Courtiers in Petersburg, Tartars in the army

The Tartar desert © Patrick Pascal

         “The Russians, courtisans in Petersburg, become Tartars again in the army,” wrote Germaine de Staël in “Ten years of exile“.

This sentiment, expressed at the beginning of the 19th century by a personality who embodied the defence of freedom and the intellectual Europe, deserves to be meditated upon.

After the legend of humiliation, then that of the “genocidal and neo-Nazis” of the camp opposite, the last little music we hear here and there is that of a Russian President who would not have been well informed by his administrations and services. Is he not responsible? Indeed, it is a safe bet that the corridors of the Kremlin, and beyond, are teeming with characters who are servile to the powerful and inclined to attack the weak when they have the opportunity. 

But did we need intelligence services to know, well before the end of the Soviet Union, that Ukrainian nationalism was very strong even if it was still contained? Do we need agents of the Shadow to finally see the martyrdom inflicted by the great Russian nation on vulnerable and defenceless populations like Mariupol? 

One could multiply the examples, but here again we must quote Germaine de Staël: “pain, the greatest of the prophets“, she declared after the disappearance of her father, the Swiss Financier Necker, minister of Louis XVI. Yes, Mr Putin, get out of your bunker, open your eyes to your actions. May you feel eventually pain.

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