An Interview with Roy Medvedev

By Weir, Fred | Monthly Review, February 1993 | Go to article overview

An Interview with Roy Medvedev


Weir, Fred, Monthly Review


Roy Alexandrovich Medvedev was born in 1925, the son of a prominent Soviet Marxist scholar who was later murdered by Stalin. Roy and his twin brother Zhores, a geneticist now living in London, were named after leaders of the international communist movement.

Trained as an historian, Medvedev was expelled from the CPSU in the late sixties for his studies of the Stalin era. He spent much of the subsequent two decades under house arrest and constant harassment from the KGB. Many of his books and articles on Soviet history and politics - too numerous to list - have been published in the West.

Medvedev was reinstated in the Party in 1988. The next year he was elected to the USSR Congress of People's Deputies representing a constituency near Moscow. At the Twenty-Eighth Congress of the CPSU in 1990 he was elected to the Party's central committee.

Following the abortive coup, the banning of the CPSU, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Medvedev joined with dozens of other former communist deputies of the Soviet and Russian parliaments to found the Socialist Party of Working People. The SPWP, with tens of thousands of members across Russia, is one of the largest left organizations on the Russian political spectrum. Medvedev, a co-chair of the party, devotes much of his time these days to political organizing, editing the party's newspaper (Levaya Gazeta), and still manages to find time to pursue his historical researches.

In the following interview, taken in late November, Medvedev discusses the current political spectrum in Russia and future prospects for the left:

Fred Weir: The political map of Russia today is bewildering. There are dozens of opposition groups that seem to overlap and change position daily. How do you make sense of the spectrum?

Roy Medvedev: A process of coalescence is already well underway. I think we can discuss the general political alignments in Russia for the foreseeable future under five main headings: nationalists, communists, pragmatic centrists, democratic socialists, and, finally, the Yeltsin government and the forces grouped around it.

FW: The emergence of a bitter, militant brand of Russian nationalism out of the wreckage of the USSR is a tendency that strikes Western observers as most worrying. What pressures are driving it?

RM: There is a bloc of nationalist groups and movements appearing, whose common view is that the Yeltsin government pursues an anti-national policy. They consider that it fails to protect the rights of Russians both inside Russia and in other former Soviet republics. They hold the Yeltsin regime is too Western-oriented, that it pursues policies recommended by Western economic and financial institutions - policies which are visibly devastating the country.

In fact the population throughout the country is very angry because living standards are collapsing, inflation is raging, while production is in freefall. It's simply impossible for common people to live in a normal way. On the basis of despair and outrage at this reality, the nationalist movement is picking up strength.

One of the strongest of the groups to emerge in recent months is the Russki Nationalni Sobor (Russian National Assembly) headed by (former KGB general Alexander) Sterligov. This is a pure nationalist movement, which speaks not only against Yeltsin's policies, but also argues that previous Communist governments were also anti-Russian.

We could discuss the Christian Democratic Party, the so-called Liberal Democratic Party and several others in this orbit.

They debate among themselves whether or not the anti-national policy goes back to Lenin, while the more extreme of them think that Russia was opened to deleterious foreign influences by Peter the Great.

Some argue that Russia must be restored within the borders of 1914. Others, like Solzhenitsyn, think only Slavic states should be re-united, while some others define Russia as just the present Russian Federation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

An Interview with Roy Medvedev
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.