According to Alexeyeva, as long as the Russians don't overcome their ambitions, and Russia doesn't stop bulling its neighbors, there will be no democracy in the country, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to Süddeutsche Zeitung. She says that before and during the war she believed Soviet propaganda, but after the war her faith has gradually disappeared.
In her opinion, current propagandists learned not from their predecessors in the USSR, but from Goebbels. The difference is that that the Soviet propaganda appealed to reason, while Goebbels' propaganda appealed to senses and subconscious.
Despite the fact that nowadays people have a lot of opportunities to get information, for example, thanks to the Internet, the Russian propaganda still works. From Alexeyeva's point of view, this is due to the fact that "the majority of citizens are infected by imperial syndrome". She says that Russia had been an empire for centuries, not only in the Soviet Union, and the citizens got used to the fact "that we are big and strong country, we can conquer the other territories that are afraid of us." And the most "terrible" thing, she believes, is that the Russians "want to be feared of," Süddeutsche Zeitung writes.
If in the early 90s the Russians were "a nation on the way to democracy," now everything is different. "State power has worked on this deep-seated imperial syndrome and has succeeded in this," says Alexeyeva.
She noted that in the 90's she wanted to see a little more attention to Russia from the West: "Back then we wanted to Europe – both people and political leadership. There was an opportunity to show us: we recognize you as a European nation." Today this opportunity is lost, writes Süddeutsche Zeitung: Russia frightens its neighbors. According to Alexeyeva, people within the country are also very scared. As Alexeyeva explains, earlier, they shooted Russian journalists, human rights activists and opposition leaders, but never touched "theirs." With the death of Boris Nemtsov, who was the governor and vice-premier, this unwritten law was broken, and it's scary.
As the journalist writes, if in 2007 Lyudmila Alexeyeva predicted that Russia would become a democracy in 10 years, now she is sure it will take much more time. This truth revealed to her, when more than 80% of the population said "Crimea is ours." Then the human rights activist realized that the civil society in Russia could not develop as quickly as she had expected. "If the majority of the population suffers imperial syndrome, we can not be a democracy. Either empire or democracy," she summed up.