Was the West able to bribe the Soviet dissident academician and can he be considered a patriot? The famous journalist Vladimir Pozner told Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda about this.
- Sakharov was a dissident. Is it possible to call him a patriot, they still argue.
- Firstly, I don’t really understand why “either-or”. I am so deeply convinced that you can be a dissident and a patriot at the same time. And the way Sakharov behaved, precisely as a dissident, he always behaved like a patriot, because he was heartbroken for his country, which was then called the Soviet Union. He fought against those phenomena that were unacceptable to him. By the way, patriotism, from my point of view, is expressed, first of all, not in waving the flag, shouting “hurray”, “hurray”, but patriotism is expressed in the rejection of everything that you consider harmful for the country. In this sense, I always refer to Lermontov, who wrote “goodbye, unwashed Russia, the land of slaves, the land of masters. And you, blue uniforms, and you, their loyal people. ” Lermontov was an undoubted patriot. But at the same time he expressed his rejection of some things. Sakharov did the same. Lermontov was as much a dissident in this sense as Sakharov. What is a dissident? A dissident is a dissenter. This is a person who thinks differently from the majority.
- Why did Sakharov engage in public, human rights activities that are not encouraged by the state?
- Scientists-theorists are people rather isolated from the rest of the world. They live in their own special world. Physicists, theoreticians, mathematicians. And I think that just as Einstein did not immediately understand the danger of atomic energy, the danger of nuclear weapons. It seems to me that this is what prompted Sakharov, who began by writing a letter to Khrushchev about the need to stop these tests. He was three times Hero of Socialist Labor. Three times! There were very few such people in the history of the Soviet Union. But then, when he began to express an opinion that did not fit the authorities, he was removed from this work. He was deprived of all orders. Thus, I would say, to some extent made it more radical. And, in fact, this was growing – his opposition and the corresponding reaction of the authorities. Of course, in Stalin’s time he would have been sent to the Gulag or shot. And he was not in prison, but was exiled to the city of Gorky. Of course, they poured slops on him in every possible way, called him a henchman of American imperialism. But in the end, he still won, he was returned to Moscow. And paid tribute. Although many continued to consider him a Russophobe, let’s put it this way.
- How did you assess Sakharov’s link to Gorky?
- Well, for those times it was a rather mild norm, because in those days people were even hid in insane asylums, some were imprisoned. So, after all, they treated him rather mildly at that time. I shared many of his views. The only thing that I have never shared with dissidents, regardless of whether Sakharov or anyone else, is their appeals and calls to other countries to put pressure on the Soviet Union. I understand perfectly well that other countries that have been contacted, and sometimes even today do, are in fact completely indifferent to the fate of the same Sakharov or the same Navalny. This is a political game.
And when dissidents turned to the West, I didn’t like it. And today it is. Otherwise, I think these people were heroes because they risked so much. And there were those who died in prison, ruined their lives. But in Soviet times, going against the government and today going against the government are fundamentally different things.