Military Review

Don't ask Korotich. Re-read the old "Ogonyok"


Photo:, Radio Liberty

When the force majeure happened

As soon as the Belarusian force majeure happened, colleagues from a number of media outlets turned to Vitaly Korotich, the famous chief editor of the perestroika “Ogonyok”. He is one of those few who can be considered the son of three Slavic peoples at once.

Vitaly Korotich himself cannot and does not want to separate himself either from Russia, or from Belarus, and even more so from people. And his assessments of what is happening now in Belarus are not only interesting to anyone, one can rely on them, making not only conclusions, but also forecasts.

The most complete answers of the recognized master to countless questions have already been published in Komsomolskaya Pravda, but the introduction to the long interview stands out among them. Vitaly Alekseevich, either with sadness, or with some kind of fatalism, decided to declare that in his "opinion, the final collapse of the Soviet Union begins right now."

It is not easy to know if he is depressed or inspired by the fact that

“People who have never lived in the Soviet Union are brought to power, they have not even studied in schools there. Everyone who remembered something at least a little and had some kind of threads that connected them with the Soviet past, with their peers are leaving. "

Korotich continued even more abruptly, noting that

“Belarus is now being told from the West that it needs to run to Europe at a run, to break free from this so-so-overflowing Russia. And there (among the protesters) there are many young people who have never seen anything other than a Coca-Cola advertisement, and who succumb to this suggestion. They really want to be in Europe for a while. They do not understand what roles await them there. Belarus needs not a revolution, but evolution ... Nothing good comes of hysteria. "

I would like to hope that the editor-in-chief, under whose leadership, alas, I was not able to work, thinks this way today. Although quite recently his keynote speech on the program "Cult of Personality" almost made the author strongly doubt this.

What is there in the old files

Nobody, believe me, is going to take away from Vitaly Korotich the glory of the father of the truly legendary "Ogonyok". In the era of perestroika and glasnost, the magazine turned out to be not only the best, but also the most circulated. Let's be honest with ourselves: "Ogonyok" played the role of a kind of tribune for that revolution, on the contrary, which ultimately led to the collapse of the USSR and dubious market reforms.

And today, many country attics keep the files of the old "Ogonyok", most often just Perestroika. In the late 80s, self-published forbidden texts and forgotten poetry, including those from the Silver Age, which Evgeny Yevtushenko was in a hurry to return to us, appeared on its pages.

It was in Ogonyok, and already after it in lengthy articles in thick magazines, that the electorate, which at that time was preferred to be called the people, campaigned for the invisible hand of the market and “shock therapy”. And along with the refusal of the Communist Party in the right to be leading, directing and the only one, they were convinced that not only the CPSU, but also the state could not be an effective master.

From the pages of Ogonyok, most of us first got acquainted with the new liberal ideas of universal tolerance. The author of these lines was fortunate enough to work at Ogonyok in the early 2000s, when Vitaly Alekseevich was no longer in the post of editor-in-chief.

By that time, Vladimir Chernov had settled in an office on the fifth floor of the Pravdin building made of glass and concrete. By that time, after seven years in Boston, Korotich managed to return, but not to Moscow, but to Kiev. He visited his native editorial office only occasionally, once he even attended an editorial meeting and received applause from the staff of technical services. The journalists also patted the former chief, but, to my surprise, somehow sluggishly.

Only one of Chernov's deputies was able to obtain the right to an interview with the master, who was apparently very busy with the reorganization of the Ukrainian press, even then painfully "orange". Either Sergey Kozitsky, who has long gone to steer glossy magazines, or Boris Minaev, now better known as the author of the biography of his namesake, Boris Yeltsin.

I did not manage to find this interview with Korotich in the files of Ogonyok. But in general, Korotich must be given his due: he did not strive (and now even more does not strive) to get on the front pages of the media. The conversation with Leonid Volokhov in the "Cult of Personality" program became rather an exception that confirmed the rule, it was no coincidence that few people began to replicate it.

What multiplies sorrow

However, reading a very lengthy and in some sense even intimate conversation for some reason immediately reminded me of the well-known maxim said to the Bourbons, more precisely, to the royalists: "They have not learned anything and have not forgotten anything." These brilliant lines of Admiral de Pan are stubbornly attributed to both Talleyrand and Napoleon, but it would be a stretch, even a mistake, to address them to Korotich.

It was just from the perestroika times that he learned a lot and managed to forget a lot. Or rather, make yourself forget. As a journalist who came from the ranks of nuclear engineers, I am not going to cling to a journalist, who was first a cardiologist by profession, for writing ideological articles and even poems like "Lenin, Volume 54" in his youth.

He himself is sinful, although he got his top three in scientific communism at the state examination for criticizing Engels, who really did not like the Russian army. And also for arguing with Professor Veshchikov about party literature and party organization. However, as you know, much knowledge only multiplies sorrow.

And Vitaly Korotich didn't just say to his interlocutor:

“I have understood many times that I am changing, like any person. I wrote a lot of different things ... And I was not ashamed - it is very relative. Because many people are not ashamed, but they do such things that God forbid! "

Indeed, it is not in vain that we said: “Let him be the first to throw a stone at me…” Vitaly Alekseevich skillfully distanced himself from his contemporary, and by and large, an ideological ally and even, one might say, the main customer. I mean Mikhail Gorbachev.

That one, for sure, and in his most advanced years, "learned nothing and forgot nothing." Even the notorious "drunken reform" with the cutting down of vineyards and the suicides of order-bearers - heads of state and collective wine-making farms. Korotich, long before his meeting with the author of "The Cult of Personality", had the sense to repeatedly make very critical remarks not only about the anti-alcohol campaign, but also many other acts of those times.

Who will take us through the Maidan

By the way, on the sensitive Ukrainian topic, the famous Oglikovsky chief began to speak out long before the "Crimean spring" and Donbass. And, apparently, not only due to the fact that the position, not only geographical, was obligatory. Today his assessments, for example, from 2006, generally sound like a prophecy:

“Ukraine has been accreted to Russia completely inseparably ... But the search for some kind of dominant of its own, nationalism in its Western Ukrainian version, of course, compromised itself”.

Now many have already forgotten that together with Yunna Moritz, Vitaly Alekseevich wrote the legendary "Take me across the Maidan." But almost immediately after this prediction, Korotich, who now specifically stipulates that he is "Ukrainian, but the books were written by me in Ukrainian, Russian, and one is even in English", as if warning:

“But you don’t need to provoke hostility, you don’t need to come to Crimea to say when we will take it from you.”

Well, they almost forced us to take Crimea, although it is worth reminding here that “the Russians do not abandon their own people,” and who, if not Korotich, would not know this. He, who grew up and was promoted in the USSR, it seems, simply could not but admit that "the greatest role (for him - AP) was played by Russian literature and Russian culture." But even the reservation that the first book he read was "Mowgli" in Ukrainian does not eliminate the feeling that the veteran of the press has serious problems with the national issue.

And isn't that why Vitaly Alekseevich, with such even sympathetic irony, told Leonid Velekhov an old border story: “When I came back for the last time, a customs officer suddenly said to me at Sheremetyevo:“ Are you for a long time? ” I say: "This time forever, I have already decided everything." And this gatekeeper of the state suddenly says: "Oh, if I had your opportunities, I would never come back here."

Korotich did not hesitate to admit that after five years of work overseas, he could well have received American citizenship. But he did not dare to renounce "all the obligations that I had in the country of my previous citizenship." Perhaps he should be thanked for this, but for some reason this bargaining with himself is very embarrassing.

Don't ask Korotich. Re-read the old "Ogonyok"
Vitaly Korotich was once seen in Novozybkov - at the monument to the Unity of Slavic peoples. Photo: IA "BryanskNovosti"

Russian mother from Kuban, Ukrainian father, and son - a man of the world. He seems to be bargaining with himself because of his American citizenship. And in parallel with this, he calls the very talk of "ukrah" and "dill" monstrous. So I would like to ask Vitaly Korotich: such conversations - are they monstrous in whose mouth? But that would be if the answer had not already been prepared.

After all, Velekhov, his interlocutor, immediately pretends to be indignant: "This is a real shame !!" And in response, the former chief of the former mouthpiece of perestroika for some reason clarifies with explanations: “But this is being said on the air on the most widespread program. This is monstrous! In civilized countries, in England or in the United States, a person who uses a word like "Negro" or something else, falls out of the game and can shlopotat. "

After that, I think hardly anyone will be surprised by the refusal of the serious press to replicate what was said at the “Cult of personality”. And it will not be surprising that Korotich, a contemporary and ideological ally of the last president of the USSR, even renouncing US citizenship, so admires various American laws.

He especially likes this - don't ask, don't tell, first introduced in the army. In a conversation with Velekhov, Vitaly Korotich even explained that for a start, the law “was introduced about sexual orientation. If you are a homosexual, this is your own business, but don't you dare tell anyone about it. And nobody dares to ask you. Later it spread to religious affiliation: don't ask, don't tell. "

Korotich just now considered it necessary to recall the almost legendary history with Leonard Bernstein, more like a classic Jewish anecdote. Bernstein came to the USSR “with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Wanting to remind us of our internationalism, Furtseva (the unforgettable Minister of Culture under both Khrushchev and Brezhnev - A.P.) told him: "They say anything about us, and in our symphony orchestra 60% of Jews play." Bernstein thought for a moment and said: "I don't know how many Jews we have in the orchestra."

After such tales and explanations, how much more transparent is everything that is happening now in the United States, and after them, throughout the overly "civilized" world. With all their ideological and political confusion and with "black redistribution." Korotich immediately reproaches us:

“We focus on those things that are considered humiliating throughout the world. Albert Schweitzer once said that nationalism is patriotism in a state of hysteria. "

Well, Samuel Johnson also did not speak very flatteringly about patriotism, considering it the last refuge of villains ... Anyway, internationalism, even in its Soviet edition, cannot be accused of anything like that even today.

Having had a good time about the "rotten Soviet system", Vitaly Alekssevich confessed to Leonid Velekhov that he himself "was, let's say, probably a Soviet man ... who doesn't get dirty." And in that he tried to "be a decent person, he did not sign a single collective letter either against nationalists, although I am not a nationalist, or against Zionists, although I am not a Zionist."

Korotich never called himself an anti-Soviet, and did not admit to his innate desire to destroy communism, as Gorbachev did. Well, given the very inspiring sequel to Komsomolskaya Pravda, thanks for that. His right, but we still have the right to re-read the old "Lights" not only with nostalgia, but sometimes very critically.
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  1. NEXUS
    NEXUS 31 August 2020 12: 05
    “Belarus is now being told from the West that it needs to run to Europe at a run, to break free from this so-so-overflowing Russia.

    Ukraine has fled into the arms of the West. Now Ukrainian girls are serving Western "friends" for currency in brothels all over Europe.
    Now the gene pool of Ukraine is being stamped by Poles, Czechs, Germans ... and not for free.
    1. Civil
      Civil 31 August 2020 13: 13
      Late, the USSR was destroyed by these figures ...
      1. antivirus
        antivirus 31 August 2020 14: 21
        Lights ”not only with nostalgia, but sometimes very critical.

        here I am about him - to pay and repent, at least to disassemble their exploits about 40 million victims of repression. Indicative repentance for lies in the "hijack" ..
        just like Solzhinitsyn must realize his responsibility. to throw out our supporters in Asia and the Caucasus and rub into the credibility of the "Slavs" is his measure of responsibility
  2. 7,62h54
    7,62h54 31 August 2020 12: 13
    And I would not know about this old liberal. Why did they write about him, died or what?
    1. Pravodel
      Pravodel 31 August 2020 12: 49
      Exactly. Ugh, on him ... Spit and forget. One marked is enough for us at all times. There is no need to bother yourself and the people with such shit.
    2. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 31 August 2020 13: 16
      Quote: 7,62x54
      died or what?

      The devils have been waiting for him and the hunchback for a long time in hell! And the boilers are special, perestroika!
  3. Ham
    Ham 31 August 2020 12: 14
    the famous chief editor of the perestroika "Ogonyok"

    found someone to ask ... we are now reaping what this dude sowed in due time! it was he who was preparing the color revolution in the USSR! a fair amount of fault in what happened in the ussr, in russia in the 90s and is happening now in ukraine and in belarus just on such korotichi ...
    1. ccsr
      ccsr 31 August 2020 13: 34
      Quote: Ham
      found someone to ask ... we are now reaping what this dude sowed in due time! it was he who was preparing the color revolution in the USSR!

      It was he who was the first in the ranks of that pack of "economists", "political observers" and other riffraffs that persistently instilled in all ordinary people, they say we need to focus on Western countries and capitalism, and we will immediately live better than them. I would not like to recall, but it was the series of articles by Ogonyok about the murder of a serviceman in Czechoslovakia that stirred up the country and streams of dirt poured down on the army and its orders. I myself read it all, but the most interesting thing is that later I had to learn the details of this incident in the GSVG in detail, since this small unit was in the Czech Republic, but was part of the 82nd brigade in Torgau. In general, there was no murder, but there was just a careless attitude with the weapons of the guard, who simply went into the dining room and did not know that he had unloaded the weapon incorrectly. Of course, this is a tragedy for any parent, but since Korotich inflated it, it only testifies to the fact that he deliberately set himself the goal of bringing all negativity to the pages of Ogonyok, which he controls. In general, the scum is still the same, in vain they remembered about him.
  4. Beringovsky
    Beringovsky 31 August 2020 12: 15
    This is a typically lackey psychology. A lackey does not need firm views and convictions, they interfere with life. After all, real convictions must be followed, but what if it is not profitable? Therefore lackeys easily change their views, yesterday the communists - today are liberals. And tomorrow they can become traditionalist conservatives. The trouble is that our entire so-called elite consists of such opportunists.
  5. Wwk7260
    Wwk7260 31 August 2020 12: 15
    from what closet did you get the stuffed animal of this naphthalene perestroika? who is he interested in and his opinion?
    1. Vladimir Mashkov
      Vladimir Mashkov 31 August 2020 13: 16
      Quote: Wwk7260
      from what closet did you get the stuffed animal of this naphthalene perestroika? who is he interested in and his opinion?

      And I have the same question! And the definition was cut - "recognized master". Master? AND WHOM is recognized? West? But not by us - by their victims! And instead of repenting, he urges ... well, do not judge him! Not that strictly - in general! As they do in "civilized" countries !!! And Podymov's sympathy for the "master" is NOT pleasant to me!
  6. rocket757
    rocket757 31 August 2020 12: 16
    Generation change is always difficult! Especially when the new generation was taught something different from the previous one!
    As before, it will not be! Will it be better ... very doubtful.
    The question is, who wanted to arrange this? Who benefits from?
    The answer suggests itself.
  7. Radikal
    Radikal 31 August 2020 12: 18
    Nobody, believe me, is going to take away from Vitaly Korotich the glory of the father of the truly legendary "Ogonyok".

    "Father"? Author, you at least open Wikipedia, and see when the first issue of the magazine came out, and who was the editor-in-chief .... lol
    1. podymych
      31 August 2020 15: 29
      Well, of course, everything began before Korotich, Only in the real first Ogonyok - the pre-revolutionary supplement to the Stock Exchange and there was no chief editor. And "OTETs" he is only "Ogonyok", of course, perestroika, but whatever one may say - really legendary - they still remember
  8. 1536
    1536 31 August 2020 12: 26
    Quote: 7,62x54
    And I would not know about this old liberal. Why did they write about him, died or what?

    This is how the "perestroika superintendents" periodically recall themselves. The task to which they have devoted all their lives is not completed yet. So I want to remember my youth, shake my old ... swords, taking them out of a rusted sheath, of course. People, be careful!
    1. Reptiloid
      Reptiloid 31 August 2020 12: 45
      ..... periodically remember .....
      Can an example be taken from the US memoirists? Who, as they retire from politics, begin to remember so? Or so ----
      ..... one leech was pumping so much blood that it started chatting ....
  9. RUnnm
    RUnnm 31 August 2020 12: 28
    ... It was in Ogonyok, and already after it in lengthy articles in thick magazines, that the electorate, which then they preferred to call the people, campaigned for the invisible hand of the market and "shock therapy"

    And I have already forgotten about these people with bright faces, and they then, it turns out, did not go anywhere ...
  10. bober1982
    bober1982 31 August 2020 12: 37
    Korotich's eyes are very kind and wise.
    As soon as general democracy won in Russia, he immediately fled to America.
    And, grateful readers of his vile magazine, remained in full duraks.
  11. Pavel57
    Pavel57 31 August 2020 13: 08
    Yes, after so many years everything looks different and. And Korotich and Ogonyok.
  12. demo
    demo 31 August 2020 13: 23
    “I have understood many times that I am changing, like any person. I wrote a lot of different things ... And I was not ashamed - it is very relative. Because many people are not ashamed, but they do such things that God forbid! "

    A very characteristic line.
    In its essence, this means the following - what I have done does not reach the abominations that others have done. So I am practically sinless.
    This is the point of view of a person who will never regret anything.
    Like the Americans who dropped the atomic bomb on Japan.
    They also won't apologize.

    It is human, by virtue of circumstances, to make mistakes.
    The admission of their mistakes, and in case of severe consequences, the admission of guilt is the lot of the strong.
    Non-recognition is the lot of weak villains and scoundrels.
    1. depressant
      depressant 31 August 2020 15: 09
      Good comment, colleague demo. It cut me too. Here it is a shame for a minor flaw, for a trifle, once committed due to the thoughtlessness of youth, due to the lack of life experience, but now, many years have passed, and the memories are still burning with shame, repentance torments the soul - it is unrepressible!
      And this one lightly erases from his memory his own meanness, made up of a whole layer of treacherous printed actions against the people of a huge country, but realizing that nothing is forgotten, he tries to reduce it, his own meanness, in our minds to the level of childish pranks: the three-year-old turned the bird's head and then I forgot about it. Well, they say, come on and you about me in the same way. Let's forget how I, together with a crowd of scoundrels, turned my head to a great country and was the loudest of all. For it was printed.
      And the question gnaws at me: whose need has brought to life, dragged this vile shadow of the past into the light of day? After all, nothing is done just like that. And for what purpose? And now the subconscious is alarmingly signaling: "Danger! .. Danger! .. Do not lose your vigilance!"
      1. demo
        demo 31 August 2020 16: 30
        Wisdom is inherent in age.
        I've always liked the following expression.

        "The clever one knows how to get out of any situation.
        The wise know how not to get into it. "

        Although there are no references to ethical aspects, it is obvious that the wise will automatically choose exactly such an algorithm of steps and actions that will not give anyone the opportunity to accuse him of mortal sins.

        I read your comment with interest. I share. I perceive.
        It's nice to meet in the fields of VO a person whose expressed opinion finds full understanding in you. hi
        Good health to you.
  13. KCA
    KCA 31 August 2020 13: 27
    Korotich, Korotich, this is the same Russophobe-anti-Soviet, after the appearance of which my parents stopped writing "Ogonyok", I remember how
    1. KCA
      KCA 31 August 2020 14: 02
      Yes, this is the same he buried, together with the non-living SOLZHENitsin, 500 Soviet citizens in Stalin's dungeons
  14. place
    place 31 August 2020 14: 37
    The society that followed the Yeltsins, Korotichs and Gaidars does not deserve the right to trample the ground that its ancestors defended in battles. It will eventually destroy itself, which is successfully happening before our very eyes.
  15. nikvic46
    nikvic46 31 August 2020 16: 49
    Now even former anti-Sovietists will remember the USSR with a kind word. And they probably hum the song "What Have We Done". The main thing is that we have all lost faith in the future.
  16. Husit
    Husit 31 August 2020 16: 59
    Let's be honest with ourselves: "Ogonyok" played the role of a kind of tribune for that revolution, on the contrary, which ultimately led to the collapse of the USSR and dubious market reforms.

    Absolutely right, it was with the media and such publications that fermentation began, like everything is bad, everything is lost Down with, etc. I do remember..
    Now these "editors" of all editions are already modestly keeping quiet and sighing doom, like what they have done .. But to confess and repent is not enough fortitude .. After all, they were lying, denigrating everything and everyone right and left ..
    Now they have taken up the youth, all the same methods .. To blacken everything and sow confusion in the minds and smash everything, just "hanging out" .. Not understanding all the processes and how difficult it is to build a state, its industry and economy, more or less independent ..
    Talk to the guys with their grandchildren, children, parents .. The second 90s Russia will not survive.!
    1. NordUral
      NordUral 31 August 2020 22: 00
      We would have to survive the 2000-2020s as a country and a people.
  17. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 31 August 2020 19: 37
    And why is this ..... suddenly appeared here? Is he not enough of the blood of Tajikistan, Transnistria, the Caucasus and everything else that arose after the destruction of the USSR? Want to clean up before dying? It will not work. As well as Academician Velikhov, who also got away from here.
  18. NordUral
    NordUral 31 August 2020 21: 59
    I hope that it will be hard to die for my sins in the 80s.
  19. Iskazi
    Iskazi 1 September 2020 04: 04
    a person of circumstances - a weather vane ..., not a bad article, in principle, nothing new, if the author does not particularly lie, but a journalist is the second oldest profession - a professional ...
  20. Prisoner
    Prisoner 1 September 2020 10: 05
    Korotich's tears for the Crocodile Union. Let the old not rush about! The same destroyer of the USSR as the Labeled and Company.
  21. Prisoner
    Prisoner 1 September 2020 10: 05
    Korotich's tears for the Crocodile Union. Let the old not rush about! The same destroyer of the USSR as the Labeled and Company.
  22. Nikolai Korovin
    Nikolai Korovin 1 September 2020 20: 32
    Personally, I had no time at that time to read any lights there. And now why is it here?
    1. Nikolai Korovin
      Nikolai Korovin 1 September 2020 20: 33
      And also arguments without facts.
  23. Indifferent
    Indifferent 2 September 2020 11: 47
    I read it, and I would like to ask the author. And what is the article about? What happened to Korotich?
    Actually, we all change. I, too, was a liberal, like Korotich, and I read the same "Ogonyok" voraciously in the 80s and early 90s. But I had no idea that later the drunk with Chubais and Gadar would put the country on the ears. And, of course, all my liberal thoughts have long since disappeared like morning fog. Now I am ashamed of my worldview. And there are a lot of people like me in the country! Why should Korotich be different if he is of Soviet upbringing?
  24. AleBors
    AleBors 4 September 2020 11: 27
    What is this article about "perestroika" for? The editor of the most subversive publication in the USSR? That he managed to change shoes on time? Are there really no worthy people about whom you can write an article?
    "Man of the world", cosmopolitan, no homeland, no flag ... Ugh at him ...
  25. esaul1950
    esaul1950 22 September 2020 19: 19
    Didn't you find a better person for the interview?
  26. Vasya Lozhkin
    Vasya Lozhkin 10 October 2020 22: 01
    Small-town Bandera
  27. Alexander Ivanov_8
    Alexander Ivanov_8 1 November 2020 05: 25
    Korotich is from the company that destroyed the USSR with a joyful squeal. So reading Ogonyok of that time is like reading Solzhenitsyn!
  28. Arman Abilsiitov
    Arman Abilsiitov 7 November 2020 01: 56
    Looked through the comments. No readers of Korotich's "Ogonyok"? All died, am I the only one with gratitude remember? Everyone blasphemes Korotich. A free press took their country away from them, not a communist revenge? But then, 30 years ago, it seemed that we were the majority - those who were tired of censorship, the Communist Party, ideological barking. Korotich, then, is being repainted, and they remain unwavering loyalty to the Soviet regime? Well, yes, now it's fashionable.