the country was destroyed six years later. There can be only one assessment made to what he had done to the country. As Lenin used to say, best politics is principal politics."
Interview conducted by Inna Novikova
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated