‘Fifth Columns‘of the Kremlin that have not Disappeared Anywhere in Europe. III. A Humanitarian – Terrorist Well Accepted in the West.

Zakhar Prilepin, a prominent personality titled by the pro-Kremlin public is known as a writer, musician and actor. Russian describes his active political and social activities in Russia and ‘near abroad ‘countries. There if…

Zakhar Prilepin, a prominent personality titled by the pro-Kremlin public is known as a writer, musician and actor. Russian describes his active political and social activities in Russia and ‘near abroad ‘countries. There if you enter the phrase ‘blizhneye zarubezhie‘ (near abroad) in the map shown alongside the text you will find the Baltic States marked in blue.   
The author of six novels is considered to be one of the patriarchs of contemporary Russian military prose. His texts have been translated into minimum 13 foreign languages. In October 2014 the magazine Russkij reporter included him in the list of one hundred most prominent people of Russia of that year. In the rating of the most prominent Russian politicians made by pro-Kremlin Moscow Institute of Socio-economic and Political Researches Z. Prilepin was in the eighth position and next year rose to the fifth position.   
He has been a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Culture of Russia since 2016. In December 2018 he was appointed Deputy artistic director of Maxim Gorky Moscow Academic Theatre and he was in good terms with his boss Eduard Boyakov about one question – they support particularly actively separatist ‘republics‘ in the east of Ukraine and also by their frequent visits there. In Vladimir Putin‘s Russia generalization of such activities is logical – in the survey held by Kryshtavonskaya Laboratory in 2017 the writer was in the 39 position among the rating of most respected  Russians. In voting organized by the Internet portal and held last December Z. Prilepin was rated as the most influential litterateur of the decade.   
Actually, the beginning was not imperial. The future humanitarian terrorist was born in Ryazan area Ilinka village on 7 July 1975, in 1999 he graduated from State University of Nizhny Novgorod and was awarded a diploma of a philologist and could leave a special unit OMON where he was serving. He was actively progressing his carrier from the very beginning – in 2000 he was employed by the Nizhny Novgorod newspaper and in 2001 he was already Editor in chief of this newspaper. He started publishing his literature texts in cultural press of Russia in 2003.   
In politics Z. Prilepin made his debut as a national Bolshevik after he joined the party Drugaya Rossia established by the late writer Eduard Limonov and in 2010 he was already elected to its Executive committee. For some time he was the editor of the Nizhniy Novgorod national Bolshevik newspaper Narodnyj Nabliudatel. After the writer started to ‘normalize‘ his vector of life to the favour of the Kremlin, E. Limonov dismissed him from Drugaya Rossia. 
On 10  March of the same year he signed the address ‘V. Putin has to retire‘, right after that in his two interviews he declared that the President of Russia was personifying the system which should be changed, because the country had to be saved from ‘political permafrost‘. In 2011 the writer encouraged to reproduce m children for saving Russia. In 2012 he encouraged V. Putin in public to retire.  
The first sign demonstrating disregard for measures seeking power and recognition was an article ‘To the Pen Friend Stalin’ that was published on the social-political internet portal Svobodnya Pressa in 2012 that was run by Z. Prilepin. ‘The Letter’ was strictly negatively evaluated by literates Igor Irtenyev, Dmitry Bykov, Viktor Shenderovich and Veronika Dolina. The former Minister of Culture of Russia Mikhail Shvydkoy told that he was insulted by inferior turpitude of the article and a publicist, consistent critic of V.Putin‘s regime Andrei Piontkovsky found signs of fascism in ‘The Letter‘. It is likely that Z. Prilepin was seeking a scandal purposefully, because he made a public spectacle of himself.    
A sudden ‘afflatus‘ in 2014 made a major contribution to the step towards a striving career when in March of that year he already denounced Russian cultural activists, who were talking against annexation of Crimea. In September Z. Prilepin went to the zone of military conflict in eastern Ukraine and sent reportages from separatist ‘republics’ in Donetsk and Luhansk, for instance to the daily Moskovskaya Pravda or to Svobodnaya Pressa moderated by him.
On 1 October the writer declared he had not the slightest reproaches against the Kremlin, addressed his readers with an incitement to support the so-called Novorussia with cash and collected three million Russian roubles in three days (in current currency rate 1 euro is about 80 roubles). He took products and medications bought for that money to civilians and ammunition to soldiers by his own car in front of the column of Russian humanitarian aid (an excellent step of public relations) to separatist regions. In March 2015 he collected 12 million Russian roubles according to the same algorithm and improved the process of delivery of the aid in a film ‘Not Uncongenial Confusion‘. The same year he presented his books ‘Pathologies’ and ’Monastery‘in Luhansk.      
In December 2015 Z. Prilepin became an advisor of Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of Donetsk People‘s Republic. From October of the next year to November 2018 he was Deputy Commander of the separatist army battalion. In November 2016 he was promoted to the rank of major, as a result of which the agency Wiedling Literary Agency terminated cooperation with a writer-terrorist, which used to represent his copyright interests in international publishing market. On the other hand, participation in the conflict and killing Ukrainians did not stop him from organizing meetings ‘in paralel‘ with readers in Moscow book-shops.    
He declared that the final goal of the war was founding of Novorussia and return of the Russian city Kiev. The Security Council of Ukraine brought a criminal case against Z. Prilepin for terrorism and funding of terrorism, as it was told by Yuriy Mykhalchysyn, deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on ZIK TV in November 2017 that he was a person who in his activities tried to destroy statehood of his country. Separatists awarded ‘The Cross of the Union of Donbas Volunteers’ in 2017 to Z. Prilepin.   
He managed successfully leave the ‘Donetsk People‘s Republic‘ in July 2018, one month before blasting of A. Zakharchenko (the crime has not been investigated up to now) and now lives in Russia. In his interview to the TV journalist Alexey Pivovarov last year in August, probably trying to bring to mind about himself, he boasted that he was a chief of a combat unit that killed a lot of people (as if more than any other). However, he was not worried about courts – nobody would put him into prison.   
Imperial activity cannot be unnoticed. In November 2018 Z. Prilepin was included in the staff of the People‘s front initiated by the President of Russia (at that time of a ‘temporary‘ Prime Minister) that was intended to increase and solidify a number of fans of the current Russian regime. Last October the writer established a social movement ‘For Truth‘ and on 1 February of the current year he already held the founding meeting of the party ‘For Truth‘ and Z. Prilepin was elected its chair. In May the Ministry of Justice of Russia included the party ‘For Truth‘in the list of parties that can participate in elections to the Duma next year.     
It would strange if it was the other way round. In the election program of the party they suggest an amendment to the Constitution of Russia (its leader already in January was included in the group preparing amendments) regarding the right of Russia to incorporate any lands anywhere, not only in the former Soviet Union or Russian Empire if 75 percent of their inhabitants approve incorporation. Estonian Narvs, Latvian Latgals around Daugavpils and Rezekne with an abundant diaspora of Russians should be aware – once the humanitarian terrorist makes its way to the power neither NATO nor ES would help…
Besides, it says that it is necessary to organize referendums in Donetsk and Luhansk ‘republics‘, Transnistria in Moldova, Abkhazia and South Ossetia torn from Georgia in regards to incorporation of them to Russia. They talk about a complete united state of Russia and Belarus with common authorities, budget and currency. After he wins the place in Duma (Z. Prilepin called it a program minimum) the leader of ‘For Truth‘ announced as if he would organize special rioters for expanding the boarders of the ‘Russian world‘. As if in case Russia had similar of them in 2014, today Novorussia alongside Luhansk and Donetsk would incorporate Kharkov, Kherson and Odessa ‘People‘s /republics‘.      
Although the actor Steven Seagal, a fan of V. Putin, who participated in the founding meeting, was given a word to say, he made a speech in English about peace in the whole world (?) and that he was against propaganda.  Z. Prilepin was against improvement of relations between Russia and the West and called it capitulation. According to him, Russia needs total independence in products, finances and politics and also expansion. It is symbolic that a singer Vadim Samoylov sang a song during the meeting called ‘To Berlin‘ about wars carried out by Russia in the east of Ukraine and Syria.
In March the writer on Russian state TV channel Rossia 1 declared that Kiev that was expecting ‘support‘ from Europe‚ ‘played the wrong card‘ and the EU withdrew, thus Russia was the only arbitrator in all this ‘uncontrolled’ region.   
Some Russian press has already named the movement ‘For Truth’ the project of the President‘s Office. Before the founding meeting of the party ‘For Truth‘ the dailies and told that the Kremlin was working on the algorithm to the elections to the Duma by ‘distributing‘ votes given to small parties of those who would not vote for the ‘United Russia’. It is probable that the mission of the ‘For Truth’ is namely this. Z. Prilepin has once admitted that he had a dream about a great ‘United Russia’ that a number of small parties would join in tens.  
Here is a picture of an odious representative of the Russian elite, in whose evaluations we can see a certain chaos of values. In July 2015 Ukrainian writers Yurii Andrukhovych and Serhij Zhadan refused to discuss with Z. Prilepin in the festival of literature in Germany, seeing the talk worthless with the adept of Novorussia, who praised separatists and denounced Kiev‘s junta. Organizers of the Polish festival of literature ‘Konraden‘ that will he held next year already cancelled his invitation also after  address of the Ukrainian writers, according to whom the situation could be compared with the situation if Anders Breivik, a Norwegian neonacist, who killed 77 people in 2011 during the attack,  was invited to the festival.
By contrast, the French writer and film director Emmanuel Carrère has praised the writer Z. Prilepin in public as particularly human and sensitive. Z. Prilepin enjoyed the attention during the book fair held in Paris in 2018, where he presented his novel ‘Monastery‘ and a documentary book about the war in east of Ukraine called ‘Letters from Donbas‘ – the French were the only in Europe who published it in their country.
Here are some opinions of public Russian people after his self-praise about leading the unit that killed a lot of people. Rustem Adagamov, an Internet blogger: in my point of view it‘s a moral catastrophe when a killer is a fashionable writer who has thousands of fans. A journalist and activist Alexander Ryklin: Z. Prilepin is making stunning declarations, then he goes to conferences in Rome and Paris, gives interviews – this exceeds my comprehension. Varvara Babickaya, a translator and literature critic: unfortunate Prilepin. On one hand, he wants to convince everyone what a field commander he is at his mom‘s. However, nobody believes in this and this is very painful! On the other hand, once they believe, they might put him to prison…  
This is the contemporary Russian elite. Sadly, but he is somehow pampered to the west from the Elbe. Nothing personal – just business. The writer definitely has no values, however knows how to sell himself and represent a country that does not hide imperial intensions and also definitely has no values.
Arūnas Spraunius

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