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THE RIGHT TO KNOW!
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DK. Good evening. This is the show “The right to know!” on the TV Center channel and I am its host Dmitrii Koulikov.
My guest today is the Chief Editor of the television channel RT Margarita Simonyan. Good evening, Margarita.
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DK. Today, I will have help in hosting this show from Maxim Yusin, Alexander Sosnovsky, Kristina Juliano, and Pshemislav Maschetz. Margarita, I want to start right away with a tough question, as journalists say, right in your face. I am warning you – I won’t let you avoid the answer.
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MS.When will I stop beating my wife?
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DK. This, Margarita, is from the American “9 days” – they discuss things like that. I am talking about serious matters. Although this was also suggested by the Americans. Explain to us what relations you have with Pokemons? No, do not laugh. Just confess – were Pokemons one of your tricks? Do you control them?
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MS. I feed them.
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DK.You feed Pokemons? I will explain for the viewers who aren’t aware. The formidable American channel CNN yesterday produced an investigation that Russia, as it turned out, exerted significant influence on the American politics using the game Pokemon-Go. In particular, it stirred up the national and racial hatred. Have they already discovered your traces in this?
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MS. No, fortunately our traces haven’t been discovered in this, although CNN is clearly hinting at our involvement. Similarly, all mainstream American media are trying to find our marks everywhere.
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DK. CNN said that a certain company was celling clothes for blacks, which, by the order of Russia, inflamed racial hatred. Did you have your finger in that, too? The viewers are laughing. What are you laughing at? These are mainstream reports at CNN, the largest news channel in the USA.
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MS. CNN – do you know what the President of the United States calls CNN? – fake news channel. CNN has only one purpose: interfere with Trump, achieve his removal or completely destroy his reputation. It is well know that they have been at war for a long, long time. As the experts say, Trump intended and could have closed them – CNN is in some difficulties. So, they are fighting with Trump. The fact that for that purpose they are using completely insane wild ideas . . .
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DK. Are they fighting with Trump or with us, Margarita?
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MS. They are fighting with Trump through us. They would have not fought with us that actively – they always disliked us – but they would have not fought with us if they haven’t had a goal to somehow squeeze and damage Trump.They aren’t that much interest in us as such; they are now simply whipping up this hysterics because of Trump. This is quite obvious. However, the arguments they use to achieve this goal are beyond any measure of good or evil.
Yesterday, the major resource Yahoo News sends us a question: “We have spoken with a former White House employee, and a former White House employee believes that you are connected with the Russian intelligence services”. We responded to them: “Listen, according to the survey of an organization working in the US milk industry, 7% of the American public believes that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. So what?” People could hold various beliefs.
A question like this resembles the one they taught us in the School of Journalisms at the University, a question that puts a person in an awkward position: when will you stop beating your wife? No matter how you answer, you will be in the wrong. I do not know . . .
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DK. I think CNN outdid that question.
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MS. I do not know what to say. A year ago, a report was released from CIA and other intelligence agencies of the USA, half of which was about us. My name in that report was mention 27 times. Russia Today was mentioned dozens of times. What they accuse us of – some show I was hosting on RenTV 5 years ago and somehow by so doing interfered with the American elections; other nonsense like that – there is not a single fact that we indeed are engaged in illegal, unprofessional, clandestine, or unethical activities.
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MS. I will tell you about Twitter in a moment. We are not engaged in any untoward activities. They in Congress summon Twitter and say: What was the deal between Twitter and RT? RT spent $275,000 in Twitter. For $275,000, we elected the President of the United States! Hillary spent a billion dollars, but we did that for $275,000.
They try to present this for the general public that does not know the details as some sort of covert fishy practice. Listen.Twitter came to us before the elections with beautiful presentation – Twitter came to us – and said: “Guys, we are approaching all media outlets suggesting they buy ads during the election campaign to increase visibility”. Great. Of course, we do advertisement; we have had ads every year on Twitter, Facebook, on CNN and NBC, for goodness’s sake. We have ads on billboards; we have just started terrific ads at airports. This is normal activity of any self-respecting media organization. For example, Kommersant periodically makes great ads on billboards; I always see them with pleasure. Just recently heard their ads on the radio.
But the Americans present this activity in a special way – sort of, slander away and something will stick.
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DK. Their approach is quite nuanced – the last news on Twitter. The charge was refined: Twitter deliberately deleted the traces of your activity on Twitter.
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MS. So, we broke Twitter?
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MS. Well . .
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DK. This is in all seriousness. A Congressman said that just yesterday.
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MS. I know we aren’t conducting any shady activity that they are trying to find. They search and search but find nothing. Then they target perfectly normal, established, common things we do. Tomorrow, they will accuse us of using telephones and computers. We pay salaries to our staff – I have to confess right now before I am accused of doing that by the CIA and Congress! Yes, we do pay salaries to our employees.
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DK. This is a crime. How could you do such a thing?
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MS. I not only use telephone, but have Blackberry, and American telephone.
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MS. Those in the know will understand.
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DK. Speaking seriously, Margarita, the US wants to declare you a foreign agent, which amounts to sanctions against the channel. At the end of the next week some decisions will be made. What are we to expect? I understand you may not be able to speak about everything, but . . .
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MS. We don’t know what to expect. Dementia has developed to the point it is impossible to figure out what to expect. If they in all seriousness accuse us that Twitter for our sake deleted some traces somewhere – we are nothing for Twitter. Our $200,000 for Twitter that earns billions!
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DK. This is a microbe, yes.
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MS. This is hilarious! But they are not laughing. It is a mystery to me why this does not seem ridiculous to them. Is it because their level of education and understanding of the world is so low they really don’t see how farcical the whole thing is?
Or they do find this funny, but they go out there, pretend and pronounce from the high podiums that this is serious in order to influence the uninformed populace.
This I still haven’t figured out. But expect we should just about anything, absolutely anything. I will not be surprised if tomorrow we will be accused, and, perhaps, even criminally prosecuted, for the use of telephones, cars, or something else like that my eyes are blue.
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DK. The announced position of our government that we will respond in a reciprocal manner. Possibly, many American publications and journalist working in Russia will feel that response. Where is the limit of such a war?
We have a diplomatic war going, an informational war; we have a hybrid war, although no one quite knows what that is, but we do have it. How we are about to have a media war, which is different from the informational war, because this one is in the legal sphere, right? Let us say we will have a legal media war from now on.
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MS. Most important question of all: who needs any of this? Who needs these wars, and what are they trying to accomplish?
Obviously, no real war will happen. How could two nuclear powers go to war? They will destroy the whole planet in three days that is all. Then why? What is the idea? Clearly, Trump, who is supposed to be the President of the United States, does not need this.
When Congress started that so called investigation against us, he himself wrote in Twitter – as we know he loves to rule the country via Twitter (by the way, this is one more question for Twitter) – that it would be better if Congress took an interest in fake news produced by the American media, and they produce a huge amount of them.
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DK. Yesterday, in Trump’s twitter NBC overtook CNN as the premier fake new outlet. Trump wrote: “I thoughts the biggest fake news channel was CNN but now I think it is NBC”. So, the competition continues.
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MS. I don’t understand what this is all for.
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DK. Many guests of this program ask the same question: Why? Many political analysts, our colleagues ask this question and are unable to finding a logical explanation.
Margarita, you know America well – to imagine 2-3 years ago that the President of the United States would publicly suggest to his Head of the Department of State to compare IQs was impossible. I certainly could not have. Perhaps, you know them better than I . . .
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MS. That I could easily have imagined. The American political culture is no different form the culture of the show business. It has BEEN show business for a long time now. A person who presents a better show gets elected. That is why, to a large measure, BTW Clinton lost – she is simply a bad showman. That is all; the Democrats bet on the wrong person. I do not see anything strange in that.
But how the quality of expertise has declined, how the level of education and professionalism has deteriorated – this is impossible to believe. I am stupefied as to how this could have happened. I mean many people in the establishment.
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DK. Do you have a hypothesis why they are doing all this? Your own hypothesis?
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MS. What is this all for? My only hypothesis is the internal political struggle, which we are the accidental victims of. I do not see any other cause.
Just a year ago, representatives of the American Department of State, with whom I occasionally meet, used to tell me:“You see, in Europe in some countries you have had problems like losing accreditation or having your bank account closed, whereas in American you do not have problems and will not”.
“We are a democratic country and respect freedom of speech; we have the First Amendment; so, you must admit that the US is the beacon and does hold to its own principles”. I always recognized that. I also said so on different shows and in many other places publicly that that country should be respected. Although the US often spreads chaos and mayhem all over the world but at home they do keep to their principles – they do not ban us from broadcasting.
But the same people from the Department of State also used to tell me: “If we ever see that the American media and American journalists have difficulties in Russia, we will respond accordingly”. The American media and American journalists so far have had no difficulties but we are already seeing a response.
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DK. Thank you, Margarita. We will have a short commercial break and then continue our interesting discussion with our guests.
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DK. This is the show “The Right to Know!” on the channel TVCenter. We are continuing our discussing with Margarita Simonyan. Maxim, please, go ahead.
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Maxim Yucin, International Analyst, Kommercant. Right before the commercial break you, Margarita, said with a smile: “Mirror response”. Now it has been discussed quite seriously what kind of response there will be – obviously, there has to be some reaction to
There are two options. Many members of the Parliament, Senators favor one option, a tough one: to create maximal discomfort to the American journalists working in Russia in response to what is being done to you and your colleagues. This means adopting the American way.
The second option is not to emulate the Trump administration or those that urge it to act in such an unseemly way; not to emulate them and not do to anything similar to what they are doing; not to copy the actions that we ourselves do not like. If we chose this option, we, on the one hand, give our right to an effective response and some kind of satisfaction. But, perhaps, in contrast to that pandemonium created by the Americans, we in the eyes of the rest of the world will look adequate, normal, civilized. Perhaps, this would be a more long-term and rewarding investment into the Russia’s image.
Which option would you prefer?
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MS. First of all, please, believe me, the rest of the world will know nothing about this if the media will not tell it – we cannot tell all the stories singlehandedly. Look, I am a journalist. I am not a senator, congressman, official, or diplomat. The subject we are discussing, what you brought up in your question has to do with the international relations. I have nothing to do with the international relations and do not want to have anything to do with them. At some point in my life when I had to choose, I made a choice not to enter politics and not to become a government official. I remain a journalist.
From that standpoint, I want that journalists could work freely everywhere, in Russia, in America, everywhere. At the same time, as the head of my organization, I would welcome any measures that would force them to leave us alone and to let us continue doing our journalist job. Any measures, you understand, that would serve that purpose – if something can be done to get them off our backs, let’s do it. If nothing can be done, then let us look for other ways to survive in this situation.
I do not a war for its own sake. I want everyone to live in peace, to broadcast normally and tell people the truth the feel they need to tell.
00:15:26,519 –> 00:15:34,119
DK. Margarita, Maxim asked a good question but it has a secondary meaning: the rest of the world and such. You said that the rest of the world might never know about this if the mainstream media does not tell.
But there are supposedly civilized parts of that world like France, for example, and yet, as far as I know, restrictions against Sputnik are still in place in France. You are not accredited in the Elysee palace or in the French State department – so they are ignoring you, to put it mildly.
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MS. We have had problems in France right from the beginning of the Presidential campaign and later when Macron was elected President. Nevertheless, we are working there – no one so far has banned us from broadcasting.
The problems remain, though: they have run their election campaign using this antagonism – look, the Russian news channel fights against us, so you have to resist Russia and vote for us. Of course, there was not a modicum of truth in it. Nobody can offer us an example of any wrong we have done, anything specific.
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DK. I can. It is very simple. Remember Le Mond a day before the elections in France? “Vote for Macron!” – the leading French newspaper shows the headline like that a day before the voting. But you, Margarita, do not do things like that.
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MS. True. In America, the establishment accuses us of not supporting Clinton – indeed, we did not.
In France, they reproach us for not supporting Macron – indeed, we did not. We supported no one.
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AS. And Merkel?
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MS. We did not support Merkel, either.
They write in the CIA report: “They have broadcasted debates of the independent candidates”, – that is, not the main two supported by the establishment. Yes, we did. But this is our job! This is the very essence of the journalist profession – to give voice to those denied the voice in other places.
If this is looked upon as a crime committed by a journalist, then let us honestly say that the Western world as we have known it and LOVED, with its Western values as we have known them and LOVED, no longer exists. There are no values; there is no Western world. That is left is authoritarian regimes simply painted in the colors of their national flags. This would be honest, and I am prepared to accept that from now on we live like that, and let us take this new reality into account.
But no, we are continuously told: “Of course, we do have values; it is you who have nothing to do with these values because you are not with us”. But wait a minute, your values are such that those not with you also have a voice – “Oh, no, not you.” Why not us? – “Because you re not with us”. And we keep going in circles like that.
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DK. Please, Pshemislav.
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Pshemislav Maschetz, Chief correspondent at the radio RMF
FM” (Poland). First, I would like to thank you for wearing a cross, thank you very much.
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MS. I am pleased but it has nothing to do with you.
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PM. Naturally. Second, if you are talking about the European values, there is no such thing. What values? Who created them? Which philosopher? Who? There is a left-liberal movement, which is dominant in Europe. For example, in Poland the majority of the population does not support these ideas, most Czechs do not, most Croats also, or Serbs, and so on.
I want to ask you about something else. You are a very experienced leader of a significant media outlet. You know that you are supporting the Russia’s interests; you are not working simply as a journalist who does what he/she wants. You are bound; you have personally met more than once with the President of the Russian Federation. . .
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DK. How horrible!
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PM. Why horrible?
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DK. You said it in such a voice: “YOU MET MORE THAT ONCE . . . ” – is that a crime?
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PM. I want to say that you are representing the interests of the Russian Federation as Russia Today. You think this is objective journalism or not?
00:19:51,720 –> 00:20:02,759
MS. My answer to your question. There are dozens, thousands of media outlets representing the interests of countries from which they broadcast. There can be no doubt that CNN represents the interests of the USA and will not in its programming deviate from the US interests. On the site of the BBC World Service several years ago (I don’t know about today), there was a statement that they EXIST in order to bring the British values into the world. When France was creating France24, the President openly stated that he was creating that TV channel to help the world to learn the French position and hear the voice of France. Deutsche Welle exists on the same basis. Not to mention such well known Arabic media as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.
Every country has the right to have media that would tell the world the views of that country. We are honest people – twelve years ago, when Russia Today was in the process of being created, I organized a press conference and said: “Friend and colleagues. We are creating a TV channel that will be paid for from the government funds of Russia and will exist for the purpose of broadcasting the Russia’s views about the world as well as tell the world what is happening in Russia.We said it openly 12 years ago.
There is a huge number of media outlets that receive, in a roundabout way, financing from governments, from intelligence services – the American ones, for example. Not to mention huge corporation owning the media that also have their own specific and quite obvious interests, including political ones. The difference is these media do not speak about these things; they pretend that they do not represent anybody’s interests. They are so wonderfully objective; they work exclusively for the sake of the illustrious principles of journalism, and they do not have any position.
The illustrious principles of journalism and a position are not mutually exclusive. We just need to speak about this honestly. What sets us apart from those media is that we never made a secret of it. We are a Russian TV channel; all people working for us know full well that they are working for a Russian media outlet. Our viewers that watch and listen to us also know that. But to pretend that you are not representing, say, a British TV channel, but some sort of general world – this is stupid, dishonest, and mean. Because it can never be like that; every person is . .
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PM. Surely not mean?
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MS. .Do you know why it is mean? Because. . .
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DK. You are lying to your viewers.
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MS. Of course. It is misleading. Every person always has a special background – speaking of objectivity. For example, a person who grew up in a strict Muslim country where the Muslim values are highly respected is sent to report on a gay parade. Can you imaging what position he would display in that reportage? If a person who grew up with liberal values in a small Western European country reports on the same gay parade, he would display a totally different attitude towards the event. Both would insist that they are totally objective, but it is impossible.
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PM. When I studied in the School of Journalism, I was taught that – it was the end of socialism in Poland – I was taught that there is journalism where you tell the facts first and then comment on them. But this type no longer exists.
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MS. This does not exist and has not existed for a long time. I must tell you that in the US this type of journalism never existed. In Europe in some places – perhaps, or at least, there were attempts. But in the US everyone knows which TV channel supports which party; who they support during the elections – they always tell whom they support – and work on the basis of that support.
The American audience does not feel there is anything strange or wrong in such a situation. They know that New York Times supported the Democrats and the Democratic candidate.
It is all very clear; no questions need to be asked. Otherwise, people would have to figure out what the journalists mean and come to conclusions on their own. But here everything is explained to you – just go and vote.
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DK. It is a shame that we do not have any disagreements. First, Pan Pshemislav said that there were no European values – you heard that, Margarita?
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PM. I said that they are undefined.
00:24:11,959 –> 00:24:20,680
DK. If they are undefined it means they do not exist. Then he said that there is no journalism based on facts, either.
00:24:20,680 –> 00:24:26,239
MS. I made a point at the beginning when speaking of the European values, that this are the values as we understood and LOVED them. Indeed, they are not defined in writing anywhere – this is not a Bible, where everything is written and, for a believer, a literal truth. But here it is mostly in the air.
As I understood the European values, they included respect for the rights of minorities, any minorities, not necessarily sexual, but political as well, geopolitical, geographical, national; respect for the rights of a minority to have a voice, a media outlet . .
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PM. The most important value is to avoid another war; it was invented to avoid a war in Europe. It was in the foundation of the European Union – in order to prevent wars. Two the most horrid wars happened in Europe.
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DK. I believe our country has a lot to do with the creation of that value.
00:25:18,119 –> 00:25:26,039
MS. You know full well that in that horrid war in Europe our country lost the largest number of people. And, of course, to avoid a war . .
00:25:26,039 –> 00:25:36,200
PM. I can argue with that. Poland lost 6 million out of 38 million – this is a huge number.
00:25:36,200 –> 00:25:46,839
MS. Nobody is denigrating huge and terrible losses of life by Poland. Here you and I are on the same side of the moral barricades if they do exist. That was a tragedy for our people, for our SOVIET PEOPLES, as well as for your people.
OK, “anything but a war” – that is what I have been hearing since I started differentiate sounds been born in the Soviet Union. That was an uncontested, unquestioned Soviet value. That does not mean it could not be at the same time a European value, since many millions have perished in Europe as well.
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DK. Please, Kristina.
00:26:10,959 –> 00:26:21,839
Kristina Juliano, Chief Correspondent at the Information Agency Askanews (Italy). I wanted to continue your discussion, because recently I received a small gift from a Catholic priest. A writing on it in Latin says: “Give a voice to a minority”, i.e. let speak the people that normally are silent.
I believe you have one big problem – you do you job too well – and this is truly a huge problem.If we continue to cite, we could cite Nietzsche who said: Whatever doe not kill you, makes you stronger”. Possibly, you have just grown too strong lately.
My question is like that: if you had an offer from CNN to work for them, how would you have responded?
00:27:23,039 –> 00:27:28,519
MS. How would I have responded to CNN? Never. Absolutely out of the question.
You know I went to school in the United States. When I was about to go there – it was in mid-1990s, and we all remember what was going on in our country at the time; I was 15 years-old – I was moving there with a thought to remain there permanently. Pretty much all my contemporaries I have known wanted the same in the mid-1990s in a small town of Krasnodar – perhaps, not so small but rather hopeless in 1995. My family dreamed of me staying there, and I had every opportunity to settle in the US.
I returned, because I realized that I could not live anywhere but here. I simply cannot, you understand? And I also realized that “motherland” is not just what we read about in the Soviet textbooks, which we got disillusioned about later; the word at some point felt for us covered with something hypocritical-like.
You remember – of course, you do not, you are a foreigner, but many remember our state of mind in the mid-1990s. We wanted to keep away from that all. But when you do go away . . .
00:28:37,400 –> 00:28:40,879
DK. It is interesting, Margo, the fate of the generation, that of our as well as your – yours is younger than mine. I think that within the Soviet project the generation of the 1980s, the one that went to school in the 1880s . . .
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AS. And in the 1970s.
00:28:51,519 –> 00:29:04,959
DK. Generally speaking, those were well-prepared people; they grew up without a war, in human conditions, with normal food, with excellent education, with good medical care – this was the first generation of the Soviet people that could have upgraded that project. But everything crushed. I believe you talk about this a lot.
00:29:19,239 –> 00:29:25,639
MS. We can talk about this, yes, because I represent the last generation of the Soviet people. Well, as far as food is concerned, we did have difficulties. I remember in my childhood in 1980s mile-long lines, and my mother that woke us at 4 am to wait in line to buy butter, since we could only buy two packs of butter per person, and with all of us we made a crown of 6.
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DK. Yes, but our parents had not seen that butter at all, that’s what I am talking about.
00:29:49,239 –> 00:29:59,959
MS. You know my mother says that in 1960s and 1970s (I do not have personal knowledge of that, naturally, since that was before I was born) the conditions were better than in 1980s.
00:29:59,959 –> 00:30:10,239
DK. I was growing up in 1970s. In reality, the time when everything started to disappear was at the end of 1980s.
00:30:10,239 –> 00:30:12,319
MS. That is was I am saying – that was the time of my childhood.
00:30:12,319 –> 00:30:15,639
DK. What was your imprinting? The last years of 1980s.
00:30:15,639 –> 00:30:17,079
MS. The second part of the 1980s.
00:30:17,079 –> 00:30:25,839
DK. You said: “I realized that I could not live anywhere but here”. There is an important distinction: you could not live anywhere but here of your could not live there?
00:30:25,839 –> 00:30:27,959
MS. No, I cannot live anywhere but in in Russia. Nowhere. I would be very unhappy.
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DK. Just in Russia?
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MS. I understand very well the entire Russia emigration literature, which to a large extent is about how those people were unhappy. I realized that when I left. This is impossible to understand until you have the experience. Otherwise, it seems a little silly: such nonsense; there are people everywhere; if you have a good job, if you can have your relative come and join you, everything should be fine.
I am sure there are people that can adapt easily, but there are also rigid people like myself, for whom it is all but impossible to adapt anywhere else. I could leave Russia only if I was expelled, God forbid. This is the answer to you question if I could work for CNN – no, I could not.
However, I do not see anything wrong if some people can. Please, be my guest, if this agrees with your values, your state of mind and your soul – this is a large open world where everyone could find a place. But you asked ME – I most certainly could not.
00:31:21,800 –> 00:31:25,439
DK. Now we will select for ourselves a commercial beak, but right after that – Alexander Sosnovsky.
00:31:40,360 –> 00:31:45,400
DK. This is “The right to Know!” on the TVCenter channel. We are continuing our discussion with Margarita Simonyan. Alexander, please.
00:31:45,400 –> 00:31:48,680
Alexander Sosnovsky, The Chief Editor of the Internet publication “World Economy” (Germany). Margarita, I have a problem – as a German, I have my text prepared, by out host Dmitrii stole my first question about Pokemons.
00:31:54,680 –> 00:31:55,959
DK. I did not know.
00:31:55,959 –> 00:32:03,280
AS. I very much wanted to know how many Pokemons have you managed to catch today but I am withdrawing my question.
I have a remark about the brown cows BTW. In Germany it sounds differently: “Brown butter comes from cows of company “Roshen” (chocolate company owned by the Ukrainian President Poroshenko)”.
I have a few questions. You must know that the Germans treat the media from Russia very seriously, and Germany has one thing, which we know well ever since Cold War: witch hunt. I can state very cynically that right now in Germany there are all the signs of that witch hunt. Some journalists, one of whom you know well, but I won’t say his name, so that he does not suffer because I said it, feel it. You sure know a Russian journalist and political analyst who a few years ago in an interview he gave to a German newspaper, I don’t remember which one, said that the Americans cut out the Germans’ brains, and that is why Germans do what they do to Germany. Then in Germany this journalist was destroyed. He lost access to all mass media; he is not allowed to speak anywhere; he has all venues closed; but this is considered pretty normal in a country proud of the Article 5 of its Constitution that declares freedom of speech and opinions. There are other examples.
There is another journalist whose name I will disclose with pleasure – Boris Rightschuster, who worked many years in the German publishing house Focus first in Moscow and then in Germany. He denigrates all Russian media, Russian journalists, including me, even though I am not a Russian, but a German journalist. There are other people in Germany spreading lies, to put it mildly. For example, they say that Russian Germans (although I don’t quite understand what is meant by Russian Germans – people can be either Russians or Germans) susceptible to RT propaganda create militant groups, which will affect the forthcoming elections, and other BS on these lines…
00:34:31,119 –> 00:34:33,920
MS. And Pokemons are in the avant guard of these militant groups.
00:34:33,920 –> 00:34:41,720
AS. Exactly. Pokemons who you personally catch in the morning.
00:34:41,720 –> 00:34:42,519
MS. Yes, I give them instructions.
00:34:42,519 –> 00:34:51,439
AS. Yes, you give them marching orders. First, I want to congratulate you: any German journalist would be happy if someone puts on him the pressure they put on RT and you personally, which shows that you are strong in Germany.
Here is my question: do you plan to defend dissident journalism in Germany? If the answer is yes, do you have methods to do that? As you know, we are developing in Germany. I hope very much (cross my fingers) that next year or a bit later we will launch a TV channel in German.
00:35:31,879 –> 00:35:41,920
MS. This is my answer to you. Then dissident German journalists will know where to go. Even now we are developing out resources in Germany: we have German-language website, which is, BTW, very popular in German social media, according to stats we get from Germany. So, anyone blocked from mainstream media is welcome, you have an outlet, if you act within law and do not express extremists opinions.
00:36:12,959 –> 00:36:19,319
AS. Then teach Pokemons to speak German. It’s high time.
00:36:19,319 –> 00:36:23,639
MS. You might be amused, I never saw a Pokemon.
00:36:23,639 –> 00:36:32,079
Alexander touched upon this, so I’ll try to move forward about the future of journalism. I fully agree that it’s high time to bury the myth of independent journalism, because it is nothing but a myth.
00:36:51,720 –> 00:36:52,959
AS. Yes, I agree.
00:36:52,959 –> 00:36:58,119
DK. We agreed with Pshemislav that things that seemed carved in stone …
00:36:58,119 –> 00:36:59,159
PM. It does not exist.
00:36:59,159 –> 00:37:04,720
DK. So, the basic principles of the profession are essentially forgotten. What remains?
There will be “songs for the street and songs for the kitchens” (allusion to a Russian rock song of the late eighties), like in the Soviet Union.
00:37:15,519 –> 00:37:19,920
MS. “One set of words for kitchens, another for the streets, and I line up even while kissing” (an allusion to the same song).
00:37:23,159 –> 00:37:27,039
DK. “Where the eagles are overthrown for the sake of broiler chicken” (they are trying to recall the exact lyrics of the song).
Well, this is our past, but for the world that proudly calls itself “civilized”, is this the future?
00:37:35,720 –> 00:37:50,400
MS. Looks like it. I can’t give a different answer. I don’t see any tendencies towards survival of the kind of journalism we were taught in the School of Journalism at the University. I was in college in post-Soviet times, in the late 1990s, and we were taught according to the Western standards. The journalism we dreamed about does not exist anywhere, I don’t see it. I don’t even see the conditions for its existence.
00:38:10,439 –> 00:38:20,959
DK. So, what’s in store for us? They used to threaten us with totalitarianism. Nobody could think that real, global totalitarianism will come from the West.
00:38:20,959 –> 00:38:32,360
MS. Nobody could think that it’s not the volcano inside that would blow up and cover us all; we always tried to learn from the mistakes of our past; we have always been feeling like on top of a volcano, which is about to explode and cover us with totalitarianism. But the molten rock is coming from the outside. That is truly shocking. That has been a great surprise of last few years.
Like someone said that everything we were told about communism turned out to be untrue, but everything we were told about capitalism turned out to be true.
00:38:54,239 –> 00:39:04,879
DK. That’s a joke that contains a grain of a joke. BTW, what do you think about the US leaving UNESCO? This is the area of science, education, culture, media…
00:39:04,879 –> 00:39:06,479
MS. What was wrong with UNESCO, of all things?
00:39:06,479 –> 00:39:10,200
DK. What’s wrong? Well, it did not obey the US.
00:39:10,600 –> 00:39:25,319
AS. Any German journalist who voices his opinion that does not coincide with mainstream opinions will be labeled as “one who understands Putin”. Today in Germany this is an insult. This is horrible. The person is branded, and that’s the end.
00:39:28,800 –> 00:39:41,159
MS. It’s the same in the States. If you dare to express even a neutral position about Russia and Putin, you are branded “Putin’s useful idiot”, and that’s the end. You won’t have access to anything; many experts who contact us and talk with us are hounded. This is like that in all Western countries.
A couple of days ago “The Times” published an editorial saying that all MPs who have talked to RT must be punished. By Pokemons shooting them or Twitter quartering them, perhaps? This is crazy pressure on people to prevent them from working with us and from saying anything different from the “choir song” of the mainstream media.
If this is not totalitarianism, I don’t know what is.
00:40:26,439 –> 00:40:27,200
DK. Please, Maxim.
00:40:27,200 –> 00:40:36,239
MY. Dmitry mentioned the French theme I love, so I will also turn to it. I must say that while asking this question I do not mean your media. I did not see, maybe because I don’t need to listen to English-language news, so I don’t know whether Russia Today twisted something, so the question is not about you. It’s about our colleagues, who while reporting pre-election situation in France did too much propaganda and misreported the real picture.
We all remember what was said about then candidate Macron – like anti-Russian, US agent vying for power. Well, he came to power, and nothing bad happened, on the contrary, the relations with Russia improved. To the surprise and possibly disappointment of many, he quickly invited Putin to the Versailles, which goes against the talk about blockade or isolation of Russia in Europe. Now, as we found out recently, Macron plans to go to St.Petersburg to the Economic Forum as one of the two main guests. In the Minsk-Normandy format, he showed himself as an adequate, understanding, even comfortable partner for Putin.
Do you think this situation with France would teach something our colleagues, who have become too beholden to propaganda and are trying to push wrong impressions upon their audience? That is to say, they push their idiosyncrasies, their phobias onto the audience, which have little to do with the reality, whereas the reality is not all that scary?
00:42:17,800 –> 00:42:31,360
MS. I think you offend our colleagues for nothing. They don’t push their own phobias or opinions – they are just reporters. You are a columnist and analysts; your job is different. You carefully read, analyze, plan ahead, draw your conclusions. Reporters have a more immediate high-speed job. They report what is happening here and now.
People who said that Macron was very negative on Russia were just listening to what he was saying at that moment. He did say that. His chief of electoral staff built his whole campaign on fighting Russia and Russian media. That was the main theme of their election campaign.
It’s the same situation as with Trump, only the reverse. Trump before the elections was saying that he will have good relations with Putin, but as soon as he was elected, started offering us his “gifts” in Syria, confiscating embassies, and so on.
One needs to have either your vast experience in analysis, or totally perverted mentality to think that someone, like Macron, for a few months during his campaign repeatedly declares one thing, bit as soon as he is elected, he is going to do the exact opposite. This tells us once again that journalism . .
00:43:50,319 –> 00:43:52,360
DK. This tells us a lot about the values of democracy.
00:43:52,360 –> 00:44:06,239
MS. Journalism, in my mind, is a lot more straightforward, open, and honest profession than politics. Someone said that Russia is bad and Putin is bad, one thinks that would be his policy. To imagine that he will build all his campaign on this, and right after the elections become almost our best friend, by today’s standards, you have to be not a reporter, but someone else.
00:44:17,000 –> 00:44:29,519
MS. You mentioned embassies and the latest story with flags over our consulate buildings in the States: they took them down, or, as we sometimes say, tore hem down…
00:44:29,519 –> 00:44:31,159
MS. They promised to return them to us.
00:44:31,159 –> 00:44:41,479
DK. They said that they took them down with all due respect, carefully folded, maybe even ironed, as every American respects the national flag. What is this: cynicism, hypocrisy, what word should I use?
00:44:48,280 –> 00:44:57,319
MS. This is it. Every American respects the AMERICAN flag. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. The same applies to flags.
Aren’t you annoyed as much as I am when the Americans talk internally about wars they lead, and they always say: “this many American lives were lost”? Only the life of an American matters, because nobody dives a damn how many non-American lives were lost.
00:45:20,600 –> 00:45:22,400
DK. They were never interested in the Indians, that is true.
00:45:22,400 –> 00:45:26,680
MS. I mean current wars, Iraq, Syria…
00:45:26,680 –> 00:45:29,680
DK. I’d like to point out the origins of this cultural archetype…
00:45:29,680 –> 00:45:41,079
MS. The others are disposable: the loss of American lives is a tragedy, whereas the lives of others aren’t that valuable. This is part of the mentality, or, more like, political culture. That is the kind of political culture they have.
00:45:50,319 –> 00:45:57,280
DK. This is the exceptionalism they are proud of. This is just the other side of the same coin.
00:45:57,280 –> 00:46:10,839
First, in every room of every American school there is an American flag, in EVERY room. In the morning children come to school, and every morning in any American school starts with children standing up, putting their hand on their hearts and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. I still know it by heart; I was allowed not to say it, because I went to the administration and said that I could not pledge allegiance to the American flag, as I was a Russian citizen. They said it was a tradition – I am glad that this is a tradition, but I won’t do that. Out of politeness and respect I stood up, but silently.
Here is the pledge of allegiance to the American flag: “I pledge allegiance to the flag and great Republic that stands behind it. One nation under God with freedom and justice for all”.
From the time when you are 6 years-old all every day you say this mantra. Any psychiatrist would tell you that this becomes ingrained in your blood, cells, bone marrow, that you live in a great country with freedom and justice for all.
00:47:19,800 –> 00:47:24,119
DK. But Octyabrists and Pioneers (Soviet youth organizations) represent reprehensible totalitarianism.
00:47:26,239 –> 00:47:37,319
MS. When you grow up, who would doubts that he lives in a country with freedom and justice for all? But we do have some doubt that the country that has more prisoners per capita than any other might not quite represent freedom and justice for all. You are not supposed to doubt that because . . .
00:47:46,759 –> 00:47:48,879
DK. That ruins the faith…
00:47:48,879 –> 00:47:58,759
MS. This is indoctrination. You live with that faith from the age of six, you are repeatedly told this, so what’s the difference from what we just talked about?
00:47:58,759 –> 00:48:07,560
DK. There is no difference. They built it following our example. In the Soviet Union, the first thing you were supposed to say when you joined the children of October was that you believe in communism.
00:48:07,560 –> 00:48:08,959
MS. I think they did that before the Soviet Union.
00:48:08,959 –> 00:48:10,200
DK. If you do not say that you believe . . .
00:48:10,200 –> 00:48:12,000
MS. They started before us.
00:48:12,000 –> 00:48:13,519
DK. Surely not?
00:48:13,519 –> 00:48:15,639
MY. Children were admitted to Octyabrists automatically.
00:48:15,639 –> 00:48:28,079
DK. Margarita, they did this in the fifties. Pshemislav mentioned philosophy, and here it is: some American philosophers and looking at the Soviet project ecided that if they didn’t achieve non-reflexive belief in their democracy as the basis of American greatness, they would lose to the Soviet Union. It was clearly stated in the early fifties.
00:48:45,959 –> 00:48:59,119
PM. Sorry, I would like to interrupt you. This happened in the US after the Civil War. They needed unity of the people. That is why the flag came to be.
00:48:59,119 –> 00:49:10,600
MS. The Civil war in the US ended in 1865, 50 years before Russian revolution, in 1885, in the middle of the 19th century. That’s when it started, but the conditions for it …
00:49:10,600 –> 00:49:18,280
PM. It was necessary to create a nation. The US is not a nation; it consists of migrants. They wanted to create a nation. And they did that.
00:49:18,280 –> 00:49:31,920
MS. This is understandable. It is nice when the country loves itself so much and is so saturated with patriotism. It did not start only after the Civil war. After the Civil war they started to think about it more, but as early as in 1776, in 18th century, when the Declaration of Independence was published, in that Declaration there are elements of it: an appeal to God, a statement of pre-determination of the American greatness and its values. This is very good for them, but too bad for us.
00:50:05,039 –> 00:50:07,479
PM. That’s true. They think they are the best in the world. 00:50:09,079 –> 00:50:13,119
00:50:26,400 –> 00:50:32,319
DK. This is the program “The Right to Know!” On the TV Center channel. We continue our discussion with Margarita Simonyan. Christina, please.
00:50:32,319 –> 00:50:46,360
KJ. Margarita, I know that before you were a war reporter, at least I read about it, although I might be wrong. Don’t you think that war is your destiny?
00:50:46,360 –> 00:50:59,839
MS. No. First, before taking over RT I was a reporter in different areas, and did not have trips to war zones too often. Yes, they were, but they weren’t too numerous.
I HATE war. Those war trips are one of the reasons for that. I hate war and try to do everything in my power to, at least, try to prevent wars. Listen, I am a woman and a mother; I have two kids. No normal woman who has children can enjoy war or think that the war is her destiny. God forbid.
I believe that a one-sided view of the world, which existed and was considered self-evident in the media before we and others like us appeared, leads to wars. Look what was done to Iraq. There was not a single voice in the media that would say: wait a minute. With the jubilant support of practically all Western media the country was essentially destroyed, and then it became apparent that there was no reason for that – there were no WMDs.
I don’t have any illusions that many other wars would’ve started and ended, without anyone being the wiser if the journalists who happen to be on the other side of these insane barricades did not try to oppose it.
00:52:34,360 –> 00:52:54,119
DK. There is also our policy. Our decisions in Ukraine and Syria clearly drew the red line that we won’t back beyond. I think it made some people pause.
00:52:54,119 –> 00:53:15,879
KJ. I wanted to add that what’s happening in the media feels like a war, a war that goes on all the time. It impedes understanding, as our readers and your viewers…
Well, maybe you’re your viewers understand better, as you still have investigations, documentary materials. Unfortunately, most viewers and readers do not read much, mostly via Internet, and essentially does not understand anything. he only understands that there is a war, don’t you think? Wouldn’t the war prevent people from understanding?
00:53:55,920 –> 00:54:05,639
MS. I am not sure I quite understand your question. That most readers/ viewers are not much interested in politics and don’t understand much is a fact. In a way, it is good.
People get really interested in politics when they feel cornered. Because until they are cornered, they are interested in their family, their children, their gardens and houses. Not everyone should be involved in politics or journalism. People have a right for a private life. I can tell you that when I leave my job, I am going to be more than happy not to read any news and not to be interested in anything except my house and garden, and my children, unless they will be retired by then.
00:54:41,839 –> 00:54:57,720
DK. I think that in Christina’s question implied that formally a lot of people consume news. Everything is designed for it. You can’t live alone your phone even here. Me too.
00:54:57,720 –> 00:54:58,680
MS. This is my job.
00:54:58,680 –> 00:55:05,560
DK. I understand. But those who have no job are even less inclined to let go of their phones, even though they don’t work.
00:55:05,560 –> 00:55:09,920
MS. I do not understand those people.
00:55:09,920 –> 00:55:20,560
DK. They read it from daybreak to the night, social media, news outlets, receive messages. There is an avalanche of news delivered to you.
Question is, there is an abundance of news, but do the people understand what they read, and whether this pluralism (as Gorbachev would have said) leads to understanding. Basically, a person who understands is what we should be aiming at, as understanding person comes first, intelligent person comes second, and not the other way around.
00:55:47,159 –> 00:55:56,680
MS. It is a great mistake to think that others are dumber than you are. And to believe that people are dumber than they are. To believe that people understand less than you do.
People do understand. But there are people who are interested in it, and people who aren’t. I live in the same house with my mom and my mother-in-law. On weekends we all meet. My mother-in-law is my most eager viewer. She is going to watch your program and then tell me what was right and what was wrong, etc. She watches it all. Any time I knock on her door, she is watching your show, or Soloviev’s, or Russia-24, or something else on these lines. My mom, on the other hand, does not watch anything ever, I don’t even know why she keeps a TV.
These are two extremes: people, who are following everything, like my mother-in-law, or those who are only interested in grandchildren, garden, orchard, etc, like my mom. I can’t say that one of them understands less than the other. The only difference is, one is interested, and the other isn’t. People who are interested, let them watch, they will figure it out.
00:57:09,079 –> 00:57:14,039
DK. That’s what I am saying: consumption of the news does not lead to better understanding – this is an objective fact.
Not to mention that there is another aspect: if you watch a Western channel, you hear that Russians are fighting in Ukraine; Russians occupied Donbass; it’s full of Buryat regiments. But nobody makes an effort to find out whether they are really fighting there, or not.
00:57:32,360 –> 00:57:50,879
KJ. An example: there is room to tell that it’s a war, but not to see whether Russia is involved, what is really happening. Nobody in the West is telling how much Moscow has changed. The reason is this continuing war.
00:58:00,159 –> 00:58:02,439
MS. Why don’t you tell this at your agency.
00:58:02,439 –> 00:58:04,280
KJ. I am trying.
00:58:04,280 –> 00:58:06,519
DK. We don’t have much time, so let’s be brief.
00:58:06,519 –> 00:58:09,479
KJ. This does not help my career, by the way.
00:58:09,479 –> 00:58:12,879
DK. Please, ask one quick question.
00:58:12,879 –> 00:58:21,319
PM. I have a simple provocative question: is RT a weapon of the Russian Federation or not?
00:58:21,319 –> 00:58:27,479
MS. RT is not a weapon of anyone, the Russian Federation or anybody else. RT is not a weapon. It is a TV channel, a few websites, social media that connect super-professional people, many of whom risk their lives daily in Syria and other “pleasant” places in order to tell…
00:58:42,639 –> 00:58:47,959
PM. Question: can you talk to the president of the Russian Federation? On the phone?
00:58:47,959 –> 00:59:00,280
MS. Me? Of course not. You mean to call Putin? No, I can’t. That would be nice. I think if I could do that, I wouldn’t be sitting here.
00:59:00,280 –> 00:59:01,159
PM. To ask questions?
00:59:01,159 –> 00:59:02,400
MS. No, of course not.
00:59:02,400 –> 00:59:18,039
AS. The issue of understanding is very important. A few years ago one of Russian leaders said something about Kiev and Ukraine: “We could have reached Kiev in three days”. Virtually in all German media this phrase was changed to “we will reach Kiev in three days”, so “could have” was omitted.
00:59:28,479 –> 00:59:30,280
MS. Sure, such a minor detail.
00:59:30,280 –> 00:59:39,119
AS. Of course, these are minor things. I had to explain at some talk shows the specifics of the Russian language.
What I want to say is that despite the strictness, punctuality, and reserve of the Germans, their mentality is similar to the Russian. I believe that RT does not make a full use of such a thing as the sense of humor that you demonstrate. It’s a pleasure to talk to you, you are funny, you react quickly. I think that RT should use this quality, which is present in the German mentality as well, and not just limit yourself to dry information.
01:00:11,159 –> 01:00:14,200
DK. Have you seen the video Margarita produced about RT?
01:00:14,200 –> 01:00:16,600
AS. I have seen it, but the Germans need to see it, too.
01:00:16,600 –> 01:00:30,360
MS. I can assure you, we are the most sarcastic, full of irony, and funny TV channel among all information outlets. Right now in Europe we use our ad, which is very funny…
01:00:30,360 –> 01:00:31,959
AS. I know.
01:00:31,959 –> 01:00:42,600
MS. You saw it? It is really funny and full of irony: “CIA calls are propaganda outlet; Do you want to know what we call CIA? Watch RT”. We run many ads like that. If we open a TV channel in German, we will use our sense of humor there, as well.
01:00:52,680 –> 01:00:54,159
DK. Christina, do you have a question?
01:00:54,159 –> 01:01:00,439
KJ. Yes. What does Putin mean for you?
01:01:00,439 –> 01:01:01,560
MS. Putin? Perhaps, not “what” but “who”? Putin is the president of the Russian Federation. No more, no less.
01:01:08,079 –> 01:01:17,280
KJ. How much does the image of Russia as a victor help you?
01:01:17,280 –> 01:01:18,800
MS. Russia as a victor?
01:01:18,800 –> 01:01:36,079
KJ. Yes, I think the Putin’s image is the image of a victor. Thanks to Putin, we also perceive Russia as a victor. Don’t you feel that?
01:01:36,079 –> 01:01:43,759
MS. You know, in contrast to the Western media, I do not equate Putin and Russia. Putin is the president of the Russian Federation. I worked in the Kremlin pool from the age of 20, since 2000, when he became the President. Still, my country is not Putin, with all due respect to the President elected by the whole population, to what he is doing.
I support many aspects of his policy, first of all his foreign policy, but my country is Russia. It appeared before Putin and will end after him. These are two different things.
01:02:15,680 –> 01:02:17,879
DK. Let me correct you: it will NOT end after him.
01:02:17,879 –> 01:02:18,759
MS. That’s what I said.
01:02:18,759 –> 01:02:20,159
DK. Will NOT end.
01:02:23,079 –> 01:02:34,239
MS. I believe he understands this perfectly well and feels the same way about it. The Western media believes Putin and Russia to be one and the same, but this is an oversimplification, usual for journalism in all countries. Our journalism also simplifies. For a person, who grew up here and keenly feels that this is his Motherland, things are more complicated.
01:02:49,639 –> 01:02:51,319
DK. Maxim, please.
01:02:51,319 –> 01:02:58,800
MY. My question is to you as a person familiar with the US. You know it professionally and you lived there as a teenager, so you feel it.
Here is my question, about a different President, not Putin, but the President of another superpower, Mr. Trump. The things he is doing now create an impression of not just an elephant, but a herd of elephants in a china shop. He destroyed everything he could, abandoned lots of agreements, I don’t even want to list them all, you know them all. He brought us all to the brink of war with North Korea; I am not even going to discuss what he did with regard to Russia. He quarreled with the media, with the elite of his own party, and competes in terms of IQ (good thing this is just IQ!) with his own Secretary of State.
So, the question: will he last until the end of his first term, or American elites will find a way to get rid of him?
01:03:45,800 –> 01:03:58,280
MS. I don’t like to prognosticate, so I have no idea whether he will last. I think it’s even money. Clearly, American elite is doing everything to get rid of him. Blaming us for connections with Pokemons is a link in that very chain. Another thing is more interesting. We don’t know what awaits us, but we can analyze what happened literally yesterday.
What Trump is was known for a long time to all Americans. Trump was not launched by the Russians as a Russian rocket to land in Washington and become a President. He is a well-known persona, has been for years, a TV presenter, and many other things, and a billionaire, too. The whole country knew what he is like.
Now, can you imagine how sick and tired the country and its people were of its own establishment, including all media (all US media were against Trump), everything that is covered by the word “establishment”. They elected Trump just to spite this establishment.
01:04:56,519 –> 01:05:14,079
DK. Well. I will continue the line that Maxim started, about predictions. Here is a test situation: Ukraine adopted a law about teaching exclusively in Ukrainian, their law of education. Civilized Europe was outraged. Hungary was outraged, Romania, even Poles.
01:05:22,920 –> 01:05:24,479
PM. The Poles did not, not quite.
01:05:24,479 –> 01:05:32,959
DK. Perhaps, but they did a little. They threaten to create problems with Euro-association, voiced their outrage at the European Parliamentary Assembly.
Just yesterday Mr. Klimkin, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, said: “No need to get so excited; we will exclude from this law the languages of countries that are the EU members”. I have a question for you: they will exclude Hungarian, Romanian from this discriminatory law, but Russian will remain. Do you think Europe will shut up?
01:06:03,800 –> 01:06:07,959
MS. I am sure Europe would not just shut up – Europe will applaud.
01:06:08,959 –> 01:06:10,000
DK. The will be glad?
01:06:10,000 –> 01:06:11,079
MS. Of course. They will give a standing ovation.
01:06:11,079 –> 01:06:13,200
DK. You mean they will be happy that their problem is solved.
01:06:13,200 –> 01:06:22,759
PM. Let me jump in. Please tell me, in Russian schools in every part of Russia students are taught in what language? In Russian? Right or not? Tatars learn in Russian, is that right? Everybody is taught in Russian, true?
01:06:39,839 –> 01:06:43,600
DK. No, there are national schools in the Russian Federation.
01:06:43,600 –> 01:06:45,239
PM. Perhaps, I do not know everything.
01:06:45,239 –> 01:06:55,560
MS. Of course not. My sister, who went to school in Adler, where half of the students were taught in Armenian, even though Armenian is not even a language of the Russian Federation: Armenians have their own country, Armenia.
01:07:01,079 –> 01:07:12,039
PM. You mean to say that what Ukraine is doing is wrong. But they have an identity problem in their nation.
01:07:12,039 –> 01:07:19,039
DK. This way you can easily come to justify any racism.
01:07:19,039 –> 01:07:22,119
PM. I don’t want to justify racism.
01:07:22,119 –> 01:07:37,759
DK. The logic is, I have a problem, therefore, I am a racist. The Ukrainian education minister said that this is the kind of law we have. But you understand, Crimea left because they did not study Ukrainian there. First of all, this is a lie. They did study Ukrainian in all schools in Crimea, all student. But she lies publicly, and it is accepted.
The reaction to that law of the “civilized” Europe, those “enlightened” elves, will be as you say, Margarita, unfortunately.
01:08:01,920 –> 01:08:04,519
PM. There is declaration of the European Parliamentary Assembly saying that this law is wrong.
01:08:04,519 –> 01:08:05,839
AS. This is just a declaration.
01:08:05,839 –> 01:08:13,000
DK.Thing is, when they remove Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish from that law, it will immediately become “right”. That is what Margarita and I believe.
Thanks to everyone for this interesting discussion! I will see you in a week as usual.