Eduard Limonov in English - 2

An extensive website dedicated to Eduard Limonov, with unusual photos and videos, and much new information. (2021)

<------All the links. In French, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian. 



                (in French) 




                                      PROSE AND PROTEST


Writer and politician Eduard Limonov talks about his work and politics.

Eduard Limonov and his bodygards volunteers. Labour Day parade. Moscow, May 1, 2012. -- ENLARGE PHOTO 

By Sergey Chernov

The St. Petersburg Times - May 2, 2012 

 With a new novel and a poetry collection freshly published and a music album about to be released, the 69-year-old author and dissident Eduard Limonov — whose biography won a major literary award in France last year — came to St. Petersburg last week. He came not, however, to promote his literary achievements, but to support the 12 local activists of his party The Other Russia, now on trial for oppositional activities and facing sentences of up to four years in jail. 


Near the court, Limonov was met by massive police presence, and followed by plainclothes agents in two cars when he was driven away by activists after speaking to the press.

In March 2009, Limonov announced that he was going to run for Russian presidency in the 2012 elections, and published a presidential manifesto called “Limonov 2012.” He demonstrated that he was serious in November last year, when he stated that he would give up the French citizenship that he received in 1987. Under Russian law, presidential candidates cannot have dual citizenship.   


However, when Limonov and his supporters came to a hotel in Moscow on November 11, where they were to hold an assembly to nominate him as a candidate, they found the hotel surrounded by the police, while signs announced that “urgent repair work” was underway in both of the conference rooms that he had rented.  

The assembly — attended by more than the quorum of 500 — was held in a rented bus outside the hotel, but a week later the Central Elections Committee refused to register him as a candidate on formal grounds.

 The refusal was backed by the Russian Supreme Court the following month. Limonov was the first of seven candidates, including the Yabloko Democratic Party’s leader Grigory Yavlinsky, to be denied registration as a candidate.  


Whether we’re good or bad, we’re quite prominent personalities in Russian politics and society,” Limonov said.

What the liberals did was silly; thousands of observers were everywhere, and they still cannot present the authorities with anything substantial. Violations? Yes, there were violations, but all these videos are nonsense.

“They should have said from the very beginning: If seven independent candidates were dismissed, it made the elections illegitimate. What kind of proof did they need? What observers? They should have made a stand on it. It was not only in my interests, as a person who was denied registration, but in the interests of society as a whole. It was evident and comprehensible.

Limonov describes the state of Russian society as a “distorting mirror.”

There’s a mutual agreement to see the world the way it is presented to us,” he said. “People have to destroy this agreement and learn to see the world as it is. Because the real world does exist, and it is not good to us.

Limonov believes Russia lost a rare historic chance to defeat the Kremlin during December’s 2011 anti-electoral fraud protests, when Solidarity leader and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov and other liberal leaders made separate agreements with the authorities and moved the December 10 demo to the more remote Bolotnaya Ploshchad in order to get it authorized and avoid a police crackdown, instead of insisting on the central Revolution Square, close to the Kremlin’s “sore points,” as Limonov suggested. He described the liberal leaders’ behavior as “treason.

In their turn, the liberals accused Limonov of wanting “bloodshed.”


Limonov, who hung out with the Ramones and other punk bands in his days as an émigré author in New York from 1974-1979, said that the imprisonment of three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, two of whom have been in custody since March 3 after performing a “punk prayer” in one of Moscow’s best known cathedrals, had harmed the Russian Orthodox Church itself.

They’re girls, a punk band, they should have been released long ago so that the church would not disgrace itself,” Limonov said.

The Church declines in the eyes of society with every day. It proves that it’s not only barbaric and archaic, but that it’s also silly. [Pussy Riot] didn’t hurt God, but the church hierarchy. I’m not on either side, I’m on the side of my country, and such stupid scandals are very telling of a certain underdevelopment in our society.” 

Autobiographical novel called “V Syrakh” (In Cheeses) - 2012

Limonov appears to be as prolific as ever. In the past couple of months, he has published a collection of poetry called “Atillo Dlinnozuboye” (Long-Toothed Atillo) and an autobiographical novel called “V Syrakh” (In Cheeses), named after Moscow’s historical district Syromyatniki (“cheesemakers”) where Limonov lived in the mid-2000s.

The world sees poetry as sort of retro, something that eccentric people do,” he said.  “So as one of those eccentric people, I’m happy to indulge myself in writing it. Since leaving prison, I’ve already published five collections of poetry, one after another.

“I stopped reading novels 25 years ago; I have no interest in fiction. What I read is crazy books. Crazy ideas are the most interesting and the most reasonable.” 

Limonov expressed far more enthusiasm when speaking about his upcoming book, to be published by Ad Marginem publishers in Moscow later this month. Called “Illuminations,” it is a collection of subversive views in which he attacks generally accepted truths such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

I think it’s an astonishing book, it reexamines many hypotheses, mainly dealing with the origin of man, why he was created,” Limonov said.

It’s a very interesting thing for me to do, because I know how to do everything else. It’s a collection of paradoxical things that will attract attention, regardless of whether that is desirable or not.” 

 Limonov’s poetry will also be featured on a 28-track double music album titled “Limonoff.” Produced by his occasional lawyer Sergei Belyak, the album features about 20 bands — from the electro-punk band Barto to the St. Petersburg veteran avant-rock band NOM — who have written and performed songs based on Limonov’s poems. 

Featuring a photo of Limonov holding an electric guitar on the cover, “Limonoff” is due out on the Moscow label Soyuz later this month. 

[Belyak] got in touch with many different music bands, including Spanish bands, Latvian bands, Ukrainian bands, whoever,” Limonov said.

Mostly up-and-coming ones, but also some veterans. I didn’t take part [in selecting the bands], but I listened to some of it. It’s interesting. He simply gave away my poems for the bands to choose. I don’t know why he did it, but it’s fine by me.” 

 International interest in Limonov both as a personality and political activist has been on the rise since last year, when French author Emmanuel Carrère’s  “Limonov”  became a best-seller in France and won the Prix Renaudot, France’s second most coveted literary award after the Prix Goncourt, in November.

Limonov lived in France from 1980 until 1991, when he returned to Russia.

Emmanuel Carrère is a very influential man and if some other person had written [the biography], it would probably have gone unnoticed,” Limonov said.

But he has a reputation as the best or one of the best French authors, he’s from the upper French bourgeoisie, his mother is the secretary of the Academie Francaise, his father is a major industrialist. ‘Limonov’ was made a phenomenon. It’s enough to say that [President Nicolas] Sarkozy has already spoken about the book four times.

It won three awards and only didn’t win the Prix Goncourt because of its subject. As the award’s secretary said, ‘It was not [Carrere] who was not given the award, it was his subject.’

They are divided in that wonderful country. Some think Limonov is a hero, while others think that he’s an adventurist and an anti-hero. I think it’s good to be either.” 

                        The St. Petersburg TimesMay 2, 2012  

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                            LIBERAL PROPAGANDA 

THE TIMES - May 7, 2016.

About the book of ultra-liberal Charles Clover :  "BLACK WIND, WHITE SNOW : The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism"

Yale, 304 pp - April 2016

THE TIMES - May 7, 2016.

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     EDUARD LIMONOV in The eXile   

"The eXile ( 1997-2008 )  was an important Moscow-based  English language biweekly free tabloid newspaper, aimed at the city's expatriate community, but also read a lot by young people educated in Moscow.

 It combined outrageous, sometimes satirical content with investigative reporting ( 25.000 ex, and website with lots of consultations )  

"The eXile", led by American reporter Mark Ames, with Matt Taibbi (1997-2002), regularly publishes columns by Eduard Limonov

Eduard Limonov wrote his polemical analyzes directly in English.

Here they are in their entirety : 

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An "The eXile" Roundtable with Edward Limonov

 Moscow - April, 16  2004 

Limonov interview after his two years in prison for "arms trafficking" and "an attempted coup in Kazakhstan".  

Last week, National Bolshevik leader and eXile hero Edward Limonov sat down with eXile editors Mark Ames, John Dolan and Jake Rudnitsky to discuss politics and literature.

Jake Rudnitsky, John Dolan, Limonov, Mark Ames

  What follows is the part of the interview about Limonov's own books, the practical side of writing, and his views on what makes for quality literature. 

To me, "His Butler's Story" [ "Histoire de son serviteur" ] is one of your best books. One of the reasons I was shocked when I first read it was that somehow you managed to describe what Jenny, an ordinary American of the time, was like. I read that and looked around at the rest of American literature and nobody repeated it. I always wondered what made it so hard to Americans to describe carefully what was happening. You needed to go to a Russian...

Edward Limonov: Probably really because I was new and fresh from the other world. What I saw was probably banality for the Americans. And I came from a completely different social situation. And I had some kind of a good eye...

eX: When you came for the first time, what did you get from Americans, what influences?

LIMONOV : I had very different influences. For example from my boss and from his employees and friends I learned a lot practical. Even from now I have that from Karla for appointments. She taught me a lot of things like how to organize myself. Not like she was sitting with me and saying write down this, but we worked every day and so she said me and eventually I found myself living in France I found myself using this business discipline.

That is undeniable, absolutely. Then it was ordinary places like Jenny -- her real name is Julie Carpenter -- her father was an FBI agent and she and her friends especially her brother...

eX: You mean the guy who was a stoner?

LIMONOV : Yeah, they see I'm reading something boring on in kitchen and he says you should not read this bullshit and gives me High Times magazine. Not only that but also the books. For example that was Julie who recommended to me to read Bukowski. And other things...the Beatniks I guess. Then the books of B. Traven. He's the best to write about the sailors, really macabre things.


 eX: What American literature did you know before you went to America and how did your view of American literature change?

LIMONOV  : Very little -- I knew what was translated, Socialist stuff, Theodore Dreiser. Hemingway was read by children. But later I read Hemingway and a lot of other writers in English and they are really something. I liked the style. Later I read many things. A couple of years after arrival, it took me some time to learn the language, its rhythm. But about influences, basically good writers. My young friends have been very helpful to introduce me to punk.

eX: We wanted to ask you about punk...


LIMONOV : Yeah, because it started in '75 and I lived in New York at this time and I immediately knew that something happens on the Lower East Side. And I been on the Lower East Side before because a lot of Polish, Ukrainians, Russians immigrants lived there. Russian Jewish stores and all that. Some friends of mine lived in St. Marks Place. I went to all the concerts in CBGB. All the American lower east side punk.

eX: Richard Hell and the Voidoids...

LIMONOV : Yeah, Richard Hell!

eX: Is punk part of the National Bolshevik iconography?

LIMONOV : It's probably not a coincidence that when we thought about the creation of the party, one of us, my young friend Taras Rabko, he found Yegor Letov, the Russian idol. He spoke about my books in some lyrics. He said we should contact him as a great influence on Russian youngsters. And so we did, we contacted him and because of that many first National Bolsheviks came from that, Russian punks. Even now a lot are coming...

eX: I've got a naive fan question... Did Jenny (or Julie) read "His Butler's Story?" Or Peter Sprague [Limonov's billionaire employed, portrayed in "HBS"]?

LIMONOV : Yeah, Julie read it, I guess so.

eX: Did they respond to it?


LIMONOV : No, I just know the connection. I know some part of my friends' biography for example. My boss he told this...

eX: I always wondered what happens when they read it...

eX: Like Elena [Limonov's ex-girlfriend, portrayed in "It's Me, Eddie" - "Le poète russe préfère les grands nègres", in French]...

LIMONOV : Yeah they read about it. When in '93 I received a phone call from Kostya Bondarenko, that's the guy in Podrostok Savyenko ["Memoir of a Russian Punk" - "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence"]. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for various things. But, unfortunately the next day we got thrown out of that rented premises. He didn't have my other phone. He called me and I was busy with some people and I said call me later. That's how it happened. But many of them, most of them died. Now it's a movie...

eX: "Podrostok Savyenko" ("Memoir of a Russian Punk" "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence" in French )  is a movie?

LIMONOV : Yeah, the movie will come out by the same guy who made Brigada. It's called Russkoye -- he took the name of my book of poetry. It will be out in theaters in autumn. Now they will be showing it in some festivals. I don't know what it will be. I sold them the rights when I was in prison and it helped get us out of prison.    


                                  THE MOVIE  :



eX: One technical question: Podrostok Savyenko and Molodoi Niigodai ["The Young Scoundrel" - "Le petit salaud" in French] you wrote in third person, and "Eto ya Edichka" [It's Me, Eddie - "Le poète russe préfère les grands nègres"] and Istoria ego Usulga ["His Butler's Story" - "Histoire de son serviteur" in french] in first. Why did you choose one over the other?

LIMONOV : Maybe for make a difference in Eto ya... Because those books were supplied by remarks and some places...


eX: Especially in "Molodoi Niigodai" [ "Le petit salaud" ] there's a lot of distance from your characters -- you call him by whatever job he has at the moment. He's the bookseller or the aspiring writer. Like each one is a separate character...Was it more difficult to write it that way?


LIMONOV : It was very intentional. I was in France and I wanted to be a professional writer and I said to myself never again will I touch an ordinary job. I wanted to be only a writer. I will absolutely lead a disciplined life and write one book a year. Sometimes I'd write two books a year. That's why I published 17 books in France. So I wanted to write and explore some... as I always hated to invent people. I wanted, I found it artificial.

eX: You don't like what's called fiction?

LIMONOV : No. I hate it. I find it inadmissible.

eX: From a writer's point of view, or from a reader's?

LIMONOV : From a reader's and a writer's.

eX: What about Dead Souls, for example?


LIMONOV : You wouldn't read Dead Souls for the pleasure. [laughs] I like Gogol like Lovecraft.

eX: You know Michel Houellebecq has written a book about Lovecraft? You've written a lot in prison. I'm reading V Plenu u Mertvetsev [Captive of the Dead, an account of Limonov's life in prison]. How did your experience compare to Dostoevsky's?


LIMONOV : I wrote also a book called Po Tyurmom [From Prison to Prison - In France : "Mes prisons" aux éditions Actes Sud 2009 ]. It will be available in probably a week or two. The book Po Tyurmom is really about the characters, about the people that I met. They are non-fictional characters, everybody uses their own name, their own face. It is a book about prison. But what I wrote about in V Plenu..., that was a different kind of prison, a very lonely kind of prison.


eX: Only one cell mate...

LIMONOV : There isn't other prison population with you and it focuses on my own reaction to prison. But here I manage to cheat the prison authorities. It was not forbidden to write but to take out what you wrote. What I did actually, it was probably not bad as Lefortovo administration. And now they have to take everything first because the lawyer of Khrodokovsky or the lawyer of Platon Lebedev. Just yesterday I read that they search every lawyer now. Because if they didn't they would be very unhappy about what happened. I'm proud of what I did [laughs] because I managed to smuggle out one and a half thousand pages.

eX: Did most of the prisoners have politics?


LIMONOV : No, I guess it's on the contrary. Most of them don't think politically. They probably participate in politics even without their will, because their position in society is, anyway, is opposition. Even if they probably don't understand their role in society, each of them I saw like a small revolutionary because they are really break, everyone of them break some rule of society. My view of prison is really different than common view by a Russian writer.


eX: Is that informed by your treatment when you were in prison?

LIMONOV : No, I know that because I present my manuscript of this very book Po Tyurmom to a different publisher because most of them said that is contrary to the Russian tradition because I am associating myself with the criminals. They say, look, Solzhenitsyn was against the prison world. He hated the common criminals. And on the contrary I felt like I am one of them. We all suffered and we all have the burden of punishment. And some of them are really great figures. I in a certain sense admired their being convicted to the life in prison. I saw about 30 of them for a year in Saratov prison. More than thirty, actually for capital punishment.

eX: What do you need to do to get capital punishment?

LIMONOV : Oh, you know, for example that band, city of Angorsk from Saratov region, they judged same time as me and they are responsible for the five killings, five dead. And some other people, six dead. Those are bandits, really. But they never touch the common people. They say we kill each other, what's wrong with that? Why we deserve... But many of them are describing how they behave themselves before the sentence, after the sentence when it's already different. This time you are already past the waiting for the ceremony in the prison to send the people to the court. They sending from the floors downstairs and in that moment for about two hours you have the possibility to talk to stay together. You are separated by five or six places but anyway there are always about twenty people.

eX: Maybe it's easier for you because in Podrostok Savyenko you describe about growing up in a place where criminals were admired. And I was wondering is that unusual for you -- how you decide in "Podrostok Savenko" ( "Memoirs of a rusian punk" - "Autoportrait d'un bandit dans son adolescence" ]  you're not going to be the good boy anymore -- or do you think Solzhenitsyn knew that culture and tried to forget it?


LIMONOV : I don't know about Solzhenitsyn, but I felt solidarity with them. As I said we've been suffering together. What can be more serious than life in prison? It's like you are already dead. And I felt the same because until the day of sentencing I expected to have the big huge sentence, convicted by four articles of the code. And after twenty five years, twenty years -- that's kind of a dark hole. After that and you are dead, really dead. So you are living that life with them. And so I thought absolutely like a brother to those people and they felt the same. I don't say anything bad about those people. In a way they are brave because in a way they could be much, much terribly worse. But they are much more human than the people who kept us inside, then the convoy as they call them, the militsia men who are always stupid, loud, aggressive, swearing constantly. They are degenerates, the prisoners in comparison to them were very delicate. They never say something to irritate you. It's accepted the confrontation in some places but it's very rare actually, because they all in the bad situation and they don't want to be... if they respect you at least. It probably could be different, but I don't know. I never had... So actually it was natural for me. Maybe I also judge them from the highest point of view, from one step from eternity... if you imagine yourself to be sentenced to fifteen years, you are living in this world, and not in the world of fears. The criminals they committed their crimes sometimes in a few minutes. Or maybe they prepared in committing it for one month. Then they are people like others. On the contrary the law and the people inflicting the law, enforcing the law are constantly committing the crime. Nobody understands, but that's it. The criminal world in its small way is in a sense a victim of its own emotions. Of the moment.

In "Molodoi Niigodai" [ "Le petit salaud" ], you tell the cop Zilberman that "Kostya Bondarenko is not a criminal, he's a romantic"...

eX: Your new book is Po Tyurmom, or Prison to Prison, [ in France "Mes prisons" Actes Sud - 2009 ]  which echoes Castle to Castle [ "D'un château l'autre" ] by Céline...


LIMONOV : Yeah, probably I found that the title of Céline's book is very good.

eX: When Céline put out his book, he said in a very cynical way that WWII was a very good thing for his literature. Did you feel that way when you were arrested?

LIMONOV : I should at least say it give the best for my writing. It's like the situation when you are in an extreme -- in extreme situations you always see better, think better sharper, probably men need danger to be efficient. And I think those eight books of mine are in a way something new than what I wrote. Not reminding me of my other books. And sometimes it even achieves brilliance. But I let myself on purpose to write this, because I saw this reality. I live in it, so it's reality so basically works for publishing.


eX: And you see and hear things that you wouldn't. I remember there's a long description of Moscow radio stations, I guess because there's no choice...

LIMONOV : It was a part of my universe. It's not only that I choose it, but it was a big part of my living, I talk about it and think about it.

eX: There's a great section about hot songs that make you think about fat American women doing aerobics...

LIMONOV : Something like that tortures you if you live in this country, but you don't think about it because you can get away. In prison you can't. Back to Céline -- he said, after prison in Denmark, there are only two types of people in the world: people who've been to prison and people who don't know shit.

 That's very good prisoner's proverb: who was in prison won't laugh in circus. [laughs] No, those people are great. I don't know why, maybe I'm brighter than whoever, but I felt a certain greatness and I was proud that most of them respected me.

eX: It's unusual that you have a lot of compassion for those prisoners and you even feel like you owe them, you want to bring their story out.

LIMONOV Yeah, I promised them. That's why wrote that book. Especially I promised this one guy, Andrei Sherchenko, that I would write the life in prison. And from his first appearance the book started. And I discovered incredible characters. There were two older boys, one was 18, they raped, killed 11 years old girl. And you know they were totally hated in prison by everybody as the whole. But some guys, I know this guy Telnikov, his klichka, nickname was "Tikho." So he said -- we were standing in a cage talking about those two -- because they'd been kept away just in a hallway chained up to some pipes. And a lot of the younger guys said, "If I had a chance I would just strangle them." Then that guy said, and he was very respected, "Shut up, asshole, what do you know? Maybe everything is invented by the policeman. You know those suckers. And the guys already suffer enough." It was great, like the best gangster from the old movies. And he had great humor. When he was in court the judge said, "If you don't want to fire at people, why didn't you fire at the sky?" He said, "I was afraid that the bullet would land on me." They are totally ruthless, yes, but... Or like they were afraid one of the guns used in the killing would be recovered by police. So they went to the place where they scalped it to re-buy the gun. But they got tired and they cut the guy. Incredible.

eX: What sort of hierarchies are there among the prisoners?

LIMONOV : This was Saratov prison, which was a red prison. It means that it was ruled by the police. But anyway there are some hierarchies actually. That is by the hierarchy of crimes. Not only, but it's most important. When I was delivered to Saratov from Moscow and I was in a cage alone and it was next to about thirty people and the officers came and I was asked to say my article for the crimes for which I was accused. I said it and it was silence in the next cage. Because 205 it is terrorism, 208 is formulation of military, 222 is the reference to the buying and keeping weapons and then 280, instigation to overthrow the government. They had never heard it. Then one of the ugliest, most terrible looking, he asked, he said, "Hey Uvazhayemii [respected one], you are from Moscow?" I said, "Yeah, from Moscow. Your prison is red?" One of them said "Red 'til dead." First of all it is cause of crimes. But most of the prisons now in Russia are red, except for strangely enough Butyrka is a black prison. Black is where the prisoners are ruling. It doesn't mean they are doing what they want, but at least they are living in cooperation with the militsia men. Butyrka is black and Matrosky Tishina is also black. But for example Khordokovsky is sitting in the inside of the territory of Matrossky Tishina but that is a corpus where all the guys in all the rooms are FSB. It's the same at like Lefortovo.

eX: Why did they move him from Lefortovo? Lebedev was in Lefortovo.

LIMONOV : Actually it's the same conditions. It's difficult to say. But they never keep the co-defendants in the same prison, or never in the same block. For example in Saratov prison I was in the third block and another of us was in the fourth one and then two others were in the wings and two of our guys were in the prison in another city.

eX: One last question, about the eXile. What would you change about our newspaper?

LIMONOV : I think that if you become political, then you would suffer more. You see, our newspaper Limonka became very political and we lost a lot of readers. But we have no chance. We don't have the money to make it bigger to make it culture and politics. But we have no money for the moment. It was the whole spectrum before, but now it is only the half. I think you have everything, but you cannot throw out your reklama.  

                               " The eXile" - Moscow - April, 16  2004    

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                                  TAKING A STAND 

Eduard Limonov and his bodygards volunteers take part in a May Day procession in St. Petersburg. 

"The St.Petersburg Times",  April 30, 2009 


By Sergey Chernov 


Eduard Limonov talks about his plans to become president of Russia.

The city’s central Bukvoyed bookstore was surrounded by the police on Monday, with several police vehicles parked on Ligovsky Prospekt and Ploshchad Vosstaniya, camouflaged OMON special-task officers waiting around the corner and a group of senior police officers picketing the entrance.

The event that drew the police presence was not a political rally, but a poetry reading. The poet, who came to St. Petersburg to showcase his new anthology of poetry, was Eduard Limonov, who alongside former chess champion Garry Kasparov, is one of the Kremlin’s biggest irritants. The impression created by the heavy police presence and Bukvoyed’s packed room was that poetry is important and, once again, dangerous.

“When I saw the OMON, I thought for a minute they had come to listen to my poems,” Limonov joked before starting to read. Eight members of the public — and Limonov’s banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP) — were arrested for no apparent reason as they were entering the bookstore, and eleven more were detained later that day after a group of NBP members went to Police Precinct 76 to find out what had become of their missing comrades.

“I think it should be attributed to the madness of the regional police authorities,” Limonov said in an interview with The St. Petersburg Times at a central coffee house on Wednesday, the third and final day of his visit, during which he also planned to meet local members of the NBP, take part in a discussion on “the tactics and strategy of the opposition during the economic crisis” and present his presidential program for the 2012 elections.

“Of course, it looked shocking to me as well,” he said. “It’s understandable when there are political protests — that’s not normal either, but maybe they’re afraid of some outbursts of emotion or whatever. But in this case it was a totally peaceful event. They’re madmen, what else is there to say? The authorities are already very afraid of simply my name and face, because there have been cases in which people in the provinces have been prosecuted for having my books or pamphlets in their possession under article 282 [of the Criminal Code], for extremism — on the basis of my name. At the same time, maybe that’s a good thing, because it suggests I am not insignificant as a politician.”

Limonov’s new book of poetry is called “Boy, Run!” (Malchik, Begi!) and is published by the St. Petersburg publisher Limbus Press. Limonov, 66, described it as a message to his two-year old son Bogdan, who was born on Nov. 7, 2006.

“The dramatic story of my family is in there, among other poems,” Limonov said.

“We have two children now (although when I was writing the book, there was one, but nevertheless), I am not on the best terms with my wife, but this happens in the world pretty often. I blame my wife entirely, rather than myself. This book is written in order to get my son on my side, morally. 

“But that’s not the only reason. There are a lot of so-called ontological poems of a universal character, and a story of a family drama at the same time. There’s a photo of my son, who was wearing his older sister’s hat for some reason, on the front cover, and then there’s me wearing a hat and looking extremely evil on the back cover. No, not evil - rather sort of fiendishly content — smiling, laughing.”

But Limonov couldn’t help touching on social and political issues in his recent poems.

“There’s a lot [of political poems in the book]. There are several poems about Natsbols (NBP members), it’s basically all the poems that I’ve written since my previous book of poems, from 2006 to 2008,” he said.

Limonov said he stopped writing poetry for a long time after he emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1974, but resumed while he was in prison in Russia on charges of illegally purchasing firearms in the early 2000s.

“My first poetry work was in the late 1960s and early 1970s,” he said.

“Then I didn’t write for a long time, when I moved abroad. There was one collection called ‘My Anti-Hero’ (Moi Otritsatelny Geroi) written abroad, but really I started writing again in prison, and after I got out of prison.”

At the packed Bukvoyed on Monday, the audience was predominantly young. Most appeared to be university students, and applauded vigorously after the poems were read.

“It means it’s interesting for them, and the book is dynamic, emotional and strong, in my view,” said Limonov.

“You can’t always evaluate your abilities concisely, but in this case it turned out to be an emotional, fast-moving book. The critics accused me of everything — from madness, to being graphomaniac and God knows what else. But in reality, poems like the ones I write are very difficult to write.

“They only appear to be simple — people get deceived by exact rhymes, because they think that exact rhymes are something very simple. In fact, it’s a great art to put completely unusual content into rhyme. I think it’s a very successful book in this sense.”

For those familiar with his prose, essays or speeches, the poems are unmistakably Limonov’s. “It’s my own particular vocabulary and stance. It’s a success — I never thought that I would be writing poems at my age and that they would be like this,” he said.

But the main reason for Limonov’s visit to St. Petersburg was not to present his poetry, but to declare his intention to run as an oppositional candidate in the 2012 presidential elections.

“Why so early? To convince people that I am serious as a candidate and, first of all, to make the opposition realize that I am the most appropriate candidate at this historical phase,” Limonov said.

“I hope that during the next three years I’ll be able to silence the skeptics. Of course, I would not be allowed to present my presidential program at Bukvoyed, so we showcased the book of poetry.”

Limonov was asked to speak about literature rather than politics during his visit to the city — and not only at Bukvoyed.

“100TV channel kept calling [local NBP leader] Andrei Dmitriyev yesterday evening requesting that I refrain from talking about politics this evening. Apparently I have to talk about Gogol,” he said.

“It’s all fear of the authorities. They are scared of my personality. I am very happy about that, because it opens up great opportunities for me.”

During his visit to St. Petersburg, Limonov discovered that he was being closely followed by the police. Around 30 NBP activists were waiting to meet the politician at offices provided by the local branch of Kasparov’s United Civil Front (OGF), but he had to cancel the meeting due to the police surveillance. The activists were told to leave “in small groups,” so as not to attract the police’s attention and get arrested like on Monday.

“Yesterday, I was followed by lots of cars — we were jotting down their number plates — for many hours,” he said.

“Then we made a break. I was speaking on Radio Liberty, but afterwards, they started following us again — we spotted at least three cars. There was a car with police agents in front, a car behind, and one alongside us. I decided that I didn’t want to endanger the opposition activists and bring that crowd of agents there. The risk to me is the same in either case, but I didn’t think I had the right to put them at risk. So we were forced to cancel the meeting. Nevertheless, they didn’t leave us, and continued to follow us for hours.”

A smaller meeting did however take place later in the evening. In Moscow, Limonov going outside does not put the police on panic alert, but he said he has always felt the attention of the police there too.

“It happens in Moscow, too, they are constantly eavesdropping on me — not only the telephones, but it’s most likely that my apartment is also bugged. I was visited by an American friend with a device for detecting bugs, and we found out that it’s located somewhere in the attic. There was always some knocking coming from there (I moved into this apartment recently) and I suggested that he stood on the chair and tested that area. And there was a horrifying crackle. But since after my first arrest, 34 tapes of my conversations were presented in court, I have every reason to insist that this is indisputably eavesdropping.” 

“Boy, Run!” Limonov's book of poetry - 2009

 Limonov, who was frequently described as an “extreme nationalist” in the 1990s but joined Kasparov’s United Civil Front to form the pro-democracy coalition The Other Russia in 2005, came with his presidential program, which claims that the first thing he would do if elected would be to restore democracy in Russia.

“I decided to take this step after I observed the presidential elections in 2008, when oppositional leaders failed miserably in the presidential campaign,” said Limonov. Former Soviet dissident and political prisoner Vladimir Bukovsky and former prime minister-turned oppositionist Mikhail Kasyanov ran for presidency in 2008, along with Kasparov.

“All of them tried, but none of them tried in a serious way, it was somehow lighthearted,” Limonov said.

“When you’re taking such a serious step as running for president, you have to be extremely serious, otherwise next time people will shrug their shoulders and say, ‘Why should we vote for a candidate who even didn’t try seriously?’

“For instance, Kasparov was denied a room in which to hold a meeting of his initiative group, 500 people, and he calmly announced on Dec. 13 without even speaking to us, his allies who were helping him, that he had been denied the room and so he had decided not to run. You don’t do things that way. It’s offensive to people, both to voters, and to those who worked for him, including us, because we were helping him to get elected as a single candidate — perhaps not only from the whole opposition, but from The Other Russia coalition. We made him our single candidate, we tried and we worked.”

Unlike Kasparov, Bukovsky did manage to hold a meeting of his initiative group. “But he didn’t even start to collect signatures, which is also neglectful,” Limonov said. Bukovsky was not allowed to run in the end on the grounds that he allegedly has a British passport and is therefore not qualified to under the Russian law.

“He simply didn’t take it any further,” Limonov said.

“You have to be determined to resist all these tricks. Tomorrow you’ll be told that you have to have all three buttons on your jacket, and if you lack one, you can’t become president. It’s absurd, complete absurd. There should not be things like that. I will be stubborn and determined, I have said we will press for registration even under a hail of bullets, because no pretext will work in my case.

“I’m a very well-known man, and if they don’t want to register even me, if they find a ‘missing button,’ I won’t tolerate that. We’ll be rioting, we have people. You simply have to have real determination that Kasparov and Bukovsky, as it turned out, lacked.

“Kasyanov went further, but the signatures he collected were declared false. They should have foreseen such a possibility. And Kasyanov started his election campaign too late, just like Kasparov and Bukovsky. It was announced just over a month before the deadline. That’s no good, people have to know in advance, to weigh everything up, to make their choice in advance and decide whether they should help or not. I want to try and mobilize people, to convince them.”

Limonov believes he has the qualities to become the united opposition candidate for the Russian presidency.

“It’s not about me,” he said.

“I simply want to say to people, ‘See, every protest movement had a leader, and these movements were personified by their leaders — Solidarnosz in Poland had Lech Walesa, Czechoslovakia had Vaclav Havel. Havel is not the finest playwright in Czechoslovakia, and Walesa was not the most profound mind at that time. But they were deliberately selected and people stood by them. It’s like a flag.

“A leader is like a flag, people gather around them. They should have overall merits, they might have some drawbacks too, of course, as Walesa had — these should be considered negligible, obviously. Power is personified; for eight years it was Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Now it’s personified by two people—this is also not bad, because people know who. They always say ‘Putin’ but they mean the whole system, the whole regime. The opposition should be personified, too.”

Limonov’s first task is to be recognized as a candidate by the opposition, including Solidarity, the democratic movement that Kasparov launched last year.

“Liberals have many leaders, they’re all highly intellectual, they have more access to the media, but what does ‘many leaders’ mean? They all argue with each other,” Limonov said.

“Kasparov came fifth after voting in the Solidarity movement when they were electing co-chairmen. I think [Boris] Nemtsov came first. But this is a narrow circle, not a country.”

Limonov, who described himself as “a democrat, but not liberal,” praised liberal politician Irina Khakamada who said she had left politics because “it’s not our time now.” He said liberals could only expect 12 percent of the vote in Russia, and that Nemtsov’s 13.5 percent in the recent Sochi mayoral elections was an absolute maximum.

“I’m not perfect. I’ll have to convince many, but from the results of past elections I have become convinced that as a person of rather left-wing views, as more of a people’s person than, say, Kasparov and Kasyanov, I have more chances than them, no doubt.”

“We thought for three years that Kasparov would be our leader, we wanted to promote him and actively helped him. But when we saw him wavering, making a lot of mistakes, that he had no determination — he stopped going to Dissenters’ Marches — it hurt our people a lot.”

As Limonov’s party was banned for “extremism” in 2007, he now officially goes as the chairman of The Other Russia’s executive committee. Despite his criticism of Kasparov, Limonov said that he was prepared to keep cooperating with him. But he admitted it was not the best time for The Other Russia.

“Kasparov’s interest has gone into Solidarity, which I consider an imprudent move,” he said.

“To leave a broad coalition for a narrow one is not rational, it’s not clever. But nevertheless, the overall energy and finances that Kasparov has — unlike us — they have all been rechanneled into Solidarity.

“It’s natural that The Other Russia should suffer from that. Yesterday I was informed that the OGF has decided not to participate in the May 24 meeting that we’ve been planning — we wanted to have a sort of Dissenters’ Meeting.”

Presidential elections differ from other elections, and their nature ensures that Limonov is in with a chance, he said.

“It’s the only place left where personality means something, because parliamentary elections are fully party elections, as the one-vote districts were cancelled,” Limonov said.

“My party has long been banned, but here there’s a chance to use the overall goodwill of people that I’ve managed to accumulate. I have opponents, but I believe that there is much more goodwill, and I can use it as capital.

“We should take advantage of my notoriety. Have we together spent an unimaginable number of years in prison in vain? Was all that suffering for nothing?

“I’ll have to win people’s hearts. I’ve already won many, because by working with Kasparov, we showed that we are civil people, we didn’t try to get ahead of the rest.”

Despite the problems of The Other Russia, Limonov is positive.

“It’s bad in one sense, but it’s very good in another sense,” he said.

“We’ll stop creating endless organizations, and will try to unite under the flag of one man, one personality — in this case, under my name and under my flag. If there is another person, let there be another one, but for some reason I have become convinced that I’m stronger than my allies — even by seeing how the authorities are afraid of me. 

                                 "The St.Petersburg Times", April 30, 2009  

        -----     -----     -----     -----     -----

National Bolshevik Party - 5th Congress - 2004


                                                             July 10, 2005|

                     By Douglas Birch

Russia : A group of mostly young activists has become a

political force seen as a threat by the Putin administration.

 MOSCOW - The small group of young political activists had

scarcely arrived at the imposing Uzbek Embassy, where they

planned an unsanctioned protest, when police swooped in.

Apparently tipped off, scowling officers with Moscow's Rapid

Reaction Force methodically hauled off 10 National Bolsheviks.

The leader, Olga Shalina, who wears a lapel pin depicting a

hand grenade, finished only half of her prepared statement

before she was dragged away.

"Out with tyrants!" she shouted. "Revolution!"

The abortive July 4 demonstration was a brief skirmish. But it

was just part of a larger battle between the administration of

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and a one-time fringe

political movement, which authorities fear has grown into a

significant threat to state power.

`Damage' to Kremlin

"In the Kremlin, they are hysterical," says the National

Bolshevik's 62-year-old leader, Eduard Limonov. "They are like

a bull that sees a red cape, because we don't believe in playing

by the rules of their game. We are really doing damage to


The government, in turn, is engaged in a crackdown on

Limonov's group, which has attracted thousands of restive

Russians in their rebellious teens and 20s. A Moscow court

ordered the party banned June 29, after prosecutors accused it

of trying to form an illegal armed group.

A few days later, 39 party members went on trial in a Moscow

courtroom for allegedly trying to "destabilize" the government,

after party members briefly occupied the presidential offices

near the Kremlin on Dec. 14. Experts said it is one of the

largest mass trials in the post-Soviet era.

National Bolsheviks has been repeatedly denounced in recent

months by Kremlin officials and in the state-controlled media.

Earlier this month, a national television channel aired a

broadcast comparing Limonov to Adolf Hitler. A new pro-Putin

youth group, "Ours," was formed last year specifically to

counter the threat of the Bolsheviks, political experts here say.

Putin's deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov has told

interviewers that the National Bolsheviks "pose a danger" that

should not be underestimated, and he warned that "coups

could be attempted."

Masha Lipman, a political expert with the Moscow Carnegie

Center, said the crackdown was an overreaction by authorities,

reflecting the Putin administration's obsession with controlling

Russia's political landscape.

"The Kremlin, with its policy of overdoing control, is seeking to

bar all activity that may be unexpected - to cleanse the political

space in Russia," she said.

Party members are frequent targets of violence. Since January,

group officials say, there have been 15 attacks in Moscow by

gangs of young men carrying iron bars, baseball bats and road


Limonov says the attacks are part of an overall Kremlin strategy.

"Putin has demolished politics in our country," he said. "He's

created a police state on the pretext of the Chechen war. He

created in Russia a kind of dictatorship - modern, of course -

camouflaging his policies under the title of democracy."

The National Bolsheviks were born in the 1990s as a movement 

of punks and skinheads. But in recent years, the party has

transformed itself into a more conventional, and powerful,

political force.

It helped organize nationwide protests last winter against the

Kremlin's efforts to reduce subsidies for social services. It has

joined with Russia's embattled liberal democratic parties in

calling for the Kremlin to loosen its control of the courts,

parliament and the media.

And the party, which once supported the war in Chechnya, now

calls for Russia to abandon the republic to separatists.

The core of the National Bolsheviks' appeal is its militant

nationalism, probably the single most powerful political force in

Russian politics. Putin's popularity, experts say, is linked to the

perception that he is a strong leader who has restored much of

Russia's dignity and stature in the world, and has tried to

reassert the nation's influence in Eastern Europe and Central


For many young people, though, Putin has been too timid.

Limonov claims Putin "made a terrible mistake" after the

September 2001 attacks on the United States by accepting the

establishment of U.S. bases in Central Asia. "We're becoming a

colony of the West," he said.

Party with flair

The party has also attracted attention - and recruits - through its

flair for street theater. National Bolsheviks, who call themselves

NatsBols, have splattered eggs and smeared mayonnaise on

political targets. In May, party members with alpine equipment

scaled a hotel facing Red Square and unfurled a giant banner

urging "President Putin, Get Yourself Out!"

On the one hand, one Moscow party official said, these antics

have gained the party "credibility." On the other, said party

spokesman Pavel Zherebin, they have led to the jailing of some

of the party's most active members.

Still, young people continue to flock to the party. Today, there

are about 17,400 National Bolsheviks, scattered through 57 of

Russia's 89 regions, making it one of the largest political

organizations in Russia.

Limonov seems part Lenin and part rock rebel Lou Reed, and

an unlikely leader. A pencil-thin figure with a silvery Van Dyke

beard, he is the author of 37 books, including "It's Me, Eddie",

"Memoir of a Russian Punk" and "Russian Psycho".

Kicked out of the Soviet Union for anti-Soviet activities,

Limonov landed in New York in 1974, where he worked as the

housekeeper for a wealthy Manhattanite and learned to scorn

Western bourgeois culture. By 1980, he was in Paris,

fashionably disillusioned with Western political orthodoxy.

He returned to Russia in 1991, in the midst of an anti-Soviet

revolution that left him cold. In 1994 he founded the Natio

nal Bolsheviks.

"I was so sick of conventional politics that I have decided to

create some entirely new idiology [sic] based on style," he

wrote in a Moscow alternative newspaper.

At first, Limonov's black-clad young followers chanted: "Stalin,

Beria, Gulag!" - exalting the Soviet dictator, his secret police

chief and his network of political slave-labor camps.

Limonov became a staunch defender of the former Serb

president, Slobodan Milosevic, now on trial for war crimes in

The Hague. On a visit to Bosnia, Limonov was filmed firing a

heavy machine gun in the general direction of Sarajevo - an act

he now dismisses as a publicity stunt.

But Limonov split with the right-wing ideologue Aleksandr

Dugin in 1998 over the party's drift into xenophobia. Limonov's

views changed dramatically, said Andrei A. Piontkovsky,

director of Moscow's Strategic Studies Center, after his 2001

arrest and conviction on a weapons violation, a charge that

Limonov says was trumped up by the Kremlin. He spent 2 1/2

years in the Federal Security Service's Leftortovo Prison.

"He was a dangerous radical 10 years ago," Piontkovsky said.

"Now he speaks as an exemplary human rights activist. He is a

strong advocate of democracy, freedom of the press and social


At his apartment, Limonov claimed thugs coordinate their

attacks on party members with police, who monitor his every

move. "Here, everything is bugged," he said, gesturing at the

apartment walls. "They've been listening to me since I left


Dedicated member

Olga Kudrina, 19, joined the Moscow branch in 2003, to the

dismay of her middle-class parents. Later, she dropped out of

the prestigious Moscow State University, where she studied

advanced mathematics and computer science, so she could

spend more time on party work.

Prosecutors have accused her of aiding comrades arrested in

protests, including the occupation of the Ministry of Health

building last year. Now she is awaiting trial, but not, she claims,

frightened of the prospect of going to prison.

Nor does she fear that the movement she has dedicated herself

to will be crushed by the state.

"The National Bolshevik Party is like a living organism," Kudrina

said. "To stop it from living, you have to liquidate us all."

                                                         Douglas Birch - 2005 

                                                                                                   The Baltimore Sun

         -----     -----     -----     -----     -----

Kirill Medvedev

       Kirill Medvedev is a young great russian poet.

Excerpt of his book : "It's no good" - Editors : N+1/UDP - 2012 .Translated by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, Bela Shayevich 

 "The author of the most brilliant individual project of the past few decades is, of course, Eduard Limonov.

Hence, during the nineties and until recently, it was practically impossible to find a vantage point from which a critique of Limonov would sound persuasive.

To moralize about his excessive “frankness” meant exposing oneself as a hypocrite.

To accuse him of “fascism” usually meant succumbing to faux “demo-schizoid” sentiments. Those who tried to write about him in a facetious or directly negative vein (e.g., Lev Danilkin in Afisha magazine, or the writer Alexander Kabakov) made flagrant fools of themselves because they instantly wound up in the system of coordinates set by Limonov himself.

In this system, the critic automatically came out looking—on the strength of his record as a writer, politician, and man—like Limonov’s inferior.

This has to do, of course, with the universal persuasiveness and effectiveness of Limonov’s style and lyrical hero, and the fact that Limonov himself is a glossy mags journalist and critic and ideologue and whatever else you like.

But it also has to do with the fact that any criticism automatically provokes (even when Limonov himself does not make this explicit, although sometimes he does) a “tough guy” reaction from the position of experience: live the life I have (visit as many cities and countries, write as many books, romance as many women, form a charismatic independent political party like I did) and then you can criticize me.

All his heroes, even people more famous than he himself (for example, Salvador Dali), end up looking like fairly miserable secondary characters on the pages of the brilliant novel of his life.

That is, by using the genuinely unique “experience” transmitted through his books, by first combining literature with biography (life-construction), and then both of these with politics, Limonov really has removed the possibility of comprehensively criticizing his life and work for a long time to come.

There is, however, the sense that after a fifteen-year reign the age of Limonov’s cultural hegemony (in which there were definitely progressive elements along with the National Bolshevism and red-brown ideologemes) is coming to an end.

Nowadays, his political career (irrespective of whether it lasts much longer) plays a directly negative role, forcibly locking the entire politics of resistance and leftist politics along with it into the tropes of Limonov’s life project—the cult of personal charisma, the strategy of the media scandal, etc.

That is why leftist groups now have such a hard time opposing the purely spectacular tactics of the National Bolshevik Party, which is underwritten by the Limonov project.

With his cocktail of Nietzscheanism, nationalism, and “leftism,” shaken and stirred with a good measure of autobiographical authenticity, Limonov has been able to attract a number of protest-minded Russian young people to his battle flag.

                                                               Kirill Medvedev

 Excerpt of his book : "It's no good" - Editors : N+1/UDP - 2012 . Translated by Keith Gessen, Mark Krotov, Cory Merrill, Bela Shayevich

 ------    ------    ------    ------    ------ 

     1 controversy among many others - 1998


Edward Limonov column publish in The eXile - Moscow-based  English-language biweekly .

 Mark Ames was the emblematic editor-in-chief of  "The eXile" (1997-2008)  (with Matt Taibi 1997-2002)

                   Column 8 June 1998

    By Edward Limonov

Mark Ames asked me to write "about crisis." Crisis? What crisis? Which one crisis? Russia is in permanent state of crisis from March 1985, when senile Politburo of Soviet Union's Communist Party have chosen fatal destructive Mikhail Gorbachev as its General Secretary.

Twelve years of convulsions, of agonies, of dying. But we are still alive. Our collective body have tragically shrinken, big members of that body, the "republics" of South Russia and those of Central Asia are amputated.

So, we are invalid totally handicapped body, only a huge thorax without hands and without legs. Useless thorax cannot act, it just seat there between China and perpetual frost of Arctical Sea. It just seat and rot.

I feel deep shame to be a Russian, deep shame to drag my fucking Slavic face across the world. To be a Russian in 1998 it is like to admit that you are village idiot, having feeble brains.

We Russians, when we decide to be a peaceful, instead we demonstrate to the world our super-stupid masochism, because we always overdo things. Beside that, we are at our best when we aggressive, we cannot be a peace-loving, timid nation. It is apparently not our cap of tea.

For 13 years now we are voluntarily, without an invitation, licking Yankee's big ass, and even fat asses of small European nations. Nobody even ask us to perform that licking job!

At first Westerners didn't believed at our masochism. As late as in 1988, big Fritz Helmut, enormous pork wearing a jacket have called Gorbachev "a Goebbels." Because his straight German brains refused to believe that Russians are masochists. Big Fritz Helmut apparently badly read Russian literature. He forget that together with an aggressive masculine heroical features of national character (it responsible for heroical actions such as taking Berlin in 1945), we Russians have such a nightmarish feature as a "Russian Soul." That fucking Russian Soul!

The fact of having it should be considered a high state of treason, should be punished by capital punishment, death by strangulation perhaps. If our men are alcoholics, and they are, if our women too friendly with strangers, and those bitches are, that because of Russian Soul. That very Russian Soul what makes us highly attractive to the foreigners.

Sort of mystical stupidity that push us to give our women to strangers, give our territory to unheard countries as Ukraine and Kazakhstan, give our blood, heads, and genitals to such bloody beasts as Chechens.


We are more naive than American Indians of 17th century, when invaded by sinister scoundrels of Europeans. We gave up 27 millions of our people to dangerous regimes of our enemies. We gave up warm seas and beautiful subtropical resorts.

We almost begged that big chunks of our best territory were taken from us. We worship all foreign goods, including mediocre cultural production of Hollywoodian Jews (we call it American culture), and even Spanish-born soap operas delighting our unexperienced senses, just like American Indians worshipped Yankee that brought mirrors and whiskey.


We are perfect people to be exploited, cheated, deprived of possessions, sexually and otherwise abused, and finally being killed and eaten.

Yes, being eaten. Because after all the things what been performed on us over last 12 or 13 years, the only logical conclusion of process will be to do just that: to dismember our bodies and eat us.

Crisis? No. Total degeneration of our Russian nation. Long, painful degeneration. We are dying, we killing our babies: 4 millions of babies per year. In 2040 it will only be 60 million of us, not 130 million as today.

And next to us lives Asia. Pitiless, cruel, rich in children, with obedient women and brave, fanatically fighting men. Islam's religion guards Asia severely, codex of "Sharia" gives its moral strength and ruling over the lives of 1 billion of souls. We enviously watching Asia.

One day someone as crazy as Limonov ill force Russian to adopt Islam, and it will put an end to our "crisis." Then we will eat you, Westerners, dearest Yankees, and arrogant Europeans.

                                                                  Edward Limonov 

 -------------                   ----------------                      --------------------


Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998
From: "William K. Wolf" <>
Subject: Re Limonov in the eXile

Dear Mr. Johnson,

   In my opinion, the article below, recently published in your Russia List, is of deplorably low quality and unworthy of inclusion in your list.

It contains obscene language and makes sweeping judgements that are insulting, not to mention racist.  

Furthermore, the level of analysis is very low.  In short, it is GARBAGE.

 This is the kind of thing one reads on the Russian "culture" listserves, where idiots and facists freely vent their anger and hatred.

 By all means please do allow alternative points of view
to be expressed in your list, but why not require that ALL submissions meet at least minimal levels of civility and intellectual rigor?

 I would like to encourage you to exercise your perogative as editor more vigorously.  
     Thank you for continuing to provide your superb information service on Russia.  I enjoy it vey much.

Best regards,
William Wolf
Center for Slavic and East European Studies
OSU : Ohio State University 

            -------     --------       ---------        -----     ------


 Answer by Mark Ames, Director of The eXile 


Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998
From: "Mark Ames" <>
Subject: limonov

Dear David,

The following is a letter I sent to William Wolf of OSU in response to his request to ban Edward Limonov from the Johnson's List.

Dear Mr. Wolf, 
I read your attack on Limonov and thought you might like to know why Limonov was posted.

He is, after Solzhenitsyn, perhaps the best-known living writer in Russia. He is far more loathed than Solzhenitsyn, but in many ways more relevant.

His political party, the National-Bolshevik Party, which is based on ideologies combining far-left and far-right revolutionary
theories from the 20s and 30s, claims a few thousand members scattered throughout a number of regions in Russia, mostly with young people.

His influence is considered valid by the radical opposition.    

  As a writer, Limonov is one of the most widely-read living Russian writers.

His works have been translated into over 20 languages, including Hebrew, Estonian, and Japanese.

His works are taught in graduate seminars in Western European universities, and his first novel, "Eto Ya, Editchka"[ "It's me, Eddie" ]  which was banned for 15 years in Russia, sold over 500,000 copies when it was first published here in late 1991.

This year, he has published a large non-fiction work in Russian, and will begin issuing his collected works of prose and poetry in a multi-volume set.

You ask why David Johnson published Limonov's piece?  Because he is relevant, that is why.

His style and views may be offensive and repulsive; indeed, Limonov insisted to me, when he first started writing for our paper, that he write in his distinctly Russified-English (he hasn't lived in America since 1980) in order to capture his authentic voice.

I think that to knowingly publish articles with grammatical errors is a bold, even avant-garde move that no other pretentious writer in the world would have the nerve to
do, and I don't think that this very authenticity, or lack of "civility," should be a cause to censor him from the Johnson List, even if a few middlebrow-types get quesy.

The Johnson List, as I understand it, is a forum for scholars, journalists, and various Russophiles/Russophobes to learn as much about what is currently going on in Russia as possible.

For tips on how to carry on "civil" discussions, go to a Miss Manners board; if you only want to read those opinions that don't upset you, then skip over any Johnson List article datelined "the eXile".

Otherwise, I think it would be absurd to deprive readers the right to read what the "radical opposition" thinks
about today's state of things.

Mark Ames
the eXile


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The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by

the closing of the alternative English-language

biweekly  THE ExILE in Moscow.

The paper announced on its

Web site last week that it was forced to shut down

after nervous investors withdrew support in the wake

of a politicized audit of its content.

  “Russian authorities are using politicized inspections

and broadly worded extremism legislation to silence

critical journalists and media outlets,” said CPJ Europe

and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova.

“In the case of The eXile, the state’s targeted harassment

has had a chilling effect on the investors. We call on

Russian authorities to withdraw all claims against the

paper and to allow its staffers to continue their work.”

  Investors withdrew support after the publication’s

content was audited June 5 by officers from

Rossvyazokhrankultura, the state media regulatory


 The eXile has posted a fund-raising appeal on

its Web site. In the publication’s trademark style, the note

said: “The thing is, it takes money and we have none,

zero, aren't even getting paid any more. We need help.

That's what this mayday is about. You want us in the

foxhole with you, fighting against all that's good and

decent in the name of all that's funny and honest?

Then cough it up, soldier!”

The four Rossvyazokhrankultura officers who

reviewed The eXile apparently lacked a sense of humor.

They told Mark Ames, the publication’s founder and

editor, they were conducting an “unplanned audit” of

the paper’s editorial content. “Their very first

question was about writer and opposition leader

Eduard Limonov,” Ames said on his blog. “The

officials asked us why Limonov was in our paper. …

Why did we publish him? Why was he on our masthead

as a contributor?” Limonov is leader of the banned

National Bolshevik Party and partner with former world

chess champion Garry Kasparov in the Other Russia

coalition. Both Limonov and Kasparov have been

airbrushed from the Russian mainstream media, and

authorities have forcibly dispersed the coalition’s

protest rallies. Limonov wrote a regular column for The

eXile since the publication started in 1997.

Ames said officers took several issues carrying

Limonov’s work to check for “extremism,” “inciting

national hatred,” “pornography” and “pro-drugs

propaganda.” They also told Ames and his staffers they

had received complaints from unnamed Russians who

purportedly thought The eXile degraded Russian culture.

A spokesman for Rossvyazokhrankultura downplayed

its role in the closing, telling Reuters: “We have not

closed the newspaper. … We have taken away copies

for routine analysis.”

The eXile routinely criticized both the Kremlin and the

West, using strong and irreverent language, according

to local and international press reports. The paper was

known for its political satire, which often tackled

serious issues such as corruption, crime and poverty. 

 ----      ----      ----     ----      ---- 

New York, June 19, 2008

The eXile  closes because of state harassment

 Here is the address of a remarkable blog dedicated to Limonov by a Russian young fan, who now lives in Berlin:

  there are thousands of pages  - IN ALL LANGUAGES - : articles, photos, videos ... each more amazing than the other.  The best website dedicated to Limonov :

     -----     -----     -----     -----     -----

 *****   THE YOUNG SCOUNDREL  ***** 



Traduction of an Eduard Limonov book   

      by John Dolan  

                  -----       -----      -----     ----- 

Eduard Limonov interview: Political rebel and Vladimir Putin's worst nightmare

  THE GUARDIAN  - By Marc Bennetts

     Sunday 12 December 2010 

See here :

           -----     -----     -----     -----     -----

Play Portrays Emigre Life

By Smita Tewari Jassal              русский вариант статьи (перевод ред.)

The Moscow Tribune

 Russian émigré life is portrayed in "Far Away In Other Lands"

which will play at the Gogol Drama Theatre Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, 1992

"Far Away, In Other Lands", a recent offering at the Gogol Theatre, is a play about the Russian émigré experience. The 10th performance of this production was held in Wednesday night.

Two short pieces by Vladimir Maximov and Eduard Limonov have been imaginatively woven together to produce theatre of dramatic intensity. The play focuses on the heart and soul of man and celebrates the possibility of the exile's spiritual return.

Maximov left the Soviet Union for Paris over 18 years ago, when permission for his book to be published was refused. As a Russian dissident in Paris he was editor of the well-known journal, "Continent". The character of Govarukha is derived from his portrayal of the émigré writer Victor Nekrasov, who lived and died abroad.

The identity of the main character Varfolomei Ananasev is never in doubt as the name itself suggests autobiographical similarities with Eduard Limonov. The director uses dramatic scenes from Limonov`s work, "It's Me, Eddie".

Director Sergei Yashin creates superb insightful vignettes of these two writers. For Russian émigrés, the break from the homeland was usually final, with very remote possibilities for return, except in the realm of spirit. 

The alienation and estrangement, even anguish of intellectuals severed from country, language and cultural moorings is vividly captured here.

This is perhaps all too familiar to the older generation of theatre goers, which explains the attentive involvement of audience.

For the younger generation, Ananasev`s (Limonov) rebellion, his unconventional street slang is interesting. In the end it is Ananasev-Limonov`s lyrical soul, his ability to love, which strikes a deep chord. The drama occurs both within and outside a glass structure resembling a flat. The entries and exits through a series of doors in this structure and the constant climbing up and down builds up dramatic tension.

Imaginative stage sets are designed by Yelena Kachelayeva.