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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Defending Rutskoi


In your editorial headlined "Coup Date Deserves to Be Honored" (Aug. 19), you write: "Rutskoi gains the support of his fellow countrymen by throwing dirt at various members of the government, while he himself is embroiled in a corruption scandal". Is it still "dirt" if Poltoranin and Shumeiko are found guilty? Is Rutskoi "embroiled" merely by having been accused? What is he really guilty of?

People blame Rutskoi for betraying Yeltsin. But that betrayal was only necessary because he had already ceased to be treated as vice president, and because he was not prepared to betray his own socialist beliefs. That speaks more for his character than if he had surrendered everything to retaining his position of power. In most countries, it is no crime to be a socialist.

Criticize Rutskoi's beliefs, by all means, but do not punish him merely for having beliefs. If his crimes are to be a socialist and a nationalist, then let us point up the naivete of his socialism and the ardency of his nationalism; and if he is corrupt, then let us wait for a court to tell us.

Ellie Keen