Paul J. Saunders
Paul Saunders interviews Russian leading journalist Maksim Shevchenko.
Editor’s Note: Paul J. Saunders, associate publisher of the National Interest, interviewed Maksim Shevchenko, a former newspaper editor and television personality who is a prominent left-wing candidate for the post of Moscow mayor.
Q: Thank you again for taking the time to talk to our readers. While you are among the leading candidates to compete for the position of Moscow mayor on behalf of the United Left opposition, most Americans today are not really that familiar with Russia’s “left.” Over the last two decades, since Boris Yeltsin defeated Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov in Russia’s 1996 presidential election, Russia’s left has received far less attention in American media. So maybe you can just tell us a little bit to start about your positions and platform going into that election.
A: When we speak of the “left” in Russia, it’s not the same as the “left” in the United States. In Russia the “left” tradition is a big national tradition. Our twentieth century was the “left” century; it was the century of socialism. You can call it totalitarianism, you can call it Stalinism, you can call it Bolshevism, but it was the one time in our history when most Russians enjoyed access to education, to development, to high levels of society, to science, to education, to social opportunities, to development—my position is that the left movement in Russia expresses the nature of our nation. It is part of the natural self-realization of the Russian people.