PRAVDA.Ru correspondent Andrey Lubensky met with one of the founders and managers of an unusual project World of Ruslyans, chief of RusGlobus portal Vitaly Smeshutin (Lausanne, Switzerland). The project is really unusual because of its conventional ideology and conventional closeness at the same time, and because of some more particular features invisible at the first glance.
RusGlobus is a public informational portal of the close community of Ruslyans, the name given to Russian-language countrymen and ideological associates from all over the world.
From a juridical point of view the organization is RusGlobus-WR Association with its headquarters based in France designed to help Ruslyans find an adequate place in the world. It is true that many Russians feel ill at ease in any place they live, including Russia. Ruslyans say, this problem can be settled if one becomes a Ruslyan and begins creation of a particular world of his own. For this very case to be a Russian does not mean nationality, it denotes destiny and state of mind. PRAVDA.Ru correspondent asked Vitaly Smeshutin several questions concerning the organization.
How did the idea of Russian Globus project appear?
- The project was planned as a server in 1999 and launched in 2000 by a group of like-minded friends living outside the former USSR for a rather long period. An international non-commercial Association RusGlobus – World of Ruslyans (WR) was registered in France in 2001 on the basis of the server. Originally RusGlobus was oriented at Russian-speaking audience all over the world. Main idea of the project was to give an opportunity to our countrymen to express their opinions, share important useful information and establish friendly contacts with other parts.
We designed the server, and later the Association, because we were so much dissatisfied with inactivity of the CIS states, and Russia especially, as concerning problems and fates of their former and actual citizens. We designed the server and the Association to help people solve a so-called “Russian problem” all over the world.
We are working on the project in two directions simultaneously: we develop topical and regional sectors, try to make the sections maximally automated, use on-line forms and invite people for moderatorship of the sections.
Who realizes the project?
- As has been mentioned above, the project is run by five like-minded friends living in Western Europe. Since registration of the Association in spring of 2001 we get different kinds of assistance – financial, informational, ideological - from its members.
The project aims at covering of the whole of Russian-speaking world. Are Russian diasporas, that had to stay in former Soviet republics, also included here?
- Yes, they are also covered by the project. Structure of the server allows anyone to participate in it; we offer special programs, projects and actions that can be interesting for many people.
Sometimes it seems that the Russian world has startled, a new outcome begins. Many people have left for Israel, the USA or Germany for different reasons – to earn money, for education or in searches for happiness. Centuries ago, under the Katherine, Germans came to Russia. What has changed now? Do you think it is a normal thing?
- To my mind, it is rather an outcome, that is going on and even getting stronger. Like majority of Ruslyans, who criticize post-perestroika policy in the CIS countries, Russia including, I think that process of spreading of Russians all over the world, ideological and moral confusion will be increasing. The post-Soviet area is getting more and more like a region of extreme tourism; the states are weak, ineffective and corrupt, crime rate is extremely high and people are highly subject to extremism of all kinds. There are just few chances to hope for the best, and this is quite evident for those who leave the country for the West. This is the opinion of my own and attitude of majority of Ruslyans. But I should add here, RusGlobus does not concern politics.
How do our countrymen live in the world? Is influence of Russians great in the world business, politics and culture?
- I can not say in general, Russians get settled the same way people from the third world do: they are also overburdened with awful poverty, escape from juridical or criminal disorder or with the problem of illegal money laundering. To tell the truth, anti-Russian attitudes are quite evident in the West now.
Will Ruslyans get back to Russia?
- Majority of Ruslyans never left Russia, although they feel there ill at ease, otherwise they would never joined RusGlobus. And the organization does not put a question whether to stay or to leave, to get back or not. We do not focus on problems of emigrants, we call for communication with people who are very much like ourselves and living where our souls wish. Our ancestors declared long ago that Russian soul is the most passionate and mysterious, and I think it is true.
Interview prepared by Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/15/42683.html