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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The epoch exacted retribution upon him, deposed him and subjected him to a devastating rout. In Moscow, Gleb Pavlovsky bade farewell.

In the funeral hall of the Central Clinical Hospital, on March 3, a farewell to the political thinker and strategist Gleb Pavlovsky took place. He died on February 27 after a long illness at the age of 71. An The Eastern Herald correspondent attended the funeral ceremony, which was attended by friends and acquaintances of the deceased.

There were hardly any empty seats in the room; relatives, colleagues and friends of the deceased sat and stood on one side of the coffin, and journalists, photographers and cameramen on the other.

Political scientists Mikhail Vinogradov and Pavel Danilin, bloggers Maxim Kononenko and Timofei Shevyakov, popular at the time of LiveJournal, came to say goodbye to Gleb Pavlovsky.

Maxim Kardopoltsev / The Eastern Herald

Officials and MPs decided not to notice the death of the former Kremlin eminence grise. The only MP who honored Pavlovsky’s memory and laid flowers on the coffin was Sergei Shargunov (Deputy Head of the Duma Committee for Culture, Communist Party of the Russian Federation). It was followed by flowers laid by publisher Boris Kupriyanov, public figure Marina Litvinovich and former Mundep Yulia Galyamina*.

The funeral service began at 11 a.m., after the completion of the chanting of prayers, the priest said a few words about the deceased:

Maxim Kardopoltsev / The Eastern Herald

“The most important thing is that he realized that Christianity is the truth. He was baptized in 2001, and if he sinned afterwards, he will surely repent. He was glad that God gave him a special time to repent, the time he was in hospice, and left him conscious so he could think. After all, he could die immediately from a stroke, but God needed him to think more. All the while he prayed and repented.

Then the goodbyes began. The first to speak was a friend of Gleb Pavlovsky from the time of Odessa, a Soviet dissident, one of the founders of the Yabloko party, Vyacheslav Igrunov.

“Gleb Olegovich, Gleb, Glebushka. The person to whom life bound me more closely than to the most intimate friends has died. It’s hard to accept. Gleb was an existential figure. Many write and say: “An era has passed with him.” No. These are familiar words when big public figures leave. How to explain to a person what Gleb was for our history, our culture and our life? How can you know the boundary of time, without straying to a greater distance from it.

Now I can say that Gleb really made an impression. But he was not the face of the time. He is a man who challenged this era, walked through it and tried to contain the madness of the dance of time. The era took revenge on him, overthrew him and forced him to suffer a crushing defeat.

What Gleb has done over the past 25-30 years is known to many, and not only in Russia. But few people know that all this was a continuation of those searches that burned him in his youth, his youth. This search is not over today.

Gleb belonged to a handful of people who loved their homeland and knew that without urgent reforms and changes, our country is doomed. This was not understood by the people who had the power and who made the decisions. Those who opposed the authorities did not understand this. Gleb tried to convince the government to make changes, and those who opposed them to take some responsibility for the changes.

He knew that any misstep could condemn the country to death and painfully sought the option of change that gave the country a chance. It was almost impossible to achieve. No one could take this path. The difficulty also lay in the fact that, not accepting the world in which he lived, he did not want the destruction of the Soviet system. He wanted to find a compromise, ways of dialogue to consolidate society and avoid the destruction of his own country.

The task was impossible. The country is dead. Gleb knew that the collapse of a superpower was accompanied by a catastrophic series of wars. And on the ruins of the state, Gleb tried to save what could still be saved. And I tried to do it alone. I rushed into this storm that I couldn’t handle. And he made mistake after mistake to finally admit defeat.

He was not depressed about it, because he knew that defeat is sometimes more fruitful than victory. He wrote: “defeats not only teach, but also build a person.”

After Vyacheslav Igrunov, the girl read the appeal of political scientist Vladimir Pastukhov, who lives in London and could not come to the funeral, he, like Igrunov, noted Pavlovsky’s uniqueness as a thinker:

“Gleb is presented primarily as a ‘political strategist’ and as a publicist, public figure, etc. This is all secondary, and none of these masks would make it interesting to me. Its true meaning is that he was a good theorist, felt at his fingertips how the social fabric works.

In every culture, at any given time, there are very few such nuggets that have anything more than an understanding, a sense of how social reality works, no more than a dozen. They are rare, like high-flying theoretical physicists, like outstanding pianists. They can be counted on the fingers. It is a single closed world that produces meanings and concepts, but does not develop them. The loss of one of them is irreplaceable, since each of them is a unique theoretical universe.

Gleb Pavlovsky was certainly one of those universes. It generated meanings and concepts that often remained misunderstood, sometimes wrong, but always original.

After his separation, Gleb Pavlovsky was cremated. The ashes will be buried in the Vagankovsky Cemetery in Moscow.

* registered in the Unified Register of Foreign Agents of the Ministry of Justice of Russia

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