“If the whole nation breathes – there will be the wind”. The Russian saying.
The death of a human being is a tragedy, for it is irreversible. The death of a town, a city or a village doesn’t seem to be so irreversible at the first sight. However, if we try to think about a huge amount of the human work, once put in these wasted streets, houses and yards, think about the emotions – whether it’s joy or sorrow – forever sealed in them. Those walls became witnesses of the ordinary yet meaningful for everyone’s life moments: the first word ever said to someone, the first letter written on the school blackboard, the first kiss right here on this crossroad… Just think how many long-awaited letters lay in these rusted postboxes, what warm fragrant bread was made in this former bakery, how delicious a jet of water from the tank tasted… For someone it was a small motherland, for others – just a statistics report. Settlement so-and-so, residents’ number – 0, resettled due to…
Last year my friend and me were travelling through Russia by car. Somewhere between Skvorodino and the village named Erofey Pavlovich, in places, which for dozens of years were known as the abandoned ones, we had serious engine damage. We were not able to move forward on our own. One local family dragged us to Erofey Pavlovich with their “Niva” with the help of a tow rope. Those people spent their time and litters of fuel on us (fuel is expensive enough in those places), and refused to take any money. In the village a group of local handymen willingly offered their help with repairing our car: “we can do this, we just must order necessary repairing parts from Blahoweshchensk and they will arrive in two days…” I still don’t know the names of those kind people. And in the whole, what’s the difference? We had a problem and our fellow countryman helped us to solve it and whatever happens – we are indebted to them.
Recently I’ve got to know that my folk – the very people, who live in Erofey Pavlovich, are in potential danger. The authorities of the Russian Railways have already closed the local locomotive depot in the run of the so called “optimization” and are going to liquidate the operation department. In the village with the number of residents which hardly overreaches 5 thousand the objects of the railway structure is nearly the only source of income. If plans of the authorities of transport monopolist are put into life, it means that the existence of a one more settlement on the map of Russia is over. You’re not the first; you’re not the last…
A few thousands of railway workers of Amursky region with their families, children and old men, with their inconspicuous small motherland are not the very power which can defend their own right to the life and free labor and stop the process of “optimization”, the destruction of our big Motherland. It may seem desperate to go with the stick against the big heartless machine of the Russian Railways, where everything is already optimized, ordered and debugged in order not to miss a single coin passed the pockets of the bosses. But once, my fellow countryman didn’t leave me and my friend in the trouble, though we were strangers to them. There are millions of us, hundreds of millions of people in this country, and everyone of us has his small Motherland, his beloved street and house; place, where we grew up, studied, worked, loved – all of this once formed our personalities. Haven’t you thought that one day it can be taken from you forever just because it’s no longer effective or generating profits?
On 25th of May, perhaps, all residents of the village Erofey Pavlovich will go out on the streets of their small motherland – to defend in the face of the mighty corporation their right to live and work on their land. And I want everyone who reads this text, whoever he is, wherever he lives, whatever points of view or believes he has – on the 25th of May, as a sign of solidarity with those people, to say loudly the simple words in support of the inhabitants of Erofey Pavlovich: “This is our land!”
THIS IS OUR LAND!
This is our land, our birthplace, our bread, our past and – be sure! – this is our future. The inhabitants of that village in Amursky region are not numerous, but there are many of us. And today we stand in full height for them and for their small homeland and we’ll say again and again, in a loud voice: THIS IS OUR LAND!
We will be heard.
Voron, «Folk Freedom (Russia)».