You are no pioneer

Sergei Sokolov

[The War Room. Sokolov is back in the familiar surrounding that we left the Red Tsar in last Monday night.]

“Neighbours. Friends. Even one word from a resentful child was enough to send you to the firing squad. When two teenage boys were found stabbed to death in a forest in western Siberia, investigators decided that they had been killed by their own relations, because one of the youngsters had denounced his father to Stalin’s Soviet authorities. The case in September 1932 became a highly controversial topic in the Motherland, with the murdered boy hailed as a martyr to the people’s cause.

He had chosen loyalty to the State in preference to the ‘harmful philistine’ notion of duty to a parent. It had been alleged that his father, Trofim Morozov, was a ‘kulak’, a rich peasant from the class which Stalin had set out to exterminate to gain control of every farm in the Soviet Union.”

[Flipping up a chair, Sokolov takes a seat as his eyes scan the once lavish room.]

“Upwards of a million so-called kulaks were cast out from their lands, evicted from their homes and shipped eastwards in long lines of human misery, to labour in the camps of the Gulag, or worse to be shot, as was Trofim Morozov. Who knows what grievance converted a 15-year-old son to denounce his father.

The teenager was a “Pioneer”, a member of the Soviet youth movement, a distortion of the Scouts, which trained its members to believe that to inform against the people’s enemies represented a high ideal, that to betray one’s own family was the highest good of all.”

[Not his usual self, The Russian Bear seems jaded, the toll of recent events seem to be weighing heavy on his mind.]

“At Trofim’s trial, he cried out hopelessly to his son: “It’s me, your father!” Pavlik responded coldly to the judge: “Yes; he used to be my father, but no longer. I am not acting as his son, but as a Pioneer.”

This victory against his father, however, triggered Pavlik to a rash boldness, denouncing others in the village. In their rage, they killed him. The Soviet authorities held a public trial of the family, following which Pavlik’s grandfather, grandmother, cousin and godfather were all sent to the firing squad.”

[Standing up, he walks over to a window ledge, he picks a up photo frame, the picture within brings a scowl across Sokolov’s tired eyes. The picture; a young Sergei Sokolov standing next to Piotor Svetolav.]

“I know you have heard this story Piotor, it is one of the most famous stories of our land and yet you do not seem to heed the warning that is entwined within it. You are every bit the boy, Pavlik, have you stopped for just one minute and realised that maybe it is you who is in the wrong?

I have lived my life in servitude to the Motherland, completing every task that my superiors would have me do, I have done unspeakable things in the name of our great nation. You point the finger and label me traitor, just like the boy did his father, but you are no Pioneer, Svetolav. You are just another pawn in this game of chess, your accusations have moved you too far up the board, unable to move back, straight into my unrelenting path.

There will be no unanswered questions once locked in that steel cage, as the boy put his own father to the sword, you would do the same to me, comrade. Pavlik’s emboldened sense of superiority and righteousness is which ultimately led to his and everyone he had ever known’s demise.”

[Sokolov launches the picture frame across the War Room, smashing it to a thousand pieces.]

“I hope you are ready to share the same fate .”

[Fade.]

“For Mother Russia.”