The Nostalgic Opposition 7483-the-nostalgic-oppositionThe Nostalgic Opposition
by Anne Nivat 15 August 1997 After the parliamentary uprising against President Boris Yeltsin in October 1993, several hard-line newspapers that had actively sup-ported the attempted coup were suspended for a week. Among them was a weekly named Den (Today), run by Aleksandr Prokhanov. The paper took a few weeks to regroup and then relaunched itself as Zavtra (Tomorrow).

With a claimed weekly circulation of about 100,000, Zavtra appeals to nationalists who advocate the re-establishment of the Soviet Union. Describing itself as the paper of the intellectual opposition, it generally supports communist or nationalist political parties. Frequently, Zavtra's stories allege that Western or Zionist forces are exerting excessive influence over the Russian government.

The June-July issue contained an editorial discussing the appeal by the Duma Defense Committee chairman, retired general Lev Rokhlin, to increase the army's budget, an appeal that came dur-ing debates over cutting the size of the army:

The starving teachers are defenseless ... the victims of Chomobyl, dying from their wounds, arc defenseless. ... The State Duma, which [the events of I October 1993 showed can be sent packing by Yeltsin's thugs at any time, is defenseless. But the army is not defenseless. It has guns. And as Chairman Mao said, Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. The Turkish army is outside politics-but if the political leaders endanger the national interest, the army comes off its bases into the towns and changes the government. Is that good or bad? Ask the citizens of flourishing Turkey.

The regime in the Kremlin destroyed the Soviet Union, laid waste to science and industry, allowed NATO [to expand all the way] up to Pskov, and cut the population of Russia by 1.5 million a year. Does the Russian army realize that this regime is committing genocide against the Russian people? Or does the Russian officer, who sells his grenades on the market in order to buy CDs, watch NTV and chuckle at the programs where they mock the army? We will see how things develop in response to Rokhlin's appeal. It is very possible that in the General Staff, in military intelligence, in the divisions and fleets, people will agree on the need to stand up for their Fatherland.

One of the more aggressive Russian magazines, Zavtra constantly seeks to exploit or inspire nostalgia for the good old days of the Soviet Union. Prokhanov, the editor in chief, is a 59-year-old former engineer who worked as a forester before becoming a foreign correspondent for Literaturnaya gazeta, a popular intellectual newspaper. As a reporter, he visited Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Ethiopia, and other countries in the socialist bloc. He became editor in chief of Den in December 1990, when the paper was still an organ of the Soviet Writers Union. 7483-the-nostalgic-opposition

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