Aged like Crimean cheese (in English)
The past of Russia was incredible, its present is more than spectacular; concerning the future, we shall say it would be higher than all that even the most brave imagination could create.
Count Alexander Benkendorf
Fourth month of the proxy-WWIII in and around the Divided Ukraine is coming to an end, with no end of war in sight, and it seems that all combatants grasp at last how little relation formal GDP numbers of Putin’s Federal Empire (ca. 2.5 % of the world GDP) bear to its real significance in realms of the world economy and politics, whatever experts had been prone to say in a lighthearted mood. Indeed, national GDPs based on a service sector have little in common with the ones stemmed from the war industry, food production, or energy industries. But hey, who would’ve thunk?
The same is true when speaking about Runet. Russian-language Internet community’s contribution to the world infosphere is undeniably greater than one might suspect from Russian language’s place in ratings by sheer number of native speakers. Among the first ten million of the most popular world web sites, only 6 % have Russian version; nonetheless, W3Techs counts Russian as the second most widely used web content language, immediately after the modern lingua franca, i.e., English.
When profiled against other “homely enclosures” of the world infosphere, Russian segment surely stands out due to relative frequentness of animosity and hate speech, especially nowadays, as the next wave of Schatten im Paradies from Russia rolls over its borders. Historic roots of such an attitude should be traced back to the Second (October) Revolution of 1917 and Russian Civil War (1917–1922): at the turn of Perestroika (or, as it sometimes was derisively called, catastroika), originators of Runet in most cases supported Civil War losers’ heritage and programs of international integration.
Those features considered, Runet is yet to produce (or I am to discover) its own alternative authoritative counterpart to Aged Like Milk sub. However, had it existed, Grigoriy Revzin’s opinion piece from KommersantЪ (January 25, 2013) should have gotten solid place in the gold collection there. It shows clearly the one definitive characteristics of Russian (and Runetic) liberal-democratic opposition, having experience of working in or close to powers that be: namely, they often directly undermine keen observations just by their own, making one (no need for more) rotten conclusion due to their geopolitical negligence.
The rub lies, Revzin wrote, herein: one doesn’t fully understand just how the move between incredible and downright magnificent should be carried out.
When the most close aide to the Emperor speaks about the future condition ‘it would be higher than all that even the most brave imagination could create,’ we feel some uncertainty, as he thus shows absence of clear idea about this same future…
Westernization is, of course, another matter, spelled in BIG letters like in an alphabet book, for us to study diverse foreign practices one seeks for. But where we wanna go from here? Revzin half-jokingly asks.
Under Emperor Nikolai Pavlovich, a big slew of state systems resided in an antique condition: management, industries, army, transports, education, you name them. All those led Russia to defeat in the Crimean War. Nowadays it has just as big, if not bigger (including medicine and municipal/urban engineering, that both seem to have undergone spontaneous generation in some moment of the past), slew.
Though, Revkin observed happily in 2013, danger of the new Crimean War today is null, as Russia had already lost the Crimea.
Well, we can say that Revkin’s prognosis stood the tests of days of the future past… if not like milk, then definitely not better than Crimean cheese, which is said to have sharp, tangy taste with hints of pleasure zesty aftertaste.