From Publishing Perspectives:
Fortunately, the author and journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky was not in Russia on Monday (August 7) when a Moscow court found him guilty on a charge of spreading false information about Russia’s armed forces. He has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Today (August 9), in response to our inquiry, Glukhovsky’s German public relations agent, Dorle Kopetzky at the Weissundblau agency, says that the writer left Moscow shortly before Vladimir Putin began his assault on Ukraine in February 2022, “and did not return after he called the war what it is.”
Glukhovsky, who joined us onstage at Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22) in 2018 for a Publishing Perspectives Talk interview, has rarely been complimentary to the Putin administration, and many of his works were openly defiant.
“He has been critical towards the regime all these years now,” Kopetzky says, “and has fortified his efforts in exile.”
The Associated Press account of Glukhovsky’s sentencing points out that he is “the latest artist to be handed a prison term in a relentless crackdown on dissent in Russia,” referencing the May 5 pre-trial detention for theater director Zhenya Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk.
Most prominently, of course, on Friday (August 4), the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, already imprisoned, was convicted on charges of extremism and sentenced to 19 years in prison. That event prompted the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal to write, “The world hardly needs another reminder of the true nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian state.”
A Reuters write-up in February spoke to Glukhovsky from an undisclosed location, and confirmed that prosecutors in Russia were “proceeding with a case against exiled science fiction writer Dmitry Glukhovsky, accused of publishing ‘false information’ about Russian atrocities in the Ukraine war.” As early as June of 2022, Reuters had reported that Glukhovsky was on a Russian interior ministry wanted list, the author on encrypted communication services having called out the Kremlin’s “special military operation” as a euphemism for Putin’s land-grab.
Glukhovsky, in a 2018 pre-Frankfurt interview with Publishing Perspectives, described the “wonderful times” of the current post-Soviet era for writers willing to see “an epoch of not only post-truth but also post-ethic.”
“These are really the times,” he said, “when all a writer needs to do is sit down and focus carefully on the dubious reality unfolding around him. What’s the point of writing a dystopian fiction nowadays,” he asks, “when the reality is exceeding your wildest fantasies?”
. . . .
Having worked in film, video game, and television development Glukhovsky has particularly broad potency as a storyteller and since the release of his debut trilogy Metro 2033, he has cultivated a loyal international following, propelling his writings into broad international translation and publishing deals.
Kopetsky describes his latest two-volume “Outpost” series as being set “in a Russia isolated from the West and ruled by a new czar from Moscow.” In the books, “a disease in Russia turns people into man-eating zombies after they hear a special combination of words, a ‘somewhat pandemic neuro-lingual infection.’”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG says Russia has experienced a huge brain drain as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. A great portion of the nation’s young highly-educated and talented people left the country to live in Eastern Europe and points beyond during the weeks following the outbreak of the war. PG thinks most will never return to Russia. They will certainly not return if Putin or someone who emulates Putin is the nation’s ruler.
Not far into the war, Russia instituted a program to take convicted criminals out of the nation’s prisons with a promise of a full pardon if the convicts agreed to fight on the front lines for a period of time – often one-two years. These conscripts have been used for roles such as leading charges toward dug-in Ukrainian troops armed with machine guns, and artillery.
Such charges define the term, “cannon fodder” and the Russian conscripts have been killed and severely wounded in large numbers. Needless to say, regular Russian soldiers have priority for the treatment of their wounds, and the convicts are left to treat themselves or each other as best they can.
Russia had a shrinking population before the invasion and the death and crippling of so many young Russian men will certainly accelerate the population decline. Russian ex-pats are unlikely to bring their families back to Russia in the aftermath of the war, regardless of how it ends.
An old saying goes, “The future belongs to those who show up.” Fewer and fewer Russians are going to show up for Russia’s future.