Each living man is a riddle. We do not know ourselves until we try to govern others. While still not fully knowing our own value on this Earth, we encroach on the lives of the rest.

Neither economics nor politics can justify the oppression of human beings, the crushing of their delicate and complex inner worlds, their beliefs, principles, morals and spirit. However, those in power do try to destroy and influence. Without our willing it or even being aware' of it billions of cells live in each one of us. Why not use these cells against the people themselves? Each hair and molecule exists independent of our will, thoughts and feelings.

My dream is to turn Kalmykia into a republic in which citizens are proud to live just as in America, England, Japan or France. We must do everything we can to ensure that our children can say with pride: "I live in Kalmykia."  Everyone must begin to think of his or herself as a resident of Kalmykia first, and only then a Chechen, Russian, Kalmyk or Ukrainian. Your little homeland , the land on which you live, comes first; the rest follow. My cherished dream is to see Kalmykia blossom, just as the clairvoyant Vanga predicted.

 

Politics, business, the science of government. For many it is an unquenchable Mist for power. Each living man is a riddle. We do not know ourselves until we try to govern others. While still not fully knowing our own value on this Earth, we encroach on the lives of the rest.

Neither economics nor politics can justify the oppression of human beings, the crushing of their delicate and complex inner worlds, their beliefs, principles, morals and spirit. However, those in power do try to destroy and influence.

I am deeply convinced that a new stage in the development of the  nation,  its  spiritual  regeneration  and  economic  growth will become possible  only  when  we  have  eradicated  our insensitivity to the suffering of  others.  Otherwise we will be lost in the labyrinths of lies and false values.

"There is a record in the old Tibetan books," a Buddhist priest once told me, "which predicts that the Buddhist nations will blossom again once the smallest and most westerly of our people start the  process at the beginning of the third millennium."

Taking the decision to run for president of Kalmykia, I realized clearly that people were fed up with continuous elections, political intrigues and playing at democracy. What Kalmykia needed was a drama tic change of structure and attitude which would take the needs of the people into consideration , and would awaken and instill in each citizen the belief that he could, and must, earn a real wage for real work, rather than the miserable pennies which he was paid now. The republic must quickly embrace a market economy before it was too late.

Policy is made during congresses and parliamentary sessions. Political issues are resolved in meetings and interviews. It is there that the details are settled, coalitions, blocks and groupings are formed, and political trendsestablished. Political, economic and personal interests are all cooked up secretly in the same pot and this is what gives decrees, laws and directives their political flavour.

 

I read our mighty  epic "Jangar" and I felt as though  I had stepped onto firm ground  for  the  first  time;  I  was immensely proud of our small nation. I began to feel at one with this barren land.  I learned that Kalmyk folklore I s second only to that of India in terms of its richness and imagery.  l looked on my homeland from a new perspective and began to view our wind -blown, dusty township swept by the sands and snows of the steppe in an altogether different light.

One winter evening, meeting in a tumbledown shack in Elista to the accompaniment of dogs' barking, we began negotiating the delivery of a large amount of Kalmyk wool to my company. My colleagues had just come back from the government ministry building where they had tried, to no avail, to have the necessary paperwork signed. Government officials kept dragging out the decision-making process. We were pressed for time because our deal was under threat of disruption and penalty payments were due imminently. The boys had been unable to gain access to the republic's big shots for several weeks already. It was then, all of a sudden and quite spontaneously, that the idea came to some of us to nominate me as a deputy-candidate.

We bring to the attention of our readers the most interesting excerpts from an interview with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to Itogi magazine.

- Is it true that you bought the rights to publish Gorbachev's memoirs?
- Yes, I bought the rights to publish memoirs and their adaptation. I consider Mikhail Sergeyevich one of the outstanding people of the era. I have always been attracted to large-scale personalities, like Pope John Paul II, Dalai Lama, Bobby Fisher, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi.

In an interview with Itogi magazine, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was asked the question: “How did you become a millionaire? How did you become a businessman after graduating MGIMO when you were on the direct path to become a diplomat?”

- After I was reinstated at the Univercity and graduated it, I began to ponder: what kind of work shall I choose? After all the trials associated with corridors of power, it became obvious to me: the old state system was rotten. I had no desire to work for it.

 

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