Solzhenitsyn on the Ukraine Crisis

Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce, biographer of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, tells the story of how he met the great man. Solzhenitsyn was famous for declining all interview requests. Nevertheless, Pearce wanted to not only write the biography, but meet the man. So Joseph wrote to him and was surprised to get a letter back inviting him to Russia for a meeting. It turns out Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a fan of Chesterton and knew of Joseph’s work on Chesterton.

Joseph writes here on Solzhenitsyn’s thoughts on the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

Regarding the last of these, Solzhenitsyn prophesied, at the height of the Soviet Union’s power, that he would outlive the USSR and would return to his native Russia after the Soviet Union’s demise. As is the fate of prophets, he was not taken seriously. It was assumed by all the “experts” that the Soviet Empire was here to stay and would be part of the global geo-political landscape for the foreseeable future. As history has attested, the prophet was right and the experts wrong.

Clearly Solzhenitsyn is worth taking seriously. Nowhere is this more evident than in his remarkable prescience about the present crisis in the Ukraine.

As far back as 1968, during his writing of what would later be published as The Gulag Archipelago, he wrote of his fears of future conflict between Russia and the Ukraine: “It pains me to write this as Ukraine and Russia are merged in my blood, in my heart, and in my thoughts. But extensive experience of friendly contacts with Ukrainians in the camps has shown me how much of a painful grudge they hold. Our generation will not escape from paying for the mistakes of our fathers.”

Read the whole article here at Imaginative Conservative.