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An Anti-Soviet agitator retires from the BBC

Seva Novgorodsev, dubbed: ‘The DJ who ‘brought down the USSR’ has retired. Well I was pleasantly surprised to learn that an anti-Soviet even got a look-in at the BBC, but this was at the World Service, until recently funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (even greater wonder!) and in Russian language broadcasts. I have no idea if this man is as well-known as the article states, but I do like the sound of his using ridicule against the Soviets, something we should all use for Statists.

Seva’s programmes were meticulously prepared and scripted. He timed the intros to all the songs he played and crafted links that fitted perfectly.
“Then gradually I started to insert some jokes,” he recalls. “I knew that people were bored stiff in Russia, especially the young people, who were under oppression of their family, of the school, of their youth party organisation. And Russia is a huge country and especially in provincial places, life is excruciatingly boring.”

He would also take a dig at the Soviet love of ‘science’, and I don’t mean Lysenko.

Beatlology was the name given to a series of 55 short programmes about the Fab Four – it was, he says, “a pun on a lot of unnecessary scientific papers that the Russians used to write, because if you had a degree it would add 30 roubles to your wages”

The latter reminds me of the some points on Samizdata, science is hard here and credentialism here. Oh dear, are we having the gap left by the Soviet Union slowly filled in?

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5 comments to An Anti-Soviet agitator retires from the BBC

  • Laird

    I had never heard of him before, but he sounds like an interesting fellow.

  • Paul Marks

    Interesting indeed.

  • Plamus

    Having spent my early childhood behind the Iron Curtain… this sounds like the BBC is blowing their own d… I mean vuvuzelas. My grandfather, a retired fairly high-level apparatchik in a provincial city, listened to BBC and Deutsche Welle on short-wave radio most evenings – did not change him one bit, died a communist. I don’t know anyone born after the mid-60’s who listened to any radio – cassette tapes put an end to it. The curtain was not impenetrable, especially in the 80’s – lots and lots of music, video, jeans, Toblerone made it through.

    I don’t know Mr. Novgorodtsev – maybe he reached and changed the minds of a few young people in Russia. “Brought down the USSR”? Nope. More like this.

  • Veryretired

    I applaud the courage of anyone who stood in opposition to that monstrosity. Critics of the SU were sometimes subjected to some very serious retaliation by their secret police, which operated at home and abroad, and also the vehement opposition by the legions of fellow travelers here in the west, who would engage in the most scurrilous types of character assassination in order to protect the object of their devotion to the collective dream.

    There will come a moment in each life when that person is called upon to stand up for their liberties, or cower in fear and allow them to be snatched away.

    As in so many things in life, you may very well be the only one who knows what happened when that moment arrived. But, you will know, down deep in your heart, whether you are who you claim to be, or an empty vessel.

    When you look in the mirror the next morning, and the next, and the next, you will know who you truly are.

  • Paul Marks

    Both Plamus and Veryretired have made, in their different ways, good comments.