Voices from Russia

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Finding Confidence in Russia, Our Faith, and in the Aspirations of Our Forefathers, “All the World” Will Certainly Overcome This Hard Time: Christmas Message of G A Zyuganov, Chairman of the KPRF Central Committee


Dear brothers and sisters, friends, comrades, and compatriots!

Once again, the beloved people’s holiday of Christmas has come to our Russian land! Like our ancestors for many centuries, on this day, we sincerely rejoice in the light of Bethlehem star, illuminating the holy path of truth and justice to mankind. We should not only be happy, but we should strive to become better, kinder, and more loving to our loved ones around us, to our neighbours, and to all who suffer. We rarely think about the special significance of the holiday, although everybody knows that a new era in history started with the birth of Christ, that is, from this great date. Just as often, we forget about the maelstrom of timeless and destructive passions that shackled mankind then, and how that changed with the appearance of the Saviour and the influence of his spiritual heroism (подвига).

Unfortunately, after more than 2,000 years, the world again feels the breath of increasing injustice, lawlessness, and greed. The world system of capitalism, which pummelled Russia in the last two decades, showed in the years of the present crisis its merciless and inhuman reality. A sense of social injustice and protest against the violation of basic moral principles envelops more and more people all over our planet, not just in our long-suffering Russia. In Greek, crisis means a judgement or choice fraught with a combination of dangers and opportunities. Time will judge what’s right and what’s wrong, separating the wheat from the chaff. I’m confident that in this time of danger to our society and motherland, the people will make a decent and proper choice, giving us the opportunity to celebrate our eternal values ​​and ideals. So, it was, and always will be.

As a leader of the people’s patriotic movement, I affirm that it followed, and will always follow, the highest ideals of truth, goodness, and justice, and that it’s always been embodied in our people, who’re victors, despite their long history of suffering. These values ​​allowed ethnic Russians (русские), and all Russian citizens (россияне), to contend heroically in great trials, carrying fraternal support and assistance to other peoples. Together with my faithful supporters, I’ll continue to do everything that I can to make the lives of our citizens better, enhance their happiness, and help put a grateful smile on their faces.

On this festive day, I wish all of you, my dear compatriots, for the whole year ahead, peace of mind, and much strength in overcoming our difficulties. In concord (Соборно), as we say in Russia, “all the world” (всем миром), with confidence in Russia, our faith, and in the aspirations of our forefathers, we can, surely, overcome the hard times. Life can and must change for the better! Let there be great joy, health, and the bestowal of good hope on every family!

С Рождеством Христовым! To the Nativity of Christ!

6 January 2012

Gennady Zyuganov

Leader of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma

Chairman of the KPRF Central Committee

KPRF Official Website


Editor’s Note:

English-speakers won’t get the full flavour of Comrade Zuganov’s remarks without an explanation. Firstly, he uses the word “podvig”, which is almost impossible to “English” properly. A “podvig” is an act of heroism that’s so stunning that it goes beyond mere courage. “Heroism” is a PALE translation of the concept, Gennady Anndreyevich is making it clear that the Saviour’s actions are virtually sans pareil (although human beings can make a “podvig”, becoming “podvizhniki” (moral heroes)). Next, he makes a distinction between “russki” and “rossiyan”, the first being ethnic Russians, the second being all Russian citizens of whatever nationality. These concepts can be made with single words in Russian, but it’s not so simple in English. It’s like the distinction between “Russia” and “Rus”. Lastly, he uses the difficult word, “Sobor”… that can mean an assembly, a church council, a cathedral, or conciliarity (in its adjectival form “sobornost”). Here, it means a unity in concord… an assembly of one mind… an accord of many in one end and the actions needed to bring to being… whew! All in one word!

However, you wouldn’t have gotten this without an explanation… translation is a damnably difficult art form. I hope that I gave the original justice…



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