[Below is a translation of several major excerpts from a speech given by Valeria Novodvorskaya on Dec. 30, 2010 to The New Times News, a Russian newspaper. She is discussing Russian dissidents’ loss of faith in the West and in Obama -- and for this reason she calls the new year the “Death of Illusions.” The video of her speech (in Russian) can be seen on YouTube.]
I think that it is time to turn to Tolkien, for darkness is descending upon the world. This is not because of the volcano (or whatever it was called), but because a new age has begun, and the sun will not rise. It has begun because the West — our hope and our foundation, our Promised land to which we looked in admiration — is giving up its perennial principles and values. It is an époque of a total and absolute betrayal — the year of absolute betrayal.
Obama was our hope, for we thought that he was a pupil of Salinger and would be saving us, lost children, in the rye over the abyss. We thought he would protect us from lies and would not let us fall — and that there would be an end of double-faced diplomacy and the beginning of some integrity. What, however, have we witnessed instead? Perezagruzka (resetting) – restarting of friendships. We have witnessed the most shameful acquiescence, the flattery of Putin and Medvedev. And it is done with a total shamelessness that does not have an end.