Before his departure to Syria, Sergey Berezhnoy promised that when he returned, he would tell about what he saw on the pages of Belgorodka. Because even in troubled times, he said, the newspaper kept its face and comes to the reader not at the command from above — this is the choice of the reader himself.
We met then after work away from prying eyes and ears. We talked about the student years and our alma mater, Voronezh University, about literature and poetry, about Beslan, Transnistria and Abkhazia, about the Caucasus in general, about faith and conscience, about journalism and a lot of things, until they touched Syria.
I did not ask: “Why did you go there?” - for me, initially such a question did not even arise. I know his military prose. I know that more than once he has been in the Caucasus - this is his old topic in general, and at one time he became the winner of Literary Russia precisely because of journalism in the Caucasus. He just said goodbye to him: “There's war there. Be careful". He smiled: “I know, old man, I know everything. I am incredibly tired, I haven’t recovered from my illness, but it’s necessary. ” A few days later, a message came about his injury, as our newspaper reported in the article “The author of Belgorod” was wounded in Syria.
And now - a new meeting. Sergey immediately warned: it is impossible to tell about many details of the trip, for the time being it is impossible to write - there are friends and colleagues, and any wrong word can cost them dearly; therefore offered to limit the interview.
Many questions and answers remained, as they say, behind the scenes - the time has not yet come for their publication. And yet, the conversation "for print" I began with a sacramental question: "Why is Syria?". If we are to write about “hot spots”, then there are plenty of them in Russia.
“The trip to Syria has been prepared by the Writers' Union since last fall,” answered Berezhnoy. - This is a long-established practice - our writers were in all wars that swept the outskirts of the former Soviet Union. Then Dagestan, Chechnya, South Ossetia - they shared with the soldiers a piece of bread and danger. And they carried the word of truth about the war - through the pain of the heart, through scorched souls, through loss and suffering. Were in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, now here in Syria.
There was no desire to go to war - you shouldn’t play roulette with fate, especially since it was initially determined that you don’t have the right to be taken prisoner. So there was an absolute readiness for the most unpleasant, but there is a word: it is necessary.
My colleagues in pen are not liberal scum, professing Western cultural and ethical values and denouncing our past, our faith, our language, our culture. Today the Union of Writers of Russia, together with the Orthodox Church, is fighting for the revival of national identity. Russia for us is a value category, and not just a geographic one. Quite a lot has already been said about the logical connection between the war in Syria and Russia, and it makes no sense to repeat. I want to remind you: in Syria, many Wahhabis from the Caucasus and the Volga region are at war. These wolves, who have known the taste of blood and the tactics of combat in the conditions of the city, will not return to Russia to grow tulips. Now they slaughter sheep in the playgrounds of our cities, tomorrow they will cut off the heads of all the wrong. And rape - Saudi Imam Qadawi's fatwa allowed them to commit excesses in all occupied areas. Moreover, they are eagerly talking about the seizure of the resorts of Turkey and Egypt, so beloved by our compatriots, for the rape of women. By the way, the works of Heydar Jemal are freely sold in Belgorod - moderate Shia, not Wahhabi, the ideologue of political Islam in Russia, who does not give the right to life to either the Gentiles or atheists - only death. We finish playing in tolerance and democracy, and we will have to settle the already bloody mess.
- Did your injury somehow affect your work?
- Only on health, and even if a litmus flashed those who always keep the stone in his bosom. As for work, there are enough reasonable and decent people in our system. And the fact that the fact of injury has played on the authority of the judicial system can be seen from the exploded Internet. Unfortunately, in our shameless time for someone it has become the norm to be a bribe taker, a boor or a gentleman with a lackey consciousness. And they don’t understand that there are values for the sake of which our fellow-countryman, the Hero of Abkhazia, Major Dima Chepenets, who was written by Belgorodskaya Pravda, perished, our riot police or Sobrians go under bullets, my friends from the group risk their lives ANNA News. I am with them - and that says it all.
- Do you want to say that there were mixed assessments of your trip?
- First of all, the perplexity of the Western media: completely rejecting the writing profession, and at the same time the judicial profession, they immediately ranked my presence in Syria as a different field of activity. The man in the street was looking for self-interest, and this is normal: some fall on the embrasure, others rummage through their pockets - such is the prose of life. Those who hurried to rant about the violation of judicial ethics, do not even belong to the category of decent people. They are warm in the surrounding shit, so let them stay there. It is only they who appear to themselves as personalities, although in reality they are a pack: they bark at the command, they will lick it at the command. Thank God, there are still few of them, although this aggressive minority, with its spiritual emptiness, bears much trouble.
The judges decided to apply: "Your honor." It obliges to much and at least not to be indifferent.
The injury revealed real people, and there are a lot of them. And then, we (I was not the only one on a trip) highlighted the problem of mercenaries from Russia and the CIS countries, fighting together with the Salafis not only against sovereign Syria, but also against our Motherland (and this did not cause resentment and condemnation from the liberal media and others with them - this fifth column). But the fact that a federal official is not under duress at war means: the Russian people are still not on their knees. And it caused tooth gnashing in certain individuals, such as "Echo of Moscow".
- Was it a business trip?
- The Writers' Union is limited in funds, so everything is at its own expense. My friends volunteered to fight in Transnistria, Abkhazia, Yugoslavia for the integrity of Russia. Syrians are fighting today for Russia too, and the fact that they allowed us to be among them is a great honor for us. What could be more sacred than the defense of the Fatherland?
- In that case, what was the purpose of the trip?
- Breakthrough of the information blockade around Syria and showing the essence of the so-called opposition. The European-Islamic aggression against Syria is a visible part of the global war of the redivision of the world and the removal of Russia from the Mediterranean and the European market of hydrocarbons, and indeed from the world map. The West and the Islamic countries are pouring money into the war weapon, mercenaries, instructors. Russia gets away with statements and “humanitarian aid”, and sending it for some reason not to Damascus, but to Lebanon and Jordan. But the refugee camps are teeming with militants and the question arises: who actually are we helping?
Syrians need specialists in counter-partisan warfare, special operations, IT specialists, countertechnologists, etc., who, impersonally, under the legend, carry out the tasks of destroying the underground, the al-Qaeda fighters, the interventionists.
We presented material evidence of the intervention of nearly three dozen countries - Turkish, Qatari and Saudi special forces, Al-Qaeda, special forces of England, France, Germany, mercenaries from a dozen European countries.
Syria is alone fighting in the environment, suffering terrible losses: almost a million refugees abroad, more than a half million lost their homes, tens of thousands of dead, hundreds of thousands of wounded, thousands of abductees, infrastructure and economics destroyed. We have documented the participation of the Wahhabis of the Caucasus and the Volga region in the murder of Syrians. It was they who shouted at the camera: “Death to the Russians! Today Syria - tomorrow Russia, Iran, China! ”.
In Syria, more than one hundred thousand of our fellow citizens are children from mixed marriages, their parents, whose lives are in danger today. The West, with the fussiness of a pickpocket grabbed by the hand, appoints one “newcomer” or another as the leader of the opposition. Now he is a US citizen with an American wife, "part-time" - a staff member of the CIA.
- You claim that there is no opposition, but television shows civilians in arms, calling themselves fighters against the Assad regime.
- Our street punks are also opposition to the established order. And bribe-takers and crooks of all ranks, isn’t the opposition to normal life? Full liberal foam from “Bolotnaya” - this fifth column - hates Russia; Listen and think about their speeches - this is also the opposition of the conscientious part of society. They have, by the way, and the media, and banks, and part of the government.
Corrupt bureaucrats and radical Islamists torpedoed Assad's social reforms. The war was the reorganization of the Syrian society, cleared the state apparatus of the scoundrels, rallied the people - militia posts on the streets of the city, only volunteers in the assault groups. They are confronted by local crime and, I repeat, professional killers from other countries. The cadres of the atrocities of these "oppositionists" are forbidden to show, but you can lie about the atrocities of the army - these are the "laws" of the media genre.
The real opposition, ill soul for their homeland, is now fighting with Assad for the unity of the country that the West is trying to dismember.
By the way, in repelling the attack of militants on the prison in Idlib - they tried to repel captured mercenaries - the rest of the prisoners fought shoulder to shoulder with guards. After the battle, they returned to their cells, having handed over their weapons.
- Did you have to work with other journalists?
- We met with a group of our countryman Evgeny Poddubny from the TV channel "Russia 24" - Young guys, they don’t climb to the front, but they carefully and dosed open the curtain of lies about Syria. The reason is not so much that they are limited in freedom of movement or in constant danger - the threat of death or capture is great enough, but because our mass media in the vast majority do not serve Russia. Let us recall how our liberal media turned against the Russian authorities precisely when Georgia rockets and tanks ironed the South Ossetian cities and villages.
And Chechnya since Dudayev? The genocide against the Russian media was presented as the establishment of democracy and the struggle of the Chechen people for freedom. Our boys died, and from TV screens and newspaper pages, the sales team was happy with every drop of spilled Russian blood.
And now the overwhelming majority of TV channels and radio stations have either collected water in their mouths or are squealing about the struggle of the Democrats against the Assad regime, as if working on the Mossad silver pieces. We met with Europeans - they openly say that they are forced to lie to employers. But with the Syrian TV journalists worked closely.
- And what is the level of Syrian journalism?
- As a reader, I have long been not enthusiastic about aggressive domestic journalism, which ranges from dishonesty to illiteracy: bias, petty mother, lack of elementary ethics, low level of general culture and education, digest. To the level of the Soviet school, oh, how far, but what is pop, so is the parish.
Of course, there are high-class professionals, but they can not always be realized: the master does not allow. I have been in journalism for a long time, in extreme journalism, but my hands have never been tied - I do not write for a fee. Printed, not printed - this is another conversation. It is more difficult for a professional journalist - there are those who will always determine the rules of the game and the range of dosed truth or dosed lies. Dudayev had a tariff for lies, and every Juda from the media had a price. I would like to ask the same “New” or “Komsomolskaya Pravda”: where does such vulgarity come from, such hatred of Russian and Russian? But for all you have to pay, and Judas waiting for an aspen stake. But there is, thank God, another journalism that is ill with Russia. And an example of this - "Tomorrow", Russian Bulletin, "Arguments of the week"our Belgorodka, on TV - the program "Top Secret" and many others.
- What is it like to be a journalist in Syria?
- Being a journalist in Syria is not easy: you have to have the courage to show the enemy's grin, to report under bullets, to deliver the footage through the territory seized by gangs. It was surprising that their skill was concise and at the same time as capacious as possible to give the result.
Communicated briefly: the exchange of information, opinions, experiences, captured frames. The TV crews joked that because of us, the bosses drove them into the “field”: they say that the Russians do things under fire, and you sit in the studio. Although in fact they were desperate, one journalist was especially struck: the most valuable material was extracted according to the laws of the adventurous genre (Yara Abbas, who died in the 27 suburb of Al-Kseira this April. - S. Ye.). Journalism should be prohibitively responsible: through the eyes of a journalist, the reader will understand the world around us, and this view should not be false. By the way, I was told on television that the Syrians, who graduated from our journalism department, want to meet with us, but the meeting, alas, did not take place: on the appointed day we were tied up on the outskirts of the capital and barely got out.
- And how did you find yourself in the battle zone?
- Foreign correspondents on the front are not allowed, including Russian ones. Even "Russia 24" worked outside the battle zone, but it is not a reproach to them - in any case, the bread there with a bitter aftertaste. An exception was made only for our group for a number of reasons, including due to the relatively high resistance to stress and internal readiness to avoid captivity. We worked with army special forces in assault groups as journalists, although short reports are visible tiny bits of everyday life, but the Lord kept them.
My injury was not at all accidental: an attack was followed by a counterattack, often a “puff” —the third floor was ours, and the second and fourth — they, the density of fire can be judged by marks on the walls — two to three hundred bullets per square meter, then withdrawal, the seventh shot through the street shot through by snipers at three to four tens of meters with fear driven inside.
I left the last but one with a fighter along an already-adjusted street, and getting off with only two wounds is a fabulous luck. The injury "lit up" the group and immediately complicated our position - awareness was unnecessary. On the other hand, people on the street approached us and said: “Thank you, Russia!”. They said that we returned faith to Russia and asked if she would betray them.
- What did you do on Syrian television?
- Me personally? He gave a two-hour interview, which was then “twisted” for three days in a row through the central channel. They also presented the highest journalistic award “For courage and honesty”. This is an assessment of the work of our entire group, but the laurels unfairly got to me.
- What were the "laurels"?
- A maroon beret takes an elite Syrian special forces, an assault knife and those fatal bullets. The rest gave away to friends. The main thing is that we personified Russia, who fought with them, and saw that we are not inferior to them in courage and dedication. But the main thing for me - I saw the truth of the relationship: in whom I believed - turned out to be others, who were at a distance - were the closest. Someone entered my life forever, someone left her and also forever.
- Will you write about Syria?
- The society is in a state of schizophrenia - a complete split of consciousness: some lie recklessly and sell the country wholesale and retail, while others pretend that this is necessary, although the soul and mind rebel. "Kickbacks", embezzlement, bribery - a way of life corrupted by power and money of a minority. Add here the reflection of the thinking part of society about the destruction of the economy, social sphere, education, health, culture, language, faith, traditions, moral component. A statement of the physical degradation of Russians, the emigration of “brains”, the duping of the remaining ones, the criminalization of consciousness. Metastases of decomposition hit all areas of society and government institutions. Most of the media excel in emascurating the identity of a nation, its dignity. And at the same time, there are healthy forces that are aware of the fatality of what is happening for the state and the titular ethnic group.
Fate brought honor, duty and unparalleled courage to people. I am proud to have worked with them. And it is written, and filmed more than ... But what's next? For a book or a movie, you need money, you need promotion, but this is not. There is no public understanding that the project is being implemented for the repartition of the world, and Syria is the last frontier of Russia, still distant. However, our man in the street does not know at all and does not want to know where Syria is, and, in fact, it’s difficult to find Russia on the map. Some of the Syrian notes saw the light in the capital's publications and on the Internet, there are television projects, but this is all Moscow. I have always believed and believe that Russia lives in the province and here is the concentration of conscience. Therefore, the interest of the capital, on the one hand, surprised, and on the other pleased - not all is lost. Even in their large metropolitan areas, even with their marginality and seemingly minimal dependence on hail, there is more than just multipolarity of the media and more developed public institutions.
- What is it that you don't like in the provinces?
- Provinciality, its mustiness is sucked in like Chekhov Ionich. And a complex of provincialism arises: internal inferiority, stuckness of consciousness, attempts at secularism are ridiculous and pitiful, a bottom-up look at the owner. On the other hand, the province is moral purity, internal culture, traditionalism, conscientiousness, lack of unity from its roots. It was the province that made up the cultural color of the nation, created literary and artistic schools, and the capital only directions in art and literature, but now it is limited in media.
We are bequeathed to Russia. It is to us, and not to those who sell it wholesale and retail, talking about the innovation and technological breakthrough in the economy and the need to integrate it into Western business - nonsense, interesting for the psychiatrist. Not those who break down the foundations of the family through sodomy and juvenile justice, hiding behind the phrases of child care. Not to those who destroy the national culture and language, replacing the substitute of the criminal subculture. Not those who declared a crusade to Orthodoxy and traditional Islam through the desecration of temples and Wahhabism. Not to those who are destroying the centuries-old interfaith and polyethnic tolerance of Russia. But if in the megalopolis there is a concentration of self-consciousness, then in the provinces there is a disunity of the intellectual layer, some kind of salonliness, and this is our misfortune.
- You are not going back?
- Syria is not as far as it seems at first glance. With Syria we, I believe, are connected by the umbilical cord. So, flying away, I said: goodbye, Syria, I will be back.
Sergey Berezhnoy is a very creative person. Began to publish in the eighties. His materials appeared on the pages of newspapers Krasnogvardeisky, Rakityansky, Borisov, Alekseevsky areas. Sergey Aleksandrovich is also well-known to readers of Belgorodskaya Pravda.
It was also published in the journals “Pogranichnik”, “Our Contemporary”, “Belfry”, “Roman-Journal XXI Century” ... Winner of the weekly “Literary Russia” in the nomination “Publicism:“ For an unbiased look at geopolitical problems ”, laureate of“ Prokhorovsky field ” and other prestigious literary awards and prizes. The author of the books "Silent Province", "Profession - investigator", "Forgive me, honey" ... Member of the Writers' Union of Russia.
He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Voronezh State University and the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. He served in the Soviet Army and the Interior Ministry. He worked as a judge in Rakityansky district, chairman of the Borisov district court. Currently - Deputy Chairman of the Arbitration Court of the Belgorod Region.