Nikokai Khramov Interview in Moscow, May 19, 1992 at the apartment of Alexander and Julia Kalinin, who also participate in the conversation about dissidents.
Interviewer — Metta Spencer
Khramov: I think one of the most important things during the period of the Group for Trust is that we had no possibility at all to appeal to our citizens. When we were arrested, exiled, or imprisoned, many western radios, Radio Liberty and so on, gave information about it but they gave information about the fact that we are arrested, and sometimes there was the information that we were arrested for peace activity, but no radio station gave our position, what we are fighting for, what we are thinking about, what we are speaking about. They seldom published our declarations. I think it was only once or a few times.
MS: Do you remember what they said on those occasions?
Khramov: I think on the information on Olga or Yury, for I was not a member of the group from the beginning, but mass media went to Moscow and informed about our first declaration for 1982 about the four-sided dialogue between USA and USSR. Do you remember this document of the Trust Group. But generally we had, sure, no possibility to publish something in the Soviet newspapers, but also in Radio Liberty, for example, we had no possibility to speak about our ideas. Only about negative facts about our arrests and so on. I understand why it happened. The information can be interpreted. That’s why it is difficult for me to speak about our influence on Soviet public opinion here at that time, but I think I can say we had some influence on Western public opinion — on the opinion of Western peace movements. For example, when the Greenham Common women, who had our declarations and knew what we were fighting for, when they explored that we in prison for such activity, it was new information for them, andnot always information which they expected, but we had some influence. And maybe many people who probably were a little naive, they can explore for themselves the real nature of that regime and the real face of the same Soviet Peace Committee with Mr. Zhukov and later Mr. Borovik.
MS: Did you encounter people who indicated that they knew who you were — here, because of having heard what you did?
KHRAMOV: Yes, my relatives and a group of young people, especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the people who belonged to youth subculture, youth counterculture sytem, they were informed about Moscow Trust Group and about Alexander Rubchenko aand maybe a little about me — becuase Rubchenko was famous in that movement at that time. And those ideas, the MTG’s ideas, they accepted, but often they didn’t accept the principle of doing something. Sure, they never accepted the Soviet system. When Fellowship of Reconciliation sent hundreds of cards for making pen freinds? Do you remember “I am against nuclear war and I would like to live in my country without nuclear weapons.”
MS: I never saw one.
KHRAMOV: There was a photo and address of a family in Russian and English. All the people would like to have such a card and would try to be pen friends. When we would like to organize an action, a street action, which would lead to a confrontation with authorities, almost always very very few people were able to take part.
MS: This card was safe? Nobody would get in trouble for doing this?
KHRAMOV: Sure, it was absolutely legal but I think it was also reason-less because if you send a card to the FEllowship of REconciliation in 1984, you can be almost sure that this card would not cross the border.
Julia: (Laughs.) It was safe!
MS: Say these young people in St. Petersburg. Did they get in touch with you or did you get in touch with them? What was the relationship?
KHRAMOV: We tried to go there. Moscow, as you know, was organized each week some workshop in private apartments and we invited the people to ask them to invite their relatives and so on. Always they had some group of 20 or 30 persons. In fact it was not a group because we didn’t have a membership. Everybody who took part in our workshops or came to us or subscribed to our documents was a participant in this movement. It was a grassroots initiative without any membership. But that’s not all because we tried to go to those people and to parks and squares and cafes where the nonconformist youth made their meetings and we tried to be present there and to be one of them.
MS: How much did you see that they were glad to have you do that?
KHRAMOV: Not always. In each group there was one or two people who say Oh, it is bad that Rubchenko or they came to us because they have bad relations with the police. Let’s go away. We we will be identified with them.
Kalinina: I want to tell you that I was actually part of that nonconformist youth. It was a part of our life. Among other things, we knew about the movement and the Moscow Trust Group — certainly their names and what they were doing. It was part of the spirit. It was an inalienable part of the life.
MS: You would meet where, in a park?
Kalinina: There were several places. Pushkin Square.
MS: You would meet in Pushkin Square and talk sometimes about people like that? Like Rubchenko and Batovrin. Would you remember their names?
Kalinina: Yes, I have heard of them. Rubchenko I have heard, of course.
KHRAMOV: He was more famous than me. He was really one of them.
MS: At that point. I want to come back to this and ask you what has happened to people. But at that point you were having an effect on some people, such as Julia’s subculture.
Kalinina: Yeah. We had leaflets and copies of these newspapers.
KHRAMOV: It was a newspaper published by Batovrin shortly after his return to New York — Return Address Moscow.
MS: Yes, I have some copies of it. So you saw it?
Kalinina: yes, of course.
MS: I was distributed in English?
KHRAMOV: Yes but only a few copies, of course.
MS: You saw a copy, Julia?
MS: You were living a risky life, also, then. You must have been pretty young.
Kalinina: Yes. It was 83 or 84. I think I was fifteen or sixteen. These people were legend later.
MS: Not at the time?
Kalinina: Maybe I was too young, I don’t remember. I had lots of friends but my consciousness was not ready to accept all this.
MS: Did your parents know what you were doing?
MS: So you did not go home and talk to them about it. Were there any adults that you would have talked to about it?
Kalinina: No. I didn’t trust anybody. My father was listening to Radio Liberty every night but we didn’t discuss it.
MS: Nikolai, did you family listen to it?
KHRAMOV: Sure. They informed me how it worked and in which way it was possible to find it.
MS: When I was coming over sometimes I remember thinking that I should not go see you because someone told me that you spoke German but not English, but also that your father was opposed to all this and I would just be a problem. I remember deciding not to contact you because I was afraid I would get you in trouble with your father. But your father had been listening to the radio all along to programs that the government did not approve. So did your father really disapprove or did he just want you to get in trouble?
KHRAMOV: It is difficult for me to speak for others, but it seems to me that in this way he was like the majority of the so-called Russian intelligentsia. He was a writer. He is not a famous officially-supported writer but he was not an oppositional writer. Of course, inside, he did not accept the communist regime, but he was in very comfortable circumstances. “I am listening to the radio, I understand all these things, but I do something concrete against the regime in my poems.” But sometimes it seems to me that he did it in a bad way because if you wrote something in your poems, of course you wrote very well, but it is a kind of an alibi, a kind of a provision for themselves. I have an alibi not to protest, I have to write something important in my poems. And one day I write something important in my poems, but the editor told me, well, if you would like to see your poem in print, you have to clip this paragraph out, you have to give another name, and you have to add a few lines here. These lines. And very often, usually, the people accepted these compromises.
MS: Did your father?
KHRAMOV: Yes. And when he knew about our group he was furious. Well, we didn’t live together almost since my birth. And that’s why it was not a very big conflict inside the family because I was with my mother and my father had and has another family. We had a relationship until my participation in the trust Group.
MS: How did your mother feel about your participation in the Trust Group?
KHRAMOV: Well, my father was a member of the Communist Party, but very unpolitical. He was and is a typical citizen of this country who thinks that it is necessary to do very well your job, your work.
MS: Is he proud of you now?
KHRAMOV: I think yes. She told me.
MS>: Your mother?
KHRAMOV: Yeah. After his going out from the Communist Party, after perestroika, the relationship changed. The most important thing since that time when it became not dangerous so much as before. For her, the most important thing was that every day she had to expect something bad for me. And it was — when I was kidnapped for the army. I know it was a very difficult time for her during those four months that I spoke last time about. That’s why she didn’t support me in it.
MS: Your father has never told you that he is proud of you?
KHRAMOV: No, never, even now.
MS: I should go see him! I have to tell him a few things.
KHRAMOV: NO, it is very simple because now we have a good relationship again and he supports my current activity in the Radical Party. He says now, Well, now I see that it is already serious, not like that Trust Group. He joined the RAdical Party and he participated in some conference of the Radical Party and made some interventions.
MS: I would love to hear a story that I haven’t heard yet. It would be a story of someone who sould say, I was influenced by this and then I told my parents, who were important members of the party, and they told somebody else and so the world changed. I can’t find that story. When you do a network analysis, … So how did these influences take place? Sometimes they are personal. I knew somebody who knew somebody. . .But sometimes you can find out. People will say “Aha! I heard about you!
KHRAMOV: Yeah, that has happened to me, and not seldom. First of all, those people that I mentioned from the counterculture. And many relatives of my father. It hapened often when I met with somebody and they said, “Oh, it seems to me that I heard you were arrested.”
MS: Mostly, what did they think when they said, I heard about that?
KHRAMOV: Well, I don’t know. Everybody had nothing except supporting of the Trust Group.
Alexander Kalinin: (entering room) I am delerious.
KHRAMOV: For example, before Alexander went to us, he heard already something about us.
MS: When did you first hear about them?
Kalinin: During the last years of the Communist regime, I was on the verge of being incorporated it in. … .
(a brief passage is missing because I forgot to turn over the tape in time.)
Kalinin: I didn’t know anything about the group as an organization, but I had heard about Debryanska, who at that time, when I began to find some other contacts and channels, was the most well-known member of the Trust Group. That was in 1988. My first meetings with her were discouraging because she had a terrible hangover and was obviously unable to talk, to discuss anything serious. But the first time I met this guy (Kolya) was at her apartment. I brought them a short article about nuclear weapons, and I am still proud of it because it was the first clear statement about nuclear weapons.
KHRAMOV: You wrote the first clear article in our newspaper, which we published.
MS: Which was your newspaper?
KHRAMOV: Day by Day.
MS: I have never seen a copy.
Kalinin: Well, I suppose that some copies of it are kept in the Helsinki Watch New YOrk office.
MS: You say I would be appalled by this woman. Fill me in again about who she was. You say she was important? I never heard of her.
Kalinin: I am afraid to be unjust to her. I know her very little. I hope Nikolai will tell you book.
Kalinina: There is something about her in this book, Invisible Threads.
MS: You know that book? You know many of those people?
Kalinina: One chapter is devoted to him.
MS: That is flattering.
Kalinin: And your classification in particular.
KHRAMOV: To me and my Trust Group.
MS: I think the author is dead.
KHRAMOV: Yes, unfortunately. Somebody told me a few days ago that she died. She was ill the last months.
MS: I called her number and the phone machine said, “This is Dave’s place.” Anyway, please bring me up to date as to who were the important people after Yury and Olga left.
KHRAMOV: They left the SU in the autumn of ’86 and just after they left only two people remained in the group who were in it since ’84— Rubchenko and me. They were another group of the people inside the Trust Group who were around Andre Klivov and Irina Klivova — a wife and husband. In fact, the Trust Group split in two poles. One pole was me and Rubchenko and some youth and also Debranska, who came at the end of ’86, and in the beginning of ’87 came some old dissidents — human rights activists. Some of them, like Valeria Novodvorska, for example, she was imprisoned at the end of the sixties for distributing leaflets against the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
Kalinina: There was somebody from that group that supported the Helsinki.
MS: The Helsinki Watch Group?
Kalinina: They were very famous. Like Sakharov and Sharansky and so on.
KHRAMOV: No, no, no. They never participated in the Trust Group. The most famous of the dissidents who took part in the Trust Group was Valeria Novodvorska. And that was one pole of the group. And we would like to change our strategy and widen our program, our aims. So we prepared the new declaration of principles of the Trust Group and we published it in April of ’87, and we had a big struggle inside the Trust Group for this declaration of principles because we insisted that our priorities also had to be such priorities as were in the West, like conscientious objection and political prisoners in USSR. But another pole, with the Krivovs, they took the position that the Trust Group had to make only strongly peacemakers activities, without mixing with human rights activities. But what concerned me was, I don’t understand how it is possible to make peace activity without mixing with human rights activity. How it is possible to make this without activity on Afghanistan and right of conscientious objection and so on. We accepted this declaration of principles but it didn’t save the group from splitting, as it later did. One part, which I belonged to, we published a Samizdat journal, Day by Day.
MS: This was your faction?
KHRAMOV: Yes. And another part, they quickly made contacts with Soviet Peace Committee and other organization —quasi-independent— which were under the umbrella of the Soviet Peace Committee. They had good relations with official peacemakers like Mr. Borovik.
MS: Julia, you were 21 or 22 when you first started seeing Sasha?
Kalinina: Yeah. And I had lots of dissident stuff with me — magazines and leaflets — and he didn’t want to have it. He said, Take it away, I don’t want to have any troubles. I guess he was experienced. He had lots of friends who were dissidents and he participated — but he didn’t want to.
MS: When did he turn?
KHRAMOV: But you had it!
MS: You had it, yes. You were a dangerous lady!
Kalinina: I was very dangerous, yes. I was very young and I had lots of friends who were hippies and in Indian philosophy and those stupid drugs, and also the dissident group, which I participated. That’s what I meant when I told you about the influence of the Trust Group [on me] and all these legends.
MS:Do you think that in a way you moved Sasha?
Kalinina: No, I don’t think I played any role. He was trying to adjust to the circumstances, to do his best, to write something really important. He was searching for ways to do that.
MS: When did you first become acquainted?
Kalinina: I think I was 21. We met in ’81 or ’82.
Kalinin: Probably, but I noted Julia only in the spring of ’82.
Kalinina: All I remember is that he was older than Jesus Christ. He was 31 or 32.
Kalinin: I was in my 44th year. [No. He is 44 now!]
Kalinina: He was the secretary of our Komsomol. It was an important position, actually.
Kalinin: Those terrible communist rules, I just ordered her.
Kalinina: Do you remember, I had a lot of acquaintances, like ___ and I had lots of newspapers.
MS: She was more daring than you?
Kalinina: I was more stupid.
MS: Well, that’s not what I would say. But bold. Risky. Tell me about these people. What has happened to all the people who began in the Trust Group?
KHRAMOV: Well, I don’t even know personally the people who began the Trust Group. For example, I never met Batovrin or Ostrovsky. I know Fleyshgakkers and Lusnikovs, and Medvedkovs and Brodsky and his wife Dina. You know him?
MS: I never met him.
KHRAMOV: What concerns Medvedkovs you know much better than me. What concerns Lusnikovs, they are divorced now and she is wife of important, famous lawyer who works for commercial relationships between Russia and USA and she came recently to Moscow and we met here last autumn.
MS: Olga gave me some phone numbers and I seem not to have brought them. I have put a message on the e-mail so I can get them again and see these people before I leave, but there are some people who were very dedicated, whom she respects greatly. She asked me to visit them, but I don’t know who they are. You don’t know immediately someone whom I should see? She also hopes to come sometimes and just follow up and pursue people and see the processes that people went through as these changes took place.
KHRAMOV: Why hasn’t she come?
MS: She will, not this summer but maybe next summer. Can you tell me for her about some of the people she would have known.
KHRAMOV: I have no connection anymore, unfortunately, with people who were with us together that that time. Almost all the people are no longer in Russia. Rubchenko has been in the United States two years. He is waiting now for a green card in New York and he does occasional work and he rents an apartment with someone, and he is linked closely with anarchists. Probably you know this person Bob McGlynn in New York.
MS: Yes, I have met him.
KHRAMOV: Kiril Popov probably is known too. He was one of the last political prisoners. He was sentenced during Gorbachev, he was released in 1986. He is still in Moscow. There are no changes in his life. He is still living alone in his apartment in Moscow, but he is no longer participating in the human rights movement because it seems that this movement doesn’t exist anymore. He is looking for work and so far as I know he has no connection anymore with Express Khronika and Glasnost Magazines, where he was collaborating before. He is doing some activity for ill children, he is trying to find some sources to help the children who have cerebral paralysis.
MS: You say the group split. Tell me about this family, Krivovs.
KHRAMOV: They are now in Paris. They emigrated in Autumn, 88 and they are working in a newspaper for the Russian newspaper published by emigrants in Paris.
MS: Who is the woman who went to that meeting, who was the first person to be allowed in to participate in Peace Committee. There was one meeting in which foreigners insisted that a member of the Trust Group be admitted.
KHRAMOV: You mean END convention in Moscow.
KHRAMOV: What year?
MS: 87 maybe. Some woman came and gave a speech. It was after Borovik came in. It may have been Irina.
KHRAMOV: Oh, yes, Irina. I remember exactly now.
MS: Tell me about your own biography.
KHRAMOV: What concerns my biography is very easy. I was expelled from university, as you know, in 84 and in 3 months I was _ to the army and it was a bad history. After, when I came back, I was working again in Trust Group and my job was occasional job, like night watchman, and in 87 we began to publish this newspaper, and since during one year, since beginning of 88 until 89, I was working only for this newspaper. Later it was impossible to publish it anymore because the ____ are finished and I stopped this activity, in Dec. 89. We made the last issue.
MS: And you were temporarily interested in Democratic Union?
KHRAMOV: No, I personally was not. I know all the founding members and it is possible to say that Democratic Union was founded on the basis of this workshop, Humanism and Democracy, in the framework of the Trust Group. Later this workshop became, step by step, completely autonomous and in May ’88 on this basis was founded Democratic Union, with the participation of Debranskaya and Novodvordskaya and some other members of the Trust Group but I personally never was amember.
MS: Why did you not want to belong?
KHRAMOV: Because it was not very clear to me what they would do in this democratic union and it seems to me now that I saw already some dangerous (to me) tendencies. Not dangerous in the sense of conflict with authorities, but politically dangerous. For example, some tendencies for isolation, for example, one of the statutes of Democratic Union was not to emigrate under any circumstances. It seems a little funny. But in political terms, they were very naive and very Russian-centrist. Not Russian nationalists, of course, but Russian-centrist.
Kalinin: Yes, they believe in a specific Russian way to democracy, and probably a specific Russian model of democracy that will be superior to what one can see in the West.
MS: Hm. What would it look like?
Kalinin: They don’t know. They have never made clear statements about this model of democracy because they tried to integrate very different trends within a single organization and it is practically impossible. For example, whenever Novodvorskaya delivers her speeches, other members of Democratic Union do not share her views and her speech is just a stimulus to gain the floor and expound their ideas, to argue to the public and maybe partially or totally to disprove what Novodvorskaya has said.
(tape turned over here. A little is missing.)
MS: (to Khramov): They — the Medvedkovs — will not know that you are married. They will ask me about your wife and I have not met her, so you must send this message to them.
KHRAMOV: But I don’t know which wife you mean because I was married twice. Probably Olga knows something about my first wife. But I am not sure about the second one.
MS: You can tell them.
KHRAMOV: No, it is not interesting to say. It is not possible for me to think and to tell something now.
MS: What is your job now in Kiev with the Radical Party?
Kalinin: He does canvassing. But he knows at what door he has to knock.
MS: You now have a party there?
KHRAMOV: Now we have some hundreds of people in Ukraine and it is a little easier now.
MS: What sort of people belong? Do you have any members who are Gandhians?
KHRAMOV: I don’t know of any in Kiev.
MS: I know of one. A man named Kisilev. Dick Kisilev. He is a Gandhian. Okay, go on.
KHRAMOV:Firs of all, youth. But it is difficult to say who because the people are very different. There are young people, and workers and one deputy and students. All the strata.
Kalinin: Businessmen. Dissolute women.
MS: Your party doesn’t anything to do with the environment.
Kalinin: It does have. This is probably the main hold of the party. This restoration of the environment.
MS: That’s not what I hear you talking about, mostly. I hear you talking more about the death penalty.
Kalinin: Yes, because there’s a constant pressure from Rome to push the death penalty. They don’t understand your realities and nevertheless they tried to dictate to us what to do.
MS: How did the party get started in Russia?
KHRAMOV: Some members were Jewish activists who participated in the movement for liberation and they were supported by the Radical Party in 86.
MS: Who were those people.
KHRAMOV: For example, Alexander Lerner, a mathematician who is living now in the states. Bernard Glazer, for example, And they joined this party.
Kalinin: Just for fun.
KHRAMOV: For what?
Kalinina: For fun.
MS: It is still a fun thing, isn’t it? You don’t really have much political influence.
KHRAMOV: We try to have.
MS: Of course you try. But do you really?
Kalinina: No, of course not.
Kalinin: Metta, in this country all the remnants of the Communist Party and their best representative, the President of Russia, have political influence. All other groups,individuals, parties, movements, have no influence.
Kalinin: Let’s take, for example, Yelena Bonner. Everything she would like to be known to the public, broadcasted and so on, but it doesn’t mean at all that she has influence.
MS: I should think not.
Kalinin: Well, at the moment when she began to take consistently one side and not on the ethical or moral reasons but just because these guys were her friends, she lost the modicum of political influence that she obviously had.
MS: How different is she from Sakharov?
Kalinin: Well, they are quite different persons.
MS: She was in Toronto and she said some stupid things.
Kalinin: Well, everyone says stupid things sometimes. I say stupid things more often than my wife.
MS: I just wondered if she went further than he did. I got the sense that she did.
Kalinin: Well, she is very engaged.
MS: I thought she was horrible.
Kalinin: She has very clear preferences for her friends. The second circle is friends of her friends. Then finally she has obvious respect and tries to support those who are lenient to her and who may pay attention to her appeals. And the next circle is Armenians.
MS: Why Armenians?
Kalinin: Because she is an Armenian Jewess. And then maybe other minority groups, but not all of them. But some of them. And those old dissidents, they have their own standard to measure issues and people: Where were you when my husband and I were exiled in Gorky? Did you come to us? No? I should have no business with you!
MS: Well, that’s a fair standard. I don’t mind that. I myself have strong antipathy to some members of the Canadian peace movement who refused to sign something on behalf of Sakharov because they didn’t want to offend the officials break these good ties they were building between Canada and the Soviet Union.
Kalinina: That’s awful.
MS: You know, when I was deported, I could understand being deported from this country. But when I got home, I was kicked out of an organization that I had helped found because they didn’t want me to spoil the record. Because I had been deported, I was no good to them and I was kicked out of their organization. So I think her values are probably right on that one: If you didn’t come to my side when we needed you, screw you, Buddy, get out! I understand that.
Kalinin: Metta, but we have to respect the needs of those who were engaged in the human rights movement at that time. But it is not to say that all those who joined later are to be discriminated, denounced, rejected. For we had a very strange accident when Radical Party collected signatures for Russian dignitaries for abolishing the death penalty. The first response of Bonner was No! I don’t know such a party! It was exactly the reaction that we used to hear from officials. Who are you? I don’t know you! My husband, Academician Sakharov, fought against this terrible death penalty when you were probably a KGB man, I don’t know. I know Lev Ponomayov, a the greatest hero of this nation. (But he is a rascal.)
MS: In your opinion, he is a rascal? You are saying that?
MS: What does he do?
Kalinin: . . . Maybe in 1988 when the Democratic Russia was being _________, he occupied a position in their coordination council. And he was a so-called realist in the movement. That meant that he and his followers were oriented. They went directly to acquiring positions of power — gaining seats in parliament and the city council and so on, but it happened that when they gained seats they have no program. They have just a lust for power to oust communists and to replace them in the same structure. They are really furious against communism. Were they allowed, they would hang the communists up.
MS: Uh huh. That’s what I got from hearing Bonner, who has this amazing hatred.
Kalinin: Well, I am ready to be hanged, but I don’t want and I am not ready to hang any others because I know that the whole number of the party members was 18 millions and many of them were really innocent. They had never in their lives got any advantages. And when now some people are going to take revenge it is nonsense, for they will take revenge on the people who were and are innocent. They were just formal members, or “outer” party members. It is a term from Orwell’s 1984. They tried, they failed, and they were really decent and now the revenge will fall on them, not on the centre or the aides of the president of Russia.
MS: Why should it fall on the aides of the president of Russia? I don’t know how you guys choose who is the bad guy and who is the good guy.
Kalinin: It is not my business to differentiate them. I am ready to cooperate with anyone who will share some basic principles.
KHRAMOV: It seems I have to go.
(skip a passage here.)
MS: I lost track some time ago of what makes it possible for certain coalitions to exist. What makes other people into enemies. I’m not sure anymore. As of ten years ago I understood, but right now I don’t know why certain people are friends and others are enemies.
Kaninin: We [Kolya and I] have quite different personal experiences. It is quite possible that we would never meet, but we met and it has been possible for us to collaborate for some time. Why do you think it is possible?
KHRAMOV: Well, first of all, it is a very big pleasure for me to collaborate with you personally because I love you and Julia and your home. But why not? For me it’s not important who was the person before; it is important what he does now. For example, I didn’t hear well what Alexander told about dissidents, but really there are a lot (excuse me) of real shits among them. But it is important what people are doing now. For example, if I am working for abolishing the death penalty or what there was before for alternative civilian service and he is working for the same thing then we can work together. And first I joined and after a little time he joined, so we can work together. But what is important for me is that here, in Russia, it seems there are very few people who are clever or clear in politics. And I think it is clear why we are working together.
MS: It is easy for you to see, but not easy for me to see. I see a lot of other —-
KHRAMOV: Well, we have a common point of view on many matters.
Kalinin: Metta, it would be better to put it this way. We have a personal —
MS: Well, that personal thing doesn’t take you very far.
Kalinin: You are right but our political collaboration is really a very principled one. We share some set of values and we try to implement them to find some adequate legislative expression. For example, abolition of capital punishment, then alternative civilian service, then protection of the minorities’ rights, and so on.
KHRAMOV: There are just a few persons who agree on all those points.
Kalinin: Right. It is a rare constellation.
KHRAMOV: Because we both are liberals.
Kalinin: But so many persons are being punished.