Interview with Artur Smolyaninov

May 10, 2022
Journalist Katerina Gordeeva discusses with Russian actor and film director Artur Smolyaninov on his antiwar position and the roots of the apoliticism of the Russian society.
Artur Smolyaninov is a Russian actor and director best known for playing the lead role in Fyodor Bondarchuk's The 9th Company, a blockbuster film about the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Until the invasion of Ukraine, Smolyaninov had kept a low public profile, but now he has spoken out against the war in an interview with Katerina Gordeeva on her show Tell Gordeeva on YouTube. The interview is part of Gordeeva’s cycle of conversations with Russian cultural figures about the country’s new reality.

Smolyaninov explains why he had remained apolitical for so long and what made him change his position, and also reflects on the notion of motherland, fear, the role of cultural figures and why they should not keep silent, and his meeting with Putin and their conversation “about nothing.” He hides neither his openly antiwar views nor his desire to see the violence perpetrated by Russia stopped as soon as possible. He is certain that both sides will run out of resources to continue fighting soon, which will bring the domestic agenda and economic problems back to the fore for Russia. It is these factors, according to Smolyaninov, that are capable of stopping the war.

For an answer to the question “how could this happen?” Smolyaninov suggests looking at the roots in the apolitical mentality of the Soviet man, who considered it pointless to inquire into how his country was run—a view of the polity that has been pursued in today’s Russia with the aim of keeping the public from feeling engaged.

Digest written by the Russia.Post editorial team. See the original here.
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