What’s on the telly in Russia?

What’s on the telly in Russia? By Alexander Boot.

[Here are some] assorted snippets from the chat shows on the Russian equivalent of the BBC and ITV. The shows in question are either daily or weekly, each lasting several hours.

The format is that of a panel discussion, featuring Russia’s top opinion formers: professors, university rectors, ministers, historians, politicians, philosophers, writers. This is what they’re saying, at random.

St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

“The Soviet idea was universal and genius: the world must be just. Now, in order to defeat the US, we need an idea too. And it must resemble the Soviet one.” …

“The Poles have gone so far as to claim that the Soviet Union attacked Poland in 1939 together with Germany, thereby starting the Second World War. Why this assault on history?… It’s our own fault too: we never told the truth about Poland, not to upset a fraternal socialist country. Now we’re paying for that.” …

“The Poles never loved us as much as when our tanks were there.”

“In 1955 a black woman was arrested in America for not having offered her seat to a white man! 1955 – that’s 10 years after the victory, after Hiroshima. That’s American morality for you! Just compare it with our parents’ morality in 1955.” …

“We must continue to strengthen our armed forces, to develop new weapon systems for Russia to forge ahead. Then Americans will always be nice to us everywhere.”

“If under Stalin there had been the same low economic growth rate as today, people would have been shot. We must change things.” …

“Russia can’t exist without a huge universal idea – otherwise there’s no need for her. Under the tsars it was Holy Russia… And after the revolution of course. And in 1991 we were told: ‘You’re the same as everybody.’ That’s the root of all problems.” …

“Let Europe perish, let it be Islamised! At least it won’t be moving eastwards! We’ll burn everybody! Like at the Chinese border, when we burned two divisions with napalm!”

“Enter those immigrant ghettos with guns and shoot everyone who disobeys! And no social benefits!”

“Khrushchev replaced the great idealistic notion of constructing communism with the philistine idea of catching up with America in the production of milk and meat. That’s when the degradation of the elites began.”