Friday, 22 August 2014

Prince Andrei Kurbsky letter to Ivan the Terrible

"To the Tsar, exalted by God, who formerly appeared most illustrious but has now been found to be the opposite! May you, o Tsar, understand this with your leprous conscience .... You have persecuted me most bitterly; you have destroyed your royal servants and spilled the blood of innocent martyrs ... You have answered my love with hatred, good with evil, and my blood - spilt for you - cries out against you to The Lord God!"

Taken from the excellent book by Martin Sixsmith: Russia A 1000 year Chronicle of the Wild East, which I am currently reading.  I'm only up to Chapter 8, but what I've read so far is fascinating - and it seems there are so many historical parallels with Putin's Russia in respect of his return to authoritarianism, centralised authority, powerful state whose interests must be place higher than the individual, immense power concentrated in the hands of one individual; and the manipulation and control of oligarchs.  

The quote above is from a Prince who fell foul of the Tsar Ivan the Terrible and corresponded with the Tsar while in exile.  I liked this quote not because of its relevance to modern Russia but because it has some personal resonance for any loyal, hard-working employee who has suffered from a capricious, bullying, incompetent, unstable boss bent on destroying their career.

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