This was the Kremlin’s translation of the phrase, “Россия, вперёд”. Most analysts have translated the word “вперёд” as either “Forward” or “Ahead”. The latter two make way more sense. Plus, “Go Russia!” just brings back memories of Sergei Ivanov, who moonlighted as a cheerleader when he was Minister of Defence.
As for the actual article, there are some great quotes in here. I could take it apart piece by piece but Aleksandr Ryklin has already done an excellent job of that over at RFE/RL.
Some hi-lights from Ryklin:
At least it would be hard for me to imagine anything more charming.
My first reaction when I read the piece was a desire to copy it and rework it a bit. For example, maybe put it on a pink background and decorate it with flowers here and there. To mark out particular paragraphs with lipstick kisses and others with smiley faces.
I can totally relate to this, because one time (on a trip at Uni), I took my prof’s newspaper, and ripped out an article on Akhmed Zakayev, and started drawing all over it. My prof never said anything, but I think he was pretty upset by this (thank goodness he had already handed out grades!).
As soon as I read it, I was asking myself: What is this? A cry of the soul? A suicide note? A letter to Vladimir Putin? To his wife? To posterity? To historians? No, no, my friends. This letter is addressed first and foremost to idiots. But you and I are not idiots. At least, not all of us.
The one quote that Aleksandr did not address, but that I found kind of sad was this one, “…the situation would not be so critical if the socio-economic development of southern Russia were more viable.” Well, naturally. We all know what (to paraphrase Medvedev) “barbarians” those “bandits” in the south are.
This was a less positive version of the annual speech to the Duma, and I am not sure what the point was. Why not just go to the Duma, and give a speech? And what are you going to say to them in November? You just said it all.