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In 'To my non-Russian readers' he expresses regret at leaving Russia: 'Is it surprising that this "someone" [himself - PB] had to pay for his protest with expulsion from his homeland, so that perhaps he shall never as long as he lives see his native penates, never again inhale his native air?' (p.8). I don't know if Yanov returned to Russia in the 1990s when his hopes seemed to be fulfilled, when the self-serving technocratic class did indeed shake off even the pretence of Socialist public service and turned to the West for guidance as to how to reorganise the economy.

More recently, however, Yanov has been involved with the New York based 'Institute of Modern Russia' - 'a public policy think-tank that strives to establish an intellectual framework for building a democratic Russia governed by the rule of law' according to its website. It is affiliated to Mikhail Khordorkovsky's 'Open Russia' movement, and its President is Khordorkovsky's son, Pavel. In 2013-14 Yanov published an interesting series of articles on Russian nationalism and Slavophilism, arguing that an intellectual development that had occurred in the nineteenth century and ended in disaster was repeated in the Soviet Union and, as he argues in other articles, coming to what he believes will be a catastrophic climax under Vladimir Putin. The account of the Soviet period largely repeats what he says in The New Russian Right but he adds some interesting details. In particular, discussing the Novy Mir/Molodaia Gvardia incident, he declares a personal interest:

' One voice that stood out in the chorus of Marxist voices attacking “Chalmaevshchina” was that of the liberal magazine Novy Mir (New World). For over a decade and a half, it had valiantly opposed the orthodox Stalinist magazine 'October' (the same way today’s radio station 'Echo of Moscow' opposes the pro-Kremlin NTV and other channels). But everything got mixed up once the black cloud of Russophilia appeared on the horizon. Rather than continuing the good old squabble, the irreconcilable opponents suddenly found themselves on the same side of a barricade. The seemingly impossible had happened: Novy Mir, under chief editor Alexander Tvardovsky, started to speak the same language as 'October', under Vsevolod Kochetov (who played a role similar to the one right-wing journalist Dmitry Kiselev publicly plays today).

'Not long before that, Tvardovsky had published Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s novellas One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Matryona’s Place; printed caustic articles by the dissident Andrei Sinyavsky; and adamantly, like a lone rock of liberalism, stood in the midst of a raging ocean of reactionary forces. And yet in April 1969, Novy Mir came out with a super-orthodox article by Alexander Dementiev (Tvardovsky’s deputy), that Kochetov himself would have gladly published in 'October'.

'Admittedly, my memories of this incident are stained with personal insult. Back then, I wrote an article that was submitted to (and even approved by) Novy Mir. It was an article against “Chalmaevshchina”—calm, ironic, written in the spirit of the debate on the role of Slavophiles in Russian history (I opened this debate with an essay titled “The Riddle of Slavophile Criticism” and finished it with “The Answer to the Opponents”). The thrust of my article for Novy Mir was the following: Slavophilism had previously “sunk” one Russian empire and, given free rein, it would “sink” another. I didn’t feel particularly sorry for the sunken empire, but I knew it could be replaced by something worse. And in any case, in a nuclear age balancing on the verge of self-destruction, “the Byzantine idea of renunciation as the main achievement of a human being” is not the best way to forge a soldier.

'My article could have become a deadly liberal response to “Chalmaevshchina” without getting the magazine in trouble; however, in the end, the management of Novy Mir refused to publish it. Perhaps this was because of the scandal surrounding Andrei Sinyavsky—a favorite author of Novy Mir who served time in Mordovia prisons for anti-Soviet stories published abroad. Or perhaps it was because Dementiev insisted on removing my article. Whatever the reason, Tvardovsky decided to demonstrate his love for the Soviet regime, and instead of my article published the opus by Dementiev, an act he later regretted.

'The opus was revelatory. It contained all the necessary Marxist rhetoric, like “Chalmaev speaks of Russia and the West in the language of Slavophile messianism, rather than in the language of our contemporaries... At the heart of the contemporary struggle between ‘Russia’ and the ‘West’ are not national differences, but social and class differences, the clash between the worlds of socialism and capitalism... Chalmaev’s article is just one step away from the idea of Russian national exclusiveness and the superiority of the Russian nation over the rest, from an ideology that is incompatible with proletarian internationalism... The meaning and purpose of life according to Chalmaev is not in the material, but in the spiritual, which is an impediment on the material and spiritual development of the Soviet people.” And so on, in the same vein.

'This cast-iron phraseology sounded trivial, yet invulnerable. But Dementiev made one seemingly insignificant slip. In a huge article full of standard Marxist mantras, Dementiev included a tiny paragraph that doomed him to slaughter—not Chalmaev, not Young Guard, but himself and Novy Mir. Here is that paragraph:

'“[Victor] Chalmaev and [Michael] Lobanov point to the danger of alien ideological influences. Will we resist, for example, the temptation of ‘bourgeois prosperity’? In modern ideological struggle, the temptation of ‘Americanism’ cannot be understated, says Chalmaev. That’s correct. But it should also not be overstated. The Soviet society, by its very nature, is not vulnerable to bourgeois influences.”' (4)

(4) Alexander Yanov: The Young Guard, or "Russification of the Spirit" part two, accessible at

Yanov goes on to explain why that was problematic:

'In retrospect, the story of the downfall of Novy Mir (New World) magazine, edited by Alexander Tvardovsky, was quite typical for its time. In 1969, in its 30th issue, Ogonyok ['light' or 'spark' - PB] magazine, which was a fundament for the conservatives of the moment, published an article titled “What Does 'New World' Stand Against?” It was a public denouncement of Novy Mir signed by eleven “prominent” writers. More accurately, they were prominent in the realm of socialist realist literature, but hardly anyone remembers the names of Vytaly Zakrutkin or Sergei Malashkin today.

'The public denouncement read, “Despite [Alexander] Dementyev’s persistent appeals to not overestimate the danger of alien ideological influence, we claim again that the pervasion of bourgeois ideology remains the most serious danger and might lead to progressive replacement of concepts of proletarian internationalism with cosmopolitan ideas, which are so dear to some critics and authors who are close to 'New World'”. Collective letters were not favoured in those times—indeed, they were strictly punished. But as an exception, that denouncement was taken into consideration and resulted in a fatal ultimatum for Tvardovsky.

'This outcome came as no surprise. The denouncement had alluded to the magic word “cosmopolitanism,” which had been widely used in Stalin’s times. Anyone familiar with the ways of the Soviet ideological establishment could understand how two people as different as Anatoly Sofronov and Sergei Vikulov—the editors of the conservative pro-Stalin magazine Ogonyok and the nationalist magazine Nash Sovremennik (Our Contemporary) respectively—could unite against “cosmopolitanism.”' (5)

(5) Yanov: The Resurrection of "Cosmopolitanism" and the consolidation of he Russian Party,“cosmopolitanism”-and-the-consolidation-of-the-russian-party

The reader will probably recognise 'cosmopolitanism' as a code word for 'Jew' and Yanov makes much of this, but I think it would be difficult to see anything very distinctively Jewish about Novy Mir. The common enemy of the Russian 'nationalists' and the 'Stalinists' was indeed, literally 'cosmopolitan liberalism' of the type personified by Yanov himself and with the class of technocrats in the Soviet Union which Yanov identified as the most likely allies for what we might call - a little pre-emptively since the term (as a way of characterising the US and its allies) was not yet current - the 'international community.' 

Yanov goes on, in The Russian New Right, to talk about a third controversial article in 'Young Guard', in 1970, after the fall of Tvardovsky - 'On relative and eternal values' by Sergei Semanov: 

'It contained as many odes to the "national spirit" and praises of the "Russian soil" and accusations of "educated shopkeeper mentality" as Chalmaev's article; the October Revolution was described as a Russian national achievement; it asserted that "in our society, services to the country (not to the cause of socialism - AY) are valued more highly than anything else"; and the chief sin of Trotskyism was declared to be "the most profound aversion for our people (again, not for socialism - AY), its ... traditions ... its history." However, the main point was the unprecedented assertion that "the turning point in the struggle with destroyers and nihilists took place in the middle 1930s" and that "it was precisely after the adoption of the new Constitution that ... all honest working people of our country were once and for all welded into a single and monolithic whole." (p.53)

This last phrase, Yanov says, almost did for Molodaya Gvardia what Dementyev had done for Novy Mir: 'A romantic, so to speak, Napoleonic legend about "our Generalissimo" is one thing, and open praise for an epoch of mass murder of the "old guard" is quite another. Semanov reminded people of precisely what should have been forgotten; with one blow he destroyed everything which had been begun so successfully a year ago by Ogonek, and put an end to the Rightist alliance. Thereby he gave the Propaganda Division a trump ace.' (We will see what is meant by 'the Propaganda Division' when we come to consider the 'Yakovlev affair'.)

As a result the editor of 'Young Guard', Anatoly Nikonov, was dismissed as Tvardovsky had been dismissed from Novy Mir. But as Yanov says in the later article 'Valery Kosolapov, who succeeded Tvardovsky as editor-in-chief of Novy Mir, was also a liberal, and after the resignation of Anatoly Nikonov, 'Young Guard'’s new editor-in-chief, Anatoly Ivanov, was also a nationalist. Such were the ritual and the logic of the Soviet centrist regime: radical representatives of both ideological wings of the opposition were shown their place. So they’d be more careful in the future.'

Also in this later article Yanov quotes from an interview Semanov gave after the fall of the Soviet Union to Nikolay Mitrokhin, published in his book: The Russian Party: Movement of the Russian Nationalists in the USSR, 1953–1985, in which he explains how the world looked from within the 'Young Guard' circle:

'“Young Guard magazine placed its biggest stake on enlightenment of the bosses (or more accurately, the ‘deputy bosses’). The environment was free and friendly: everyone who didn’t marry in Brezhnev’s style—” (Brezhnev’s wife was thought to be Jewish, an assumption that served as an explanation for his absolute indifference to the “Russian cause”) “—and wasn’t under the influence of the ‘wise men,’ seemed rather sensitive to Young Guard’s ideas—and this was the fair majority of the upper ruling class. The ideas of the national character, order, traditionality, and rejection of destructive modernism of any kind—they all matched the beliefs of the fundamental part of the post-Stalin political elite… The majority of Russian intellectuals in the 1970s… remained more or less within the mainstream of cosmopolitan liberalism. At that time, Young Guard’s audience was chosen correctly in terms of political perspectives: dismissing the ‘key circles of intelligentsia,’ the magazine addressed the [Communist] party’s middle class, the army, and the [common] people.”'

Yanov gives the impression that the row over Dementyev's article was directly responsible for Tvardovsky's fall. In fact the immediate occasion was the appearance of Tvardovsky's own autobiographical poem 'By right of memory' in the emigré journal Posev. We may remember that publishing abroad (the practice nicknamed tamizdat) was also behind the problems of Pasternak, Sinyavsky and Daniel, and indeed Solzhenitsyn himself. In contrast though it must have been obvious that the loyal Tvardovsky was not himself responsible for the appearance of the poem in Posev. The incident occurred in the context of Solzhenitsyn's expulsion from the Soviet Writer's Union and his magnificent, but very aggressive protest of November 1969. Owing to the vigilance of the censor, Novy Mir had published nothing of substance by Solzhenitsyn since Matryona's House in 1963, but he was still defended by Tvardovsky and was on the Novy Mir payroll. According to Scammell (p.681) 'Tvardovsky is said to have exploded on being shown a copy of Solzhenitsyn's letter. "He's finished us!" was his first reaction ...'