Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Nobody can save himself unaided. And the same goes for individual communities and whole societies

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.


Cicero once said the timeless words: "I did what I could. Let others do better." I wish that we could adopt this as our motto. Let there be mistakes! Only those who do nothing do not make mistakes . But it is our duty to raise our Kalmykia because if we don't then what is our purpose in life? I do see and understand how hard life is for the peoples of our republic. But is life any easier elsewhere in the former Soviet Union?

Such are the times we live in. We must strive to survive. There is no other way. Our struggle will be severe and tough. We live in a period  of great change and we must pay for the mistakes and sins of the past. We must clearly understand that it will take a long time for us to repay our debts.
No sooner did we put a stop to impending economic disaster than another problem appeared before us in all its horror, a spiritual one, and then a third, environmental one. We can't know what kind of horrid blew revenge nature we all take on us for all the abuse it has suffered.
In 1966 there were forty-three natural disasters on the planet, but by 1979 that figure had risen to eighty-one. Over recent years the number of natural disasters  have  exceeded even the most pressy mystic figures. The number of genetic diseases have increased fourfold. Nowadays every child on earth carries strontium-90 in its bones. Out of one hundred malignant tumours eighty develop as a result of  the environment. And does this horrify us? No. We have grown accustomed to it. Each year many species of plants and animals disappear from the face of the earth . The extraction of metals, coal and gas has caused gigantic underground hollows which result in earthquakes and floods. Are we aware of that? What do we do to protect ourselves? Nothing. We have poisoned our rivers and air. We breathe in and eat God knows what. We call our environment Mother Nature and mother earth and yet we repeatedly kill this mother ruthlessly and unmercifully . So what are we? Are we human beings or zombies?
One day in spring my car broke down and we had to spend the night in the steppe, on the dead bank of the Volga-Chograi canal. The sky had grown dark and was covered with the steel spots of the stars. And then we heard the long and eerie death scream of a mother-saiga antelope which was coming from the bottom of the dried-up twenty-meter deep canal. For several days she lay dying, her legs broken, crying on a pile of rotting carcasses of other beasts. And all the while a little saiga fawn was running along the edge of the canal's bank crying like a human child. The two animals kept on crying to one another till they died.
So what is the big deal? What do we care about their agony if we don't even give a damn about ourselves? What do we care about saigas when our entire country is now a prison camp, now Chekhov's ward six? If there is no moral law then the interconnected chain of life is broken. Without moral law human egotism, both personal, familial, tribal and national, screams and demands: give! We have forgotten the word "here!" We have forgotten a lot over the recent years. We have lost our memory.
To restore the continuity of time and find a way out of this chaos we must consolidate our resources and prepare for self-sacrifice. Only after passing this test and understanding it can we save ourselves, our people, our land and the earth. Nobody can save himself unaided. And the same goes for individual communities and whole societies such as Kalmykia, Russia or the USA. No nation and no race has sufficient strength, resources and time to save themselves individually from the coming world catastrophe. It is better that we understand this today since tomorrow will be too late.
Neither political parties nor the most intelligent and just governments will save us until most of the people on this earth have accepted this universal moral law into their hearts. It is a long and tormenting process, one of consolidation through mutual repentance, mutual concessions and self-abnegation . There is no such thing as small peoples, countries and nations. Each nation is great just as each human being is unique. The death of any individual diminishes the spirit of the era and of the whole universe . With every passing life, a person's dawns and sunsets, his first love, his friends, the things he knew and his unique individuality also dies. A person takes all the worlds he knew in his lifetime with him to the grave.
Yes, we need a universal moral law. Some might say that first we should develop our economies and build a normal life before turning to morality . But there will be  no  "before"  if there is no law of conscience and heart. The whole country will be plundered, pulled apart and transferred to Swiss banks piece by piece. And again the people will be left with nothing.
Each  month  one  billion  dollars  are  sent  abroad,  which means that every year twelve billion dollars  leave  Russia  to work for  other  countries  and  raise  their  living  standards.  Why is that? Bans will not help. According to a  classic  maxim Russia's happiness lies  in  the  fact that  its  residents  poorly  abide by poor laws. Not until  everyone  of   us  rebels  against unscrupulous behaviour  will  we  set  out  on  the  way  of regeneration . We will step on firm ground and build a  better future.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

The President's Crown of Thorns 1995