Espreso. Global
OPINION

Navalny is a product of an illusory view of Russia

21 February, 2024 Wednesday
14:34

The Western world is showing empathy over Navalny's death in a different way than it sympathized with us over Bucha or Mariupol. This is sympathy for an equal

This phenomenon arises from the image of Russia created across various Western media platforms and discourses, spanning from academic discussions to popular culture references to matryoshka dolls. The depiction is rich, vivid, and multifaceted. While expressing solidarity with Navalny, Western audiences inadvertently endorse the image that has been meticulously crafted for him by the extensive Russian information apparatus. And they played along with this machine in every possible way, helping and inflating the label of the fighter.

They pinned their hopes on Navalny's really hopeless project, Potemkin's nonsense, in fact. And they were happy to be deceived all these long years.

Navalny is a product of an illusory view of Russia. But a view that has all the enormity of imperial possibilities behind it. He was created as a hero against the backdrop of Putin's anti-hero regime. But he was artificial and exaggerated. He was 95% water, and he was completely virtual.

And this suicidal return made the story even more literary, allowing us to open a several-day, quite sincere and frank festival of piercing empathy for the Russian people and grief for the Hero, who, they say, could have done something, but was not allowed to do so by Fate.

No, he could not do anything. And all this is a very low genre. A vaudeville, an anecdote, and most likely a textbook bloody farce à la russe. We understand this, but people in the Western world never want to understand it. Because it is indeed a cheap bloody farce, and not, for example, a lyric epic poem or an epic novel, as the Western world wants to convince itself, first of all.

No, Navalny's story is the story of a hero who did not move Russian slavery an inch and did not even cure his direct supporters of their learned helplessness. He did not even convince them to come to the rally with wooden shields and sticks. He did not become a unifying figure even for the Russian liberal foreign policy community.

But for the West, he is undoubtedly a hero. A hero who did not fulfill their naïve hopes for change because of his tragic death in a country that is fundamentally resistant to any change. What a high tragedy!

Therefore, the deaths in Bucha or Mariupol are primarily statistical phenomena for the West. They are nameless victims of a miserable people that some no longer find it worthwhile to support even through the provision of weapons. Despite Bucha, Mariupol, Kherson, Marinka, Avdiivka, Izium, and so on and so forth.

So, this sympathy for Navalny in the West far outweighs the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian victims and millions of broken lives. This is wild and unfair. Especially against the backdrop of what is happening in the United States with the decision to help Ukraine. They have enough empathy for the Russians, but they have already exhausted their resources for empathy for us.

And this is bad news, indicating a certain stage of moral decay. The good news is that, in addition to empathy, there is also rational calculation. So our only hope is that they will continue to help us, at least as calculating people, simply because they benefit from our survival.

And I'm sure that when they say goodbye to their Navalny illusion, they will definitely find a new one. Until they finally recover from Russia.

Source

About the author. Andriy Bondar, writer.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.

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