The Lord sent a prophecy via Holy Prophet Jeremiah, “Now, one and all should turn from their evil ways, and correct their ways and their deeds”. As today is Forgiveness Sunday, I must confess to you. My years of exile allowed me to look at my life, and at the life of my motherland; I increasingly realise that without repentance, without the recognition of past mistakes, and without the courage to build the future, there can be no progress. I haven’t done this; neither have you, and neither has our country.
I’ve lived a long and colourful life. Along the way, many of the things that I did were inevitably wrong. I committed unrighteous deeds consciously, and I committed many more not knowing what I was doing. It was the penitential prayer states, “whether in knowledge or in ignorance, whether willingly or unwillingly”. I know that the people of Russia, to which I belong, condemn many of my actions; the Lord, in His wisdom, gave me the destiny of carrying out a certain role.
I repent and ask you to forgive me for my greed. I craved wealth, not understanding that I was hurting others by that. I covered up my sin by saying that it was due to a “historic moment”, or my “brilliant methods”, or that it was due to “stimulating prospects”; however, I forgot about my fellow man. It doesn’t justify me to state that I wasn’t alone in thinking and doing such.
I repent and ask you to forgive me for having trampled on your freedom of speech. I justified myself by saying that I had to save Russia from a “red–brown” plague; I established a centralised information policy that dumped democratic values. My actions began the destruction of independent journalism. Yes, I wasn’t alone in that, but such a defence doesn’t justify me.
I repent and ask you to forgive me for having enabled the government of Vladimir Putin. At the time, he was what we thought was needed, but I was unable to see in him the future greedy tyrant and usurper, a man who trampled on freedom and who halted human development in Russia. Many of us didn’t recognise it then, but that doesn’t justify me.
I accuse myself before Russia; my guilt is great, it isn’t small. I understand that repentance isn’t just words, but that it involves action. I assure you that it’s coming.
26 February 2012
23 March 2013