Vitaly Churkin: A Symbol of Russia’s Rebirth

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February 21, 2017 – Fort Russ – 

Ruslan Ostashko, LiveJournal – translated by J. Arnoldski –

We have recently had to learn the art of bidding bitter farewells to the symbols of all the good that has happened to Russia in recent years. This is a very painful experience that just can’t be gotten used to. We’re left with once again reiterating that we must be worthy of those who have passed on and do everything so that their achievements and work for the good of the Motherland are not in vain.

The death of Vitaly Churkin highlights the trepidation and pride that we feel towards those who are our voice in the world, and shows just how desperately we need to feel like someone is always ready to defend our interests and not give in even to the most terrifying pressure. 

Churkin’s death also once again highlighted the chasm that exists between us and some of our neighbors. Look at the statements of American and British diplomats. They did not like Vitaly Churkin and had serious motives to dislike him, but even US and UK representatives whom this great Russian diplomat literally stared down at the table at UN Security Council meetings found the strength, professionalism, and basic human dignity to offer their condolences, honor his memory with a moment of silence, and say what civilized people should say in such situations.

Samantha Power, a person who became Churkin’s eternal opponent in never-ending rhetorical duels, tweeted that he was “a diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man who did all he could to bridge US-Russia differences.” 

In this light, the actions of our neighbors, and especially Ukrainian diplomats, who blocked a UN statement on the death of our ambassador, really stand out.

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While the BBC was publishing an article containing select condolences, Ukrainian media were publishing mocking articles and lampoons with the message “rejoicing over Churkin’s death is normal.” This is why Ukraine is only Europe from a geographical point of view. From a civilizational point of view, it is somewhere at the level of equatorial Africa, but I worry that this comparison would offend equatorial Africa.

Honestly speaking, I expected that the chorus of Ukrainian media pundits and diplomatic troglodytes would actively be joined by Russian liberals. But this hardly happened. Maybe they’re just too slow? I have no doubt that their thoughts are just as black as before, but maybe most of them are now too ashamed to utter these thoughts out loud. This is good. Apparently they’ve realized that the public reaction to them would have been, mildly speaking, negative. This new, very unusual behavior of Russian liberals and even their spiritual leader, Khodorkovsky, was a big surprise for Ukrainian media. Some Ukrainian experts even asked: “How is this possible? Why are they not jumping in joy over the death of Churkin?” Let me answer this question: the Russian opposition has a residual instinct of self-preservation, but Ukrainian journalists and politicians have long since lost any such sense.

But finally, one young, trendy political Telegram channel couldn’t resist and decided to run a small “stud” aimed at the late Russian diplomat, writing the following: “All of Churkin’s career was one of pure propaganda. Sure, he was a talented agitator, propagandist and participant in the information war. But whether he was a diplomat is a question for future historians.”

Vitaly Churkin lived a worthy life if after his death he can still be accused of working for Kremlin propaganda which is so strong that, as we know from Western media, it had decisive influence on the British referendum and the American presidential elections! But in all seriousness, you have to be either blind or stupid to not understand that the work of the Russian ambassador to the UN was not limited to vivid and memorable speeches at the meetings of the UN Security Channel that later became hits on YouTube. Rhetorical duels were a small percentage of Vitaly Churkin’s work, and what we saw on TV screens was just the tip of the iceberg. Vitaly Churkin was a great diplomat, as his sworn Western enemies have already said, and the work of a diplomat is largely hidden from the public eye, but is very important. It is worth bringing up just the one fact that Russian diplomats in the UN managed to get the text of the Minsk Agreements put into a UN Security Council resolution, which is now preventing the Kiev regime from getting rid of them. Vitaly Churkin’s diplomatic victories are many, and not only rhetorical.

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As is known, Churkin starred in movies as a child, but it was diplomatic work that brought him real fame and love. He was a symbol of the decisive return of Russia to global politics and global history. I really hope that the popularity of his speeches will inspire today’s youth to tie their fate to Russian diplomacy. The emergence of new, young, and witty Russian diplomats will be the best tribute to Churkin’s memory. 

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