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Russian compradors vs. national bourgeoisie

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In Russia it is pretty powerful social strata that includes the representatives of pseudo-democratic views who received considerable wealth  during Yeltsin's reign and is now seeking to turn back "the wheel of history". For them the main thing is to secure the return of such period the degradation of Russia, in which they could continue  to plunder the country with impunity. Today, the only guarantor of their existence is the "democratic" West, mortally afraid of the revival of a powerful Eastern neighbor and ready to do whatever it costs to support corrupt comprador Russian troops. In this respect West is following a well  known cynical formula used by FDR in respect to Somoza invitation to Washington: "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch"

As Anatol Lieven noted (America Right or Wrong- December 21, 2004 )

Perhaps it may be more difficult these days to run such manifestly comprador systems given that, as I suggested earlier, there does tend to be more democratic pressure from below than in the 19th century. A good example is Russia, although admittedly Russia also has its tradition of Great Power status and so forth which prevents it from becoming completely subservient to America. As I wrote in a previous book on the reasons for Russia's defeat in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996, there was a real attempt by America in the 1990s, with tremendous help from the Russian elites themselves, to turn Russia into a kind of comprador state, whose elites would be subservient to America in foreign policy and would exist to export raw materials to the West and transfer money to Western bank accounts.

In the end, neither the Russian state nor the Russian people would accept that. The Yeltsin order was replaced by a kind of authoritarian, nationalist backlash under Putin. One sees the same thing in a rather different form in Venezuela, for example.

comprador vs. national bourgeoisie (Kasama Threads)

I remember the color revolutions in the Ukraine and Georgia very well. I also remember the color revolution in Kyrghyzia and also in Serbia.

Let me say again that there is NO possibility of a color revolution in Russia and the political situation in Russia is absolutely not conducive to such a revolution.

I respectfully disagree. I also remember "Orange Revolution" well :-). And I do not share your optimism for several reasons:

1. West is a really powerful force and had the brainpower and money. Like Ukraine, Russia is an oligarchic republic that is by definition susceptible to this type of coup d'état. There is always a level of discontent that can be exploited. In a way, discontent against local oligarchy is a perfect way to topple any (I mean ANY) weaker oligarchic republic by stronger oligarchic republic without direct army conflict just by using fifth column and money.  With Putin charismatic leadership Russia is rather strange oligarchic republic, much less hostile to common people, then others. But still it is an oligarchic republic, not that different from the USA or GB.  Such an aberration from "historical norm" does not last forever. As sad as it was, the economic rape of Russia under Yeltsin was more of a norm then exception.   As Mark aptly observed the meme is “There’s always money for regime change”.

This is very true because those investments can produce the best return of capital possible. Moreover acting this way is the most logical for the USA as this is the least costly way to achieve its security goals in this part of the globe. So they will never stop, just regroup and try again. In way this is a Trotsky's dream of "permanent revolution" which come true in a very perverted form. Judging from Ukraine experience those guys who are doing "color revolution" staff for living have brainpower and money to adapt so you never be sure what will be next trick and from which direction it will hit you. This story with Yushchenko  poisoning was a thing of beauty of Machiavellian politics, is not it?  In Russia they are trying to spread rumors about Putin hidden billions and palaces, but so far not with much success. They will find something else soon. BTW the fact that Medevedev awarded Gorbachov the highest medal (Order of St. Andrew) on his 80th birthday, despite the fact the Putin called dissolution of the USSR the largest socio-political catastrophe is a kick in the face of any real Russian patriot and dies not inspire too much trust in the regime.

2. The claim of "democratization" and usage of election hijacking as the mean of "regime change" suppresses the "natural immune response" of the state to the foreign invasion. Like AIDS it is difficult to treat once you get infected. And this suppression of immune response is very real in this case. For example, absence of requirements to publish exist polls results only with all necessary information about size of the sample, the questions used (this is very important) and financial backers of the efforts, etc is the blunder that Russian authorities committed. That either suggests that they never learned anything from Orange revolution or were afraid to act decisively.  IMHO iron control of NGO related to interpretation of election results is a must if country wants to survive. That should include iron rules for publication of exit polls results which should be controlled by Central Election Commission or similar authority with criminal penalty for violations. I think in view of consequences of Orange Revolution for Ukraine an article about "misinterpretation" of exit polls should be in criminal code of any state because it is just legitimate form of sedition. Otherwise their is no defense against claims like recent Levada center NGO ( claim of 15% vote fraud in Moscow -- direct replica of tricks Orange revolution organizers played with impunity. And I probably am not alone seeing a strong analogy of falsification of exit pools results with sedition. From Wikipedia:

The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort. Nor does it consist, in most representative democracies, of peaceful protest against a government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).
Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one's country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws.

3. Russian government was/is completely beaten/outmaneuvered in the battle for internet media. Facebook and Twitter are channels that they can't control and those are huge help for "color revolution" organizers. Help which in a way replaces old-fashioned role of newspapers. And we all know how Bolsheviks treated newspapers a century ago. In case of Russia much like was the case in Ukraine opposition also can rely on at least one TV channel (Dozhd'). So the situation with media looks similar or an exact replica of Ukrainian scenario. That means that an important precondition for color revolution is met: "fake violations amplifier" mechanism is in place.

4. Authorities look passive and brain-dead in case issue of "falsification of falsification" trick with exit polls.  Looks like they never read the book:  The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls.  With the notable exception of Putin's brave four hour counterattack there was no efforts to counter the "falsifications of falsifications" and explain who they are and what interests they support with exit pools "falsifications of falsifications".  But even he did not stress the key mechanism of generating discontent. There was some weak noise about  "three card monte sociologists"  from Central Election Commission (, but it was after the fact when all the initiative was completely lost. Nothing or very little was done preemptively. Authorities got into trap of reacting for claims about violations. And Putin's suggestion to put camera is IMHO questionable as it belongs to this line of thinking. Cameras are need to control how exit pools are conducted much more that in the polling stations. Again the real issue here is the control of exit polls by NGOs. This is a huge black mark for Medvedev. Was it so difficult to publish "rules of the game for exit polls" before that elections? And inspect such NGO's as Levada center for violation of rules about financing before elections to make some heads a little bit cooler and some money not available? That again proved that he is a very weak politician as the key for politician is to sniff where the danger to his power comes from and preemptively react to it. As a result, some level of destabilization was actually achieved. Again, there was no clear and well articulation message about exit polls as the key mechanism for manipulating public opinion about elections. If we in this blog can figure this out, why not those who are responsible for such things? This brain-dead treatment of the key mechanism of Orange revolution is inexcusable and suggests that repetition of "color revolution" is not unfeasible.

5. Oligarchic republic self-generates the "fifth column" of compradors who are more tied to the West then to the native country. Russia in not an exception. Compradors by definition are mainly enriching some foreign entity taking a cut for themselves so they are already pre-existing element of the "regime change".  And fifth column is usually more pronounced in capitals where the "color revolution" take place as the capital usually has stronger ties with the West. In Russia the fifth column is weaker then in Ukraine were the county is essentially split between Western and Eastern parts, but still it exists and is growing.  Especially because international finance plays more and more important role in Russian economy, after joining WTO (although the USA and Russia agreed not to use WTO terms in mutual trade at least for now). I suspect that financial oligarchy by definition represents fifth column (Khodorkovsky after all was a  prominent "Komsomol banker", the owner of Menatep bank). If this is true, then growth of power of local financial oligarchy (is not Kudrin the best friend of Putin?) and high level of interconnection between Russia financial system and global financial system increase chances for the "regime change". Also the essence of neo-colonialism is financial dependency (debt slavery) so any efforts to increase Russia external debt can also be instrumental in regime change (the USSR scenario). Also credit default swaps and other derivatives represent certain danger and probably can be used as supplementary instruments supporting the regime change. See 

6. Oil represents now a strategic resource. As such all countries with this resource are marks. And no matter what Russia do, my impression is that the West is not inclined to offer Russia an equal treatment. There is a strong, persistent, strategic determination to convert Russia to the banana republic status of supplier of cheap oil and gas, Russian population be damned, and the work is under way and money are allocated to achieve this goal one way or another. The USSR went into a trap of excessive military spending that ruined the economy and put millions into abject poverty after its collapse.  There is no guarantee that Russia will not get in some other trap.

The most dramatic recent demonstration of the power of fifth column the dissolution of the USSR and aftermath. At some point elites in the USSR grow thier power to the extent when they feel that it's time to privatize the country assets. Dissolution of the USSR was the mean to this end.  What is interesting is the composition of this new transnational elite that came to power in xUSSR space in 1991. It was broad and powerful political force which included part of old elite such as KGB brass and especially its international division (Alexander Lebedev is one example), CPSU  bonzas, etc as well as new elite such as

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Old News ;-)

[Jan 19, 2019] Russia has to thank the British for sending a great message to her traitors and gangsters

Jan 19, 2019 |

Vojkan , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT

Actually, I think that in the end Russia has to thank the British for sending a great message to her traitors and gangsters. Apart from the Skripal case, the UK seems up to confiscate the wealth Russian expats in the UK looted back home. On the one hand, it's ~ $10bn worth that will be definitely lost for Russia, on the other if the UK's treatment of Skripal and runaway oligarchs won't heal Russian traitors and gangsters from their blissful enamourment with England's climate, I don't know what will.
anonymous [107] Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Mike P I can't find the comment because the comment archive is down -- I think it was annamaria who reported that the British were holding assets of Russian oligarchs and that Russia wanted the funds back. The speculation was that Teresa May would take possession of the assets.

As these two articles state, most of the Russian billionaire oligarchs are Jewish

So at least (conspiracy theory) part of the Skripal scheme is for Teresa May to be an angel and return their assets to the Jewish billionaires who stole Russian wealth fair and square.

[Dec 24, 2018] Zapadniki in Russia

Dec 24, 2018 |

which is loosely translated as 'western oriented' always have been a minority.

After Ukraine and sanctions of 2014 they are like albinos

Колян Реалов 10 days ago ,

Who from Russian elite look west? Can you tell names? Who in Russian elite speak English except for Minister of foreign affair? Putin doesn't speak English. Some rich Russians have houses in foreign countries though it is 6th or 7th houses after few houses in Russia. If you speak about modern European culture than it has nothing similar with Russian culture. I have seen that Americans don't know Russia at all again.

R. Arandas Колян Реалов 8 days ago ,

Russia is meant to be part of the greater European nation is its destiny.

dorotea R. Arandas 8 days ago ,

Not really. Google up the eternal 'zapadniki' vs 'slavophiles' split among Russian cultural elites. This argument is about 2 centuries old, if you start counting from Pushkin times - i.e. early 1800's. It never gets resolved, but the 'zapadniki' which is loosely translated as 'western oriented' always have been a minority. And with China's geopolitical star rising as quickly as it is, I see no reason for our 'zapadniki' not to become 'vostochniki'.

franciscoalmeida_br Колян Реалов 9 days ago ,

google "russian atlanticists".

Колян Реалов franciscoalmeida_br 9 days ago ,

Russian atlanticists are something like African albinos.

Vic Колян Реалов 9 days ago ,

Yes, if african albinois owned media, had access to billions upon billions of dollars and the full support of the entire NATO propaganda apparatus and used to rule Russia with an iron fist driving it into the mud.

Колян Реалов Vic 9 days ago ,

Pro-western parties have no 5% supporting for being in Russian parliament. Moreover they have no 3%. Russian media regularly show western russophobs. Then more disgusting their lie about Russia in western media than less Russians like west. They can spend any money while westerners lie about Russia, Russian atlantists are like albinos.

I had an account in a Russian bank (MosOblBank). The owner of the bank ran to UK with money of depositors. He has announced that he was under political pressure and UK don't give him to Russia though he is a just thief. I returned my money because it was insured by the government. What could I and few dozen of thousands depositors think about UK after it? A guy like this one is not Russian elite. It is Russian garbage. Majority of Russians consider that Russians living in London are thieves or LGBT.

[Nov 22, 2018] On Thanksgiving eve some Russian oppositionists decided to personally thank the US authorities for the sanctions against Russia.

Nov 21, 2018 |

Vesti News

Published on 21 Nov 2018

On Thanksgiving eve some Russian oppositionists decided to personally thank the US authorities for the sanctions against Russia. They met them in Washington, but instead of the traditional turkey, the guests offered senators and State Department officials to check out their lists of Russians who deserve to be sanctioned.

yalensis November 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Interesting list of names on the Opps hitlist, which these narcs presented to their American overlords.

Note also the names of Zeman, Dodon, Burzhanadze, Maria Le Pen, Graham Phillips, Kedmi, and a few others whom I don't recognize

What a bunch of dirty rats and slimy "stukachi", are these Opps!

[Nov 22, 2018] The New Times has dodged almost certain closure this week by crowdfunding some 25 million rubles to pay off a government fine after an unprecedented show of support.

Nov 22, 2018 |

Moscow Exile November 16, 2018 at 5:16 am

Oh look! What an amazing surprise!!!

The New Times has dodged almost certain closure this week by crowdfunding some 25 million rubles to pay off a government fine after an unprecedented show of support.

The online magazine was handed a crippling fine in late October by the Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor for failing to disclose foreign financing.

"Russian people are very sensitive to injustice, we are a nation of survivors", the magazine's chief editor Yevgenia Albats said.

So despite the fact that nobody reads it, 20 thousand people, according to another Western organ that nobody reads (see link below), stumped up the dosh for Albat's electronic rag.

Nov. 13 2018 – 17:11
20K People Donate to Russian Liberal Outlet to Pay Government Fine

i wonder where the money really came from?

Probably from the same place that funds her publication and which she hasn't revealed for the past 2 years, something that she legally has to, her electronic publication being classed as an NGO.

That's why she got whacked with a fine.

Political persecution, I call it!

Off to the ECHR with you, Yevgenia! You know they'll find in your favour.

[Nov 22, 2018] Navalny has demanded off his regional staff more fake investigations

Nov 22, 2018 |

Moscow Exile, November 16, 2018 at 8:13 am

Навальный потребовал от региональных штабов больше фейковых расследований

A few days ago, it became known that the notorious blogger Aleksei Navalny had set the bar higher for the heads of his regional headquarters as regards number of "anti-corruption investigations" they were to undertake and if they were not undertaken, then the headquarters would be deprived of funding.

Well, taking into account the fact that until today the video clips from the regional offices have been filled with, to put it mildly, a lot of inconsistencies and unreliable facts: so far, nothing good has come out of this.

Suffice it to recall how the staff of the Omsk headquarters once made a false accusation of corruption against the superintendant of the Soviet District of Omsk tax Inspectorate, Anatoly Chekmaryov. The investigation said that for a person not of the highest position, the official had a very luxurious house, which, according to them, was not on the land register, meaning that Chekmaryov allegedly did not pay property tax on it. As it turned out, the information was refuted, and the Navalny headquarters staff had to make a public apology to the official.

A similar story happened in Volgograd, where the "Navalnyites" tried to slander the local authorities, accusing them of buying too expensive cars. However, the auction, on the basis of which this "investigation" was built, had not taken place, and accordingly, no procurement had been made.

In Ivanovo, "The City of Brides" [a textile town with a large female population, hence its nickname -- ME] , the staff of the Navalny headquarters have also distinguished themselves. There, the entire city administration was immediately accused of corruption, which, in the opinion of the Navalny HQ staff, spent too much money on the purchase of software for state institutions. In the end it turned out that the prices were fully consistent with market prices

The number of false accusations made by the Navalnyites can go on endlessly because they have never really bothered to double-check the facts and search for proof. Obviously, following their being put under such pressure by Aleksei, the quality of these "investigations" made by his HQ staff will not only not improve, but vice versa. For the sake of fulfilling the plan and maintaining their salaries, HQ staffs will simply make up new accusations, which even a naive schoolchild would hardly believe. And all in order to help Navalny organize hype around himself and to create some sort of illusion about his popularity.

Mark Chapman says: November 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm
It's really little wonder that Washington is so paternally fond of Navalny and considers him such a stout chap; their methods are similar. Make a nuisance of yourself until the other fellow swings for you, and then there will be a big fight and it's all his fault because he swung first – you were therefore only defending yourself against aggression. It is in this manner that Navalny tries to get noticed and become such a pain in the ass that the authorities must recognize him and talk about him. That's probably why Putin's refusal to name him in public generates such a buzz of excitement among the hamsters. Alexei's tactics are working!!! In much the same fashion, Washington hopes that its sanctions will so damage and complicate the life of ordinary Russians that they must acknowledge it is a great and mighty power, and beg for relief from their torment. Both are fantasizing about what a big noise they are.

[Jul 18, 2018] The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Neoliberal Coin

Notable quotes:
"... There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 |
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin by Dan Corjescu

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonorable graves.

-- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"

There are many modern myths. One of them is about the events of 1989 as being the culmination of a grand historical struggle for freedom and liberty. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For years prior to 1989 the West through a combination of both legal business and criminal activity had interpenetrated the Communist elites with lucrative deals and promises of all kinds.

This situation was even more pronounced in "non-aligned" Yugoslavia who for years had maintained CIA and American and West European business contacts.

In effect, the "cold war" witnessed a rapid convergence between the economic and power interests of both Western and Communist elites.

The "Communists" (in name only of course) quickly realized the economic benefits available to them through at times open at times clandestine cooperation with Western business/criminal interests.

Eventually, Communist elites realized that they had an unprecedented economic opportunity on their hands: state privatization made possible, in part, with active Western participation.

For them, "Freedom" meant the freedom to get rich beyond their wildest dreams.

And the 1990's were just that. A paradise for thieving on an unimaginable scale all under the rubric of the rebirth of "capitalism and freedom".

The true outcome of that decade was that the old communist elites not only retained their social and political power behind the scenes; they also were able to enrich themselves beyond anything the communist dictatorships could ever hope to offer them in the past.

Yes, the price was to give up imperial, national, and ideological ambitions. But it was a very small price to pay; since the East European elites had ceased to believe in any of those things years earlier.

The only firm belief they still held was the economic betterment of themselves and their families through the acquisition by any means of as many asset classes as possible. In effect, they became the mirror image of their "enemy" the "imperialist capitalist West".

This was not a case of historical dialectics but historical convergence. What appeared as a world divided was actually a world waiting to be made whole through the basest of criminal business activity.

But being clever thieves they knew how to hide themselves and their doings behind superficially morally impeccable figures such as Vaclav Havel and Lech Wałęsa, to name just a few. These "dissidents" would be the faces they would use to make a good part of the world believe that 1989 was a narrative of freedom and not outright pubic theft which it was.

Yes, people in the east, even in Russia, are freer now than they were. But it should never be forgotten that the events of 1989/1990 were not even remotely about those revolutionary dreams.

It was about something much more mundane and sordid. It was about greed. It was about the maintenance of power. And finally it was about money.

How deep has the Western nexus of power and wealth gone into the heart of the East? So far indeed that one can easily question to what extent a country like Russia is truly a "national" state anymore and rather just a territory open to exploitation by both local and global elites.

For that matter, we can ask the same question about the USA.

... ... ...

[Jul 06, 2018] Russian "neoliberals" both grant-supported and ones that are not is a separate animal altogether

Jul 06, 2018 |

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm GMT


Quite a few grant-eating "liberals" inside Russia speak the language, but this does not make them any more competent. Basically, they illustrate the saying that "he, who pays the musicians, calls the tune". The same applies to "Russia scholars" residing in the US, regardless of their language proficiency.

Here, I have to politely disagree since Russian "liberals" both grant-supported and ones that are not is a separate animal altogether. Firs, most of them, grants or no grants, are the real deal, they got grants because they are the real deal, not the other way around, and causality in this case really matters. I don't need even to know if Mr. Nekrasov or Gozman are grant-eaters, their hatred of everything Russian is palpable. The only weaker feeling than hatred they have is contempt. This cannot be hidden -- it shines through. They do it for the idea and grants are just a bonus. It all goes back to Russian "Westerners" and liberals about whom Tyutchev (IIRC) left a profound paragraph.

AnonFromTN , June 15, 2018 at 6:31 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

I guess we have to agree to disagree on this. My point is, all these "ideological Russia-haters" eat at least three times a day, and they are used to eating well (no McDonalds burgers for them, they prefer filet mignon). Yes, there is a long history of fights between "Westerners" and "Slavophiles" in Russia, going even before Tyutchev. However, being a "Westerner" one does not have to be a traitor. For example, Peter the Great was a "Westerner", yet he was clearly a Russian patriot (even though he was not quite Russian by blood). Whereas all this scum are traitors. In the US they would be compelled by the law to register as foreign agents.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 15, 2018 at 8:02 pm GMT

We are talking about the same thing with different words. My point is simply that there are whores who do it for money and there are whores who do it for both money and pleasure.

[Jul 03, 2018] No Fifth Column in the Kremlin Think again by The Saker

The problem is that there is no clear alternative to neoliberalism. Russian foreign policy is clearly anti-neoliberal. So in a way, Russia represent another example of National neoliberalism along with Trump "national neoliberalism".
Notable quotes:
"... I believe most of the confusing and seemingly contradictory actions of Putin can be explained if we assume Putin himself as a neo-liberal. It appears he genuinely believes that he can both retain Russian sovereignty and integrate with the west on a neo-liberal framework. My view is that his reluctance with purging Kremlin's 5th column operators come from his belief that their differences are not reconcilable and that a grand bargain with the western elites is possible where they would consider Russia's elites as equal partners. ..."
Jun 29, 2018 |

Following the re-appointment of Medvedev and his more or less reshuffled government, the public opinion in Russia and abroad was split on whether this was a good sign of continuity and unity amongst the Russian leadership or whether this was a confirmation that there was a 5 th column inside the Kremlin working against President Putin and trying to impose neo-liberal and pro-western policies on the Russian people. Today I want to take a quick look at what is taking place inside Russia because I believe that the Russian foreign policy is still predominantly controlled by what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" and that to detect the activities of the "Atlantic Integrationist" types we need to look at what is taking place inside Russia.

The Russian 5 th column and its typical operations

First, I want to begin by sharing with you a short video translated by the Saker Community of one of the most astute Russian analysts, Ruslan Ostashko, who wonders how it is that a rabidly pro-western and vociferously anti-Putin radio station named "Ekho Moskvy" manages not only to elude normal Russian legislation, but even gets money from the gaz giant Gazprom, which is majority owned by the Russian state. Ekho Moskvy is also so pro-Israeli that it has earned the nickname "Ekho Matsy" (Ekho Moskvy means "Echo of Moscow" whereas "Ekho Matsy" means "Echo of the Matzo"). Needless to say, that radio has the unwavering and total support of the US Embassy. It would not be an exaggeration to say Ekho Moskvy serves as in incubator for russophobic journalists and that most the liberal pro-western reporters in the Russian media have been, at one time or another, associated with this propaganda outfit. In spite of this or, more accurately, because of this, Ekho Moskvy has been bankrupt for quite a while already, and yet – it continues to exist. Just listen to Ostashko's explanations ( and make sure to press the 'cc' button to see the English language captions):

Interesting, no? The state giant Gazprom is doing all it can to keep Ekho Moskvy afloat and above the law. In fact, Gazprom has been financing Ekho Moskvy for years! According to the hyper-politically-correct Wikipedia , "As of 2005 Echo of Moscow was majority owned by Gazprom Media which holds 66% of its shares". If Gazprom is majority owned by the Russian state, and Ekho Moskvy is majority owned by Gazprom, then does that not mean that Ekho Moskvy is basically financed by the Kremlin? The reality is even worse, as Ostashko point out, Ekho Moskvy is the most visible case, but there are are quite a few pro-western media outlets in Russia which are financed, directly and indirectly, by the Russian state.

So let me ask you a simple question: do you really think that Ostashko is better informed than the Russian authorities, including Putin himself?

Of course not! So what is going on here?

Before attempting to answer this question, let's look at another interesting news item from Russia, the recent article " Pension reform as a fifth column tool to overthrow Putin " (original title "About a fair pension system") by Mikhail Khazin translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard from the Stalker Zone blog (and cross-posted here and here ). Please read the full article as it sheds a very interesting light on what the Medvedev government has been up to since it was reappointed. What I want to quote here are Mikhail Khazin's conclusions: (emphasis added)

In other words, all of this reform is frank poppycock, a political joke aimed at destroying relations between the People (society) and the Authorities. The specific aim of this is to overthrow Putin, as our liberals are commanded to do by their senior partners from the "Western" global project . And it is precisely like this that we should treat this reform. It has no relation to economic reforms – neither good, nor bad. It not an economic reform, but a political plot! And it is from here that we have to proceed.

Having explained what is really going on, Khazin then goes on the openly state how such an operation is even possible:

Now concerning the media. It should be understood that at the end of the 90's-beginning of the 2000's practically all non-liberal media died. Completely. And of course, practically all non-liberal journalists definitely died (only a few dozen mastodons from the times of socialism remain). And the youth that grew from the faculty of journalism are in general totally liberal. They were a little bit suppressed in the middle of the 2000's, but after Medvedev's arrival to the president's post they again blossomed. But then the attack of the State on everything that doesn't reflect "the policies of the party and the government" began.

And then it so happened that now there are many "patriotic" publications in Russia that employ mainly liberal journalists. An enchanting sight. These journalists (in full accordance with the ideas of Lenin that they didn't read) see their main task as supporting "theirs" – i.e., liberal-financiers, Nemtsov, Navalny and, so on, and to sully the "bloody KayGeeBee"! And it is this that they are involved in, meaning that, propagandising as much as possible the policies of the government, they optimally irritate the population by using Putin personally. There is just a need every time to act out some disgusting story (how an elderly man died on the way to the polyclinic or hospital, how children were taken away from a large family, how an official or a priest hit a pregnant woman and/or juvenile children with their chic car), to explain that this isn't just the result of the policies of the liberal power, but the concrete fault of the President, who put on their posts the very ministers and law enforcement officers who encourage all of this.

Amazing, no? This is an attempt to overthrow Putin and it is covered-up by the (pseudo) patriotic press. What about Putin himself? Why does he not take action? Khazin even explains that:

Of course, the President is guilty, first of all, because he understands that if he starts to cleanse this "Augean stable", then he will be obliged to shed blood , because they won't voluntarily give back their privileges . But the most important thing, and this is the essence: the liberal Russian elite today set for itself the political task of removing Putin. Why it decided to do this is an interesting question: if Putin himself and a liberal are flesh from flesh, then this task is stupid and senseless. Not to mention suicidal. But if he isn't a liberal (it is probably correct to say not a political liberal) then, of course, this activity makes sense . But at the same time, for purely propaganda reasons – because people hate liberals, there is a need to hang the label of political liberal on him.

Now let's connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes "liberal" economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like ( he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005 ) and the so-called "patriotic media" is covering it all up. And Putin cannot change this without shedding blood.


But let us assume, for argument's sake, that Putin is really a liberal at heart, that he believes in " Washington Consensus " type of economics. Even if this was the case, surely he must be aware that 92% of Russians oppose this so-called "reform" . And while the President's spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, declared that Putin himself was not associated with this plan , the truth is that this process does also hurt his political image with the Russian people and political movements. As a direct result from these plans, the Communist Party of Russia is launching a referendum against this project while the "Just Russia" Party is now collecting signatures to dismiss the entire government . Clearly, a political struggle of monumental proportions is in the making and the traditionally rather lame internal opposition to Putin (I am talking about the major political movements and parties, not tiny CIA-supported and/or Soros-funded "NGOs") is now transforming itself into a much more determined kind of opposition. I predicted that about a month ago when I wrote that:

"it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin's personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition"

Those who vehemently denied that there as a real 5 th column problem inside the Kremlin are going to have a painful wake-up call when they realize that thanks to the actions of these "liberals" a patriotic opposition is gradually emerging, not so much against Putin himself as against the policies of the Medvedev government. Why not against Putin?

Because most Russian instinctively feel what is going on and understand not only the anti-Putin dynamics at work, but also how and why this situation was created. Furthermore, unlike most westerners, most Russians remember what took place in the crucial and formative 1990s.

The historical roots of the problem (very rough summary)

It all began in the late 1980s when the Soviet elites realized that they were losing control of the situation and that something had to be done. To really summarize what they did, I would say that these elites first broke up the country into 15 individual fiefdoms each run by gang/clan composed of these Soviet elites, then they mercilessly grabbed everything of any value, became overnight billionaires and concealed their money in the West. Being fabulously rich in a completely ruined country gave them fantastic political power and influence to further exploit and rob the country of all its resources. Russia herself (and the other 14 ex-Soviet republics) suffered an unspeakable nightmare comparable to a major war and by the 1990s Russia almost broke-up into many more even smaller pieces (Chechnia, Tatarstan, etc.). By then, Russia was subserviently executing all the economic policies recommended by a myriad of US 'advisors' (hundreds of them with offices inside the offices of many key ministries and various state agencies, just like today in the Ukraine), she adopted a Constitution drafted by pro-US elements and all the key positions in the state were occupied by what I can only call western agents. At the very top, President Eltisn was mostly drunk while the country was run by 7 bankers the so-called "oligarchs" (6 of which were Jews): the " Semibankirshchina ".

This is the time when the Russian security services successfully tricked these oligarchs into believing that Putin, who has a law degree and who had worked for the (very liberal) Mayor of Saint Petersburg (Anatolii Sobchack) was just a petty bureaucrat who would restore a semblance of order while not presenting any real threat to the oligarchs. The ploy worked, but the business elites demanded that "their" guy, Medvedev, be put in charge of the government so as to preserve their interests. What they overlooked was two things: Putin was a truly brilliant officer of the very elite First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) of the KGB and a real patriot. Furthermore, the Constitution which was passed to support the Eltsin regime could now be used by Putin. But more than anything else, they never predicted that a little guy in an ill-fitting suit would transform himself into one of the most popular leaders on the planet. As I have written many times, while the initial power base of Putin was in the security services and the armed forces and while his legal authority stems from the Constitution, is real power comes from the immense support he has from the Russian people who, for the first time in very long time felt that the man at the top truly represented their interests.

Putin then did what Donald Trump could have done as soon as he entered the White House: he cleaned house. He began by immediately tackling the oligarchs, he put an end to the Semibankirshchina , and he stopped the massive export of money and resources out of Russia. The then proceeded to rebuilt the "vertical of power" (the Kremlin's control over the country) and began rebuilding all of Russia from the foundations (regions) up. But while Putin was tremendously successful, he simply could not fight on all the fronts and the same time and win.

Truth be told, he did eventually win most of the battles which he chose to fight, but some battles he simply could not wage not because of a lack of courage or will on his part, but because the objective reality is that Putin inherited and extremely bad system fully controlled by some extremely dangerous foes . Remember the words of Khazin above: " if he starts to cleanse this "Augean stable", then he will be obliged to shed blood, because they won't voluntarily give back their privileges". So, in a typically Putin fashion, he made a number of deals.

For example, those oligarchs who agreed to stop meddling in Russian politics and who would, from now on, pay taxes and generally abide by the law were not be jailed or expropriated: those who got the message were allowed to continue to work as normal businessmen (Oleg Deripaska) and those who did not were either jailed or exiled (Khodorkovski, Berezovski). But if we look just below the level of these well-known and notorious oligarchs, what we find as a much deeper "swamp" (to use the US expression): an entire class of people who made their fortunes in the 1990s, who are now extremely influential and control most of the key positions in the economy, finance and business and who absolutely hate and fear Putin. They even have their agents inside the armed forces and security services because their weapon of choice is, of course, corruption and influence. And, of course, they have people representing their interests inside the Russian government: pretty much the entire "economic block" of the Medvedev government.

Is it really any surprise at all that these people also have their paid representatives inside the Russian media, including the so-called "pro-Russian" or "patriotic" media? (I have been warning about this since at least 2015)

Just like in the West, in Russia the media depends first and foremost on money and big financial interests are very good at using the media to promote their agenda, deny or obfuscate some topics while pushing others. This is why you often see the Russian media backing WTO/WB/IMF/etc policies to the hilt while never criticizing Israel or, God forbid, rabidly pro-Israeli propagandists on mainstream TV (guys like Vladimir Soloviev, Evgenii Satanovsky, Iakov Kedmi, Avigdor Eskin and many others). This is the same media which will gladly criticize Iran and Hezbollah but never wonder why the Russian main TV stations are spewing pro-Israeli propaganda on a daily basis.

And, of course, they will all mantrically repeat the same chant: "there is no 5 th column in Russia!! None!! Never!!"

This is no different than the paid for corporate media in the US which denies the existence of a "deep state" or the US "Israel Lobby".

And yet, many (most?) people in the US and Russia realize at an almost gut-level that they are being lied to and that, in reality, a hostile power is ruling over them.

Putin's options and possible outcomes

Sadly, in the US, Trump proved to be a disaster who totally caved in to the Neocons and their demands. In Russia, the situation is far more complex. So far, Putin has very skillfully avoided associating himself with the Atlantic Integrationists. Furthermore, the biggest crises of the past decade or so were all associated with foreign policy issues and those are still controlled by the Eurasian Sovereignists. Finally, while the Russian government clearly committed some mistakes or promoted some unpopular policies (such has healthcare reform for example), they also had their undeniable successes. As for Putin, he continued to consolidate his power and he gradually removed some of the most notorious individuals from their positions. In theory, Putin could probably have most top Atlantic Integrationists arrested on corruption charges, but short of engaging in a massive and bloody purge, he cannot get rid of an entire social class which is not only large but powerful.

Some of my contacts in Russia expected a purge of Atlantic Integrationists right after the election, the logic here was "enough is enough" and that once Putin got a strong mandate from the people, he would finally kick Medvedev and his gang out of the Kremlin and replace them with popular patriots. That obviously did not happen. But if this pension reform program continues to further trigger protests or if a major war blows up in the Middle-East or in the Ukraine, then the pro-western forces inside the Kremlin will come under great pressure to further yield control of the country to Eurasian Sovereignists.

Putin is an exceedingly patient man and, at least so far, he won most, if not all, of his battles. I don't believe that anybody can predict for sure how things will play out, but what is certain is that trying to understand Russia without being aware of the internal conflicts and the interests groups fighting for power is futile. In her 1000 year long history, internal enemies have always been far more dangerous for Russia than external ones. This is unlikely to change in the future.

mikkkkas , June 29, 2018 at 8:36 am GMT

Since "The Saker" does not approve difference of opinion or dissent on his own site i will post my response here.

This is yet another episode of "doom & gloom" articles of his in a series that started almost a year ago. If you have read one, you have read them all. Since then a quite 180 degree different and depression-ridden "The Saker" or whatever is hiding under that name has produced articles to the effect that "Putin has surrendered", "the end is nigh" or "it's all over". Hi's sudden embrace of "Paul Craig Roberts" views of all things Russian further confirms that.

The content aren't necessarily wrong and incorrect but the message is very far from what the author initially conveyed. The impression is now that things definitely doesn't bode well for Russia and there's nothing Russians or anyone can do about it, move on. "The Saker" is now using the encouraging confidence he built up with his "community",that has grown significantly over the years, to tear it apart it seems.

Where have we seen that before?

Isabella , June 29, 2018 at 8:48 am GMT
President Putin has himself categorically stated that "there is no such thing as any "5th column". When asked about the presence of Kudrin and a few like him, VP said, "it's useful to hear different points of view, but to suggest they are some sort of 5th column is nonsense"
I think I would trust his word – he has never been known to lie and he has no reason to do so.
He gave his reasons for retaining Medvedev plus a few others – good solid rational reasons. No-body in Russia is doubting them.
Can it be forgotten by this writer, that Medvedev is an appointed position – by the President. Putin can remove him in an instant any time he likes: he holds the strings, and is under thrall to no-one.
As for the article the writer refers to in "The Saker", the provenance of the authors shows how much value to put on it.
The writer – not mentioned here – is one Vadim Potapenko who gives details of himself as living in Cyprus, and working as a Development Manager – Slotegrator : Gambling & Casinos.!!
What a young man working in the ethically questionable world of casinos knows about pension reform and retirement age needs I dont know. He does deal in risk analysis of simplistic systems I guess, but an expert in the complexities of Government policy he can't be.
The second author is Mikhail Khazin – a man who claims to an economist and publicist, and states that "Putin is following the ideas of Andropov. They didn t' work then and they dont now: Putin by his very personality has polarised views in Russia, because some love him and some hate him"
This about a President with an 80% approval rating, a 77% voter return rate, and who is so far from any USSR person it's unbelievable. The mans' complete inability to understand the first thing about Putin, who he is, what he believes in, and the route he is following shows he is the last person whose views should be even listened to.
This brings me to the finale – more and more it seems "The Saker" wants people to believe that there are dark forces at work in the Kremlin, that Putin is either too weak and stupid to deal with them or even worse, is working in with them. In other words, he effects to support the Russian President but calls him a weakling or a traitor!!
Better to read work by qualified people and investigate Russia for yourself – dont be led into thinking Russia would be a cakewalk for anyone thinking of invading and making war on her, because she has a weak and divided leadership. She doesn't have – and waging war on Russia would have only one end, and it's not pretty.
kemerd , June 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm GMT
I believe most of the confusing and seemingly contradictory actions of Putin can be explained if we assume Putin himself as a neo-liberal. It appears he genuinely believes that he can both retain Russian sovereignty and integrate with the west on a neo-liberal framework. My view is that his reluctance with purging Kremlin's 5th column operators come from his belief that their differences are not reconcilable and that a grand bargain with the western elites is possible where they would consider Russia's elites as equal partners.

I think this is not a sustainable position, even if western elites were willing to play ball with Putin and Russia's elites. Because in a neo-liberal world nations cannot retain their sovereignty and that an international cabal of ultra-rich treat the peoples of the world as properties of their own. The best that could have happened would be that Russian elites would be partying with their western fellow billionaires on the corpses of the poor nations of the world. That part, I am convinced, is not acceptable for Putin (i.e. giving up sovereignty in return for a seat on the dinner table but I have serious doubts about anti-imperialism part)

Fortunately for Russia, the same cabal still cannot get over the fact that they lost the opportunity to rape Russia ad infinitum and still looking for holes in the Russian resolve. This will force Russia to take a clear anti-imperialist stand sooner or later, and on a war footing will have to purge all of the (would be) collaborators.

On a second note, it is indeed possible that Putin might have decided to postpone the decision for the purge after the world cup but I will not believe before I see Medvedev and Nabiullina be fired.

Anatoly Karlin , Website June 29, 2018 at 5:56 pm GMT

Of course not! So what is going on here?

The Kremlin is financing the craziest knee-jerk Russophobes to discredit liberalism. The two exist in a comfy symbiotic relationship. What is so difficult about that?

Now let's connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes "liberal" economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like (he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005) and the so-called "patriotic media" is covering it all up.

The same "fifth column" that has over the past 18 years also forced Putin into adopting a flat tax, liberalizing land sales, monetizing benefits, and now pensions reform.

If Putin still hasn't managed to get rid of them, then what the hell is he good for?

At least, that's would I'd be asking – if I was the sort to rail against neoliberal fifth columns.

Reality is, all of those were great successes. Putin is an economic neoliberal and that is a good thing .

Even if this was the case, surely he must be aware that 92% of Russians oppose this so-called "reform".

Where on Earth do people support raising the pension age? Thankfully, many countries (including Russia) have safeguards against demotic idiocy.

As a direct result from these plans, the Communist Party of Russia is launching a referendum against this project while the "Just Russia" Party is now collecting signatures to dismiss the entire government.

The business elites are not in a position to demand anything. Medvedev is there as a whipping boy to protect Putin's ratings. He is very good at that, and that, too, is a good thing.

This is the same media which will gladly criticize Iran and Hezbollah but never wonder why the Russian main TV stations are spewing pro-Israeli propaganda on a daily basis.

The author's anti-Israel crusade is not Russia's. That Russia is not to Iran, Palestine, or Hezbollah what the US is to Israel (a slavish sponsor) is also a good thing.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 29, 2018 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin


The same "fifth column" that has over the past 18 years also forced Putin into adopting a flat tax, liberalizing land sales, monetizing benefits, and now pensions reform.
If Putin still hasn't managed to get rid of them, then what the hell is he good for? Reality is, all of those were great successes. Putin is an economic neoliberal and that is a good thing .

Even if Bershidsky gets it, however in the field which doesn't require any serious skills, except for good accounting. Now, you don't want me to refer to Russia's actual industries, especially hi-tech, which are nationalized, do you? Does the title Rostec ring a bell? What is remarkable, founding of Rostec somehow coincided with Putin's Munich Speech–both events are hardly any evidence of neoliberalism. Is Putin a liberal? Yes, but to a degree and political mostly–his progression from liberal economic model to a mixed model since 2014 is visible to people with even rudimentary knowledge of Russia. This is not to mention that Russia, quoting even Wiki:

Russia has an upper-middle income mixed economy with state ownership in strategic areas of the economy.

Some private bank is not a "strategic" area, nor is "liberalization" of land sales, resources and real hi-tech sector, however, together with agriculture, are. Since the start of Putin's tenure, Russia re-nationalized, that is returned to the state control or ownership, an enormous number of truly strategic companies. In fact, whole industries. Putin recently himself clearly stated that, especially pointing out a bonanza Russian State got from 2008 collapse and from sanctions. These are hardly signs of neoliberalism, not to mention that Russia, rightly so, is considered one of the most protectionist nations in the world. This is if to discount all this theoretical and metaphysical mambo-jumbo on the obvious fact that neoliberalism is dead, together with its founding Free Trade gospel, and stinks to heaven, poisoning surroundings. And, yes, I am sure Russian State has no control over Novatek (it is a bad joke).

FKA Max , Website June 29, 2018 at 8:21 pm GMT

At the very top, President Eltisn was mostly drunk while the country was run by 7 bankers the so-called "oligarchs" ( 6 of which were Jews ): the "Semibankirshchina".

I think Putin today is in a similar situation as Stalin was in the late 1940s regarding Jewish political activism and assertiveness, etc.

Despite Stalin's willingness to support Israel early on, various historians suppose that antisemitism in the late 1940s and early 1950s was motivated by Stalin's possible perception of Jews as a potential "fifth column" in light of a pro-Western Israel in the Middle East.
I think increasing the Jewish (and general) death toll in World War II and decreasing the "official" Jewish population of the Soviet Union served two purposes for Stalin.

Firstly, for propaganda purposes against the Germans higher death tolls were useful, and secondly lower "official" numbers of Jews in the Soviet Union were likely intended to discourage and prevent Jewish empowerment and organizing
Jeffrey Veidlinger writes that "By October 1948, it was obvious that Mikhoels was by no means the sole advocate of Zionism among Soviet Jews. The revival of Jewish cultural expression during the war had fostered a general sense of boldness among the Jewish masses.

This is slightly off-topic, but I just commented on this subject matter in another comments thread, which has to do with the fact that many more persons of Jewish origin live in Russia and the former Soviet states than is commonly known or reported:

Here the original in Russian: Archived link:
And I believe that today, after a great aliyah, the number of halachic Jews in the countries of the former USSR is about four million. And six million more are those who know about their Jewish origin.
Half of the top 25 billionaires in Russia, I believe, come from a Jewish background. I know strong Jewish ethnic and religious networking, nepotism, etc. exists, but to achieve such a high billionaire density even the Jewish population has to be at least 2% of the Russian population (about 3 million at least out of the 150 million Russian population) like it is the case in the U.S. (about 6 million Jews out of a 300 million U.S. population).

Not just 400,000 (which would be 0.3% of the Russian population) or even lower estimates, like some sources claim. Wikipedia for example puts the number of Jews in Russia, at the moment, at a laughable: 179,500
, which would be about o.15% of the Russian population, but Jews are half of the top 25 billionaires in Russia?

Something does not quite compute here, to put it mildly

Putin might know how many Jews really died in the Holocaust and in World War II, and this is his way of telegraphing it and signalling to the Jewish Russian community that they should not get too uppity and bold?

'Holocaust on ice' dance by wife of Putin official causes uproar

Holocaust-themed ice dance sparks outrage

Verymuchalive , June 29, 2018 at 8:54 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

Putin has ensured that foreign interests have been prevented from taking over vital Russian industries such as Oil,Gas, Minerals, Banking and Defence. At best, foreign companies can only get limited concessions under conditions that suit the Russian State, eg BP.
Putin isn't a Neoliberal, he's a pragmatist. This is a very good thing.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 29, 2018 at 9:28 pm GMT
@Anatoly Karlin

But you are of course correct. Russia is of course not neoliberal so far as Putin's kleptocratic chums are concerned.

Exactly, nor do you have any qualifications nor skills to write about Russia since, and I quote Margo Simonyan describing your kind.

Maybe you will finally understand that you do not believe us not because we lie, but because you know horseradish (dick) about surrounding world, because you are badly educated, do not read much and when do, do not read what is needed, you visit all the wrong places and communicate with the same small bunch of prejudiced and/or mental people, who only reinforce your condescending ignorance.

I guess we have an overwhelming empirical evidence supporting these claims, don't we?

Philip Owen , June 29, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

The picture is mixed. The Federal Antimonopoly Service has been given real teeth since its humiliation by the Customs Service under Medvedev. It goes beyond antimonopoly. For example, it reviews incoming foreign investment in the 42 strategic industries. This was originally a protectionist committee. It gave Pepsico a hard time for buying Wimm-Bill-Dann, clearly a military asset. These days its approach to foreigners is "how can I help you? Do you want money?" It is frequently chaired by Putin.

Kudrin's audit committee looks like being FAS Mark 2. He has been given the tools to take Sechin and other state moguls apart. Will he get to the Rotenbergs/Gazprom? Their behaviour is outrageous. Certainly not the kind of corporate governance required for a competitive market. e.g. Gazprom Bank has a Rotenberg son in charge of loans. Gazprom lent another Rotenberg son the money to build Aviapark. No Rotenberg capital at risk during the whole process. Now a $1 Bn asset. Kudrin has a target rich environment. Will he settle out of court or make some high level examples?

Daniel Rich , June 29, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT

@ Isabella,

I judge a wo/man not on his/her words, but his/her deeds. Suffice to say, the difference between Russia in 2000 and Russia today, speaks volumes all by itself and is fully self explanatory as well.

One day the world will realize how close we've come to WW III in the period between 2015/2020. An extended version of the Cuban missile crisis, if you will, but this time with only one statesman participating in this conundrum, the president of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. V.V. Putin.

Much blood has been shed in Syria, including Russian, so it would be unfair to single out one particular country, but I know if it hand't been for Russia stepping up to the plate in 2015, the political landscape [in the M.E. and beyond] would be littered with the corpses of liberty, freedom and unity and the dust wouldn't settle down for decades to come.

The Russian military went in, turned the tide and most of the temporary influx is retreating back to the motherland as we speak. That's how a 'job' is done properly.

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 30, 2018 at 12:39 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Kudrin has a target rich environment. Will he settle out of court or make some high level examples?

Read by letters: F-S-B (Operational Technical Departments–Operativno-Technicheskie Otdely). And then there is always G(R)U. Sure, those boys such as Ulyukaev or Kudrin who saw so "much" in their lives are real "contenders". I am sure Naryshkin knows what color of stool Siluanov is having every day. The same goes for Kudrin. But he is a smart boy–he knows the routine. You obviously missed the revelation of the actual Putin's position in KGB/SVR–it was all over Russia's TV. Other than that–I agree, it is a "target rich" environment and yes, Kudrin is perfect for this job.

Isabella , June 30, 2018 at 1:09 am GMT
@Daniel Rich

Hi Daniel – so good to see you again, I was wondering recently where you might be.

I agree with you – the "proof of the pudding" says it all. One has only to look at the last 18 years, at where Russia and Russians were back then, and look at her now, all under Putins' direction and overall management. You do that, then read this sort of stuff and wonder just what is going on in some people's minds. It makes less than no sense – which means one has to start looking at premises one would not like to think about.
As for expecting some publicist who thinks Putin is a follower of Andropov as a person worth printing and quoting – words fail me.
Good to hear from you Daniel – take care mi amigo.

Isabella , June 30, 2018 at 1:16 am GMT

"Since "The Saker" does not approve difference of opinion or dissent on his own site i will post my response here."

Exactly what brought me here to comment, not on The Saker's own site.
Because I am being critical of the articles' thesis, and because I have criticised the provenance of the two writers of the article on pension reform, I knew it would not be published on his site.
I even had a comment I made, refusing to accept a pathetic reference for supposedly "proving" that V.V. promised to never raise the retirement age, redacted. There's an unfortunate aspect to the Saker site that puts one off making useful critical comment – the "mods" can redact your work – or even ditch the entire piece – and leave a vague comment insulting to your own probity, leaving it looking as though you are some foul mouthed abuser, yet because you wont be published you can't defend yourself.

I do have to commend "Unz" for it's freedom of expression.
Oh – I agree with your take on the article too – so much of Saker has become a doom laden cry that denigrates and decries Putin – which seems very odd.

FKA Max , Website June 30, 2018 at 1:27 am GMT
@FKA Max

Some more background information on how the Soviet internal passport registration system worked, for anyone interested:

In the Soviet Union, when someone with parents of two nationalities received identity papers at age 16, he could pick which nationality to list. A child of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother could put down "Jew [ or not ]." The religious principle of matrilineal descent was irrelevant.
Persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union started with a policy Joseph Stalin initiated in 1937. Every Soviet citizen was required to carry an internal passport and under "nationality," Jews were required to list "Jewish." Beckerman says this policy actually may have been a tough decision for Stalin.

"On the one hand, he followed this Leninist principle [that] all Soviet citizens should just melt into one general populace that doesn't have any distinctions for nationality," he says. " But on the other hand, he wanted to control this population and Jews always had kind of a strange place in the Russian society psyche, so he wanted to know who the Jews were. "


Data on the offspring of mixed couples in the Soviet Union show that they tended formally to affiliate with the nationality of the non-Jewish parent.

and here:

Following the firsthand account of discrimination experienced by Jews in the Soviet Union due to having their "nationality" registered as Jewish in their internal passports. I believe this lends credence to the assumption that most (half-)Jews with just one Jewish parent likely opted to be identified/registered by the nationality of their non-Jewish parent, and further strengthens my hypothesis that Holocaust and Jewish World War II casualties might have been significantly lower than what is generally accepted by mainstream and anti-revisionist Holocaust and World War II historians and researchers

Soviet Passport Line #5

mikkkkas , June 30, 2018 at 7:28 am GMT

Nailed it, well done!

Anon [172] Disclaimer , June 30, 2018 at 5:40 pm GMT

Andrei Martyanov , Website June 30, 2018 at 5:55 pm GMT

@FKA Max

National identity in USSR was important. Well, it is always important and yes, there was latent antisemitism (or whatever it is called) in some spheres of Soviet life. Not as big, though, as Jewish dissidents love to present to those who are ready to listen.

anon [228] Disclaimer , June 30, 2018 at 6:58 pm GMT
@FKA Max

So what was the result of this policy?

Did anybody get shafted ? Did anybody lose ?

FKA Max , Website June 30, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Not as big, though, as Jewish dissidents love to present to those who are ready to listen.

Hahahaha I agree

Do you happen to know if Andrey Illarionov comes from a Jewish background? I know he is a dissident now, but I'm not sure whether he is ethnically Jewish or not.

Auschwitz joke angers Jewish groups

Andrei Illarionov, an economic adviser to the president, made the comparison during a visit to St Petersburg. He has recommended that Russia should not sign the protocol.
"Then we realised Gosplan was much more humane and we ought to call the Kyoto Protocol an international gulag. In the Gulag, though, you got the same ration daily and it didn't get smaller day by day. In the end, we had to call the Kyoto Protocol an international Auschwitz."

ATBOTL , June 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT

What is this dispensationalist neocon garbage? Have Freepers found Unz?

Philip Owen , June 30, 2018 at 11:48 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

I missed the revelation. I tend to focus on business rather than politics. Expert is the only journal I try to read regularly. (I am not fluent but I can usually manage if I focus).

jilles dykstra , July 1, 2018 at 6:57 am GMT
Soros's newspaper still appears in Russia.
A few days after MH17 the front page text something like 'Sorry, Netherlands', in Dutch.
Just imagine a few days after Sept 11 a USA newspaper with headlines, something like 'sorry, we had to kill a few thousand Americans in order te get an excuse for wars against Afghanistan and Iraq' ?
jilles dykstra , July 1, 2018 at 6:59 am GMT
@Daniel Rich

" One day the world will realize how close we've come to WW III in the period between 2015/2020. "

You suppose WWIII will not come.
Hope you're right.
If not, there will be nobody left to realise anthing

mcohen , July 1, 2018 at 7:29 am GMT
After what happened in the groves at jisr al shughour russia stepped up and did what was that time in the syrian war they stood the moral high ground.the rest is history.bear in mind that 100 km away live over million russians and that does not include cyprus.most support likud.
EOLAWKI , July 1, 2018 at 9:19 am GMT
Well spoken. Analysts like the Saker would have us believe that what is happening in Russia is not really happening but something else is happening – something hidden, something powerful, all-pervasive, eating away at Putin's power base and destroying him behind the scenes – like the john Birch Society – A communist under every bed! From what I can see, and I do not believe I am alone by any means, is that if there are dark forces at work in the Kremlin and elsewhere in the media for example, they are profoundly weak and ineffective in Russia at this point. And whilst they might exist, there is little outward evidence of their workings except the odd Navalny incident, or the constant drippings from Western oriented media like the Moscow Times. If you want to see the effects of a REAL, persistent, powerful, pervasive 5th column, you need look any further than the USA with its Zionist lobby and MIC influence on politics and policy. Or the EU with its incredibly powerful bureaucracy and its link to Soros and his ilk. Those are real 5th columns, and by comparison, Russia has little to worry about.

I have followed the Saker for years now, and I too have seen this gradual transformation from top notch analyst to conspiracy theorist. His website has become almost cult-like. He has a few 'moderators' who operate anonymously behind the scenes to filter out unflattering content – not just the crazy insults and freaks that websites like his attract, but honest content that seeks to criticise, sometimes sharply, his views. If you read the comment section, it reads like a religious cult at times, most comments prefaced by the seemingly obligatory preface like "Great analysis, Saker!" "Well said, Saker!" And always there are the comments both on the part of the Saker and his 'community' that praises that community for being 'special', unlike the rubbish of other sites, insightful, and more knowledgeable than others – heaping praise on themselves at the expense of other site with comments to the effect of "We should be proud that we are not like other sites.".

I fear the Saker has over time fallen prey to the old devil's trick of taking oneself too seriously. Someone who is constant the object of unquestioned praise can easily fall into that trap.

Isabella , July 1, 2018 at 9:27 am GMT

Thank you Mikkkkas.

Anon [335] Disclaimer , July 1, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT

quasi_verbatim , July 1, 2018 at 10:17 am GMT

Good to see that freedom of thought and freedom of expression is thriving in Russia. They have fortunately a long way to go in MSM herd-think before they achieve our oppressive anti-human intellectual conformity.

And good luck in overthrowing Putin.

Fatima Manoubia , July 1, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

I agree in that presenting Mr. Putin and Russia as weak seems to encourage military action, or a coup, against it, just "NOW", when the US is trying ( or simply, pretending ) an intend of approach ..This has nothing to do with suppossed "depressive" mood of The Saker himself ..this is a plan .

Thus I agree with you both in the general tone and confussing meddley of articles at Saker´s site, and as well with your impression on the last "generation" of mods ( to my view part of the real staff of this project, The Saker ) who, not only were put in charge of getting rid ( by using the most dirty tricks ) from the genuine former regular commenters/moderators who had a very personal view on what a good moderation and avoiding of harsh censure was, but also have displayed a shameful dictatorial censure and editing which not only amputates genuine and legitimate oppinions but also, as you notice, try, at the same time, to discredit you as commenter for the rest, by implying you were being rude and offensive and moreover denying the right to make things clear by allowing you a response to such a clear outrage, according with most probably direct guidelines from the people who lead The Saker from behind .

This tactic, of obliterating your comment and answering you by implying that you were being offensive, ( and even denigrating ) towards somebody ( mainly the author/ owner of the site and/or his relatives, coleagues and friends ), is common with other sites, like Pat Lang´s SST. This is why I think these two sites are "closely" related .being their paterns so similar also both have military ( more concretely counterintelligence ) background .have a harsh anti-communist stance . and have a team of attack dogs who try to get you giving up on posting when what you say is of no convenience for them ( or their editorial line ) .Then, they use the alibi on your comment not being "intelligent", but then you have there the ubiquitous one-liner sycophant who says nothing all over these two places permanently .who are never summoned .

But, Isabella, what you so confidently say about Mr. Andropov´s policies, intrigates me, since I wonder what idea you have on what the ideas, strategies, tactics and future plans of Mr. Andropov could be to state that VVP is not following them ..I think it is impossible for you, or even for Mr. Khazin, to know what the plans of Mr. Andropov would be, since he was, at different times in the USSR, at the helms of secret security agency and foreign policy, whose main directives were for sure secret, and not at the hand/knowledge of anybody but a few under/of his "umbrella"/confidence call them "siloviki" or whatever you want .

Thus, in spite of that VVP moves seem to confirm he is a liberal playing the same play than the capitalist West, we do not know nothing for sure, since, if this would be obvious for all us, somebody would not be doing its work rightly, as certain senior strategist told me at Fort Russ .
The worst side of this secrecy, obviously needed for strategic purposes, is that common people, as happens to me, could start feeling dissapointed with VVP and discouraged of continuing supporting him .thus some signs from time to time would be neccessary for the people to continue trusting .

Jake , July 1, 2018 at 11:32 am GMT
Of course there is a 5th column inside the Kremlin and Russia. The Anglo-Zionist Empire has paid for it.
Medvedev , July 1, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT

managed to effectively put its #1 liberal critic , Boris Nemtsov

When was he ever relevant?

ploni almoni , July 1, 2018 at 12:01 pm GMT


The Scalpel , Website July 1, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT

Fascinating. What is the source?

DESERT FOX , July 1, 2018 at 1:28 pm GMT
Zionists are Satanists and undermine governments everywhere that they get a foothold and they already created a holocaust in Russia with the 1917 overthrow of the czar and the resulting murder of some 60 million Russians and are now trying to undermine the Russian government again, this is no surprise as this is what Zionists do ie they are killers and wreckers of governments and are trying to do the same here in America.
Vojkan , July 1, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
One thing noticeable regarding people who comment Putin's policies from abroad, not from within Russia: much projection of own prejudices and a lot of wishful thinking.
One thing noticeable regarding Putin's policies: no prejudice, no wishful thinking, just Russian self-consciousness and pragmatism.
Order is restored. Russia's military might is restored. The economy and the living standard have improved. Russia masters her destiny. So far, what he does works. What else?
bj , July 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm GMT

The ladies got a great interview with Aleksandr Dugin–

"Aleksandr Dugin on Millennials, Modernity and Religion"

bj , July 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm GMT
The ladies got a great interview with Alexandr Dugin–

Aleksandr Dugin on Millennials, Modernity and Religion

Dagon Shield , July 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
The article is written by Saker without any doubt for it has his imprimatur of length for readers like me, matzo ball radio says it all. Finally, it seems that Jews and Russians have a sado masochistic arrangements; one can't do without the other. Qui bono?
Svigor , July 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm GMT
So, America is trying to do to Russia what Russia has been trying to do to America for 100 years.

Great story, bro.

mike k , July 1, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
There seems to be unanimity on this site condemning the Saker, and those commenting on his blog. But what if he is simply correct in his suspicions about a fifth column in Russia? Is that really so strange? Do you really think the Atlantacists and their ilk are nonexistent? I notice no real proof of the inaccuracy of the Saker's contentions, but a lot of ad hominem critique of his "mood". Maybe he is dead wrong in all his ideas about Putin's Russia – but where's the proof?? The commenters here seem in danger of falling into the same baseless contentions trap they accuse the Saker of.
tyrone , July 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm GMT

They want the same democratic utopia for Russia they gave to Iraq,Libya ,Ukraine ,Syria etc. etc. etc.

Wally , July 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
@FKA Max

"Putin might know how many Jews really died in the Holocaust "

Please preset proof that any Jews died in 'the holocau$t' as alleged.

Revisionists are just the messengers, the absurd impossibility of the 'holocaust' storyline is the message.

The '6M Jews, 5M others, & gas chambers' are scientifically impossible frauds.
see the 'holocaust' scam debunked here:
No name calling, level playing field debate here:

Anon [425] Disclaimer , July 1, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT

Philip Owen , July 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm GMT

@mike k

To think about "Atlanticists" as some kind of coherent group is to submit to Saker's paranoia. Such paranoia is normal in nationalism. Shades of the John Birch society. If you look for evidence of conspiracy X you will always find it.

Blackdawg , July 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm GMT
Very well written synopsis of the current situation, and how Russia came to be in this place at this time. I appreciate the recap of the history from Yeltsin moving forward.
Svigor , July 1, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT

Saker's a clown.

hyperbola , July 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm GMT
The "atlanticists" are a rampant fifth column throughout Europe. Germany is particularly badly infested and in need of a thorough cleaning out. Russians will be better off if they can keep them mostly out of their country.

Die Zeit Die Anstalt Netzwerke Think Tank Josef Joffe

Tyrion 2 , Website July 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm GMT
Given Russian life expectancy, Russian pension age was too low. Naturally, raising it temporarily lowered Putin's popularity, but taking that hit is the essence of forward-thinking leadership.
Milton , July 1, 2018 at 8:24 pm GMT

You Israeli-First traitors love citing Ezekiel 38 and Isaiah 17 to justify your wicked warmongering, but in your malice you have been blinded to the fact that Isaiah 17 describes not only the destruction of Damascus but also the destruction of a wicked faction in Israel: the Baal-worshipping Zionists whom you think are beyond God's reach.

Johnny Rico , July 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT
You guys getting excited? That false flag and/or "Ukro-Nazi" attack by the "Anglo-Zionist" Empire is still happening right?

During the World Cup. Remember?

Anybody want to bet on the exact date?

Ya think the refs throwing the game to the Russians today is all part of the master plan?

obwandiyag , July 1, 2018 at 10:44 pm GMT
These are the people who murdered millions and millions under Yeltsin. By "privatizing" and other wonderful "conservative" "capitalist" policies. Getting rid of Communism by killing all the people who benefit by it. Brilliant.

So I guess that makes these "5th columnists" good, right? By your lights, anyway.

Wally , July 1, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT

Except those who 'benefited from Communism' are the ones who got rid of Communism.

paullllllllllll , July 1, 2018 at 11:44 pm GMT
I think it's clear at this point that Putin serves the globalist elites. He is in the process of serving Syria and Iran to them on a dish.
FKA Max , Website July 2, 2018 at 1:11 am GMT
@FKA Max

I'm still puzzled as to why Illarionov made that Kyoto Protocol-Auschwitz comparison, and I am still not sure if he is ethnically Jewish or not. I found some new indicators that point to him having Jewish roots, though.

Either he made the comment in sincerity and not as a joke, or someone (Putin?) told him to say it that way for propaganda purposes. Maybe being asked/forced to make that comparison also contributed to him quitting his job some months later?

In a 2005 interview after his resignation from his economic advisory post, he says the following, which could indicate that the Kyoto Protocol-Auschwitz comparison was not of his own making, but a talking point given to him by the Kremlin public relations and propaganda department:

This (gas) war was the last drop in my decision to resign. I was offered to take part in it as a propagandist who would explain why the price hike and everything else that is being done in our bilateral relations are liberal economic policies. However, the factors that led to this decision have nothing in common with liberal economic policies.,8599,1145192,00.html

Now to the point why I believe that Andrey (or Andrei, I don't know which spelling is the correct one) Illarionov might come from a Jewish background. He worked under/with "Young Turks" economist Yegor Gaidar who apparently was of Jewish extraction. This, in my opinion, increases the likelihood that Illarionvo is too. According to some Russian nationalists Medvedev is as well.

Having outlined all of the problems with the country, he announced who was responsible – the Jews. "[Yegor] Gaidar [in charge of privatisation under Yeltsin] – he is a Jew. What good has come in the last 17 years?" He continued, "We are international communists. Our fight is not with the Chechens or the Georgians. It is with the Jews!"
The Jewish community in Moscow were equally concerned about Medvedev's ethnicity. One local Jewish leader was quoted as saying, "I pray it isn't true, because it would only make trouble, for him and for us".

During his presidency, Vladimir Putin built his popularity on the traditional ground of national pride and defence of Russia from ill-willed foreigners, but, to his credit, he has a record of speaking out against antisemitism. His comments that he was "ashamed" of antisemitism in Russia when he visited Auschwitz in 2005 were seen as groundbreaking here.

Putin seems to send mixed messages on and to the Jewish community. One to please his domestic audience of voters who, understandably, are overwhelmingly counter-semitic, because they blame predominately-Jewish economists and bankers and their radical and failed economic policies for the many millions of premature deaths during the 1990s economic crisis in Russia.

An extra 2.5-3 million Russian adults died in middle age in the period 1992-2001 than would have been expected based on 1991 mortality.

And one philo-semitic or semitic-sympathique message to his predominately-Jewish billionaire/oligarch financial backers to assure them and clam them down that they are safe with him, unless they turn on him or try to undermine his authority.

Here a video of Illarionov talking about the Russian economy. By the way, he considers himself to be a libertarian, which could be another indicator that he is Jewish, since libertarianism is very popular with Jews

Economics in Russia – Andrei Illarionov | Rhodes 2016

JamesinNewMexico , July 2, 2018 at 2:01 am GMT

The important question: does the truth matter? Most people want the answer they want, not the truth and should be forced to truthfully answer why. One day that will happen.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:19 am GMT
With all due respect, I think that seeing Russian politics as eternal fight between Eurasian Sovereignists (used to be called Slavyanophiles under tsars) and Atlantic Integrationists (used to be called Westerners in tsarist times) is naïve, maybe even childish. Not to mention that this does not explain why China is where it is now, and many other obvious things.

I'd propose an alternative theory. Russian and Chinese elites include people who are OK being second- or even third-rate in the world elites, and those who want to be first-rate. The latter are patriotic, because you cannot be first-rate unless you have a strong truly sovereign country behind you. Apparently, Putin, Xi, and many Russian and Chinese oligarchs supporting them, want to be seen as first-rate, equals among equals, in contrast to pathetic nonentities like Ukrainian "president" Poroshenko, most Ukrainian oligarchs, Polish elites, or elites of vaudeville Baltic statelets.

Thing is, if your country is a poodle of the US, you are second-rate at best (e.g., EU elites), but when your country is a poodle of the EU, you are no better than third-rate. So, the whole intrigue in Russian and Chinese politics is essentially the struggle between ambitious members of the elites (they call themselves patriots, thereby wooing the support of the populace), and weaker-spirited members, who would rather be third-rate than fight for a better position (pro-US, or generally pro-Western forces). So far proud patriots are winning in both Russia and China, but lower grade pro-Western forces won't concede and keep fighting. As far as pension reform in Russia goes, robbing the public to enrich the elites is in the interests of both factions. However, I won't be surprised if the patriotic faction blames it all on pro-Western forces, which Russian and Chinese people do sincerely despise.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:29 am GMT

That's what Ukies hope for. They were always wrong (Mazepa serving Sweden, some scum serving Austro-Hungarian Empire, some scum serving Hitler, "holier-than-thou" communists serving USSR, etc.). They are wrong again. But it's inhumane to say this: you don't want to shatter pipe dreams of people who have nothing else, and never will.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

Lots of people pretended to be persecuted just to get freebees in the US and elsewhere. Antisemitsm was by ~90% the myth created by these people. One example I know first-hand: in my year at the school of Biology in the best and most privileged Moscow State University about 20-25% of students were Jewish or half-Jewish, whereas Jews constituted 2-3% of the USSR population.

AnonFromTN , July 2, 2018 at 3:11 am GMT

A note for those who know stats: this was a representative sampling: ~ 250 people graduated from MSU School of Biology in my year, and the picture was pretty much the same in subsequent years.

Bill spence , July 2, 2018 at 3:30 am GMT

A 5th column in the Kremlin won't do anything. You need one in the security service or in the army.

Saker likes to waste our time when he spins fantasies.

FKA Max , Website July 2, 2018 at 3:51 am GMT
@FKA Max

Dmitry Medvedev denies having any Jewish roots/ancestry:

The following source claims his mother is Jewish, but I don't know how reliable he is:

As a sidenote, Medvedev's visit is all the more interesting given that he is a Jew, the son of a Jewish mother and the first Jew to become President of Russia, much less enter the Kremlin in any capacity besides the following: doctor, scientist, military hero, foreigner.

I've personally confirmed Medvedev's Jewish identity with former Muscovites, who say that Medvedev's mother regularly attended the main synagogue in Moscow. The subject has not been broached much in Russian media, as Medvedev is Putin's man, and, well, Russian journalists know what's good for them, or they have an accident – there is freedom of choice in Russia. I wonder if anyone's bothered to tell the Arabs. Archived link :

Anonymous [116] Disclaimer , July 2, 2018 at 3:58 am GMT

You will notice that the comments section at that site is infested with leftist dinosaurs. Maybe they have a certain influence on the analyses.

CrownLeaf , July 2, 2018 at 5:00 am GMT

You are spot on. I, too, have noticed a change toward the negative on The Saker's part. A bit befuddling. Seems that Russia and Putin have been doing well on numerous fronts, in spite of Western attempts to the contrary. Difficulties may often exist, but I just don't see 5th column doom and gloom.

Putin is perhaps the most rational, level headed, intelligent leader whom I've seen in my lifetime. Wish we had his equivalent in the USA.

[May 27, 2018] America's Fifth Column Will Destroy Russia by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Paul Craig Roberts is right about dominance of neoliberal economics in Russia. But what is the alternative?
Notable quotes:
"... If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand. ..."
"... For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments. ..."
"... Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West. ..."
"... As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies. ..."
"... Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development. ..."
May 25, 2018 |

This is the lecture I would have given if I had been able to accept the invitation to address the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia this weekend.

Executive Summary:

From the standpoint of Russia's dilemma, this is an important column. Putin's partial impotence via-a-vis Washington is due to the grip that neoliberal economics exercises over the Russian government. Putin cannot break with the West, because he believes that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia's integration within the Western economy. That is what neoliberal economics tells the Russian economic and financial establishment.

Everyone should understand that I am not a pro-Russian anti-American. I am anti-war, especially nuclear war. My concern is that the inability of the Russian government to put its foot down is due to its belief that Russian development, despite all the talk about the Eurasian partnership and the Silk Road, is dependent on being integrated with the West. This totally erroneous belief prevents the Russian government from any decisive break with the West. Consequently, Putin continues to accept provocations in order to avoid a decisive break that would cut Russia off from the West. In Washington and the UK this is interpreted as a lack of resolve on Putin's part and encourages an escalation in provocations that will intensify until Russia's only option is surrender or war.

If the Russian government did not believe that it needed the West, the government could give stronger responses to provocations that would make clear that there are limits to what Russia will tolerate. It would also make Europe aware that its existence hangs in the balance. The combination of Trump abusing Europe and Europe's recognition of the threat to its own existence of its alignment with an aggressive Washington would break the Western alliance and NATO. But Putin cannot bring this about because he erroneously believes that Russia needs the West.

If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand.

In reality the helping hand was a grasping hand. The hand grasped Russian resources through privatization and gave control to American-friendly oligarchs. Russian economists had no clue about how financial capitalism in its neoliberal guise strips economies of their assets while loading them up with debt.

But worse happened. Russia's economists were brainwashed into an economic way of thinking that serves Western imperialism.

For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments.

Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West.

As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies.

Indeed, it is the Russian government's mistaken belief that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia being included as part of the West that has caused Putin to accept the provocations and humiliations that the West has heaped upon Russia. The lack of response to these provocations will eventually cause the Russian government to lose the support of the nationalist elements in Russia.

Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development.

Russian economists are so indoctrinated with neoliberal economics that they cannot even look to America to see how a once great economy has been completely destroyed by neoliberal economics.

The US has the largest public debt of any country in history. The US has the largest trade and budget deficits of any country in history. The US has 22 percent unemployment, which it hides by not counting among the unemployed millions of discouraged workers who, unable to find jobs, ceased looking for jobs and are arbitrarily excluded from the measure of unemployment. The US has a retired class that has been stripped of any interest payment on their savings for a decade, because it was more important to the Federal Reserve to bail out the bad loans of a handful of "banks too big to fail," banks that became too big to fail because of the deregulation fostered by neoliberal economics. By misrepresenting "free trade" and "globalism," neoliberal economics sent America's manufacturing and tradeable professional skill jobs abroad where wages were lower, thus boosting the incomes of owners at the expense of the incomes of US wage-earners, leaving Americans with the lowly paid domestic service jobs of a Third World country. Real median family income in the US has been stagnant for decades. The Federal Reserve recently reported that Americans are so poor that 41 percent of the population cannot raise $400 without selling personal possessions.

Young Americans, if they have university educations, begin life as debt slaves. Currently there are 44,200,000 Americans with student loan debt totalling $1,048,000,000,000 -- $1.48 trillion!

In the US all 50 states have publicly supported universities where tuition is supposed to be nominal in order to encourage education. When I went to Georgia Tech, a premier engineering school, my annual tuition was less than $500. Loans were not needed and did not exist.

What happened? Financial capitalism discovered how to turn university students into indentured servants, and the university administrations cooperated. Tuitions rose and rose and were increasingly allocated to administration, the cost of which exploded. Today many university administrations absorb 75% of the annual budget, leaving little for professors' pay and student aid. An obedient Congress created a loan program that ensnares young American men and women into huge debt in order to acquire an university education. With so many of the well-paying jobs moved offshore by neoliberal economics, the jobs available cannot service the student loan debts. A large percentage of Americans aged 24-34 live at home with parents, because their jobs do not pay enough to service their student loan debt and pay an apartment rent. Debt prevents them from living an independent existence.

In America the indebtedness of the population produced by neoliberal economics -- privatize, privatize, deregulate, deregulate, indebt, indebt -- prevents any economic growth as the American public has no discretionary income after debt service to drive the economy. In America the way cars, trucks, and SUVs are sold is via zero downpayment and seven years of loans. From the minute a vehicle is purchased, the loan obligation exceeds the value of the vehicle.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Meru, a dentist earning $225,000 annually, has $1,060,945.42 in student loan debt. He pays $1,589.97 monthly, which is not enough to cover the interest, much less reduce the principal. Consequently, his debt from seven years at the University of Southern California grows by $130 per day. In two decades, his loan balance will be $2 million.

If neoliberal economics does not work for America, why will it work for Russia? Neoliberal economics only works for oligarchs and their institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, who are bankrolled by the central bank to keep the economy partially afloat. Washington will agree to Russia being integrated into the Western system when Putin agrees to resurrect the Yeltsin-era practice of permitting Western financial institutions to strip Russia of her assets while loading her up with debt.

I could continue at length about the junk economics, to use Michael Hudson's term, that is neoliberal economics. The United States is failing because of it, and so will Russia.

John Bolton and the neocons should just relax. Neoliberal economics, which has the Russian financial interests, the Russian government and apparently Putin himself in its grip, will destroy Russia without war.

[Feb 15, 2018] The US Has Just The structure of Russian neoliberal fifth column

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Integrationists ..."
"... Eurasian Sovereignists ..."
"... What can we do? ..."
"... very approximate translation ..."
"... if your enemy slaps you in your face, you have to immediately slap him back lest you look weak ..."
"... if your enemy slaps you in the face you step back and plan how to bring him down in the long run because what matters is not the short-lived posturing, which can be even dangerous and counter-productive, but playing the long run and winning ..."
"... good luck to the Americans trying get anything major done on the planet without our support ..."
"... the Russian spy chief behind 2016 election hacking campaign ..."
"... you need us a heck of a lot more than we need you because you need to work with us or else you won't get anything done, we are still willing to work with you, but if you go crazy then your global interests will suffer much more than our ours; for all your hot air, you have been working with us all along and if you go overboard with the nonsense we will first reveal the extend of our collaboration and, if that is not enough to cool you down, we will terminate it ..."
"... what is the Russian share of the gross world product, how many aircraft carriers does Russia have and what is the Russian weight in international financial institutions? And how is your vodka-soaked Ruble doing anyway, buddy?! ..."
"... when is the last time you got anything successfully done, you dumb pompous ass ..."
Feb 15, 2018 |

Two things are noteworthy: first, this list completely ignores one of the most important realities of Russian politics: that the real, dangerous, opposition to Putin is not from the people (who support him at anywhere between 60% to 80%+) or from the Russian media (which, while often critical, does not represent a real threat to him) or even the Duma (whose opposition parties are critical of the Kremlin, but who are very careful about criticizing Putin himself lest they lose support from the people) . For years now I have been explaining that the real opposition to Putin is a) inside the ruling elites, including the Presidential Administration and the Government and b) big money: banks, oligarchs, etc.

I call this (informal) opposition the " Atlantic Integrationists " because what these pro-western globalists want is for the AngloZionist Empire to accept Russia as an equal partner and to have Russia fully integrate the US-controlled international financial and security structures: WTO, NATO, EU, G7/8, etc. Very roughly speaking you could them of them as the "Medvedev people" (but you could also say that the Ministers in charge of the Russian economy all fall into this category, as do almost all the heads of Russian banks).

Eurasian Sovereignists ". These are the folks who see the future of Russia in the South, East and even North, who want to pull Russia out of the AngloZionist international financial and security structures and who want a truly sovereign Russia to contribute to a new truly multi-polar world in collaboration with countries like China or the other BRICS countries. Very roughly you could call these people the "Putin people" (but you could also say that figures such as Ivanov, Rogozin, Shoigu and a few others are key personalities).

This is important because the this list of (potentially sanctioned) people makes absolutely no distinctions between these two groups. Check out this article on RT entitled " Major Russian bank will no longer service defense industry over US sanctions fears ". It quotes the Alfa Bank CEO Mikhail Fridman whose net worth is estimated at $16.2 billion by Forbes, as saying that the magazine that Alfa-Bank was cutting ties with the Russia's defense industry, adding, " What can we do? ". Now look at the list, Appendix II, entry #23. Do you see who is there? Yup, the very same Mikhail Fridman!

Now let me add this: in the current political climate in Russia, to have bank accounts in the West is considered shameful and unpatriotic and that is something which even most dishonest and hypocritical Eurasian Sovereignists can hardly afford for political reasons (that does not mean that some don't try, they do, but at a great political risk). In contrast, among Atlantic Integrationists, whose power and influence does not depend on public opinion, having assets abroad is much less dangerous and, therefore, much more common.

Now that the the US Treasury has released this "list of marked individuals" (and their families, relatives or associated corporate entities) for potential, unspecified, future sanction, who do you think will freak out most, the Eurasian Sovereignists or the Atlantic Integrationists? Then look a step further and forget about the US for a second: Russia is trying hard to work with the Europeans in many join projects. What do you think the creation of such a list will have on joint ventures between EU and Russian businessmen? I predict two things:

  1. It will place a great deal of pressure on EU corporations not to do business when the Russians and, therefore, it will further place the EU and the US on a collision course.
  2. It will hurt the Atlantic Integrationists were it hurts them the most: in their financial interests.

Frankly, if I was paid to think long and hard about how to come up with the dumbest and most self-defeating foreign policy decision for the USA I could never do better than what the Trump Administration and Congress have just done. This is, by the way, something which all Russian analysts agree with. What they don't agree with are the reasons for that seemingly completely and terminally stupid move. Here are the various schools of thought in Russia on that account:

Group One: "the slap in the face of Russia":

They believe that the sole intention was to insult and humiliate Russia by basically declaring that all the top Russian people are gangsters. According to them, there ain't much the US can do to Russia other than to continue a petty war of insults and harassment (like the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the seizure of Russian consular buildings in the USA).

Group Two: "it's all internal US politics":

That groups says that this has nothing to do with Russia at all. According to them, the US economy is doing well under Trump, the Democrats have nothing to use against him so all they do is continue to hammer the "Russian threat" fairytale to which Trump responds with deliberately ineffective and totally symbolic actions which make it look like he is anti-Russian when in reality he is quietly sabotaging the Democrats' attempts at truly worsening relations with Russia and preventing the Democrats from playing the "Russian threat" card against Trump.

Group Three: "Трамп Наш" (Тrump is ours):

Some even go as far as saying that this list is most damaging to the people opposed to Putin and that it gives him a pretext to fire them all after the Presidential elections in Russia. Far from considering Trump a bumbling idiot, this group sees him as a consummate politician who is actually creating the circumstances to really hurt his (real) enemies and help his (real) friends.

Group Four: "Наших бьют!" (Our people are under attack!):

This is the group which doesn't care at all why the US is doing this or that, no matter how clumsy. All they care about is that this is yet another attack on "our people" (meaning Russian individuals or corporate entities) and that means that Russians should "circle the wagons" and come to the rescue of those thus attacked. This group most vociferously demands retaliatory steps from the Kremlin. They are a vocal minority.

Group Five: "Филькина Грамота" (Botched document produced by clueless idiots [ very approximate translation !]) This is the group which basically says that it is all much more simple and no complex explanations are needed: the Trump Administration and Congress is composed of clueless idiots who have no idea what the hell they are doing and who just like to produce some policy decisions just to look like they still matter in world where they really don't. Putin himself seems to be in this last group as he officially called this latest US document " complete stupidity ".

Frankly, in my experience the decision making process in the USA is almost never the result of a efforts of single actor. In fact, US political decisions are the "sum vector" of the effect of many different vectors acting together to produce a sum vector which sometimes looks nonsensical but which is still the logical result from the joint effect of all the vectors which determined it. In other words, all the explanations above could be right, albeit to various degrees. This being said, I strongly favor the last one as, like Putin, I have come to the conclusion that the Empire is run by stupid, ignorant ideologues who live in a world totally detached from reality.

What is absolutely certain is that this latest move by the USA is, again, a dream come true for Putin and his supporters, especially right before the elections.

First and foremost, this is clearly an attack on "our guy" and even on "all of us" and this triggers a very strong reaction of support from the people. Furthermore, it separates all Russians into basically two camps: first, Putin supporters and, second, those who are so totally sold out to the USA (like Ksenia Sobchak) that they would even hand back Crimea just in order to be friends with the West. The first group must roughly include, oh, let's say 95%-98% of the population, the 2nd one about 2%-5%.

Second, it is now clear that every Russian oligarch (along with his family members and colleagues) has a big bullseye painted on his back and that he now should hurry to place his assets in the only location were the Empire cannot seize them: inside Russia.

To sum it all up: the latest move is a true blessing for Putin and Russia in both economic and political terms and the only ones really hurt by all this are the Atlantic Sovereignists (who are really going through some very bad times anyway).

The paradox: US sanctions – a blessing in disguise?

Let's think about what the USA has been doing over the past couple of years. Officially, the USA has been trying to "isolate" Russia. But isolate from exactly what? From Peru? Or maybe from cultural exchanges with Morocco? Hardly. When the USA says that it wants to isolate Russia it means cut Russia off the western markets (trade), the western financial system (credit) and the western political elites (fora).

These sanctions were supposed to hurt Russia precisely because Russia was, at least in part, dependent on trade with the EU, credits from western financial institution and her participation in G8 (now G7) type of events.

Putin predicted that it would take 2 years for Russia to recover from these sanctions (and the concomitant drop in energy prices) and he was right: Russia not only created new trade ties, but also finally began investing in her internal market, she found credits elsewhere (China) and in terms of fora, it really turned out that the G7 without Russia was more or less like the Council of Europe or, for that matter, the UN Security Council: useless. Instead, world leaders began booking flight and visiting Moscow.

Now the latest US sanctions are putting an immense amount of pressure on Russian oligarchs to bring their money back home. It sure looks to me that US sanctions made it possible for Putin to do something he might never have been able to do without them: to seriously begin reforming Russia (which badly needed such reforms). Remember, Eurasian Sovereignists are just that – sovereignists; whereas Atlantic Integrationists are just that – integrationists. By "cutting off Russia from the West" – whose agenda did the USA really hurt, the integrationists or the sovereignists? Could it be that Putin owes his immense popularity, and Russia her success, at least in part to US sanctions?

The fundamental theory of deterrence hold that "deterrence is in the eye of the beholder". In other words, I cannot assume that what would deter me would also deter you. In order to deter you I need to understand what your goals and values are. I submit that when the US elites decided to sanction Russia (putatively to deter her from further resisting the Empire) they made a fundamentally wrong assumption: that Russia was ruled by Atlantic Integrationist types who would be horrified and deterred.

Instead, these sanctions ended being a blessing for the Eurasian Sovereignists who used these sanctions to paralyze the Atlantic Sovereignists, to push through much needed reforms and basically eliminate the pro-Western opposition. In so many ways Russia is still a mess and a struggling country, but thanks to US sanctions none of that will have any impact at all on the next Presidential elections in Russia and the Eurasian Sovereignists are more powerful than ever before. Thank you, Uncle Shmuel!

Possible Russian reactions:

Whatever the reasons for all this nonsense, this does beg some kind of reaction from Russia and I think that judging by all the similar situation in the recent past, the Russian reaction is fairly easy to predict.

First, there will be no grandiose gesture or loud hyperbolic statements out of the Kremlin. Putin jokingly deplored that his own name was no on the list, Peskov said that this was a hostile act, a few Russian Duma members canceled planned trip to the USA and Russian commentators expressed various degrees of dismay and disgust. But, all in all, this is very, very little.

As usual, this will be completely misunderstood in the West where the culture is roughly " if your enemy slaps you in your face, you have to immediately slap him back lest you look weak ". In most of Asia (and the Middle-East, by the way), the norm is totally different: " if your enemy slaps you in the face you step back and plan how to bring him down in the long run because what matters is not the short-lived posturing, which can be even dangerous and counter-productive, but playing the long run and winning ".

You could say that in the West the attention span and long-term planning is counted in days or weeks, while in Asia and the Middle-East it is counted in years and decades. So while there might not be anything particularly photogenic or quote-worthy coming out of the Kremlin, a few Russians did drop hints of what the Russian policy will be: " good luck to the Americans trying get anything major done on the planet without our support ".

And just to make that point clear to those who can connect the dots, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, speaking on the Russian TV channel Rossiya One, declared that the Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, recently traveled to the USA and met with some high level US personalities (including, according to US sources , CIA Director Mike Pompeo).

As Newsweek wrote , Naryshkin would be " the Russian spy chief behind 2016 election hacking campaign " which various nutcases even called an act of war. He is on the very top of all these sanctions list, but there he is, traveling inside the USA and meeting with top US officials.

Why did Antonov leak this? Simply to show that for all the huffing and puffing and hyperbolic grandstanding from the USA, the reality is that the USA and Russia are still very much working together because they really cannot afford not doing so (as I write these words I got a link to a WaPo article now saying that Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and even Colonel-General Korobov, the head of the Main Directorate of the General Stuff (GU GSh), the military intelligence service (ex-GRU) also took part in this trip to the USA.)

So that is the real Russian message to the USA: you need us a heck of a lot more than we need you because you need to work with us or else you won't get anything done, we are still willing to work with you, but if you go crazy then your global interests will suffer much more than our ours; for all your hot air, you have been working with us all along and if you go overboard with the nonsense we will first reveal the extend of our collaboration and, if that is not enough to cool you down, we will terminate it .

There is no doubt in my mind that for most inhabitants of the AngloZionist Empire the notion of the almighty USA needing the struggling (and economically comparatively small) Russia more than Russia needs the USA is laughable. These folks would say something like that: " what is the Russian share of the gross world product, how many aircraft carriers does Russia have and what is the Russian weight in international financial institutions? And how is your vodka-soaked Ruble doing anyway, buddy?! "

The Russians wouldn't reply much of anything, most would just smile in contempt and think something along the lines of " when is the last time you got anything successfully done, you dumb pompous ass ". That's fundamentally fine since this message is really not destined to ideological drones but to those in power in the USA who are aware of the real scorecard of Uncle Sam and who realize that right now it is the Empire, not Russia, which is almost completely paralyzed, and isolated (oh irony!) on all levels.

Conclusion one: the Empire's main export is hot air

Many of my friends and readers send me various articles with all sorts of quotes by US officials and I have a really hard time explaining to them that they should stop listening to this endless bombastic verbiage. Not only because the vast majority of officials making these statements are both stupid and ignorant, but because the main export of the AngloZionist Empire nowadays is hot air.

We saw that recently with the grand statements about Kurdistan or, for that matter, the plans "A", "B", "C" and "D" about Syria: all delivered with the same final gravitas. This is counter-intuitive, I will admit that.

After all, when the President of the nuclear superpower, a three star general or any other senior official takes the floor to make an official statement, we automatically tend to assume that what they say matters, especially if they are surrounded by flags and many exited reporters. But it really doesn't. Especially not when the "other guy" (the Russians and the Chinese) come from a culture which frowns upon loudmouthed histrionics: "make my day, punk" is just not an (Eur-)Asian way of delivering threats.

I don't mean to suggest that we should ignore the Empire, most definitely not, but we should look at what the Empire actually does and more or less ignore it's constantly running narcissistic commentary. When the Empire promises to do something right, it usually lies. When it promises to do something wrong, these are usually empty threats. So what's the point of paying so much attention to these promises?

Conclusion two: learning optimism and caution from history

If we look at world history we can always see the same phenomenon taking place: when things to well, the elites are united, but as soon as things go south, the elites turn on each other. The reason for this is quite simple: elites are never as united as they pretend to be.

In reality Empires, and any big country, really, are run by a coalition of elites who all benefit from the established order. They can hate each other, sometimes even kill each other (SA vs SS, Trotskyists vs Stalinists, etc.), but they will work together just like crime families do in the mob. But when a real, profound, crisis becomes undeniably apparent, these ruling elites typically turn on each other and when that happens, nobody is really in charge until, eventually, the entire system comes tumbling down or a new main ruler/group emerges.

Right now the AngloZionists elites are locked into a huge struggle which is likely to last for the foreseeable future. However, we need to be aware that such a situation can also be used be a previously less visible party to make a move and seize power. That is exactly how Putin came to power, pushed by the Russian security services even while Eltsin was still the nominal head of state.

This also fully applies to the Ukraine which is also run by a group of people whose main current contribution to the world scene is hot air. But that could change very, very fast. This is why while I recommend more or less ignoring the hot air coming out of the top US (or Ukie) officials, I would keep an attentive eye on the level right below them, especially the US (or Ukie) military.

Finally, we should never confuse the inability to get anything done with the inability to make things worse: the latter does not flow from the former. Nazi Germany was basically defeated in Stalingrad (Feb 1943) but that did not prevent it from murdering millions more people for another two and a half years before two Soviet soldiers placed the Soviet flag on top of the Reichstag. We are still far away from such a "Reichstag flag" moment, but we sure are witnessing the AngloZionist "Stalingrad" taking place before our eyes.

[Feb 05, 2018] Korybko The US Deep State And The Democrats Are The Problem, Not The Solution Zero Hedge

Looks like Mr. Kortunov completely forgot about Obama administration actions in Ukraine ;-). Which IMHO makes this "deep thinker" a babbling idiot. .
Feb 05, 2018 |
Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,

The latest policy recommendations by the influential Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), one of the most well-respected and listened-to experts in Russia – to say nothing of the entire former Soviet space – is causing quite a stir by waxing nostalgically about the Obama years and even suggesting that Moscow should embrace the American "deep state".

Mr. Kortunov's Case For Russia's "Deep State"-Democrat Partnership

Mr. Andrey Kortunov is one of the most brilliant minds in Russia and earned his place as the Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and his words accordingly carry much weight for the fact that they set the tone for countless other analysts in the country and even an untold number of policymakers who look to him for guidance.

That's why it caused quite a stir when he published his latest recommendation earlier this week at the famous Valdai Club titled " Russian Approaches to the United States: Algorithm Change Is Overdue ", in which he waxed nostalgically about the Obama years and even suggested that Moscow should embrace the American "deep state".

So as not to put words in his mouth, the relevant passages are republished in their entirety below:

"First, it is better to avoid demonizing the Deep State, which is perceived by many in Moscow as the center of world evil and the stronghold of the pathological haters of Russia. Of course, most of the State Department or the CIA officials, the Congress staff, experts from the main think tanks are not Vladimir Putin's fans. But these people, at least, have considerable experience of interaction with Moscow and can hardly be considered stubborn paranoids, exalted conspiracy theorists or genetic Russophobes. Deep State consists of rationally thinking professionals, who are always easier to deal with than romantic amateurs are. With all its shortcomings, it is the Deep State that limits Donald Trump's most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities.

Second, it's time to change the attitude toward the Demcratic Party leadership. For some reason (probably because of inertia) the Barack Obama administration is constantly remembered in Russia in the worst possible way, with the two latest presidents constantly juxtaposed. How is Obama bad, and Trump is good? The stubborn facts show otherwise. For example, Obama pursued a consistent policy of rapprochement with Iran, and Trump returned to the most severe pressure on Tehran. Obama followed the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem, and Trump destroyed this consensus. Obama did not resort to direct military action against Bashar Assad, and Trump did not hesitate to give an order to launch missiles against the Syrian Al- Shayrat airbase. Well, who after all created more problems for Russia -- Democrats or Republicans?"

Mr. Kortunov did indeed talk about other aspects of US-Russian relations, including the need for a bottom-up approach to improving his country's soft power in America, but none of those proposals are controversial, at least not when compared to what he wrote about above.

A diversity of respectful views in any discourse is symptomatic of a healthy democracy, and Russian society is no different in this respect, which is why the dialogue on this topic would be greatly enriched by presenting some counterpoints to Mr. Kortunov's article.

Deciphering The "Deep State"

The first is that the US' military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies ("deep state") are experienced and rational like Mr. Kortunov describes them as, but that they nevertheless bear primary responsibility for the deterioration in US-Russian relations under both the Obama and Trump Presidencies because the bulk of these professional bureaucrats always retain their jobs between leadership transitions in the country.

The President is supposed to determine the broad trajectory of their work in consultation with his closest advisors, some of whom are handpicked by him and approved by Congress to lead the relevant institutions of the "deep state" while others are more informal, but the rank-and-file members of the "deep state" are still largely more responsible for the execution of policy in practice than anyone else.

Unprecedentedly, many of them oppose President Trump's stated desire to improve relations with Russia and have worked to unconstitutionally offset his plans, and the pressure that they've put on him to this end explains why he's undertaken decisively anti-Russian policies during his first year in office despite his campaign pledge to do the opposite.

Seeing as how most of these "deep state" individuals naturally remained in the same positions that they had during the Obama Administration and would have probably still retained their jobs under Hillary's Presidency, it's inaccurate to attribute the deterioration of Russian-American ties to President Trump personally while overlooking the actions of the "deep state" that he's still trying to reform to the best of his ability.

The "deep state" is rational – too rational, it can be argued – because it embraces a Neo-Realist paradigm of International Relations that sometimes correlates with Trump's own views on certain topics but other times contradicts them like in the case of Russia, and the internal power struggle between Trump and the "deep state" is what's really to blame for the worsening of bilateral relations, not the "amateur" President's "romanticism" like Mr. Kortunov insists.

For these reasons, it can be argued that Mr. Kortunov's belief that the "deep state" "can hardly be considered stubborn paranoids, exalted conspiracy theorists or genetic Russophobes" isn't exactly accurate, since it's indeed full of "stubborn paranoids" under the dual influence of the neoconservatives' Neo-Realism and the Obama-Clinton worldview of "militant liberalism".

That said, the "conspiracy theories" that he references are just a "deep state" infowar distraction to deceive the voting masses while the assertion that such a thing as a "genetic Russophobe" exists wrongly implies that an individual's political views are irreversibly predetermined by their DNA.

To flip around Mr. Kortunov's last comment on the matter, it's more realistic to assert that "with all his shortcomings, it is Donald Trump that limits the Deep State's most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities."

Debunking The Dreams Of Democrat Rule

Relatedly, Mr. Kortunov's views on the "deep state" clearly influence his attitude towards the Democrats and specifically the Obama Administration, which he thinks is unfairly "remembered in Russia in the worst possible way" because "the stubborn facts show otherwise" and apparently disprove the prevailing notion that "Obama (is) bad, and Trump is good."

Mr. Kortunov thinks that Obama had pure intentions in signing the nuclear agreement with Iran, though it can cynically be argued that his "deep state" was in fact trying to co-opt the Islamic Republic's "moderate/reformist" ruling elite in a bid to tip the scales to their favor in the country's own "deep state" competition for influence with the "conservative/principalist" military-security faction, the failure of which would explain why Trump was tasked with "returning to the most severe pressure on Tehran."

The enduring presence of most of the "deep state's" personnel between presidential administrations doesn't preclude the US from pivoting between policies but actually allows such moves to be more smoothly executed, as can be seen from the example of Nixon's rapprochement with China in spite of Johnson's antagonism towards it; Bush Sr. "betraying" Iraq even though Reagan aligned with it; Obama signing the nuclear deal against the former Bush Jr. Administration's wishes; and Trump dismantling his predecessor's plans.

Although the President might set the tone for the overall direction that each respective policy should go in and this sometimes reverses what the previous administration did, it's ultimately the "deep state" that puts these ideas into practice and is able to maintain a degree of strategic continuity that advances America's national interests regardless, though the case of Trump's vision for US-Russia relations also shows that this same "deep state" can also conspire to obstruct the President's will.

Another "stubborn fact" at variance with Mr. Kortunov's nostalgia for Democrat rule is the practical significance of Obama "following the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem" and Trump "destroying" it since it inaccurately hints that the former was somehow 'pro-Palestinian' and that the latter's announcement tangibly changed something on the ground, neither of which are true because Obama was actually very pro-Israel and Trump's decision only stands to affect foreign aid recipients who voted against the US and the UN.

Looking beyond Obama's highly publicized personal rivalry with Netanyahu and his populist rhetoric on the Palestinian issue, nothing that he did during his two terms had any influence on Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and unilateral claim to the entirety of the city being its capital; likewise, Trump's words didn't change any of this reality either and only resulted in word games being played at the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation , neither of which did anything other than attempt to comfort the Palestinians.

As for Mr. Kortunov's juxtaposition of Obama's refusal to "resort to direct military action against Bashar Assad" with Trump "not hesitating to give an order to launch missiles against the Syrian Al- Shayrat airbase", he's totally overlooking the 44 th President's responsibility for the theater-wide "Arab Spring" Color Revolutions and the resultant Hybrid War of Terror on Syria which dealt incomparably more damage to Syria and its democratically elected President's standing that Trump's handful of one-off missiles.

In addition, Trump only ordered the attack because he was under intense "deep state" pressure to do so after having been caught in a Catch-22 trap where he was forced to "put his money where his mouth is" and respond to the false-flag chemical weapons attack that violated his "red line", but truthfully speaking, what Mr. Kortunov might really resent is that it only took a few million dollars' worth of missiles to call President Putin's bluff in hinting at a military response to the exact same scenario in 2013 that got Obama to back down at the time.

To respond to Mr.Kortunov's rhetorical question of "who after all created more problems for Russia -- Democrats or Republicans?", the reader should be reminded that the Obama Administration presided over or was outright responsible for the "Arab Spring" and its attendant regime changes , the War on Syria , the 2011-12 anti-government unrest in Moscow, EuroMaidan and the Ukrainian Civil War, the anti-Russian sanctions, and the fake news scheme of "Kremlin interference" in order to suppress Russia's publicly funded international media outlets and harass their employees, among many other examples.

In comparison, Trump merely continued most of the policy trajectories that Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton first initiated, and even then he's tried to resist some of the "deep state's" pressure when it comes to Russia, so as bad as he's been for Moscow's interests, one should wonder how much worse Hillary would have been she entered into the Presidency and allowed the "deep state" to do as it pleases.

Concluding Thoughts

Mr. Kortunov seems to have wanted to spark a serious conversation about how Russia's "deep state" should respond to the disappointment that it experienced throughout Trump's first year in office, and if that was his intention, then he remarkably succeeded by controversially reinterpreting the Obama years as something to apparently be nostalgic about and boldly suggesting that his government reconsider its negative attitude to Trump's "deep state" foes.

In the spirit of dialogue that Mr. Kortunov implicitly encouraged by publishing such a provocative piece, it's only fitting that a rebuttal be presented to challenge his premise that the Democrats and their "deep state" handlers are supposedly more preferable to Russia than Trump is, especially seeing as how he selectively pointed to a few decontextualized examples that were presumably cherry-picked in order to promote his argument.

With all due respect to this prestigious gentleman, his entire notion is flat-out wrong and shows that he doesn't at all understand Trump's " Kraken "-like leadership and his never-ending struggle to survive the "deep state's" permanent Clintonian Counter-Revolution that's being waged in trying to undermine the Second American Revolution that the President is trying to carry out in America's domestic and foreign affairs.

Instead of ignoring the plethora of evidence proving the Obama Administration's hostility to Russia and its international interests, Mr. Kortunov should have at least made a superficial reference to it because this glaring omission implies a deliberate partiality towards that political faction and the "deep state" in general, which is fine to have in principle but nevertheless casts doubt on how effective his proposals would be in the overall sense of things if they were ever put into practice.

Mr. Kortunov is evidently unaware that the same "deep state" that he finds attractive in contrast to Trump had a controlling influence in determining the Obama Administration's anti-Russian policies that the 44 th President's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ended up implementing with ruinous consequences for Moscow's grand strategic interests, and that she would have given the "deep state" free rein to do whatever it wanted had she won unlike Trump's willingness to challenge its most extreme tendencies (though with mixed results).

Having said that, pragmatic working relations between Russia and the US' "deep states" are inevitable because there isn't any alternative to interacting with any national counterpart's collection of military, intelligence, and diplomatic figures no matter how much one may disagree with their policies unless ties between the two sides are formally suspended, which isn't foreseeable but would in any case still allow for the existence of communication backchannels.

What Mr. Kortunov is lobbying for is something altogether different because he wants Russian decision makers to reconceptualize the American "deep state" as a 'positive', 'moderating', and 'responsible' force against what he characterizes as Trump's "romantic", "amateurish", "most exotic and potentially most dangerous foreign policy oddities", which is ironically a very "romantic" and "exotic" view to have of the US' most dangerous anti-Russian institutional forces.

In all actuality, however, the "deep state" and its Democrat allies are the real reason why Trump hasn't been able to succeed in his pledge to improve Russian-American relations, and these two problems shouldn't ever be confused as part of the solution that's needed to reverse this downward spiral, nor should a tactical partnership with these two actors ever be considered if Moscow hopes to maintain the upper hand in the New Cold War . Vote up! 23 Vote down! 0

TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:18 PM Permalink

Andrey clearly old school bolshevik, yes?

DownWithYogaPants -> TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:25 PM Permalink

The US Deep State is a scorpion and it will eventually sting you Russia.

Ride on the Trump Train. oh oo ahh ahh

Get on the Trump Train.

--- Mohamed Bin CatStevens

stizazz -> InjectTheVenom Feb 4, 2018 10:41 PM Permalink

The DEEP STATE controls both D & R.

Perimetr -> TeamDepends Feb 4, 2018 10:26 PM Permalink

Andrey is CIA asset, the storyline here is worthy of Voice of America.

thisandthat -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:30 AM Permalink

If anyone needed any proof of the existence of a fifth column in Russia, here it is, personified: a true (((russian))) "presstitute".

Koba the Dread -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:43 AM Permalink

He is certainly what The Sakar calls a Russian Atlanticist. And quite a fool at that!

Hey, ZH? Whydja publish this tripe. I like your articles about how Yellowstone geyser is going to boil New York City or the giant meteor heading for us is made of tapioca pudding. You've spent the last three weeks diddling us about memo, mome, meme, momo, mmmm,oooo and Yunez, whonez. And it's all just a diddle. Just as this article is a diddle.

If there any news these days, you know, where an actual person does an actual deed and their are consequences from that deed? Or is it just diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle?

Forgetdaboutit! It's just all diddle, isn't it?

thisandthat -> Koba the Dread Feb 5, 2018 2:16 AM Permalink

(((Atlanticist))) -- another name for cocksucker

HRClinton -> Perimetr Feb 5, 2018 12:59 AM Permalink

Agree. Either Andrey Kortunov is a CIA 5th-Column asset, or has had too much " Amerikanski Burbon".

To present the False Choice Paradigm of Demoncrats v. Repugnicants, is the height of political folly or the depth of a compromised player.

Hell, even most ZHers don't fall for that "Bait for suckers".

We all know that both (privately owned) Parties, the Deep State and the Surveillance-Military-Industrial Complex (SMIC) are only possible with the full backing of the Financial Predator Class, whose Global-Lust appetites and ambitions will not be satiated until all the world's resources and markets are under their thumb.

All wars are Global-Lust wars.

Rikky Feb 4, 2018 10:28 PM Permalink

history will judge the Mueller investigation into Trump russian collusion as the biggest witch hunt in American History. you just watch cause in the end pomp, duck and circumstance <> actual facts to back up assertions.

Oldwood Feb 4, 2018 10:37 PM Permalink

Andrey is much like the Democrats constantly offering suggestions to Republicans as to how to win an election.

Nations of the world only seek allies if there is something in it for them. Russia is in their Glory days watching as America tears itself apart.

I'm sure Andrey enjoys being "helpful".

BabaLooey -> BobEore Feb 5, 2018 12:24 AM Permalink

Trump got C.I.A."glazed" during the interim post election and swearing in.....

They all do, and have.

Plus, Trump's gushing love for the Chosenites....BiBi ReBOZOHoo

Post Truman? No no...the newly formed M.I.C., fresh off WW deax....and the O.S.SsssssC.I.Yeah....?

It's been "I Like Ike" and whoops...Dallas....and since after the other....shit....

Ain't NO body foisted in office that HASN'T gone back on sumptin....Trump is just the latest....

simulkra -> nuerocaster Feb 5, 2018 1:05 AM Permalink

Yes. The walking brain dead. Obama sucked up to Iran because he was told to by Brezinsky, who is a Pole who hates Russia. This is old school neocon, the real enemy is your most powerful adversary, especially if its Russia and you are a Pole. The strategy is to isolate Russia so it can be crushed. Creating a wedge between Russia and Iran would be a major win for them.

Trump seems to be following the Israel uber alles regional dominance strategy, which is bad strategy for the neos, as it drives Iran into the arms (pun intended) of Russia.

Why would a Russian think the crush Russia strategy is good? Brain dead or part of the globalist bolshevik deep state.

MEFOBILLS Feb 4, 2018 10:54 PM Permalink

assertion that such a thing as a "genetic Russophobe" (Quote from article suggesting that there is no such thing as a genetic Russophobe.)

It is genetic Russophobe's . Even policy makers such as Kortunov are emitting hypnosis at variance with facts.

These genetic Russophobes emigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe and Russia. (Another reason not to immigrate.)


The most vitriolic and obsessive Russia-bashing journalists in the media are mostly Jewish. The publications which push these writers most energetically are ALL Jewish-owned, and as a publisher, I know very well, that is where the buck stops.

On the policy side, the neo-conservative movement, Russia's harshest foe, was conceived of, is led by, and consists mostly of, Jews. And their trouble-making extends far beyond Russia – they are responsible for America's disastrous debacle in the Middle East over the last 20 years – where their crimes have been stymied by precisely one country – Russia. The psychotically anti-Russian recent UN ambassadors, Nikki Haley and Samantha Power, were put there by the Israel lobby, and given an independent brief, in other words, they answer not to their presidents, rather to their Jewish sponsors.

In Congress the biggest Russia-Gate tub-thumpers are noticeably Jewish – Schiff, Schumer, Blumenthal, Franken (although not as overwhelmingly as in the media). The Israel lobby routinely enforces legislation hostile to Russia. Bill Browder with his Magnitsky Sanctions – is Jewish.

Facts are Facts, and it cannot be ignored that those who are aiming their daggers at Russia are Jews.

Betrayed -> MEFOBILLS Feb 4, 2018 11:19 PM Permalink

Sadly if your objective Trump will have to be included with that bunch. He's shown himself to be Zionist first. MIGA!

DCFusor Feb 4, 2018 10:54 PM Permalink


Deep state trying to unseat Trump because the Russians "like him" and "helped him into office".

If they now "like" the deep state...implications are hilarious. It'll have to go like that old Star Trek where Kirk convinces the AI probe (Nomad) it is imperfect and must be it blows itself up.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Of course, back in real life, the deep state has shown an ability to survive deep cognitive dissonance and even total internal contradiction. (No, not you, Cog).

We should shout this to the rooftops instead of trying to discredit it...however would they spin the Russians preferring the Dems and Deep State?

I want to see their heads exploding!

[Aug 09, 2017] Force Multipliers and 21st Century Imperial Warfare Practice and Propaganda by Maximilian C. Forte

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended --
The full book can be downloaded here (for free) .
Notable quotes:
"... What is a force multiplier? ..."
Nov 08, 2015 |

If the present provides a hint of what it is to come, the nastiest, ugliest, and bloodiest wars to be fought this century will be between states opposed to continued US dominance, and the force multipliers of US dominance. We see the outline of sovereign self-defense programs that take diverse forms, from the banning of foreign funding for NGOs operating in a state's territory, controlling the mass media, arresting protesters, shutting down CIA-funded political parties, curtailing foreign student exchanges, denying visas to foreign academic researchers, terminating USAID operations, to expelling US ambassadors, and so forth. In extreme cases, this includes open warfare between governments and armed rebels backed by the US, or more indirectly (as the force multiplier principle mandates) backed by US allies. US intervention will provoke and heighten paranoia, stoking repression, and create the illusion of a self-fulfilling prophecy that US interventionists can further manipulate, using logic of this kind: they are serial human rights abusers; we therefore need to intervene in the name of humanity. There will be no discussion, let alone admission, that US covert intervention helped to provoke repression, and that the US knowingly placed its "force multipliers" on the front line. "Force multipliers" also requires us to understand the full depth and scope of US imperialism comprising, among other things: entertainment, food, drink, software, agriculture, arms sales, media, and so on.

Yet, in the end, we are still left with a basic question: What is a force multiplier? There are even more answers to this question than there are persons answering it. Beyond the most basic definition in physics, we see a proliferation of examples of force multipliers, reflecting a weak pseudo-science that reifies actual policies, offering mixed results in practice. Given the scientistic and positivist approach that achieved hegemony during the Cold War in US universities and the military, the conceptualization of force multipliers reveals familiar problems arising from the naturalization of social phenomena, of "man" as "molecule" of society. As an impoverished form of political science, one that is formulaic, mechanical, utilitarian, and ideologically-driven, the force multiplier idea nonetheless poses difficult anthropological questions about the agency of others.

My hope was that military writers did not choose to write "force multipliers" because candidly calling them "quislings," "shills," "dupes," "pawns" or "suckers" would have been too "politically incorrect," or would have validated older, Cold War-era accusations of the US supporting "stooges," "lackeys," "cronies," "henchmen," "running dogs," or "lap dogs". In other words, my hope was that this was not yet another imperial euphemism. Regardless of the intentions behind the terminology, whether conscious or not, the basic idea of using humans as a form of drone , one that is less expensive yet more precise and in less need of constant guidance, seems to be the persisting feature of the force multiplier concept.

If the concept is not a mere euphemism, then there is still an absence of sound theorization of force multipliers on the part of the Pentagon, and by that I mean that while an inchoate lexical infrastructure exists consisting of nested synonyms derived from the natural sciences, there is little more than crude utilitarianism and functionalism to hold the terms together. Some may wish to retort, "then that is the theory" by noting the presence of functionalist assumptions and premises derived from rational-choice theories. However, the presence of theory should also involve the process of theorization, which entails questioning, revising, and exposing one's assumptions to a dialogue with other theories and with facts that appear to challenge the validity of the theory.

There may be a lot of real-world destruction by the US military and intelligence apparatus, but there is no winning as such!the absence of theorization is killing the imperial political and security structures, but their exposure to critical theories will only hasten their defeat. No wonder then that so many right-wing "pro-military" columnists in the US routinely scoff at and dismiss "post-colonialism"!theirs is a hegemony in trouble, turned narcissistic: unable to find their mirror image in many sectors of the social sciences and humanities, they resort to angry triumphalism and cyclical repetition of the same failed "solutions," repeated over and over again. On the other hand, they can find their mirror-image in academia, and particularly anthropology, in other ways: many US anthropologists' convoluted (meta)theoretical fumblings, obfuscated by pretentious language whose deliberate lack of clarity masks deep confusion and bewilderment, stands out particularly in the cases of topics which are "new," such as democracy or globalization. In this sense, both the US military and US anthropology in some quarters share in common a proliferation of theoretical-sounding rhetoric and a lack of scientific theory. Not coincidentally, both also share an apparent aversion to even saying the word "imperialism". One might detect a certain decadence in imperial intellectual life, of which the force multiplier theoretical pretense is but one small example.

Clearly there are numerous examples of agents serving as "force multipliers," and almost as clear is the absence of theorization, let alone reason for imperial elites to feel confident about success when the political, economic, and cultural projects they represent are domestically bankrupt and alienating. Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and "winning hearts and minds," certainly did happen in some places and to some extent, which gives partial weight to the "force multiplier" idea at the core of these processes. However, on the whole, counterinsurgency programs have been defeated in Afghanistan just as in Vietnam before.

[Jul 16, 2017] The Russian neoliberals that Western trolls consider "patriots of Russia" resort to usual Russian compradors resort to standard demagoguery "we are not against Russia, we are against State/Media" which serves as an excuse for betraying the interests of Russian people in favor of interests of multinationals

Notable quotes:
"... "Kovalev makes no secret of his own agenda, either. "I despise [Margarita] Simonyan [chief editor of RT and Rossiya Segodnya] for what she did to RIA," he says. "After all, my name is on the website, and now it's filled with all kinds of shit. And it's really shameful to see my name next to some stupid story about how Obama is a bad dancer. If that kind of story appeared on RIA a couple of years ago, the editor would have been fired." ..."
"... "When confronted with a deluge of information, people instinctively cling to just one source (however biased it may be) just because it's "ours." There is a certain degree of doublethink in Russia. How much contradiction can Russians absorb without going crazy? At any point in time, they believe two opposite things. For instance, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, but we are winning the war. Because we cannot lose. Because Russians can never lose. But there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. So whatever is broadcast, they will believe, because it's instinctive. Even if it's lies, we'll believe them because it's our guys who are telling the lies. Because everyone is lying, and we're going to stick to our lies. ..."
Jul 16, 2017 |

Lyttenburgh , July 15, 2017 at 2:07 am

And about those whom fat Western trolls consider "patriots of Russia". Their usual demagogery aka "we are not against Russia, we are against State/Media" serves only as the excuse for all would be traitors. Nazis did the same thing with their "политрук лжёт" leaflets. Tiresome, useless and uneffective. To repeat this faily tactic now? What a mess, what a mess! Gevalt-gevalt!

"Kovalev makes no secret of his own agenda, either. "I despise [Margarita] Simonyan [chief editor of RT and Rossiya Segodnya] for what she did to RIA," he says. "After all, my name is on the website, and now it's filled with all kinds of shit. And it's really shameful to see my name next to some stupid story about how Obama is a bad dancer. If that kind of story appeared on RIA a couple of years ago, the editor would have been fired."

[ ]

"When confronted with a deluge of information, people instinctively cling to just one source (however biased it may be) just because it's "ours." There is a certain degree of doublethink in Russia. How much contradiction can Russians absorb without going crazy? At any point in time, they believe two opposite things. For instance, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine, but we are winning the war. Because we cannot lose. Because Russians can never lose. But there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. So whatever is broadcast, they will believe, because it's instinctive. Even if it's lies, we'll believe them because it's our guys who are telling the lies. Because everyone is lying, and we're going to stick to our lies. "

My, what a patriot of Russia! How high he thinks about his fellow people! Oh, and dissing Graham Phillips for his work in "occupied" Donbass – how more pro-Russian can they ever become?! Oh, I know – how about whoring for OpenDemocracy , which, I remind you, is funded by NED and Soros.

The meaty part? Kovalyov was editor in The Moscow Times , which fired recently its entire crew and stopped running as printed edition. Poor Kovalyov – how can he survive without panhandling and whoring himself even more to the Western press!

Btw, where is their server situated, oh self-less Patriots of True Russia? Why, in Murika , where else! It's net trust level? Negligible .

kirill , July 15, 2017 at 5:01 am
The Duma should get off its lazy ass an legislate a ban on all newsmedia purporting to be "Russian" having its computer servers stationed abroad. I do not mean blocking foreign media, I mean the "Moscow Times" and similar. This is a variation on the foreign agent theme and it seems the Russian law is too crappy to properly act against offshoring of information sources (i.e. propaganda sources).
marknesop , July 15, 2017 at 10:54 am
Russia has no need to block the Moscow Times; it is such a ridiculous nitpicking parody of actual life in Russia – going on week-long rants because Russia is not receptive to the introduction of crass western 'holidays' like Hallowe'en, for example, in which kids stuff themselves with candy until they throw up – that it actually fulfills a valuable service in Russia. It reminds those few Russians who read it and are not kreakl ponces that while it is wise to embrace those western concepts which are beneficial (medical and technological research, for example, which are still traded fairly freely on the world market), it is never wise to get down on the floor and roll in it.
moscowexile , July 15, 2017 at 11:19 am
On the site Quora , in answer to the question "How credible is the Moscow Times?", there are two replies.

The first is from a kreakl -- a professional photojournalist, publishing designer, TV cameraman and EN/RU translator, he says -- who thinks MT is top hole and gives a list of 5 other arsewipes that he holds in reverence:

There are five credible Russian media: Vedomosti, Kommersant, RBC, Лента.Ру and Meduza. All of them not without mishaps, but at least more or less readable (between the lines at least). Everything else Don't go there.

The second comment is bang on, in my humble opinion as an insignificant Englishman resident in Moscow for almost a quarter of a century:

Don't get me started. It's really, really bad, almost a cartoon of a propaganda mill.

It operates as a project to give bonuses to superannuated Radio Free Europe hacks who write articles on yesterday's news filled with quotes from people who have been dead for years.

Just one more example of how Putin controls the news.

For those who "don't do irony", the last sentence in the second of the above quotes has been written in irony.

The op-eds in MT are really over the top. Latynina often did them. (She might still do: it is several years since I picked up a freebie MT.) And then, just to let the readers believe there is a sense of balance at MT, there appears maybe two or three times a year an op-ed that is more positive about Russia.

That British rag the Guardian used to do the same in its risibly named feature "Comment Is Free".

Those 2 answers to the Quora question appeared in 2016, by the way.

The kreakl got one "like", the "useful idiot" got 5.

Two replies since March 2016!

[Apr 02, 2017] With the emergence of globalization, the term comprador denote trading groups and classes in the developing world that benefit and prefer subordinate relationships with metropolitan capital

Apr 02, 2017 |
libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 01:55 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite". Trump is more of economic nationalist.


Rise of the lumpen elite: is this really what we fought for? Published on openDemocracy

Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar. Gave up natural resposes for peanuts, on essentially colonial terms. That how Us oil companies got to Sakhalin island.

The first ever Russian production sharing agreement was signed in the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project in 1994.

In foreign policy Yeltsin behaves like a drunk puppet of Clinton. His foreign minister Kozirev ( ) was nicknamed by US press "Mister Yes".

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:14 PM
"Trump is Yeltsin American style."

Nothing can be more wrong that this statement. This is an absurd statement to say the least.

Yeltsin was a comprador, member of Russian "lumpen elite".

[ Do explain this further when possible. ]

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:15 PM

A comprador is a "person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation". A comprador is a native manager of European business houses in East and South East Asia, and, by extension, social groups that play broadly similar roles in other parts of the world.

anne -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 02:20 PM
The use of emotionally laden jargon would not seem necessary if the point is to allow understanding.

Lumpen-this and Lumpen-that, such terms are of no interest to me.

anne -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 02:21 PM

Lumpenbourgeoisie is a term used primarily in the context of colonial and neocolonial elites in Latin America, which became heavily dependent on and supportive of the neocolonial powers.

libezkova -> anne... , April 01, 2017 at 03:52 PM
"Lumpenbourgeoisie" is a more correct term as for Yeltsin entourage then "lumpen elite". Sorry about that.

But "comprador" also is a legitimate term for describing this phenomena. It originated in Marxism and means "groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate to imperial power interests"

== quote from Wikipedia ==

In Marxism, the term comprador bourgeoisie was later applied to similar trading-class in regions outside of East Asia.[5][6][7][8]

With the emergence (or re-emergence) of globalization, the term comprador has reentered the lexicon to denote trading groups and classes in the developing world in subordinate but mutually advantageous relationships with metropolitan capital. The Egyptian Marxist Samir Amin has discussed the role of compradors in the contemporary global economy in his recent work.[9] In addition, the Indian economist, Ashok Mitra, has accused the owners and managers of firms attached to the Indian software industry of being compradors.[10] Growing identification of the software industry in India with comprador 'qualities' has led to the labeling of certain persons associated with the industry as 'dot.compradors'.[11]

== end of quote ==

But meaning all those terms is essentially the same -- part of the elite acting not in interests of the county, but some imperial foreign powers and content with neo-colonial role of their country.

In some sense neoliberal governments also can be called "lumpen elite" as they are subservient to transnational corporations, not so much interests of their own country population.

pgl -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Yeltsin sold Russian industry to foreigh interests for pennies on a dollar.

True but me thinks Trump will do the same.

libezkova -> pgl... , April 01, 2017 at 04:40 PM
Future is unpredictable by definition.

But I would draw analogies between Weimar government and Yeltsin regime. In both case countries faced huge financial outflows (reparations in one case, "economic rape" in another), hyperinflation, mass impoverishment of population, disappearance of middle class, and high unemployment.

To a certain extent that was true about Obama regime in 2008-2010.

Yeltin Russia was really a "failed country". Government employees and government workers were not paid for many months, average longevity for males dropped below 60. And Russian neoliberals (such as Yegor Gaidar( an object of loathing among ordinary Russians who lost everything during the neoliberal privatization, Anatoly Chubais -- the most hated person in Russia, oligarchs such as Berezovsky, Gusinsky ) who came to power with Yeltsin tried to ally with foreign powers in order to secure what they stole from Russian people. Rephrasing Obama, only the USA stand between them and pitchforks. BTW Chubais is (or was) a member of the Advisory Council for JPMorgan.

It rather funny and tragic that criminals that stole money from Russians and than managed to escape to the West with their money already in Western banks instantly become fighters for democracy -- I would call this "Classic Neoliberal Metamorphose" (CMM). Berezovsky is one example here. Very convenient, useful for the pressure on Russian government, and you do not return the money :-)

A very interesting variant of the "rule of law".

In a sense Trump is more similar to Putin than Yeltsin. Both accidentally came to power on the wave of dis-illusion of the mass of population in previous administration and dramatic loss of "good" jobs.

ilsm -> libezkova... , April 01, 2017 at 03:53 PM
Libezkova you should follow David Warsh who runs Economic Principals blog which Professor Thoma links from here.

Warsh is writing a history of the US delegation, many from Harvard, who plundered Russia's attempt to build a stock exchange, etc.

[Oct 06, 2016] Kasparov never has a chance to become president of RU, especially after he became an obvious puppet of the West

Notable quotes:
"... Even with the outside help, even if all US Department Of State budget will be spent on Kasparov's campaign, even with the help of 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, chances of Kasparov becoming PM or President of Russia are approaching zero. ..."
"... Unless ofc US manages coup in Russia like in Ukraine and elsewhere, which is nearly impossible at this point. ..."
"... He never had those chances in the first place and it has very little to do with his support from the West. Western "liberalism" in the form it is preached by Kasparov or his ilk simply has no chances in Russia, period. And it is all for the better. Basically what is known as Russian "westernizing" liberalism is dead. Good riddance. ..."

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 11:49:13 AM | 57

@Carl D, 55
What do you think of Kasparov? Can he ever be PM or President of the Russian Federation without outside Help?

Even with the outside help, even if all US Department Of State budget will be spent on Kasparov's campaign, even with the help of 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, chances of Kasparov becoming PM or President of Russia are approaching zero.

Harry | Oct 3, 2016 12:02:39 PM | 58
Kasparov ruined his chances to become president of RU by being an obvious puppet of the West, much like nobody in Syria would vote for whatever "opposition president" for the day is. Unless ofc US manages coup in Russia like in Ukraine and elsewhere, which is nearly impossible at this point.

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 12:37:02 PM | 59
@58, Harry
Kasparov ruined his chances to become president of RU by being an obvious puppet of the West

He never had those chances in the first place and it has very little to do with his support from the West. Western "liberalism" in the form it is preached by Kasparov or his ilk simply has no chances in Russia, period. And it is all for the better. Basically what is known as Russian "westernizing" liberalism is dead. Good riddance.

CarlD | Oct 3, 2016 1:41:30 PM | 63
Re Kasparov

I believe the Duma should strip him of Russian citizenship. In the debate of reference, he is siding with enemies of Russia and shows no patriotism at all. Ambition blinds him.

SmoothieX12 | Oct 3, 2016 3:05:09 PM | 66
@63, CarlD.
I believe the Duma should strip him of Russian citizenship.

No, it shouldn't. He has to be regularly shown on TV and has his views propagated. Not that he wasn't a freak before, let him completely discredit himself (I wonder if it is even possible) and meanwhile complete a cycle of immunization of Russians against "values" he preaches.

[Oct 04, 2016] Neoliberal intelligencia as neoliberal compradors

Notable quotes:
"... First of all, for all extents and purposes they *are* the governing class, and they aren't simply failing to be subversive, they are defending their class interest. I know that this will cue any number of remarks about how someone is a college professor and isn't governing anything - as if someone in corporate upper management somewhere is really governing anything either - but what holds the neoliberal order in place is that it serves the interests of the managerial class, which includes professionals and other symbolic-manipulation people as its lower tier. ..."
"... I'm not sure about the merits of the whole Manufacturing Consent line of critique, but defending elite opinion as the only respectable opinion sort of is accomplishing something ..."
"... A side note: there was some conversation above about the interests of an aristocracy, which of course prompted the idea that the aristocracy is long gone. But meritocracy is a kind of aristocracy. ..."
"... Look at how much effort people put into ensuring that their children are high-status, degreed, good job holders just like themselves, and how successful that generally is. ..."
"... ...Rich: to the extent that the people parroting this line are professional-class hangers -- on of the global financial elite and neoliberalism serves their class interests ( at least until academic/media sinecures are next in line for outsourcing ), their aversion to subversive radical politics makes perfect sense as a simple matter of vested interest. ..."
Oct 04, 2016 |

Rich Puchalsky 10.03.16 at 7:31 pm 370

Will G-R: "The point of this facade isn't what the lemming-like hordes of Clinton defenders (or Putin defenders, if they're Russian) are actually accomplishing, which is essentially nothing; the point is what they're not accomplishing, which is any meaningfully subversive reflection about how ruling-class power works in general and how the governed classes might effectively counter it."

Not quite right, I think. First of all, for all extents and purposes they *are* the governing class, and they aren't simply failing to be subversive, they are defending their class interest. I know that this will cue any number of remarks about how someone is a college professor and isn't governing anything - as if someone in corporate upper management somewhere is really governing anything either - but what holds the neoliberal order in place is that it serves the interests of the managerial class, which includes professionals and other symbolic-manipulation people as its lower tier.

Second, I'm not sure about the merits of the whole Manufacturing Consent line of critique, but defending elite opinion as the only respectable opinion sort of is accomplishing something .

Sure, individual votes are meaningless, and any one person's contribution negligible. But there is a recurring trope of people wondering whether someone is a paid troll because people are actually paid - whether by David Brooks or by Putin - to do exactly this kind of thing. And they are paid to do it because it works, or at any rate people think that it works. Even better if people do it on a volunteer basis.

Rich Puchalsky 10.03.16 at 7:52 pm 371
A side note: there was some conversation above about the interests of an aristocracy, which of course prompted the idea that the aristocracy is long gone. But meritocracy is a kind of aristocracy.

Look at how much effort people put into ensuring that their children are high-status, degreed, good job holders just like themselves, and how successful that generally is.

I'll quote wiki:

"One study […] found that of nine developed countries, the United States and United Kingdom had the lowest intergenerational vertical social mobility with about half of the advantages of having a parent with a high income passed on to the next generation."

That's not perfect, but it's getting better.

Will G-R 10.03.16 at 9:33 pm 373
...Rich: to the extent that the people parroting this line are professional-class hangers -- on of the global financial elite and neoliberalism serves their class interests ( at least until academic/media sinecures are next in line for outsourcing ), their aversion to subversive radical politics makes perfect sense as a simple matter of vested interest.

[Sep 21, 2016] An interesting view on Russian intelligencia by the scientist and writer Zinoviev expressed during perestroika in 1991

The intelligentsia (Latin: intellegentia, Polish: inteligencja, Russian: интеллигенция; IPA: [ɪntʲɪlʲɪˈɡʲentsɨjə]) is a social class of people engaged in complex mental labor aimed at guiding or critiquing, or otherwise playing a leadership role in shaping a society's culture and politics.[1] This therefore might include everyone from artists to school teachers, as well as academics, writers, journalists, and other hommes de lettres (men of letters) more usually thought of as being the main constituents of the intelligentsia.
Intelligentsia is the subject of active polemics concerning its own role in the development of modern society not always positive historically, often contributing to higher degree of progress, but also to its backward movement.[2]... In pre-revolutionary Russia the term was first used to describe people possessing cultural and political initiative.[3] It was commonly used by those individuals themselves to create an apparent distance from the masses, and generally retained that narrow self-definition. [citation needed]

If intellectuals replace the current professional politicians as the leaders of society the situation would become much worse. Because they have neither the sense of reality, nor common sense. For them, the words and speeches are more important than the actual social laws and the dominant trends, the dominant social dynamics of the society. The psychological principle of the intellectuals is that we could organize everything much better, but we are not allowed to do it.

But the actual situation is as following: they could organize the life of society as they wish and plan, in the way they view is the best only if under conditions that are not present now are not feasible in the future. Therefore they are not able to act even at the level of current leaders of the society, which they despise. The actual leaders are influenced by social pressures, by the current social situation, but at least they doing something. Intellectuals are unhappy that the real stream of life they are living in. They consider it wrong. that makes them very dangerous, because they look really smart, while in reality being sophisticated professional idiots.

[Sep 21, 2016] There are still a lot of "handshakable" (created by kreacks for kreakls) mass media outlets in Russia despite cries of neoliberal MSM about absence of "free press" in Russia

"Handshakable" is Soviet dissidents times term meaning a person not too in bed with "despicable" regime. Now used mainly in satical sense with the meaning almost identical to kreakls" -- useless person with strong opinions about everything and very active on the Internet.
Lyttenburgh, July 21, 2015 at 2:39 am

I've found this little gem 2 days ago and I'm still… "overjoyed" by it.

Despite Manichean claims of the Free and Independent ™ Western Media that in Russia "there are no free press", that everything is controlled by Kremlin and Putin, and only [Radio] Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta [Newspaper] and Dozhd [TV] are the few remaining honest sources of truth and independent journalism ™, there are still a lot of "handshakable" outlets created for kreakls by kreakls.

In one such handshakeble paper, the "Snob" [well, at least they are honest with themselves and their readers] recently was published this interview with another extremely handshakable, ah, "person", who used to be the Chief Editor of the "KommmersantЪ" paper in it's [even more] handshakable heyday. This particular excerpt seems especially "meaty" (translation is mine):

Snob: And when do you think the era of the "rich cooperators'" of the 90s came to an end?

AV: I think it happened when they arrested Khodorkovsky. Then not only the era of cooperators came to an end, the society in this country was finished also.

Snob: Why is society so easily reconciled with this and it's own end?

AV: And because it could not be otherwise! Because there are no such country – Russia! This is a huge geopolitical mistake … I do not know whose, Lord God's or Darwin's. This country never existed, don't exist now and never will be. This country is bad.

Snob: Even if it is so bad, it does not mean that it doesn't exist.

AV: Well, fuck with it! Here's my answer. Fuck with it, that it exists! I wish it to be healthy! But this is not interesting for me. It is a cancer on the body of the world! What, should I fight with it? I'm not a professor Pirogov, I will not cut out this tumor, I just do not know how. Honestly, I don't know how.

Snob: What are the symptoms of this cancer?

AV: There are two evidences of this cancer. Never in my life Russia and its people had any other national ideas then "we are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!". With such two fundamental attributes there can't be country. This is just savagery. Can you give me somw other Russian national ideas?

Snob: Empire from sea to sea.

AV: This is just "We are surrounded by enemies" and "Russia for the Russians!" in other words. It's just combined in a beautiful word "empire". Nothing else! And with such fundamental principles country of course, some country might even exist, but who needs it? I do not! It is necessary to those inside.

Needless to say, Andrey Vasiliev now is a proud and free emigre.

So, after reading this little interview I got a proverbial train of thoughts going in my head at a top speed,finally arriving to it's destination. Now I can say that I "understand" (as in "understand what makes them tic") all of them – liberasts, Byelarussian zmagars, Ukrainian svidomites, pint-sized Baltic patriots, sausage emigrants forming Brighton Beach Bitching Brigade etc.

But that's the topic for another post

ThatJ, July 21, 2015 at 2:50 am

Does Andrey Vasiliev live in Brighton Beach now?

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:24 am

No, Vasiliev lives in Geneva, Switzerland.

And, no, he is not Jewish, in case that's what you are trying to get at.

He is of Russian ethnicity.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:27 am

Dear Lyttenburgh:

Thanks for this find.

These Fifth Columnists are all the same, aren't they?

For them, the true litmus test was, and always has been, Khodorkovsky.

They longed for a world in which Khodorkovsky owned every single thing in Russia that wasn't nailed down; and everybody else, including these kreakls, just getting crumbs from his table.

But the kreakls receiving bigger crumbs, plus an honored place at the master's side.

Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 3:35 am
I regularly ask Russians – ordinary work-a-day Russians, be they of the working or the professional classes – if they could imagine leaving Russia forever, if they could consider emigrating, never intending to return. They all say they couldn't. They say they'd like to travel, but they always feel they would want to come "home".

I have never yet met one Russian person who speaks as does Vasiliev, no one who says "I hate this place and my fellow countrymen so much: it's a shithole; it's a dump; it's full of morons etc., etc….", though I often hear them speaking loudly and clearly in that way from afar through the bullhorn of the Western mass media.

I ask my children regularly if they would like to live in England. I get a resounding "No!" off them. They speak English fluently now (except the youngest) and say they like visiting the place, that it's "cool" and, curiously enough, all their pals think it's "cool" that they are "half-English". My children do as well, not least because I suspect they can already sense the great advantage that their bilingualism has given them – but they categorically state they are Russian and that Russia is their Motherland, their rodina, the land that "bore" them, their "Mother Russia".

My wife is the same.

None of them are nationalistic, but they are very, very patriotic.

People such as Vasiliev are a small yet vociferous minority that, I suspect, suffers from some psychological aberration.

I am so glad that many of them leap at the first opportunity to fuck off away from here.

Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 3:46 am
The type is not unique to Russia.

America has a whole university set aside for people who hate America. A sort of open-air loonybin.

Your Russian anti-patriots can be corralled and stowed out of sight in the same way, if you wish. Market it right, and they'll do it entirely of their own accord.

yalensis, July 21, 2015 at 3:55 am
Dear Pavlo: Which open-air university is that? Berkeley?? :)
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:11 am
Moscow Exile, July 21, 2015 at 4:19 am
Why is Berkeley "open-air"?
Pavlo Svolochenko, July 21, 2015 at 4:23 am
In that nothing prevents the inmates from escaping but fear of employment.
Moscow Exile , July 21, 2015 at 4:28 am
I should add that I know many who have chosen to leave Russia in search of fame and fortune, education, a better standard of living etc., but none of them left because they loathe the land and its people.

I also have over the years come across a few who have returned: some because, having achieved success, they preferred to live out the rest of their lives in their Mother Russia; others because they could not adapt to an alien culture ("No 'soul' in the USA!" I have often heard such folk say; and others simply because they were homesick.

Interestingly, and unbeknownst to me, my sister emailed my wife last week when I was in the UK and told her that I was clearly "homesick".

I was: for Russia and my wife and children

Home is where the heart is.

[Feb 29, 2016] LiveJournal

Опубликованная в "Новой газете" моя статья "Нормальные герои всегда идут в обход", рассказывает о коррумпированном экс-премьере и ныне оппозиционере Михаиле "Два Процента" Касьянове. Нет, нет. Я не ошибся. Журналистское расследование о махинациях, жульничестве и миллионах долларов нынешнего главы "Парнас" Михаила Касьянова опубликовано именно в "Новой газете". Вот ЗДЕСЬ .

Только статья датирована 28 февраля 2000 года. То есть, ровно 16 лет назад. Что, впрочем, ничего не меняет. Ни один факт, из приведенных мною в "Новой газете" в 2000 году, не был опровергнут ни самой "Новой газетой", ни Михаилом Касьяновым.

Привожу свое расследование, опубликованное " Новой газетой ", полностью.

" Нормальные герои всегда идут в обход

Неизвестные факты из жизни Михаила Касьянова

Стране нужны новые герои. Надоели Березовский и Абрамович. На них и без нас уже пробы негде ставить. Я кинул взгляд окрест Кремля и Белого дома и обнаружил в пыли Министерства финансов настоящий бриллиант из короны будущего президента - это не кто иной, как второй человек в государстве Российском, вице-премьер Михаил Касьянов. Начав изучение жизни своего "героя", я вскоре понял, что этот на первый взгляд скромный переговорщик с МВФ - просто находка для журналистского расследования. За тихим и внешне приятным Михаилом Михайловичем тянутся весьма и весьма странные следы... Итак, несколько историй из жизни нового "героя" России Михаила Касьянова


Касьянов Михаил Михайлович родился 8 декабря 1957 года в Солнцеве, окончил Московский автодорожный институт. С 1981 по 1990 год работал в Госплане РСФСР, специализируясь на внешнеэкономических связях. С 1990 по 1993 год Касьянов трудился в Министерстве экономики, где также отвечал за внешнеэкономические вопросы. В 1993 году перешел в Министерство финансов, где возглавил департамент иностранных кредитов и внешнего долга. В 1995 году Михаил Михайлович назначен заместителем министра финансов РФ, а 25 мая 1999 года наш "герой" занял пост министра. В настоящее время Касьянов - первый вице-премьер, министр финансов и практически исполняет обязанности главы кабинета министров Владимира Путина.

Касьянов и "Мабетекс"

Перед нами - удивительный документ периода расцвета скандала под названием "Мабетекс". Помните? В этой весьма откровенной бумаге, именуемой "Разрешением № 1972 от 2.08.1995", говорится следующее: "Министерство финансов РФ разрешает перечислить... двадцать три миллиона шестьсот пять тысяч восемьсот девяносто долларов на оплату оборудования и выполнения комплекса работ по реконструкции Московского Кремля, производимого фирмой "Мабетекс" (Швейцария). Внешторгбанку РФ перечисления рублевого покрытия не контролировать".

Вот такое знатное разрешение было выдано Минфином России, и почти 24 миллиона долларов утекло скандально известному "Мабетексу", но при этом никакого рублевого покрытия в российский бюджет не поступило. Письмо подписали замминистра финансов А. Головатый и казначей В. Волков. Но, как мне стало известно, на этом документе Головатый всего лишь поставил свою закорючку, а подлинным автором индульгенции был не кто иной, как нынешний первый вице-премьер Михаил Касьянов. Именно Михаил Михайлович в 1995 году являлся заместителем министра финансов и единолично ведал всеми валютными операциями Минфина РФ и соответственно всеми проплатами по "Мабетексу". Ну а конкретно это разрешение на оплату услуг господина Пакколи оформлял и готовил лично Касьянов, и в архиве Минфина имеются документы по этим 24 миллионам за подписью нынешнего первого вице-премьера. По информации нашего источника, работавшего в 1995-1996 годах в ближайшем окружении Касьянова, все финансовые расчеты с "Мабетексом", "Меркатой" и другими компаниями, "уводившими" бюджетные деньги через управление делами президента, готовились лично Михаилом Касьяновым. И, кстати, в уголовном деле по "Мабетексу", которое ведет швейцарская прокуратура кантона Женева, имеются еще три таких же разрешения на оплату по 20 миллионов долларов каждое. И к каждому из них самое прямое отношение имел Касьянов, а на многих документах, подшитых в том же уголовном деле, присутствует аккуратный росчерк нынешнего первого вице-премьера.

Касьянов и долги

Есть такое понятие, как коммерческие долги государства. Сейчас много говорят и пишут о том, что Россия должна миллиарды различным странам, фондам и фирмам. И вот как раз этими долгами последние четыре года и ведает не кто иной, как Михаил Касьянов. Тут-то и начинает действовать уникальная схема игры, придуманная Касьяновым и его ближайшим партнером Александром Мамутом. Суть в следующем.

Долг России какой-либо фирме или фонду составляет, предположим, сотни миллионов долларов. Касьянов на международном уровне сообщает, что мы не можем вернуть долг, и тут же банки, "аффилиированные" с господином Мамутом (МДМ-Банк, Собинбанк и другие), скупают за бесценок российские долговые обязательства, платя за них примерно 25-30 процентов стоимости. Как известно, отчаявшийся кредитор зачастую идет на все, лишь бы получить хоть часть долга.

А в обязанности Михаила Касьянова последние годы входит составление списка первоочередных долгов России, которые нужно срочно погашать. Эта бумага впоследствии ложится на стол премьер-министру. И вот тут-то в "ежемесячный список Касьянова" в обязательном порядке попадают те долги, которые приобрел господин Мамут. И государство выплачивает компаньону Касьянова практически полную сумму долга. И разница в размере 60-70 процентов остается в структурах Мамута. Далее мамутовско-касьяновские деньги перечисляются в дочерние компании, принадлежащие компаньонам, а оттуда миллионы долларов уходят через корсчета то в "Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк", то в оффшорные зоны.
О масштабе сумм, проходящих через схему Касьянова - Мамута, свидетельствует ряд документов. Приведем один из них. Перед нами - платежное поручение, в котором "Компания проектного финансирования", принадлежащая Мамуту, перечисляет двенадцать миллионов долларов США через "Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк" в оффшорную фирму, зарегистрированную на Барбадосе. Документ датирован 18 апреля 1996 года. Незадолго до этого Россия погасила целый ряд долгов крупным западным табачным компаниям. И, кстати, именно в то время заместителем министра финансов, курирующим внешние коммерческие долги и выплаты по ним, был... Михаил Касьянов. Но, как свидетельствуют очевидцы, приведенная нами сумма в 12 миллионов долларов - это лишь маленькая часть денег, "прокрученных" дуэтом Касьянов - Мамут.

Касьянов и кредит

Помните 1998 год - то сладкое время, когда МВФ еще давал России большие кредиты? Именно тогда наше отечество получило очередной кредит в размере 4 миллиарда 800 миллионов долларов на стабилизацию курса рубля. Эти немалые деньги поступили на счет Минфина в федеральном резерве Центробанка. После чего Михаил Касьянов распорядился перевести миллиарды на зарубежные корсчета уполномоченных банков (СБС-Агро, Менатеп, Инком, Объединенный банк и проч.) для того, чтобы эти банки перечислили в российский бюджет рубли на эквивалентную сумму и тем самым стабилизировали отечественную валюту. Так думали различные чиновники, включая и МВФ. Но Касьянов наверняка так не думал, являясь организатором и мозговым центром всей этой операции.

А суть в том, что банки, получив 4 миллиарда долларов, вместо живых рублей вручили любимому государству гособлигации ГКО и ОФЗ, которые к тому времени превратились в никчемные бумажки и могли использоваться только в качестве обоев. И тут же все крупные банки, провернувшие аферу с кредитом МВФ, начали моментально банкротиться, переводя капиталы в свои более мелкие структуры. Помните: сначала Инком, потом СБС-Агро... То есть никто в обиде не остался - разумеется, кроме российского бюджета и "лохов" из МВФ.

И еще один не менее увлекательный эпизод из истории с кредитом МВФ. В 1998 году большинство российских банков, получивших кредитные деньги, держали свои зарубежные корсчета в "Нейшнл Рипаблик Бэнк оф Нью-Йорк", владельцем которого был ныне покойный банкир-миллионер Эдмон Сафра. Так вот, Сафра, будучи человеком неглупым, увидел, что через его банк российскими банкирами и Минфином прокручивается многомиллиардная афера. Наивный бизнесмен пожелал сообщить в ФБР о том, куда делся кредит МВФ. И вот тут-то у Сафры и случились неприятности. А начались они с того момента, как к нему на Лазурный Берег летом 1999 года прибыл некий эмиссар российских финансистов по имени Борис Березовский, который, кстати, является хозяином Объединенного банка - одного из тех, что получили кредитные деньги. О чем беседовали Березовский и Сафра, остается тайной за семью печатями. Известно только, что после разговора Сафра в срочном порядке переехал в свою резиденцию в Монако, где имелись усиленная охрана и даже бункер на случай ядерной войны. Но перепуганному банкиру не помогла надежная охрана - через три месяца он был убит...

Я, конечно, не утверждаю, что в гибели Сафры, пожелавшего раскрыть ФБР историю аферы с кредитом, виновны Березовский или Касьянов, который к тому времени уже поднялся до уровня министра финансов России. Но уж очень много странных совпадений!

Перед вами - лишь три истории из жизни второго человека в Российском государстве Михаила Михайловича Касьянова. Но на этом наше расследование жизненного пути первого вице-премьера не заканчивается. Продолжение следует.


PS . Надеюсь, что коллеги не станут в срочном порядке чистить свои архивы, где упоминается имя "видного оппозиционера" Михаила Касьянова.

[Dec 23, 2015] The antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee

Notable quotes:
"... the antipathy the Russian kreakly ..."
"... the Russian intelligentsia ..."
Moscow Exile, December 20, 2015 at 3:09 am
Russian "oppositionist" tweets – don't you just love 'em?

Colonel Matt Lee receiving instructions from his superiors

No doubt the person who posted the above tweet thinks Psaki, Harf, Trudeau, Rear-Admiral Kirby et al. have all been unfairly tested by this Russian FSB colonel Matt Lee and he should not have been allowed to take part in the Dept. of State press briefings because he is an agent of the Dark Lord, whilst the above mentioned Dept. of State spokespersons are all on the side of righteousness.

marknesop , December 20, 2015 at 11:38 am
I do love them, actually. For anyone who is not stupid, the antipathy the Russian kreakly bear toward Matthew Lee and anyone like him who questions the pat and Manichean State Department narrative bespeaks an admiration for the way the United States government operates. Quite apart for an unhealthy devotion to 'Murkan nationalism and a clear belief that when America seizes something, it should be grateful because it is a compliment if America wants it, it is a preview of how they would govern if they had power. Russia's 'intellectuals' are great admirers of the disinformation and manipulation of the public consciousness with which the State Department gets about its daily work.

It is noteworthy that Matt Lee has never at any time expressed any gratuitous admiration for Russia or Putin or the way Russia conducts global affairs. He merely questions the State Department when its lies get too big or when it purports something as incontestable fact which it has gleaned from social media and Syrian activists. But the Russian intelligentsia view him as an impediment to a unipolar world ruled by America The Great And Good.

[Nov 16, 2015] Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin

Notable quotes:
"... Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down. ..."
"... EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putins bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil. ..."
"... In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as authoritarian, dictators, and so forth. She said, The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state. She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: [T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule. ..."
"... The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread Cold War venom against Putin and the Russian government. ..."
"... Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. ..."
"... NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow. ..."
January 1, 2012 |
This article appears in the January 20, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 9, 2012 -Organizers of the December 2011 "anti-vote-fraud" demonstrations in Moscow have announced Feb. 4 as the date of their next street action, planned as a march around the city's Garden Ring Road on the 22nd anniversary of a mass demonstration which paved the way to the end of the Soviet Union. While there is a fluid situation within both the Russian extraparliamentary opposition layers, and the ruling circles and other Duma parties, including a process of "dialogue" between them, in which ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is playing a role, it is clear that British imperial interests are intent on-if not actually destroying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid for reelection as Russia's President in the March 4 elections-casting Russia into ongoing, destructive political turmoil.

Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down.

Review of the events leading up to the Dec. 4, 2011 Duma elections, which the street demonstrators demanded be cancelled for fraud, shows that not only agent-of-British-influence Mikhail Gorbachov, the ex-Soviet President, but also the vast Project Democracy apparatus inside the United States, exposed by EIR in the 1980s as part of an unconstitutional "secret government,"[1] have been on full mobilization to block the current Russian leadership from continuing in power.

Project Democracy

Typical is the testimony of Nadia Diuk, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), before the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last July 26. The NED is the umbrella of Project Democracy; it functions, inclusively, through the International Republican Institute (IRI, linked with the Republican Party) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI, linked with the Democratic Party, and currently headed by Madeleine Albright).

Diuk was educated at the U.K.'s Unversity of Sussex Russian studies program, and then taught at Oxford University, before coming to the U.S.A. to head up the NED's programs in Eastern Europe and Russia beginning 1990. She is married to her frequent co-author, Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Institute, who headed up the private intelligence outfit Freedom House[2] for 12 years. Her role is typical of British outsourcing of key strategic operations to U.S. institutions.

EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil.

In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule."

Diuk expressed renewed hope that the disastrous 2004 Orange Revolution experiment in Ukraine could be replicated in Russia, claiming that "when the protests against authoritarian rule during Ukraine's Orange Revolution brought down the government in 2004, Russian citizens saw a vision across the border of an alternative future for themselves as a Slavic nation." She then detailed what she claimed were the Kremlin's reactions to the events in Ukraine, charging that "the leaders in the Kremlin-always the most creative innovators in the club of authoritarians-have also taken active measures to promote support of the government and undermine the democratic opposition...."

Holos Ameryky

The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government.

While lauding "the democratic breakthroughs in the Middle East" in 2011, Diuk called on the Congress to "look to [Eastern Europe] as the source of a great wealth of experience on how the enemies of freedom are ever on the alert to assert their dominance, but also how the forces for freedom and democracy will always find a way to push back in a struggle that demands our support."

In September, Diuk chaired an NED event featuring a representative of the NED-funded Levada Center Russian polling organization, who gave an overview of the then-upcoming December 4 Duma election. Also speaking there was Russian liberal politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who predicted in the nastiest tones that Putin will suffer the fate of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In this same September period, Mikhail Gorbachov, too, was already forecasting voting irregularities and a challenge to Putin's dominance.

The NED, which has an annual budget of $100 million, sponsors dozens of "civil society" groups in Russia. Golos, the supposedly independent vote-monitoring group that declared there would be vote fraud even before the elections took place, has received NED money through the NDI since 2000. Golos had a piecework program, paying its observers a set amount of money for each reported voting irregularity. NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny-the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations-since 2006, when he and Maria Gaidar (daughter of the late London-trained shock therapy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar) launched a youth debating project called "DA!" (meaning "Yes!" or standing for "Democratic Alternative"). Gorbachov's close ally Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently negotiating with Kudrin on terms of a "dialogue between the authorities and the opposition," also received NED grants to his World Movement for Democracy.

Besides George Soros's Open Society Foundations (formerly, Open Society Institute, OSI), the biggest source of funds for this meddling, including funding which was channeled through the NDI and the IRI, is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Officially, USAID has spent $2.6 billion on programs in Russia since 1992. The current acknowledged level is around $70 million annually, of which nearly half is for "Governing Justly & Democratically" programs, another 30% for "Information" programs, and only a small fraction for things like combatting HIV and TB. On Dec. 15, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon announced that the Obama Administration would seek Congressional approval to step up this funding, with "an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society."

Awaiting McFaul

White House/Pete Souza

The impending arrival in Moscow of Michael McFaul (shown here with his boss in the Oval Office), as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, is seen by many there as an escalation of Project Democracy efforts to destabilize the country.

People from various parts of the political spectrum in Russia see the impending arrival of Michael McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russia as an escalation in Project Democracy efforts to destabilize Russia. McFaul, who has been Barack Obama's National Security Council official for Russia, has been working this beat since the early 1990s, when he represented the NDI in Russia at the end of the Soviet period, and headed its office there.

As a Russia specialist at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution, as well as the Carnegie Endowment, and an array of other Russian studies think tanks, McFaul has stuck closely to the Project Democracy agenda. Financing for his research has come from the NED, the OSI, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation (another notorious agency of financier interests within the U.S. establishment). He was an editor of the 2006 book Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough, containing chapters by Diuk and Karatnycky.

In his own contribution to a 2010 book titled After Putin's Russia,[3] McFaul hailed the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine-which was notoriously funded and manipulated from abroad-as a triumph of "people's political power from below to resist and eventually overturn a fraudulent election."

Before coming to the NSC, one of McFaul's many positions at Stanford was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project. He has also been active in such projects as the British Henry Jackson Society which is active in the drive to overthrow the government of Syria.

The Internet Dimension

The December 2011 street demonstrations in Moscow were organized largely online. Participation rose from a few hundred on Dec. 5, the day after the election, to an estimated 20,000 people on Bolotnaya Square Dec. 10, and somewhere in the wide range of 30,000 to 120,000 on Academician Sakharov Prospect Dec. 24.

Headlong expansion of Internet access and online social networking over the past three to five years has opened up a new dimension of political-cultural warfare in Russia. An EIR investigation finds that British intelligence agencies involved in the current attempts to destabilize Russia and, in their maximum version, overthrow Putin, have been working intensively to profile online activity in Russia and find ways to expand and exploit it. Some of these projects are outsourced to think tanks in the U.S.A. and Canada, but their center is Cambridge University in the U.K.-the heart of the British Empire, home of Bertrand Russell's systems analysis and related ventures of the Cambridge Apostles.[4]

The scope of the projects goes beyond profiling, as can be seen in the Cambridge-centered network's interaction with Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the December protest rallies.

While George Soros and his OSI prioritized building Internet access in the former Soviet Union starting two decades ago, as recently as in 2008 British cyberspace specialists were complaining that the Internet was not yet efficient for political purposes in Russia. Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism produced a Soros-funded report in 2008, titled "The Web that Failed: How opposition politics and independent initiatives are failing on the Internet in Russia." The Oxford-Reuters authors regretted that processes like the Orange Revolution, in which online connections were crucial, had not gotten a toehold in Russia. But they quoted a 2007 report by Andrew Kuchins of the Moscow Carnegie Center, who found reason for optimism in the seven-fold increase in Russian Internet (Runet) use from 2000 to 2007. They also cited Robert Orttung of American University and the Resource Security Institute, on how Russian blogs were reaching "the most dynamic members of the youth generation" and could be used by "members of civil society" to mobilize "liberal opposition groups and nationalists."

Scarcely a year later, a report by the digital marketing firm comScore crowed that booming Internet access had led to Russia's having "the world's most engaged social networking audience." Russian Facebook use rose by 277% from 2008 to 2009. The Russia-based social networking outfit (like Facebook) had 14.3 million visitors in 2009; (like had 7.8 million; and World had 6.3 million. All three of these social networking sites are part of the Sky Technologies empire of Yuri Milner,[5] with the individual companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locations.

The Cambridge Security Programme

Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08.

Two top profilers of the Runet are Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, who assessed its status in their essay "Control and Subversion in Russian Cyberspace."[6] At the University of Toronto, Deibert is a colleague of Barry Wellman, co-founder of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA).[7] Rohozinski is a cyber-warfare specialist who ran the Advanced Network Research Group of the Cambridge Security Programme (CSP) at Cambridge University in 2002-07. Nominally ending its work, the CSP handed off its projects to an array of organizations in the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), including Rohozinski's SecDev Group consulting firm, which issues the Information Warfare Monitor.

The ONI, formally dedicated to mapping and circumventing Internet surveillance and filtering by governments, is a joint project of Cambridge (Rohozinski), the Oxford Internet Institute, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.

Deibert and Rohozinski noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. They cited official estimates that 38 million Russians were going online as of 2010, of whom 60 had broadband access from home; the forecast number of Russia-based Runet users by 2012 was 80 million, out of a population of 140 million. Qualitatively, the ONI authors welcomed what they called "the rise of the Internet to the center of Russian culture and politics." On the political side, they asserted that "the Internet has eclipsed all the mass media in terms of its reach, readership, and especially in the degree of free speech and opportunity to mobilize that it provides."

This notion of an Internet-savvy core of the population becoming the focal point of Russian society is now being hyped by those who want to push the December demonstrations into a full-scale political crisis. Such writers call this segment of the population "the creative class," or "the active creative minority," which can override an inert majority of the population. The Dec. 30 issue of Vedomosti, a financial daily co-owned by the Financial Times of London, featured an article by sociologist Natalya Zubarevich, which was then publicized in "Window on Eurasia" by Paul Goble, a State Department veteran who has concentrated for decades on the potential for Russia to split along ethnic or other lines.

Zubarevich proposed that the 31% of the Russian population living in the 14 largest cities, of which 9 have undergone "post-industrial transformation," constitute a special, influential class, as against the inhabitants of rural areas (38%) and mid-sized industrial cities with an uncertain future (25%). Goble defined the big-city population as a target: "It is in this Russia that the 35 million domestic users of the Internet and those who want a more open society are concentrated."

The Case of Alexei Navalny

In the "The Web that Failed" study, Oxford-Reuters authors Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet. What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? They quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining.... The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."

Creative Commons
Creative Commons/Bogomolov.PL

NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow.

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation intended to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation."[8]

This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on Dec. 5, and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on Dec. 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006, he began to be financed by NED for the DA! project (see above). Along the way-maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors-Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40,000 (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order, which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased.

Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!

Yale Fellows

In 2010, Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than 20 approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations.[9] What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-09; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is "Mr. Openness." He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposés. When his e-mail account was hacked, and his correspondence with U.S. Embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?"

During the early-January 2012 holiday lull in Russia, Navalny engaged in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was another leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, whose neurolinguistic programming and advertising techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.[10] Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and 30 years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and advisor for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the U.K. The study produced a profile titled "Mapping the Russian Blogosphere," which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.

Allen Douglas, Gabrielle Peut, David Christie, and Dorothea Bunnell did research for this article.

Related pages:

The Schiller Institute
PO BOX 20244
Washington, DC 20041-0244

[Nov 15, 2015] The New Brand of Authoritarianism

Notable quotes:
"... Political Institutions under Dictatorship ..."
"... Competitive authoritarianism: hybrid regimes after the cold war ..."
"... Journal of Economic Perspectives ..."
"... Political Science Quarterly ..."
"... The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights ..."
"... the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime. ..."
"... In light of the New American Police State, post 9-11, it is clear to me that the United States has undergone a coup d'etat. ..."
"... Most of us back Chavez, Morales, or Correa for the policies they have followed in their own countries to the benefit of the great masses of the poor and their refusal to put the interests of international capital ahead of their people. ..."
From Vox EU:

The new authoritarianism, by Sergei Guriev, Daniel Treisman, Vox EU: The changing dictatorships Dictatorships are not what they used to be. The totalitarian tyrants of the past – such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot – employed terror, indoctrination, and isolation to monopolize power. Although less ideological, many 20th-century military regimes also relied on mass violence to intimidate dissidents. Pinochet's agents, for instance, are thought to have tortured and killed tens of thousands of Chileans (Roht-Arriaza 2005).

However, in recent decades new types of authoritarianism have emerged that seem better adapted to a world of open borders, global media, and knowledge-based economies. From the Peru of Alberto Fujimori to the Hungary of Viktor Orban, illiberal regimes have managed to consolidate power without fencing off their countries or resorting to mass murder. Some bloody military regimes and totalitarian states remain – such as Syria and North Korea – but the balance has shifted.

The new autocracies often simulate democracy, holding elections that the incumbents almost always win, bribing and censoring the private press rather than abolishing it, and replacing comprehensive political ideologies with an amorphous resentment of the West (Gandhi 2008, Levitsky and Way 2010). Their leaders often enjoy genuine popularity – at least after eliminating any plausible rivals. State propaganda aims not to 'engineer human souls' but to boost the dictator's ratings. Political opponents are harassed and defamed, charged with fabricated crimes, and encouraged to emigrate, rather than being murdered en masse.

Dictatorships and information

In a recent paper, we argue that the distinctive feature of such new dictatorships is a preoccupation with information (Guriev and Treisman 2015). Although they do use violence at times, they maintain power less by terrorizing victims than by manipulating beliefs. Of course, surveillance and propaganda were important to the old-style dictatorships, too. But violence came first. "Words are fine things, but muskets are even better," Mussolini quipped. Compare that to the confession of Fujimori's security chief, Vladimir Montesinos: "The addiction to information is like an addiction to drugs". Killing members of the elite struck Montesinos as foolish: "Remember why Pinochet had his problems. We will not be so clumsy" (McMillan and Zoido 2004).

We study the logic of a dictatorship in which the leader survives by manipulating information. Our key assumption is that citizens care about effective government and economic prosperity; first and foremost, they want to select a competent rather than incompetent ruler. However, the general public does not know the competence of the ruler; only the dictator himself and members of an 'informed elite' observe this directly. Ordinary citizens make what inferences they can, based on their living standards – which depend in part on the leader's competence – and on messages sent by the state and independent media. The latter carry reports on the leader's quality sent by the informed elite. If a sufficient number of citizens come to believe their ruler is incompetent, they revolt and overthrow him.

The challenge for an incompetent dictator is, then, to fool the public into thinking he is competent. He chooses from among a repertoire of tools – propaganda, repression of protests, co-optation of the elite, and censorship of their messages. All such tools cost money, which must come from taxing the citizens, depressing their living standards, and indirectly lowering their estimate of the dictator's competence. Hence the trade-off.

Certain findings emerge from the logic of this game.

Repression is not necessary if mass beliefs can be manipulated sufficiently. Dictators win a confidence game rather than an armed combat. Indeed, since in our model repression is only used if equilibria based on non-violent methods no longer exist, violence can signal to opposition forces that the regime is vulnerable.

Since both bribing the elite and censoring the media are ways of preventing the sending of embarrassing messages, they serve as substitutes. Propaganda, by contrast, complements all the other tools.

Propaganda and a leader's competency

Why does anyone believe such propaganda? Given the dictator's obvious incentive to lie, this is a perennial puzzle of authoritarian regimes. We offer an answer. We think of propaganda as consisting of claims by the ruler that he is competent. Of course, genuinely competent rulers also make such claims. However, backing them up with convincing evidence is costlier for the incompetent dictators – who have to manufacture such evidence – than for their competent counterparts, who can simply reveal their true characteristics. Since faking the evidence is costly, incompetent dictators sometimes choose to spend their resources on other things. It follows that the public, observing credible claims that the ruler is competent, rationally increases its estimate that he really is.

Moreover, if incompetent dictators survive, they may over time acquire a reputation for competence, as a result of Bayesian updating by the citizens. Such reputations can withstand temporary economic downturns if these are not too large. This helps to explain why some clearly inept authoritarian leaders nevertheless hold on to power – and even popularity – for extended periods (cf. Hugo Chavez). While a major economic crisis results in their overthrow, more gradual deteriorations may fail to tarnish their reputations significantly.

A final implication is that regimes that focus on censorship and propaganda may boost relative spending on these as the economy crashes. As Turkey's growth rate fell from 7.8% in 2010 to 0.8% in 2012, the number of journalists in jail increased from four to 49. Declines in press freedom were also witnessed after the Global Crisis in countries such as Hungary and Russia. Conversely, although this may be changing now, in both Singapore and China during the recent decades of rapid growth, the regime's information control strategy shifted from one of more overt intimidation to one that often used economic incentives and legal penalties to encourage self-censorship (Esarey 2005, Rodan 1998).

The kind of information-based dictatorship we identify is more compatible with a modernized setting than with the rural underpinnings of totalitarianism in Asia or the traditional societies in which monarchs retain legitimacy. Yet, modernization ultimately undermines the informational equilibria on which such dictators rely. As education and information spread to broader segments of the population, it becomes harder to control how this informed elite communicates with the masses. This may be a key mechanism explaining the long-noted tendency for richer countries to open up politically.


Esarey, A (2005), "Cornering the market: state strategies for controlling China's commercial media", Asian Perspective 29(4): 37-83.

Gandhi, J (2008), Political Institutions under Dictatorship, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Guriev, S and D Treisman (2015), "How Modern Dictators Survive: Cooptation, Censorship, Propaganda, and Repression", CEPR Discussion Paper, DP10454.

Levitsky, S, and L A Way (2010), Competitive authoritarianism: hybrid regimes after the cold war, New York: Cambridge University Press.

McMillan, J, and P Zoido (2004), "How to subvert democracy: Montesinos in Peru", Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(4): 69-92.

Rodan, G (1998), "The Internet and political control in Singapore", Political Science Quarterly 113(1): 63-89.

Roht-Arriaza, N (2005), The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Peter K. said...

"A final implication is that regimes that focus on censorship and propaganda may boost relative spending on these as the economy crashes."

Instead of military Keynesianism, it's "police state" Keynesianism.

More social spending coupled with more social control.

ilsm said...

The corporation runs the governors.....

"Investor State Dispute Settlement" is a new twist where the actions of government, like investor "losses" from shuttering frackers would be compensated by a standing unelected nor appointed by the locals "board" filled with corporate cronies to take sovereignty from governments when foreign investors are denied pillaging "rights".

"Investor State Dispute Settlement" is why you should oppose TPP fast track.

The kleptocarcy is well advanced in the US!

GeorgeK said...

..."This helps to explain why some clearly inept authoritarian leaders nevertheless hold on to power – and even popularity – for extended periods (cf. Hugo Chavez"...

Guess your definition of authoritarian leaders depends on who's Ox is being gored. If you were wealthy or upper middle class Chavez was a failure, if you were poor or indigenous he was a savior.

..."Chávez maintains that unlike other global financial organizations, the Bank of the South will be managed and funded by the countries of the region with the intention of funding social and economic development without any political conditions on that funding.[262] The project is endorsed by Nobel Prize–winning, former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz, who said: "One of the advantages of having a Bank of the South is that it would reflect the perspectives of those in the south," and that "It is a good thing to have competition in most markets, including the market for development lending."[263]"...
Guess nobody told Stiglitz about Chavez's authoritarian incompetence.

Julio said in reply to anne...

Seems clear enough to me. Consider "freedom of the press": the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime.

But in a government attempting left-wing reforms, and where the government is less stable, there is less room for the government to accept the unanimity and hostility of the press; it may need to intervene more strongly to defend itself. Take e.g. Ecuador where Correa has been accused of suppressing press liberties along these very lines.

anne said in reply to Julio...

Seems clear enough to me. Consider "freedom of the press": the US needs to only be mildly interventionist, since moneyed interests will own the megaphones and censor their own workers; and since the one-sidedness of information is no threat to the regime....

[ Thinking further, I realize that the United States is wildly aggressive with governments of countries considered strategic and does not hesitate to use media in those countries when our "needs" do not seem met. I am thinking even of the effort to keep allied governments, even the UK, France and Germany, from agreeing to become members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that China has begun. ]

Peter K. said in reply to GeorgeK...

"Guess your definition of authoritarian leaders depends on who's Ox is being gored."

This is how I see it. There are no objective standards.

Lefties criticize Obama for going after whistle blowers. Snowden is treated as a hero. Then guys like Paine and Kervack defend the behaviro of a Putin or Chavez because the U.S. doesn't like them.

Peter K. said in reply to Peter K....

I think a lot of the older left is stuck in a Cold War mind set.

Opposing America is good because you're opposing multinational capitalism. So they'll provide rhetorical support to any nutjob who opposes the West no matter how badly he mistreats his people.

Peter K. said in reply to Peter K....

It's the flipside to the Dick Cheney-Security State rationalizations of torture and police state tactics like warrantless surveillence.

It's okay if we do it, because they're trying to destroy us.

The ends justify the means.

hyperpolarizer said in reply to Peter K....

I am the older left (born right after WW II). I grew up with the cold war, but -- despite its poisonous legacy (particularly the linking of the domestic labor movement to international communism)-- I have assuredly left it behind.

In light of the New American Police State, post 9-11, it is clear to me that the United States has undergone a coup d'etat.

Roger Gathmann said in reply to anne...

Defending Chavez doesn't seem like a bad thing to do. So, Peter K., do you defend, say, Uribe? Let's see - amended constitution so he could run again - Chavez, check, Uribe check. Associated with paramilitaries, Uribe, check, Chavez, demi-check. Loved by the US, Uribe, check, Chavez, non-check. Funny how chavez figures in these things, and Uribe doesn't.

Peter K. said in reply to Roger Gathmann...

I never said a thing about Uribe. I said there should be single standards across the board for Uribe, America, Chavez, Putin, China, etc...

Roger Gathmann said in reply to Peter K....

Right. Double standard. That is what I am talking about. The double standard that allows US tax dollars to go into supporting a right wing dictator like Uribe. I don't have to piss off. You can piss off. I doubt you will. I certainly won't. It is adolescent gestures like that which make me wonder about your age.

Are you going to slam the door next and saY I hate you I hate you I hate you?
You need to get a little pillow that you can mash. Maybe with a hello kitty sewed on it.

Nietil said in reply to Roger Gathmann...

I don't see how any of these criteria has anything to do with being an autocrat.

Autocracy is an answer to the question of the source of legitimacy (democratic, autocratic, or theocratic). It has nothing to do with either the definition of the sovereign space (feudal, racial or national) or with the number of people running the said government (anarchy, monarchy, oligarchy).

The UK for example was a national and democratic monarchy for a long, long time. Now it's more of a national and democratic oligarchy. And it can still change in the future.

DrDick said in reply to Peter K....

I really do not think that is at all accurate. While there are certainly some like that, it is far from the majority. Most of us back Chavez, Morales, or Correa for the policies they have followed in their own countries to the benefit of the great masses of the poor and their refusal to put the interests of international capital ahead of their people.

Much of that support is also conditional and qualified, for reasons that have been mentioned here. All evaluations of current leaders is conditioned by both past history in the country and region, as well as the available alternatives. By those standards, all of the men I mentioned look pretty good, if far from perfect.

anne said...

March, 2015

How Modern Dictators Survive: Cooptation, Censorship, Propaganda, and Repression
By Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman

We develop an informational theory of dictatorship. Dictators survive not because of their use of force or ideology but because they convince the public--rightly or wrongly--that they are competent. Citizens do not observe the dictator's type but infer it from signals inherent in their living standards, state propaganda, and messages sent by an informed elite via independent media. If citizens conclude the dictator is incompetent, they overthrow him in a revolution. The dictator can invest in making convincing state propaganda, censoring independent media, co-opting the elite, or equipping police to repress attempted uprisings -- but he must finance such spending with taxes that depress the public's living standards. We show that incompetent dictators can survive as long as economic shocks are not too large. Moreover, their reputations for competence may grow over time. Censorship and co-optation of the elite are substitutes, but both are complements of propaganda. Repression of protests is a substitute for all the other techniques. In some equilibria the ruler uses propaganda and co-opts the elite; in others, propaganda is combined with censorship. The multiplicity of equilibria emerges due to coordination failure among members of the elite. We show that repression is used against ordinary citizens only as a last resort when the opportunities to survive through co-optation, censorship, and propaganda are exhausted. In the equilibrium with censorship, difficult economic times prompt higher relative spending on censorship and propaganda. The results illuminate tradeoffs faced by various recent dictatorships.

[ This is the discussion paper, which I find more coherent than the summary essay. ]

JayR said...

Wow quite a few countries, maybe even the US with Obama's war on whistle blowers, could fit this articles definition if the authors actually though more about it.

Roger Gathmann said in reply to Peter K....

Yes, the people of Greece can vote to leave the Eurozone, just like the people of Crimea can vote to leave the Ukraine, or the people of Kosovo could vote to leave Serbia. There are many ways, though, of looking at soft dictatorship. I think the EU bureaucrats have been busy inventing new ones, with new and ever more onerous chains. To say Greece can vote to leave the EU is like saying the merchant can always defy the mafioso, or the moneylender. It isn't that easy.

Roger Gathmann said...

and then of course there are the death squads:

[Oct 04, 2015] Yuri N. Afanasyev, Historian Who Repudiated Communism, Dies at 81 By SOPHIA KISHKOVSKYOCT

Those people tried to find alternative to communism in neoliberalism and when thay understood that their choice is as rotten as the old one they have no corage to admit it. So sfrom dissentent they instance converted themselves into fifth column. Into neoliberal creacles. Afanasyev was pretty aggressive creakle BTW.
Oct 1, 2015 | The New York Times

MOSCOW - Yuri N. Afanasyev, a Russian historian and former Communist loyalist who became a leading democratic politician in the late Soviet era and founded a liberal arts university that, together with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, introduced Russia's first academic Jewish studies program, died Sept. 14 at his home in Moscow. He was 81.

The cause was a heart attack, said a spokeswoman for the Russian State University for the Humanities, which Mr. Afanasyev founded in 1991. His son-in-law, Viktor Prichesnyaev, told the radio station Ekho Moskvy that Mr. Afanasyev had diabetes.

Mr. Afanasyev's life traced an unpredictable arc that began under Stalin's harsh rule in the 1930s, carried him as a boy through the hardships of World War II and brought him stature and privileges as a dedicated Communist, only to lead him away from the very political system that had nurtured him.

By the end of his life he had embraced democratic principles, laid bare the sins of Russian history as a scholar and spoken out against his country's leaders, from Soviet party chiefs to Mikhail S. Gorbachev to, most pointedly, Vladimir V. Putin.

Yuri Nikolaevich Afanasyev was born on Sept. 5, 1934, in the Volga River region of Ulyanovsk. His father, Nikolai, was a laborer; his mother, Anna, taught at a village school.

Mr. Afanasyev rose in Soviet academic and political circles during the thick of the Cold War. He earned a degree in history at Moscow State University, served as secretary of the Komsomol youth organization at a Siberian hydroelectric power plant, and became a senior researcher at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and rector of the Historical Archives Institute in Moscow.

But by the 1980s he had begun to turn from Soviet orthodoxy, thanks in part to the Soviet authorities themselves. Allowed by the state to travel to Paris in the 1970s and to do academic research at the Sorbonne, Mr. Afanasyev stumbled on the work of Soviet dissidents, including the poet Anna Akhmatova and the nuclear physicist Andrei D. Sakharov. He began questioning his party loyalties.

"I was pro-regime," he said in a 1991 interview with Dialog, a Moscow magazine, "and sincerely believed that our system is the best in the world, and since I believed this, I worked in government structures. To say that now I curse myself in every possible way for what I was then - is to say nothing."

He became an editor, in 1983, of Kommunist, the Communist Party's flagship journal, and caused a furor two years later when, in an article titled "The Past and Us," he suggested that the Soviet authorities distorted history. --[ that fact alone suggests that KGB brass and part of Politburo at this time fully switched to neoliberal camp]

"Badly understood history is an extremely dangerous thing," he wrote.

He went on, in 1988, to edit "There Is No Other Way," a seminal collection of essays by leading thinkers of the time about the necessity of reform. He wrote the introduction.

In 1989, Mr. Afanasyev helped found Memorial, an organization dedicated to exposing Stalin's atrocities and commemorating the victims.

That year he also joined the Soviet Union's first freely elected parliamentary body, the Congress of People's Deputies, which was created under Mr. Gorbachev's reforms. But he grew disenchanted, doubting that its unwieldy mix of Stalinists, democrats and Communist Party functionaries could bring about change, and denouncing both its "aggressively obedient majority" and Mr. Gorbachev.

"They did not send us here to be graceful but to drastically change the situation in the country," Mr. Afanasyev said.

He quit the Communist Party in 1990 and helped found the Democratic Russia political movement, an opposition faction. He gave speeches at pro-democracy rallies that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters in the prelude to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The journalist David Remnick, in "Lenin's Tomb," his 1993 account of that era, called Mr. Afanasyev "the democratic movement's master of ceremonies."

Equally disappointed in Mr. Gorbachev's successor, Boris N. Yeltsin, Mr. Afanasyev withdrew from politics and turned to education, founding the Russian State University for the Humanities, an outgrowth of the Historical Archives Institute that today enrolls more than 21,000 students.

In his book "Russia in Search of Itself" (2004), James Billington, the librarian of Congress and a historian of Russia, described the university as possibly "the most vibrant new large institution of higher learning in post-Communist Russia."

The university created its Jewish studies program, Russia's first, in 1991 as a joint effort with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in Manhattan. Mr. Afanasyev was not Jewish but had denounced many Russian nationalists as anti-Semites and received threats because of it.

In 1996 the university granted an honorary doctorate to Dr. Ismar Schorsch, who was the seminary's chancellor at the time.

"The study of religion in any systematic fashion was taboo" in Soviet Russia, Dr. Schorsch said in an interview with The New York Times that year, "and he told us" - referring to Mr. Afanasyev - "'You can't study the history of religion without studying the history of Judaism.'"

Mr. Afanasyev continued his own research on the history of Russia. In the 1990s he edited a multivolume work covering the nation's 20th century. In 2001, in his book "Dangerous Russia," he argued that Russia had been poisoned by its past.

As the title of one chapter, "Putin's Reconstruction of the Russian State," suggests, Mr. Afanasyev's concerns extended to present-day Russia. In a 1999 essay, he projected a scenario in which Russia, in 2015, "will end up in the trap of imperial nationalism," fueled by economic depression.

He was rector of the university until 2003 and retired as its president in 2006. Though his health was failing, he continued to write and speak about his country.

In May, at a conference in Poland marking 70 years since the end of World War II in Europe and attended by European leaders, Mr. Afanasyev warned of a new form of Stalinism growing in Russia and called the country under Mr. Putin "criminal from the bottom up."

Mr. Afanasyev's wife, Ninel, died in 2008. He is survived by a son, Andrei; a daughter, Marina; and four grandchildren.

[Jul 14, 2015] Пятиминутка интеллигенции

Jul 14, 2015 | matveychev_oleg

Без комментариев, тут и так все понятно.

Я вдруг понял, как настоящего интеллигента отличить от быдла вроде меня. Мы, быдло, можем быть сколь угодно начитанными и умненькими, а они, интеллигенты, сколь угодно необразованными и тупыми - но нас не спутать, мы различаемся на первых же опознавательных кодах. Мы, быдло, можем быть даже оппозиционерами, а они, интеллигенты, даже лоялистами - но мы расходимся на первых же цифрах после запятой.
Штука вся в том, что у нас, быдла, и у них, интеллигентов, совершенно по-разному устроен русский язык. Мы используем совершенно разные словари понятий для основных сфер жизни.

Настоящий интеллигент, когда пишет о Родине, всегда пишет о жратве и бытовухе. О чём бы он ни писал - он всегда составляет свою мысль из котлет, макарон, макияжа, кнопок в лифте, потных подмышек, желудочных газов, гарнитуров, ковров на стене, истошных соседкиных собачек и как его толкнули в трамвае. Он всегда помнит, когда и где как ели и что носили и чем обставлялись. Он вспоминает это, даже когда пишет об искусстве. Его тексты о каком-нибудь отечественном творце - это всегда тексты о том, как он, интеллигент, пробирался на концерт/фильм/выставку творца и порвал себе колготки.

А когда он начинает писать о чём-нибудь горнем, нездешнем - то грубый материализм покидает интеллигента, и даже если он пишет про чьи-то ужасы, вонь и подмышки, вся его сварливость сразу куда-то девается. Всё превращается в Высокий Слог. И он поэтично задвигает что-то типа "у Пазолини внутренний мир экстериоризуется, исходит вовне, рывком обнажая содержание".

Я случайно нашёл сейчас такого интеллигента. Вот он пишет про горнее: "Великое мифологическое ничто у Фасбиндера всегда содержит ничто человеческое - простейшую животную особь. Его герои, явившиеся на свет после конца, рождены с неизбывным чувством краха. Они - недоноски, бастарды, полулюди. Не зная ни любви, ни понимания, они не в силах осмысленно жить и с толком, с чувством умереть. У них нет не только истории, у них нет биографии. Они - фантомы. Но причастность к другому, большему фантому, делает их великими".

А вот спустя пару абзацев про Родину:

"Но полицейское государство блокирует любые меньшинства, само это понятие; вместо недоносков, бастардов и полулюдей всегда в ассортименте номенклатурные герои - настоящие мужики, скромные и скорбные, и Варвара краса-накладная коса в штопаной кофточке, с духовностью во взоре. Не было народа-преступника, ставшего народом-фантомом, были герои, совершавшие перманентный подвиг. Иногда среди них попадались жертвы, с этим, кряхтя и пердя, пока соглашаются".

Почувствуйте разницу. Как всё сразу материализовалось-то. Накладная коса, штопаная кофточка, кряхтение и пердение. Это твой интеллигент, Родина. Он так тебя видит, слышит, обоняет.

У того же чубзика, кстати, дальше три поста про колготки и почему в интеллигентных домах обувь не снимали - "советский человек был лишён прайвеси, и а интеллигенты не принуждали друг друга к коллективистским тапкам".

...А мы, быдло, описываем мир так, будто он один, общий для всех людей. Для нас обои всего лишь обои, а котлеты всего лишь котлеты одинаково в Самаре и Берлине. А режиссёр И. Бергман для нас такой же живой рассказчик, как С. Бондарчук - первого мы не превращаем в астральную сущность, второго мысленно не обряжаем в тапки, спецпаёк и волгу с занавесочками. Мы возмутительно терпимо относимся к жратве и бытовухе, они нам не мешают любоваться Врубелем, Гогеном и закатом. Для нас состояние уборных в Версале и Петергофе - это одно, а Пуссен и Куинджи - это другое.

Из-за этого мы всё время забываем, где нужно ныть, а где воспарять. Быдло может написать статью про "Гамлета" Козинцева, ни разу не упомянув перловку и перманент, - а интеллигент не может. Зато интеллигент, когда смотрит какую-нибудь пальмоносную порнушку вроде "жизни Адель", видит там сплошь Нарушения Табу, Страстность и Фактурность, а не как быдло - непрерывно что-то едящих и долго совокупляющихся крашеных лесби.

Виктор Мараховский

Маленькая б Сергея Гуриева Блог Марины Юденич

Вчера в Австрии началось заседание Билдербергского клуба.

Некоторая часть интересующейся общественность числит эту организацию мировым правительством, международным политбюро, современной масонской ложей и говорит о том, что её влияние на мировую политику безгранично.

Другая - значительно более малочисленная, но, похоже, более осведомленная - утверждает, что это всего лишь посиделки старых лоббистов, немало усилий прилагающих для того, чтобы прослыть всемогущими.

Истина - полагаю - как обычно кроется где-то посередине.

Не суть.

В этом году на заседание клуба позвали Сергея Гуриева. В подробности его биографии вдаваться не станем, поскольку роль, отведённую Гуриеву, мог сыграть кто угодно - и Ходорковский, и Касьянов, и даже бывший политик Навальный.

Но полагаю, в случае с первым сыграла роль информация, которой наверняка обладают члены "теневого". Касается она и деятельности "ЮКОСА" в России, и тех обязательств которые МБХ принял на себя, оказавшись на Западе. Наёмных работников на господские посиделки, как правило, не зовут.

Пресловутые 2%, проще говоря, мощная коррупционная составляющая публичной биографии Касьянова, вероятно, закрыли ему двери любого общества, которое претендует на то, чтобы называться приличным. Политические демарши конгрессменов и сенаторов США, понятно, не в счёт.

В случае с третьим персонажем - можно ограничиться одной фразой - "нос не дорос". И уже всем и везде очевидно, что не дорастёт никогда.

Гуриев - в этих обстоятельствах - фигура волпне себе компромиссная. В лучших традициях отдела пропаганды ЦК КПСС персонажу, который должен предстать пред светлы очи членов политбрю, обеспечили короткую, но мощную PR компанию, в частности - полосу The Washington Post, где наш герой подробно объяснил, что и как нужно делать, дабы сместить действующую российскую власть. Г-н Гуриев - как и подобает представителю революционной интеллигенции - пространно ответил на два исконных вопроса : "кто виноват?" и "что делать?"

Виновата, разумеется, нынешняя российская власть ( читай - лично Президент Путин ). И вот почему:

Вывод: Кремль сосредоточен исключительно на собственном выживании и - стало быть - наступило время действовать.

Ответ на вопрос "что делать?" экс-директор ВКШ даёт вполне определённый.

Иными словами, необходимо любой ценой вывести народ на улицы, добиться массовых протестных акций ( революции, восстания, мятежа) в результате которых Путин вынужден будет уйти в отставку.

Далее формируется "переходное правительство". Поскольку никакого "переходного правительства" Конституция РФ не предусматривает, речь здесь идёт о том, что страна покидает правовое поле и погружается в режим "революционной целесообразности", в рамках которого и пройдут "свободные демократические выборы" ( ну, мы же помним, как свободно и демократично выбирали Б.Н.Е со товарищи?)

Далее двери страны широко распахиваются для "освободителей", у которых - как и в начале 90-х - есть план.


И - знаете что? - вся эта история может стать хорошим тестом для Билдербергского клуба.

Потому как "мировая закулиска" - если таковая действительно существует - должна быть хорошо осведомлена о настрое российского народа сегодня.

Ещё более она должна быть осведомлена о том, who is mr. Putin.

Это к вопросу о численности революционных масс и о том, что "Путин будет вынужден".

В обратном случае, мы можем с полной уверенностью говорить о клубе бывших лоббистов, которым до сей поры удавалось убедительно надувать щёки.

И последнее.

Про маленькую "б"

Это не метафора ни разу.

Прибывающих сегодня в Австрию членов клуба (не суть, на частном самолёте прибыл гость или на обычном), организаторы встречали с табличками.

Для постоянных членов это была табличка с большой буквой "Б". Для приглашённых - с маленькой. Всё просто.

About the 'self-hating Russian'

"...the kreakly delight in caricaturing Russia, both because it makes them feel clever and because it brings instant adulation from the western media, which likes to maintain a stable of tame Russia-hating Russians for credibility. I often think what makes a kreakl is a sense that one does not fit in, does not belong. It is the easiest thing to assume that one must be smarter than his fellows, otherwise he would think and feel as they do. "

PaulR, May 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm

I thought that this was a particularly bad New York Times op-ed (by novelist Mikhail Shishkin – has anybody read any of his books?),, and so I have written a response here, about the 'self-hating Russian':
Warren, May 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm
Perhaps Shishkin believes Russians are a primitive people, that the Germans would have civilised the unwashed, ignorant and blighted Russian masses. Germany's defeat in World War 2 prevented this from happening; perhaps this is the source of Shishkin's resentment? Russian liberals and Russian right-wing racists such as Misanthropic Division and Dmitry Demushkin all seek to emulate West in one form or another, and see Russians as somehow defective.

Shishkin reminds me of anther self-hating liberal from an enemy state – a Chinese liberal that is praised in the West; Liu Xiaobo, who also echoes the West's prejudices.

In a well-known statement of 1988, Liu said:

It took Hong Kong 100 years to become what it is. Given the size of China, certainly it would need 300 years of colonisation for it to become like what Hong Kong is today. I even doubt whether 300 years would be enough.

Warren, May 11, 2015 at 5:59 pm
Warren, May 11, 2015 at 6:02 pm
marknesop, May 11, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Has an American or British political dissident, opposed to the policies of his own government, ever won a Nobel Prize? They are reserved for handing out to foreign political dissidents who lick the west's boots and yammer about how great their former country will be when the west liberates it and overthrows their government. Westerners who act like that are traitors, and certainly not Nobel Prize material.

If a "protest art" group in New York painted a 30-foot dick on the Brooklyn Bridge, I find it hard to imagine they would get an art prize from the U.S. government.

astabada , May 11, 2015 at 8:46 pm
Has an American or British political dissident, opposed to the policies of his own government, ever won a Nobel Prize?

I don't know whether you can consider Pintor a political dissident. However he certainly did not approve the policies of his own government, as clearly stated in his beautiful Nobel Prize lecture.

The trick there was the usual one, namely not to silence dissent but to drown it in noise.

marknesop , May 11, 2015 at 9:46 pm
Great find; I had never heard of Harold Pinter – shows what an uncultured Philistine I am. The lecture is indeed a thing of beauty, and one paragraph of it may be perfect for my next post, which is in the works. Thanks!!
astabada , May 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm
shows what an uncultured Philistine I am

I could lecture you for hours on this topic, if I wasn't myself an uncultured monkey much more than you are, and if I had not been introduced to it by an article from the journalist John Pilger.

yalensis , May 12, 2015 at 2:37 am
Dear Paul:

I never heard of Shishkin before, let alone read anything by him; but that says something only me and how out of touch I am with contemporary "Russian" literature. (Shishkin apparently lives in exile, in Switzerland, but presumably he still writes in Russian.)

According to his biograpy, Mikhail Shishkin is half Russian, half Ukrainian (on his mother's side); Shishkin's grandfather was repressed in Stalin times; Shishkin's father was a decorated war veteran (as per his op-ed). By the time Shishkin was born, it was already a broken family, with the father leaving the family, and the boy raised by his grandmother.

The boy became ideologically anti-Soviet and engaged in samizdat and tamizdat activities typical of Soviet dissidents. His Ukrainian mother also appears to be a political dissident, and it sounds like there was a mother-son political bond, against the absent (possibly abusive) father. At one point (all this in the wiki bio) Mikhail's mother was fired from her job at the school because she allowed the boy to attend "Vysotsky parties".

In other words, if I may indulge in some amateur Freudian psychiatry, it sounds like Shishkin has a lot of "daddy" issues, identified his loathed father with the Soviet state; later with Putin; idealized his mother, which he associates with all good things: Vysotsky, dissidents, the West, etc.

And by the way, this is an enduring theme of the Russian intelligentsia: Just about every Soviet dissident and modern contemporary kreakl was a Vysotsky fan. Vysotsky was some kind of catalyst for this generation.

Anyhow, A few years back, Shishkin emigrated to Switzerland and considers himself to be a political emigre. He publishes on average one book every five years and appears to be able to make a good living from his writing.

According to the wiki entry (which sounds like it was written by Shishkin himself), Shishkin is the greatest Russian writer of our times, a veritable combination of Chekhov, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Bunin and James Royce, all rolled into one. His works are translated into innumerable languages, and even turned into plays.

yalensis , May 12, 2015 at 2:56 am
Dear Paul:

Here is a suggested dissertation topic for one of your students:

"The Role of Vysotsky in the birth of the Kreakl Generation".

Warren , May 12, 2015 at 3:44 am
Vladimir Vysotsky seems to be a bit of a character with his husky singing voice:

PaulR, May 12, 2015 at 5:21 am
I never got what the big deal was about Vysotsky. I guess it was one of those things that you had to be there at the right time to understand. When it comes to Soviet bards, I prefer Okudzhava.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:32 am
I spent a full academic year at Voronezh University listening to that bugger howling. My three Russian room-mates played Vysotsky almost non-stop daily. At first, I used to think it was a drunkard singing, which was right, in a way, because booze eventually killed him. In the end I asked them what it was all about, and told them I thought it was crap. They said I had to be a Russian to understand.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:40 am
Oh yeah, and he had his revenge on me! After I had got wed, Mrs. Exile took me to see her parents' and grandparents'graves, which are in the Vagankovskoe cemetery, a place where many famous folk are pushing up the daisies, including Vysotsky. And as we approached, I heard his howling again. I thought I was hearing things, but there, next to the gates was a big kiosk flogging off souvenirs of the great crooner, including audio cassettes of his complete works, examples of which were constantly being blasted out from speakers hanging from the frontage of the shop.
Moscow Exile , May 12, 2015 at 5:46 am

Vysotsky's grave. It's always covered with flower tributes whenever I pass it. I was there the other week for a spring clean-upof my wife's folks' plot.

Moscow Exile, May 12, 2015 at 6:23 am
It was ever thus with Russian self-hating liberals.

Nineteenth-century Russia had some of the most radically "self-hating" liberals ever. They were called Zapadniki, or "Westerners". The social gulf between traditional-minded Russian masses and the small Western-educated elite was huge: in the 18th century it was even greater: the elite didn't even speak Russian most of the time and the only contact they had with members of the great unwashed was with their house servants – sort of like "house niggers" in the glory days of the US South. This 19th century Russian elite had nothing but contempt towards the Russian past and with an almost colonial subject's servility adopted all the newest progressive fads invented in Western Europe.

Here is an extract from a letter written by Dostoevsky in 1867, in which he describes his visit to Turgenev, who was then living as an expatriate in Germany:

Frankly, I never could have imagined that anyone could so naively and clumsily display all the wounds in his vanity, as Turgenev did that day; and these people go about boasting that they are atheists. He told me that he was an uncompromising atheist. My God! It is to Deism that we owe the Saviour - that is to say, the conception of a man so noble that one cannot grasp it without a sense of awe - a conception of which one cannot doubt that it represents the undying ideal of mankind. And what do we owe to these gentry - Turgenev, Herzen, Utin, Tchernychevsky? In place of that loftiest divine beauty on which they spit, we behold in them such ugly vanity, such unashamed susceptibility, such ludicrous arrogance, that it is simply impossible to guess what it is that they hope for, and who shall take them as guides. He frightfully abused Russia and the Russians. But I have noticed this: all those Liberals and Progressives who derive chiefly from Bielinsky's school, find their pleasure and satisfaction in abusing Russia. The difference is that the adherents of Tchernychevsky merely abuse, and in so many words desire that Russia should disappear from the face of the earth {that, first of all!). But the others declare, in the same breath, that they love Russia. And yet they hate everything that is native to the soil, they delight in caricaturing it, and were one to oppose them with some fact that they could not explain away or caricature, - any fact with which they were obliged to reckon - they would, I believe, be profoundly unhappy, annoyed, even distraught. And I've noticed that Turgenev - and for that matter all who live long abroad - have no conception of the true facts (though they do read the newspapers), and have so utterly lost all affection and understanding for Russia that even those quite ordinary matters which in Russia the very Nihilists no longer deny, but only as it were caricature after their manner - these fellows cannot so much as grasp. Amongst other things he told me that we are bound to crawl in the dust before the Germans, that there is but one universal and irrefutable way - that of civilization, and that all attempts to create an independent Russian culture are but folly and pigheadedness. He said that he was writing a long article against the Russophils and Slavophils. I advised him to order a telescope from Paris for his better convenience. " What do you mean?" he asked. "The distance is somewhat great," I replied; "direct the telescope on Russia, and then you will be able to observe us; otherwise you can't really see anything at all." He flew into a rage.

And take a look at these extracts from Dostoevsky's "The idiot":

"I can but thank you", he said, in a tone too respectful to be sincere, "for your kindness in letting me speak, for I have often noticed that our Liberals never allow other people to have an opinion of their own, and immediately answer their opponents with abuse, if they do not have recourse to arguments of a still more unpleasant nature".

"Excuse me", continued Evgenie Pavlovitch hotly, "I don't say a word against liberalism. Liberalism is not a sin, it is a necessary part of a great whole, which whole would collapse and fall to pieces without it. Liberalism has just as much right to exist as has the most moral conservatism; but I am attacking RUSSIAN liberalism; and I attack it for the simple reason that a Russian liberal is not a Russian liberal, he is a non-Russian liberal. Show me a real Russian liberal, and I'll kiss him before you all, with pleasure".

"In the first place, what is liberalism, speaking generally, but an attack (whether mistaken or reasonable, is quite another question) upon the existing order of things? Is this so? Yes. Very well. Then my 'fact' consists in this, that RUSSIAN liberalism is not an attack upon the existing order of things, but an attack upon the very essence of things themselves–indeed, on the things themselves; not an attack on the Russian order of things, but on Russia itself. My Russian liberal goes so far as to reject Russia; that is, he hates and strikes his own mother. Every misfortune and mishap of the mother-country fills him with mirth, and even with ecstasy. He hates the national customs, Russian history, and everything. If he has a justification, it is that he does not know what he is doing, and believes that his hatred of Russia is the grandest and most profitable kind of liberalism. (You will often find a liberal who is applauded and esteemed by his fellows, but who is in reality the dreariest, blindest, dullest of conservatives, and is not aware of the fact.) This hatred for Russia has been mistaken by some of our 'Russian liberals' for sincere love of their country, and they boast that they see better than their neighbours what real love of one's country should consist in. But of late they have grown, more candid and are ashamed of the expression 'love of country,' and have annihilated the very spirit of the words as something injurious and petty and undignified. This is the truth, and I hold by it; but at the same time it is a phenomenon which has not been repeated at any other time or place; and therefore, though I hold to it as a fact, yet I recognize that it is an accidental phenomenon, and may likely enough pass away. There can be no such thing anywhere else as a liberal who really hates his country; and how is this fact to be explained among US? By my original statement that a Russian liberal is NOT a RUSSIAN liberal–that's the only explanation that I can see".

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

PaulR , May 12, 2015 at 7:55 am
Nice quotes. Thanks.
marknesop, May 12, 2015 at 10:18 am
Exactly: as he says, the kreakly delight in caricaturing Russia, both because it makes them feel clever and because it brings instant adulation from the western media, which likes to maintain a stable of tame Russia-hating Russians for credibility. I often think what makes a kreakl is a sense that one does not fit in, does not belong. It is the easiest thing to assume that one must be smarter than his fellows, otherwise he would think and feel as they do.
Oddlots , May 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm
Beautiful piece of observation that you picked out the moment of peak mendacity:

'Each one of Hitler's victories was a defeat for Germany. And the final rout of Nazi Germany was a victory for the Germans themselves, who demonstrated how a nation can rise up and live like human beings without the delirium of war in their heads.'

That is a sickening bit of tautological "reasoning" and bombast.

So it was all worth it. Awwww!

james, May 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm
paul.. thanks for your article.. i thought it was well written and well said.. instead of deconstructing the same tired bullshit the mainstream western media -this example from the nyt in the form of mikhail shishkin's comments – you'd be better to try to deconstruct just why the constant onslaught against russia in the same predictable way? that is what is happening here, regardless of the changing representatives from russia or with some dubious connection to russia that wish to support the msm in it's take down of russia.. forget details on his bullshit.. it is the bigger attempt on the part of the western msm to take down russia.. any propaganda and fodder will do in this ceaseless goal of the western msm.. it is not a free fucking press.. it is a bullshit agenda for war 24/7… that's how i see it..

after shishkins comments, it will be some other similar minded doofus unwilling to see russia in any light other then the one that capitalism run amok wants to see and define it as.. war=money.. that is the game being played and we are the suckers being played on..

astabada , May 11, 2015 at 11:04 pm
The contradiction inherent to his view did not dawn on Shishkin.

If every defeat for the Nazis was a victory for the German people, and conversely (as he implies) every victory for the Soviets was a defeat for the Soviet people, we obtain again that only one power could have "won" the war, either the Soviets with the fall of Moscow or the Germans (as it happened) with the fall of Berlin.

What one has to really bring home from his article is that no matter how lunatic you are, if you are a "house negro", as a Russian demoting Russia is, you will always find space in the Free World © This is a despicable form of discrimination, where Russia-hating Russians have an unfair advantage over the rest of the Russia-hating scum.

Pavlo Svolochenko , May 12, 2015 at 12:59 am
One of the loudest and most obnoxious Latvian Nazis is an ethnic Russian named Igor Shishkin. Not suggesting any relation, but they would find much to agree on.

[May 13, 2015] How Russias opposition united to finish Nemtsovs report on Ukraine

May 13, 2015 | The Guardian

MaoChengJi -> kolf 13 May 2015 10:37

note was supported by hundreds of thousands - that is not a coup, but a revolution

Aside from the fact that in a 40 million people nation 'hundreds of thousands' is very far from a majority, it's the protests that were supported by hundreds of thousands.

Feb 21 Yanuk signs the agreement with the opposition, negotiated and guaranteed by European politicians. Stipulating early elections, amnesties, rollback of some laws, investigations of the police abuses, etc. It was accepted and signed by the opposition, i.e. those representing these hundreds of thousands you're taking about.

Had this agreement been implemented, everything would've probably worked out somehow.

Instead, a few ultra-nationalist militants, a fringe, refuse to accept the agreement. They take over the government. And the opposition politicians play along and become figureheads, puppets. And that's what's been going on there since: militant ultra-nationalist fringe is controlling the regime from the inside, and the US and EU from the outside, supplying them with money, weapons, propaganda, and diplomatic support. What a shame.

Babeouf 13 May 2015 08:57

Look Kerry went to see Putin to sell off an unwanted collection of Ukrainian Fascists. Apparently the Fascists had disappointed their US owners. And afterwards the invariable accompaniment of the brush off Kerry phoned Kyiv but didn't stop off on his way home. Today Yats is in Paris and the Choc Soldier is in Germany.

Their survival now depends on Germany and France. So this sad collection of non entities now have to cut a deal with Putin, on Russia's terms. I 'm not surprised that the US public repudiation of the previous US policy of isolating 'Russia' is not noticed by the Guardian.

As for the Russian opposition their identification with the 'invader at the Gates' has finished them off for a generation at least.

entirely pro-government now, apart from one radio station Ekho Moskvy, and one TV station Dozhd

MaoChengJi -> kolf, 13 May 2015 07:01

That's precisely NOT entirely. Besides, kommersant is a newspaper, not broadcast media. There are plenty of opposition newspapers. Also, when the government is popular, the media, naturally, reflects that - there's nothing sinister about it. And murdering people is a crime, where they are journalists or not.

it is rather like the soldiers that have to "resign" before they patriotically "volunteer" in Donbass, when instructed to do so - a mere technicality

Perhaps. But we don't know that. I understand the suspicion, but not the certainty. Strelkov, in particular, gives the impression of very much anti-government character. A right-wing government opponent. Personally, I see absolutely no reason to believe that he was sent or controlled by the RF government. I'd be surprised.

The violent takeovers in Donbass were carried out initially by small Russian-sponsored groups, with the support of special forces from Russia, who carried out a range of criminal and paramilitary activity including abduction, intimidation, murders, attacks on Ukrainian military bases, and destroying military Ukrainian aircraft on the ground

This is a bunch of lies. The protests in Donetsk started the next day after the coup, I saw videos. Gubarev became the 'people's governor'. He was arrested - protests became more violent. I watched videos with old ladies blocking roads to stop the regime's troops carriers.

was installed by the Rada after the previous president fled

Oh, god. President fleeing and the majority party decimated (their offices burned) is the definition of a coup d'etat. He didn't resign, he didn't die, and he wasn't even impeached - they tried but they didn't have the votes.

Can anyone in the right mind and not being disingenuous still insist that it wasn't a coup? I don't think so. So, go ahead, have your last word.

Dmitry Berezhnov -> Botswana61 13 May 2015 04:06

RFE is US propaganda bullhorn, of course I believe them in anything they say about Russia.

MaoChengJi -> kolf 13 May 2015 04:05

even Russian media acknowledges it

you appear to be under the impression that Russian media are all pro-government. This completely disproves your statement that you "know the difference between propaganda and journalism". A large portion of the Russian media is rabidly anti-government. If you knew the difference between propaganda and journalism, you would've known it.

All that "clearly" is just your impression, based on anti-Russian propaganda, on the stories you read and believe. What's clear to you isn't clear to others, if they read different stories. In fact, exactly the opposite can be clear to them. It's important for you to understand that your stories are not at all better than their stories.

Also, "war started by Russian intelligence officers like Strelkov and Borodai" is all wrong, objectively. Strelkov and Borodai are not Russian intelligence officers. The Kiev regime attacked Donbas, Donbas did not attack Kiev. If Kiev acknowledged the referendum, there would've been no war. The important thing to understand here is that the Kiev regime was NOT at that time - without any doubt - a legitimate government, even if you believe that the current government is legitimate (I don't).

Kiev had a revolution, and then Donetsk had a revolution. Then Kiev attacked Donetsk. It didn't have to, but it did. Blaming this on Russia is disinformation and a manifestation of russophobia.

lionarslan Botswana61 13 May 2015 03:45

Mr. Lavrov never denied that there's Russian citizens in Ukraine. Do you know the difference between soldiers (people who signed obligatory military contract and take a vow to serve their country) and volunteers (people who consciously decided to do something or to go somewhere)? People from Russia, Germany, Spain, Netherlands comes to Donbass to fight for freedom of people of Donbass. They volunteered, no one forced them. And that is what Sergey Lavrov "admitted".

I read that report, that's really science-ficton. All so-called proofs are quotes without context which someone can understand in more than one way. The text itself is clear anti-Putin propaganda. It was really boring to read that text. It's like watching "Glee" only Glee has wonderful songs and some of actors are really good in their play.

Russian self-named opposition's report is much more boring and have so much realism as tv-series "Glee".

lionarslan -> freedomcry 13 May 2015 03:21

Nationalists in Russia was never decent and sober-minded people. In time of Russian empire they were terrorists, in modern Russia they are still the same. Moreover, if you are sentient being you wouldn't support ideas of nationalists in any possible way. Do you forgot what nationalists did in Germany and then in half of the world in last century?

Agatha_appears -> freedomcry 13 May 2015 01:53

it is not opposition. This is a group of people who, like Yashin, have never worked, never done anything useful. They found a job paid by the US State Dep-t. Their responsibility is to play against official Russia according to US scenario. They buy luxurious cars, apartments, go to expensive resorts. Their main audience is the western media. There is a small group of Russia haters inside the country who notice them.

There are nationalists who oppose the Kremlin. They are radicals. Some of them are in prison. They represent larger part of Russian society than so to say "liberals". Their views are similar to Ukranian nazi who are in power in Kiev. Putin tries to maintain balance and does not let them come to power, speak publicly, because nationalism is infection desease ( see what is going on in Ukraine). And Russian nationalism can be as awful as Ukrainian. It is close to fascism.

Dmitry Berezhnov -> Tepluken
13 May 2015 01:05

Funny enough to see fairytales about Savushkina st. Once I have decided to waste some time and watched a video about a "troll lair", well, small office with like 10-12 people there. Do you really call that a HQ of Evil Russain Propaganda Machine?

Let's just mention that:

1. UK officially annouced creation of cybersquad with unmentioned budget for delivering a propaganda.

2. US spending over 1 bln in 2014 for Russian opposition NGO sponssorship and declaring a war on "Russian propaganda" with it's own propaganda via BBG and state controlled media throughour Europe with gazillion bucks budget.

3. Ukraine creating a Truth Ministry and Ukranian Information Army with up to this very moment over 40 000! volunteers, not mentioning a full-time staff.

And we do not know about other countries trolls. In my humble opinion, Savushkina with it's 20 people tops looks very very faintly.

Colin Robinson 13 May 2015 00:31

Claims about Russian forces covertly entering the Donbas region, even if true, cannot explain the conflict there.

It would hardly be possible for Russian tanks to move across the border, without being shot at or even photographed, unless the local population had previously rejected the Kiev régime and removed its border guards.

This is conflict between two constituencies within Ukraine itself, not between a supposedly united Ukraine and a supposedly ambitious president of Russia.

normankirk -> Botswana61 12 May 2015 23:36

What do you mean he's just admitted it, he's never denied it. I would be disgusted if no help had been given to eastern Ukrainian civilians, HRW and Amnesty intern. have both recorded use of illegal weapons against civilians by the Ukrainian army.

If ever there was a reason for humanitarian intervention you need go no further than protecting unarmed civilians from cluster bombs

MichaPalkin -> bcnteacher 12 May 2015 23:08

If they had found the slightest evidence it was indeed rebels' BUK, froth-at the mouth anti-Russian hysteria would have been filling the free press for months now. THE FACT IS THEY CAN'T. And since the Dutch keep remarkably quiet about it, what they v. probably have is the evidence to the contrary. When someone from the investigation tried to make the findings public a few weeks ago - he was immediately silenced and fired. This is called cover-up. It shouldn't be that difficult to tell BUK from air-to-air missile really. So this investigation will either go on into the plus infinity or they'll say some evasive bs, no media outlet would ever mention it and that would be the end of it. Ok?

BorninUkraine -> Chirographer 12 May 2015 22:46

There is real opposition in Russia. If I lived there, I'd be one of them. But those are the people who do not sell their country to foreign interests, never touch Western money, and therefore are not promoted by Western media owned by the same interests that purchase third-rate opposition figures in Russia.

To give you a few examples, Eduard Limonov, Boris Kagarlitsky (who even spent some time in jail in Soviet period), and others like them are opposition, but they are not bought and paid for traitors. That's why they are not rich.

Unlike Nemtsiov, they cannot afford to pay for the abortion of a whore in Switzerland. You are welcome to ask your supervisor to find out who they are.

BorninUkraine -> nnedjo 12 May 2015 21:45

The "government" in Kyiv absolutely needs this alleged Russia aggression.

How else can they explain that they ran into the ground a reasonably decent country so quickly: from solid third world to total shit in a bit over a year.

If Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, and Co acknowledge how much they steal and how incompetent they are, their puppeteers might start looking for better puppets, and that would never do.

BorninUkraine -> Paul Moore 12 May 2015 21:36

Oh, yes. Military officials in Sweden have already been looking very hard for a Russian submarine. As soon as they achieved what they wanted, an increase in the military budget, they acknowledged that no submarine ever existed.

Apparently someone in Finland also wants a bigger military budget. How creative, wouldn't you say?

Sergey A Gimranov 12 May 2015 21:33

Good science-fiction report. The highlight of the presentation was "We don't have any actual evidence but we know troops were there". I could not believe they said that. Lame and fake! Shocking discovery from the "book" Russian troops were in Crimea on Russian military bases. Oh my God! Standards are lower and lower with each and every article. Where are the reporters? Why they cannot go there and report it? I guess narrative would change drastically.

Roodan 12 May 2015 20:57

But I do agree the government in Kiev does not represent the political will of all of its people and hence the civil war. That there is external support for each side in this war form special forces or otherwise be they NATO or Russian that this is not the cause of the war . I do not my self understand the relevance of the article, it states the obvious. Only a regional settlement between the waring parties will end the war. A ettlement in which all of the aspiration of the people in the Ukrainian, have representation perhaps a federation or Union like the EU .

I don't think there is any value in supporting one side against the other to impose a system of government with out the support of the people . That is a dictatorship and I don't support dictatorships by any military alliance NATO or Russian federation, they result in perpetual war in which only the powerless suffer.

Chirographer -> Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:55

You seem to very concerned about who paid for the report. Why? That doesn't address the content of the report at all.

And wouldn't there be more money and a lot safer life for this Yashin character if he'd published a book supporting the government's narrative?

Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:18

there were never CIA operatives in Ukraine, it is not true that Maiden was a western agencies. Just few masked people gathered on the square with clubs and firearms to have a fun

Walter Potocki 12 May 2015 20:13

Hi Tom, did you ask Russian opposition how much this report cost? You did not have to ask who paid, the same sponsored paid for your piece. Nice propaganda.

nnedjo -> nnedjo 12 May 2015 19:21

And to add one more thing. If I'd lived in the southeast of Ukraine and if my government would abolish my salary, and, on the other hand, if I would have known that soldiers receive 90,000 rubles per month, that would be an extra motivation for me to join the rebel army. So, in that case there would be no need at all for the arrival of troops from Russia, because the Ukrainian government itself supports the recruitment in the Donbas, in a way that stopped the economic support to the region.

nnedjo -> Solongmariane 12 May 2015 19:11

It is ridiculous to speculate about it at all, because it is clear that Russia pays not only all the fighters in the southeast of Ukraine, but also all other citizens. Because how else they would survive, considering that the Ukrainian government has abolished them all salaries and pensions, and closed all the banks, and prevent the use of payment cards.

Thus, considering that the Ukrainian government itself agreed that someone else should pay these people, or more precisely, that Russia should pay them, then why do they complain about it now?

ID5868758 12 May 2015 18:26

You know, we're supposed to buy this narrative that Nemtsov was a credible political threat to Putin. But I remember seeing a video of a Russian TV station catching Nemtsov sneaking out of the side door of the American embassy in Moscow, and he was not a happy camper when he was caught.

Now, reverse that, and imagine an American politician being caught sneaking out of the side door of the Russian embassy in DC. How much credibility do you suppose that politician would have left with the American public?

Russians aren't really that different from Americans after all, and Nemtsov was no threat to Putin at all.

Puttepoju -> Kaiama 12 May 2015 18:06

Dear Kaiama.

Russian journalists are clever and wise. They are better than the entire US satellite system. They have "common sense".I like Russia and Russians --- but what I like most -- is to be honest. My best greetings. Puttepoju

Falloe7 12 May 2015 18:00

more PROPAGANDA and the media of the West naturally believes it -because they want to believe it if you are in opposition in anything you will make up stories about your opponent just like this past Election there was enough Lies by the parties about each other hoping the voters will believe it (and they did) and the same about Russia. the papers are well known for printing Lies or make up stories

Kaiama 12 May 2015 17:44

So how come 10 Russian journalist claim to find something that the entire US satellite system can't find? It comes as no surprise that Russian volunteers have been killed in Ukraine fighting alongside their relatives.

What is more telling is the 100,000+ Kiev draft evaders and 800,000+ displaced citizens - all in Russia (defected to the enemy? or simply more astute than their government in Kiev?

Solongmariane 12 May 2015 17:38

Some bizarre figures, I find ;
a) 53 bln Rubles is just around 1 Bln $. Isn't ? Not so much money, for a war with 40.000-50.000 fighters.
b) If the average of wages of 60.000 - 90.000 rubles is correct, It is around an army of 1.500 soldiers during 10 months.
Are my calculations correct ? Please, check it !

BorninUkraine -> bcnteacher 12 May 2015 17:32

I don't have anything except my brains, but that's enough to have a pretty prestigious job in the US.

Russia apparently has a lot to make self-appointed masters of the Universe in the US hysterical, and their European poodles even more so. Not to mention small-change commenters here paid very little (to match pathetic quality of their comments).
The three things that immediately come to mind regarding Russia are nukes, natural resources, and fighting spirit. Each of these would be enough to scare the opponents. For example, the opposition in Iraq and Afghanistan only has fighting spirit, and this was sufficient to make NATO retreat with its tail between its legs. Or, in 1940 France had an army at least as strong as Hitler's, but due to lack of fighting spirit it disgracefully surrendered in no time.

So, I can only express my sincerest condolences to the servants of humiliatingly hysterical masters.

nnedjo -> Metronome151 12 May 2015 17:22

Perhaps you are confused with suspicious arrest and detention of a female Ukranian pilot and Estonian security officer by the FSB. Must be he effect of those drugs you refer to.

Actually, in the event that you mentions use of the drug is excluded because the pilot Savchenko was very defiant during the examination before the cameras, which is why she has acquired the status of a national hero in Ukraine, and in the absence she is elected to parliament.

It is also interesting that the example of the pilot Savchenko is the first proven case of "a soldier on leave," who fought on the Ukrainian front. Because it is known that she left the regular Ukrainian army to join the volunteer battalion Aidar. So I do not see what is the problem that Russian troops also take leave and go to help the brothers in Ukraine.

However, Ms. Savchenko has one big problem. If she had been released from the Russian prison now, she would not have anywhere to return because her Aidar battalion was disbanded by the Ukrainian authorities.

Kiev Claims Is Disbanding Notorious Aidar Volunteer Battalion

KIEV, March 2, (TASS) - Ukraine's Defense Ministry is disbanding an armed militia group blamed for abuse during recent months of regional conflict, said to be out of control and with a splinter faction planning unrest in the capital...
The move follows the arrest of former Aidar battalion fighters said by Luhansk regional administration head Gennady Moskal to be preparing transfer of weapons from the Ukraine's restive Donbas region in a bid to promote social upheaval in Kiev.

"Part of this unit long ago defected from Aidar and was engaged in looting, robbery, racketeering, auto theft and other crimes in regions controlled by the Ukrainian side," Moskal's website said.

Moskal added that an attempt had been prevented to take an arsenal of weapons from the area of combat operations in Donbas to Kiev. The arms were meant for "destabilizing the situation" in the capital.

Babeouf 12 May 2015 17:11

So the opposition united to produce a monster /blockbuster report ,you say , well when there is a report I shall force myself to read it to see what evidence it actually contains. I seen no evidence open source or otherwise just assertions based on claims made by person or persons unknown. This battle over Russian troops is itself a proxy war between the supporters of the US and the rest of the world.

MichaPalkin -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 17:09

What's truly outstanding is how lame you are and inept Kiev regime is. And quit blubbering gibberish. It simply kills me how low RFE standards sunk. You're trained very badly, klopets.

nnedjo -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 16:28

Gosh, you seem to have a lot of them--and you said all we had to do was just watch ONE
I am talking here about a group of 10 soldiers who were captured by the Ukrainian Security Service last year.

Yes, there are several of these videos, and from each of them, it is clear that the soldiers recite a prepared text directly into the camera.

VladimirM -> SoloLoMejor 12 May 2015 16:28

He is not, I think. But I did, actually, it is in Russian on the Dozhd website. I had an impression of reading some of the articles here in the Guardian but in Russian. Or even some posters, which is weird. The report is incoherent, includes many topics, just one chapter is about the Russian troops in Donbas. You may read anything here in the Guardian to get some idea of what the report is like. The article "Invisible army…" will do, I think. In my view, the report is utter rubbish and does not live up to expectations.

nnedjo 12 May 2015 15:56

As I saw in another article this report mentions the examination of Russian soldiers caught in Ukraine. We all remember this event in the summer of last year. Internet was flooded with videos with "examination" of Russian "prisoners of war" who were actually recited a prepared text that was placed somewhere in front of them and behind the camera. I think it was clear to everyone at the first viewing of the video.

As an example, look at examination of the imprisoned soldier Alexei Generalov. This guy almost three minutes talking without interruption and without pauses, with a view strictly focused at one point, probably in some text that he reads somewhere on the left side of the camera. In one moment the examiner asks him something, and he looked at him, then to the right side of the camera.

A particular problem is the fact that these soldiers were arrested somewhere near the border under very suspicious circumstances. According to the official Ukrainian version, that the soldiers also recited in the camera, they were caught about twenty kilometers inside the Ukrainian territory. However, it is very possible that they were in fact kidnapped by Ukrainian special forces on the Russian side of the border.
You can say that this is my very bold assumption. But, one can easily notice that during examination these soldiers were very disoriented. I would not be surprised if this is the result of a drug that has been deliberately given to captives in order to weaken their will, but I still stand by my first assumption that they were kidnapped.
For example, another captured soldier to the question of where he is, he replies: "I am now located in Ukraine, the city of Ukraine."

Thus, it is clear that this soldier has no idea what his exact location, and that he is completely disoriented, although they examined him in a tent (ie in a tent in the "city of Ukraine"), which should be somewhere near the scene of his capture. Here you can watch, from 0:59 onwards of this video:

Interrogation of Russian Soldier #3 Captured in Ukraine on August 25. English.

henrihenri 12 May 2015 15:45

`And he will NEVER risk an open confrontation with the West`.

Oh, this is the main mistake. The Western politician think that Putin doesn`t attack Ukraine because he`s afraid of the NATO, West, etc. No, he doesn`t. He just grants the West with a good chanceopportunity to go home without shame. Why to fight Ukraine if it sooner or later crawls back? It will, it will due to many objective reasons. No, Putin won`t send troops there until Ukrainians ask him. Russia does not need any war.

normankirk -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 15:45

Poroshenko still wants the Donetsk airport. Why are they breaking the ceasefire to try and get it back off the anti-govt fighters?

Madness to throw so many lives away

Noes Vencia -> alpamysh 12 May 2015 15:41

So 140 were given compensation to keep silence and 70 were not?!

1) Given compensation to keep silence will work in a couple of instance, never in dozens!

2) For sure it will never work, if then you don't give compensation to others.

3) Lets do some math; if Ukraine have 200,000 troops of which some 2500 died, at that rate if there are 210 dead Russian soldiers send by Moscow, that means Russia has send 16,800 troops! Trust me, you cannot send 1000 soldiers anywhere without being highly noticeable, the logistics are immense! Let alone 17000!.

4) What percentage does Kiev says of Russian troops are combating against? Because looking at the media seems that all are Russians. if so, that is a slap on the face to their own army that they cannot win an "army" of 12 times less soldiers with the same weaponry capabilities. If, however Russians are a small portion of the Revels, why 100% of focus on Russians so?

Again, I do believe Russia has personnel in there, but limited to advising and intelligence gathering. I highly doubt there are troops fighting because 1st, they don't need it (enough supply with the residents) and 2nd it would not have got better outcomes for their own safety or economy.

I feel sad that Ukrainians felt for antagonizing their biggest trading partner for the dream of UE. EU will not accept Ukraine in decades, enough we have with bankrupt tiny Greece, let alone 10 times bigger corrupted Ukraine. Nor will the French farmers will be happy with Ukrainian ones. Ukraine should had approached EU while maintained trade with Russia and assuring Russia that no NATO membership. That is what Finland choose even though of past severe confrontations with Russia; that pragmatism made of it a prosperous country.

[May 10, 2015] Modern Russian neolibs looks exactly like Bolsheviks

May 7 2015


Modern Russian neolibs looks exactly like Bolsheviks:

[Mar 24, 2015] The West has no respect for Russian liberals or kreaklies

To be a Russian liberal or kreakly to have a fanatical belief that the West is right all the time and on everything
Warren March 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm
The West has no respect for Russian liberals or kreaklies. The moment a Russian liberal or kreakly steps out of line or fails to sing from the same hymn sheet they will be ostracised and labelled a Putin/Kremlin lackey.

To be a Russian liberal or kreakly is to be a member of a religion, to be a believer in "Westernism" as Karlin coins it. Russian liberal or kreakly is a lay person who has no right to question or challenge the high priests of Westernism, to do so is heresy and will condemn you to become a benighted undemocratic uncivilised Russian heathen again.

The treat of Gorbachev and Solzhenitsyn by the Western media is evidence that the West has no respect for any Russian political figure or dissident that goes off message and goes off the reservation.

Russian liberals and kreaklies only function is to denigrate their own country and people incessantly. If a Russian liberal or kreaklies, dares to defend the Russian perspective or interests, then they cease being a liberal or a kreakly.

To be a Russian liberal or kreakly to have a fanatical belief that the West is right all the time and on everything.

[Mar 23, 2015] Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy

In 1980, the states subsidized 70% of the cost per student. Today it is less than 30% and the amount of grants and scholarships has likewise declined. Tax cuts for rich people and conservative hatred for education are the biggest problem.
Notable quotes:
"... easy student loans are a subsidy to colleges, ..."
"... 1965 median family income was $6900, more than 200% of the cost of a year at NU. Current median family income is about 75% of a year at NU. ..."
"... Allowing young adults to avoid challenging and uncomfortable and difficult subjects under the guise of compassion is the enemy of meritocracy. Financial illiteracy is the enemy of meritocracy. ..."
"... The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget. ..."
"... JUST HAD AN IDEA THAT MIGHT LIMIT THE DAMAGE OF THESE PHONEY ONLINE COLLEGES (pardon shouting, but I think its justified): ..."
"... of-paying) IF a built for that purpose government agency APPROVES said loan. What do you think? ..."
"... Kaplan Ed is among the worst of the worst of internet federal loan and grant sucking diploma mills. ..."
"... Because every event in todays economy is the wish of the wealthy. Do you see why they suddenly wish to deeply educate the proles? ..."
Thomas Piketty on a theme I've been hammering lately, student debt is too damn high!:
Student Loan Debt Is the Enemy of Meritocracy in the US: ...the amount of household debt and even more recently of student debt in the U.S. is something that is really troublesome and it reflects the very large rise in tuition in the U.S. a very large inequality in access to education. I think if we really want to promote more equal opportunity and redistribute chances in access to education we should do something about student debt. And it's not possible to have such a large group of the population entering the labor force with such a big debt behind them. This exemplifies a particular problem with inequality in the United States, which is very high inequality and access to higher education. So in other countries in the developed world you don't have such massive student debt because you have more public support to higher education. I think the plan that was proposed earlier this year in 2015 by President Obama to increase public funding to public universities and community college is exactly justified.
This is really the key for higher growth in the future and also for a more equitable growth..., you have the official discourse about meritocracy, equal opportunity and mobility, and then you have the reality. And the gap between the two can be quite troublesome. So this is like you have a problem like this and there's a lot of hypocrisy about meritocracy in every country, not only in the U.S., but there is evidence suggesting that this has become particularly extreme in the United States. ... So this is a situation that is very troublesome and should rank very highly in the policy agenda in the future in the U.S.

DrDick -> Jeff R Carter:

"college is heavily subsidized"

Bwahahahahahahaha! *gasp*

In 1980, the states subsidized 70% of the cost per student. Today it is less than 30% and the amount of grants and scholarships has likewise declined. Tax cuts for rich people and conservative hatred for education are the biggest problem.

cm -> to DrDick...

I don't know what Jeff meant, but "easy" student loans are a subsidy to colleges, don't you think? Subsidies don't have to be paid directly to the recipient. The people who are getting the student loans don't get to keep the money (but they do get to keep the debt).

DrDick -> to cm...

No I do not agree. If anything, they are a subsidy to the finance industry (since you cannot default on them). More basically, they do not make college more affordable or accessible (his point).

cm -> to DrDick...

Well, what is a subsidy? Most economic entities don't get to keep the money they receive, but it ends up with somebody else or circulates. If I run a business and somebody sends people with money my way (or pays me by customer served), that looks like a subsidy to me - even though I don't get to keep the money, much of it paid for operational expenses not to forget salaries and other perks.

Just because it is not prearranged and no-strings (?) funding doesn't mean it cannot be a subsidy.

The financial system is involved, and benefits, whenever money is sloshing around.

Pinkybum -> to cm...

I think DrDick has this the right way around. Surely one should think of subsidies as to who the payment is directly helping. Subsidies to students would lower the barrier of entry into college. Subsidies to colleges help colleges hire better professors, offer more classes, reduce the cost of classes etc. Student loans are no subsidy at all except to the finance industry because they cannot be defaulted on and even then some may never be paid back because of bankruptcies.

However, that is always the risk of doing business as a loan provider. It might be interesting to assess the return on student loans compared to other loan instruments.

mrrunangun -> to Jeff R Carter...

The cost of higher education has risen relative to the earning power of the student and/or the student's family unless that family is in the top 10-20% wealth or income groups.

50 years ago it was possible for a lower middle class student to pay all expenses for Northwestern University with his/her own earnings. Tuition was $1500 and room + board c $1000/year. The State of Illinois had a scholarship grant program and all you needed was a 28 or 29 on the ACT to qualify for a grant that paid 80% of that tuition. A male student could make $2000 in a summer construction job, such as were plentiful during those booming 60s. That plus a low wage job waiting tables, night security, work-study etc could cover the remaining tuition and expense burden.

The annual nut now is in excess of $40,000 at NU and not much outside the $40,000-50,000 range at other second tier or elite schools.

The state schools used to produce the bedrock educated upper middle class of business and professional people in most states west of the seaboard. Tuition there 50 years ago was about $1200/year and room and board about $600-800 here in the midwest. Again you could put yourself through college waiting tables part-time. It wasn't easy but it was possible.

No way a kid who doesn't already possess an education can make the tuition and expenses of a private school today. I don't know what the median annual family income was in 1965 but I feel confident that it was well above the annual nut for a private college. Now it's about equal to it.

mrrunangun -> to mrrunangun...

1965 median family income was $6900, more than 200% of the cost of a year at NU. Current median family income is about 75% of a year at NU.

anne -> to 400 ppm CO2...

Linking for:

Click on "Share" under the graph that is initially constructed and copy the "Link" that appears:

March 22, 2015

Federal debt, 1966-2014

This allows a reader to understand how the graph was constructed and to work with the graph.


The US spends half the money the entire world spends on war, that is success!

Massive student debt, huge doses poverty, scores of thousands [of annual neglect related] deaths from the wretched health care system etc are not failure!


Poor education is the enemy of meritocracy. Costly, bloated administrations full of non-educators there to pamper and pander to every possible complaint and special interest - that is the enemy of meritocracy.

Convincing kids to simple "follow their dreams" regardless of education cost and career potential is the enemy of meritocracy. Allowing young adults to avoid challenging and uncomfortable and difficult subjects under the guise of compassion is the enemy of meritocracy. Financial illiteracy is the enemy of meritocracy.

Manageable student debt is no great enemy of meritocracy.

cm -> to tew...

This misses the point, aside frm the victim blaming. Few people embark on college degrees to "follow their dream", unless the dream is getting admission to the middle class job market.

When I was in elementary/middle school, the admonitions were of the sort "if you are not good in school you will end up sweeping streets" - from a generation who still saw street cleaning as manual labor, in my days it was already mechanized.

I estimate that about 15% or so of every cohort went to high school and then college, most went to a combined vocational/high school track, and some of those then later also went college, often from work.

This was before the big automation and globalization waves, when there were still enough jobs for everybody, and there was no pretense that you needed a fancy title to do standard issue work or as a social signal of some sort.

Richard H. Serlin:

Student loans and college get the bulk of the education inequality attention, and it's not nearly enough attention, but it's so much more. The early years are so crucial, as Nobel economist James Heckman has shown so well. Some children get no schooling or educational/developmental day care until almost age 6, when it should start in the first year, with preschool starting at 3. Others get high quality Montessori, and have had 3 years of it by the time they enter kindergarten, when others have had zero of any kind of education when they enter kindergarten.

Some children spend summers in high quality summer school and educational programs; others spend three months digressing and learning nothing. Some children get SAT prep programs costing thousands, and high end educational afterschool programs; others get nothing after school.

All these things should be available in high quality to any child; it's not 1810 anymore Republicans, the good old days of life expectancy in the 30s and dirt poverty for the vast majority. We need just a little more education in the modern world. But this also makes for hugely unequal opportunity.

Observer -> to Observer...

Data on degree by year ...

Observer -> to Syaloch...

One needs to differentiate between costs (total dollars spent per student credit hour or degree, or whatever the appropriate metric is) and price (what fraction of the cost is allocated to the the end-user student).

Note that the level of state funding impacts price, not cost; that discussion is usually about cost shifting, not cost reduction.

I'd say that the rate of increase in costs is, more or less, independent of the percent of costs borne by the state. You can indeed see this in the increase in private schools, the state funding is small/nil (particularly in schools without material endowments, where actual annual fees (prices) must closely actual match annual costs). Price discounts and federal funding may both complicate this analysis.

I think much more effort should be spent on understanding and controlling costs. As with health care, just saying "spend more money" is probably not the wise or even sustainable path in the long term.

Costs were discussed at some length here a year(?) or so ago. There is at least one fairly comprehensive published analysis of higher education costs drivers. IIRC, their conclusion was that there were a number of drivers - its not just food courts or more administrators. Sorry, don't recall the link.

Syaloch -> to cm...

Actually for my first job out of college at BLS, I basically was hired for my "rounded personality" combined with a general understanding of economic principles, not for any specific job-related skills. I had no prior experience working with Laspeyres price indexes, those skills were acquired through on-the-job training. Similarly in software development there is no degree that can make you a qualified professional developer; the best a degree can do is to show you are somewhat literate in X development language and that you have a good understanding of general software development principles. Most of the specific skills you'll need to be effective will be learned on the job.

The problem is that employers increasingly want to avoid any responsibility for training and mentoring, and to shift this burden onto schools. These institutions respond by jettisoning courses in areas deemed unnecessary for short-term vocational purposes, even though what you learn in many of these courses is probably more valuable and durable in the long run than the skills obtained through job-specific training, which often have a remarkably short shelf-life. (How valuable to you now is all that COBOL training you had back in the day?)

I guess the question then is, is the sole purpose of higher education to provide people with entry-level job skills for some narrowly-defined job description which may not even exist in a decade? A lot of people these days seem to feel that way. But I believe that in the long run it's a recipe for disaster at both the individual and the societal level.

Richard H. Serlin -> to Observer...


The research is just not on you side, as Heckman has shown very well. Early education and development makes a huge difference, and at age 5-7 (kindergarten) children are much better off with more schooling than morning to noon. This is why educated parents who can afford it pay a lot of money for a full day -- with afterschool and weekened programs on top.

Yes, we're more educated than 1810, but I use 1810 because that's the kind of small government, little spending on education (you want your children educated you pay for it.) that the Republican Party would love to return us to if they thought they could get away with it. And we've become little more educated in the last 50 years even though the world has become much more technologically advanced.


January 30, 2015

Student Loans Outstanding as a share of Gross Domestic Product, 2007-2014

January 30, 2015

Student Loans Outstanding, 2007-2014

(Percent change)


As to increasing college costs, would there be an analogy to healthcare costs?

July 25, 2009

Why Markets Can't Cure Healthcare
By Paul Krugman

Judging both from comments on this blog and from some of my mail, a significant number of Americans believe that the answer to our health care problems - indeed, the only answer - is to rely on the free market. Quite a few seem to believe that this view reflects the lessons of economic theory.

Not so. One of the most influential economic papers of the postwar era was Kenneth Arrow's "Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Health Care," * which demonstrated - decisively, I and many others believe - that health care can't be marketed like bread or TVs. Let me offer my own version of Arrow's argument.

There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don't know when or whether you'll need care - but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor's office; and very, very few people can afford to pay major medical costs out of pocket.

This tells you right away that health care can't be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. And you can't just trust insurance companies either - they're not in business for their health, or yours.

This problem is made worse by the fact that actually paying for your health care is a loss from an insurers' point of view - they actually refer to it as "medical costs." This means both that insurers try to deny as many claims as possible, and that they try to avoid covering people who are actually likely to need care. Both of these strategies use a lot of resources, which is why private insurance has much higher administrative costs than single-payer systems. And since there's a widespread sense that our fellow citizens should get the care we need - not everyone agrees, but most do - this means that private insurance basically spends a lot of money on socially destructive activities.

The second thing about health care is that it's complicated, and you can't rely on experience or comparison shopping. ("I hear they've got a real deal on stents over at St. Mary's!") That's why doctors are supposed to follow an ethical code, why we expect more from them than from bakers or grocery store owners.

You could rely on a health maintenance organization to make the hard choices and do the cost management, and to some extent we do. But HMOs have been highly limited in their ability to achieve cost-effectiveness because people don't trust them - they're profit-making institutions, and your treatment is their cost.

Between those two factors, health care just doesn't work as a standard market story.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean that socialized medicine, or even single-payer, is the only way to go. There are a number of successful healthcare systems, at least as measured by pretty good care much cheaper than here, and they are quite different from each other. There are, however, no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market, for one simple reason: in health care, the free market just doesn't work. And people who say that the market is the answer are flying in the face of both theory and overwhelming evidence.


anne -> to anne...

January 30, 2015

College tuition and fees, 1980–2015

(Percentage change)

1980 ( 9.4)
1981 ( 12.4) Reagan
1982 ( 13.4)
1983 ( 10.4)
1984 ( 10.2)

1985 ( 9.1)
1986 ( 8.1)
1987 ( 7.6)
1988 ( 7.6) Bush
1989 ( 7.9)

1990 ( 8.1)
1991 ( 10.2)
1992 ( 10.7) Clinton
1993 ( 9.4)
1994 ( 7.0)

1995 ( 6.0)
1996 ( 5.7)
1997 ( 5.1)
1998 ( 4.2)
1999 ( 4.0)

2000 ( 4.1)
2001 ( 5.1) Bush
2002 ( 6.8)
2003 ( 8.4)
2004 ( 9.5)

2005 ( 7.5)
2006 ( 6.7)
2007 ( 6.2)
2008 ( 6.2)
2009 ( 6.0) Obama

2010 ( 5.2)
2011 ( 5.0)
2012 ( 4.8)
2013 ( 4.2)
2014 ( 3.7)


2015 ( 3.6)

Syaloch -> to anne...

I believe so, as I noted above. The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget.

Another interesting feature of both health care and college education is that there are many proffered explanations as to why their cost is rising so much relative to other areas, but a surprising lack of a really authoritative explanation based on solid evidence.

anne -> to Syaloch...

Another interesting feature of both health care and college education is that there are many proffered explanations as to why their cost is rising so much relative to other areas, but a surprising lack of a really authoritative explanation based on solid evidence.

[ Look to the paper by Kenneth Arrow, which I cannot copy, for what is to me a convincing explanation as to the market defeating factors of healthcare. However, I have no proper explanation about education costs and am only speculating or looking for an analogy. ]

anne -> to Syaloch...

The specific market dynamics of health care expenditures are obviously different, but as categories of expenses they have some things in common. First, both are very expensive relative to most other household expenditures. Second, unlike consumer merchandise, neither lends itself very well to cost reduction via offshoring or automation. So in an economy where many consumer prices are held down through a corresponding suppression of real wage growth, they consume a correspondingly larger chunk of the household budget.

[ Nicely expressed. ]

Peter K. -> to anne...

"As to increasing college costs, would there be an analogy to healthcare costs?"

Yes, exactly. They aren't normal markets. There should be heavy government regulation.

Denis Drew:


Only allow government guaranteed loans (and the accompanying you-can-never-get-out-of-paying) IF a built for that purpose government agency APPROVES said loan. What do you think?

Denis Drew -> to cm...

A big reason we had the real estate bubble was actually the mad Republican relaxation of loan requirements -- relying on the "free market." So, thanks for coming up with a good comparison.

By definition, for the most part, people taking out student loans are shall we say new to the world and more vulnerable to the pirates.
* * * * * * * * * *
[cut and paste from my comment on AB]
Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.

According to an article in the Huffington Post At Kaplan University, 'Guerrilla Registration' Leaves Students Deep In Debt, Kaplan Ed is among the worst of the worst of internet federal loan and grant sucking diploma mills. Going so far as to falsely pad bills $5000 or so dollars at diploma time - pay up immediately or you will never get your sheepskin; you wasted your time. No gov agency will act.

According to a lovely graph which I wish I could patch in here the Post may actually be currently be kept afloat only by purloined cash from Kaplan:

earnings before corporate overhead

2002 - Kaplan ed, $10 mil; Kaplan test prep, $45 mil: WaPo, $100 mil
2005 - Kaplan ed, $55 mil; Kaplan test prep, $100 mil; WaPo, $105 mil
2009 - Kaplan ed, $255 mil; Kaplan test prep, $5 mil; WaPo negative $175 mil

Wonder if billionaire Bezos will reach out to make Kaplan Ed victims whole. Will he really continue to use Kaplan's pirated money to keep WaPo whole -- if that is what is going on?

Johannes Y O Highness:

"theme I've been hammering lately, student debt is too damn high!: "

Too damn high
but why?

Because! Because every event in today's economy is the wish of the wealthy. Do you see why they suddenly wish to deeply educate the proles?

Opportunity cost! The burden of the intelligentsia, the brain work can by carried by robots or humans. Choice of the wealthy? Humans, hands down. Can you see the historical background?

Railroad was the first robot. According to Devon's Paradox, it was overused because of its increment of efficiency. Later, excessive roadbeds were disassembled. Rails were sold as scrap.

The new robots are not heavy lifters. New robots are there to do the work of the brain trust. As first robots replaced lower caste jokers, so shall new robots replace upper caste jokers. Do you see the fear developing inside the huddle of high rollers? Rollers now calling the play?

High rollers plan to educate small time hoods to do the work of the new robots, then kill the new robots before the newbie 'bot discovers how to kill the wealthy, to kill, to replace them forever.

Terrifying fear


Good bit of data on education costs here

This chart shows state spending per student and tuition ...

" overall perhaps the best description of the data is something along the lines of "sometimes state appropriations go up and sometimes they go down, but tuition always goes up." "

[Mar 12, 2015] Eurosceptics playing into Vladimir Putin's hands, says Labour

Mar 12, 2015 | The Guardian

ID5868758 12 Mar 2015 00:49

I often wonder what the Middle East would look like today had the advice of that "evil Putin" been followed by the "exceptional Americans" and their allies. He was opposed to the war in Iraq. He was opposed to the attacks on Ghaddafi and Liibya, but overruled by Medvedev, who was president at the time. And of course he was against the US and their obsessive campaign against secular Assad and Syria.

But somehow we are supposed to believe that this man is the danger in the world, that everything would be fine and dandy if we could just get rid of Putin? Please.

Me109BfG6 11 Mar 2015 19:58

Stop better the mad house of s.c. "Ukraine". Until you can't find it on a map, you can't argue anything. I personally know a brigade of house constructors of 6 persons, of which 2 are Ukrainians and who have procured their passports somewhere is the Baltics for money. Now, do realize how you would once have to notice those 45 M Ukrainians standing on all street crossings in the UK and in the EU as well while beggaring. Yes, do realize that instead of any abstract demagogy and propaganda insulting Russia and Putin along with all the Russians in the s.c. "Ukraine". Stop the Nazis over there instead. The West Ukraine will elong to the Poland. The East Ukraine will belong to Russia or remain independent in order to speak freely Russian instead of that South Russian dialect called "Ukrainian" which is spoken - to the Forbes - by some 17% of the whole population in Ukraine only.

T_Wallet 11 Mar 2015 18:46

This article is nonsense. If there was no such thing as NATO then maybe it would have a credible point.

The EU is about as Democratic as Russia. Both want, like US and China, to extend their spheres of influence. Empires by other names.

JoseArmando0 -> psygone 11 Mar 2015 01:24

Money money money only thing yanks understand cant take it with you in the end anyway poetic justice

HARPhilby -> jezzam 11 Mar 2015 16:04

Rockefeller and JP Morgan financed hitler in 1929, 1931 and 1933. Read free pamphlet HITLER'S SECRET BACKERS by Sidney Warberg which came out in Holland in 1933 and was suppressed after 4 days.'s%20Secret%20Backers.pdf

vr13vr -> Damocles59 11 Mar 2015 14:31

UN chapter or not, but not everything in life is done according to legal interpretations. It's shouldn't be about bunch of lawyers arguing about legalese, it's about 10 million people. Why does UN chapter give more rights to 1.5 million people in Lithuania than to 10 million people in Donbass and South Ukraine?

It's about principles, not about legalese.

irishmand -> psygone 11 Mar 2015 11:11

The largest trading partners of both China and India: the EU and the US.

But not the exclusive partners. India and China will continue to trade with everybody. They are making honest money and don't care about US ambitions for world domination and its bad habit of toppling governments.

Don't take me wrong, I don't hate americans. The most of you are just brain washed regular citizens. It is not your fault, except for what you allowed your government to do with your school system. But I also see the extremism is growing in american society and that is the result of people being told about how exceptional they are comparing to the rest of the world. Germans started the same way in 30's...

anewdawn 11 Mar 2015 10:19

Listen to the Victoria Nuland tapes.
Other evidence that the Ukraine is a US military coup

And more from the Guardian.

Russian aggression from the Blairites is about as believeable as Iraqs weapons of mass distraction.
I am a Labour supporter - I feel ashamed of them. They should be kicked out just like militant was - and for much better reasons - lies and war criminality. The Libdems and Tories are no better.

Ross Vassilev -> jezzam 11 Mar 2015 09:56

Jezzam, you're either an idiot or a liar. NO ONE in the US wants a war with Russia except the neo-cons in Washington. And the dismembering of Serbia is proof that not all countries are entitled to territorial integrity, including Ukraine.

Ross Vassilev jezzam 11 Mar 2015 09:52

At least Russia is only invading neighboring countries. There's hardly a country in the world the US hasn't bombed or invaded.

Калинин Юрий Bosula 11 Mar 2015 09:22

The guys there always need somebody to blame. They have to justify their existence by pointing their fingers to an enemy. The enemy unites the nation and you can sell to this nation all kind of junk as a needed stuff to fight this enemy.

People love to believe is some mystic junk - invisible Russian threat, coup theory of communists in Moscow against Washington DC, etc.

igoraki Sceptical Walker 11 Mar 2015 08:14

Would like to recommend you a book to read, "L'Europe est morte à Pristina" by Jacques Hogard.You can learn a lot about all the good West and NATO did on Kosova and also you will see how the Albanians treated Serbs once our army retreated from Kosova.

madeiranlotuseater jezzam 11 Mar 2015 08:03

I am NOT a Kremlin supporter. The corruption sponsored by the state at home in Russia is appalling.
That is not my point. The USA has intervened in countless countries since the end of WW2. The problems in Ukraine are of the USA's making. It hasn't gone well for you. Europe (apart from Desperate Dave) doesn't want to use your hawkish methods to achieve a solution. How lovely of you to believe that you can have a war in our back yard. People such as Merkel and Hollande almost certainly did not get it okayed by your lot. More probably they told you how is was going to be, so get used to it.

America believes that killing people is the answer to find peace. It isn't.

Babeouf 11 Mar 2015 07:26

Well who would have guessed it the the Labour Party doesn't recognize US imperialism anywhere on planet earth. And if Labour form a government and the US/Iran negotiations fail they will happily join the next US coalition of the Shilling. On the substantive point apparently the I.MF won't loan Ukraine the billions of Euros unless the truce holds together. Now that really does help Vlad'the West is led by US sycophants and outright morons' Putin. But so has the entire US coup in Ukraine. There certainly is some Russian agent helping to formulate US State Department policy.

Orangutango 11 Mar 2015 07:14

It is utterly incoherent for our prime minister to call for tougher European action against President Putin in one breath and then threaten to leave the EU in the next. Security is the unspoken dimension of this European debate.

"This is no time for democratic nations to consider breaking from their allies. While Eurosceptics crave the breaking of ties to the EU, the security situation demands common action and resolve."

The Origin of the 'New Cold War'

Eric Zuesse

decaston 11 Mar 2015 04:57

Euroscepticism (sometimes Euroscepticism or Anti-EUism) is the body of criticism of the European Union (EU), and opposition to the process of political European integration, existing throughout the political spectrum.
A survey in 2012, conducted by TNS Opinion and Social on behalf of the European Commission, showed that, for the European Union overall, those who think that their country's interests are looked after well in the EU are now in a minority (42%) About 31% of EU citizens tend to trust the European Union as an institution, and about 60% do not tend to trust it. Trust in the EU has fallen from a high of 57% in 2007 to 31% in 2012, while trust in national governments has fallen from 43% in 2007 to 28% in 2012.
Trust in the EU is lowest in the United Kingdom (16% trust, 75% distrust)

Spain is ranked the second most distrustful of the European Union, making it one of the three most Eurosceptic countries in the EU, along with the UK and Greece. 72 per cent of the Spanish people do not trust the EU, comparing to only 23% that trust this Union.
Portugal is the 8th most eurosceptic country in the European Union (not counting with Croatia) as shown by the "The Continent-wide rise of Euroscepticism", with 58% of the people tending not to trust the EU, behind Greece (81%), Spain (72%), UK (75%), Cyprus (64%), Sweden (62%), Czech Republic (60%) and Germany (59%).[57] The Eurosceptic parties currently hold 24 out of 230 seats in the parliament. The Euroscepticism of the left wing prevails in Portugal.
The Irish people voted no to initial referendums on both the Nice and Lisbon Treaties. There were second referendums held on both of these issues, and it was then, following renegotiations that the votes were swayed in favour of the respective 'Yes' campaigns.
In relation to both the Nice and Lisbon treaties, the decision to force second referendums has been the subject of much scrutiny and widespread criticism. It is claimed that rejection of the Irish peoples decision to vote no stands testament to the European Union's lack of regard for democracy and lack of regard for the right of people of nation states to decide their futures.
In Italy The Five Star Movement (M5S), an 25.5% of vote in the 2013 general election, becoming the largest anti-establishment and Eurosceptic party in Europe. The party also in 2013 the party was particularly strong in Sicily, Liguria and Marche, where it gained more than 30% of the vote.
In France in the European Parliament election, 2014, the National Front won the elections with 24.85% of the vote, a swing of 18.55%, winning 24 seats, up from 3 previously.

Ilja NB Tom20000 11 Mar 2015 03:32

You can't even clean up your own mess ( Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, former Yougoslavia ).

Parangaricurimicuaro PlatonKuzin 11 Mar 2015 03:28

Victoria Nuland is looking for a way out for her and her politics (save face). She realizes that Europe is not happy with the way that the State Department hijacked the whole Ukrainian crisis

Budanevey 11 Mar 2015 03:22

The emergence of Redneck Labour is one of the genuine mysteries of our politics that historians will one day ponder, a Party that adopted American Sub Prime finance, State Department Foreign Policy, neo-liberal corporatism, neo-con wars, NSA total surveillance, waterboarding, secret prisons, secret justice, indefinite detention, Anglophobia, TTIP and a de facto Eurodollar, and now the fear tactics of Commies and Terrorists everywhere to keep us servile to the interests of Washington and their agenda for an expanding US empire via a cloned United States of Europe, fears that were similarly misused during the Cold War when the American umbrella was first being used to envelop us.

Didn't Labour learn anything from WW2 when we went to war to protect Polish independence, only to have Washington give it to Stalin, along with the rest of Eastern Europe, and then surrender our own commonwealth and independence to Washington's creature in Brussels? Who is pulling the strings when we see demands for the UK to subordinate its interests to EU expansion in the East, just as we see northern Eurozone interests being compromised to keep hold of southern Europe - Washington.

The largest country on Earth, Russia, has long been a sub prime performer because of its own extreme history of imperialism and arbitrary government, which makes it an investors' nightmare and a paradise for corporate, criminal and political gangsterism preying on its long-suffering people and their unfortunate neighbours. The Yeltsin Privatisation era following the White Revolution compounded the problem by making new oligarchies and dubious billionaires, leading to the latest twist in Putinism.

The answer to these differing examples and extremes of imperialism is not to join in new imperialisms, but to re-assert the value of honesty and accountability in business, government, the rule of law, and international relations. Redneck Labour has completely lost the plot.

madeiranlotuseater 11 Mar 2015 03:21

Soap Box Dave really believes he can hold onto power by scaring Europe into believing there is a threat from Russia. Past UK Premiers have done well with wars, Maggie, John and Tony all got re-elected. But Dave pitched for free flights on Air Force One and sucking up to POTUS whilst many of us felt that the whole game plan in Ukraine was of the CIA making. Poke the Bear enough and you will get a response. Germany and France saw through this and quickly side lined Davy and Kerry. Result: Dave, at a stroke, has reduced Britain's influence in the world to little more than not a lot.

elias_ 11 Mar 2015 02:19

All organisations are judged on the results of their actions. In the court of world opinion we can apply this logic to states. So let's see:
1. Iraq. We lied, killed a million people and now it is haven for Isis.
2. Libya. Far far worse now than under gadafi.
3. Syria. We wanted war but putin stopped it.
4. Egypt. Worse now than when we intervened.
5. Ukraine. Supporting neocon Victoria f*** the EU nuland doing violent regime change on Russia's borders and expecting Russia to sit idly by. Yes the protests were about oligarchy but then got hijacked by hired goons without which power would have transitioned peacefully.

Q. Is it any wonder we are losing credibility outside the west? Especially as many of these actions went without UN approval.

Peter Schmidt UncleSam404 11 Mar 2015 02:14

There is no British 'foreign policy'. They do as the US says.

irishmand jezzam 11 Mar 2015 02:13

Proof that Putin planned to annex Crimea and invade E Ukraine before Yanukovych was deposed.

Who said it is truth, it is propaganda, I don't believe a word of this bull.... The western media lied so many times, there is no credibility.

irishmand SystemD 11 Mar 2015 02:10

One might ask you for proof of CIA plots, except that there is none. Are you prepared to provide the same standard of proof of your allegations that you demand of others?

One might. We got Crimea, that's right. And Russia is helping the rebels. Well, US is helping the nazies in Kiev, so to make the chances equal...
Now, CIA What was CIA director doing when he was secretly visiting Ukraine? A vacation... And those CIA operatives in Kiev Speigel wrote about? A vacation...

Калинин Юрий jezzam 11 Mar 2015 01:48

Putin sending his troops to Ukraine? Then you know way much more then CIA, MI-5, Mossad, etc all together. Finally all these countries do not have to spent billions on the intelligence since you alone do all the job and have all the possible evidences to present to the world.

By the way yesterday the Russian troops used secret space waves on the drivers in Ukraine so 2 of British old APC's are out of service and in a ditch outside the road. This is the proof of the Russian regular army and thousands of dead Russian soldiers as well as billions of wounded in the Russian hospitals. Russia sends trains to Donetsk to take out all of them and OSCE at the border crossing station inspect them together with the Ukranian customs. Those, that have no chances to escape are captured by the Ukranian army and been exchanged for the Ukranian soldiers in front of hundreds of journalists. Anyway, Russian army is the most invisible army in the world.

Goodthanx 11 Mar 2015 01:20

According to McFadden, are we to presume that like NATO, one of the EU functions was/is the 'containment' of Russia?

A sign of EU immaturity is that member countries cant voice independent views and questions of sovereignty, without the scaremongers reducing their arguments to todays bogey man, Putin.

irishmand jezzam 10 Mar 2015 23:43

What you say is entirely true, To Kremlin supporters though, facts don't have any objective reality. They believe that facts are simply tools in the propaganda campaign. Thus in their eyes inventing "facts" is perfectly OK. They believe that the West does it as well - the depth of cynicism in Russia is hard to fathom.

What facts were invented?
ultra right coup in Kiev supported by US
bombardments of Donbass civilians by Kiev
relentless russophobic campaign in US and EU
Nuland saying F...the EU
Nazi elements in the Ukranian government
Crime voting to join Russia

BorninUkraine irishmand 10 Mar 2015 23:36

The objective of current US propaganda campaign is to prevent EU and Russia from cooperating to the point of creating a credible US competitor. As you could have noticed, this BS for European consumption works admirably: Europe just lost its last chance of becoming something of consequence.

irishmand MentalToo 10 Mar 2015 22:50

It is only an expense to Russia preventing other urgent investments to improve living conditions of the people in Russia. Russian leaders urgently needs to realize cooperation based on mutual respect of both sovereignty of nations as well as civil rights of individuals is the only way to improve relations to Europeans countries. Trying to use military force either directly or by coercion harms Russia more than anything. Russia is not in a competition to win over it neighbor states. Russia's mission is to win over it's own past through gaining trust of it's neighbors by peaceful cooperation.

It is a declaration of good will, which, unfortunately, is not supported by any actions in reality.
What have US/EU did recently:

Where is the mutual respect you are talking so much about? Where is your freedom of speech?
How can Russians trust you when you behave like bunch of liars and bullies, threatening to destroy Russia and celebrating every time something bad happens in Russia?
To get respect from Russia you have to show your respect too.
What saved Russia from american/NATO invasion? The very same army and the nuclear weapons. If it wouldn't be for them, americans would attack 6-8 months ago.
So, before you start teaching Russia manners turn around and look in the mirror of your society. You are not a democracy anymore. You became a bunch of power drunk, profit greedy warmongers who only understand "I want" and ready to sacrifice other people's lives in other countries for your personal well being.

[Mar 10, 2015] A Europe-U.S. Divorce Over Ukraine

Mar 10, 2015 |

The German government finally wakes up, a little bit at least, and recognizes the obvious fact that U.S. neocons want to drag Europe into a war. It is now openly blaming certain circles within the U.S. government and NATO of sabotaging the Minsk ceasefire agreement. Especially offensive is the fantasy talk of U.S. and NATO commander General Breedlove:

For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove's numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America's NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.

The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as "dangerous propaganda." Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove's comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

But Breedlove hasn't been the only source of friction. Europeans have also begun to see others as hindrances in their search for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict. First and foremost among them is Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department. She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats.

Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel's diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine. Sources in Washington say that Breedlove's bellicose comments are first cleared with the White House and the Pentagon. The general, they say, has the role of the "super hawk," whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America's more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

The U.S., including Obama, wants to strengthen the U.S. run NATO and thereby its influence in Europe. And Europe, by losing business with Russia and risking war, is supposed to pay for it.

The German public, despite tons of transatlantic propaganda, has well understood the game and the government can not escape that fact. It has to come back to some decent course and if that means trouble with Washington so be it. The foreign ministers of Germany, France and the U.S. are currently meeting in Paris and Secretary of State Kerry will not like what he will hear:

In Berlin, top politicians have always considered a common position vis-a-vis Russia as a necessary prerequisite for success in peace efforts. For the time being, that common front is still holding, but the dispute is a fundamental one -- and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action. Additionally, the trans-Atlantic partners also have differing goals.

Whereas the aim of the Franco-German initiative is to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is Russia that concerns hawks within the US administration. They want to drive back Moscow's influence in the region and destabilize Putin's power. For them, the dream outcome would be regime change in Moscow.

Europe has no interest in regime change in Russia. The result would likely be a much worse government and leader then the largely liberal Putin.

The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States. If production capabilities in Europe get destroyed through war the U.S. could revive its export industries.

It seems that at least some European leaders now understand that they got played by Washington and they are pushing back. A Eurasian economic sphere is in Europe's interest. Will Obama accept their view and turn off the hawks or will he escalate and risk the alliance with Europe? A first sign looks positive. The U.S. called off, on short notice, a plan to train Ukrainian National Guard (i.e. Nazi) forces:

[O]n Friday, a spokesman for US forces in Europe, confirmed the delay in a statement and said: "The US government would like to see the Minsk agreement fulfilled."

"The training mission is currently on hold but Army Europe is prepared to carry out the mission if and when our government decides to move forward," the statement said.

Some Europeans, like the writers in the piece above, still see Obama as a reluctant warrior pushed to war by the hawks in his own government and the Republicans in Congress. But the surge in Afghanistan, the destruction of Libya, the war on Syria and the trouble in Ukraine have all been run by the same propaganda scheme: Obama does not want war, gets pushed and then reluctantly agrees to it. It is a false view. The buck stops at his desk and Nuland as well as General Breedlove and other official hawks concerned about their precious bodily fluids are under Obama's direct command. He can make them shut up or get them fired with a simple 30 second phone call. As he does not do so it is clear that he wants them to talk exactly as they do talk. Obama is the one driving the neocon lane.

The Europeans should finally get this and distance themselves from that destructive path.

Posted by b on March 7, 2015 at 01:09 PM | Permalink

Selected Skeptical Comments

Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 7, 2015 2:05:22 PM | 1

Great analysis b.
Loved this bit...

The general, they say, has the role of the "super hawk," whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America's more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

It's rather insulting to the EU that the dumbass, gutless, Yankees would appoint a war-mongering chicken-hawk called Breedlove to lecture them about The Importance Of Being Ernest - about hating Putin.

jayc | Mar 7, 2015 2:47:21 PM | 2

"the dispute is a fundamental one -- and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action."

Insisting that the "threat of military action" always be present during the practice of international diplomacy is a fundamental repudiation of international law as proscribed by the United Nations at the end of WW2. In the current Orwellian situation, the foreign policy hawks (in particularly the Anglo 5 Eyes countries) articulate policy informed by this repudiation while on the other hand insisting that they are motivated by upholding mid-century international law. Here is John Boehner speaking for a bi-partisan Congressional committee quoted today in the Washington Times:

"It is even more than simply a component of a revisionist Russian strategy to redraw international borders and impose its will on its neighbors,it is a grotesque violation of international law, a challenge to the west and an assault on the international order established at such great cost in the wake of World War II."

ToivoS | Mar 7, 2015 2:59:09 PM | 3

When this crisis in Ukraine first broke out last year it made no sense at all for Obama to have let Nuland carry on as she was doing. He could have defused the whole thing simply by firing Nuland or I thought. However, his actions over the past year seem to show that this was his policy as b says here.

It is hard to understand why He and Kerry have pursued this policy. For sure, as was predictable one year ago it has turned their widely touted 'pivot to asia' into irrelevancy. It has directly forced China and Russia into a stronger alliance. Those are some big prices to pay for our provocations against Russia.

So why did we do it? I will guess. Putin's 2010 speech proposing a common economic union from Vladivostok to Lisbon must have been seen as a very serious threat by some powerful forces in the US. Fear of losing or at least lessening US hegemony over Europe was probably a major factor in deciding to 'pivot back to Europe'. Our influence there must have seemed much more important than Asia or even the ME. Ukraine provided an opportunity to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe or so US power brokers thought. As a secondary reason, at least one that brought the US military on board with the new policy, is that a new cold war with Russia provided an opportunity to reinvigorate NATO, that has always been a favorite play thing the army and airforce. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was very difficult to justify NATO's existence.

It would be ironies of ironies if this crisis now forces Germany to declare its independence and work harder to rebuild relations with Russia and in the process become a major player in the Eurasian Union. This is what Pepe Escobar just suggested this last week is a possibility.

Laurence | Mar 7, 2015 3:04:18 PM | 4

Some Europeans, like the writers in the piece above, still see Obama as a reluctant warrior pushed to war by the hawks in his own government and the Republicans in Congress. But ...

You may be correct. But:

You haven't established that the evident appearance of `reluctance' is a "false view". In theory, "The buck stops at his desk". The obvious fact that it hasn't, however, is -- at best -- by no means creditable.

I can hardly wait 'til the `progressive' Twittercrats start calling for Obama to "go nuclear" with Putin. ...

Colinjames | Mar 7, 2015 3:05:26 PM | 5

#2, I guess he's taking his cues from Noodles, here's some highlights from her Match 4 address to Foreign Affairs Committee, lifted from Stephen Lendman


Bizzaro world. Completely upside down from reality. And no I'm not trying to one up you #2! It's just crazy stuff coming out of the mouths of every politician and official and media whore, I've never seen anything like it.

Wayoutwest | Mar 7, 2015 3:07:24 PM | 6

Good report, b especially including the fact that this is a bipartisan project led by the Liberal Democrats.

The European actions especially Germanys may be more or less than they appear to be. I doubt that Germany would or could stand in the way of US demands but they may be facilitating an escape path for the US to use to avoid a more dangerous confrontation with Russia.

james | Mar 7, 2015 3:25:46 PM | 7

thanks b.. some good points in your post which i strongly share, this one in particular - The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States.

when does this nightmare called us foreign policy die?

Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 4:47:47 PM | 8

"Europe has no interest in regime change in Russia. The result would likely be a much worse government and leader then the largely liberal Putin."

What is wrong with those two sentences? First, "Europe", a landmass in western Eurasia usually demarcated by the crests of Ural and Caucasus mountain chains and Ural river. The text refers mostly to the governments of France and Germany. Who are "NATO hawks"? Danes and Norwegians, latter day Varangians? Or Latvians and Estonians who would like to have a re-match of Battle on Ice?

Second, "The result …" This has to be a joke. "Europe" has many headaches with the governments of Greece and Hungary, but can they change them? Actually, in the case of Greece, this sentence could make sense, because in Greece they have a real opportunity of causing a government crisis and getting a more extreme government. But in the case of Russia, it is only a question of having a long-term gain in mutually assured economic destruction, or not.

Double-talk is bread and butter of diplomacy, but we simple folk can afford to express ourselves more directly. The real problem in arming Ukraine is that the government there is untrustworthy and it would probably use the aid to further neglect the economy and concentrate even more on futile military endeavor, and it could also commit some atrocities as it would be at it. Being "a little bit Nazi" is perfectly fine with Baltic governments and Croatia, plus USA and Canada, could be fine with Hungary but the leader there is constantly on the prowl for good deals and just now got one from Putin, and causes mixed feeling elsewhere.

So the trillion dollar question for most responsible European leaders is if US is more trustworthy than Poroshenko crew?

jfl | Mar 7, 2015 5:09:32 PM | 11

Yes, good analysis. Especially the Empire of Chaos' goal of reimplementing the aftermath of WWII : everyone outside North America flat on their backs and the US the colossus by virtue of still standing. But ...

' Will Obama accept their view and turn off the hawks or will he escalate and risk the alliance with Europe? ... Obama is the one driving the neocon lane. '

Whether it's the neocon line or in the neocon lane, Obama's not driving. Never has been. He was hired to sit behind the wheel of the neoliberal, neocon drone of state, operated by 'pilots' from Langley, the Pentagon, Wall Street - seemingly by all three, via rapid context switch in pseudo-parallel.

The reason US policy seems to lurch ever more violently toward disaster is because none of the actors actually implementing it by turn are identified. The Nihilist Nobel Peace Prize Laureate gets dunked everytime, hauls himself out of the tank, climbs back up on the stool, makes faces and jeers at the crowd throwing balls at the trip target ... all absurdly trying to effect a change in policy.

It's just a job ... 2,236 days down, 686 days till payday.

Mar 7, 2015 5:21:18 PM | 12


Thanks for the analysis with Russia at the center rather than the USA. Catchy restatement of the difference between 'the chicken then the egg' vs 'the egg then the chicken'.

I'm rooting for Russia, and Putin's been in charge there. Of course, I'm really rooting for my USA, but for my USA to survive the present oligarchy must be defeated : the Chicken's neck must be wrung and its carcasse flung into the stew pot.

dan of steele | Mar 7, 2015 6:31:13 PM | 13

it is my opinion that the German government led by Mrs Merkel is a lot more involved in the crisis that is Ukraine than is being discussed in this forum. There was quite a lot of support for Tymoshenko from Merkel including her drive to boycott the Ukraine when Tymoshenko had been imprisoned for embezzlement.

she was also promoting Vitaly Klitschko for the longest time abruptly ending when Vickie Nuland let it be known that he was not accceptable as a leader of Ukraine.

The German government has been a very willing stooge of the US in causing or continuing the unrest in Ukraine. That many people in Germany have suffered due to this behavior from sanctions and embargoes on both the European side as well as the Russian side might be a consequence that the German elite decided they could live with rather than simply something forced upon them from the US.

As far as I can tell, the fecal matter hit the air moving device right after Yanukovich decided to maintain close economic ties with Russia rather than throw in with the EU. EU for all intents and purposes Germany.

just a thought. ymmv

JohnH | Mar 7, 2015 7:16:23 PM | 19

"The U.S., the empire of chaos, does not care what happens after a regime change. In the view of U.S. politicians trouble and unrest in the "rest of the world" can only better the (relative) position of the United States."

And it does not appear that the US cares what happens to Europe, either. If sanctions on Iran hurt European business, meh. If sanctions on Russia push Europe back into recession...meh.

Maybe someday Europe will get a clue...

Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:02:30 PM | 20

I felt like I was reading the lyin-ass New York Times. (How do these so-called journalists get ANY work done with all that CIA/StateDept/JSOC cock in their mouth? Inquiring minds want to know. Anyway…)

Germany is presented like an old grandma, wringing her hands and saying, "Oh, mercy me! Can't we all just get along?" … If it wasn't for that dang Gen. Breedlove…except, well, he's actually right, don't you know, except, OK, he exaggerates a bit. There's LOTS of Russia aggression, and we have proof we won't show you…but not as much as he says. I mean, credibility, and all, right?…And that Vicki Nuland, well, she's bitch we all agree, but she gets things done and sometimes you need to get tough, don't ya know. She "loves Russia" (yeah, I bet…like I love a nice rare steak….sliced sooooo thin.) So…come on, dial it back a little won't you guys over in Langley…?

This seemed to me like CIA drizzle from Der Spigot!

A few carefully breaded pieces of True served with a piquant sauce of Lies and a side of Dissembling and Disinformation. One of those articles that is structured like, "yeah, true…BUT!"

ToivoS @ | 3

Putin's 2010 speech proposing a common economic union from Vladivostok to Lisbon must have been seen as a very serious threat by some powerful forces in the US.

So says Mike Whitney in an important post re Nemtsov's assassination over at Counterpunch. I agree with you and him. I wonder what Uncle Ruslan thinks? He must have some ideas, having lived with Graham Fuller for all this those years.

Colinjames @ 5

Those excerpts really infuriated me. I have the most terrible desire to bitch slap Vicki Nudelman until she falls down and begs me to stop. I see her face and my hand itches. I need to stop watching Jess Franco movies.

Wayoutwest @ 6

The European actions especially Germanys may be more or less than they appear to be. I doubt that Germany would or could stand in the way of US demands but they may be facilitating an escape path for the US to use to avoid a more dangerous confrontation with Russia.

Ayuh. I agree, with you (see above) --and dan of steele's very excellent and needful post at 13. Germany's in this shit up to their eyeballs. I recall reading in "The Brothers" that after WW2 the CIA just basically took over (and presumably still owns) German intelligence. Took their Nazis in and kept all the spy lines and assets. Gladio was an outgrowth of that, I guess.

But I don't think the blood-thirsty vampires in the US can dial it back. They are all up in that snatch (to slightly paraphrase a vulgar version of the Petraeus bio's title that actually got shown on US news.)

Piotr Berman's delightful rants at 18 @ 19

What interesting ideas and insights you bring to the discussion. If you don't mind saying, are you German? If I was a German citizen I would be very upset and I have read that, like here in the States, this Ukraine shit combined with NSA spying combined with that book about how all the media are CIA assets has caused a crisis of confidence between reasonably-informed citizens and dissembling government, media, military, etc.

I agree with all the posters here saying that Obama has never had hold of the levers of power. A few, yes. But what with the "tunneling" of political appointees transformed into civil servants at the end of the Bush admin…yeah, no. And that's not the only reason…just one.

jfl | Mar 7, 2015 8:11:20 PM | 21


Certainly Germany is covetous of Russia/the Ukraine. And Merkel, like Obama, knows how to get along by going along with the ones who brung her. Used to be the Russians in East Germany, are now the Americans in West/Unified Germany.

Both are puppets, 'loyal' to the their puppeteers. The rest of the EU apparat are in the pocket of the US, and dance to the same tune piped to Obama.

Germany on its own is not capable of subduing Russia, yet hopes to be in position to reap the benefits of the US' destruction of same.

They're all losers, betting on making a killing, benefiting from their neighbors' collapse. Their neighbors have other ideas ... must have to survive. TIAA.

Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:33:21 PM | 22

jfl @ 21

Love your vampires and vultures scenario. Tolstoy's Vourdalak or the folkloric Russian
Волколак or Volkolak is what I've been thinking of late, because I am a Mario Bava kind of gal.

You know, Russia is one of the few countries NOT 110% indebted to German/London/Wall Street/Brussels banks. Seems to me that definitely has something to do with all this. They've got something to plunder. (Lotta gold. yum!) I bet there's some truth to the assertion that the flaming tire of blame for global economic collapse is being readied for Russia's neck...just in case. We're very close.

NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 7, 2015 9:02:57 PM | 25

Demian @ 23

WTF did Germany THINK was going to come of this?

But perhaps there is no one Germany. I can only suppose that it must be like it is here in the US...different factions with their own power bases pulling their own levers.

Benu | Mar 7, 2015 8:48:57 PM | 24

@24 I think the plan was for a rapid victory in Ukraine and Putin just stomping his feet. Keeping Crimea, the uprisings, and the general thuggery/incompetence in Kiev weren't in the plans. The Chinese didn't defend Russia against accusations about flight #mh17, the Chinese openly scoffed at the West not even giving fools like Kerry the time of day.

German firms were supposed to win contracts replacing Russian firms not see the SCO grow and face losses from self-imposed sanctions. Merkel and people in her sphere overdid the rhetoric. Voters won't forget a major propaganda change, and Merkel and her ilk know this but can't see how to get out of the mess especially with Kiev in need of European cash.

PBenu | Mar 7, 2015 9:19:53 PM | 26

NotTimmeh @ 25

So, you seem to be saying that this is rather like what WoW offering of an exit ramp to the US...because Germany really, really wants off this highway to hell.

Hideous to think they were all for it when it looked like easy rapings and little to no consequences.

International finance needs to be dismantled. That's what's behind all this shit. Bankster's wars.

Helena Cobban | Mar 7, 2015 9:31:25 PM | 27

The practices of Ms. Nuland (taking cookies out to support the demonstrators during the "Maidan" actions) echoed exactly those of Amb. Robert Ford in Syria. In both cases it was a strange perversion and repudiation of traditional standards of diplomatic practice. It was not just a Nuland aberration.

And we've seen the outcome, a few years later, in both these war-ravaged countries. God help the people of both countries.

Pluto | Mar 7, 2015 9:52:56 PM | 28

@3 ToivoS

Interesting points you make. I believe what we have here IS the pivot to Asia, - through the backdoor. The US is haunted by the inevitable rise of Eurasia as a superpower. And, the fact is, the "pivot" was unrealistic and a rather silly strategy. China's New Silk Road Economic Belt, both rail and maritime - stretching from Beijing through Russia and across Europe to Madrid (with spurs to India, Iran, the ME and down the African continent) - was a preemptive strike that neutered US aspirations. Even worse, it's already funded.

Picture the US on the globe: Isolated and alone, separated from the lively Eastern Hemisphere by two vast oceans. Adrift, stewing in its own juices, in desperate need of a world war to elevate it once again out of its economic doom and into super-stardom.

This is further evidenced by the US desperation over the TPP and TTIF. It has reached a fever pitch, with endless negotiations inside the super-secret US "cone of silence." For the US, these corporate-ruled trade agreements are their last hope for hegemony over global trade, especially now that the Petrodollar is dead. (Another consequence of the Ukraine stupidity.) But, both trade treaties seem to be failing badly (there are anti-TTIF demonstrations throughout Germany today). In any event, China rendered them both irrelevant with APEC and the New Silk Road, which popped into existence the very instant that the US stepped into the Ukraine tar pit. For China, they are done deals. Even Australia and New Zealand have come to their senses and seem to be climbing on board.

Surely, Europe already knows this. They've seen many empires decline. I suppose its only prudent to string the US along and contain the chaos....

Demian | Mar 7, 2015 9:58:02 PM | 29

@Helena Cobban #27:

God help the people of both countries.

Well, no one knows whether either one of them will continue to exist, do they? The Kremlin's intention is clearly to keep Ukraine's territory as it is (sans Crimea; that question is closed), but Ukraine is increasingly entering into full-spectrum social collapse, so wha the outcome will be is unpredictable, especially since the Ukraine was an artificial country to begin with, patched together from the territories of other countries.

As for Syria, I am all for secular states in the Islamic world, like Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya before the US destroyed them. Our fan of the Islamic State Wayoutwest can say much more about this than I can, but it is possible that states created by Sykes-Picot will disappear, to be replaced by a caliphate. In the larger scheme of things, that would be a good thing because

(1) even though the caliphate would initially have a regressive form of Islam, once Arabs are in control of their own destiny, they will not fear engaging in reforms;

(2) a caliphate would create one more pole for the emerging multipolar world.

NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 7, 2015 10:13:03 PM | 30

@26 They are giving Obama an out and blame can be heaped on Nuland and Breedlove. Rasmussen didn't make the Der Spiegel article, and he is completely deranged as anyone outside of GOP politics.

IMHO Obama only responds to extreme embarrassment. Offering him an out won't work without tying Obama and Nuland at the hip.

It's overlooked, but in 2012 when Obama came out for gay marriage, he cloaked his support in nonsense about state rights but only after his campaign machine had worked against an effort in North Carolina to defeat anti-gay/woman/child referendum. There were political reasons, but there was a growing anger. Biden saw this and just randomly announced Obama's pro gay marriage views. It took three days, but Obama got around to tepidly endorsing a form of gay marriage. Obama only acted because Biden forced his hand. It took almost two weeks after everyone in the U.S. knew Shinseki from the Veteran Affairs Department for Obama to dismiss him when Shinseki should have been fired right away, but Obama only acts when faced with total embarrassment.

fast freddy | Mar 7, 2015 10:14:08 PM | 31

Obama is a puppet. Cheney, Kissinger, Negroponte, GHWBush and friends, CIA, Brzezinski, Rockefeller, etc. Deep State pulls his strings. Obama was himself a CIA protege at BIC. There are no pesky principles to contend with.

And he is not allowed to fire Nuland or any other neocon warmonger.

Did you see what they did to JFK for stepping out of line?

@ jfl | 11

But exactly!

Obama's not driving. Never has been. He was hired to sit behind the wheel of the neoliberal, neocon drone of state, operated by 'pilots' from Langley, the Pentagon, Wall Street - seemingly by all three, via rapid context switch in pseudo-parallel.

The reason US policy seems to lurch ever more violently toward disaster is because none of the actors actually implementing it by turn are identified.

Pluto | Mar 7, 2015 10:45:33 PM | 34

Although it seems there are two schools of thought about that around here, this has been my assumption from the beginning.

@3 ToivoS

Forgot to mention,: You spoke of consequences. That is of particular interest, I believe, and speaks to the destiny of the US as it stumbles about on the world stage, without future awareness.

It is hard to understand why He and Kerry have pursued this policy. For sure, as was predictable one year ago it has turned their widely touted 'pivot to asia' into irrelevancy. It has directly forced China and Russia into a stronger alliance. Those are some big prices to pay for our provocations against Russia.

There are more than a few significant unintended consequences that have come in short order as a result of the Ukraine blunder. For example:

The US is paying a mighty high price for its neocon folly.

Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 10:55:20 PM | 35

In response to questions, I used my real name, I am Polish citizen living in USA.

European elite, including Germany and France, are almost instinctively aligning themselves with American elite, but they take exception to a favorite American trick: penciling a grandiose plan to be paid by EU.

Russian counter-sanctions fall on Europeans, and it is pointless to quibble if "dollar is dead" -- it is not, but USA will not pay to integrate Turkey and Ukraine with EU, to cite some of the grandiose ideas. German conservatives in particular are notorious bean counters, they generously paid to integrate Eastern Germany, but are much less enthusiastic to have foreign beneficiaries. (In Poland, the consensus is that it is OK to help Ukrainians, provided that it will not cost anything. There is also a minority that hates Ukrainians more than Russians, and younger folks seem not to care at all.)

As it is, EU duly enacted sanctions on Iran, Syria and Russia, and Merkel is resolute at sending mixed signals, so to some extend there is no "divorce". If anything, they are on the same wavelength as Obama. Recall how Europe resisted joining Bush jr. war in Iraq. "New Europe", including Poland, provided a bunch of little contingents, and that proved to be quite unpopular domestically. Even so, regime change in Libya was accomplished mostly by Europeans, and this is perhaps one of the unique successes in history that has a dearth of claimants. On the heals of that feat, even ever supine Brits rebelled when they had a chance to repeat the success in Syria. The belief that "Americans surely know what they are doing" is eroding even as we scribble. But so far, there is hardly any "European alternative".

I guess Putin will graciously lift sanctions on Hungarian and Greek produce, Ukraine will get some weapons and training, but not a hell lot -- seriously, what scale of military aid would truly make a difference?

TikTok | Mar 7, 2015 11:42:48 PM | 36

Harper has given citizenship to Yatsenyuk in case 'something goes wrong'. Fcuk.

james | Mar 8, 2015 12:02:59 AM | 37

@35 piotr.. thanks for pointing out euro's role in libya and how nothing is going to change, as i personally believe just like the usa is bought and paid for, so is germany and france.. to suggest there will be much of a fracture is to suggest the international banker mafia don't have these politicians on the same page. i think they do.. whether they get elected again, or the required politicians to do the job of the bankers do - i think they do..

as for obama being anything other then a rubber stamp - i agree with @31 fast freddy.. step out of line and look what you will get.. it is hard not to be cynical..

@36 tiktok.. what a pathetic pos we have for a leader here in canada, but like i say about most of these western leaders and to which i include harper - they are all beholden to the same narrow interests that have nothing to do with the common people's interest.. they continue to think we are stupid or worse..

Demian | Mar 8, 2015 12:04:56 AM | 38

@Piotr Berman #35:

so far, there is hardly any "European alternative".

There does not need to be any European alternative. And the EU is dominated by Germany, the intelligence services of which, as someone here observed recently, are infiltrated by the CIA (although there was a report that Germany is now setting up a branch of its intelligence service independent of USG). The alternative is Russia. It is too late for Europeans to come up with alternatives. (They did that first with Hegel and then with Marx, but neither attempt held.) Europeans just need to realize that since the world is becoming multipolar, they belong in the Eurasian pole, not a contrived Atlanticist one.

Russia has grave flaws, an Europeans can help Russians fix those, if Europeans make a break with the predatory and anti-human Anglosphere.

Nana2007 | Mar 8, 2015 12:16:52 AM | 40

The push back is far too late. The gorgon Nuland and Dr Strangelove himself Zed Breszinski testifying before the mouth breathers of the foreign affairs committee this week continued to ratchet up the rhetoric:
"I wonder how many people in this room or this very important senatorial committee really anticipated that one day Putin would land military personnel in Crimea and seize it. I think if anybody said that's what he is going to do, he or she would be labeled as a warmonger. He did it. And he got away with it. I think he's also drawing lessons from that. And I'll tell you what my horror, night-dream, is: that one day, I literally mean one day, he just seizes Riga, and Talinn. Latvia and Estonia. It would literally take him one day. There is no way they could resist. And then we will say, how horrible, how shocking, how outrageous, but of course we can't do anything about it. It's happened. We aren't going to assemble a fleet in the Baltic, and then engage in amphibious landings, and then storm ashore, like in Normandy, to take it back. We have to respond in some larger fashion perhaps, but then there will be voices that this will plunge us into a nuclear war

I'll tell you what Brezinski's real horror night dream is dying before the US attempts a full on takeover of Russia. Whether Germany likes it or not they'll continue to be a pawn in the dark lords 8 dimensional chess game. It's a little late to be thinking twice now that the breadbasket of Europe is a basket case. The hope is that the whooping that's coming to the USSA shakes out the aristocracy that brought it about and sends them fleeing with nothing but their assholes.

Harold | Mar 8, 2015 3:48:14 AM | 43

Oddly, Brzezinski himself not too long ago recommended the "Finlandization" of Ukraine. The neo-cons and armaments industry have adopted a cartoonish version of his theories -- which, in any case, hark back to the Geographical Pivot theory dating to 1904! It's become a crude dogma that doesn't even rise to the level of ideology.

Prosperous Peace | Mar 8, 2015 5:20:41 AM | 44

Decent analysis but misses two important points:

1) "Special British-US relationship" - US has been a British colony for at least last 100 years, ie. a muscle-man for the Rothschildes-Jewish-Zionist cabal with its HQ in the City of London, Israel plays a "mad dog" role for them, Canada, Australia, and many other in the Commonwealth have their parts to play too. Because Obama since the evening of his reelection turned against the Crow Corporation, they have been forced to increasingly rely on themselves and other subjects - notice rapidly intensifying British military presence in the Central (Poland, which is situated at the very heart of the continent) and Eastern Europe (Baltic republics), as well as in the ME - Bahrain, police force now on the Turkish-Syrian border. Also British lying propaganda has been very intense, by far the worst in the EU. The neocons, McCain, Soros et al respond to the Rothschildes, always have. The British have been leading the charge recently and you will see more and more of this soon.

2) Obama's team has been under the threats form the global criminal cabal many times itself. Security breaches at the White House, warnings of assassination, "third force" trying to start a civil war in the US by abusing the police powers and killing the police officers, fake social movements menacing the White House with "marches" like the one of Jewish Adam Kokesh...

Summing up - it's been the City of London pulling the strings all along and Obama have been in danger of a violent overthrow already for some time.

somebody | Mar 8, 2015 5:40:49 AM | 45

RE: Piotr Berman | Mar 7, 2015 10:55:20 PM | 35

You are right about the issue of paying for grandiose plans.

Seems though that Europeans are really pissed off.

Jean Claude Juncker calls for European Army with headquarters in Brussels

Key sentence

Juncker wies zugleich auf die organisatorischen und finanziellen Vorteile des Vorhabens hin. So würde es zu einer intensiven Zusammenarbeit bei Entwicklung und Kauf von militärischem Gerät führen und erhebliche Einsparungen bringen.

Brief translation: Juncker highlighted the organizatorial and financial advantages. Cooperation in the development and procurement of military equipment could be shared and save considerable amounts.

jfl | Mar 8, 2015 8:13:07 AM | 46

German official says Saudi Arabia top 'terror exporter' in Mideast
[Vice President of the German Parliament (Bundestag) Claudia] Roth called Riyadh "the top terror exporter in the Middle East," adding that "a large portion" of extremist militants in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq hail from Saudi Arabia.

Germany's guidelines on weapons exports make it "crystal clear that deliveries cannot be made to such countries," she stressed.

"Besides the weapons deals, Germany is also discussing other trade ties with Saudi Arabia," she said. "Pressure could certainly be brought to bear using these."

The results of a recent survey conducted for German daily Bild have shown that 78 percent of Germans believe Berlin should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, while a further 60 percent favor breaking off trade relations all together with the Persian Gulf monarchy due to its human rights violations.

Great place for the crack to open up/spread from/to Ukraine.

ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 10:42:49 AM | 49

I would note that Merkel working with Timoshenko was more likely a tactical move - one in which Germany would get some leverage vs. Russia regarding natural gas moving through Ukraine as well as benefits within Ukraine.

This is very different than the American tactic of exaggerating ethnic tensions on order to create a failed state a la Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, ad nauseam. American doesn't necessarily intend to create a failed state - the correct view is that the goal is a puppet regime, but a failed state in someone else's backyard is almost as good...or good enough.

I'd also note that this is different than the British Empire tactic - the British would also arm "their" rebels, but they would put skin in the game (soldiers on the ground) in order to ensure that they wound up with the correct puppet regime.

It is still unclear to me whether the American abridgement of Byzantine/Ottoman/British Empire tactics is an evolution or a devolution.

dh | Mar 8, 2015 11:02:42 AM | 50

@49 I think America has always attempted to maintain the 'good guy' facade. Since 911 it's been more like 'no more Mr. Niceguy'.

guest77 | Mar 8, 2015 11:05:10 AM | 51

If the EU and Russia can edge the United States out of the situation, it is a win/win for everyone except the US, who will have seen $5B and an old Cold War dream go up in smoke.

If the US can be ejected, it will be the EU and especially the Germans who have gained the most mightily by the Maidan. The partition of Ukraine - getting rid of those parts that did vote more heavily for the Party of Regions and the Communists, leaves the EU with a "Orange", oligarchical Ukraine forever. A Ukrainian horse that the EU can hitch their currently broken cart to, a huge area for Germany to dominate in the heart of Europe - (one of Germany's oldest dreams). It's not something I'd personally wish on the Ukrainian population, but Ukraine becoming a proper EU member would require the suppression of the Nazis who, if they are not, would at least be loud, violent, internal opposition allied with the trouble-making USA, or at worst would try and wage a disruptive terrorist war over Crimea and the East.

Would this situation be acceptable to Russia? Wins there would be the retention of Crimea with no question as to its return to the rump Ukraine, plus the advantage of having the US out of the Ukraine completely and having caused an EU/US fissure. The status of the East would have to be determined, but it would seem that independence or becoming part of Russia would be the best bets there now that they'd no longer be able to offset the vote of the far west.

Anyway, that's all details. The real good thing here - for people all over the globe - would be that the war-making US elite would have been ejected from another region where they've been making trouble.

chalo | Mar 8, 2015 11:26:00 AM | 52

Ah, the utopian dreams of the unwashable internet junky. Germany will never reject the US. You heard it hear first. LOL

Scott | Mar 8, 2015 11:42:29 AM | 53

So far when it comes to any "divide" all I've seen is rhetoric and posturing. Considering the Fourth Reich and it's vassals are owned and controlled by the same puppet-masters I don't see any actual schism happening. Small European countries that actively resist will find a "color" revolution brewing. Large nations who actually push back will be hit with economic warfare. The courage to stand up for their people and stop the lunatics in D.C. doesn't exist in the currant political actors in Europe. I truly hope I'm wrong, but until we see DEEDS instead of mere WORDS...the steady slide toward war will continue.

rufus magister | Mar 8, 2015 11:43:22 AM | 54

...To get back on topic, Russia Insider considers the broader question of the regime's attitudes; the open fascism of the junta is I think at root of much of European unease. Kiev's Drive to Dehumanize East Ukrainians is certainly a key component of that mentality.

purple | Mar 8, 2015 11:59:18 AM | 55

All the European leaders are compromised in some way, the NSA probably has everything they have written, said, or done in a database. Merkel looks to have been involved in some shady activities in East Germany if you look closely enough. Don't expect Europe to break from Pax Americana.

Wayoutwest | Mar 8, 2015 12:24:05 PM | 56


I think that the unease in Europe about the rise of open fascism is superficial and more a PR concern than true opposition at least among the Ruling Class. So long as fascism serve their purposes and feeds their true agendas but remains obscured it is supported and protected.

OT again, many of us Oldies experienced music somewhat differently than today where albums or sides of albums were how we enjoyed the performances. Even radio DJs were judged by the way they programmed their shows and we were always in search of the perfect segway.

Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 12:40:07 PM | 57

Divorce? Hardly. EU want an EU army,

Another US puppet idea.

rufus magister | Mar 8, 2015 12:53:42 PM | 58

...On topic -- the fascism by itself is not too great a worry. That they're incompetent and it will cost someone lots of money to fix things more so. Events may not break up "the Allies" now, but with the proper moves and missteps by the varied parties involved.... Someone's planning a few moves ahead, and I don't think it's DC. Sadly, we can't overlook the power of short-sighted deviousness.

diogenes | Mar 8, 2015 1:20:48 PM | 60

It looks to me as if the differences between Obama and Merkel on Ukraine are tactical not strategic, viz:

Merkel doesn't have to deal with the infamous American "bottom line" every 90 days, and this gives her leisure to actually think about what she is doing.

German voters have a mind of their own and are not compliant stooges like American voters, who only require a few weeks of cheap propaganda to go along with the most crackpot of schemes. The saying "the burned child fears the fire" does not apply in their case.

The goal from Merkels point of view must be the neoliberal exploitation of Russia - not bringing Ukraine into NATO, which is only useful in an aggressive war against Russia; or for use as a provocation resulting in the removal of Putin.

Therefore Merkel has no qualms about putting the Western project against Russia on hold until a more opportune time.

Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 1:25:48 PM | 61

Hm, excellent article b, as always, though my first thoughts were, 'overly optimistic' ...

However, upon some reflection and reconsideration, there does seem to be a confluence/pattern of events occurring recently, which may signal that a real 'Newer Great Game' may be afoot, in our currently Unipolar, sole superpower, Empire dominated world.

The Minsk agreement was done without US involvement, in fact explicitly excluded US involvement, and the subsequent events of the EU players give every indication of having continued in that vein ... ie. Germany and France clearly acting independent of the Empire ... Poroschenko exposed as a powerless puppet, purely a pawn, a mere agent of influence of the US.

Now there are firm calls for no new sanctions by the EU, 'give Minsk a chance' ...

The reports re Breedlove/NATO and German governments new 'perspective' re Ukraine/Russia in this thread ... effectively denouncing the Empires warmongering, baseless propaganda, and willingness to have the EU 'go fuck itself' re Russia/Ukraine for no-ones benefit except the US. History, and US geopolitical strategy repeats ...

Now the EU (President Junckers) calling for the creation of an EU Integrated Army ... with only the UK and France so far having expressed concerns. France has always had a firm view to an independent military, regardless of NATO. UK view is irrelevant as they are merely viewed as the US suborned 'spoiler' in the EU, so again no surprise and no leverage/clout. Reports are Germany support the EU/Junckers proposal ... claims an integrated EU army would be far more effective and significantly less costly, as well as utilizing EU resources for the EU's benefit, not that of the US. Which would be quite true if micro and macro duplication at all levels was reduced by allocating specific functions and roles to relevant EU nations militaries within such a 'truly integrated' force ... for example, German Armored Corps, French Naval/Marine forces, Spanish Airborne/Airmobile, Italian Air Defence, a smaller member state to speciliaze as MPs, etc. The very proposal implicitly and explicitly would result in the dissolution of NATO, which has only ever been a US political-military agency within Europe serving exclusively the US interest. Such a proposal is NOT for the Empires benefit and very far from a trivial event. The Empire appears to have completely missed this coming ...

Reports the German government has created a new 'independent' offshoot of the BND, ie. a true German Intelligence service (or the seeds of ?) actually serving German National interests, as opposed to the US created and ever since suborned BND since the end of WWII ... is this also happening 'under the radar' in other EU states ?

Escalation of explicit diplomatic rhetoric calling out the prime US ally and Empire linchpin in the ME, Saudi Arabia, as the major source of terrorism, in the War on Terra ...

The extensive Snowden revelations, and fallout (latest blatant example - GEMALTO sims), re AUSCANUKUSNZ (Five-Eyes), could probably have led to the actual realization that there is the US and its four privileged 'Vassals', Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand, first and foremost actually comprising the 'West' as far as the Empire is concerned, and only then so called 'third tier' pseudo allies, such as Germany, France, etc (which are treated as actual 'potential hostiles' by the five eyes), and then lastly all the rest of the 'Barbarians' in the world ... all the Empires sweet words and false comforts/assurances over the years may have finally come home to roost.

China and Russia, are clearly progressively entering ever closer into an integrated Political/economic/defence anti Empire bloc at multiple levels ... significant overtures between Egypt and Russia, Russia and Iran ... the BRICS economic and South American economic 'exit' from the domination of the Empires Petrodollar and previous economic/political exploitation/dominance.

Perhaps the Empire and the five eyes have been so busy attempting to 'collect it all' and endlessly pivot from here to there and back again, whilst playing divide and rule from one nation state to the other, filled to the brim with their own exceptionalism, that they have missed the bigger picture, missed seeing the new 'forest' emerging, having paid far to close attention to their brushfires and all those individual trees ...

OTOH, however, there would appear to be enough concurrent events occurring quickly enough to envisage the ground moving from under the feet of the Empire and the five eyes ... and in plain view ...

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

Noirette | Mar 8, 2015 2:13:07 PM | 63

.. it is my opinion that the German government led by Mrs Merkel is a lot more involved in the crisis that is Ukraine than is being discussed in this forum. -- dan of steele at 13.

You bet. Merkel is an unexamined mover in these stories. (Germany has paid penance and is so cool…not.) Recall the break-up of Yugoslavia, under the radar Germany was the no 1 champion and mover, with the US.

Merkel has been meddling in Ukraine since forever, due to for a large part to up EU expansionism (Germany is the only country that benefits from the Eurozone, not in an evil or illegit way, all the other countries agreed..), to stretch out again, for more territory, cheap labor, factories run at low labor costs, the well-off in 'satellite' countries and elsewhere buying German products, finance ad loans, and so on. See Poland.

German expansionism! (Not that France is any better but they have less clout so are wimpy followers.) The Eurozone works like that: lend, give, money to poor 'southern' countries so that they buy your goods, when they stop buying or believing, you cut them off, and look for new markets. Or downscale etc.

Re. Ukraine, the fantasy was it could join the EU (not considered realistic by any reasoned analysts or actors unless talking about 20 years down the road without war) and Merkel pushed that.

Cuddled up to the US who had other aims, to make it short, provoke Russia, the whole thing was to be wrapped up with a lot of love-handshakes, as the Coup-Kiev Gvmt. was expected to maintain it's hold on a 'unitary' country which would be, it goes without stating, open to new 'industrialism', 'farming', 'reforms' (open up for foreign capital to make huge profits), and/or from the Nuland-type side, attack Russia by cutting ties, banning trade with Russia (see sanctions), forbidding Russian influence, media, commerce, and pushing for war, etc.

Donbass ppl objected, rose up, and it turned out that the Ukr. Gvmt could not deliver, - no army that could perform, no will, incompetence, also thieves...

These completely contradictory aims, of the EU and the US, are now public.

- one pov there are many others

Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 2:40:02 PM | 64

@ Okie Farmer

Many 'perhaps's and certainly not clear yet what the EU Army proposal truly indicates yet, but Germany is clearly behind and for it ... Ultimately the EU is Germany-France and there are many new possibilities emerging.

The geopolitical consequences of the reality of the Snowden revelations re the five-eyes conduct/actions/objectives and falsity of supposed alliances for 'mutual' as opposed to exclusive benefit of the Empire at every level may well have triggered recalculations amongst the 'pseudo allies' governments, this may well be the case with Germany, at least.

Usually very pessimistic, in this instance 'overly optimistic', or momentarily envisioning an alternate possible ?

Is it really in the EU interests to take a hit for the Empires benefit re Cold War 2.0 or the possibility of WW3 or move towards a less Atlanticist future ?

ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 3:21:11 PM | 65

@dh #50
With the single exception of the Romans - because they literally ruled everything - every other empire always tries very hard to present the best front.

The British had their "White Man's Burden", the US had the "American Dream" but which has since been switched with the "War on Terror".

No doubt because only the least informed believe that old lie anymore.

Ed Lozano | Mar 8, 2015 3:25:29 PM | 66

Anonymous #57

An European Army would be the final act of the divorce from US, since it would be a de facto ending of NATO. No wonder why both US and their major "European" puppet UK radically oppose the idea. NATO's purpose was not only to counter Soviet military, but also to make sure Germany would never "rise again". That purpose is still biding and Germans know it. But under NATO umbrella, there's not much they can do to restore even a glimpse of the military power they had in the past. They "voluntarily" abdicate from developing nuclear weapons and most of their military spending is restricted to defensive air/ground capabilities, instead of means of projecting power such as naval vessels and long-range missiles. However, in an European unified defense system most of these restrictions should be lifted so to allow Germany to fulfill its obligations to the European allies. Most of American military bases would be rendered futile, and it's almost certain that NATO's nuclear silos stationed in Europe would have to be redeployed elsewhere, since an European defense agreement would demand full control of all military assets in European territory. Finally, Eastern Europe would turn to Germany and France instead of US when dealing with Russia, thus bringing more political stability to the region (violent "Maidans" would be less likely in the presence of foreign troops who, unlike Americans, have to answer for their actions when they come back home).

Needless to say, all these events would be catastrophic for US global domination strategy, since they would lose not only military control over strategic assets in Western Europe, but also major influence in the only part of the European Union they are actually welcome today. But one should remember none of this is new: since its creation European Union was conceived to have its own unified defense system, but this part of the European pact was sabotaged by British and Americans from the beginning. Even French nationalist leader De Gaulle became fond of the idea, but his efforts would be futile while Germany was not reunified and European Union was still a project. And one should notice an unified Europe is still a project today. Eurozone is crumbling, resentment among the periphery is running high and both Germans and French know it. One of the necessary solutions for preserving European Union is a unified defense system, for it would lift the minor associates defense spending burden while allowing the major ones to exert much more effective political influence among them, so to prevent that every economic crisis in those countries become a threat to the stability of the entire bloc itself.

Noirette #63

Undoubtedly Germany played a role in Maidan and there's enough evidence of that, but I don't think their objective was to produce a violent divorce between Ukraine and Russia. As far as I know German ambassadors were the major force in bringing to the negotiating table both President Yanukovitch and the opposition groups, who then signed the 21st of February agreement for Constitutional reform and anticipated elections. This agreement was also supported by Russia, and since Germany is the natural interlocutor for Moscow in "European" affairs, I assume the whole thing was arranged by Berlin. Problem is, no one really expected what happened the day after - except of course the Americans who had already decided to sabotage the deal and take it all for themselves, bypassing both Europe and Ukrainian "moderates" (like Yulia Timoshenko) through bribing the major oligarchs and former members of Yanukovitch's cabinet and the use of Right Sector thugs to attack Government buildings and seize power at once.

Germany won absolutely nothing with this outcome. Sure, Ukraine turned to West, but at what price? Now it's a devastated and bankrupted country with no control over a large portion of its own territory. And guess who will have to pay for their reconstruction? Yes, Germany. Merkel is anything but stupid. She knew from the beginning how Russia would react if threatened in her most sensitive interests. Georgia is not a far off memory for them. So yes, Germans would sure act to topple Yanukovicth if they had the chance, but only in a way "negotiated" with Russia. And that's exactly what they thought they had achieved in February 21st, 2014. Yanukovicth would be turned into a powerless President; there was to be new elections and Merkel's favorite Timoshenko would certainly win; Ukraine would join EU soon; and Russia would have to be satisfied with her Crimea's bases, and nothing more than that. The German plan was going too well, until Vic Nuland decided to f.. the EU once again. And here we are now.

Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 3:26:40 PM | 67


Did you miss that the EU mentioned Russia as the reason why EU wanted a EU army? Again, nothing but a US puppet proposal.


jfl | Mar 8, 2015 4:20:37 PM | 68

It seems obvious to me that the EU - Germany - is much better off with Russia, the junior partner, than it is with the USA, the dominant partner.

Ok... but that's the way Germany sees itself vis a vis Russia and the way the US sees itself vis a vis Germany.

I guess the only question is on the downside of the switch ... how much pain can the US inflict on Germany thereafter?

And that's relative to how much pain the US' vicious, one-sided schemes can elicit for Germany (the EU) from the Russians. And that seems, everyday in every way, to be increasing.

I imagine that if the US does get a real war going with Russia they will have tipped the balance ... everything will then get unfrozen and move really quickly.

The reality will be apparent before news of it reaches our ears. Supersonically.

Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 4:25:08 PM | 69

@ Anonymous

If the intent is to replace NATO would you declare it or justify it 'falsely' by using the Empires propaganda justifications as a false cover ?

Again with the US puppet proposal crap, and why would the US want to create such a force when it would undermine nay invalidate NATOs very reason for existence for the last 60 plus years. NATO has been a political-military Trojan within Europe effectively controlled and literally commanded by the US, serving US interests for all that time.

Respectively, and reluctantly your 'point' suggests you are either naive, a fool or trollish, perhaps. Ed Lozano #66 touches on some relevant history and context if you are not aware of it ...

Ultimately nations only have and act on thier 'interests'.

okie farmer | Mar 8, 2015 4:53:54 PM | 70

Too much optimism in this thread. Heads of NATO, both European and US, have been urging NATO countries to "spend more on defense" - also many US politicians. There is a faction in Germany that have 'dreams' of their own MIC. Ukraine offers the chance to fulfill those dreams, they're pushing hard while they see the chance.

All but two of NATO members are headed by neoliberal scumbags, Greece and Hungary are the exceptions. France and Germany lead the way. Merkel has always been a neoliberal, Hollande has come to it only slightly reluctantly.

Neoliberalism is what US and EU have most in common - politically/economically. Very important. I don't think Germany has given up on buying up and privatizing as much of Ukraine as they can; and certainly the US based multinational corps are already buying Ukraine's assets - probably those corps in Europe too.

Perhaps the Spiegel article is a kind of false flag - or not; nonetheless it airs out what I see as a false resistance meme. Merkel, like Thatcher before her, is a committed neoliberal. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!

Ed Lozano | Mar 8, 2015 5:15:02 PM | 73

@Anonymous #71

The fact that the main "cause" for EU Army is the need containing Russia changes nothing on the discussion about EU-US "divorce". Containing Russia has always been the issue of any Western alliance. Problem is, US and EU have major divergences about how to do it. US favors a far more provocative and offensive approach, by positioning military bases, missile shields and naval fleets around Russian border, and encouraging Russia's neighbors to cut their ties with Moscow and join Western partnerships. Europe on the other hand advocate a strictly defensive pact, that respects Russia's interests and influence over its near abroad.

The main reason for this divergence is quite easy to understand. European leaders know that in the event of war with Russia, the battlefield will be in their own lands. US on the other hand has nothing to risk and much to gain with a conflict between Russia and Europe, unless of course Russia decides to end the World (but for some odd reason that possibility never comes into account for neocons). But again, the divorce between US and EU is quite clear in this case. And I believe it's needless to say Russia would strongly support an European Army proposal, even if it's main purpose was to counter Russian military. For threats should be perceived not by one's alleged purposes, but by the means one employs to achieve those purposes.

lysias | Mar 8, 2015 5:16:45 PM | 74

Yes, the powers that be did that to JFK when he stepped out of line. But they must know that, if they did the same thing to Obama, there would be riots all over the country. So Obama has power that JFK never had, but he's too cowardly or opportunistic to use that power.

Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 5:23:09 PM | 75

@ jfl

Agreed, though the US has always been cowardly, has always avoided risking open conflict with first world countries. It far prefers to have others fight it out between or amongst themselves and benefit from picking up the spoils at little cost afterwards. Everyone else is weaker thier economies damaged and the US relevant power enhanced.

See the Iran-Iraq war, see the US conduct in WWI, profiting handsomely throughout and only entering the conflict at the last moment once Germany was already on her knees and France and UK were crippled. Rinse and repeat in WwII letting the Nazis and Japanese Empire do their worst and handsomely profiting from all sides until they were dragged in on Dec 07 41. The cost exacted from 'helping' the UK was a takeover of their former empire and relegation to junior poodle vassal status. The UK was required to pay every single last dollar owed including interest accrued for Lend Lease during WWII and they only cleared the debt a few years ago.

The US doesn't want actual war with Russia, however, ongoing conflict both economic and low-medium military in Europe weakens all the europeans at no cost to and for the further benefit of the Five-eyes.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) works, unless miscalculations happen ...

It would seem the economic cost to Germany and to a lesser extent the rest of the EU regarding Russia is more than acceptable to the US, which ultimately has little skin in the game, for the US its a win-win, though apparently Germany and the EU? may be developing an entire different perspective, again all comes back to national 'interests'. And there appears to be no upside for Europe's interests re 'fuck the EU' ... even the somewhat rabid Poles are questioning the economic cost of Russia baiting re sanctions which are only hurting Russia and EU, US cost/pain=nil.

Anonymous | Mar 8, 2015 5:28:06 PM | 76

okie farmer

You are right, too much naive folks here suddenly. When people say that the EU army will somehow be "defensive" and will go against America's policies its just get too much to even comment further.

Outraged | Mar 8, 2015 7:21:58 PM | 78

@ Okie Farmer

The Military Commander of NATO (Supreme Allied Commander Europe - *barf*) is always a US General Officer and says publicly exactly what he is instructed to say by DC (ie. Breedlove), his counterpart the NATO Secretary-General supposedly speaks for all NATO members however due to the US largely rigging the appointments has most often been little more than a rabid Atlanticist warmonger also receiving his talking points from DC, former Anders Fogh Rasmussen having been one of the worst, and the current Jens Stoltenberg is no better (he's a champion for NATO getting its very own Nukes, yay), hence there isn't much room for other individual members of NATO to even get airtime re issues relative NATO.

Yes, the US Commander of NATO and the effectively US appointed Secretary-General sockpuppet and lots of US politicians want the Europeans to spend a lot more of their Euros on an expanded NATO military that the US commands, especially if its US armaments, and even more so if that caused the Russians to have to waste more money to further counter/offset a NATO expansion, for the benefit of US interests. Cost/pain to US=nil.

However, there has been little discernable success because of sustained resistance to this call for some time now by NATO member countries, regardless of the over-the-top US propaganda re Russia and Ukraine, as NATO members have better things to do with those Euros given the state of the EU economy (austerity - public antipathy to military expenditure) since the GFC and the only beneficiary would be the US including indirectly by further weakening the EU economy to further US economic advantage globally. The indications are that even the UK poodle intends to further cutback, not expand, its military budget after the upcoming election.

The selling points of this possible EU Army apparently being put forward by Junckers/Germany are an EU Commander (ie. Not a US officer, rotating national appointment ?), under EU command serving EU interests, supposedly greater effectiveness/efficiency/reduced duplication, and therefore purportedly costing less Euros overall re current military expenditure (compared to US controlled NATO ?).

Nah, can't for the life of me see why the UK and US would be adamantly opposed ... *cough*

ǝn⇂ɔ | Mar 8, 2015 10:07:10 PM | 80

I would separate German policies in the rest of the EU/world with German policies within their own borders.
A strong proxy for the presence of neoliberal economic policies is property prices. Nations which undergo a property bubble - are almost always neoliberal. Germany in this respect had pretty much the lowest property price growth of any EU nation.

Debs is dead | Mar 8, 2015 10:08:00 PM | 81

If American foreign policy can engineer a war based around the Ukraine where European troops fight russian troops at the same time as a major schism develops in Europe between the 'new Europeans' of the Baltic states, Poland and the Czech republic and the old Europeans of France germany italy and spain, the amerikan empire will have killed two birds with one stone.

I reckon the European schism won't be splintering along such neat and tidy fault lines if it splinters at all, however.

While the old school euro politicians may be reluctant to go to war, I am unsure their military leadership shares that view.

For too long Nato command structures have been trained with an American ethos and a value set likely to see war as being 'a good thing'. The alacrity with which Nato tossed its European defense goal aside to jump into Afghanistan and then encouraged Nato members to deploy to then, despite both deployments being at odds with the wishes of their fellow citizens, ably illustrates the fault line between political and military leadership which successive euro pols have desperately tried to conceal from their voters

In the immediate post war period the euro governments had little say in the matter but with the occasional exception of france the bulk of european pols have been content to let amerika pick up the training tab for staff officers. With the short term goal orientation typical of elected leaders, most euro pols chose to believe they were getting 'free' training for their military commanders, rather than the truth - that europe was paying vast sums for a military whose commanders would dance the washington jig.

The short-sightedness of europe's pols has them choking their Greek brothers and sisters while the euro continues to decline yet the US$ arcs ever upwards, and never asking themselves "why are we working so hard to help amerika at the expense of fellow europeans?"

I have no doubt however much Merkel and co claim to oppose a full on war with Ukraine; instigated at least in part by their own military leaders whose patriotism must be open to question, that in the end they will acquiese to Nuland's strategy.

Not to do so would rquire vision and personal courage both of these in short supply among euro neo-liberals.

Especially for Merkel there is an easy out. All she needs to do is to tap into the just below the surface and rarely enunciated beliefs of a substantial number of her fellow citizens - that Germany has the 'right' to expand its influence further east.

whack | Mar 9, 2015 5:15:16 AM | 85

@Outraged 78

What a relief to see finally somebody who gets it. Bravo!

(Some hasbara trolls here pretend not to, in order to spread fear and disnfo).

Prosperous Peace | Mar 9, 2015 2:25:19 AM | 84

I think you give Obongo way too much credit.

He is "President" yes, but is he really? Or is he just a token face for the McCain´s and the other white House plantation owners to hold up for the 99%, a mere House n*gger?

Everytime the man open his mouth accompanied as always by his Telepromter or advisors, even then puerile stupidities ansd ridicolous threats comes out. I think he is doing a better characterization of himself than the North Koreans possibly could imagine...

Anonymous | Mar 9, 2015 6:17:16 AM | 87

@ Debs is Dead

The whole purpose of NATO from inception was to undermine and suborn the military command of the NATO members military forces to US control for the benefit of the Empire. To have leverage of those militaries and direct command influence outside of their 'sovereign' governments. To keep Germany 'down'. Many Non-US-UK NATO officers are very aware indeed of what NATO really is, US provided 'training' or not. De Gaulle was well aware of the threat and gave NATO 'the finger' many times.

Five-eyes military officers are routinely utilized by their intelligence agencies to actively and aggressively cultivate and suborn any military officer who is not Five-eyes. The same process is aggressively pursued by the intelligence agencies against their counterparts amongst their tier three and four pseudo-allies such as Germany, France, Italy, etc. This has been going on for many decades.

The Chinese learnt this lesson during WWII and under no circumstances allow any officer with Operational/Line command in the PLA to have direct contact with US military counterparts except under very strict circumstances. The PLA has a dedicated corps of officers to conduct such interaction and liasion who will never be given PLA Operational/Line commands in their career as a result. To say the least, this really pisses the US off no end. A PR/Liaison officer in the PLA is of no use as an agent or future agent of influence given such policies, bummer.

These 'harmless' military-military and intelligence-intelligence interactions have been the very basis/foundation stone of the vast majority of the coups and destabilization operations the US has conducted on every continent since WWII.

There is the Five-eyes and then every other country on the planet, who are merely given different ratings of 'hostile' or 'enemy' and treated accordingly, regardless of any public utterings re so called 'alliances' and 'partnerships'.

'Old Europe' has dragged its feet and more many times despite dictats from the US. Latin America provides many examples of where the US polices/actions are ultimately counter-productive, compare its current state to the 60's-70's-80's absolute US dominance.

Regardless of US Neoliberal politics/virus the serving militaries of NATO as a whole would be bound more tightly to their own communities and individual national interests, should push come to shove, me thinks, given histories lessons.

IF the EU is to get out from under US domination/control/influence which is more and more counter to its own and europes interests (and many of its individual nations interests), it has to create separation of its intelligence services from the Five-eyes and take back control of its own military commands and agencies. A very big IF indeed ...

Outraged | Mar 9, 2015 5:38:28 AM | 86

More proof for the naive folks here:

[Mar 09, 2015] Boris Nemtsov ally: Islamist speculation over murder 'useful for Kremlin' by Shawn Walker

They still want to play the war propaganda game. Here we go. Shawn Walker writings. Foreign Office talking points. What not this Illya Yashin (not sure if he was co-leader of Nemtsov's opposition party then), involved with distribution to protesters several millions in West-supplied cash that were discovered at Ksenia Sobchak apartment during Russian color revolution of 2012 ?
Mar 09, 2015 | The Guardian


The NEW Cold War is back with a vengeance. Similar lineup but very different ideologies in conflict. Before you had atheistic communism against religious capitalism, now the roles are reversed. America and England are now resembling the old socialist USSR and Red China, while Russia and China are now increasingly coming to resemble the formerly religious and capitalistic America and England. What irony... OMG one thing is the same, eminent Nuclear War...

richiep40 -> Jose C. Sandoval

We will never know who started the fire in Odessa, The Guardian.

What happened to the open and transparent investigations into the shootings in Maidan, the fire in Odessa and the downing of the Malaysian aircraft I wonder ?


"Putin has said he has taken "personal control" of the investigation"

The phrase has sparked a sort of controversy here, some people are even using it as a proof of conspiracy. It's mainly because they are not aware of what this expression actually means.
The phrase "взять под личный контроль" in Russian does not mean that Putin is personally in charge of the team of investigators giving orders which line to follow or not, who to charge or arrest or not.

It simply means that police and security service are informing him regularly about the progress in the investigation, meetings or briefings may be held, reports are being made, etc., etc. The importance of the case is unprecedented, so the people, resources, etc. must be involved, engaged in the same unprecedented scale. The highest level of control is just facilitating all this as well as cooperation and coordination of law-enforcement agencies.
That's what this eye-catching phrase means.

Laudig, 2015-03-10,00:16:54

This is what a political assassination looks like American-style. "After two years of guerrilla warfare, leading Péralte to declare a provisional government in the north of Haiti, Charlemagne Péralte was betrayed by one of his officers, Jean-Baptiste Conzé, who led disguised US Marines Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken (later meritoriously promoted to Second Lieutenant for his exploits) and Corporal William Button into the rebels camp, near Grand-Rivière Du Nord.[1]:215-217"

Solongmariane 9 Mar 2015 14:41

Contrary to JFK & Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Isaac Rabin .!!!! .we get a lot of arrested suspects. It's a conjuration, and with so much complices it will possible to get informations. Objectivily, I don't see why Putin will need to eliminate physically Nemtsov, because he didn't exist before his assassination.

It was so easy to destroy him politically, with the kind of life he has ( too much women). It's the west who created a anti-Putin heros, for his propaganda..

Andrew -> Oldtruster

I think Ramzan Kadyrov said the truth. He illustrated the motivation of the killer. The killer seems a simple-minded person. It was easy to convince him that Nemtsov had outraged the prophet. This have nothing to do with real motives of the murder but we will never get to know them as a man who convinced the killer has died. Investigators are off the trail, case closed.

susandbs12 9 Mar 2015 14:38

Rather than speculation we should wait for the results of the investigation to be published.

The Russia haters are too quick to expect instantaneous results, and jump to preposterous conclusions based on nothing.

Wait for the investigation to be completed. This constant sniping will not have a positive effect on those who are doubtlessly working very hard to find out what happened and why.

seaspan -> Standupwoman 9 Mar 2015 15:13

Nemtsov's allies, the US/CIA, and Kiev.

Or Muslims...

The list was rather short for Sherlock, and you cant convict them all. Muslims are the perfect patsie and the crazy fundies can and are indirectly connected to any number of third "western" parties already. So all in all, a good choice. I can just see the conspiracy loons at RT and elsewhere busy connecting the dots, to defend their main man Putin.

Ciarán Here 9 Mar 2015 14:38

Boris Nemtsov ALLY and the guardian make fine cocktail Islamist speculation over murder 'useful for Kremlin' ....but not useful for the USA UK EU....

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves

Ciarán Here -> tjmars 9 Mar 2015 14:34

Yes you spotted it, it is called pointing the finger away from oneself - look over there! No not there in Detroit or Greece for example but there in Russia we need to demonize a enemy to distract the plebs from our mistreatment of them...and to justify our wars against those who simply say no and that we are a sovereign state not a vassal of your greed ...

aucontraire2 MasonInNY 9 Mar 2015 14:19

You are not naive if you are from NY. You know that the Putin saga is all a made up story to hide the failures of the west on the international scene.

The US is a failed leader now because it has failed the world in not providing justice to Palestinians. The world needs a moral leader. Obviously the Chinese aren't interested at becoming the world's moral leader, Russia can't become a moral leader for obvious reasons, Canada was on its way to take the leadership, but the US republicans saw to it by forcing a nutcase called Harper who hides in a closet at the first sound of firecrackers.

tjmars 9 Mar 2015 14:18

The Guardian Trusts's new way of keeping privileged access to governmental news is to promote propaganda pieces for the government. The Guardian had to do a 180 after Snowden, so we'll forever more get the likes of subjective opinions of young idealists from a Russian political party that couldn't afford a security detail for its leader.

I guess with the ceasefire in Ukraine and the arrests of two conspirators so far from Chechnya, they are running out of angles to spread the BS around with.

How about switching over to the not-so breaking news that globalization is devastating currencies and economies, politics and human rights and resources and environmernts; the monetising and marketing on everything worldwide.

Why report on the failure of politics and economics in one lousy country, when there's a "failure du jour" everyday caused by globalization.

Why not cover the wars resulting from it on a daily rotation?

Who could have predicted that World War 3 would be a protracted economic war that would plunge the world into a neo-Dark Age for hundreds of years?

The real wars are now suicides where people, who can't stand the stifling boredom of repititous consumer product variations, sign up to commit suicide en mass in a foreign country. That, adversely, is video gaming creating its own reality...

Standupwoman 9 Mar 2015 14:12

A predictable approach, but it misses something rather important. If the murder is indeed brought home to the Chechens, then that is very convenient for all the other and much more likely suspects - Nemtsov's allies, the US/CIA, and Kiev. Putin had no motive, but each of those three had much to gain from a Nemtsov assassination, and have been gleefully cashing in ever since.

If Putin wanted to deflect blame onto someone else, why on earth wouldn't he choose one of those? If Russia is the gangland state so many seem to think, then it would be simple to 'do a Kiev' and stage a 'confession' implicating the CIA, Poroshenko, or anyone it wanted. So why hasn't it?

Unless of course the investigation is genuine and the Chechens did it after all...

irishmand -> seaspan 9 Mar 2015 15:06

It is my understanding that his area of influence and political activity was limited to Moscow, the place Stalin over defended as he correctly surmised it was the brain of the USSR. Yeltsin also understood Moscow as the place to agitate to shake up the national leadership.

If you want to start a coup, you have to do it in Moscow. Nemtsov was losing his influence in Moscow. He was an member of the local duma in Yaroslavl'.

therealbillythefish 9 Mar 2015 15:05

Unfortunately for those on the West and their agents in Russia, the killers have been caught fairly quickly and at least one has already confessed.

So, better go find something else to scream and shout about.

irishmand McStep 9 Mar 2015 15:03

I have no shame. Sorry, I lost it somewhere on my way... Maybe, after reading the western press for a while, I started mimicking them.

But, in my defense, I only troll the trolls. If somebody wants to have a meaningful discussion I am ready to have it too..

artdeco McStep 9 Mar 2015 15:02

Yeah, suspected so (Not that there's anything wrong with being Russian!, to paraphrase Seinfeld) - the frequent absence of the little word the in sentences is a quite reliable "tell"...

seaspan -> 1waldo1 9 Mar 2015 15:00

Why would he have to be in the "western press" to be considered important by the Kremlin? He was involved in Moscow and was assassinated for his political activity there, not in Chechnya or London. Doesn't Russia have its own independent domestic political dynamic?

No one else outside that venue should have given a damn about him.

rodney9 -> UBX525AEZ 9 Mar 2015 14:58

They even had a snow removal truck come by there to obstruct any potential witnesses at that exact moment of the murder.The snow truck seemed to be slowed down at the point of the murder to provide the killer or killers cover

You clearly belong to the Gary Kasparov school of en passant criminologists.

McStep -> crystaltips2 9 Mar 2015 14:55

mate, there are so many apparatchik trolls on this and other related threads, it's a joke. the laughable thing about them is that most Russians know their media system is woefully centrally controlled and censored, but they actually agree with this because they think the function of news media is to tell the people want they want to hear in order to maintain solidarity in times of trouble.

in essence, they know, or a part of them knows, that they're talking utter **** but i guess like some poor domestically abused partner it's a case, of, " SHUT UP, WHAT DO YOU KNOW??? HE LOVES ME!!!!!"

but it's understandable. if your leader is perpetuating generations of the indoctrinated notion that the tsar has every right to pillage the state, murder its people and incite conflict on a whim, then its probably is very difficult to come to terms with the abject sense of shame they should be feeling.


Unfortunately for those on the West and their agents in Russia, the killers have been caught fairly quickly and at least one has already confessed.

So, better go find something else to scream and shout about.

Fromrussia1976 -> therealbillythefish

Or you'd better to investigate who has downed that plane in the Ukraine... Half a year has left, but no result!


We don't know yet all the details and we are not sure what is behind this Chechen link. But no matter what the working hypothesis are and what the results are, this opposition is going to criticize it. That's why he is in anti-government opposition. There is no need to put his doubts into a front page article.


Scripted by the Kremlin. Again. Nothing new here. Getting rid of one opponent by blaming another.

irishmand -> SonnyTuckson

Scripted by CIA Again. Nothing new here. Stage a murder, blame on somebody else.


Perhaps it would be more to the point, and better journalism, to elaborate and contexualise the comments made by Nemtsov on Charlie Hebdo, or the German cartoon he published on his facebook side, as well as Nemtsov's personal attack on Kadyrov, rather than blanket denials that it has anything to do with insulting the prophet Mohammed. Fortunately, following a few links here in the comment section makes that all possible. That they are ignored here in the article is evidence once again of poor journalism, it's almost like being told don't bother to go there, it's not worth it, just keep on believing it was Putin. The Guardian published an editorial not so very long ago about " a cynical post-modern media strategy" all those Kremlin controlled channels manipulating the truth for daring to suggest 5 (sic) lines of enquiry, and how truth itself was "vanishing" in a flurry of what they called "weaponised relativism". CCTV cameras were conspicuously inoperative, some bigots speculated that a snow plough had been strategically sent in (Gary Kasparov) to mask the actual footage of the moment of the killing.

We realise that this must be very disppointing for all those who wanted this to be a sure fire mafia hit in a "mafia state" carried out by a mafia boss, rather than an act of Islamic terrorism from fanatics that we have recently seen elsewhere in Paris and Copenhagen.

We shouldn't forget that hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Chechnya against Charlie Hebdo, finding it all very provocative. I will probably watch France 24, that news channel might not be so hostile to looking at the real connections and Nemtsov's comments in depth rather than denials by an English newspaper.

Simon311 -> rodney9

Well the Guardian and others who have spent months telling us that the Russian media is not worth reading and watching, now quotes the Russian media when it agrees with thier view.

This is almost mental illness in its inconsistency.

Ludicrous - the Russian media is always wrong, until it says someting we like, then it is completely right.


Saw this headline at TASS:

First suspects in Nemtsov murder identified - Federal Security Service

Surprisingly it turned out the suspects was not FSB after all, but some of Kadyrov's lunatics arrested by FSB. Who could have guessed that.

It seems they have found some, who are even more crazy than he is.


...some of Nemtsov's associates ... do not believe fanatics acting alone could have shot someone dead so close to the Kremlin.

I mean, that's just dumb. It's not hard to shoot somebody. I don't see how the proximity to the Kremlin makes it any more difficult. You just ... do it. It takes all of a second or two to pull a trigger a few times. Unless the Russians have installed some kind of electromagnetic field around the Kremlin that magically stops guns from firing. But the article doesn't say they have, so I'm at a loss as to how "some of Nemtsov's associates" could be so irrational.

seaspan -> daltonbernard

Rumour's are flying in Moscow, and lazy journalists will report whatever they hear without putting it into a more understandable context or making better sense of it. What I've heard that makes more sense is that a Chechen fanatic muslim "motive" doesn't make any sense, even though someone from there could have been hired to kill Nemtsov -- the important point is that the motive remains open and officially obscured...

Simon311 -> Havingalavrov

Howd o you know

a) He was a "complete professional"?

b) Criminals make mistakes all the time

c) You appear to be beleieving Russian media which you have said is full of lies.

So self contradictory pompous rubbish.

Yes you do not like Putin - got it.


Make of this what you will but this seems to be the official line so don't expect much else

In 2007 Boris Nemtsov gave an interview to the magazine "Expert", in which he stated that all the measures of President Vladimir Putin are aimed at increasing the birth rate, primarily in the regions populated by Muslims, and it is "extremely dangerous for the future of Russia". After that Nemtsov was accused by well-known representatives of the Muslim world of Islamophobia.

In January 2015, the year after the execution of cartoonists from the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the politician in his blog on the website of "Echo of Moscow" had justified the actions of the cartoonists, and wrote that "Islam is stuck in the middle ages", and called recent events the "Islamic Inquisition".

A few days later, Nemtsov said that "Everyone is tired of Kadyrov's threats", and "it is time to arrest him". This happened after the head of Chechnya said very unflattering things about the opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky and journalist Alexey Venediktov because of their support for the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.

Zaur Dadaev decided that Boris Nemtsov offended Muslims, and out of a false sense of patriotism and defense of religion decided to punish the politician

Simon311 -> BunglyPete

The US, Russia and Germany - you can't beat any of them for producing weird types.

Simon311 -> RedTelecaster

Whatever a "Putinbot" may be. SOunds like a new word for "commie" as it was used 40 years ago.


Reading the posts here it is clear to me that people that blamed Putin for this will continue to do so regardless of what evidence to the contrary is presented simply because it suits their agenda.

FrancesSmith -> RedTelecaster

go on help the neocons destroy eastern europe. do nuland and breedlove pay you are or do you do it for free?

but in truth you just reveal the ugliness that lies at the heart of the demonisation of putin, and repel people. keep it up..................


It's the silly season again. The Obama administration is demanding a thorough investigation of Nemtsov' s death. They don't want a whitewash. The US certainly knows a whitewash when it sees one. Our Justicell Department looked high and low in the White House and couldn't find one banker or CEO to hold responsible for the housing crises. ( They all hang out on Wall Street.) Given a second chance to do their job, they couldn't find any military/industrial contractor who committed fraud in either not building incinerators on US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan or built them but they could not be used because of shoddy workmanship. ( Should have asked soldiers returning home with respiratory problems due to trash pits.) And finally the DOJ was unable to find anyone responsible for the torture and rendition programs ( could have found Cheyney on Fox News continuing to do interviews.)

So it shouldn't be too difficult for Russia to do a better job investigating the death of Nemtsov, since the US has set the bar so low.


Shaun Walker writes about " Islamic speculation convenient for Kremlin '

One of the suspects blow himself in traditional Islamic suicide tradition, others were charged in court hiding their faces from reporters. This is where Mr Walker, the speculation stops.

[Mar 08, 2015] Russia's Most Notorious Hitman Claims Nemtsov's Killers Were Amateurs

Mar 08, 2015 | Sputnik International
Boris Nemtsov's killing last week was probably not a political assassination, as it was carried out by amateurs, said former professional assassin Alexei Sherstobitov.

Gunmen who killed Russian politician Boris Nemtsov last week in central Moscow were amateurs and the pattern of the murder indicates that it was carried out unprofessionally, former hitman Alexei Sherstobitov, currently serving a prison term for 12 assassinations, told Russian news site Gazeta.

Every hitman, first and foremost, is concerned about one thing – how to carry out an assassination with the least amount of risk of being exposed. The most logical choice for a killer would have been to shoot the victim from as far as possible. In Nemtsov's case, given where the killing took place, the simplest way to execute the assassination would have been to drive along the street, on which the victim was walking, park the car and wait until he approached.

Once he was at a shooting distance, the shooter should have slightly opened the car's window, shot the victim and escaped without putting himself at the risk of exposure. Even an average shooter should be able to hit a person's head at the distance between 15 and 25 meters. The fact that Nemtsov's killers made six shots, while only hitting him four times, at a close distance shows their unprofessionalism, Sherstobitov told Gazeta.

"A professional shooter, who often uses his weapon, is unlikely to fire this many shots," said the former assassin. One of two shots are usually enough.

Sherstobitov said the killing reminded him of incidents that frequently occurred during the 1990s, when gang members accidentally came across someone from a rival gang in a public place. In situations like that, killings were often carried out on short notice, without much preparation.

Those, who spotted a member or members from a rival gang, made a phone call and killers would soon arrive, take positions near the victims' car or outside of a restaurant, where their victims were. Assassinations like this were often ill-organized, chaotic and took place in public places, Sherstobitov explained.

The former hitman concluded that Nemtsov's killing was likely a non-political assassination.

"In my opinion, this [Nemtsov] is not a politician who could really influence something. Many people had already forgotten about him," Sherstobitov said, adding that there are more important and influential politicians out there to assassinate, if one really wanted to cause a real political chaos in the country.

The killing of Nemtsov was not even carried out professionally, the former hitman said, ruling out the political version of the last week assassination.

Sherstobitov was a member of one of Moscow's organized crime groups during the 1990s, when he became known as one of Russia's most notorious assassins. In 2008, he was found guilty of assassinating 12 people and currently serving a 23-year prison term.

[Mar 07, 2015] Russian Opposition Putin Did NOT Assassinate Opposition Leader

Notable quotes:
"... U.S. media is quick to blame Putin for the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. ..."
"... This is a classic sacrificial lamb, textbook case. Good job Americans, good job Nazis, good job liberals. I dont know who of them did this. But it was done beautifully. ..."
"... Even the U.S. governments Voice of America states – in an article entitled Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life? – that Putin loses much more than he gains by the assassination: ..."
March 1, 2015 | WashingtonsBlog

U.S. media is quick to blame Putin for the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

But Itina Khakamada – a top ally of Nemtsov in the opposition – said the killing was "clearly not in Putin's interest. It's aimed at rocking the situation."

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agrees.

Mikhail Delyagin – a top advisor to Nemtsov for a year and a half – said that Putin didn't do it, and compared it to the shoot down of Malaysian Flight 17 over Ukraine:

The fact is obvious: this is a Malaysian Boeing, shot down by the Nazis at the walls of the Kremlin.


This is a classic sacrificial lamb, textbook case. Good job Americans, good job Nazis, good job liberals. I don't know who of them did this. But it was done beautifully.


We have to be prepared that Ukraine will be brought to Russia a lot faster then I thought just recently.

Before I thought that we are safe from Maidan until November, now it is clear that Maidan may be lit up already in the spring. The sacrificial lamb has been slaughtered.

Even the U.S. government's Voice of America states – in an article entitled "Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?" – that Putin loses much more than he gains by the assassination:

With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage. But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin's rule.

Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov's death.

Even officials in Putin's government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister's martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night's drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate "provocation" ahead of the planned weekend rally.


Apparently Jen Psaki is pregnant. Let's blame Putin for this

[Mar 07, 2015] Washington's Cloned Female Warmongers By Finian Cunningham

What is it about America's women diplomats? They seem so hard and cloned - bereft of any humanity or intelligence. Smear Campaigns, Bullying, Flattery ... All set of tricks of female sociopaths...
February 09, 2014 | Information Clearing House

What is it about America's women diplomats? They seem so hard and cloned - bereft of any humanity or intelligence. Presumably, these women are supposed to represent social advance for the female gender. But, far from displaying female independence, they are just a pathetic copy of the worst traits in American male politicians - aggressive, arrogant and completely arrant in their views.

Take Victoria Nuland - the US Assistant Secretary of State - who was caught using obscene language in a phone call about the European Union and the political affairs of Ukraine. In her previous posting as a spokeswoman for the US State Department, Nuland had the demeanor of a robotic matron with a swivel eye.

Now in her new role of covertly rallying anti-government protesters in Ukraine, Nuland has emerged to sound like a bubblegum-chewing Mafia doll. In her leaked private conversation with the US ambassador to Kiev, the American female diplomat is heard laying down in imperious tones how a new government in Ukraine should be constituted. Nuland talks about "gluing together" a sovereign country as if it is a mere plaything, and she stipulates which members of the US-backed street rabble in Kiev should or should not be included in any Washington-approved new government in the former Soviet republic.

We don't know who actually tapped and leaked Nuland's private call to the US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt. It could have been the Ukrainian or Russian secret services, but, regardless, it was an inspired move to reveal it. For the disclosure, which has been posted on the internet, lays bare the subversive meddling agenda of Washington in Ukrainian internal affairs. Up to now, the Americans have been piously pretending that their involvement is one of a bystander supporting democracy from afar.

But, thanks to the Nuland's foul-mouthed indiscretion, the truth is out. Washington, from her own admission, is acting like an agent provocateur in Ukraine's political turmoil. That is an illegal breach of international rules of sovereignty. Nuland finishes her phone call like a gangster ordering a hit on a rival, referring to incompetent European interference in Ukraine with disdain - "F...k the EU."

What we are witnessing here is the real, ugly face of American government and its uncouth contempt for international law and norms.

Next up is Wendy Sherman, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, who is also Washington's top negotiator in the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran. Sherman is another flinty-eyed female specimen of the American political class, who, like Nuland, seems to have a block of ice for a heart and a frozen Popsicle for a brain.

Again, like Nuland, Sherman aims to excel in her political career by sounding even more macho, morose and moronic than her male American peers.

Last week, Sherman was giving testimony before the US Senate foreign affairs committee on the upcoming negotiations with Iran over the interim nuclear agreement. The panel was chaired by the warmongering Democrat Senator Robert Menendez, who wants to immediately ramp up more sanctions on Iran, as well as back the Israeli regime in any preemptive military strike on the Islamic Republic.

Sherman's performance was a craven display of someone who has been brainwashed to mouth a mantra of falsehoods with no apparent ability to think for herself. It's scary that such people comprise the government of the most nuclear-armed-and-dangerous state in the world.

Programmed Sherman accused Iran of harboring ambitions to build nuclear weapons. "We share the same goal [as the warmonger Menendez] to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." And she went on to repeat threadbare, risible allegations that Iran is supporting international terrorism. That is a disturbing indication of the low level of political intelligence possessed by the US chief negotiator.

"Iran also continues to arm and train militants in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Bahrain. And Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah continue," asserted Sherman without citing an iota of proof and instead relying on a stale-old propaganda narrative.

The number three in the US State Department went on to say of the interim nuclear deal with Iran: "What is also important to understand is that we remain in control over whether to accept the terms of a final deal or not. We have made it clear to Iran that, if it fails to live up to its commitments, or if we are unable to reach agreement on a comprehensive solution, we would ask the Congress to ramp up new sanctions."

Remember that Sherman and her State Department boss John Kerry are considered "soft on Iran" by the likes of Menendez, John McCain, Lyndsey Graham, Mark Kirk, and the other political psychopaths in Washington. So, we can tell from Sherman's callous words and mean-minded logic that the scope for genuine rapprochement between the US and Iran is extremely limited.

Sherman finished her performance before the Senate panel with the obligatory illegal threat of war that Washington continually issues against Iran: "We retain all options to ensure that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon."

In the goldfish-bowl environment of Washington politics, perhaps such female officials are to be even more feared. The uniform monopoly of America's political class is dictated by militarism – weapons manufacturers, oil companies and Zionist lobbyists. The only way to "succeed" in this cesspool is to be even more aggressive and imperialist than your peers.

Nuland and Sherman illustrate the cold-hearted logic at work in American robotic politics: it's a system programmed for imperialism and war, and it doesn't matter whether the officials are Democrat, Republic, male or female. They are all clones of a war criminal state.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism.

This article was originally published at Press TV

[Mar 07, 2015] Germany Has Had Enough With US Neocons: Berlin "Stunned" At US Desire For War In Ukraine

Nuland somewhat reminds Madeleine Albright. Both are so fund of bulling their opponents, that probably might be classified as female psychopaths... As one commenters noted "I take it that "hard-charging" is an American euphemism for foul of mouth and coarse of temperament?"
Mar 07, 2015 |

While Russia's envoy to NATO notes that statements by the deputy head of NATO testify to the fact that the leaders of the bloc want to intervene in Russia's internal politics, and are "dreaming of Russian Maidan," Washington has a bigger problem... Germany. As Der Spiegel reports, while US President Obama 'supports' Chancellor Merkel's efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis, hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin's approach. And NATO's top commander in Europe hasn't been helping either with sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove's comments as "dangerous propaganda."

... ... ...

And as Der Spiegel reports, The Germans are not happy.

... ... ...

Nuland Diplomacy

Nuland, who is seen as a possible secretary of state should the Republicans win back the White House in next year's presidential election, is an important voice in US policy concerning Ukraine and Russia. She has never sought to hide her emotional bond to Russia, even saying "I love Russia." Her grandparents immigrated to the US from Bessarabia, which belonged to the Russian empire at the time. Nuland speaks Russian fluently.

She is also very direct. She can be very keen and entertaining, but has been known to take on an undiplomatic tone -- and has not always been wrong to do so. Mykola Asarov, who was prime minister under toppled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, recalls that Nuland basically blackmailed Yanukovych in order to prevent greater bloodshed in Kiev during the Maidan protests. "No violence against the protesters or you'll fall," Nuland told him according to Asarov. She also, he said, threatened tough economic and political sanctions against both Ukraine and the country's leaders. According to Asarov, Nuland said that, were violence used against the protesters on Maidan Square, information about the money he and his cronies had taken out of the country would be made public.

Nuland has also been open -- at least internally -- about her contempt for European weakness and is famous for having said "Fuck the EU" during the initial days of the Ukraine crisis in February of 2014. Her husband, the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, is, after all, the originator of the idea that Americans are from Mars and Europeans, unwilling as they are to realize that true security depends on military power, are from Venus.

When it comes to the goal of delivering weapons to Ukraine, Nuland and Breedlove work hand-in-hand. On the first day of the Munich Security Conference, the two gathered the US delegation behind closed doors to discuss their strategy for breaking Europe's resistance to arming Ukraine.

On the seventh floor of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in the heart of Munich, it was Nuland who began coaching. "While talking to the Europeans this weekend, you need to make the case that Russia is putting in more and more offensive stuff while we want to help the Ukrainians defend against these systems," Nuland said. "It is defensive in nature although some of it has lethality."


general Breedwar or Breedhatred? Hes war maniac!


Typical wingnut general. Notice you don't hear the grunts talkin' shit. Gotta go. Dr. Strangelove is about to start.


Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.


Breedlove? Heading up an army? Can't make this stuff up!!!

Took Red Pill

"Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine." We all are!


Hmmm...Nudelman and Kagan aren't from Mars or Venus are they?

Urban Redneck

Frau Ferkel is just a muppet cocktease, and so is the "concern". It's nothing but political cover for the political whores. If they were seriously alarmed, they would simply revoke General Ripper's diplomatic credentials and issue an arrest warrant for the psychopath.


Read this:

The Obscenely Easy Exile of Idi Amin

On a reporting trip to Saudi Arabia seven years ago, I went to Idi Amin's house. I had heard that Mr. Amin, the former Ugandan dictator who died last weekend at the age of 78, was living in Jidda, the Red Sea port, and I wanted to see for myself. Was it possible that a man who, in the 1970's, had ordered the deaths of 300,000 of his countrymen, raped and robbed his nation into endless misery and admitted to having eaten human flesh was whiling away his time as a guest of the Saudi government?

It was. There, in a spacious villa behind a white gate, Mr. Amin made his home with a half-dozen of his 30 or so children. He was not there the day I rang (a son said he was out of town), but locals said he could often be seen pushing his cart along the frozen food section of the supermarket, being massaged at the health club, praying at the mosque. He had long ago abandoned his British-style military uniform for the white robe of the Saudi man, but as an African measuring 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds, he did not exactly blend in.

A former Sudanese colonel who worked as a manager at the local supermarket said, "People greet him and say, `Hello, Mr. President.' " Why? Wasn't he a savage dictator?

"Oh yes" he used to eat people," the manager replied, laughing. "But this is our nature. We forget."

But what would prompt the Saudi government to play host to such a man?

The answer, when the question was posed to Saudi officials, was an excursion into the desert habits of hospitality, and Mr. Amin's conversion to Islam. His support for the Arab boycott of Israel in the 1970's certainly also endeared him to his hosts.

During the nearly quarter-century of his soft exile, no nation tried to bring Mr. Amin to justice. A few years ago, after Spain's government went after Chile's former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, Human Rights Watch did bring up Mr. Amin's case to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, but to no avail. Under international law, any nation, including Saudi Arabia, could have and should have prosecuted Mr. Amin.

But, as Reed Brody, special counsel for prosecutions at Human Rights Watch, says, "If you kill one person, you go to jail; if you kill 20, you go to an institution for the insane; if you kill 20,000, you get political asylum." Mr. Brody keeps a melancholy map on his wall of other tyrants gone free: Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay, lives in Brazil; Haiti's Raoúl Cedras is in Panama; Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia is in Zimbabwe; Hissí¨ne Habré of Chad lives in Senegal. Today there is the International Criminal Court, which can bring a future Amin to justice, although the United States is among 100 countries that have shortsightedly declined to participate in the court.

I was sorry not to have had a chance to talk to Mr. Amin directly. But those who did speak with him suggest that I missed little. An Italian journalist, Riccardo Orizio, asked him in 1999 whether he felt remorse. No, Mr. Amin replied, only nostalgia. Six years earlier, a British writer, Tom Stacey, saw him. At one point, Mr. Amin pulled from his pocket a paraphrase of Psalm 22 and commented: "Remember we are special to God. He sees a beauty in us few see."


"The term "neoconservative" refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist LEFT to the camp of American conservatism."

-Straight from the definition for the morons that don't know how to do research..


I continue to believe that the US goal in the Ukraine is to distract and bedevil Russia merely by expending a few billion zio-dollars, and thousands of Ukrainian lives, both of which are truly dirt cheap in Washington's calculus. This is to be followed by the USA's ultimately just walking away, leaving a broken Ukraine for its neighbors, chiefly Russia, to reconstruct.

Every now and then, though, some US spokes-toady makes statements that imply that the USA actually wants a major war... with Russia. I hope and pray that this is merely Grand Chessboard Theatre, but I am starting to have doubts. For a taste of the motivational fare now offered to US "conservatives", you might want to take a look at the recently posted anit-Russia piece posted at National Review, which openly calls for regime change in Moscow. It's a well-written polemic which makes some sense... provided that you accept that Washington and Brussels are citadels of freedom and human rights, Russians are ignorant, drunken blockheads, and Putin is evil incarnate.


"I continue to believe that the US goal in the Ukraine is to distract and bedevil Russia merely by expending a few billion zio-dollars,"

In your estimation is the second part of this Kansas City Shuffle being Syria and pipelines to Europe, or are they also symptoms of some greater neocon fear, ie. Russian oil dominance in a petrodollar world?

Jack Burton

Breedlove is talking his book. His glory and promotions would increase and his power would expand the more he can talk the NATO into war. Breedlove will be secure in the command bunker, and like the Iraq war command, be fully secure while his men faced possible death and mutilation.

The text book for this is Yugoslavia. Europe had brokered a few peace deals, but the USA stepped in and undercut them all with lies and flase intelligence, leading to several bloody wars. Right now Washington seeks the Yugoslavia solution, a long bloody war.


"According to Asarov, Nuland said that, were violence used against the protesters on Maidan Square, information about the money he and his cronies had taken out of the country would be made public."

Did Nuland also say that about Occupy to the Obummer administation?

Escrava Isaura

Ohh Boy.

The US military industrial complex doesn't care about European press, or America press, for that matter. US military industrial complex doesn't' even care who the President is.

Do you think the US military complex cares if the US government bails out lots of big lemons-banks, insurance, auto makers, airlines, and food stamps to the working poor? No, they could care less, because US military industrial complex is immune to budget constraints and they are the biggest supporters of failing industries and projects.

Do you think that the US military complex cares for what industries the analysts and brokers at an investment firms such as JP Morgan, Goldman, or Rothschild's picks as winners for government contracts or a stock market bubble? Hell no, because they are the biggest winners.

So, the Germans are stunned about NATO? Are you kidding me?

Germany and NATO are branches of the US military industrial complex.


Obama is a Neocon?


In reality, the world is sick of this bullshit. I'm sick of it. Rand Paul's approach is 1000% correct; quit meddling!

Germany is correct to object to this because if we get involved in the Ukraine with Poland then Russia will be outside of Berlin with several brigades of tanks in days. The US nor NATO are ready for a major multi-front conflict unless they use nukes.

Which wouldn't be all that bad because some of the US cities we would lose are a major part of the economic drag and societal/political problems we have at this time....

Never mind. Fire away boys.


The instutute of US presidency is shockingly weak.

Basically, very little can Obama do if all career burocrats continue doing what they always doing.

Obama is not able to get control of the goverment staff which demonstrate how weak leader he is and how unimportant any political office change is for foregn policy.

Dems or Reps - no matter who is there will always be criminal actions on the world scine.


Germany needs to wake up NOW to the fact that this country is commanded by psychopathic, warmongering neocons, mitigated only by a willfully cluless and gutless president. NATO will prove a deathtrap for Germany.


Don't expect a lot of help from the old axis countries, Germany Italy Japan......neutered


Good point...but let's elaborate further: The US wrote the constitutions of Japan and Germany after the end of WWll. It also continues to occupy, militarily, both countries with approximately 50,000 military personnel in each and a huge naval presence in Japan.

Neither conquered country has been able to recover a shred of its former sovereignty for 70 years! They are vassal states subject to the most ruthless hegemonic power since the Roman empire.


If Germany were really concerned about NATO they'd kick the U.S. Armed Forces out.

This is political banter; the Germans need Russian NatGas and are playing both sides.

They have guilt over the death of 20+ million Russians in WWII, but Russia is en export market - and they don't want their Eastern flank open.

Just like Greece; they feel bad about WWII, but they want a downtrodden island to vacation on too.

And Neocons? Both the Left and the Right are war happy pumpers of the M.I.C. here in the U.S.A.


Dude.... it's US hegemony at risk here. Pipelines and what not. Read up, pull your head out of the sand, and watch US foreign policy implode on itself. After all, WTF is the US meddling in Europe for anyway? Why are they there? What does the Ukraine have that the US or Russia needs?

It's all about energy and how it flows to customers. The US has the most to lose, which is why they created the coup to overthrow the previously elected government in Ukraine.

They are, without question, the most hypocritical government to ever grace God's green earth. They say one thing publicly and do the opposite in practice. And it appears they've got you sucked in too.


Two points:

1. The headline to me seems to indicate the path for the usual whitewash towards the "Democrats": currently a few US Neocons came to head the "Democratic" party like wolves in sheep clothing, but overall the leftists still hold the moral highground!

2. It is curious German magazine Der Spiegel doesn't mention it's own role in this, posting a headline STOP PUTIN NOW on it's frontpage after MH-17 had been shot down.


The Nobel Prize Winner and the Neocons have always wanted to put Russia in its place and the destabilization of Ukraine was the starting point. It was payback for Putin protecting Assad and granting asylum to Snowden. USA wants Russia on its knees and complete full spectrum domination with no one to question US hegemony and infinite spying. Unfortunately Putin stands in the way and he must be demonized and destroyed.
Victoria Nuland Lied to US Congress about Phantom Russian Hoards in Ukraine

On March 4, Nuland addressed House Foreign Affairs Committee members.

She called murdered US-funded, Boris Nemtsov a "freedom fighter, Russian patriot and friend."

She absurdly called Ukraine "central to our 25 year Transatlantic quest for a 'Europe whole, free and at peace.' "

Fact: Washington wants Ukraine used as a dagger against Russia's heartland – with menacing US bases on its borders threatening is sovereign independence.

Nuland called US planned and implements year ago Maidan violence using well-trained Nazi thugs "peaceful protest(s) by ordinary Ukrainians."

"They braved frigid temperatures, brutal beatings and sniper bullets…Ukraine began to forge a new nation…holding free and fair election…and undertaking deep and comprehensive economic and political reforms."

Fact: US-deposed President Viktor Yanukovych's police showed remarkable restraint.

Fact: Washington-supported Nazi thugs bore full responsibility for beatings, sniper killings and other violence.

Fact: Ukrainian parliamentary and presidential elections were farcical – with no legitimacy whatever.

Fact: So-called economic reforms involve crushing hardships on already impoverished Ukrainians in return for loan-shark-of-last-resort IMF blood money.

Fact: No responsible political reforms exist. None are planned. It bears repeating. Ukraine is a US-installed fascist dictatorship.

The Neocons have killed millions in Iraq and got away scot-free:

US Sponsored Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012. Killed 3.3 Million, Including 750,000 Children


The basis of neocon philosophy is a LIE, that if you don't have a real enemy just make shit up.

How then can one "debate" a neocon with anything other than a baseball bat?

Their starting point is that neocons will lie if they have to and probably also just for the fun of it.



The Nobel Prize Winner has bombed 7 Muslim countries, destabilized Ukraine, attempted a coup in Venezuela, lied about sarin use in Syria to almost start a war, assassinated US citizens without a trial, regularly drones women and children and wedding parties and yet is the most admired man in the world in a Gallup poll in 2014. I would cry at humanity's stupidity, cruelty and corruption but I prefer to laugh. You love your lying war criminals then you will get lot more war.


Meet Neocon "Doughnut Dolly" Victoria Nuland

Nuland's career has been one of ensuring that the underpinnings of the Cold War never completely died out in Europe. Her State Department career began as the chief of staff to President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State and close friend, Strobe Talbott. It was under Talbott that Nuland helped completely fracture Yugoslavia and ensured that the U.S. slanted against the interests of Russia's ally, Serbia.


Angie needs to end her triangulating charade and choose sides. Keeping a foot in the Russian door while appeasing her Neocon masters in the West won't work much longer. She knows Obama is a spineless puppet who won't back her and Ukraine is a failed state run riot by neo Nazi thugs and oligarchs.

What's it going to be Angie, an act of heroism or taking Germany down with the Western ship?


Angie like Obama, Nuland, et al, is another political puppet/spokesperson for the power behind the money.

Winston Churchill

Which means her puppet masters are changing horses mid race.

No honor amongst thieves and/or psychopaths.


I wonder what on earth the CIA/NSA has on her that keeps her putting the interests of the US above her own country.


Come on Germany tell the USA to fuck right off............................. won't happen.


35 US military bases in Germany say you are absolutely correct.

Son of Loki

Simply look at the quality of our State dept -- Nuland, etc -- The average IQ and emotional intelligence there has to be at an all-time low.

Gone are the days when you had brillant statespeople in the state dept who were thoroughly versed in history, politics, economics and debate.


"Gone are the days when you had brillant statespeople in the state dept who were thorougly versed in history, politics, economics and debate."

People are used to dumb and dumber DC. It matches the rest of the country.


The statespeople may have been more intelligent at one time but their actions (covert murders, regime change, wars, etc.) have always been the same.

[Mar 07, 2015] CIA Urged Rebels to Assassinate Their Own In Order to Create "Martyrs" by George Washington

03/03/2015 |

A CIA "psychological operations" manual prepared by a CIA contractor for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels noted the value of assassinating someone on your own side to create a "martyr" for the cause.

The manual was authenticated by the U.S. government.

The manual received so much publicity from Associated Press, Washington Post and other media that – during the 1984 presidential debate – President Reagan was confronted with the following question on national television:

At this moment, we are confronted with the extraordinary story of a CIA guerrilla manual for the anti-Sandinista contras whom we are backing, which advocates not only assassinations of Sandinistas but the hiring of criminals to assassinate the guerrillas we are supporting in order to create martyrs.

Indeed, this is just one of scores of admitted false flag attacks by governments all over the world.

P.S. We're SURE this has nothing to do with this completely unrelated story:

Russian Opposition: Putin Did NOT Assassinate Opposition Leader

Budd aka Sidewinder

George, much respect but the Lincoln quotes have got to go

Son of Captain Nemo
CIA Urged Rebels to Assassinate Their Own In Order to Create "Martyrs"

Owned and managed by the same "LLC" that gave us the Patrot Act(s) and the NDAA and 4 going on 5 wars of choice!!!!

Whole lotta 9/11 love!


This killing of guys on your team practically guaranties the leader of a revolution will be a psyco killer too. A win win deal.

It would work best if they kill the centrist/moderates. Right out of the commie handbook.


Dont forget the Kerry Committee in 1985 where Sen Kerry fawned over dictators who promised they were not Communists - before they allied with communist Soviet Union.

Radical Marijuana

Thanks for trying to stay on top of these kinds of stories, George Washington! More and more, it is practically impossible for any individual to keep up ... I appreciate articles that have organized a presentation of crucial information that one could review!


Would love to know how Reagan answered that one


Thank Dog we have the CIA

Imagine the trouble they could cause if we had an organization that was competent?


This revelation feels like nothing compared to the other shit that was in that manual, along with all the training that was done at the School of the Americas at Ft. Bening, Georgia to carry out what was in the manual down in Nicaraqua in the 80's.


OK, lets look at these alleged terrorists. What the hell is it they want anyways?

If their goal is to eliminate Israel as megalomaniac nuttyyahoo wants us to believe - THEN WHY THE FUCK DO THEY ATTACK AND KILL EVERYBODY BUT ISRAELI'S????????


Seriously, either they are the stupidest fucking people in the world, or they are playing someone elses game for fucks sake.


If their goal is to eliminate Israel as megalomaniac nuttyyahoo wants us to believe - THEN WHY THE FUCK DO THEY ATTACK AND KILL EVERYBODY BUT ISRAELI'S????????


Seriously, either they are the stupidest fucking people in the world, or they are playing someone elses game for fucks sake. ...... dexter_morgan

Possibly, and therefore quite probably, an active work in progress, d_m, and something to look forward to in the near future as intelligence takes over from stupidity?


New Anonymous op as White House still ignores murder of American reporter Serena Shim in Turkey

UN Chief: Israel may have purposely targeted UN base in Lebanon, killing Spanish soldier – VIDEO


Trust in his government masters is the enslaving opiate of the patriotic fool. The greater his government lies, the more the patriotic fool emotes.


This is interesting: Former advisor to Nemtsov, Mikhail Delyagin comment.


An even more interesting question; "How did they manage to make those 'T'-Shirts so quickly?

In less than 24 hours, a four colour shirt complete with logo's in Ukrainian and Russian?


Yeah, GW can go live somewhere else and see if he can write stuff like this from all the GREAT countries he likes to Russia, and see how far he gets.

Not only that, but his quotation isnt even a Question, it was a STATEMENT.



no need to wait!

habara are standing by!


glad to see your operation now has harbara version 3.4 so you can post at the top.

[Mar 07, 2015] The killing of my friend Boris Nemtsov must signal the death of appeasement by Garry Kasparov

This man can do anything for money. What a low-lifer. Looks like talent in chess does not extend to other human qualities. Of cause NED/IRI money does not smell, and that means its quite natural for Gary Kasparov to become a buddy of neocons. From comments: "The constant attacks on Putin from the MSM, are an indicator of just how desperate the elite are to instigate some form of rebellion against him in Russia -- hence the Nemtsov assassination. "

March 6, 2015 | The Guardian


Kasparov, you should be ashamed of yourself. A shill of the west, much like Klitchko. Are you really complaining about Russia when you share a platform with Saakashvili ? A man who is wanted back home for corruption? You are a useful idiot, like Klitchko and like Saakashvili. The only difference between you and the criminal and corrupt billionaires expelled from Russia is that you don't have the money.

Why do these "Russian" dissenters, once they leave their country, immediately end up in US Senate hearings and with US politicians who would love to see Russia reduced to a mess? Have you no shame?

caotama 6 Mar 2015 17:47

"Yesterday I was in Washington DC, speaking to a US Senate subcommittee about how and why the Russian dictator must be stopped". So you are buddies with the neocons? Case closed.

"Nearly every head in the room nodded in agreement as I and other invitees – such as the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili..." Isn't that discredited IMF puppet on some wanted list?

"Russian forces nearly reached Tbilisi before they turned back". Why did they turn back, Gaz?

irishmand -> Treabhar Mac Oireabaird 6 Mar 2015 17:31

If you don't like the West, why are you staying here?

I don't like what americans did to the west. The democracy we heard so much about is being dismantled quickly. The school education is ruined. University education is becoming less and less affordable. Medical system in US is almost the genocide of poor. The media are lying on industrial basis. The moods in the society are pro war, people want blood. I am trying to fight it explaining that the west is walking towards abyss but you don't want to listen. Many people call me a Kremlyn troll. I don't care, but it demonstrates the points I just made.


Meanwhile in Odessa, far from the front lines, all is tranquil...


The "More than 100,000 people rallied to mourn Boris in Moscow" line links to a page that says "Police put numbers at 7,000, while those involved said the protest drew 50,000."

After the event police adjusted their numbers to 21,000 but apparently it is not worth mentioning.
Even if provided by promoters' numbers are correct, it's still less than 0.5% of Moscow population.
Is it a good reason to openly lie?

HollyOldDog -> MarVas

Strange how foreign newspapers always try to clutch at invisable straws. Protestors usually overestimate their numbers but the police on viewing airborne video have the advantage when estimating crowd numbers.

There was supposed to be a protest march in a city in Siberia where the protestors informed the police that thousands would turn up but only 12 were present on the day. The Police could be still searching for someone to pay for the extra police overtime for the non event.


"Boris Nemtsov's whole career was not aimed at helping Russia, but at the interests of foreign states," said Nikolai Starikov, one of Anti-Maidan's leaders. "Boris Nemtsov is the first victim of the Maidan in Russia… He was killed by his American curators."

I also think so.


Anti-negotiator Kasparov sounds like your proto-typical war and conflict addicted general, always ready to sacrifice millions of chess piece lives. He should stick to what he does best (playing games) and let his anger at Putin's Russia subside.

We're all seeing bloody red at the moment Garry, but aren't you sick of war? You could have mentioned in your article the US funded coup in the Ukraine that led to Russia moving to protect assets there and you omitted important details regarding the increasing encirclement of Russia by US/NATO forces.

In case you haven't noticed, when the US sticks its nose into rival countries' business (sanctions first closely followed by militarily assistance) things get out of control.

We don't need that playing out again, now do we?

Russia's problems are hers to sort out.

notEvenNibling -> Obfusgator

Ukraines problems are "hers" to sort out.

Obfusgator -> notEvenNibling

Ukraine's US coup problem.


Do you remember Iraks Ahmed Chalabi? The guy that pushed for the war? Kasparov is the 2015 version

Russia will always be my country, but it is difficult to imagine returning while Putin is still in the Kremlin.


No, it aren't, my friend. Russia isn't you country - you betrayed it, you are openly inviting foreign powers to attack it. Just because you say "Putin" instead of "Russia", you think it makes a difference? Assuming the policy of "isolation and condemnation" is successful, do you think Putin will suffer or do you even suspect that ordinary Russians will feel the pain? Do you care?

This is a good article showing very clearly what kind of "opposition" this is. For the life of me, I cannot imaging an opposition of any kind, say, in the US or any European country, inviting foreign countries to start a war against the homeland and surviving. But it's perfectly fine in Russia. He is downright pleading with the West: don't be afraid, you won't have to defeat the entire Russian army or start WWIII. Just "inflict enough damage". The man is disgusting. He is also lying. It would be necessary to defeat the entire Russia, if it comes to that. Russia is not populated only by Karparovs.

The opposition movement that Boris and I believed in, and that Boris died for, should be openly supported, the way the west once championed the Soviet dissidents.

So, the "opposition" is a Western-paid performer, a.k.a. a whore.

Ronald Reagan told those of us behind the iron curtain that he knew it was our leaders, not us, who were his adversaries.

I do believe that. Personally, Garry did very well as did Nemtsov. But the rest of Russia did turn out to be Reagan's adversary, at least, it was treated as such.

I do hope you Westerners understand now and believe us when we say that this 'opposition" has absolutely no influence in Russia, and most people have nothing but contempt for them. You are wasting your money paying them.


"Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts…The United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way….And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this - no one feels safe." Vladimir Putin, Munich 2007


The Minsk peace agreement's terms included 'Withdrawal of all foreign armed groups, weapons and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory'. In direct violation of the agreement, the US government announced in late February that it would send 300 troops to Ukraine to help train Ukraine's forces, and Prime Minister David Cameron announced on 24 February that 75 British troops would also be sent to help train Ukraine's forces.


Kasparov: "More than 100,000 people rallied to mourn Boris in Moscow last Sunday, a number that gives the lie..."

Well, it really does.

The link gets you to a Guardian story, putting the number of rally participants somewhere between 7,000 and 50,000. The 100K figure is repeated in the picture caption… This is some very strange math.


The opposition in Russia will go nowhere as long as they function as errand boys for the american empire.


With Nemtsov gone, Kasparov and his ilk will be again trying to sell Navalny as the next saviour of Russia. Below is an excerpt from an article published in May/2011. It is both frighteningly relevant and prescient of events to come.

"But the following interview was much more interesting. It's with The New Times, a Russian magazine... Navalny says "I think that the power in Russia will change not by an election process; they can elect whoever they like in March of 2012, but everything will be finished by April", and then clarifies – "by something like a Tunis scenario". Answering the question "Do you expect the wave from the bottom", he says – "No, I don't wait for it, I'm organizing it. We don't know when it will happen, but it's within our power to bring it closer. The current Russian authorities are thieves and swindlers. We must fight against them, exert pressure on them, create problems for them, and involve more and more people in creating problems. This pressure can be of different kinds – from simple negotiations to mobs on the streets that drag civil servants from their cabinets and hang them. And the faster authorities realize that and start negotiating, the less plausible the violent scenario becomes. I don't think that any political technologies or twitter can make people come out on the streets and chase away thieves and swindlers, so normal people could take over." (emphasis mine) .

Well… first of all, let's just recall that every state has the right to defend its constitutional system by force, and such citadels of democracy as the UK and the US have no qualms about invoking it. Secondly, the Russian criminal code has the article "Violent takeover of power or violent retention of power", punishable by from 12 to 20 years in prison. And I don't remember anything in the Constitution that says that hanging of government officials is a legitimized feature of a democratic process. The code also has the article "Calls to extremist actions". But let's leave that aside for a moment.

Navalny clearly states that he's working towards a typical colour revolution. First, I don't know what can be more undemocratic than a handful of raucous people changing power by riots and violence, simply because they don't like the government, the outcome of some election or any other quality. The opinion of the rest of the people is commonly ignored. It's also usually accompanied by tens or hundreds of corpses. Second, a common misconception is that power is transferred from bad authoritarian groups to "the people". That's a brazen lie; power simply gets transferred from one group to another, and the benefactor is well-known beforehand. Did anyone doubt that Yuschenko would become president when the Orange revolution succeeded? Or Saakashvili in Georgia? Third, and this is the most important point – there have been plenty of such revolutions. Has a single country benefited from it? Saakashvili's more and more authoritarian rule and the unleashed war are something that the Georgians dreamed of in 2003? Yuschenko's rating lying in the gutter is what the Ukranians stood in Maidan Square for? The deposing of Bakiev in 2010 by yet another revolution was worth launching the first one in 2005? Navalny suggests that "normal people will take over". Needless to say, that one statement will inspire laughter in any politologist worth his salt. Will these "normal people" spontaneously inherit another law framework and its institutions? Obviously, no. Then we have to take their word that after they come into power, these mysteriously benevolent "normal people" will start to limit their own authoritiy in favour of common people. Please remind me; how often has that happened in history? But OK, let's be believers for a while, so let's assume that they really are that incorruptible. In order to improve governance, the state should have better institutions and laws, so after the coup someone will have to write them. But what's stopping "normal people" from drafting them now, even promoting them? Maybe the current power will adopt them, so there will be no need for a revolution! And finally, who will determine the suitability of these people? Navalny?

I sincerely hope that this whole interview is just idle thoughts, and Navalny doesn't vest any serious meaning in them. But alas, evidence suggests the contrary. All the traditional components are present – branding authorities as hopelessly corrupt and despotic, the government's consummate demonization and alienation; praise from abroad of one group, presenting them as progressives; the preparing of key people in the West. It's also useful to attach to the big picture the recent interview of Kasparov, in which he repeats Vice-President Joe Biden's threat that if Putin should be reelected in 2012, the US will topple him with a colour revolution.


The Washington War Party is shipping off its troops to the Ukraine in the coming week in defiance of the Minsk agreement.


It is not about right or wrong, because in this case there are wrongs on both sides.

Here we see the United States located on the other side of the world, standing up for its interests and investments in owning and controlling Ukrainian oil, gas, coal, manufacturing, transportation, strategic location, and agricultural resources in a country without any Americans.

Here we see Russia standing up for Russians.

Be careful what you wish for. With Russia, your ideals may never be realized.

henrihenri -> sensitivepirate

We live in world deprived of ideals. Money!


"with the belief that the days of changing Europe's borders by force"

The Serbs of Kosovo were disabused of that belief by NATO.

therealbillythefish Sceptical Walker

The KLA started a campaign of murder and were suppressed with much less brutality than the yanks showed in places like Fallujah.

NATO handed Kosovo to the human organ traffickers of the KLA with the result that non-Albanians have been driven out and the economy is a basket case with thoussnds of Kosovans attempting to claim asylum in the EU every month.


Sanctions are not appeasement, so what is he talking about. Kiev has already done its best to destroy the east where ethnic Russians live.

If he wants something stronger, don't worry. The UK and the US are preparing for the invasion by restarting the civil war.
The Guardian does not report that the largest oil companies in the west have paid large amounts of money to Ukraine for the rights to drill off the Crimean coast.

These companies can't get their money back, so the west must invade.

McCain and Kerry and Cameron will insure that he and Europe will soon get their war with Russia. Sadly this will bring a major realignment of the middle east to this major war.


....Elephants NEVER forget, they say ......People however are the worst "forgetters"!.....

The Ukraine mess and all its horrible consequences started when Nuland b*tch and CIA decided to orchestrate a coup against a democratically elected, yet pro russian president, as a consequence of which Putin took back HIS Crimea and people in E Ukraine decided they wanted to belong to Russia ......

It s as easy as that....let s make it complicated though, to justify deliverance of lethal weapons to Ukraine by "godfather" USA !


Or maybe we (the US in particular and the West in general) needs to realize that this is not our war. Is Russia really a threat to the us? Russia is not the Soviet Union. Unlike the days of the USSR, there are no armies of people in the west willing to do the party's bidding. Those days the Soviets were a deep threat to us. Had the Soviets won, freedom would have been extinguished. And the Soviets could have won. The Russians are having trouble paying their state employees.


Given that we are talking about a chess genius, and with regard to this very eloquent text that he wrote now, Garry Kasparov, without a doubt, is an extremely capable man. That is why it is a very pity that such a man has not found the right way to help his country. As I already said, this text of Kasparov is really very eloquently written, but besides that, it's full of nonsense. That a man of such intelligence can write so many things contrary to common sense, can only be explained by his blind hatred against Putin's Russia.

But, for now, I will mention only one of the nonsense that Garry Kasparov wrote here.
He says, "police state is very good at keeping the monopoly of violence for themselves, and given that prominent opposition politician was killed in the immediate vicinity of the Kremlin, the chances that this occurred without any involvement of Russian security services is vanishingly small."

So, if the goal was to remove a vocal critic of the Kremlin, why was it necessary to do so near the very Kremlin? Does the state that holds the monopoly of violence could not do it in any other, less significant place. I do not see any sense in it, that the security services killed prominent opposition leaders at also prominent places, and not in some other places.

Especially those security services who are trying to maintain a monopoly of violence, as they are also trying to maintain the illusion of safety in the country, even when it is not like that. So, for Kasparov probably would not look anything absurd, even that Boris Nemtsov was killed at the same time when Putin and his entourage crossed the Red Square, and that the bullets that are missed Nemtsov whizzed around Putin's head. Or, perhaps Putin's involvement in the murder would be even more apparent for Kasparov that Nemtsov was killed in the lobby of Putin's office, and there would be no wonder that the Russian security services have not thought of it first.

I will repeat once again. In addition to being the chess genius Garry Kasparov is obviously a very talented writer. However, if he intends to devote to such a profession even more, I would recommend him not to write crime stories, but of another type, or from some other genre.


It seems unlikely Putin had Nemtsov killed. What would he have to gain?

dropthemchammer -> SalmanShaheen

It would send a message to other around him.
If the sanctions are starting to bite and people close to Putin muttering then this action would get them to hold their tongues.

Oskar Jaeger -> SalmanShaheen

No man, no problem (J V Stalin).

henrihenri -> Oskar Jaeger

There was a man, true, but there wasn`t a problem.


I'm wondering. Here in the UK we could do with a better opposition, and we could also do with a better electoral system, and the ownership of the press is a serious issue, and the current government has appointed its close associates to run the BBC. And what about the way our political parties are funded, corrupt or what?

But what if there was some rich UK chess player went to the USA and started writing articles in the foreign press asking them to intervene and remove our elected government.

ok, we haven't invaded anywhere recently, and we haven't had an opposition leader shot dead, no need really they can't get past the tory press.

But just imagine how you would feel, putin demonisers, if there was someone from the UK talking about our government like this, and asking for intervention, and trying to impose a new government on us that has minimal support in the country.


The opposition movement that Boris and I believed in, and that Boris died for, should be openly supported

Kasparov makes me laugh
He is asking for the open support from the US
It's like Alex Salmond will ask Putin about the missile strike on London


For all Kasparov's ideals for liberal transparency and a capitalist economy, what our press seems to not emphasise is that the Communists are the big opposition in Russia. They are the ones kept out possibly by United Russia, certainly by Yeltsin. They are big in towns and cities, among pensioners. In fact, theire following is a bit like UKIP, they recognise the grimmer past, but the certainties that came before the deracinatiing effects of globalisation.


Its worrying just how easily history can be rewritten.

This BBC report titled Georgia 'started unjustifiable war' says

The shelling of Tskhinvali (the South Ossetian capital) by the Georgian armed forces during the night of 7 to 8 August 2008 marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict in Georgia," the report says.
It adds later: "There is the question of whether [this] use of force... was justifiable under international law. It was not."
It also says Georgia's claim that there had been a large-scale Russian military incursion into South Ossetia before the outbreak of war could not be "sufficiently substantiated", though it said there was evidence of a lower-level military build-up.

Now it does go on to say that Russia's response was over the top and illegal too, but the key point is it began with Saakashvili, Kasparov's ally, shelling a city.

Now we are told the conflict was provoked by Putin, is proof of his imperialistic plans, and that Saakashvili is a person we should take seriously.

If you want to do so I won't stop you, but to do so is foolish given the evidence against the Georgian regime from 2008.


Wow. Gary had turned into quite a radical. This article is definitely designed for the far right western audience. No wonder his support in Russia is close to 0.


Navalny is the first Russian opposition figure of any stature. Kasparov lost his credibility amongst Russians by becoming an obvious lackey of the West. Nemtsov never had any credibility amongst Russians because he could never clean himself of the tarnish of being associated with the Yeltsin years.

Navalny has an altogether different stature, and does have credibility with Russians, but probably only in the Moscow region. Navalny does not lick Western arses as much as Kasparov and Nemtsov because he knows what arse-licking of Westerners will do to his credibility amongst Russians.

In an October 2014 interview with Ekho Moskvy, Navalny said that he would not return Crimea to Ukraine if he were to become the President of Russia but that a "normal referendum" should be held in Crimea to decide what country the peninsula belongs to. Interestingly the West does not listen to the only Russian opposition figure with any proven credibility amongst Russians, hence Western policy-making towards Russia is becoming ad-hoc and ineffective.

MacCosham -> aprescoup

No, Zyuganov is the first opposition figure in Russia. The fact that he is not a US government stooge does not change this.

FrancesSmith -> MacCosham

But he's a communist! I just have a feeling, though I may be wrong, that these right wing neocons in the US wouldn't want to see Zyuganov replace Putin.

Though they should perhaps be a little careful what they wish for as according to wikipedia Boris Nemstov and others said after the 1996 election that the communists should have won.,8599,2107565,00.html

geedeesee -> Germaan

"The fact is that Putin unleashed war against Ukraine..."

Except it was Kiev regime which sent tanks over to Donbass to attack the separatists, and we saw the people come out and plead with the tank crews not to attack them. Then the Kiev regime sent aircraft to bomb the civilians - bombing their own people! Putin didn't tell the Kiev regime to send tanks and military aircraft to deal with civilians. The Kiev regime called it an anti-terror operation.

elias_ -> richard1

AFAIK the ruskies didn't invade georgia in 2008. Georgians attacked and killed numerous russian soldiers operating under UN mandate. In response russians gave the georgian military (partly trained by nato) a jolly good spanking before going back to where they were before.


Mexico's human rights crisis is even worse than Russia's, but no one in the West cares. The real reason Putin is so disliked by the West is not because Russians suffer under Putin, but because Russia under Putin (unlike Russia under Yeltsin) no longer takes orders from Washington. China's human rights crisis is also worse than Russia's, and again no one in the West cares, because everyone in the West knows that China is more powerful than the US, and that China will never take its orders from Washington. What particularly upsets Washington is that the US is losing its soft-power: the US has no soft power over China, no soft power over Russia under Putin, and no soft power over Israel under Netanyahu.


Is Kasparov's support in Russia 5%, or.5%?

MacCosham -> ID5868758



I respect Mr Kasparov as an outstanding chess master very much, but his biting a cop in 2012 tells me that a chess player's skill has nothing to do with a serious opposition leader's decent behaviour who really could lead people. Even if such leader finds appropriate words, there appears to be some doubts concerning his adequacy in a critical situation. An opposition leader is supposed to be a cool cucumber.


Kasparov seems to have lost sight of the fact that the chess board is in Ukraine and he is a long way from being able to move any pieces.

BloodOnTheWattle -> PeregrineSlim

he is still upset at Deep Blue...he cried rivers over the loss. so you must forgive him.


What the hell is the matter with the US Senate, hosting such a fringe politician from Russia, and one calling for the overthrow of the elected leader of a sovereign nation? Despicable behavior from the "land of the free", apparently you're "free" only if your opinion is in line with that of the US, otherwise we will make sure we help you change your mind.

StatusFoe ID5868758

What the hell is the matter with the US Senate

What do you mean? He's the US establishment's man in Russia, a Carrier of the Flame and honoured Bilderberger.

ApfelD Magyar2lips

let us nuke Hungary and Russia and that's all
wait a minute
and Azerbaijan
and Iran
and Ukraine (the most corrupted country according to Graun)
and Saudi Arabia (for gay rights)
and North Korea
and Switzerland+Lichtenstein (for the tax avoidance schemes)
and France (Madonna said that they looks like Nazis)
and Germany (they don't speak English)

BloodOnTheWattle ApfelD

and Germany (they don't speak English)

most germans do..but lets nuke 'em all the same...the bastards tried to talk to Putin about peace...peace imagine that Merkel escaped our firewall..


Russians are questioning events:

"Since the current US ambassador arrived in Russia, they killed Nemtsov, while he was in Georgia they killed Zhvaniya, and in Ukraine-Gongadze. Coincidence?"

Each of the three was a prominent opposition figure, and in each case his death had led to political upheaval. To quote Ian Fleming, "once is a happenstance, twice--a coincidence, three times--enemy action."


Garri, why didn't you address the U.S. Congress with philippics in the 1990's when the oligarchs who propped up Yeltsin were pumping tens of billions of dollars out of Russia every month? When millions of your fellow-countrymen had to live from hand to mouth because the economy was totally divested of funds and lay dysfunctional? When people were dying at hospitals because there was nothing except aspirin there? When selling a bunch of homegrown dill or parsley at a local market was a matter of life and death for innumerable babushkas on a vast space from Vladivostok to the Baltic shores? Give us an answer...


As long as Russian opposition figures are arse-lickers of the West, cosying up with MPs, MEPs and Congress members, they will not mobilise Russians against Sistema Putin. The struggle between the West and Russia is between the West's idea of a Post-Westphalian order and Russia's (and China's and Israel's) preference for staying put with the Westphalian order that has been around since 1648. Anyone who does not understand the difference between a political Westphalian order (based around nation-States) and a technocratic Post-Westphalian order (based around technocratic organizations, eg Swift for finance payments, BIS for banking regulation, ICANN for Internet), and the consequences of the West's attempt to change its imperial control over the world from a Westphalian Empire to a Post-Westphalian Empire, is a fool. Ironically, it may have been the USSR that launched Post-Westphalianism with Comintern (Third International, 1919-1943).


Kasparov is another warmonger. NATO continues its march to the east. NATO aims to seize control of Ukraine, to complete the hostile glacis to Russia's west. The US government considered it had exclusive rights to run Ukraine: senior US diplomat Richard Holbrooke absurdly declared that Ukraine was part of 'our core zone of security'.

The US government is pursuing Zbigniew Brzezinski's strategy of trying to draw Russia into a 'prolonged and costly' war in Ukraine. Brzezinski had used this strategy in the 1980s, when he armed Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan as part of a proxy war against the Soviet Union. The US government aimed to do to Russia via Ukraine what it did to the Soviet Union via Afghanistan. Ukraine would become another wasteland of death and destruction, with the constant risk of a wider war, and Russia would descend into chaos.

US Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the head of both the US European Command and NATO in Europe, insisted that we could not 'preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option' in Ukraine. At the Munich Security Conference, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham poured scorn on European negotiations with President Vladimir Putin. McCain summed up Merkel's speech at Munich, which included a statement of opposition to arming Ukraine, with one word: 'foolishness'. He added, "I can assure you that [Putin] will not stop until he has to pay a much higher price."

Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for 'full scale war' with Russia. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko stated, "there is no ceasefire, and so there is no precondition for a pull-back of heavy weapons." Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh announced that his private army and the Azov Battalion would ignore the agreement and fight on.


As Milne points out, the West is already in the process of violating the Minsk agreement:

But it's certainly grist to the mill of those pushing military confrontation with Russia. Hundreds of US troops are arriving in Ukraine this week to bolster the Kiev regime's war with Russian-backed rebels in the east. Not to be outdone, Britain is sending 75 military advisers of its own. As 20th-century history shows, the dispatch of military advisers is often how disastrous escalations start. They are also a direct violation of last month's Minsk agreement, negotiated with France and Germany, that has at least achieved a temporary ceasefire and some pull-back of heavy weapons. Article 10 requires the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Ukraine.

ApfelD -> StatusFoe

it's difficult to understand why Russians don't like Kasparov

StatusFoe -> ApfelD

He certainly can come accross as an arrogant prick.

MacCosham -> richard1

What bollocks. Putin is not coming close to anyone. What is happening is that anti-establishment parties in Europe, whether left-wing (Die Linke, Podemos, Syriza), centrist (Five Stars) or right wing (FN, Fidesz) are following public opinion which sees that the establishment parties (socialists and conservatives) are puppets of US-based big money.


"I will continue to do whatever I can to draw support to the cause of returning Russia to the path of democracy."

Possibly sacrifice a few pawns.

dropthemchammer -> guster86

You say this after Putin had his opposition assassinated lol

Simon311 -> dropthemchammer

Did he? You have certain knowledge of this? Cause Global warming too did he.


Kasparov has absolutely not credibility on this matter. Why the Guardian choose to publish his propaganda is beyond me ?

RobHardy -> jonno61

Fits into a general pattern of propaganda propagation by the Guardian in the last few years, probably much longer. no shortage of fellow travelers for the US management of Vichy Britain.


"But we must cease to be surprised by the violence and hatred emanating from Russia today if we are to combat it successfully."

I am ceaselessly amazed by the near-complete unity in the chorous of anti-Russia/Putin propaganda.

" prominent critic of the regime,"

With roughly 5% popular support, and quite widely reviled for his part in the Yeltsin era pillage of Russia, when male life expectancy fell about 10 years in just 10 years - a spectacular collapse in living standards. 'Prominent' indeed. And certainly hardly a plausible electoral threat, his prominence and influence is largely hyped to western audiences. One could easily argue he was worth more to western sponsors dead than alive, while Putin had very little to gain from his murder, since it would be eagerly and predictably be blamed upon him... as we have seen: Many western media outlets were ready with their accusations.

"such as the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili - discussed the global danger presented by Putin's increasingly belligerent regime."

Says the belligerent in the recent, if brief, South Ossetian military adventure.

" cite the official statements of a dictatorship "

An elected dictator. Whatever next!?

Look I'm not saying Putin didn't do it, nor that I don't think he's capable of murdering his opponents, nor that I don't think he has murdered any in the past, but even the Russian opposition has quite broadly said it doesn't think he's responsible, that this is a 'provocation.' But shall we wait for some evidence to be in this time? It's all starting to smack a bit of MH17, Assad's chemical weapons, Iraq's WMDs, 45 minutes etc... Accusations without evidence, or bare-faced lies. It certainly does fit with a pattern of CIA led destabilization but then again, maybe Putin has used that plausibility as a cover. Who knows!?

What I do know is that this wholly unnecessary, largely western provoked West-East showdown is easily and singularly the most potentially dangerous geopolitical situation of my lifetime. Fascinating, but terrifying. Can't the US and Russian leadership just realise that they have a lot in common (democratic deficit, corrupted oligarchic rule, surveillance state, a long history of brutality) and get along?!


How much credence can be given to any of Kasparov's claims when he grossly exaggerates that "more than 100,00 people rallied to mourn Boris in Moscow last Sunday"?

According to the Guardian, the "Police put numbers at 7,000, while those involved said the protest drew 50,000".

Meanwhile, in other international publications the figure has been cited to be closer to 21,000 and "not tens of thousands as reported by some media outlets", further elaborating that "The reason why official estimates are closer to the real numbers is because all demonstrators had to pass through metal detectors before joining the march and were registered by computers".


Kasparov really is an idiot.

If Putin for whatever reason is deposed, does he really think the traitorous liberals will get into power.

It is the communists with their 20% of the vote that will gain the most.

It will take decades for the liberals to regain any credibility amongst the Russian general population.


I'm on the left of politics and view the USA's imperialism with disdain and fear, but I agree 100% with this article, you have to be blind not to see that Putin is a dangerous adventurer who will undertake any aggression that will bolster his position.

SirHenryRawlins -> CharlesBradlaugh

I don't believe for one second you are on the left. You view the USA's imperialism with disdain and fear, US meddling in Ukraine, the backing of government that took power after the coup, and then say Putin is the adventurer and the aggressor.

Gooddoggy -> CharlesBradlaugh

Absolutely true, I am still sickened by Milnes atrocious view that Putin Imperialism is somehow acceptable whereas US Imperialism is not....clearly any sane and decent human being knows that both are unacceptable and need to be fought against with the tools of liberal social justice and liberal left democratic values.


More propaganda. The constant attacks on Putin from the MSM, are an indicator of just how desperate the elite are to instigate some form of rebellion against him in Russia - hence the Nemtsov assassination. However, my reading of the situation is, that the general public across Europe are not buying the rhetoric. It seems that people are becoming far more discerning in their analysis of the propaganda headlines -such as "Russian forces invade Ukraine", with no supporting evidence. The PTB are losing the information war; the genie is out of the bottle, and cannot be put back. At last people's BS meters are now on full alert.

Time for the MSM to start some independent reporting, especially where Russia is concerned.


Kasparov, you completely overestimate the influence that the West, even with its all-powerful dollar refinancing sanctions and quasi-monopolies on advanced technologies, can have on nudging Russians, both oligarchs and ordinary voters, into overthrowing Sistema Putin. If pathetically weak North Korea can continue to defy the West in the ways it does, then don't you think it more likely that a Russia isolated by further sanctions will become more like North Korea? Get real: Putin will not be pushed out of power by sanctions.

It is time for the West to ignore the Russian opposition: not because the opposition is wrong to condemn Putin as a dictator, but because the Russian opposition completely underestimates the total power that Sistema Putin already has, and the absolute impotence of the West to undermine that total power. The likes of Kasparov, Nemtsov and Navalny are fools: they have underestimated what they are up against, and they are paying for that underestimation with their lives, alternatively with exile or house arrest and an accompanying fear of assassination.


Garry Kasparov was afraid of attending Nemtsov`s funeral under the pretext of being killed in Russia. As he explained he was nit ready to buy one-way ticket! Wow! Now every single leader of opposition says, I`m next! It is so ridiculous that even `The Ekho Moskvy`, their radio, laughed at this trend of theirs for a while. The matter, however, is none needs them. It`s just their coquetry. As to Mr. Kasparov none remembers him in his fatherland. Too many new, much younger and more handsome male stars!


Same propaganda, different mouthpiece. And don't you find it ironic, Kasparov complaining about "Putin's oligarchs", when he himself is in league with the all the oligarchs who escaped Russia with their stolen billions, and now fight from places like London and Tel Aviv for a return of Russia to the "good old days" of Boris Yeltsin, when the assets and resources of the Russian people were being sold off to the banks and the multinational corporations for pennies on the dollar.


For a start, the assumption that Putin was behind Nemtsov's murder still remains to be proved. Jumping to conclusions based on political agendas is not the way a good investigator would go about things. After a bit of light from Seumas, didn't you just know that the Guardian would revert to type.

Appeasement suggests Nazis. Are there concentration camps in Russia? Is Putin engaged in a process of mass-extermination? I remember when Saddam Hussein was compared to Hitler and Tony Blair was praised for his 'Churchillian' qualities. The hyperbole is all getting a bit too transparent.

Keep on banging the war-drums, Graun, you might just get what you are looking for.


Mr Kasparov and Mr! what a tandem, poor sods! Was it not Mr Saakashvili who started a war with Russia in 2008 when his army killed some Russian peace keepers? Is he not wanted for crimes in his country of origin Georgia? Nevertheless, he now lives in Boston, USA, the land of the free. Unbelievable.


What a terrible article. Sorry but what the hell has happened to journalism these days? Why is "Putins Russia" responsible of this murder? This is like saying "Obamas America" is responsible for all the police shootings in the USA - clearly ridiculous. This article has Putin tried, drawn and quartered before the investigations even get really started. This is NOT journalism, this is propaganda. Shame on you Guardian.

dropthemchammer Evgeny Petrov

its quite easy to outsiders but the RUssian people have little access to free media

Simon311 dropthemchammer

You mean Rupert Murdoch? Lucky them


Yesterday I was in Washington DC, speaking to a US Senate subcommittee about how and why the Russian dictator must be stopped. Nearly every head in the room nodded in agreement as I and other invitees – such as the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili – discussed the global danger presented by Putin's increasingly belligerent regime.

global danger ... how shocking. I haven't realized it. I has been thinking that ISIL and its terror acts, the violant instability in Afghanistan and North Africa (especially in Lybia), the wars in Iraq and Syria, the atrocities in Nigeria and Sudan, Ebola and the aftermath left on the economic and society of Liberia were the global dangers we would have to deal with.


Kasparov: "Yesterday I was in Washington DC, speaking to a US Senate subcommittee about how and why the Russian dictator must be stopped. Nearly every head in the room nodded in agreement as I and other invitees – such as the former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili – discussed the global danger presented by Putin's increasingly belligerent regime."


RobHardy richard1

Has Britain ever been substantially different? We have Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind happily willing to sell their access to Chinese businesses. Media almost entirely controlled by corporate influences. Parliament and Civil Service increasingly manned by corporate lobbyists and loan staff. Our defence policy just a subdepartment of Pentagon policy making, GCHQ an outstation of the NSA.

Yes, we are different, there is the possibility of democracy in Russia, but nothing but a empty sham illusion of democracy in this country.

UnclePatsy -> dropthemchammer

Let's first agree on a definition for "invade". Possible definitions may include:
1. To enter by force in order to conquer
2. To move into
3. To infest or overrun.
4. To attack; to infringe; to encroach on; to violate.

I see civil internal strife within Novorussia and Kievan Ukraine aggravated by external forces, but not an outright invasion by NATO or Russia. Crimea was ceded to Ukraine SSR as a province along with Novorussia only in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev.

uracan -> jezzam

Don't you realize that what Putin is doing will consign Russia to poverty for a decade at least.

This is just wishful thinking.

Moreover Putin has destroyed any respect for Russia in the world

If your world consist of US/UK and assorted lackeys.

There is a bigger world out there than just the West and now that Russia has used the sanctions as an opportunity to do its own pivot to the cash , growing economies of the East, the future of Russia looks a whole lot better than the debt overburdened, decaying economies of the West.


The problem with the way that America has continually meddled in countries around the world for at least the last century is that every opposition leader in every country that America doesn't like starts looking like a neocon stooge. Because that's how the neocons work. It's their fault, not mine, that I think that way.

Ilja NB

Kasparov is a worthless peace of trash, he traveled all around the world on expense of Russian state, and then he suddenly decided he wanted to become a big shot politician, but instead of coming with some idea's that would benefit the country he only was bashing Mr. Putin while Mr. Putin was putting Russia on it's feet.

Pedro Garcia

That seems to be a law of life: you are good for one thing, you are bad for another. Kasparov is a despicable man, however a genius in chess. Just reading what he wrote, make me despise him. You don't like Putin, fine, but do you have to run into the US, too?

Nemtsov as a Politician was null for many years, Putin didn't need to do anything to him, because he didn't represented any threat: his popularity was less than 1%. Nobody, even in Russia, knew who he was till he was shot dead. Politkovskaya was shot dead on Putin's birthday, Nemtsov shot dead aside the Kremlim, don't you see it? The killer is desperately trying to point out Putin. This are not bread crumbs this are the whole chain of bakeries pointing at Putin.

This has happened before: Nisman in Argentina, to get rid of President Kirchner Party just before the elections, the killing of Hariri in Lebanon to blame Syria.

Look who is profiting from it and you'll find who's to blame.

Johhny Efex

With the end of the USSR the 'free west' had a golden opportunity to disband NATO. This would have given breathing-space for other democratic forms to develop naturally in all sorts of places, including Russia. But instead the USA thought they would go for broke with Full Spectrum Dominance and other ridiculous utopian plans like PNAC to 'install' democracy around the world. Too paranoid and power-hungry to relax their suffocating grip one tiny bit. This is one of the unfortunate consequences.

dropthemchammer Johhny Efex

"Full Spectrum Dominance"? NATO is a defense organisation. why disband it when USSR died. there were and are other threats around the world.

cherryredguitar dropthemchammer

NATO is a defense organisation

So why are Nato military generals continually making aggressive comments about Ukraine, which is not a member of Nato? Why is Nato defending non-member states? Because it is an expansionist organisation.

The original poster is right - Nato should have been disbanded at the end of cold war.

SASOVIET Johhny Efex

The North American Terrorist Organisation (NATO) has a new role since fall of USSR:
1. Terrorize Russians by annoying presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland
2. Gang up against third world countries to remove leaders that doesn't support US foreign policy like Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc...


Mr Kasparov's views can be compared to the open letter which descendants of the white emigration published in France.

The white emigres declare their "Solidarity with Russia during the Ukrainian Crisis". They also object to the way in which "Russia has been accused of every kind of crime, without any proof, it is judged to be guilty a priori, whereas other countries benefit from a particularly disgusting leniency, in particular, where human rights are concerned."

The emigres go on to protest against "the calumnies which day after day are heaped on modern-day Russia, its leaders and its President, who have been subjected to sanctions and vilified in defiance of all common sense."

The descendants of the white emigration are prepared to give a KGB Colonel the benefit of the doubt. So why can't Garry Kasparov? At this point, no one can prove whether Boris Nemtsov died for the Russian opposition movement or not. The law is no respecter of persons and everyone should be treated as innocent until proven guilty, even the President of the Russian Federation.


This is very sad. We must make allowances for the fact that Kasparov was brought up in the old USSR and is clearly unable to shake off that way of thinking, but he must have had a good mind once, and it's hard not to wonder if he mightn't be ill.

His arguments are frighteningly bad. First he claims Putin is a murderer on the sole ground that a lot of US senators and a discredited war criminal (Saakashvili) agree with him - the kind of argument we would expect from the lowest CiF troll. It's absolutely true that there have been politically-motivated and gangland style murders in Russia, but I have no idea if Putin was responsible for any of them - and neither can Mr Kasparov. What we do know is that if the West had even the slightest shred of evidence against him they'd have plastered it over the media long ago.

Then he starts rewriting history. After the initial rush of 'blame Putin' in 2008, even the EU was forced to admit that Georgia was not only the aggressor but also responsible for serious war crimes. A good piece in the Guardian gives links to much of this, including some excellent reporting by the BBC. Kasparov is basing his entire argument on a history of 'Russian aggression' which never happened.

Then worst of all, he sweeps away any concept of fairness and justice. Putin has no motive for killing Nemtsov, he had every motive for not doing so, and there is not the slightest evidence against him - but to even mention these things (as the BBC does) is to be Putin's 'defence lawyer'. There is no need for the presumption of innocence, no need for evidence and a trial, and finally no need even for 'investigation'. Putin is guilty because Kasparov says so, and anyone who disagrees is a Kremlin troll.

This is frightening on many levels, but not least for where it leads. The sub-headline echoes the hate-filled argument that the only thing that matters now is making Putin look like a loser - and it is precisely for that argument that people are dying. The conflict in Ukraine could stop tomorrow, but the US can't allow anything that suggests Putin has 'won'. Crimea could be resolved instantly by a second, properly monitored referendum, but (as the Lords Report pointed out) this would imply we were 'condoning' Putin. People must go on suffering and dying for as long as it takes - just to ensure the US doesn't lose face.

That's chilling. In a world where people care about both Russians and Ukrainians, it isn't even sane. So yes, to hear someone like Kasparov come out with this dribbling hate-rant is very sad indeed.

BunglyPete -> Standupwoman

Very well written as usual sir/m'am :)

I don't get why its such a big deal if Putin 'wins' either. If the case against him is so strong, even if pulling out the UAF leaves swathes of Ukraine in Russian control, you can sort it out through the UN later.

The primary goal has to be the end of violence, not the removal of Putin.


It has never occured to me how aggressive [neo]liberals may be, how radical and prone to violence they are. Peacemongering efforts of hawks of peace, whose hatred is so blind that they are not fussy about the means to pursue their agenda, will lead to chaos rather than to prosperity of Russia. They are ready to attack BBC presenters if they are on their way, they are close to calling names when it comes to the EU leaders not living up to liberal expectations when dealing with Russia.

"I will continue to do whatever I can to draw support to the cause of returning Russia to the path of democracy. "

You are too agressive, tov. Kasparov. I don't like it. Please, make revolutions somewhere else. For example somewhere you live in, there are problems over there no doubt.

If you really want to do something, start a charity to help children of Donbass instead of begging for weapons. That would be a decent move.


Despite all attempts by Kasparov to revive Nemtsov through mouthpiece for the US/NATO, it will not change the fact that on a political point of view Nemtsov was a nobody. Sure he didnt deserve to die but we must ask whom this crime profits.

It is obvious that Putin has been the target of this attack, together with all of Russia and, being the target, it is highly unlikely that he has been the author of this assassination.

So now we have Kasparov going for his propaganda by calling Putin a dictator, and Russia a dictatorship, and advocating a full war to defeat the Russian army. Seems that Kasparov didn't learn anything during in glory years as a chess player because that is not a good strategy, this is a loosing strategy for him and the West, Europe in particular, and Ukraine with certainty.

Nemtsov's death will fall in oblivion in a few months, that is, he will return where he came from. Nobody at least in the West knew this guy before the media rant. He was not even popular in Russia except for the 3%. Nothing to worry the Kremlin.


Astoundingly poor quality commentary in this thread. Y'all sound like American Republicans, or Bibi defenders...utterly incapable of dealing with complex subjects which, given that blood is being shed, require a modicum of understanding of world history these last 40 years (at least) and a bit of nuance here and there...

Viktor Gofman ElmerFuddJr

Serious commentary is for a serious article. Kasparov's article is a circus... So there is a circus in the thread as a result.


Engagement with Russia has never been tried.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union the policy has been to drive NATO tanks to the Russian border.

American democracy is in a death spiral due to its militarism.

And America is hindering the peaceful and democratic development of other countries due to its interference in their domestic politics.


It is telling how Putin, who has got where he is by competitive elections is described as a "dictator" while president Mikheil Saakashvili who:

is described as a former "president"

[Mar 07, 2015] Russia detains two men in Boris Nemtsov murder inquiry by Chis Johnston

Note: Guardian did not risked to open comments for this article. Should somebody put a tattoo on Chis Johnston right arm with the words "Cue Bono", the classic Roman approach to such crimes. Why Putin on peak of his popularity would decided to eliminate political cadaver by converting him into real, much more dangerous cadaver. But there are two parties who can benefit from this killing. As the guy who with Chubais and his friends from Harvard sold Russia assets, he incite such level of hate in Russia that even 1% of votes (that means strictly Moscow fifth column of neoliberal globalization) are way too much for him. Why Chris Johnson is so shy to name them is understandable and despicable. Even presstitutes should sometimes behave... Also analogies with Politkovskaya killing and Litvinenko killing are way to obvious to ignore. The USA now try to fight off the challenge that Putin version of state capitalism and Chinese version of "neoliberalism within communist dogma" present and rising tide of nationalism in Europe, which threatens the fundamental postulates of neoliberalism and the USA role as Kremlin of neoliberalism (if we consider this neoliberal globalization as replay of Communist International ideas on a new level). Ukrainian nationalists, while reasonably good at destruction of the economy, proved to be incapable to rule the country and face financial default. They can resort to desperate means to postpone the day of reckoning. Russian newspaper Vzglyad noted that version of the involvement of Chechens fighting in the Ukraine was one of the most plausible. "Izvestia" citing law enforcement sources reported that the organizer of the assassination could be the Ukrainian security services, and assassins - Chechen militants from the so-called battalion named Dzhokhar Dudayev, which fights in Ukraine against DND and LNR.
By the way, the commander of this detachment Adam Osmayev was previous held as defendant in the case of the preparation of the assassination of President Vladimir Putin. Perhaps the plan was to discredit the Russian government and destabilize the political situation in the country.
Mar 07, 2015 | The Guardian

Russian authorities have detained two men in connection with the murder of the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

The pair were named as Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, both from the North Caucasus, a volatile region of southern Russia plagued by insurgency.

Nemtsov was deputy prime minister in the 1990s in the government of Boris Yeltsin.

... ... ...

Putin has called the killing a "provocation", vowing that everything would be done to convict those who committed a "vile and cynical murder".

Russia/Russian-hating Russian kreakl Makarevich

Moscow Exile , March 5, 2015 at 6:22 am
More evidence of the workings of a Russia/Russian-hating Russian kreakl:

March 3, Minsk studio "Osmosis", Andrei Makarevich explained the difference between the peoples of Russia and Belarus:

"There is a difference, of course, although this difference is associated with their relationship towards the environment. You have this European attitude, but we have this despoiled by nomads attitude. Nomads are used to shitting everywhere because they do not stay in one place: they are here today – gone tomorrow, so why bother about cleanliness? I suspect this attitude has remained with Russians since the time of the Tatar yoke. You also have had a complex history, but there was a Poland then, and a Belarus. Nevertheless, they are still European."

Words that are more than provocative: on closer examination, you can find signs of incitement to national hatred. The most striking thing about them is Makarevich's ignorance of Russian history . The territory of Belarus also suffered from the Mongols, as well as Russia, and our nations have an equal mixture of Tartar blood.

Interestingly, I'm pretty sure Makarevich is a Belorussian name.

Рашевский компрадор - WordReference Forums

Research Topics - CDI - Center for Defense Information - Security ...


2011.09.25 Воскресенье | версия для печати

Нет, вы не ошиблись. Впрочем, не стоит ждать сенсаций и дошедшего черепашьим ходом инсайда из курилки. Речь не идёт о тех лицах, кто действительно консультирует главу государства по вопросам внутренней и внешней политики, по вопросам аппаратным. Речь идёт о тех, кто себя таковыми считал.

Как уже много раз говорилось, в политическом сегменте социальных медиа - активные участники сражаются не друг с другом, они сражаются в первую очередь за умы.

Или, если угодно, за сердца тех людей - которые либо только входят в активный политический процесс, желая присоединиться к дискурсу, либо являются сторонним, но от этого заинтересованным наблюдателем. Нет, конечно, в мире политических дискуссий хватает и перебежчиков - не раз менявших свои политические взгляды (в том числе и на диаметрально противоположные).

Сегодня, определённая группа людей (которую возможно лучший публичный философ современной России Андрей Ашкеров, называет "последовательными демаркаторами") в очередной раз продемонстрировала свою истинную натуру. Всем. И своим апологетам, и - что самое главное - еще не навесившим на себя ярлык "тора, рала, иста". Ради таких моментов и стоит заниматься политикой, право слово. Ты видишь не просто поражение своего идеологического противника, не просто его самоунижение. Ты чувствуешь, что происходит кристаллизация.

Реакция на решение тандема по конфигурации-2012 со стороны так называемой "либеральной общественности" - состоящей из журналистов и колумнистов определённых СМИ, оппозиционеров - относящих себя к "правым", но являющимися ультралевыми, так называемых правозащитников и других - была весьма разнообразной.

Президента Медведева, надо сказать, данная категория лиц, критиковала и раньше. Критика всегда сопровождалась предшествующим ей "эффектом разочарования". Какого характера была критика? Давайте вспомним наиболее яркие моменты:

  1. Президента критиковали за то, что он не отправил в отставку первого заместителя главы своей администрации, Суркова. Критиковали дважды - в конце осени 2010 года. Критиковали его и в сентябре 2011 года, когда якобы Владислав Юрьевич лично требовал от миллиардера Михаила Прохорова исключить из партии Евгения Ройзмана, а потом, якобы звонил Алле Пугачевой. Пугачёва - фигура, почитаемая широкими общественными слоями. И хотя либералы любят в этот колодец плевать - говоря о том, что народ России "глуповат да сер и некультурен" (Роман Доброхотов), что надобно его резать и стричь (Ольга Бакушинская), что он мешает модернизации (Игорь Юргенс) - но за водой к нему идут. Итог этой "части" можно подвести... Олегом Кашиным. В 2010 году именно его избиение стало причиной нападок на Суркова со стороны несистемной оппозиции и "политтусовочки" (гордящейся, что формируют в читаемом президентом твиттере нужный им медиафон.

  2. Критиковали президента и за то, что в своем выступлении перед парламентариями в конце 2010 года он слишком много времени уделил вопросам материнства и семьи. "Никакой политики" - кричали правозащитники (получающие пусть и не очень большие, но все же деньги "на защиту материнства и детства" из нескольких международных фондов. "Какая-то социальная скукота" говорили те, у кого в памфлетах прописаны шаги к повышению уровня жизни граждан.

  3. Критиковали его и в мае, на встрече с журналистами в Сколково. Часть критиковала за непредоставление микрофона Евгении Альбац - так сказать, вскормившей и выносившей на руках Яшина, Барабанова, Гайдар, Навального и милую секретаршу Наташу Морарь. Другая часть критиковала главу государства за разрушение своей мечты о том, что выйдет он на трибуну и скажет "отставляю правительство и благодаря вашей поддержке в социальных сетях, я набрался сил и мужества и решил, что пойду на выборы в 2012 году". Не дождались.

А вместо этого президент работал. Работал напряжённо.

Именно благодаря его работе вместе с премьер-министром и правительством мы не разбились о дно "кризисной пропасти" в 2009 году. Россия останвила и наголову разбила грузинскую агрессии. В России начали строить сверхсовременный наукоград, развили и укрепили торгово-экономический союз в СНГ, усилили ОДКБ, открыли Северный Поток и находимся в стадии разработки Южного. В конце концов, была запущена и реформа МВД.

За эти годы было, увы, и много печального, трагического. Была авария на Саяно-Шушенской ГЭС, были теракты в метро и аэропортах, тонущие корабли, лесные пожары, сепаратисты в Сибири, волнения на Манежной, была "Распадская", была Сагра, был "Невский Экспресс" и "Хромая Лошадь", падали самолёты с арбитрами, хоккеистами, и не известными википедии людьми, потеря которых - невосполнима.

Казалось бы - есть за что хвалить руководство страны или, если угодно, выражать ему доверие. Есть о чём печалиться. И есть даже поводы обвинать. Но ни на том, ни на другом "разочарованные" не концентрировались. Больше всех они радовались, когда в отставку был отправлен Юрий Лужков - словно это была их, личная победа. Они с наслаждением обсуждали то, как президент пожурил главу одной из госкорпораций или высказался по Ливии - видя в этом якобы внешнее расхождение его позиции с премьер-министром, некое осознанное проявление борьбы со столь ненавистным им Путиным.

Проблемы и трагедии они списывали на метафизического врага - "коррупционного чиновника". Реальные успехи и достижения в социальной, экономической, внешнеполитической областях они не замечали. А если и видели - одобрения это не вызывало, лишь цедимое сквозь зубы "показуха".

И вот, наступила развязка.

"Консультанты" кричат, что их обманули в лучших ожиданиях, что "все потеряно". Кто-то кричит, что Россию спасёт только снайперская винтовка - как бы намекая на необходимость физического устранения. Вот только кого? Оставшегося безучасным к их лайкам, ретвитам и перепостам? Или того, кто был безучастным к ним с самого начала? Кто-то кричит, что Президент "оказался пустышкой". Кто-то - как обиженная отказом в покровительстве профурсетка, так и не доросшая до статуса приближённых к придворным дамам - удаляет страницы Президента из лент друзей. Какие люди - такие и поступки. Кто-то (в особенности бывшие политические консультанты, политтехнологи, политологи, и горе-э