On the days of the first aggravation of Russia-Georgia relations my friend and my brother, the actor Georgy Kharabadze, who has recorded the Gospel and the Bible to tens CDs, sent me a letter.
He had never written to me before. We visited each other arriving by air and by land. We caroused together, we talked, we exchanged friends, we argued and we loved…
And I read this in his letter:
“Is it possible that we live to times where an aircraft taking off from your home in Moscow, for which I have the keys, will be bombing my home in Tbilisi, for which you have the keys? I’m crying for sorrow.”
Please be mistaken, Goghi!
And you Messieurs presidents, governments, parliaments, militaries, diplomats – you come to your senses! Just look at what you are doing.
Our soldiers are buried in common mass graves of the two Patriotic Wars.
Our political prisoners were killed with the same burst of gun machine fire. And those not killed, they got rotten in same prison camps.
Our languages got interwoven with genius translations by Georgian and Russian poets.
Our cultures developing its own way each, root from the same land and same faith, and like trees, they touch each other with crowns.
We share same horror and shame – that’s bolshevism and Stalin.
We are of same blood.
There is no need to shed it to get evidence of that.
Don’t sow the wind, you, rulers and chief commanders! Don’t instigate one another. You would have a leisure enterprise pleasing your vanity and pride, and we would have the grief of bereavement.
Don’t try to endanger Providence with your intentions.
Next generations would not forgive us.
Moving aside, the History will always recognize the guilty and the victims to be what they are.
With more and more years to pass I feel more and more ashamed for the Hungary of 1956 and the Czechoslovakia of 1968.
Looking at those peaceful countries, which live differently from us in terms of common sense and well-being, I wonder what was it for? Why did we humiliate them and abase ourselves?
What we considered to be important turned out to be useless. What we thought was appalling turned out to be idle. The iron curtain and the Berlin’s Wall fell, and the world did not break to pieces. No one lost out of that.
And we ourselves, dying in starvation periods, civil wars and political prisons – what did we spend a quarter of our able-bodied population on?
Almost every family and household paid a dear price in a form of freedom, health or life itself.
Did we pay that price to see today’s outcome of a TV poll “Name of Russia” asking who is the moist important figure in the Russian history, the poll that named the paranoiac monster to be the most important figure among ALL that acted in our history! Stalin getting four times as many votes given for him compared to Pushkin!
I weep for sorrow.
“Nation, you’ve got crazy!” cried on the air Yuri Koryakin when he saw the outcomes of people’s voting in favor of LDPR. That moment it appeared to be just an emotional reaction. Now it’s clear that was a true and deep diagnosis.
A crowd came to the cemetery where buried are their crucified by Stalinism ancestors. They came to deface the tombs of their mothers, fathers, grandparents…and to have a drink and feast.
If this is the people, then – exact definition by a great Russian writer and honest soldier Viktor Petrovich Astafyev – such a people is son of a bitch.
If this people goes for Stalin, I don’t go with it.
This people looks like a huge, strong and not silly man, however, deprived of memory and spiritual civility, the man that has been wetting his bed for many years and does not even want to live in clean. Maybe if he tried he would like that. Like others do. Let it take time to start wanting it. But we must make effort. The pampers, made from petroleum dollars and jingoism, don’t help much. The boor is seen in small flats in Khrushchev buildings, in rich estates on Rublyovskoe highway, in electric trains commuting to Moscow and in the de luxe compartments, in the party conventions, VIP gatherings, Duma sessions, luxurious Bentleys, flea markets, billboards and TV screens.
This boor does not care about what is happening. He only wants nothing to interfere with his private life. He is waiting for the promised careless tomorrow.
And this tomorrow may not come for many of us, in case we unleash or provoke any war with our southern neighbor, favored by us for many centuries.
The disgrace of destructors of the two-century history of peoples with unified faith would be hanging over us for ever. And it will be hanging over them too.
Let Russia and Georgia go their own ways and be tolerant to other’s choice. Let everyone finds oneself. Any government is just a contemporary thing.
Today I address not those carrying the ambitions and not even those who have power. I address those endowed with faith, mind and love.
Those who obeying the will of God may say to the powers that be “Do not kill!”
Your Holiness, Patriarch of all Russia
Alexis the Second!
Your Holiness, Patriarch Catholicos of Georgia
Eliah the Second!
Knowing about your mutual cordial and respectful attitude that has been since the times of ecclesiastical Academy and watching your joint divine services in Moscow and Tbilisi, also believing in your lofty destination and great authority, I herewith beg you for the Christ’s sake:
Don’t give your blessing to your church members even for the craziness of a minor blood shed, as that is no feat of arms.
There are no ends justifying destructions that we must avoid, especially the destruction of human souls.
Our countries need the moral leaders able to take not the load but responsibility for the sensible present.
You have a historical chance and the right to prevent the irreparable.
Your efforts will be perceived with gratitude not only by orthodox believers, but also by those from all religions and by the temporal part of our populations, and by people from all over the world.
There is no stronger argument than the Word.
We must search for it together with our politicians.
You possess that Word.
P.S. The Word by priests, whatever powerful it was, would anyway be addressed to us. To all of us. Nothing prevents us from trying to hear that Word inside of us by ourselves. And when we hear that, nothing prevents us from claiming our will, our decision, and our destiny. Are we just an instrument in doubtful games of ‘patriots’? We animate our countries. There are no countries without us. And those decision-takers cannot exist without us. There is nothing, except us. It’s not enough just to realize that. This role must be declared.