Eduard Limonov

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Person.png Eduard Limonov   Amazon Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(writer, poet, dissident)
Eduard Limonov 2016.jpg
BornEduard Veniaminovich Savenko
22 February 1943
Dzerzhinsk, Gorky Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died17 March 2020 (Age 77)
CitizenshipSoviet (1943–1974),  Statelessness (1974–1987),  French (1987–2011),  Russian (1992–2020)
Alma materKharkiv National Pedagogical University
ChildrenBogdan Alexandra
Russian writer, poet, publicist, and political dissident.

Eduard Limonov, real name Eduard Veniaminovich Savenko was a Russian writer, poet, publicist, and political dissident.

Early Life

He emigrated from the USSR in 1974 and earned the fame of a scandalous writer abroad, in particular, due to obscene language and pornographic scenes in his first novel It's Me, Eddie.

In 1991, he returned to Russia and soon founded the controversial National Bolshevik Party that was banned in the country in 2007 (it was superseded by The Other Russia party). A fierce opponent of neoliberal policies in Russia,[1] he was arrested in 2001 and convicted for illegal possession of weapons. In the 2000s, he was one of the leaders of The Other Russia coalition of opposition forces.[2] However, he supported Putin's foreign policy following the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine.[3][4][5]

imonov was a strong supporter of Serbia in the wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia and achieved notoriety by participating in a sniper patrol in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian war. Paweł Pawlikowski's film Serbian Epics includes footage of Limonov travelling to the front lines of Sarajevo in 1992 with Radovan Karadžić, then the Bosnian Serb president, and firing a few rounds with a machine gun in the direction of the besieged city.

Jail and protest activities, 2001–2013

Limonov was jailed in April 2001 on charges of terrorism, the forced overthrow of the constitutional order, and the illegal purchase of weapons. Based on an article published in Limonka under Limonov's byline, the government accused Limonov of planning to raise an army to invade Kazakhstan. After one year in jail, his trial was heard in a Saratov court, which also heard appeals from Russian Duma members Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Alexei Mitrofanov and Vasiliy Shandybin for his release. He maintained that the charges were ridiculous and politically motivated, but was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment for the arms purchasing, while the other charges were dropped.[6] He served almost two years before being paroled for good behavior.[7][1] He wrote eight books while in jail.[1]

In 2006, Limonov married the actress Yekaterina Volkova.[1] They had a son, Bogdan, and a daughter, Alexandra. They split up in 2008.

On 19 April 2007, the Moscow City Court banned the National Bolshevik Party as extremist. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.[8]

Limonov continued his political activities as one of the leaders of The Other Russia,[1] along with liberal politicians. He took part in various protests and was one of the organizers of the Dissenters' Marches.[1] In particular, on 3 March 2007, Limonov was detained by police in the very beginning of the rally the first Saint Petersburg Dissenters' March;[9] on 14 April 2007, Limonov was arrested again after an anti-government rally in Moscow;[10] on 31 January 2009 was detained again in Moscow.[11]

In July 2009, he helped organise the Strategy-31 series of protests.[1]

In April 2010 a video was posted that showed Limonov, Viktor Shenderovich, and Alexander Potkin having sex with the same woman in the same apartment. Shenderovich alleged this was a honey trap arranged by the Russian government.[12]

Soon, Limonov split up with the liberal opposition. In July 2010, he and his followers established The Other Russia political party, as the informal successor to the NBP.[13] It was denied official registration in 2010 and in 2019, after it got re-established without Limonov as formally part of its leadership.[14]

Later life and death, 2013–2020

Since 2014, Limonov supported the secession of Crimea, the DNR and LNR, and encouraged Russians to take part in the War in Donbass on their side.[3][4][5][15]

Since the late 1990s, Limonov has been a regular contributor to "Living Here" and later to the eXile, both English-language newspapers in Moscow. These are the only known sources where Limonov has written articles in English. When he joined as a contributor, he specifically asked the editors of the paper that they preserve his "terrible Russian English style." Although most of his featured articles are political, he also writes on many topics, including "advice for ambitious youngsters."


A Document by Eduard Limonov

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:Russia is a Bangladesh with missilesarticle22 April 2016Serbia
Madeleine Albright
Insulting comments by Madeleine Albright about Vladimir Putin and Russia, responded to in kind by Eduard Limonov
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