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Article à propos dʼEOT dans The Globe and Mail

Le 14.08.2014, le deuxième par importance journal canadien The Globe and Mail a publié un grand article sur le rôle que le mouvement Essence du temps a joué dans la campagne pour le démantèlement dʼun musée propagandiste de GOULAG dans la ville de Perm. Etant un article critique et négatif, le texte décrit néanmoins objectivement une partie de nos activités et rend compte de lʼimportance de notre mouvement en Russie.

Voici lʼarticle en anglais :

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Sergey Kurginyan rejects the idea that the Kremlin is guiding Russia back to the past. Instead, the leader of a neo-Soviet movement called Essence of Time says the government has changed course to be in line with the majority.

Mr. Kurginyan is proud of the role Essence of Time played in the state’s takeover of Perm-36, a move he says was essential to ending the “anti-Soviet propaganda” that was weakening Russia’s sense of national identity.

Essence of Time is a new force in Russian politics. Mr. Kurginyan is an old one. Now 65, he was a gadfly in the last days of the Soviet Union, telling anyone who would listen that Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika program was part of a CIA plot.

Later, Mr. Kurginyan became part of the leftist reactionary movement that challenged then-president Boris Yeltsin’s hold on power; he was inside Russia’s White House when Mr. Yeltsin ordered tanks to fire on it in 1993 during his deadly power struggle with the Communist-dominated parliament.

After that, Mr. Kurginyan was confined to the political fringe. But the ideas he championed – he says he is hoping to see a “Soviet Union 2.0” – never went away. He took to posting lectures on YouTube. Despite their dry content (most feature Mr. Kurginyan just sitting at a desk and talking into the camera), some gained over 100,000 views. Most popular have been his recent lectures on why the Kremlin was right to seize Crimea, and why it should do more to support the separatist armies in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Mr. Kurginyan appears to have captured the political zeitgeist by working to reconcile two powerful forces that have long been in conflict: the Communist Party and the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 2012, when the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg were filled with tens of thousands of protestors, Mr. Kurginyan called for his online followers to defend Mr. Putin. They did, forming the backbone of a big pro-Putin rally, which Mr. Kurginyan opened by telling the crowd that “patriotic forces” needed to save the country.

Mr. Kurginyan believes the episode taught Mr. Putin that his support base was not the Moscow liberals who wanted the country to be friends with the West, but the deeply conservative millions who lived in the rest of the country.

Twenty years after his political career seemed over, Mr. Kurginyan was back with an army of motivated, Internet-savvy young people. And the Kremlin owed him a favour.

He says Essence of Time was responsible for starting the petition that led to a 2013 law banning U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. He’s also an outspoken supporter of the law against “homosexual propaganda” that Mr. Putin signed the same year.

After those victories, Mr. Kurginyan and his movement turned to Perm-36, unleashing an Internet campaign against the former prisoners who ran it. The local chapter of Memorial says that it was Essence of Time who pushed the government to run the museum.

“It was not a museum of history; it was a museum of propaganda, of anti-Soviet propaganda,” Mr. Kurginyan now says, claiming – as the official tour guides now do – that conditions were not that bad. “This prison was the best in the whole Soviet Union.”

While some historians say nearly 40 million people passed through the gulag system, Mr. Kurginyan says the real number is closer to 700,000. In Germany, questioning the extent of the Holocaust is a crime. In Russia, saying the gulags weren’t so bad is now mainstream.

Mr. Kurginyan says only two ideologies can control Russia – extreme nationalism, which risks turning into facism, or a neo-communism that resurrects what he calls “the good in the Soviet Union.”

The new Soviet Union, he says, would necessarily include territories populated by Russian-speakers beyond Russia’s current borders. An aide says Essence of Time has actively been recruiting volunteers to help fight the Ukrainian army in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Despite Western accusations that Mr. Putin has become a dictator, Mr. Kurginyan says the President still needs and actively seeks popular support.

“If you have an anti-Soviet ideology in modern Russia, [to rule] you would have to be some military person who kills all the communists,” Mr. Kurginyan says, reclining with a smile at the end of a two-hour interview that was much like listening to one of his lectures. “Putin is not as Soviet as I am. But he wants to be elected.” ..."


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