President Dmitry Medvedev presided over the ceremony in the Kremlin and used this opportunity for boosting his “patriotic” credentials, which were slightly compromised by his agreement to attend the NATO summit in Lisbon.
Chernomyrdin, however, is remembered because he really wanted to do better.
Bitter words about the degeneration of stability into stagnation and over the hypocrisy of mainstream “patriotism” were heard by many Russians last week far louder than the official declarations of “national unity.” Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that he was ashamed of his state in the final word of his grossly falsified trial (Novaya Gazeta, November 3). Khodorkovsky also spoke about his hope for Russia becoming a modern state with a strong civil society. This hope is shared by millions who remain silent in the noise of propaganda fanfare. Their choice will be made in the streets because ballot boxes cannot be trusted.