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Khodorkovski case

kievite, June 1, 2013 at 8:48 am
Actually an interesting metamorphose happen right at the border crossing. A crook instantly became the staunch defender of western democracy and its (aka neoliberal) values against Russian backwardness, paranoia and kleptocratic state headed by evil Putin who personally torture innocent girls from Pussy Riot wearing his old KGB uniform ;-)

I would call this sudden attraction to democratic values at the border crossing a “crooks survival instinct” in action. Crooks are always crooks.

BTW I would object about the term “Stubborn Deniers of Reality” applied to Western Journalism. I think a more proper definition is “Creators of artificial reality”. Masters of illusion, so to speak. And that’s would be a proper classification of Bachelor and Masters degree in journalism instead of “Bachelor of arts”, etc. used today. And truth be told this esoteric art reached the level of perfection and sophistication in comparison with which all those circus magicians are just children.

BTW who would explain to me the meaning of the term of BS in English. Is this about deception, or an attempt to cover own incompetence (posturing as an expert in subject about which the BS artist has no clue) or about pure propaganda or about meaningless drivel designed to hide the real motives ?

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[Feb 27, 2021] I found Vernadsky's History of Russia to be the best balanced and most in-depth of all the histories of Russia I've read, somewhere around 3,000 pages in all

Feb 27, 2021 |

karlof1 , Feb 26 2021 23:28 utc | 25

After reading Escobar's essay, I began trying to find all the volumes of Vernadsky's History of Russia which I read while self-learning Russian history in 1993 thanks to the University of Hawaii Manoa's libraries. The first volume is linked @21. Volume Two, Kievan Russia ; Volume Three, The Mongols and Russia ; Volume Four, Russia at the Dawn of the Modern Era ; Volume Five, The Tsardom of Moscow ; and his overview volume, A History of Russia . The series Vernadsky and his academic partner Michael Karpovich initially envisioned was never completely finished as Karpovich died in 1959, and Vernadsky passed in 1973.

I found the series to be the best balanced and most in-depth of all the histories of Russia I've read, somewhere around 3,000 pages in all. I suggest leaving the overview volume for last. Do enjoy!!

[Jan 25, 2020] Mikhail Khodorkovsky the Man, the Myth, the Movie by Lucy Komisar

Jan 22, 2020 |
"It seemed to me that ideologically he [Putin] was one of our people," the former Russian oligarch says in the new Alex Gibney documentary Citizen K .

M ikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, MBK in his homeland, is the most famous Russian "oligarch," the name given by their compatriots to a handful of men who, when communism fell, turned it into gangster capitalism. With an estimated $16 billion fortune, he became the richest man in Russia. When the rules changed, he didn't adapt and spent a decade in prison.

Alex Gibney's new documentary Citizen K , which opened in New York last week, tells how MBK and others took advantage of schemes promoted by President Boris Yeltsin to privatize state companies in order to raise the money he needed to win reelection. Gibney blames the chaos of the times more than the thieves' venality.

Avoiding damning details, Citizen K casts its subject as a reformed sinner and even a fighter for justice against an evil President Vladimir Putin. From the beginning, there's a significant difference between reality and MBK's film portrayal.

The film says Khodorkovsky got involved in the Komsomol, the communist youth organization, because the government relaxed restrictions on free enterprise for the group. The film doesn't explain that as the deputy head of a Komsomol cell at a local technical institute, MBK obtained and sold computers at inflated prices and laundered Soviet credits with other imported goods that he converted into hard currency. With the profits, he set up Menatep bank.

Then came the theft of Russia's patrimony. The film shows that the Yeltsin government, egged on by American free-market boosters, announced a program to give citizens vouchers worth $40 each. The scheme was then promoted by a US team sent to end Russian state control of enterprises and open them to the West. Vouchers could be traded, sold, or exchanged for shares in state enterprises. MBK and others bought them from citizens unaware of their value.

The film explains that Yeltsin, with a 3 percent approval rating, was going to lose the 1996 election. The government needed cash to pay salaries and pensions, so under "loans for shares," banksters made loans the government wouldn't repay, and when it defaulted, they got Russia's state enterprises in sham auctions. The film depicts Khodorkovsky as "a man of intelligence and great vision," but Gibney admits this was gangster capitalism.

He recounts that Khodorkovsky's Menatep was the only bidder for the oil giant, Yukos, valued at $5 billion. The bank ran the auction itself and paid just $310 million for a 78 percent stake in the company. Khodorkovsky declares, "I don't think this was a bad deal for the state." The film cuts to shots of idle operations starting up.

Moscow Times founder Derk Sauer says in the film that Khodorkovsky was "using every trick in the book available to him." There are no details. The film doesn't tell how MBK, not satisfied with getting Yukos for a steal, then, according to Russian charges , laundered multi-billions of dollars in profits that would have represented evaded taxes and dividends for minority investors.

Peter Bond , an Isle of Man shell company operator, set up a transfer-pricing and money-laundering scheme that sold Yukos oil to fake companies at below-market prices and then to real buyers at market . Stephen Curtis, managing director of Khodorkovsky's $30 billion holding company Menatep, ran the operation out of London. Swiss authorities would discover and freeze almost $4 billion of suspected cash in Khodorkovsky's shell accounts. None of this is in the film.

Bond also helped Khodorkovsky cheat Russia and minority shareholders of Avisma , a titanium company he also got at a rigged auction. Kenneth Dart , heir to the Dart disposable cup fortune, former investor in Russia William Browder, and their New York partner Francis Baker bought Avisma from MBK, on the understanding that profit-stripping would continue. When Bond showed there is no honor among thieves and didn't pass on the cash, they sued. An affidavit by attorney Anthony Wollenberg said they were told that "a significant part of the profits which Avisma was able to earn on the sale of its product were taken offshore through TMC," Titanium Metals Co. He said that "was central to the entire transaction," that "without the right to those profits, investment in Avisma was not an attractive proposition." This, too, is not in the film.

In 1999 the ailing, drunk Yeltsin resigned and his prime minister, Vladimir Putin, took over. The film suggests that Khodorkovsky was arrested for attacking Putin. It recounts that in 2003, Putin summoned Russia's top businessmen to a televised roundtable about corruption. Khodorkovsky came with slides which reported that some Russians felt that corruption existed at the highest levels of government, telling Putin that "25 per cent of the population believe that you are among those taking bribes."

In fact, Khodorkovsky and Yukos were not singled out. Oil major Lukoil settled a claim for $200 million in taxes evaded in a similar scheme.

The details of the transfer-pricing scams matter, because MBK followed the same business model for the fertilizer company Apatit. He was initially arrested in 2003 for rigging the Apatit privatization auction and embezzling profits. This is also not in the film.

The unreported Stephen Curtis story also figures in the film's attack on Putin. Gibney declares that in England over 15 years there have been a growing number of mysterious deaths related to Russia. He screenshots a New York Times story that says Curtis, Khodorkovsky's lawyer, was killed in a helicopter crash, implying that Putin ordered his death.

Former Financial Times journalist Thomas Catan's version was different. He wrote that Curtis approached UK intelligence agencies weeks before the crash offering to provide information, probably about Yukos. The UK's National Criminal Intelligence Service had assigned Curtis to a handler just days before his new Agusta 109E helicopter crashed in March 2004. Someone close to British intelligence told Catan, "My sense was that he was fearful of being prosecuted by the Russian authorities for being party to assisting in the capital flight and that he thought that going to the UK authorities would give him some sort of top cover."

Khodorkovsky says in the film that in the beginning, "it seemed to me that ideologically he [Putin] was one of our people." Putin had told the oligarchs he wouldn't question their rigged auction acquisitions if they kept out of politics.

In fact, MBK's conflict with Putin was not about charges of corruption by a man mired in corruption but over MBK's decision to use his ill-gotten wealth for political influence.

Moscow Times founder Sauer says in the film, "Now he has all this money, he started thinking about what's next." Later on Sauer says, "Putin had a very valid point. Half of the parliament is on the payroll of Khodorkovsky, many of the top people in the oil ministry are people appointed by the oligarchs. What is this? If I want to be a real president, I need to have my own people, and I need to get these people out of politics."

Gibney confronts MBK: "It was said at the time that you were busy courting or even buying influence in the Duma." Khodorkovsky replies, "We only dealt with our industry-related problems . It was exactly as it happens in the United States Congress. Will you support our campaign in the next election?" This answer is never challenged by Gibney.

However, the film does note MBK's other mistake: deciding to make Yukos a public company and seek a merger with ExxonMobil, giving foreigners control of Russia's oil.

The film says Russia got back Yukos in a bankruptcy auction won by "a mysterious, newly created company, Baikal Finance Group," which sold it to the government-controlled Rosneft. In the film, Putin explains, "You all know perfectly well how privatization took place in the early '90s. Many market players at that time received state property worth many billions. Today the state, using absolutely legal market tools, establishes its interests. I think this is quite normal."

Sauer notes, "In most countries in the world oil companies are owned by the state. Nothing wrong with this. Good news for the Russians. That's how 99 percent of the people saw it." Another journalist says in the film, "The fact that the oligarchs were so reviled and resented by the Russian people was a fantastically useful tool for Putin . And when he did bring the oligarchs to heel, it was incredibly popular." All true. But Gibney avoids detailing why MBK was reviled.

He says, "Out of prison, Khodorkovsky is looking for a third act." Khodorkovsky speaks in Kiev in 2014 at a rally in favor of the US-supported coup against Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, whom Washington considered too close to Russia.

There's a lot about MBK suffering in prison and thinking about his children. Gibney asks, "Do you think that being in prison gave you special insight into Putin and the people around him?"

"Yes. The way that the criminals think is exactly that way that the criminal group around Putin thinks. It's a criminal mentality." That could explain his quips that "in Russia laws are an iffy question" and "the strictness of Russian laws is compensated by the lack of obligation to follow them."

He gave Gibney an opening: "As a co-owner of Yukos I had to make enormous efforts to protect this property. I had to close my eyes and put up with many things all for the sake of my personal wealth, preserving and increasing it." But Gibney doesn't take it. He never asks for details. Or how MBK can return what he stole.

[Dec 22, 2019] Dzerzhinskiy went in the same school with Pi sudsk and Kerenskiy's father was the teacher of the young Lenin

Dec 22, 2019 |

Patrick Armstrong , 21 December 2019 at 09:04 AM

Pedantic point Феликс Эдмундович Дзержинский
Feliks (Felix) Edmundovich (son of Edmund) Dzerzhinskiy
is the Russianised version of the Polish
Feliks Dzierżyński

And just to show how how small the world is, he was a school with Piłsudski (and Kerenskiy's father was the teacher of the young Lenin)

(In fact the Bolshevik world seems to have been as small as the conspirators' world. Anybody know a Russian woman we can put in the same room as Flynn so we can create the story that Putin has set a honey trap? Yeah says Halper, there's one right here in Cambridge. Anybody know a Russian we can put in the same room as Trump junior? Yeah says Simpson, there's this Russian lawyer who's part of our lobbying efforts. Anybody got Putin's niece? Yeah, says Mifsud, I've got a student who can be her.)

David Habakkuk -> Patrick Armstrong ... , 21 December 2019 at 01:41 PM
An interesting article 2012 in the 'Baltic Times', headlined 'Dialogues between Dzerzhinsky and Pilsudski' reports on a play by Arvydas Juozaitis, who is apparently a 'Riga-based Lithuanian philosopher, writer and former Lithuanian diplomat'.

(See .)

In it, apparently, the pair renew what was probably an early acquaintance when they both attended the same Russian school in Vilnius, in Purgatory, and attempt to justify the very different courses they followed to each other.

It is interesting that Juozaitis portrays both as having started out as what one might call 'Polonised Lithuanians.' According to the report:

'Both were born into the families of Lithuanian nobility. Both families, as is custom, possessed picturesque coats of arms of the family. Both families were of Lithuanian origin: Dzerzhinsky, rather historically (he was born near Minsk) due to his noble roots, while Pilsudski could be called ethnic Lithuanian (he was born in Zalavas, not far from Vilnius), but both of them chose to be Poles.'

Even more interesting, to my mind, is the fact that we see an – obviously intelligent – Lithuanian nationalist suggesting that Dzerzhinsky's adoption of Bolshevism may have been underpinned by agendas not so different from those of Pilsudski.

What appears at first sight to be a radical gulf between the two men, Juozaitis appears to suggest, was essentially about the most promising means of implementing what might be described as a 'Polish-Polish Lithuanian revanchist' agenda.

The 'Baltic Times' report makes crystal clear the view of the play's author that this was a dispute over means, not ends. It also appears to suggest that ultimately both men were more Lithuanian than either Bolshevik or Polish:

'The performance by Juozaitis presents dialogues between Dzerzhinsky and Pilsudski in Purgatory, which was placed by Juozaitis, in the drama, under the foundation of the building of Gate of Dawn, the Vilnius Catholic shrine with its miraculous painting of St. Mary.

'Theater actors Gediminas Storpirstis and Aleksas Kazanavicius played the roles of Pilsudski and Dzerzhinsky, presenting some pieces of the "The Heart in Vilnius."

'"I wanted to conquer Moscow and to create Rzeczpospolita [the Polish word meaning 'republic' and referring to the historical commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania] with you, not with Lenin and Stalin," Kazanavicius-Dzerzhinsky said, talking further about "the Vilnius empire," and adding, "I was lonely in the sea of Slavs."

'"And Poles are not Slavs?" Storpirstis-Pilsudski asked.'

[Jul 30, 2019] Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Human-Rights Leader by Jay Nordlinger

A suspected killer (Tubes and cadavers documentary) and one of the most notorious post USSR collapse Mafioso as human rights leader ;-) Wonders of propaganda.
When this neocon mentions Browder as another "human-rights campaigner" he exceeded the limits of even neocon propaganda.
Somehow I think about neocons like him as prairie dogs. Small but very dangerous for the ecosystem pests (actually rodents not canine, despite the name) See Why Prairie Dogs are American epidemcs in the same issue.
Jul 11, 2019 |

He is a human-rights leader these days, but he still has the air of a business titan, an air of command. This is accompanied by a certain restlessness. At the same time, he is thoughtful -- so much so, in fact, that he will think for a long time before answering a question. He does not fill the air with words as he's gathering his thoughts, as so many of the rest of us do

... ... ...

He now lives in Britain, and the very day he arrived here, the Russian state hit him with a murder charge -- the murder of a Russian mayor in 1998. They do this, the Russian state, comical as it may seem to outsiders. When I ask him about the charge against him, he says, with the aforementioned gallows humor, "I'm rather upset because Bill Browder has been accused of several murders while I am charged with only one."

It's true. Browder -- the financial investor who turned human-rights campaigner -- stands accused of several murders, including the one of his own lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, whose murder by prison authorities turned Browder into a human-rights campaigner in the first place.

... ... ...

Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor of National Review and a book fellow at the National Review Institute. @jaynordlinger

[Jul 22, 2019] Myth and the Russian Pogroms by Andrew Joyce

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The anti-Jewish riots, or "pogroms" of late 19th-century Russia represent one of the most decisive periods in modern Jewish, if not world, history. Most obviously, the riots had demographic implications for western countries – around 80% of today's western Diaspora Jews are descendants of those Jews who left Russia and its environs during the period 1880–1910. But perhaps the most lasting legacy of the period was the enhancement of Jewish "national self-awareness," and the accelerated development of "modern, international Jewish politics." [A1] John Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011) p.xiii.

The pogroms themselves have consistently been portrayed by (mainly Jewish) historians as "irrational manifestations of hatred against Jews," [A2] Jack Glazier, Dispersing the Ghetto: The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America (New York: Cornell University Press, 1998) p.9. where peasant mobs were the unwitting dupes of malevolent Russian officials. Other explanations are so lacking in evidence, and so devoid of logic that they stretch credulity to breaking point. For example, University of British Columbia Professor, Donald G. Dutton has asserted that the mobs were not motivated by "the sudden rapid increase of the Jewish urban population, the extraordinary economic success of Russian Jews, or the involvement of Jews in Russian revolutionary politics" but rather by the "blood libel." [A3] Donald Dutton, The Psychology of Genocide, Massacres and Extreme Violence (New York: Prager, 2007 ) p.40

Little or no historiography has been dedicated to peeling back the layers of "refugee" stories to uncover what really happened in the Russian Empire in the years before and during the riots. This lack of historical enquiry can be attributed at least in part to a great reluctance on the part of Jewish historians to investigate the pogroms in any manner beyond the merely superficial. In addition, historical enquiry by non-Jewish historians into the subject has been openly discouraged. For example, when Ukrainian historians discovered evidence proving that contemporary media reports of Jewish casualties in that nation were exaggerated, the Jewish genealogy website 'JewishGen,' responded by stating: "We believe that [these facts] are more than irrelevant because it redirects public attention from the major topic: the genocidal essence of pogroms."

It should suffice to state here that this response contravenes the very essence of historical enquiry – to uncover history as it actually happened, irrespective of the uncomfortable truths which may lie therein. The statement could be translated as "Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story." Also, as this paper will show, the tendency to portray the riots as "genocidal" is completely lacking in foundation. University of California Los Angeles Professor of Sociology, Michael Mann, has provided substantial evidence indicating that "most perpetrators did not conceive of removing Jews altogether." [A4] Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) p.142.

JewishGen's allusion to genocide should also be seen as part of a broader problem in modern Jewish historiography. Rather than seeing the pogroms as products of specific local circumstances, in which Jews would play at least an implicit role, there has been a tendency to use them for comparative purposes. John Klier states that when used in a comparative sense, "examples are drawn almost exclusively from the 20th century, and these events are then read back into the earlier period of 1881–2," making any objective historical enquiry difficult, and implying the presence of some non-existent 'pan-European' malaise in anti-Jewish actions.

Nonetheless, this series of essays will seek to peel back the myths, to tease a few threads of truth from the veil which covers these events. Encouragingly, some work has already begun in this respect. I.M. Aronson's assertion that the pogroms were "planned or encouraged to one degree or another, by elements within the government itself," [A5] I.M. Aronson, 'Geographical and Socioeconomic factors in the 1881 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia,' Russian Review , Vol.39, No.1 (Jan. 1980) p.18. has been dealt a death blow in recent years through the concerted work of a small number of non-Jewish historians, mostly notably, University College London's Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, John Doyle Klier. In his 2005 work, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881–2 , Klier asserts that "contemporary research has dispelled the myth that Russian officials were responsible for instigating, permitting, or approving the pogroms." [A6] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.xiv.

This series of essays will attempt to move further, adhering to the belief that the facts of the events remain paramount to historical enquiry rather than being a 'distracting' irrelevance. The series will begin with an explanation of the origins of Russia's "Jewish Question." Subsequent articles will concern the pogroms themselves and how myth and exaggeration have plagued our conception of them. Finally, I will examine why these myths were developed, and the broader implications of the prevalence of myth in Jewish 'history.'

Part One: Russia's Jewish Question

In 1772 the Russian Empire orchestrated the first partition of Poland, "erasing from the geopolitical map of Europe a large kingdom, which in the seventeenth century had extended over broad areas between Prussia and southern Ukraine." [A7] Israel Bartal, The Jews of Eastern Europe: 1772-1881 , (Tel Aviv, Ministry of Defence, 2005) p.23. Significantly, in doing so, the Russian Empire also oversaw "the dissolution of the largest Jewish collective in the world." [A8] Ibid, p.24.
(Israel Bartal, The Jews of Eastern Europe: 1772-1881 , (Tel Aviv, Ministry of Defence, 2005) p.23.)
Polish Jewry was divided into three parts – those in Posen came under the sovereignty of Prussia, those in Galicia came under the sovereignty of Austria, and those in Poland proper came under the sovereignty of the Russian Empire. [A9] Israel Friedlander, The Jews of Russia and Poland , (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1915), p.84. In Poland proper, the Polish public turned in on itself, searching frantically for the reasons for the ruin of the nation, and in doing so, states Israel Friedlander, "the Jewish problem could not but force itself on its attention." [A10] Ibid.
(Israel Friedlander, The Jews of Russia and Poland , (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1915), p.84.)

Investigations carried out by special committees discovered that in the decades prior to partition, Polish Jewry had enjoyed a demographic explosion, with Jews now representing almost 20% of the entire population. In addition, it was discovered that Jews controlled a full 75% of Polish exports, and that many were now spilling out of over-populated urban centres into the countryside, making a living by monopolising the sale of liquor to peasants. [A11] Ibid, p.85.
(Israel Friedlander, The Jews of Russia and Poland , (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1915), p.84.)
By 1774, complaints were reaching Russian officials from non-Jewish merchants who argued that Jewish ethnic networking was propping up the monopoly of exports, and that this monopoly would shortly have dire implications for the consumer. [A12] Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173 These revelations were the key motivating factors in the decision to expel Warsaw's Jews in 1775, and until the early 19 th century there was a kind of stand-off between Poles and Jews. [A13] Ibid.
(Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173)
Napoleon's establishment of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 did little to alter the situation, as Napoleon acceded to local sentiment which held that Jews should not feel the benefit of the new constitution until they had "eradicated their peculiar characteristics." [A14] Ibid, p.87.
(Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173)
In 1813, the government of the Duchy moved to break the Jewish monopoly on liquor, banning all Jews from selling alcohol in the villages, bringing an end to the activity of "tens of thousands" of Jewish liquor merchants in the provinces. Not surprisingly, when the Duchy was dissolved in 1815 following Napoleon's failed attempt to invade Russia, Polish Jewry shed no tears.

In late 1815, the Congress of Vienna was held. The aim of the congress was to give its assent to the formation of a new autonomous Polish kingdom under the sovereignty of Russia. Although the bulk of Polish Jewry remained within the newly established kingdom, tens of thousands also poured forth into other areas of the Russian Empire, ushering in an uncomfortable age of fraught Russian-Jewish relations. The immediate reaction of the Russian government to the acquisition of such large, and unwanted, Jewish populations was to prevent the penetration of these populations from intrusion into the old Russian territories, and the solution reached was one of containment. A new kind of settlement was created in provinces along the western frontier, and it became known as the "Pale of Settlement." Although a large amount of negative connotations have been attributed to the Pale, it was not an impermeable fortress. Certain Jews were permitted to reside outside these provinces, they could visit trade fairs, and Jews were even permitted to study at Russian universities provided they did not exceed quotas. By 1860, more than half of world Jewry resided in the Pale.

Following the Congress of Vienna, wherever Jews resided in the Russian Empire, they overwhelmingly "served in a variety of middleman roles." In some cities, "the Jewish mercantile element was numerically superior to the Christian," and there was a gradual move towards the reacquisition of the liquor trade. [A15] Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173 According to Klier, by 1830 Belorussian Jews were found to be "totally dominating trade" in that country. [A16] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.4. It was largely Klier's work in the late 1980s which began to truly shed light on the origins of Russian-Jewish relations prior to 1914. Klier, born into a Catholic family in Kansas, "rejected what might be called the Fiddler on the Roof pieties and simplifications. In book after book, he emphasised that what the tsars and their ministers wanted, above all else, was for the Jewish settlements to be orderly and productive." [A17] Klier further stressed that the much-maligned Pale of Settlement was simply the only response that the Russian administration could come up with, faced as they were with the "baffling question" of how to deal with the "fanaticism of ultra-Orthodox Jewry" which was thoroughly "unassimilable to official purposes." [A18]

In 1841, investigations were carried out into Russia's Jewish communities, and the subsequent reports pointed to three significant problems. The first was persistent Jewish difference in dress, language, and religious and communal organization. The idea underpinning this aloofness from non-Jewish society, the 'Chosen' status of the Jews and an accompanying ethnic chauvinism, was said to be particularly harmful to Jewish-Gentile relations, particularly when it was reinforced through "a system of male education that was thought to inculcate anti-Christian interpretations of the Talmud." [A19] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.3. The second, related, problem was that Jewish economic practices were also rooted in this aloofness. The Talmud "encouraged and justified unreserved economic exploitation based on cheating and exploiting the non-Jews," [A20] Ibid.
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.3.)
in a validation of Max Weber's theory of 'internal' and 'external' ethics, whereby "members of a cohesive social unit observe different moral standards among themselves compared with those observed in relation to strangers." [A21] Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962) p.56. The third aspect of the Russian 'Jewish Question,' was the issue of Jewish loyalty. The Jews of the Russian Empire had evidently retained the kahal of pre-partition Polish Jewry. The kahal was a formal system of Jewish communal leadership and government, entirely separate from the Russian state. Although tacitly tolerated by the state for its tax collection capabilities, Jewish loyalty to the kahal was absolute, going beyond the merely fiscal. Almost all Jews continued to resort to Jewish courts.

John Klier states that following these revelations, "state and society shared a consensus that Jews could be – and must be – reformed and transformed into good subjects of the realm." [A22] Ibid.
(Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962) p.56.)
Under Emperor Alexander I (1801–25) there had been attempts to encourage Jews to pursue more productive economic activities. Generous concessions were made to Jews in the hope that they would abandon their middleman roles, as well as the distilleries and taverns of the provinces, and take up work in agricultural colonies. Klier states that the "embeddedness of the Jews in the economic and social life of the imperial borderlands ensured that despite legislative initiatives, Jewish economic life remained largely unchanged." [A23] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.4

In 1844, under Nicholas I, the Russian government began a program of reforms and legislation designed to break down Jewish exclusivity and incorporate the nation's Jews more fully into Russian society. Not surprisingly, the government first took aim at the kahal , banning it as "an illegal underground structure." [A24] Ibid.
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.4)
The significance of the banning of the kahal went beyond tackling the issue of Jewish loyalty. The mutual assistance offered by the kahal was felt to have had economic implications – "it was the mutual support provided by the kahal that ensured that Jews were more than a match for any competitor, even the arch-exploiter of the Russian village, the kulak." [A25] Ibid.
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.4)
The civil rights of any "Jews who were perceived to be engaged in productive undertakings" were extended, though there were few takers. Nicholas I even conceived of, and supported, the establishment of state-financed Jewish schools, in the hope that such establishments would lead to the development of a more progressive and integrative Russian Jewry. Unfortunately for Nicholas, what his system produced was a cadre of Jewish intellectuals profoundly hostile to the state.

Emperor Alexander II continued the efforts of Mother Russia to gather in her Jews. He abolished serfdom in 1861. He relaxed efforts to change the economic profile of Russian Jewry, extending the rights of educated Jews and large-scale merchants. His was a program aimed at reconciliation, an abandonment of the stick in favour of the carrot. Education was made fully open to Jews, and Jews could sit on the juries of Russian courts. Conditions on settlement and mobility in the Pale were relaxed further. Klier states that "Jews even became the subject of sympathetic concern for the leaders of public opinion. Proposals for the complete emancipation of the Jews were widely mooted in the press." [A26] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5

These measures, however, were also accompanied by a growing uneasiness with the way the Jews of Russia took advantage of them. There was little in the way of gratitude, and the measures did not bring about the great changes that had been hoped for. The nationalist revolt of the Poles in 1863, and the fact that a large number of wealthy Jews were found to have funded some of the rebels cast new doubts on Jewish loyalty. Having emancipated the peasantry and adopted a paternalistic concern for the former serfs, the government also viewed with alarm the rapidity with which the "Jews were exploiting the unsophisticated and ignorant rural inhabitants, reducing them to a Jewish serfdom." [A27] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5 It also quickly became apparent that despite new military legislation, Jews were noticeable in their overwhelming avoidance of military service. In retaliation, the government clamped down on rural tavern ownership, and introduced more stringent recruitment procedures specifically for Jews. It has been claimed that Jews were also banned from land ownership at this time, but Klier provides evidence that Jews were still able to buy any peasant properties sold at auction for tax arrears, as well as any property within the Pale not owned by Russian gentry. [A28] Ibid.
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5)

By the end of Alexander II's reign, disillusionment with the government's policy at handling the Jewish Question was widespread. The vast majority of Jews had stubbornly persisted in the unproductive trades, continued in their antipathy to Russian culture, and refused to make any meaningful contribution to Russian society. An air of resignation swept the country. Some newspapers even advocated abolishing the Pale, if only to alleviate that region from bearing the burden of the Jews alone. Other papers opposed this "fearing for the welfare of the peasantry at a time when the cultural level of the peasantry made them an easy target for exploitation." [A29] Ibid, p.6
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5)
Meanwhile Jews were beginning to swamp higher education establishments. In Odessa, there were reports that in school after school, Jews were "driving Christians from the school benches," and "filling up the schools." [A30] Ibid.
(Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5)

On the eve of the assassination of Alexander II, Russia's Jewish Question remained unanswered. Decades of legislation had done little to change the nature of Russian Jewry, which remained ethnically, politically, and culturally homogenous. The new Jewish intelligentsia had turned on the hand that fed it, failing to encourage the adaptation of their fellow Jews, moving instead to defend them and advocate for their interests. In terms of educational and social opportunities, Jews had been given an inch and taken a mile. They had swamped the schools, and added to a group of emergent Jewish capitalists. In 1879 Russian authorities were being lobbied by a Rabbinic Commission for full emancipation, an ominous prospect for those concerned about the well-being of Russian peasantry.

The breaking point, when it came, did not emerge from the ether, but from this historical background. In part two we will examine the more immediate origins of the anti-Jewish riots and how the riots proceeded. We will do away with petty distractions, dispelling myths with facts; and as we venture into the Pale, we now do so with a more complete view of the Jew we find there.

Part Two: The Jewish Narrative

Having grounded ourselves in the history of Russia's Jewish Question, it is now time for us to turn our attention to the anti-Jewish riots of the 1880s. The following essay will first provide the reader with the standard narrative of these events advanced by Jewish contemporaries and the majority of Jewish historians -- a narrative which has overwhelmingly prevailed in the public consciousness. The latter half of the essay will be devoted to dissecting one aspect of the Jewish narrative, and explaining how events really transpired. Other aspects of the Jewish narrative will be examined in later entries in this series. While a work like this can come in for heavy criticism from certain sections of the population who may denounce it as 'revisionist,' I can only say that 'revisionism' should be at the heart of every historical work. If we blindly accept the stories that are passed down to us, we are liable to fall victim to what amounts to little more than a glorified game of Chinese whispers. And, if we taboo the right of the historian to reinterpret history in light of new research and new discoveries, then we have become far removed from anything resembling true scholarship.

In 1881 the 'Russo-Jewish Committee,' (RJC) an arm of Britain's Jewish elite, mass-produced a pamphlet entitled "The Persecution of the Jews in Russia," and began disseminating it through the press, the churches, and numerous other channels. By 1899, it was embellished and published as a short book, and today digitized copies are freely available online. [B1] By the early 20th century, the pamphlet had even spawned a four-page journal called Darkest Russia – A Weekly Record of the Struggle for Freedom , ensuring that the average British citizen did not go long without being reminded of the 'horrors' facing Russian Jews. [B2] Max Beloff, The Intellectual in Politics: And other essays , (London: Taylor and Francis, 1970) p.135 The fact that these publications were mass produced should provide an indication as to their purpose: It is clear that these publications represented one of the most ambitious propaganda campaign in Jewish history, and combined with similar efforts in the United States, they were aimed at gaining the attention of, and 'educating,' the Western nations and ensuring the primacy of the 'Jewish side of the story.' Implicit in this was not only a desire to provoke anti-Russian attitudes, but also copious amounts of sympathy for the victimized Jews -- sympathy necessary to ensure that mass Jewish chain migration to the West went on untroubled and unhindered by nativists. After all, wasn't the bigoted nativist just a step removed from the rampaging Cossack?

The first element of the narrative advanced by the RJC is essentially a manipulation of the history of Russian-Jewish relations. It holds that the Jews of Eastern Europe have been oppressed for centuries, their whole lives "hampered, from cradle to grave, by restrictive laws." [B3] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.3. It was claimed that the Russians had an unwritten law: "That no Russian Jew shall earn a living." [B4] Ibid, p.4
( The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.3.)
Russian Jews, according to the Russo-Jewish Committee, have wanted nothing more than to participate in Russian society, but have been rebuffed time and again as "heretics and aliens." The Pale is an impenetrable fortress, where every Jew "must live and die." Implicit in this interpretation of the history of Russian-Jewish relations in the belief that "the fount and origin of all the ills that assail Russian Jewry" has nothing to do with the Jews themselves, but everything to do with the Church, the State, and the Pale. In essence, the plight of the Jews was the result of nothing more than irrational hatred. Jews adopt a meek and passive role in this narrative, having committed no wrong-doing other than being Jews. They are also presented as the only victims of Russian violence. There is no acknowledgement of failed Russian efforts to break down the Jewish walls of exclusivity and claim the Jews as brothers. In fact, there is no reference at all to the walls of exclusivity. The pogroms themselves, according to the Jewish narrative, broke out following the assassination of Alexander II, when shock, anger and a desire for revenge brought this irrational, rootless hatred to the surface.

The second element of the Jewish narrative is that the government and petty officialdom had some role to play in organizing and directing the pogroms. Much disdain is heaped on the government, and petty officialdom, which was said to have been afflicted with "a chronic anti-Semitic outlook." It was claimed that when the riots began, the government was "not altogether sorry to let the excitement of the people vent itself on the Jews." [B5] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.5 In reference to the restrictive May Laws, the authors were forced to concede they had never really been enforced, but maintained that "whether moderately or rigorously applied, the May Laws still remained on the Russian Statute Book." [B6] Ibid, p.8
( The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.5)

The third element of the Jewish narrative is that the pogroms were genocidal, and that they had been organized and perpetrated by groups seeking the extermination of the Jews. The 1899 edition of "The Persecution of the Jews in Russia" included a copy of a lengthy letter written to the London Times by Nathan Joseph, Secretary of the RJC, dated November 5th, 1890. In the letter, Joseph claimed that in the present circumstances "hundreds of thousands could be exterminated," [B7] Ibid, p.36
( The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.5)
and that Russian legislation in relation to Jews represented "an instrument of torture and persecution." In sum, the Jews of Russia were claimed to be living under "a sentence of death," and it was further claimed that "the executions are proceeding." The letter ends with an appeal to "Civilized Europe" to intervene, chastise Russia, and aid the victimized Jews. [B8] Ibid, p.38.
( The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.5)

The fourth key element of the Jewish narrative is that the pogroms were extremely violent in nature. Contemporary media reports especially were the source of most of the atrocity stories, reportedly gleaned from newly-arrived 'refugees' who had given statements to the Russo-Jewish Committee about the pogroms they had fled. In these reports, which were carried very regularly by both the New York Times and the London Times , Russians were charged with having committed the most fiendish atrocities on the most enormous scale. Every Jew in the Russian Empire was under threat. Men had been ruthlessly murdered, tender infants had been dashed on the stones or roasted alive in their own homes. During a British parliamentary consultation on the pogroms in 1905, a Rabbi Michelson claimed that "the atrocities had been so fiendish that they could find no parallel even in the most barbarous annals of the most barbarous peoples." [B9] Anthony Heywood, The Russian Revolution of 1905: Centenary Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2005) p.266. The New York Times reported that during the 1903 Kishinev pogrom "babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob." [B10] "Jewish Massacre Denounced," New York Times , April 28, 1903, p.6

A common theme in most contemporary atrocity stories was the brutal rape of Jewish women, with most reports including mention of breasts being hacked off. There are literally thousands of carbon-copy reports in which it is claimed that mothers were raped alongside their daughters. There is simply not enough space to cite extensively from these articles, but they number in their thousands and are available to anyone with access to the digitized archives of any major newspaper, or the microfilm facilities at major libraries. In addition, these articles claim that whole streets inhabited by Jews had been razed, and the Jewish quarters of towns had been systematically fired.

The 'atrocity' aspect of the narrative has continued to be advanced by Jewish historians. For example Anita Shapira, in her Stanford-published, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 , claims that "each series of new riots was worse than the one preceding, as if every bloodbath provided a permit for an even worse massacre." [B11] Anita Shapira, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), p.35 Shapira further hints that the murder of Jewish babies was common during the pogroms, stating that a common worry of Russian Jews was "Will they take pity on the small babies, who do not even know yet that they are Jews?" [B12] Ibid, p.34.
(Anita Shapira, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), p.35)
She concludes one particular section on pogrom violence by stating, without referencing any evidence, that there were "numerous acts of rape," and that "many were massacred -- men, women, and children. The cruelty that marked these killings added a special dimension to the feeling of terror and shock that spread in their wake." [B13] Ibid.
(Anita Shapira, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), p.35)
Joseph Brandes, in his 2009 Immigrants to Freedom alleges, without citing evidence, that mobs "threw women and children out of the windows" of their homes, and that "heads were battered with hammers, nails were driven into bodies, eyes were gouged out and petroleum was poured over the sick found hiding in cellars and they were burned to death." [B14] Joseph Brandes, Immigrants to Freedom , (New York: Xlibris, 2009) p.171

Another crucial element to the Jewish narrative is that Russia is barbaric, ignorant, and uncivilized compared to the Jewish citizens of the country. Russia is said to be lingering in the "medieval stage of development," [B15] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.4 and in comparison to the "ignorant and superstitious peasantry," [B16] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.30 Russia's Jews are presented as an outpost of Western civilization -- they are urban, and "intellectual." The RJC publication argued that university quotas allowing 5% of the student body to be made up of Jews were insufficient for "an intellectual race." Astonishingly, it is claimed that "the root of the whole matter is racial arrogance," [B17] Ibid.
( The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.30)
though this arrogance of course is said to emanate from the Russians.

The RJC charged the government with criminal sympathy, the local authorities generally with criminal inaction, and some of the troops with active participation. The situation, they argued, was simply so hopeless and the possibility of extermination was so great, that the only way out was for the civilized nations of the West to throw open their doors and let in these poor 'Hebrews'.

And to a great extent this is exactly what the churches, the politicians, and the media agreed to. This capitulation to manipulated conscience ushered in the greatest migration in Jewish history, with profound consequences for us all. But there was just one small problem -- the vast majority of this narrative was a calculated, designed, and expertly promoted fraud, furthered by the willing participation of Russian-Jewish emigrants who wished to ease their own access to the West and obtain "relief money from Western Europe and America." [B18] Albert Lindemann, Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) p.291.

The 'Atrocities'

Let us first turn our attention to the atrocity stories. Prior to any major reports of violence, the British public was already being primed to hate the Russian government and accept the Jewish narrative. John Doyle Klier points out that the Daily Telegraph was at that time Jewish-owned, and was particularly "severe" in its reports on Russian treatment of Jews prior to 1881. [B19] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.399 In the pages of this publication, it was stated that "these Russian atrocities are only the beginning. [T]he Russian officials themselves countenance these barbarities." [B20] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.399)
Around this time in Continental Europe, Prussian Rabbi Yizhak Rülf established himself as an "intermediary" between Eastern Jewry and the West, and, according to Klier, one of his specialities was the spreading of "sensationalized accounts of mass rape." [B21] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.399)

Other major sources of pogrom atrocity stories were the New York Times , the London Times , and the Jewish World . It would be the Jewish World which furnished the majority of these tales, having sent a reporter "to visit areas that had suffered pogroms." [B22] Ibid, p.400
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.399)
Most of the other papers simply reprinted what the Jewish World reporter sent them. The atrocity stories carried by these newspapers provoked global outrage. There were large-scale public protests against Russia in Paris, Brussels, London, Vienna, and even in Melbourne, Australia. However, "it was in the United States that public indignation reached its height." Historian Edward Judge states that the American public was spurred on by reports of "brutal beatings, multiple rapes, dismemberment of corpses, senseless slaughter, painful suffering and unbearable grief." [B23] Edward Judge, Easter in Kishinev: Anatomy of a Pogrom (New York: New York University Press, 1993) p.89.

However, as John Klier states, the reports of the Jewish World 's "Special Correspondent," "raise intriguing problems for the historian." [B24] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400 While his itinerary of travel is described as "plausible," most of his accounts are "flatly contradicted by the archival record." [B25] Ibid, p.401
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
His claim that twenty rioters were killed during a pogrom in Kishinev in 1881 has been proven to be a fabrication by records which show that in that city, at that time, "there were no significant pogroms and no fatalities." [B26] Ibid
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
Other claims that he witnessed shootings of peasants on his travels have been entirely discredited due to the vast number of minor inaccuracies in those accounts.

Furthermore, Klier states that the atrocity stories compiled by the Jewish World correspondent, which went on to be so influential in manipulating Western perceptions of the events, must be treated with "extreme caution." [B27] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
The reporter "portrayed the pogroms dramatically, as great in scale and inhuman in their brutality. He reported numerous accounts where Jews were burned alive in their homes while the authorities looked on." [B28] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
There are hundreds of instances where he references the murder of children, the mutilation of women, and the biting off of fingers.

Klier states that "the author's most influential accounts, given their effect on world opinion, were his accounts of the rape and torture of girls as young as ten or twelve." [B29] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
In 1881 he reported 25 rapes in Kiev, of which five were said to have resulted in fatalities, in Odessa he claimed 11, and in Elizavetgrad he claimed 30. [B30] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
Rape featured prominently in the reports, not because rapes were common, but because rape "even more than murder and looting" was known to "generate particular outrage abroad." Klier states that "Jewish intermediaries who were channelling pogrom reports abroad were well aware of the impact of reports of rape, and it featured prominently in their accounts." [B31] Ibid, p.12
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
The two most dramatic and gruesome accounts came from Berezovka and Borispol. In fact, as the year neared its end, the reports became more and more gruesome and brutal in the details they conveyed.

There is, of course, a reason for this. As the non-Jewish public began to tire of the reports and switched their minds to the coming Christmas festivities, Klier states that records show the RJC made a conscious and calculated decision to "keep Russian Jewry before the eyes of the public." [B32] Ibid, p.404
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
A key component of this strategy was to take the accounts of the Special Correspondent and publish them in a more widely circulated and respected newspaper. They settled on the London Times , which was already predisposed to "critical editorial faulting of the Russian government." Klier further states that these evidently false reports "garnished with the prestige of The Times and devoid of any attribution, subsequently published as a separate pamphlet, and translated into a variety of European languages became the definitive Western version of the pogroms." [B33] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)

As increasingly lurid atrocity tales again captured the attention of the Gentile public, the British Government found itself under pressure to intervene. The British Government, however, adopted a more cautious approach and undertook its own independent investigations into events in the Russian Empire. Its findings, published as a "Blue Book," "presented an account of events at great variance with that offered by The Times ." [B34] Ibid, p.405. ( Correspondence Respecting the Treatment of Jews in Russia, Nos. 1 and 2, 1882, 1883)
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400)
The most notable aspect of the independent inquiry is the outright denial of mass rape. In January 1882, Consul-General Stanley objected to all of the details contained within reports published by The Times , mentioning in particular the unfounded "accounts of the violation of women." [B35] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405 He further stated that his own investigations revealed that there had been no incidences of rape during the Berezovka pogrom, that violence was rare, and that much of the disturbance was restricted to property damage. In relation to property damage in Odessa, Stanley estimated it to be around 20,000 rubles, and rejected outright the Jewish claim that damage amounted to over one million rubles.

Vice-Consul Law, another independent investigator, reported that he had visited Kiev and Odessa, and could only conclude that "I should be disinclined to believe in any stories of women having been outraged in those towns." [B36] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
Another investigator, Colonel Francis Maude, visited Warsaw and said that he could "not attach any importance" to atrocity reports emanating from that city. [B37] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
At Elizavetgrad, instead of whole streets being razed to the ground, it was discovered that a small hut had lost its roof. It was further discovered that very few Jews, if any, had been intentionally killed, though some died of injuries received in the riots. These were mainly the result of conflicts between groups of Jews who defended their taverns and rioters seeking alcohol. The small number of Jews who had been intentionally killed had fallen victim to unstable individuals who had been drunk on Jewish liquor -- accusations of murderous intent among the masses were simply unfounded and unsubstantiated by the evidence.

When these reports were made public, states Klier, they represented "a serious setback for the protest and aid activities of the RJC." [B38] Ibid, p.405.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
The Times was forced to backtrack, but responded spitefully (and bizarrely) by stating that the indignation of the country was still justified even if the atrocities were "the creations of popular fancy." [B39] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
(Reminiscent of the JewishGen response to Ukrainian discoveries mentioned in Part 1 of this series?!)

The revelations came at a bad time for the RJC, which was at that time attempting to move the British Government to "act in some way on behalf of persecuted Russian Jewry." [B40] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
It resorted to republishing (in the Times ) its pamphlet on persecution in Russia twice in one month, presumably in the belief that blunt repetition would suffice to overcome tangible evidence. Klier states that the pieces were examples of "masterful" propaganda, as they attempted to undermine the credibility of the Government consuls, while sycophantically appealing to "the wise and noble people of England," who "will know what weight should be attached to such denials and refutations." [B41] Ibid, p.406.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
The RJC offered its own "corroborative evidence of the most undeniable kind," though of course the exact source of this evidence was not specified beyond "persons occupying high official positions in the Jewish community" and "Jewish refugees."

In essence, the people of western nations were being asked to trust an anonymous Rabbi on the other side of the world rather than identifiable representatives of their own government. The pieces, states Klier, "painted the familiar picture of murder and rape," and despite the debunking statements of the consuls, "a number of mother/daughter rapes, which had already done so much to outrage British public opinion, were again repeated." [B42] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405)
Although the move for British government intervention failed, in the battle for public opinion "the RJC clearly won the day," and the Times and the RJC remained good bedfellows.

The Consuls were outraged. Stanley reiterated the fact that his intensive investigations, which he carried out at great personal cost with a serious leg injury, illustrated that " The Times' accounts of what took place at each of those places contains the greatest exaggerations, and that the account of what took place at some of those places is absolutely untrue." [B43] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.407. He related the fact that a Rabbi in Odessa had "not heard of any outrages on women there," and that the object of almost every pogrom he had investigated was simple "plunder." [B44] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.408. Enraged by the lies circulating in Britain and America, Stanley "went right to the top," interviewing state rabbis and asking for evidence and touring pogrom sites. In Odessa, where a wealth of atrocity stories had originated, he was able to confirm "one death, but no looting of synagogues or victims set alight." There was no evidence that a single rape had taken place. One state Rabbi admitted that he had not heard of any outrages of women in Berezovka and further assured Stanley that he "could with a clear conscience positively deny that any deaths or any violations had occurred there during the disturbances of last year." [B45] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.408.)
He again sent this report to his superior in London, with a note saying "This is in accordance with all the information I have received and forwarded to your Lordship, and which I think more credible than anonymous letters in The Times ." [B46] Ibid.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.408.)

Despite Stanley's best efforts the Jewish narrative advanced by the RJC, imbued with atrocity tales, has remained unalterably attached in Western perceptions of the pogroms. The Blue Book was smothered by the more visible, and oft-repeated, tales of the RJC and organisations like it around the globe. Only with the decade-long research of John Klier has some revision of this narrative, grounded in scholarship and archival evidence, been possible. In light of this evidence, one can only conclude that stories of rape, murder and mutilation were "more legendary than factual." [B47] Ibid, p. 13.
(John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.408.)
However, the task remains to further dismantle and analyse other aspects of the Jewish narrative, and to seek the true motives behind its creation.

Part Three: Anti-Jewish Riots in the Russian Empire Before 1880

We continue our series of essays examining the Russian Pogroms with this essay on the part played by Jews in provoking the disturbances. As stated in Part Two, one of the key problems with existing historiography on the pogroms (and 'anti-Semitism' generally) is that these narratives invariably argue that the plight of the Jews was the result of nothing more than irrational hatred. Jews adopt a meek and passive role in this narrative, having committed no wrong-doing other than being Jews. There is no sense of Jewish agency, and one is left with the impression that Jews historically have lacked the capacity to act in the world. In almost every single academic and popular history of the pogroms, the author blindly accepts, or willfully perpetuates, the basic premise that Jews had been hated in the Russian Empire for centuries, that this hatred was irrational and rootless, and that the outbreak of anti-Jewish riots late in the 19 th century was a 'knee-jerk' emotional response to the assassination of the Tsar and some blood libel accusations.

This is of course far from the truth, but the prevalence of this 'victim paradigm' plays two significant roles. Firstly, Jewish historiography is saturated with allusions to the "unique" status of Jews, who have suffered a "unique" hatred at the hands of successive generations of Europeans. In essence, it is the notion that Jews stand alone in the world as the quintessential "blameless victim." To allow for any sense of Jewish agency -- any argument that Jews may have in some way contributed to anti-Jewish sentiment -- is to harm the perpetuation of this paradigm. In this sense, the 'victim paradigm' also contributes heavily to the claim for Jewish uniqueness and, as Norman Finkelstein has pointed out, one can clearly see in many examples of Jewish historiography the tendency to focus not so much on the "suffering of Jews" but rather on the simple fact that "Jews suffered." [C1] Norman Finkelstein, 'The Holocaust Industry,' Index on Censorship , 29:2, 120-130, p.124 As a result, the paradigm offers no place to non-Jewish suffering. Simply put, the 'victim paradigm' is a form of secular "chosenness." This aspect of the narrative is seen, quite rightly, as a useful tool in the here and now. There is perhaps no race on earth which uses its history to justify its actions in the present quite like the Jewish people. From seeking reparations to establishing nation states, Jewish history is one of the foundation stones propping up Jewish international politics in the present. As such, Jewish history is carefully constructed and fiercely defended. The interplay between Jewish history and contemporary Jewish politics is plain to see -- I need only make reference to the terms "revisionist" and "denier" to conjure up images of puppet trials and prison cells.

Secondly, the omission of the Jewish contribution to the development of anti-Semitism (be it in a village setting or a national setting), leaves the spotlight burning all the more ferociously on the 'aggressor.' Within this context, the blameless victim is free to make the most ghastly accusations, basking in the assurance that his own role, and by extension his own character, is unimpeachable. The word of this untainted, unique, blameless victim is taken as fact -- to doubt his account is to be in league with the 'aggressor.' In Part Two we explored the manner in which the RJC took full advantage of this construct to purvey appalling, and unfounded, atrocity stories. More generally, exaggerated tales of brutality by non-Jews are commonplace in Jewish literature and historiography, and go hand in hand with images of dove-like Jews. For example, Finkelstein has pointed to Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird , a work now widely acknowledged as "the first major Holocaust hoax," as an example of this "pornography of violence." [C2] Ibid.
(Norman Finkelstein, 'The Holocaust Industry,' Index on Censorship , 29:2, 120-130, p.124)
The twin concepts of Jewish blamelessness and extreme Gentile brutality are inextricably bound up together, and supporters of one strand of the 'victim paradigm' are invariably supporters of the other. Take for example that high priest of Jewish chosenness, Elie Wiesel, who praised Kosinki's pastiche of sadomasochistic fantasies as "written with deep sincerity and sensitivity." [C3] Ibid, p.125.
(Norman Finkelstein, 'The Holocaust Industry,' Index on Censorship , 29:2, 120-130, p.124)

Having clarified this theoretical framework, we now turn our attention to deconstructing the second strand of the pogrom 'victim paradigm.' To deal most effectively with the question of Jewish culpability in the souring of relations between Jews and non-Jews, we will need to probe deeper, and with more focus, than we endeavored to do in Part One. This essay will focus on specific examples of anti-Jewish disturbance in the Russian Empire prior to 1880, with a particular focus on Jewish economic practices preceding these events.

For the reasons discussed above, the majority of Jewish historians have long displayed an aversion to the idea that Jewish economic practices have played a significant role historically in provoking anti-Semitism. For example, Leon Poliakov in The History of anti-Semitism: From Voltaire to Wagner , argues that the idea of economic anti-Semitism is "devoid of real explanatory value." [C4] Leon Poliakov The History of anti-Semitism: From Voltaire to Wagner (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) p.viii Similarly, Jonathan Freedman has stated that, in explaining anti-Jewish attitudes, economic anti-Semitism should play only a very "small explanatory role." [C5] Jonathan Freedman, The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p.60. Both of these historians posit that theology, and by extension Christianity (and therefore Western culture) is the fount and origin of anti-Semitism. Robert Weinberg, in his 1998 article on Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History , explains anti-Semitic outbreaks of violence in Eastern Europe by stating that they were the product of "the frustrations of Russian and Ukrainian peasants, workers and town dwellers who, for the most part, spontaneously took out their frustrations on a time-honored scapegoat, the Jews." [C6] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.72 Weinberg refrains from stating where precisely these 'frustrations' emerge from, but note again the extremely passive Jewish role in his analysis.

Conversely, those historians who have accepted that economic issues have played a role in provoking anti-Semitism fail to engage in actual case studies of economically provoked anti-Jewish actions, preferring instead to probe "images" or stereotypes which allegedly infuse the consciousness of non-Jews. For example Professor of Israel Studies at Oxford University, Derek J. Penslar, has stated that economic anti-Semitism is nothing more than "a double helix of intersecting paradigms, the first associating the Jew with paupers and savages and the second conceiving of Jews as conspirators, leaders of a financial cabal seeking global domination." [C7] Derek J. Penslar, Shylock's Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001) p.13. By choosing to discuss "images" and concepts rather than say, an actual incident such as the Limerick Anti-Jewish Riots, Penslar engages in a practice equally duplicitous to that engaged in by Poliakov and Freedman. Penslar's thesis only superficially acknowledges the economic role, while really lending more weight to the argument that European society has suffered some kind of neurosis in relation to its Jews. Penslar deftly offers us an argument in which Jews and economics play a role in the development of an anti-Semitic "image," without placing the Jew in anything but a passive role. Penslar's "images" are also devoid of gradation -- Europeans, if they hold to economically motivated anti-Semitism, either view Jews as pauper savages or global financiers. This despite the case that most European peasants simply didn't need to have these extreme conceptions of Jews, and probably didn't. Exploitative economic practices by local Jewish capitalists, the existence of local Jewish monopolies on such items as alcohol, and the Jewish practice of in-group/out-group ethics would be more than sufficient to provoke anti-Jewish resentment.

But references to this motivation for anti-Jewish action is entirely absent from Jewish historiography on the causes of anti-Semitism, most likely because it comes extremely close to demolishing the 'victim paradigm.' This essay, which focuses on actual case studies (in particular the city of Odessa), will argue that the anti-Jewish riots of the 1880s, like many riots before them, were motivated by economic anti-Semitism, and that this economic anti-Semitism had its origins not in the European psyche, but in the day to day economic interactions of Jews had with the non-Jews of Odessa. It attempts to rediscover the Jewish role, and to place it front and centre.

The first disturbance involving Jews to occur in the Russian Empire, and which left sufficient documentation, was the 1821 Odessa pogrom. Weinberg has painted a picture of Odessa as being some kind of multicultural heaven at this time. He states that the city "benefited from the presence of German, Italian, French, Greek, and English residents whose cultural and intellectual tastes influenced local life." [C8] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.73 By the 1820s street signs were written in Russian and Italian, the city's first newspaper appeared in French. Odessa, according to Weinberg, had a thriving art scene, particularly in relation to theatre, music, and opera.

However, Klier paints a radically different picture of the city, stressing in particular the ethnic tension created by increasing Jewish settlement in the city. Klier states that by 1821, Odessa was "a hotbed of ethnic, religious, and economic rivalries" and was, quite significantly, "a distinctly non-Russian city." [C9] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.15 Weinberg explains that "the number of Jews arriving from other parts of the Russian Empire and Galicia in the Austrian Empire skyrocketed." In Odessa, Jews were entirely free from "legal burdens and residency restrictions." [C10] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.73

Violence erupted in 1821 when, during the Greek War of Independence, a group of Muslims and Jews murdered and then mutilated Gregory V, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Istanbul. In the aftermath, many Greeks fled with Gregory's remains from Istanbul to Odessa, where his funeral procession was held. Surviving documents suggest that violence broke out when a large contingent of Odessa's Jewish population showed open disrespect for the procession. [C11] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p.16.

In describing this and subsequent outbreaks of violence in Odessa, I must urge readers to divest themselves of the preconception that the Jewish contingent of the city was a tiny minority. Jewish historians are often quick to allude to minority status without providing definitive numbers. John Doyle Klier, however, informs us that by the middle of the nineteenth century Jews constituted "almost one-third of the total population" in Odessa. [C12] Ibid.
(John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p.16.)
Given the huge population of Greeks and other nationalities, it was the Russians who composed the "tiny minority." Economic supremacy in the city until the middle of the nineteenth century was the preserve of the Greek population, which had fended off the attempts of numerous other ethnic groups to "secure or maintain a favored economic position." [C13] Ibid, p.15
(John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p.16.)

When a huge influx of Jews occurred in the 1850s, the struggle for economic supremacy between Jew and Greek, added to historical religiopolitical grievances, contributed to increased inter-ethnic tension in the city. Greek historian Evridiki Sifneos informs us that earlier co-existence had "not been based on mutual toleration. On the contrary, economic recession in the second half of the nineteenth century accelerated ethnic distinctions, and resentment was provoked by the ascension of social or ethnic groups [primarily Jewish], which led to the redistribution of resources." [C14] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.191 Until the mid-1850s, the Greeks had control of grain exports, but with the disruption of trade routes as a result of the Crimean War, some local Greek business owners were forced into bankruptcy. The city's Jews, who had earlier occupied mainly middleman roles, pooled resources and eagerly bought up these businesses at extremely low prices. A letter from one Greek contemporary reads: "When I first came to Odessa in 1864, I became a purchaser of grain on behalf of our house, 14 at Moldovanka. The majority were Greeks, with a few Russian middlemen. Now there are no Russians, and as for the Greeks they are counted on the fingers of one hand. Jews are the ones who have taken over the market." [C15] Ibid, p.195
(Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.191)
According to Sifneos, Jews took advantage of the placement of their taverns in the villages to establish themselves as middlemen in the collection of grain from the surrounding countryside, and in addition "they worked more tightly within their ethnic network." [C16] Ibid, p.196
(Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.191)

Weinberg further states that when "Jewish employers followed the practice of only hiring their own, many Greek dockworkers now found themselves in the ranks of the unemployed." [C17] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.75. When it became apparent that Jews had wrested economic supremacy from the Greeks in 1858, incidences of inter-ethnic violence began to escalate in frequency. In 1858 there were attacks on Greek and Jewish property, and numerous "Greek-Jewish brawls" in the city, and in 1859 a quarrel between Greek and Jewish children again escalated into full-scale inter-ethnic conflict. Violence was ended thanks only to the intervention of Russian police and Cossacks. [C18] Ibid, p.18
(Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.75.)
A major bout of Greek-Jewish violence occurred again in 1869.

How do we describe such events? In light of the context of these disturbances, does the term "pogrom" or "anti-Jewish riot" withstand scrutiny? Certainly not. Note my use of the terms "inter-ethnic violence" and "disturbance involving Jews." These terms do not feature in Jewish historiography on these events. "Anti-Jewish riot" or "pogrom" is merely part of the lexicon of the 'victim paradigm,' bequeathing passive status even through word use. To express it flippantly, when Tom and Bill have a fight in the street, one does not describe it as "anti-Tom violence." This automatically imparts passive, victim status to Tom, despite the fact that he may have started the fight, and certainly threw as many punches. Weinberg, for example, describes the 1859 disturbance as "anti-Jewish activity," but states that both "Jewish and gentile youths engaged in bloody brawls." [C19] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.74 This is an obvious contradiction in terms.

It is only in 1871, during a particularly severe bout of disturbances, that we see the first Russian involvement in Odessa's inter-ethnic violence. The late John Doyle Klier, formerly Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford University, informs us categorically that Russian involvement in the 1871 Odessa ethnic conflict had its roots in real, tangible economic grievances. Klier states that Russian participation was the result of "bitterness born of the exploitation of their work by Jews and the ability of the latter to enrich themselves and manipulate all manner of trade and commercial activity." [C20] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.21 Similarly, Weinberg concedes that by 1871, there were "many others besides Greeks who perceived Jews as an economic threat." [C21] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.75.

The roots of the 1871 disturbance are quite tangible, and there is a tremendous amount of evidence suggesting it was the result of real socio-economic grievances, rather than "images," "stereotypes," or any of the other usual suspects wheeled out in Jewish historiography. Brian Horowitz, Chair of Jewish Studies at Tulane University argues that by 1870 Jewish economic and social cohesiveness had been further enhanced in Odessa by founding of a branch of the Society for the Promotion of Enlightenment, an organization dedicated to in-group philanthropy as well as "alternative politics" whereby members "did not contact the government as an intercessor." [C22] Brian Horowitz, How Jewish was Odessa ? : In this respect, it was the kahal -lite, and it had a significant positive impact on the wealth of Odessa Jewry. Klier states that under this organisation, the Jewish grip on the economic life of the city grew stronger, and that Russian government reports from 1871 attribute the disturbance above all to the fact that "the economic domination of the Jews in the area produced abnormal relations between Christians and Jews." [C23] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.22 By 1871, Jewish economic domination had moved beyond grain exports. A US consular report from that year reveals the extent of Jewish control over Odessa's economic life. It reports that Jews in the city "occupy themselves with trade and favoring their own class or sect, that is that their combinations, in a great many instances, amount almost to monopolies. The common remark, therefore, is that 'everything is in the hands of the Jews.' To sell or buy a house, a horse, a carriage, to rent a lodging or contract for a loan, to engage a governess, and sometimes even to marry a wife the Jew gets his percent as a "go between." The poor laborer, the hungry soldier, the land proprietor, the money capitalist, and in fact every producer and every consumer is obliged in one way or another to pay tribute to the Jew." [C24] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.198

Impoverished Greeks, Russians and Ukrainians looked on at increasingly ostentatious displays of Jewish wealth. In fact, Sifneos states that contemporary correspondence reveals that during the disturbances, many of Odessa's Jews attributed the trouble "to the widespread resentment against the growing prosperity of their community." [C25] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.193 Sifneos also informs us that demographic shifts in the city were of extreme importance in creating unease among non-Jewish populations. In line with increasing wealth, the 1897 census revealed that during the preceding two decades Odessa Jewry was undergoing an extremely rapid demographic explosion, and that Odessa was "rapidly becoming a predominantly Jewish city." [C26] Ibid.
(Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.193)
To put this into some kind of perspective, the 1897 Odessa census reveals that by that date there were 5,086 Greek speakers, 10,248 German speakers, 1,137 French speakers, and 124,520 Yiddish speakers. The census further revealed that while almost all of the Greek and French speakers were predominantly residing in the inner city slum areas, a huge 54% of Odessa's Jews were living in the middle-class suburbs of Petropavlovsky, Mikhailovsky, and Peresipsky. [C27] Ibid.
(Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.193)

To conclude, when inter-ethnic violence broke out in 1871, it was not rooted in irrationality, but was quite obviously, as Sifneos argues, a desperate attempt to "weaken the economic power of the Jews." [C28] Ibid.
(Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.193)
In this context, we see the Jews of Odessa emerge from their passive role in the shadows of Jewish historiography, and how they truly appear in the cold light of day.


[A1] John Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011) p.xiii.

[A2] Jack Glazier, Dispersing the Ghetto: The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America (New York: Cornell University Press, 1998) p.9.

[A3] Donald Dutton, The Psychology of Genocide, Massacres and Extreme Violence (New York: Prager, 2007 ) p.40

[A4] Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) p.142.

[A5] I.M. Aronson, 'Geographical and Socioeconomic factors in the 1881 Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia,' Russian Review , Vol.39, No.1 (Jan. 1980) p.18.

[A6] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.xiv.

[A7] Israel Bartal, The Jews of Eastern Europe: 1772-1881 , (Tel Aviv, Ministry of Defence, 2005) p.23.

[A8] Ibid, p.24.

[A9] Israel Friedlander, The Jews of Russia and Poland , (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1915), p.84.

[A10] Ibid.

[A11] Ibid, p.85.

[A12] Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173

[A13] Ibid.

[A14] Ibid, p.87.

[A15] Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland , (Bergenfield: Avontayu, 2000), p.173

[A16] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.4.



[A19] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.3.

[A20] Ibid.

[A21] Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962) p.56.

[A22] Ibid.

[A23] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.4

[A24] Ibid.

[A25] Ibid.

[A26] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5

[A27] Klier, Russians, Jews, and the Pogroms of 1881-2 , p.5

[A28] Ibid.

[A29] Ibid, p.6

[A30] Ibid.


[B2] Max Beloff, The Intellectual in Politics: And other essays , (London: Taylor and Francis, 1970) p.135

[B3] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.3.

[B4] Ibid, p.4

[B5] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.5

[B6] Ibid, p.8

[B7] Ibid, p.36

[B8] Ibid, p.38.

[B9] Anthony Heywood, The Russian Revolution of 1905: Centenary Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2005) p.266.

[B10] "Jewish Massacre Denounced," New York Times , April 28, 1903, p.6

[B11] Anita Shapira, Land and Power: The Zionist Resort to Force, 1881-1948 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), p.35

[B12] Ibid, p.34.

[B13] Ibid.

[B14] Joseph Brandes, Immigrants to Freedom , (New York: Xlibris, 2009) p.171

[B15] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.4

[B16] The Persecution of the Jews in Russia , (London: Russo-Jewish Committee, 1899), p.30

[B17] Ibid.

[B18] Albert Lindemann, Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) p.291.

[B19] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.399

[B20] Ibid.

[B21] Ibid.

[B22] Ibid, p.400

[B23] Edward Judge, Easter in Kishinev: Anatomy of a Pogrom (New York: New York University Press, 1993) p.89.

[B24] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.400

[B25] Ibid, p.401

[B26] Ibid

[B27] Ibid.

[B28] Ibid.

[B29] Ibid.

[B30] Ibid.

[B31] Ibid, p.12

[B32] Ibid, p.404

[B33] Ibid.

[B34] Ibid, p.405. ( Correspondence Respecting the Treatment of Jews in Russia, Nos. 1 and 2, 1882, 1883)

[B35] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.405

[B36] Ibid.

[B37] Ibid.

[B38] Ibid, p.405.

[B39] Ibid.

[B40] Ibid.

[B41] Ibid, p.406.

[B42] Ibid.

[B43] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.407.

[B44] John Doyle Klier, Russians, Jews and the Pogroms of 1881-82 , p.408.

[B45] Ibid.

[B46] Ibid.

[B47] Ibid, p. 13.

[C1] Norman Finkelstein, 'The Holocaust Industry,' Index on Censorship , 29:2, 120-130, p.124

[C2] Ibid.

[C3] Ibid, p.125.

[C4] Leon Poliakov The History of anti-Semitism: From Voltaire to Wagner (Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) p.viii

[C5] Jonathan Freedman, The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) p.60.

[C6] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.72

[C7] Derek J. Penslar, Shylock's Children: Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001) p.13.

[C8] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.73

[C9] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.15

[C10] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.73

[C11] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p.16.

[C12] Ibid.

[C13] Ibid, p.15

[C14] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.191

[C15] Ibid, p.195

[C16] Ibid, p.196

[C17] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.75.

[C18] Ibid, p.18

[C19] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.74

[C20] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.21

[C21] Robert Weinberg, 'Visualizing Pogroms in Russian History,' Jewish History , Vol.12 (1998), 71-92, p.75.

[C22] Brian Horowitz, How Jewish was Odessa ? :

[C23] John Klier, Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History , (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) p.22

[C24] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.198

[C25] Evridiki Sifneos, 'The Dark Side of the Moon: Rivalry and Riots for Shelter and Occupation Between the Greek and Jewish Populations in multi-ethnic Nineteenth Century Odessa,' The Historical Review , Vol.3 (2006), p.193

[C26] Ibid.

[C27] Ibid.

[C28] Ibid.

mcohen , says: July 22, 2019 at 6:04 am GMT

Another attack on the jewish people by a white christian right liar thinly disguised as a historical account.if it is not the palestinian cause then it is some other propaganda fantasy.
The truth is that these articles are an attempt to discredit judaism solely for the purposes of promoting a modern crusade on behalf of chritianity.This is not about supporting the Palestinian cause or the arab people who have been attacked in endless wars these past decade.
This is about christian right wing fundamentalists hoping to capture jerusalem.
I hope that there are those ordinary Christian who see through this charade of evil that speaks in there name
Greg Bacon , says: Website July 22, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
The definitive story of the Jews in Russia is by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "200 Years Together A history of Russia and the Jews."

It's an excellent book, which you'll only find online to read, since no publisher in the West has had the audacity to print these truths so finely elaborated by Solzhenitsyn. You'll see that Russian Jews took advantage of their nation, refusing to pay taxes or let their sons be drafted. Their main contribution to Russia was money lending using usury and operating bars and stills.

As money lenders, they were ruthless, demanding full payment from farmers, even during bad crop seasons. Add in the booze factor, and sooner or later, the local Russians would rise up and toss out the bankers, sometimes rather violently.

Three different Czars that tried to right this malady wound up being assassinated, by whom you can already guess. Naturally, even though its accurately documented, it's been branded as being anti-Semitic, as many truths are.

Truth3 , says: July 22, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
Russians have always hated Jews, and for numerous good reasons.

The fact that Jews greatly exaggerated the conflicts with Russian peasants is obvious for a whole host of reasons.

When the Bolshevik Jews overthrew the government and killed the Czar and Royal Family, the Russian people were left helpless against the black leather coat wearing, pistol carrying, Russian peasant and Christianity hating Jew Chekist.

Tens of Millions of Russian Christians were killed.

Pogroms? Hardly worth noting.

The situation is very much akin to Palestine.

Jews kill on the order of 100:1, but the propaganda would make you think otherwise.

Mikhail , says: Website July 22, 2019 at 9:13 am GMT
A thought provoking piece for sure. Regarding the aforementioned (in the article) Cossacks and Fiddler on the Roof

joeshittheragman , says: July 22, 2019 at 9:50 am GMT
The rule of thumb is, everything jews say is a lie, including the words, and, and the
Fayez chergui , says: July 22, 2019 at 10:51 am GMT
To understand the myth of pogroms one has to read Alexandre Soljenistyne' book: two century together.
Jacques Sheete , says: July 22, 2019 at 10:55 am GMT

Subsequent articles will concern the pogroms themselves and how myth and exaggeration have plagued our conception of them.

Myth? Ya gotta be kidding. They wouldn't exaggerate something like that, would they? Wink, wink!

Annono56 , says: July 22, 2019 at 11:12 am GMT
"Little or no historiography has been dedicated to peeling back the layers of "refugee" stories to uncover what really happened in the Russian Empire in the years before and during the riots."

Alexander Solzhenitsyn did an exhaustive, balanced and masterful analysis of these years in his book "200 Years Together".

Kartoffelstampfer , says: July 22, 2019 at 11:13 am GMT

For example, University of British Columbia Professor, Donald G. Dutton has asserted that the mobs were not motivated by "the sudden rapid increase of the Jewish urban population, the extraordinary economic success of Russian Jews, or the involvement of Jews in Russian revolutionary politics" but rather by the "blood libel."

The author makes it sound like all over the Pale Russian peasants got upset because Jews were being falsely libeled. The reality here is that Rabbi's were getting powerful and sloppy. They were getting caught draining the blood from Christian boys and performing other satanic rituals, just as they have everywhere else they have been allowed to form their colonies.

Violence erupted in 1821 when, during the Greek War of Independence, a group of Muslims and Jews murdered and then mutilated Gregory V

Jews and Muslims working hand in hand to murder and mutilate Christians. Gods Chosen People and the people of Gods Religion of Peace expose their true genocidal nature century after century after century.

Speed 'n' Weed , says: July 22, 2019 at 11:18 am GMT
It's hard for me to dig up so much as a shred of sympathy for muh pogroms when you compare it to the gentile body count of genocidal jews from the Cheka all the way up to the modern IDF.
Cry me a river Shlomo.
"So harrible!!! Six million tears I swea-ahh!"
Jacques Sheete , says: July 22, 2019 at 11:27 am GMT

The poor laborer, the hungry soldier, the land proprietor, the money capitalist, and in fact every producer and every consumer is obliged in one way or another to pay tribute to the Jew."

There you have it.

Moi , says: July 22, 2019 at 12:32 pm GMT
@mcohen But Mr. Maga (aka Sunkist) has already handed over Jerusalem–and the Golan Heights, and, effectively the West Bank–to the Jews. Yahweh works in mysterious ways, mon ami.
Moi , says: July 22, 2019 at 12:34 pm GMT
@Kartoffelstampfer And how many Muslims have we killed since 9/11. Do tell.
Moi , says: July 22, 2019 at 12:35 pm GMT
@Truth3 A Jew killing goyim is of no consequence
geokat62 , says: July 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

Three different Czars that tried to right this malady wound up being assassinated, by whom you can already guess.

Three Russian tsars and one American prince of Camelot by whom you can already guess.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website July 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
There was a grand total of about a couple of thousand deaths during all the late Imperial era pogroms, which occurred precisely when state authority disappeared, as in 1905.

For comparison, that's about a week's worth of work for the (40% Jewish) NKVD in 1937-38.

Jake , says: July 22, 2019 at 12:48 pm GMT
"On the eve of the assassination of Alexander II, Russia's Jewish Question remained unanswered. Decades of legislation had done little to change the nature of Russian Jewry, which remained ethnically, politically, and culturally homogenous."

And that culture was expressed in Yiddish, in German. Russian-ruled Jews remained linguistically Germanic by choice.

[Feb 19, 2019] Why Does Joseph Stalin Matter

Very superficial treatment of the issue...
Jan 25, 2018 |

Recorded on January 25, 2018.

"Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, creator of great power, and destroyer of tens of millions of lives " Thus begins this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, which dives into the biography of Joseph Stalin. This episode's guest, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941( ), examines the political career of Joseph Stalin in the years leading up to World War II, his domination over the Soviet Union, and the terror he inspired by the Great Purge from 1936–38.

"Why does Joseph Stalin matter?" is a key question for Kotkin, as he explains the history of the Soviet Union and Stalin's enduring impact on his country and the world. Kotkin argues that Stalin is the "gold standard for dictatorships" in regard to the amount of power he managed to obtain and wield throughout his lifetime. Stalin stands out because not only was he able to build a massive amount of military power, he managed to stay in power for three decades, much longer than any comparable dictator.

Kotkin and Robinson discuss collectivization and communism and how Stalin's regime believed it had to eradicate capitalism within the USSR even in regions where capitalism was bringing economic success to the peasants, with the potential of destabilizing the regime. This led to the Great Purge, a campaign of political repression that resulted in the exile and execution of millions of people.

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Andris Falks , 7 months ago

Stalin is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued people that ever lived and it is no wonder - much of history of Russia is secretive and hidden and you can understand Stalin only if you know history of Russia itself. First of all you have to realize this - revolution of 1917 was initiated from abroad, mainly from UK, France and most importantly Germany, what followed was civil war and multiple interventions from all superpowers of that time. Second you have to understood this - civil war was the bloodiest thing that ever happened in Russian history, yes even more so then ww2. Even tho it seems very obvious no historians understand this one very crucial thing - this civil war + interventions + ww1 made sure that people of Russia became very cruel, violent and nihilistic and this is most important - they did not speak any other language then violence anymore. Third, you have to understand one thing very clearly - Stalin knew it was only a matter of time before western countries will attack Russia again, when in 1933 Hitler, who clearly wrote in Mein Kampf that he will in fact attack Russia, came to power, it was a matter of years, not decades when the attack will begin. Stalin had to industrialize or Russia would perish forever. Yes, there was a lot of things done by Stalin that looking form our perspective today seems like a crime against humanity, but let me tell you this - if you had a country full with men, who had seen death, endless death and cruelty, and if you had understanding that either you take these men and organize them and repair and prepare country for war that was coming or Russia will perish, it would be inevitable for anyone to make such inhumane decisions, or even worse decisions. Imagine what would have happened if Stalin had not acted the way he did. Imagine if he had not re industrialized Russia? Hitler defeated combined armies of France and UK in a month. MONTH. If Russia, at that time, had someone in charge, who would not make these seemingly inhuman decisions, we would be reading about Russians in history books. I know people who had suffered from Stalins repressions. It was horrible. Could Stalin have done it without all of these inhumane things. I would say it was impossible - it would have taken too long, if at all possible, and chances are Stalin would have been killed himself. Let me repeat this once more - tragic history of ww1, interventions from all superpowers of that time and civil war made Russians understand only one language, that of the violence. Truth is even to this day there is deep trauma in Russian psyche which has not healed, to think, to hope, to be able to stop that chaos and create some order, yes brutal, bloody, but still order, was a titanic undertaking, undertaking that in my opinion knows no equal in modern history. Very existence of modern civilization, even the possibility to look at Stalin and say he is a murderer and dictator, is only possible because Stalin made order out of utter chaos of endless violence that was Russia in time to prepare for war and to defeat Hitler. No serious thinker can argue, that if Russia had fallen there would be a force in world that could stop Hitler. Had Hitler had resources of Russia it would have been game over for any opposing force, so before spitting on Stalins grave be sure to remember that.

Seekthetruth3000 , 2 months ago

Stalin was a certified violent psychopath like Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Khomeini...etc.

kathleen smith , 3 months ago

Mao did the same exact thing -- Watch and see if the same thing happens here in the US. All the US idiots that supported the financial destruction of the US will find the same fate.

ap5170 , 1 month ago

Our nations education system has done a serious disservice to our countrymen by not teaching the horrors of communism at the same level as they teach about the nazis. Both serve in their equal way as a reminder of how extremists can over take a nation and they death they leave in their wake.

Pineapplaplatypotamus , 2 months ago

This guy has a way of making an extremely interesting subject incredibly boring. All dry details, no insight or interesting conclusions. How would anyone remember this video without any connection to the rest of life?

Leonid Linberg , 2 months ago

I know that Stalin is terrible..., but who did all those atrocities? People, many people. Not a small group of tens or even hundreds maniacs, but millions of people directly or indirectly participated in those crimes and they had incentives to do just that. Why now Russians don't want to talk about it? Because there is a blood on hands of their ancestors and many of them are the direct beneficiaries of those crimes. Stalin is terrible..., but he expressed the will of a huge portion of the population. Without a support of millions he alone could not do it . Who will have a courage to write a book about that?

Morpheus , 8 months ago

His analysis is wrong, Stalin installed Orwellin facism. It's the Coinflip between Hitler and Stalin, Kapitalist facism and Kommunist facism. Both are equal... Hitler would have killed as much and even more people if he had the time...

Robert 0077 , 2 weeks ago

And they criticise Hoover for being anti communist and going after communists rats in Uncle Sams cabin if only the majority of people in Western society read about the history of communism and how 100 million people ended up dying because of it but they're ignorant and don't care while its gaining momentum in our country and people in Russia are having nostalgia for Stalin. It should be mandatory in schools to read about Stalin, lenin, Mao and Castro.

First Last , 8 months ago

The power of ideology over common sense.. "They believed that capitalism is evil", the moment one believes into something by definition it means without the support of the facts, like believing into JC being part of trinity, called God. The same devastating results. Now we have the new progressive left falling into the same trap of neo Marxism that is destroying the west.

Francis L Mayer , 1 month ago (edited)

This shows how ideology is all bogus, Communism and Capitalism. The fact is that integrity and justice is what builds wealth, not ideologies that are all destabilizing. Justice demands that people are rewarded for their labors and note that things went well when the working peasants owned and worked without coercion. When capitalism becomes coercive it is no different than communism. Justice, freewill and integrity is everything and that is what builds wealth. Greed and selfishness and lust for power destroys everything. Communism brought collectivization and incorporation of wealth brings the same thing since not it is not the collective that owns everything in capitalism but in reality the same thing called the corporation that actually becomes essentially a monopoly that mimics a communist collective. Small businesses and companies, not corporations, in a truly democratic and competitive structure has produced great wealth. If you look at where the jobs are being generated and where wealth for the average person is being generated, it is small businesses in a fair market system.

Рафаил Курмаев , 7 months ago (edited)

I like it when someone of Jewish descent dares to critisize Stalin. Stalin contributed a lot to saving Jewry from physical extermination, to foundation of Israel, lots of Russian/Soviet elite members were of Jewish descent etc. I think this is the only case when it is appropriate to say: "Don't like Stalin? Go and kill yourself", because if you really do not appreciate him, you do not appreciate what he did, like saving your life, in particular. The same goes to Polish, Ukrainians who claim to be especially offended by Stalin but don't want to return the geographical and other perks they got after the WWII and deny the crimes they committed (like killing the Jews in Poland 1944-1945) and were punished for by Stalin.

John Fragoulis , 7 months ago

"Collectivization enslaved 100 million people" It is fascinating really how western narratives can reach new standards of pseudo-scientific levels every day. Why Stalin matter? Because he was leader of the first free worker state since the dawn of states and he made (not alone ofc) capitalism seem soooooooo old and outdated.

Michael Calibri , 2 months ago (edited)

I still cannot get over thinking Stalin is just a low class opportunist who rode in on the coat-tails of the more visionary Lenin and then adopted whatever ideals would foster his survival. He's utilitarian crude but not even as considerate of alternatives as Mao. He simply lucked into killing who he needed like a rising mafioso. If he was intelligent he would've left Russia more in a state of compromised communism like Deng Xiaoping instead of liquidating al rivals who would foster that, realizing ideology could always resurface if power in other spheres allows. Stalin was utilitarian but not pragmatic. Stalin lasted long enough to tamper with the legacy of his story so that he left an impression that he was semi-legitimate to inherit Lenin's mantle. Stalin was the Corleone of empirical Marxism not Machiavelli. He was a deus ex machina who instead of leaving robust progressives like Mao did (they suffered but survived) who changed what was needed to thrive, decimated the hierarchy and left the weakest successors one could fathom, epitomized by Khrushchev. His rebirth is Putin. Russia needs a more Deng Xiaoping or better yet Lee Kuan Yew figure to bolster its power.

Your Muslim Brother , 2 months ago

Lol perfect example of American academics and students being so laughably indoctrinated about even some of the most simple, easily verifiable facts... These new generation of students created by capitalism and American ignorance are going to be the defeat of America

Marek Pająk , 8 months ago

Stalin destroyed his "superpower" country as soon as he created it. Please note USSR starts decaying as soon as Stalin dies. Only repression and violations of human rights kept it together as long as they did

Shabby Golem , 7 months ago

(((Joseph Stalin)))........I can't even pronounce his real name if I tried....Bullsheviks are such scums, lower than animals, lower than insects. A bunch of conniving mongrels that project their unspeakable crimes onto their victims.

Wilhelm Von Heinzerling , 7 months ago

Stalin wasn't a marxist, highlighting the progression of serfdom in the ussr is exactly the opposite of what marx's intended

firevoodoo1 , 3 months ago (edited)

This guy understood almost nothing (judging from interview, didn't read the book). Collectivization was the tool to create market for industrialization. Individual peasant farms were too poor to buy tractors and other expensive products of Soviet industrial revolution of 1920-th. Collective farms were able (and ordered) to do so. Not defending moral side here just like moral side "Enclosure" – immediate prerequisite of British industrialization of XVI century. Idea was the same – creation of industrial might on the back of peasants. Big deal. Btw among my ancestors were Kulaks (meaning "Fist" in Russian, quite pre-communist peasant term describing peasant "bankers" who lent seeds and equipment to poor peasants for interest) so I'm not in position to defend commies but just amused to hear this rubbish. As for repressions of mid 1930-th. Stalin (like everybody else) knew who (Western bankers) and why (to crush Soviet Union) took Hitler to power. From that moment on Soviet Union was preparing for war. Btw not only with Germany but with United Europe. It is easier to list EU countries which didn't invade us in 1941: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Great Britain and Turkey. Except for Great Britain all of them traded, got diplomatic relations etc. with Germany (including btw US till 1942 when Hitler declared war to US lol). Anyways those repressions cleansed Soviet ruling class of old commie demagogues good for nothing expect babbling. Especially the army. Btw in 1944 Goebbels realized (in his diary) how genius it was: Hitler's generals were old tards in their mid-70-th at best, while Soviet generals were in their mid-40-th – ambitious and energetic. The same was true for civil administration. Anyways I'm not defending SU (after all it failed, whatever the reason) I'm just amazed to see the guy who is actually knowledgeable on details but fails to understand the general picture so-to-speak.

Hunt w , 8 months ago (edited)

I get annoyed when Communist sympathizers (Tankies) suggest that there is no other alternative than unrestrained capitalism and Marxism. I disagree. There of course, is the middle-way between socialism and capitalism. West Germany, Adenauer, and Erhard enshrined this with their "social market economy", robust social welfare programs and the free-market system operating within it.

np 1993 , 2 months ago (edited)

You Westerners, especially Americans (both liberals and conservatives) are obsessed by the crimes of non western rulers and dictators and other political leaders (to the point extreme exaggeration) but you never look into your own mirror and see your own bloody crimes. If you did that would see that you were no better at all. British empire throughout its history was no better than USSR and comitted terrible attrocities around the world (just ask people of India or Africa) but no one ever calls them evil empire as they do for Soviets. If you look more deeply into the Russian history you will see that Stalin was not much different than other tyranical rulers of Russia like Peter the Great, Cathrerine the Great of Ivan the Terrible. He followed the same geopolitical doctrine established by Peter the Great (create buffer zone in the west from eastern European countries, take control of Balkan pennisula and eastern part of Mediterranean which Stalin failed, create preasure on Turkey and Persia (Iran) to secure borders which he also did, take full control of Black sea etc.) Stalin is not hated in the West just because of his crimes but mainly because he created a huge geopolitical rival . That is the very same reason why is he considered as the most popular historical figure in modern Russia.For them he is the great leader, 20th century equivalent to Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great or Putin today. Cruel but rightful, the one who will lead them to the new victories and protect them from western invasion (tbh there were multiple tries to invade Russia from west : Teutonic Knights,Poland ,Sweden, Napoleon and Hitler all tried but failed). They (Russians) see the history from their own point of view and you see it from your own, but the real truth is somewhere in the middle. This is a geopolitical battle nothing more than that. Greetings from Serbia.

John Smith , 2 days ago

So in short, because capitalists would not loan money to the USSR, USSR instead forced collectivization to raise grain to exchange for hard cash. In addition, because capitalists would not loan money to the USSR, we alienated the USSR, lost it as a potential ally against Hitler in the 30s, which allowed Germany to rise, and 55,000,000 people get killed. PLUS citizens of the capitalist nations wind up paying for that war anyway, at far higher cost than those refused loans. Thanks, capitalists! Btw this Hoover Institution interviewer could not think outside the box if his life depended on it.

John Smith , 2 days ago

No matter how hard Kotkin tries, this clueless interviewer can't appreciate history because he's so damned wedded to the status quo explanation that touts the US and condemns Stalin. Kotkin's fundamental message is that Stalin is perhaps the only man history has seen who could stand this rigorously for the principles at which the USSR was aiming. Kotkin says, the goals were there, the methods would have to be severe, Stalin followed through, hence his greatness. Interviewer responds: "Yeah the terror." Just a dolt.

kiril K , 1 month ago (edited)

Stalin has industrialized and in many ways modernized for 20-30 years a totally devastated and disorganized, vastly peasant country, at the expense of enormous political and social repressions. Fact. People forget that Russia was pretty much still a feudal country before the revolution. Was he right aiming and doing that and were there better ways - is another thing. Was he brutal and inhuman from modern western perspective - of course. But the moral judgement itself does not explain many other historical phenomena.

Slicem F , 1 month ago (edited)

Interesting, how professor jumped from "Stalin survived" to "USSR economy is back on rails", missing the part, how bad collectivisation overcame exellent private farming. While it is obviouse, that collective work on a ground is MORE productive, and even MUCH MORE productive because it can be mechanised with tracktors and other machines. Theory over reality? Ha. P.S. The farther I listern, the more I wondering, what sources this professor used. Solzhenitzin? No crisys in 193x? Ever heard about Mein Kampf? 830000 killed in 1936-1938? Where are those numbers came from? Official NKVD internal number is about 600000 executed from 1935 to 1953. All of them including common crimes like murder. And it`s crosscheked. Read a god damn official NKVD documents. They are opened to read today.

Harry XY Roberts , 1 week ago (edited)

Just an off the wall idea, i know nix of this history but is it possible that the Terror starting in 1936 that so weakened the Soviet Union before the war that Hitler knew was coming, that Stalin is suggested to have instigated against his own regime's supporters to consolidate his own position from any challenge, could have been a Nazi psychological operation directly targeting Stalin and using his own authority against the SU in general?

Xavier Quiñones de León , 1 month ago

STALIN was a GEORGIAN SEMINARIST like other ortodox seminaristen of Gergian he hate the jews and the Otomans...Trosky said to Spanish Ambassador in Paris Don Pepe Quiñones de León in SdN that STALIN said Germans want the open Vienna to OTOMANS...German is in the hands of Otoman Turkish and only RUSSIA can save GEORGIA and ARMENIA....and Moscow was in the hands of KAUKASIANS ready to stop OTOMANS and NAZI...Ruddolf HESS was the founder ofMUSLIM BRODERHOOD in Aegypt

Sabyasachi Mitra , 3 weeks ago

Same Anglo-American propaganda to malign Russia and Stalin. The fact is it is because of Stalin Hitler could be defeated. The fact is after the war USA formed these institutions and fake historians who and rehabilitated former Nazi generals (War criminals) to malign Russia and Stalin.

np 1993 , 2 months ago (edited)

Western countries more precisely western ruling elites think that they some kind of moral highground or moral integrity to criticize other nation's leaders. The problem is they don't have minimal moral integrity to apply such criticism. Minimal moral integrity means that if we think that something wrong or bad when others do it, it is also bad when we do it. Everything else is hypocrisy. Western elites don't hate and despise Stalin not just because of his crimes or because of his ideology. Imagine that Stalin was nightmarish version Yeltsin, submissive and cooperative to the West but in the same timr tyranical and merciless to his own people (somethin like Saudia Arabia but 10 times worse). Nobody would say anything , they would just pretend that nothing happened. Stalin strenghtened Ŕussia like no other Russian leader before even Peter the Great can't come close to him. Under Stalin's rule Russia/USSR evolved from agrarian country that was ripped apart by war with illiterate mostly rural population with no health care to powerful industrial war machine, with modern infrastructure and science, with millitary that was able to compete with Hitler (and defeat him) and later with USA, that had nuclear weapons that still protect Russia. From agrarian society to nuclear superpower and independent geopolitical rival with second most powerful economy right after USA (until Brezhnev era of stagnation). This is the main reason why West hates him (similar can be applied to Putin today but to much lesser degree).This is also the only side that most Russians see about Stalin, and usualy ignore the other much darker side of his rule. Never before in Russian history so many people were shot and sent to death camps-Gulag. Never before in history of Russia so many people died from hunger or were forcibly moved from their homes. It was a reing of remarkable political terror, time of purges of anyone who thought different from main party line. This is what West heavily exploits in their propaganda to the point when it becomes ridiculous. Similar can be said about communist China and Mao Zedong. Communist victory in 1949 was labelled by Americans as "the loss of China". What was exactly lost? Did China dissapear from the face of earth? None of that, the only thing that was lost is Western influence over China. For more than 100 years China was under Western and Japanese influence (100 years of humilliation as Chinese would say). Chinese people were humilliated and killed, their former empire's treasures looted, strategic parts of territory taken away by British and Japanese, with any atempt of rebellion or reformation by standards of western democracy crushed ruthlessly by either by West (British,French and Americans) or by Japanese and their chinese warlord puppets . When communista won everyone was outraged because China finally become independent and free from foreing occupation, therefore becoming a rival. They don't care about democracy or human rights, they just don't want you to be independent and have control over your territory and natural resources. Democratic or despotic it doesn't matter at all, only what matters is are you independent or not.

Comrade Soros , 8 months ago

Oh please. Another propaganda piece that tells the American/Bourgeois perspective. Which is 80% bullshit and misrepresentation. Stalin was not a dictator, nor was he a genocidal maniac. This is purely American propaganda. In fact, 70% of all Russians still believe Stalin was the best figure of the 20th century. Stalin first of all did not support a dictatorship. Nor was collectivization "forcing" collectivization on "innocent peasants." In 1917, during the Russian Febuary and October Revolution, the Soviet vanguard (the leaders of the Bolsheviks) did not control most of Russia. Even into the 30's, the state could not police the entire Soviet Union. It was simply to large. Instead, local workers councils decided how their communities were run. The Soviets (A Soviet is Russian for council) decided how to manage their factories and communities. The Soviets were made up 100% of workers who willingly consented to join in a greater entity to gain democratic control over their communities. They also established workers militias and police forces. The peasants, who due to the revolution and natural famines that came after, (Russia had experienced many famines before 1917) wanted food to eat. So naturally, they went to the people who had an abundance of grain. These people were the Kulaks. The Kulaks hoarded grain so that they could artificially raise prices on the starving peasants. In response the vangaurd and local soviets told the Kulaks to hand over their grain so as to feed the hungry masses. When they refused, and helped contribute to worsening the issue of food scarcity, they were told they could either release control of their hoarded grain, or face Soviet law. This is where the whole "forced collectivization" meme comes from. Also, a collective is not state run. It is state guided. A collective, or cooperative as they are known as in most Capitalist countries was a independent entity that was run in a decentralized local fashion. Workers democratically decided most of the decisions that were made in the cooperatives/collectives. And state only served to ensure health standards and guide production. Next, the Stalin never "enforced" anything on the workers. The workers were in charge of their own destiny. You can see this in the 1936 constitution. A constitution in which Stalin fought tooth and nail to get secret ballots put in. Stalin, contrary to popular belief in the west, could not on a whim tell the NKVD to go kill Ukrainians or some shit. There was the Politburo. Which was comprised of other high ranking Soviet officials. Many of these officials opposed Stalin and his reforms. Leading to less democracy in the USSR than there should have been. Stalin tried multiple times until his death to give more power to the Soviets. However, at every turn his revisionist opponents would stop him. Stalin also was the one who mandated that the corrupt NKVD be purged after he found out about the wrongful detention of innocents. In 1939, Stalin led the purging of the NKVD and all innocent victims were released and compensated. This is quite contrary to image this video is trying to paint. As for the "muh 60-100 million dead Ukrainians!" This is also bullshit. No where in and Soviet census are these ridiculous claims found to be accurate. Under Stalin Soviet population had an annual growth of around 1.4%. During the second World War, population dropped drastically, with around 10 million dead. However the largest fall in Soviet Union population was in 1992, when the USSR fell due to traitors within the party. The same who opposed Stalin's reforms and destroyed his name. The same who allied with the enemies of the USSR. Please don't believe this libelous nonesense. This IS propaganda. If you want to know my sources just ask and I'll provide. I also suggest watching TheFinnishBolshevik if you want to see the other perspective on the USSR. One last thing, Capitalism kills 2 million each year...

nsa , 8 months ago

"Stalin is the one who did it?" quoth the pseudo-intellectual interviewer. Sure, one guy did it! What nonsense! The Holodomir was about killing the Christian middle class of the Ukraine, who were land-owning farmers (called "peasants" by rootless cosmopolitans). There is a curious religious component to bolshevism. Kaganovich and Yagoda played interesting roles in the Holodomir and other ethnic purges. The necessity of collectivization is taught by the same rootless cosmopolitans who created Stalin and implemented "change, change, change," then jumped ship for the US.

multisphere1 , 3 months ago

I have to note that both, Stalin and Hitler both were creative individuals , both were creating world around them the way they were believing it. Hitler was an artist, in his early years , Stalin , as a young boy wrote very nice poetry. The tremendous determination comes from this creative energy,which makes this individuals stand out from others. They were good or bad, let's put this in this kind of simple way, is the question of the different kind.

Brady Garnier , 8 months ago

I see a questionable statement early on: Marxism-Leninism requires collectivization of peasants. Marx and Lenin dealt with the urban proletariat without really addressing the rural economy. The Bolsheviks improvised their rural economic policies as they went and Stalin collectivized not for socialist ends, but for nationalist ends. The nation needed to take the kulaks land and force them into more efficient collectives.

Chameleon Firestorm , 2 months ago (edited)

The Hoover Institute is filled to the brim with blood-thirsty neocons, and are pushing for more wars in the middle East. The Trump regime is plundering the American people for the 0.1 percent. White fascism is emboldened, gun violence and hate crimes are rising. But yes, tell us about how some paranoic hallucinated emergent Stalinism is the greatest threat to America. The quivering voice of "I hope millennials are listening" from this blood sucking world-killer is pathetic.

Tom Clyde , 8 months ago (edited)

New Economic Policy stopped bringing benefits in the middle of 20s, stagnation and decoy, it couldn't feed all the people, to build new industry. Collectivization and industrialization solved that problem with 15% economic growth per year, non of capitalistic states could even dream about similar digitals...Hey, Kotkin, why didnt you tell how Stalin wanted to make the direct elections on every ruling positions in his 1936 Constitution to make USSR even more democratic but lost it and than Nomenklatura started repressions as an answer to destroy Stalin's crew? Stalin edited confessions.. oh my god, what a bullshit.. now i understand why westeners never understand Stalin because of freaks like this Kotkin who creates fake history.

California Girl , 1 month ago

Bolshevik revolution was envisioned and led by Jews. While Jews constituted 1.2% of Russian population, Bolshevik ;leadership was 85% Jewish. Bolsheviks murdered or starved over 20 Million people, mostly Orthodox Christians. While all are concerned about 4 Million Jews killed during WWII, nobody cares about Jewish Communists killing 20 Million people in Russia.

Seventh Anubis , 1 month ago (edited)

Take land away from the peasants? lol. You mean the landlords and the Abrahamic church. The peasants were brainwashed fools who thought jesus would be mad if they didn't serve their landlords. There were around 10,000 people executed by Stalin and Mao. Not even close to millions. Most of which were utter morons. My father lived in the USSR under Stalin and it wasn't bad or that much different than the USA. The US just put more perfume and lipstick on the pig. Like this nonsense I'm watching right now.

Alex Leaud , 2 months ago

Thank you Stalin for defeating the Nazi scum and saving Mother Russia and keeping Western degenerate retardedness out of Russia :)

jackgoldman1 , 2 months ago (edited)

Why can't you say Trotsky was a genius Jew? A great Jewish revolutionary, and Marx was a Jewish revolutionary. It's about Jews trying to create their Utopian Heaven on Earth, a perfect society, the dream of the Jews who dream of equality. Bolsheviks were mostly Jews promoting Communism, for their Utopian Holy Land. Hitler hated Jews because they supported Communism and Russia who wanted to take over Germany and it's wealth and economy. Communists DID take over Germany for fifty years. Hitler saw this coming.

Tim Moore , 2 months ago

I find it strange that Kotpic mentions 'judeo/bolshevism' once, and only in passing. Yet bolshevism is all tied up with the Jews. Trotsky was a Jewish revolutionary, who delivers seed money directly from American Jewish banker Jacob Schfiff to early Russian revolutionaries, most of whom are Jewish . Kotpic fails to inform us that many of those cadres, sent into the country side to help collectivize the farms, are themselves Jews. He makes absolutely no reference to chief Jewish lieutenants of Stalin, like kagonovich and Yagoda. These two murderous thugs are just like their boss. Does Kotpic keep these figures out of the narrative because he is a Jew as well? I don't know, but one has to wonder

Andrey Che , 8 months ago (edited)

Because Jews cannot forgive Stalin for removing Jewish Bolsheviks from the helm, stopping Lev Bronstein's (Trotsky) Permanent Revolution and disbanding their Third International! Of course it did not stop the suffering of the Russian people a bit: after millions tortured, raped and murdered by Jewish Bolsheviks during the "Russian" revolution and the ensuing bloody civil war Jews continued their work under Stalin: just check out the crimes of Lazar Kaganovich and Genrikh Yagoda (aka Yenokh Iyeguda): those are just a couple of prominent Jewish mass-murderers that are personally responsible for millions of deaths in the Ukrainian famine and in GULAG death camps that each of them created! So they keep on sulking and bemoaning that lost opportunity to impose their evil bloody Bolshevik rule on the rest of the world - and Stalin is their convenient scapegoat, including for the genocide of the Russian and the Ukrainian people that their kind has committed!

[Jul 06, 2018] Richard Fuisz - Wikipedia

Notable quotes:
"... Fuisz was prohibited from answering questions regarding the relationship between his Russian businesses and the Central Intelligence Agency – when asked if Folkon did any work for the CIA, whether it received any money from the CIA, or whether there were any links between the CIA and any of the companies operated by Fuisz, U.S. Attorney ( DOJ ) ..."
Jul 06, 2018 |

Folkon and the Soviet Union [ edit ]

In the 1980s, Fuisz was involved in a number of business ventures in the Soviet Union through Leopoldina Import-Export Inc., an international business consulting firm, and Folkon, Ltd., an oil exploration company. [14] [15] Working with a young Mikhail Khodorkovsky , then the head of the Young Communist League , Fuisz exported computers and other electronics to the Soviet Union through the Center for Scientific and Technical Creativity of the Youth , [16] and he would later claim that his business helped to supply computers to the KGB . [17] [18]

In 1988, Fuisz was approached by Yuri Dubinin , the Soviet ambassador to the United States, to set up a modeling agency that would prepare young Soviet models for American markets. [16] The first model Fuisz was to oversee was Yulia Sukhanova, the first-ever Miss USSR , but hard-liners in the Moscow City Council obstructed Fuisz's efforts to secure Sukhanova's visa .

With Khodorkovsky's assistance, he was able to smuggle Sukhanova out of the country, though upon reaching the U.S. she cut ties with Fuisz after a dispute over his commissions . In the first of two depositions regarding Fuisz's knowledge of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing , held in December 2000, Fuisz was prohibited from answering questions regarding the relationship between his Russian businesses and the Central Intelligence Agency – when asked if Folkon did any work for the CIA, whether it received any money from the CIA, or whether there were any links between the CIA and any of the companies operated by Fuisz, U.S. Attorney ( DOJ )

Anthony Coppolino raised objections precluding Fuisz's testimony on the grounds of state secrets privilege . [19] In the second deposition, held in January 2001, when asked to describe his interactions with high-level Soviet officials, Fuisz claimed to have difficulty separating information gained in his capacity as director of the modeling agency from information gained in "his employment by the government", and that he was "prohibited by a contract with the government" from providing further clarification. [20]

[Dec 23, 2017] The invasion of SU from the West (Germany, Romania, Italy and other less overt allies) left devastation and death on a scale unprecedented in human history.

Dec 23, 2017 |

Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

Just a bit related to the discussion of Eastern European revolutions above (I decided to write a new comment rather than replying because it's a general point, and also the comments are getting a little narrow on the screen).

This "advice" might seem a little suspect, given that it's coming from a social democrat/communitarian who's not sympathetic to the Soviet system, but I think there's a really important point of principle at play. People with socialist leanings/sympathy for the Soviet system often criticize Western countries, and most specifically America, for imposing its social system on other countries by violent means. The key point here is that this criticism is often framed not only on the basis of the type of system imposed, but because of the imposition itself. The idea is that neoliberal capitalism is bad in itself, so it's bad for any country to have that system, but it's even worse for a country to have that system because it was imposed by another country by force. The force itself is treated as an evil in addition to the ends to which that force is put.

This creates a huge problem for any attempt to defend the Communist governments of Eastern Europe. With the exception of the governments of Yugoslavia, Albania and (partially) Czechoslovakia, these governments were 100% foreign impositions, brought about by force of arms, violence, murder and compulsion. If the expression "puppet regime" has any meaning at all, it describes the governments of Poland, Hungary, Romania, etc. perfectly. The trouble here is that you can't have it both ways. You can go the Stalin route and say that every powerful country imposes its system "as far as its armies can reach. It cannot be otherwise." Then you can criticize America for imposing CAPITALISM, but you can't criticize American for IMPOSING capitalism. Alternatively, you can criticize America for both, but then you're not going to have any ground left to defend what the Soviet Union did in Eastern Europe.

Looking forward, what's important for "leftists" of all stripes is to formulate a program that works for the future. But you're going in with one boot off if you shackle yourself to the worst aspects of the past. Even the most abysmal of neoliberal hacks can admit that America's record is far from flawless in Central America (for example). Why should it be so hard for people sympathetic to the Soviets to do the same?

Patient Observer , December 21, 2017 at 9:36 am
Just a quick lunch time reply. The Soviet Union pretty much left alone Eastern European countries prior to WW II – no attempt to impose their will on countries that were hostile to their very existence. (contrast with the US actions in Latin America).

The invasion of SU from the West (Germany, Romania, Italy and other less overt allies) left devastation and death on a scale unprecedented in human history. A major purpose of the invasion was the murder/enslavement of the Russian population. So, this was a rather unique situation facing SU leadership. How do handle neighbors who are psychopaths (Germany and its allies clearly fit that description)? What to do?

Any sane national leadership, having survived that murderous attack, would be expected to remove the root cause of that attack. Again, before WW II, the SU was comfortable with its neighbors, but after, the attempted genocide/enslavement, not so much.

Ryan, what would you recommend for the SU after WW II? Allow the same forces that sought their total destruction back in business at its borders? A nuclear armed adversary possibly allowed to set up military bases next door (actually pretty much what we have today)?

As far as I am concerned, Germany and eastern Europe got off easy. No reparations for the SU – just military confrontation with its former alleged allies. The SU did what it had do to. It can be rightfully argued that it could have been done better, but its general actions were generally justifiable in my opinion.

As an aside, Yugoslavia would have been much better off if the SU had "imposed" itself there. But we ended up with Tito, a monster who eagerly did the bidding to Britain which included hiding the Serbian holocaust and allowing its perpetrators to escape justice.

Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 10:00 am
I'll deal with the rest later (including the absolutely absurd attack against Tito), but firstly, I want to address a factual error.

"As far as I am concerned, Germany and eastern Europe got off easy. No reparations for the SU – just military confrontation with its former alleged allies."

This is simply false. After WW2, the SU extracted reparations from East Germany, Hungary and Romania. These reparations were only canceled in the 1950's after Stalin died. Additionally, the Soviet Union set up the "SovRoms" in Romania, which systematically looted the country, forcing Romania to buy German equipment at inflated prices. Meanwhile the Soviet Union was directly taking over 90% plus of various important German industries. This was the definition of a Carthaginian peace.

Patient Observer , December 21, 2017 at 10:28 am
Bring it.
Ryan Ward , December 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm
Glad to do so 😉 The reason why I called the accusation against Tito "absurd" isn't because Tito is above criticism.It's because anything he can be criticized for doesn't hold a candle to what was going on at the same time in the Soviet Union. The differences are many, and all in Yugoslavia's favour. The Soviet Union completely disempowered the workers, forbade emigration, and left almost no room for dissent. On the other hand, if socialism means the control of real workers over the means of production, Yugoslavia is the only country in history that's made a real go at it. The experiment wasn't completely successful (for example, Yugoslavia struggled with unemployment more than its neighbours did), but as an economic model, it was both more humane and more successful than the model used in the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc (with the partial exception of Poland and Hungary, which were both somewhat ideosyncratic, and outshone their neighbours economically). The problem of unemployment was mitigated by the fact that workers were allowed to travel to find work, and most of them did so, rather than cutting off ties with Yugoslavia and just disappearing in the West. Yugoslavia bested the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc at the most basic test of providing for the people; it could trust them not to all rush for the exits the moment they were given the opportunity. Finally, contrast the Soviet response to even the slightest dissent to Tito's response to the student protests in 1968. Can anyone imagine Brezhnev or even Khrushchev saying "the students are right," and actually addressing their concerns? The question answers itself.
And the idea that Tito "eagerly did the bidding of Britain" is a malicious slander. Tito was one of the central figures in the non-aligned movement, which was by no means captive to Western interests (Kissinger actually complained of the exact opposite, that despite their claims of neutrality the non-aligned countries tended to tilt in the Soviet direction). As for the "Serbian holocaust", without denying that the activities of the Ustase in particular really were genocidal, the track record of WW2 in Yugoslavia is more complicated than that. While not as bloody as the Ustase, the Chetniks' hands were hardly clean either. Faced with trying to hold together a country with a history of bloody ethnic conflict, Tito decided to let sleeping dogs lie and try to move forward. It can certainly be questioned whether that decision was the best one. But it's overheated rhetoric to suggest that Tito acted the way he did out of some fundamentally sinister motive. He made a hard decision in difficult circumstances, and given what came before and after him, there's a good case to be made that he might have been onto something.
Patient Observer , December 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm
Frankly I do not know even where to begin in a response but I will touch on one statement: that, in my experience as a mature man, is simply the most absurd string of words I have had the misfortune of reading:

As for the "Serbian holocaust", without denying that the activities of the Ustase in particular really were genocidal, the track record of WW2 in Yugoslavia is more complicated than that. While not as bloody as the Ustase, the Chetniks' hands were hardly clean either.

Really, Mr. Ward? Per Widipedia:

The Jasenovac concentration camp (Serbo-Croatian: Logor Jasenovac/Логор Јасеновац, pronounced [lôːgor jasěnoʋat͡s]; Yiddish: יאסענאוואץ‎) was an extermination camp established in Slavonia by the authorities of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) during World War II. The camp was established by the governing Ustaše regime and not operated by Nazi Germany.[4] It was one of the largest concentration camps in Europe[5] and the camp has been referred to as "the Auschwitz of the Balkans" and "the Yugoslav Auschwitz".[6]

Croatian authorities and Western sympathizers, as to be expected sought to minimize the number of victims. However, the most plausible numbers is 750,000 victims, the great majority Serb men, women and children as well as significant numbers of Jews and Roma.

Your claim of implied equivalency of the resistance of General Mihailovich and the Chetniks against fascism to Croatia's genocide of the Serbs is breathtaking. Even the worst of Croatian apologists have never advanced such an argument to my knowledge.

Mr. Ward, you are a contemptuous hack of the worst sort sort in this matter and an apologist for genocide.

More to follow.

Patient Observer , December 21, 2017 at 10:46 am
28 million dead, the bulk of their economic base devastated. And what was the amount of these "reparations"? My wife, from Romania, did recount the story of her parents experience after WW II, so I do have so fairly direct information on this topics. There was some confiscation, some distributed to the poor and some likely taken back to the SU. But to claim that these "reparations:" came anywhere close to the damage done to the SU is simply absurd. To repeat, Germany and its allies got off easy.

Just a data point per Wikipedia:

Most heavy industry (constituting 20% of total production) was claimed by the Soviet Union as reparations, and Soviet joint stock companies

Presumably, this was in East Germany which makes it likely a tiny fraction of what was destroyed in the SU.

Per Wikipedia, the allies initially began to confiscate German industry and then switched to the Marshal Plan to restore German industrial power. Wonder what SU thought about that.

Pavlo Svolochenko , December 21, 2017 at 5:42 pm
We must be talking about a different Carthage.
Moscow Exile , December 21, 2017 at 10:06 am
No, no, no!

As Yatsenyuk (remember him?) once said on German TV, "all of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion into Ukraine and Germany".

[Dec 23, 2017] The Berlin and Hungary incidents were similar to recent Syrian events, in that an actual popular rebellion (sparked by whatever causes) was utilized and exploited by Uncle Sam, as part of regime-change effort.

Notable quotes:
"... The Government of the United States does not look with favor upon governments unfriendly to the Soviet Union on the borders of the Soviet Union." ..."
Dec 23, 2017 |

yalensis , December 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

I think I can find the so-called "middle ground" here.

The Berlin and Hungary incidents were similar to recent Syrian events, in that an actual popular rebellion (sparked by whatever causes) was utilized and exploited by Uncle Sam, as part of regime-change effort. And Uncle Sam being in cahoots with, and funding, Nazi remnants.

Hence, the rebellions, however "noble" their original purpose, were amplified and turned in a counter-revolutionary direction, with all kinds of unsavory players involved. Not unlike Banderite Ukraine.

See, it's not as complicated as people think.

Pavlo Svolochenko , December 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

The CIA trace is hardly a secret, nor is the fact that the CIA relied heavily on repainted Nazis and eastern European chauvinists. Combine that with the Nazi-esque slogans of the Berlin rioters, and the tinfoil hats can confidently be set aside.

Why would you think otherwise? Did you think the Nazi populace of Germany or Hungary had undergone some metamorphosis? Hitler's regime fell from favour not because the people of Germany rejected the malignant nationalism it stood for, but because the regime was defeated. The Nazi mindset is abundantly obvious in almost every German alive today, regardless of ostensible political persuasion, and Hungary barely even bothers to feign contrition.

Eastern European potato-people don't have noble aspirations, and they generally understand 'democracy' and other such concepts as figleafs to wear and war totems to carry as they destroy their tribal enemies.

Ryan Ward , December 20, 2017 at 5:40 am
And it was clear that this "freedom uprising" was nothing more than former fascist elements organized by the CIA and MI6 trying to stage a coup.

That's a pretty bold claim. Any actual evidence for it?

kirill , December 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm
How about you put up or shut up with evidence in favour of the NATzO narrative.

Operation Paper Clip.

Now why would NATzO freedom lovers need Nazis?

Ryan Ward , December 20, 2017 at 4:09 pm
Firstly, there's no "NATzO" narrative (and, as an aside, if you want people to take you seriously, I would suggest you stop using the term "NATzO". It's childish, and makes you sound like a fucking mouth-breather). There are the public and undisputed facts of the case. There were riots in East Germany and an insurrection in Hungary. Both were put down by some mixture of local communist forces and Soviet troops (More of the first in Germany and more of the latter in Hungary). Those are the "bare bones" of the two cases. Now, you've added to this base of publicly visible facts the claims that

a) the rebellious elements in both countries were primarily composed of former fascists.
b) the rebellious elements in both countries were led and organized by the CIA and MI6.

These are both positive claims. Positive claims need evidence. And evidence means real evidence, as in statistical analyses of known insurgents, CIA or MI6 documents, etc. not "That's the sort of thing those evil bastards would have done, therefore they did it!" or, "Since people who ask me for evidence don't answer my demand that they (impossibly) prove a negative, that's as good as proving a positive!" You've made two clearly positive claims, and rather bold ones at that, so until you provide at least some evidence in favour of them, you're talking out of your ..hat.

yalensis , December 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm
Ryan: I believe the facts do show that the CIA was involved in these various rebellions in Eastern Europe. Maybe post-facto.

However, even though I disagree with your overall point here, I do sympathize with your frustration regarding debating with "Kirill". Who, when asked to produce facts, is only capable of violent ripostes such as "Put up or shut up."
He is a tool, that's true. And Operation Paperclip is an issue completely separate from the Hungarian uprising of 1956. So that point of his is irrelevant.
But this is Kirill, after all, so what can you do?? Consider yourself lucky, that he didn't threaten you with rapey anal sex or forced fellatio, that's his usual response to comments he doesn't agree with!

Patient Observer , December 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm
A simplistic analysis but I will offer it nevertheless. The Nazi deep state, as Pavlo powerfully described, was/is alive and well in Germany. The upper management shakeup in West Germany (i.e. the end of WW II) scarcely touched the financial, industrial or commercial elites. Denazification was sought by FDR but was not pursued IIRC from various articles on the subject.

The Nazi's nicely adjusted to life in West Germany; just needed to learn to be more deceitful as their British mentors no doubt taught them. In East Germany and Hungary, Nazi's were not welcomed at any level and it stands to reason considering the carnage that was orders of magnitude worse than in Western Europe not to mention that extermination thing about Slavs. Hence, some Hungarians, excluded from power due to a Nazi past, were ready to "rebel" after any degree of prodding and promises by the West.

As should be well known, the West had a strong desire to save Nazis regardless of their genocidal past (or perhaps because of it). Operation Ratlines comes to mind.

marknesop , December 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm
Well, I couldn't speak to CIA involvement. It is, however, a matter of record that Radio Free Europe did everything it could to imply that American forces would intervene to back up the Hungarians if they would only get the ball rolling. I suppose it's true they never actually said that in so many words, but it seems clear that is what Hungarian patriots inferred from its encouragement. And it was the State Department which transmitted to Tito, after the revolt was well underway, " The Government of the United States does not look with favor upon governments unfriendly to the Soviet Union on the borders of the Soviet Union." Eisenhower sort of condemned the Soviet action, but only said the American people were very sad about it and would do all in their 'peaceful power' to help them. I think the message that there would be no military assistance was pretty clear. Moreover, when Franco decided to send weapons to Hungarians and secured an agreement with Adenauer to refuel the Spanish planes in Germany, Eisenhower pressured Adenauer and got the agreement canceled. The Hungarians certainly felt official America had betrayed them.
Northern Star , December 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm
Read the first comment the one by William Raymond Smith

Ryan Ward , December 20, 2017 at 4:14 pm
It's well-known that Radio Free Europe encouraged uprisings in Eastern Europe, and that they specifically gave Hungarians the idea that they would support them if they rose up. Everyone already knows that. That's also entirely unexceptional, being the kind of agitprop that both sides of the Cold War engaged in routinely. That's an entirely different matter from actually orchestrating the uprising, and it has (if possible) even less relevance to the question of whether the insurgents were former fascists.
yalensis , December 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm
Most of the insurgents were NOT former fascists, they were ordinary people who didn't like what the new government was doing.
The issue is about how all of this evolved, and the the amorphous "leaders" and their connections to the CIA.
The best comparison for the 1956 Hungary thing is the later thing in Poland, the "Solidarity" movement, and so on.
Real actual industrial workers, but, behind the scenes, CIA pulling all of the strings.
No kidding.
People really need to figure this out, because at some point in the future, there will be an actual Revolution, and we need to make sure it stays clean.
Northern Star , December 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm
"Most of the insurgents were NOT former fascists, they were ordinary people who didn't like what the new government was doing."
So EXACTLY what were they doing in WW2 (GPW)?
Northern Star , December 20, 2017 at 5:40 pm
Hungary's fascist past has deep roots ,extending to 2017.
It is not necessary to (foolishly) argue that every man, woman and child in 1956 Budapest was fascist.
However Hungarian **actions** post WW1 define an obvious embrace of fascism by the
overall society which certainly did not vanish by 1956.
Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 6:53 am
"Real actual industrial workers, but, behind the scenes, CIA pulling all of the strings.
No kidding."

It's important to be clear what "pulling all of the strings" actually means in this context. As far as I'm aware, there's no evidence of CIA involvement in Hungary except for the RFE broadcasts, and no evidence of CIA involvement in East Germany at all in 1953. The trouble is that it's easy to use any scrap of CIA involvement as an excuse to avoid the uncomfortable implications that the "workers' states" of Eastern Europe never commanded the loyalty of the actual flesh-and-blood workers. But this is really easy to do, and can be done on all sides. This is the same kind of thing that people do from the ideological opposite side in saying that, because the Donbas rebels have received critical assistance from foreign Russian volunteers and Russian material support (as well as, in very limited quantities, Russian troops). This is a dodge, but the key point is that it's a dodge on both sides. Getting back to the Hungarian example, the CIA (through RFE) had one and only one impact on the events, to make the Hungarian people forget their fear. If there were real solid local support for the Communist government, rumours of American support for revolution would have mobilized both sides. The loyalists to the regime would have mobilized to protect their government from "Yankee imperialists". But no such thing happened, because the actual principled support for the Communist regime in Hungary was negligible. A real legitimate Hungarian government wouldn't have needed Soviet tanks to prop it up.

Northern Star , December 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm
"the question of whether the insurgents were former fascists."

Considering that the uprising took place in 1956 .and assuming that most of the participants were adult males in WW2 .

Doing the math .Yeah I think we can safely infer that many were fascists and/or tolerated fascist rule in Hungary .which was an ally of the Reich.

As I think about it more than a few were not only fascists in some politically abstract sense but fought alongside the nazis in Barbarossa:

yalensis , December 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm
Honestly, I don't know what proportion of the Hungarian rebels were fascists. I am sure there were a lot of fascists who joined up later and were egged on, etc.

But the matter is way more complicated than that. As in most Eastern European counter-revolutions, the matter began, not with the fascists, but with malcontents within the Communist Party itself.
Apparently Rákosi did the usual Stalinist thing of purging his own (Communist) Party of dissidents, etc. Estimates are, that around 7,000 Communist Party members were purged. Which doesn't necessarily mean executed, but at least arrested, lost their jobs, etc.
These types of rebellions in the Communist world, usually start as an inter-Party thing.
If people could cut a break and keep their jobs and Party membership, then they would remain a force for stability in society.
But the Stalinists often seem to have a problem maintaining employee satisfaction among their cadre. Party leaders have a habit of using their political position as a way to settle personal scores. Then things get out of hand. This is what happened in Hungary, and it could have all been prevented, I think.

Patient Observer , December 20, 2017 at 6:52 pm
We may be ignoring the religious element which may be ever more important than the fascist element. The Vatican was a key player in the anti-communist/anti-Soviet efforts in eastern Europe. I don't think anyone can dispute that. So, if the discussion is expanded to include the role of the Vatican, then Western influence in the Hungarian revolt can be better appreciated.
kirill , December 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm
The USA was also busy installing various juntas in Latin America during the 1950s. Let's not forget that. The US simply has no record of fostering democracy abroad. In the name of goodness it engineered dozens of bloody coups and uprisings around the world. Anyone with a functional brain can see that this was motivated by economic and power self-interest and not selfless sacrifice for the good of humanity.

BTW, the British were training Ukr Nazi collaborators after 1945 to stage insurrection in Ukraine (I knew one such Ukr). This was a full alliance with the worst sort of scum to engineer regime change. There is no credibility to stories that the Hungarian "uprising" was spontaneous and had nothing to do with Nazi elements boosted by the USA and the UK. The fact that the death toll was faked up by a factor of 25 is supporting evidence of this. A death toll of 2,400 is very small considering the intensity of the combat. This figure was not the result of machine gunning of peaceful protestors. If a true uprising happened in 1956, then the scale of public participation and deaths would be vastly higher. This is what the NATzO propaganda about "up to 60,000 deaths" was based on.

yalensis , December 21, 2017 at 3:41 am
Patient Observer, that's a very good point about Vatican involvement.
We see that on steroids during the Solidarity events in Poland.
Which also started small, as an actual strike of industrial workers, and then got out of hand.
There was a very healthy faction within the Polish Communist Party which did a lot to help preserve social stability, which were able to mollify the real workers with their real economic concerns, and could have been successful in the end; but the unhealthy elements overwhelmed them, egged on by external enemies.

And again, this is partly a problem of the Communist Parties themselves, the way they opened themselves up and became mass parties, allowing in all sorts of riffraff, careerists and class enemies, who were willing to switch sides on a dime.
We see this same phenomenon 10 years later, in Russia itself (Gorbachov-Yeltsin).

If Communist Parties want to be taken seriously ever again, then they need to be willing to make themselves smaller, and idea-driven. Not career- or money-driven.

Jen , December 21, 2017 at 4:01 am
Don't forget too that during the 1980s and 90s the Pope was the Polish priest formerly known as Karol Wojtyla. He very likely interfered in Polish politics more than he should have given his position as Pope. During his reign as Pope, the liberation theology movement in Latin America that developed among some Catholic priests and theologians and which had grassroots support among the poor was crushed by right-wing governments in that region. Pope John Paull II was known to have opposed liberation theology because it was partly based on Marxist beliefs.
Moscow Exile , December 21, 2017 at 4:41 am
I never really took to Lech Wałęsa, really.

Few did in my home town: he looked too much like Alex Murphy, aka "Murphy the Mouth", former local scrum-half rugby hero and Rugby League coach.

Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 5:45 am
"So, if the discussion is expanded to include the role of the Vatican, then Western influence in the Hungarian revolt can be better appreciated."

This is a completely different matter. There's nothing meaningfully "Western" about the Catholic Church in the context of Eastern Europe. The Catholic Church is the indigenous religion of most of Eastern Europe. Ironically, in Poland and Hungary, it was the Communist governments, not the Catholic resistance, that was "imported" (at bayonet-point, for that matter).

Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 5:53 am
*Sigh* I'm not sure why I'm bothering to still respond to this nonsense when there's actual intelligent conversation going on, but here's one last comment, not that I'll actually need to say anything really new .
The USA was also busy installing various juntas in Latin America during the 1950s .BTW, the British were training Ukr Nazi collaborators after 1945 to stage insurrection in Ukraine (I knew one such Ukr). This was a full alliance with the worst sort of scum to engineer regime change.
What in the universe does any of this have to do with Poland or Hungary? This is exactly the sort of dreck I identified before, "This is the kind of thing those evil bastards would do, therefore they did it!" It's a piss poor argument, and if you had any real evidence for your assertions about Poland and Hungary, you wouldn't resort to such rube goldberg devices.

There is no credibility to stories that the Hungarian "uprising" was spontaneous and had nothing to do with Nazi elements boosted by the USA and the UK.
And here we go again. That's not a "story". That's the legitimate null hypothesis. To claim that the US and UK were involved (beyond the RFE broadcasts that everyone already knows about) is a positive claim. Positive claims require direct evidence to be credible. And despite being asked three times now to provide the slightest scrap of direct evidence for your assertions, you've failed to do so.

The fact that the death toll was faked up by a factor of 25 is supporting evidence of this.

For anyone intelligent enough to tie their shoes in the morning, this isn't supporting evidence of anything. By this logic, the Stalinist purges and the Cultural Revolution in China were Western operations. What is the evidence you ask? Westerners exaggerated the death tolls involved! Doesn't that make it obvious?

Ryan Ward , December 21, 2017 at 6:11 am
There was a very healthy faction within the Polish Communist Party which did a lot to help preserve social stability, which were able to mollify the real workers with their real economic concerns, and could have been successful in the end; but the unhealthy elements overwhelmed them, egged on by external enemies.

A couple comments here. Firstly, to talk about "the real workers" is the purest "No true Scotsman"-ism. Workers are workers, whether they adopt political views you (or anyone else) find congenial or not. As to "mollifying" real economic concerns, another (and more accurate) way of putting it, is buying workers off. The Polish Communist Party held no real loyalty among the workers of Poland, and only kept them quiet by artificially suppressing prices using borrowed funds. The first major thrust of the Solidarity movement at the turn of the 80's took advantage of discontent among the workers when the government tried to raise prices (to stop bleeding money on loans). To the extent that the government managed to buy peace for a few years, it was only by lowering prices again, and paying for it with a credit card. This was not a principled response to the unrest, and those workers who were "mollified" by it were the most mercenary and least principled of workers. This is why the whole rotten edifice crumbled so easily in 1989. No one really cared about defending it if it would actually cost them anything to do so. Time-serving bureaucrats paid off time-serving workers, and as soon as the bill came, everyone had a sudden urge to head to the washroom.

Secondly, again, the Catholic Church was not an "external enemy", least of all in Poland. The Poles themselves were always much more loyal to the Church than they ever were to bureaucrats imposed from Moscow (again, it wasn't the church, but the government, that was really foreign). And the fact that the Pope at the time was a Pole made the Church more, not less, hostile, to the Communist governments of Eastern Europe.

Cortes ,

[Dec 23, 2017] "The First hundred thousand euros to Navalny came from Khodorkovsky"

Dec 23, 2017 |

Moscow Exile , December 21, 2017 at 11:32 am

Navalny a lawyer?

Тайны биографии Навального: "Первые сто тысяч евро получил от Ходорковского"
Secrets from his biography: "The First hundred thousand euros came from Khodorkovsky"

After school, Navalny entered the law faculty of the Russian University of Peoples' Friendship and, according to official figures, graduated in 1998. But could not have graduated, according to Lina Kandakzhi, a teacher of radio journalism at the PFUR, who wrote about this in her Twitter account. "This person Navalny did not graduate from the university: he was expelled from the first year. He is a liar." This Twitter entry was re-signed by Kandakzhi's attorney, Violetta Volkov, but the topic did not receive any resonance and the teacher herself has refused to comment on this story.

My official inquiry at the PFUR does not receive a reply for about a month: they say that they transferred it from one department to another; they ignore letters, promise to clarify the information later by phone What is this? Whether it is negligence of employees or deliberate reluctance to answer is unclear.

You cannot directly blame Navalny for lying, however: to buy a diploma for one university, and then enter another higher education course at another was a scheme typical for those years. Indeed, a year after the alleged graduation from the PFUR, Navalny became a student in the fee paying Finance and Credit Faculty of the Government of the Russian Federation Finance Academy, majoring in Securities and Exchange Business, and graduated in 2001.

[Jul 01, 2015] Is Khodorkovsky a murderer?

yalensis, June 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm
Is Khodorkovsky a murderer?
Vladimir Markin, of the Russian Investigative Committee, has announced, that a case is being re-opened against Khodorkovsky. Namely, the MURDER of Vladimir Petukhov!

Petukhov, who was Mayor of the city of Nefteyugansk, was murdered in 1998. He was shot dead as he was returning home. The main suspect at the time was Leonid Nevzlin, who was the Vice President of YUKOS.

The case was never closed, but, according to Markin, some new evidence has come to light, which implicates Khodorkovsky.
Petukhov's widow is a lady named Farida Islamova. She claims that her spouse was killed precisely because he was investigating unpaid taxes on the part of YUKOS.

Pavlo Svolochenko, June 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm
What a pity a certain bald idiot already let him go.
Patient Observer, June 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm
Khordorkovsky will hang himself.

Also, if you have the option of selecting your enemies from a group of potential enemies, then the best strategy would be to select those that you know well and have known vulnerabilities.

Khordorkovsky would immediately assume a leadership role in the West which may be exactly what Putin wanted. Admittedly this is pure speculation but it is also a strategy used in the world of business – if you must have competition try to influence events to have a competitor that is predictable and manageable.

yalensis, July 1, 2015 at 2:44 am
Putler was a soft touch!

All Khodor had to do was bawl about his "dear old mum dying", and the bloody dictator let him go. With assurances that he would just become a "private person".
So, as soon as he's out, the yellow-toothed one resumes his incessant plotting against the state! Classic Shakespeare!

Михаил Ходорковский Бескровной смены режима не получится


("Die Welt", Германия)

Через год с лишним после своего освобождения Михаил Ходорковский, когда-то самый влиятельный предприниматель России, говорит о Владимире Путине и своем заключении. Что касается его родины, то ей он предсказывает перемены, во время которых не избежать насилия.

Йорг Айгендорф (Jörg Eigendorf), Борис Райтшустер, Юлия Смирнова



Михаил Ходорковский приехал на такси - в сопровождении пресс-секретаря и переводчика, но без охраны. В ходе своего краткого пребывания в Берлине бывший олигарх предстал на публике не в свитере и джинсах, а в синем костюме и при галстуке. 51-летний бизнесмен и противник Путина, который на протяжении многих лет был самым известным заключенным в России, говорит спокойно и тихо. Он ни на секунду не теряет самоконтроля. Его тезисы провокационны: даже в советские времена, по его словам, не было такого жесткого разделения власти, как в сегодняшней России.

Ходорковский сам является продуктом советской системы. Он - бывший функционер Комсомола. В "лихие 90-е", во времена правления президента Бориса Ельцина извлек немало пользы из собственных обширных связей в политических кругах, из деловой хватки и бескомпромиссного или даже жесткого стиля поведения, в чем его нередко упрекают. Он дважды был осужден - за мошенничество и неуплату налогов в особо крупном размере. За это ему пришлось провести десять с небольшим лет в заключении.

Правозащитная организация Amnesty International назвала оба процесса против бывшего олигарха и главы нефтяного концерна ЮКОС политически мотивированными, что, впрочем, в сентябре 2011 года не смог подтвердить Европейский суд по правам человека. Сейчас Ходорковский с семьей живет в Швейцарии. В политической жизни он участвует через свой фонд "Открытая Россия".

Die Welt: В России государственная власть целиком сконцентрирована вокруг Владимира Путина. Насколько силен президент в действительности?

Михаил Ходорковский: Путин в состоянии реально контролировать лишь небольшое количество процессов. Лично он может заниматься одним крупным кризисом, возможно, даже двумя одновременно, если они очень серьезны. В этом заключается преимущество авторитарной системы, но у нее есть и серьезные недостатки. Путин не в состоянии решать множество проблем одновременно. В стране, где уничтожены реальные институты государственной власти - независимая юстиция, парламент, местные органы самоуправления -, власть имущие теряют способность справляться со сложными вызовами в адрес общества. Наше государство очень централизовано, но слабо.

- После убийства лидера оппозиции Бориса Немцова в России заговорили о конфликте между чеченским президентом Рамзаном Кадыровым и московскими силовиками. Насколько серьезно об этом можно говорить?

- Этот конфликт имеет системный характер. В условиях обвала экономики начинаются конфликты между различными группировками, борющимися за сферы влияния и источники финансирования. Кадыров хочет большей независимости для своих вассальных структур в Чечне, оставаясь, однако, преданным Путину. При этом Кадырова окружает этническая преступная группировка, вступающая в конфликт со слабым, по сути, российским государством. Те, кому положено стоять на страже закона, не могут вмешиваться, потому что людей Кадырова защищает Путин. Он их главный покровитель.

- А Путин по-прежнему контролирует эти группировки или, по сути, сам стал их заложником?

- Я уверен, что Путин был очень недоволен убийством Немцова. Я не верю, что Кадыров без разрешения Путина допустит, чтобы нечто подобное повторилось.

- То есть вы предполагаете, что Кадыров распорядился убить Немцова?

- Нет. Мне кажется, я знаю, кто был заказчиком его убийства. Но это не Кадыров, а кое-кто ниже уровнем.

- Кадыров знал, кто это?

- Он узнал об этом потом. Но теперь он знает, кто за этим стоит. Я в этом уверен.

- Можно ли считать убийство Немцова признаком слабости системы?

- Без сомнения. Убийство человека, входящего в политическую элиту, в двух шагах от Кремля - это удар по неприкасаемости властных структур. Это ведет к дальнейшему ослаблению механизмов власти. Любой чиновник будет теперь думать, принимая решения: Путин может меня уволить, но люди Кадырова могут меня убить.

- Что может стать опасным для Путина? Возможен ли "дворцовый переворот"?

- "Дворцовый переворот" возможен лишь в случае конфликта с участием спецслужб. Никто другой на такое не способен. Как показывает ситуация с Кадыровым, такой конфликт вполне возможен.

- Многие боятся, что после Путина все станет еще хуже.

- Я думаю, Путин еще сам доведет свое дело до конца. А после него все может стать только лучше.

- Но до того момента внутриполитический климат может еще больше ухудшиться.

- Путин готов ужесточить репрессии. Но он не настолько этого хочет, насколько некоторые этого опасаются. Он не монстр. Он знает, что слишком жесткое подавление его противников может повлечь отрицательные последствия для него самого. Поэтому он должен быть готов к "зачистке рядов" среди элиты. При Сталине два процента населения стали жертвами репрессий со стороны государства. В рядах силовых структур и вовсе был репрессирован каждый четвертый. Готов ли Путин на такое? Я сомневаюсь.

- В сегодняшней России возможна бескровная смена власти?

- Бескровной смены режима не будет. Тысячи людей знают, что им придется понести личную ответственность за то, что они сделали при Путине. Но перемены в России - это не главная проблема. Перемены случатся еще при нашей жизни. Гораздо опаснее положение, возникающее из-за политики режима на границах России. На востоке Украины уже возникла целая армия национал-шовинистов, у которых и в России появляется все больше и больше сторонников. А поскольку Путин в Чечне защищает своего вассала Кадырова, тот требует все большей и большей автономии. И когда эти силы столкнутся между собой, станет по-настоящему опасно, потому что это может привести к гражданской войне. А этого никто не хочет.

- После смерти Немцова оппозиция в России еще больше ослабла. Она действительно находится в такой же изоляции, как и диссиденты в Советском Союзе?

- Нет, даже в нынешних обстоятельствах 14% россиян открыто признаются, что не поддерживают власть. Оппозиция имеет твердую поддержку в 10-15% населения. Число ее сторонников может еще больше вырасти.

- С другой стороны, государственная пропаганда в России весьма эффективна. Как вы хотите достучаться до людей, которые в это верят?

- Я считаю, что путинская система просуществует дольше, чем думают некоторые оппозиционеры. Режим готов стрелять, а демократическая оппозиция не готова. Вероятность того, что этот аппарат власти рухнет в ближайшие десять лет, на мой взгляд, составляет 50%. Так что с уверенностью утверждать это не приходится, и поэтому я концентрируюсь на своих задачах по развитию гражданского общества, чтобы выросло число людей, открытых для демократических ценностей.

- Самым популярным противником режима в России сейчас является Алексей Навальный. Должна ли оппозиция объединиться вокруг него?

- Было бы прекрасно, если бы оппозиция состояла из различных сил, но при этом была способна объединиться, когда ей нужно будет выступить сообща.

- Это не очень похоже на слова поддержки в адрес Навального. Какую программу поддерживаете лично вы?

- Самая большая проблема России остается неизменной: отсутствие правового государства. Меры, которые нужно предпринять, сформулировать легко: власть должна регулярно меняться в ходе честных выборов. И тогда власть будет представлять избирателей, тогда появятся независимые суды и будут соблюдаться законы.

- Некоторые считают, что русским не нужна демократия, а нужна сильная личность во главе государства.

- Я сегодня пообщался с несколькими немцами, и они заверили меня, что многие здесь также нуждаются в сильном лидере, который, однако, разделял бы демократические ценности. Так что сильное руководство не исключает наличия демократических институтов.

- Как вы оцениваете ситуацию на Украине? Она действительно стала спокойнее, или это лишь иллюзия?

- Мне хочется верить, что там не произойдет новой эскалации конфликта, однако, вероятность, что это случится, велика. Открытым остается большой вопрос, покинут ли вооруженные граждане России Восточную Украину и действительно ли сепаратисты потеряют поддержку Москвы. Но именно это и было бы опасно для российского режима. Возвращение боевиков накалило бы ситуацию в стране. Путин сделает все для того, чтобы эти вооруженные люди как можно дольше оставались на востоке Украины.

- То есть надежды на эффективность новых минских мер безопасности призрачны?

- Альтернативы мирному процессу нет. Но при нынешнем режиме в России он не может быть стабильным. Можно ли заморозить конфликт? Теоретически можно. Нужно попробовать сделать это.

- Как должен вести себя Запад в общении с Путиным?

- Тот, кто на Западе утверждает, что с нынешним режимом можно заключать долгосрочные договоренности, либо глуп, либо лжец. Любые договоренности будут ежесекундно подвергаться сомнениям. Конечно, с Россией нужно продолжать диалог, но надежды на реальное единение иллюзорны, потому что в России нет реальных институтов власти. Даже в советские времена было Политбюро, и генеральный секретарь не принимал решения единолично. Поэтому советский режим был предсказуем. Теперь же ситуация иная: Путин разрушил институты государственной власти, и это привело к тому, что в России нет взаимного контроля органов власти, да и четкого разделения власти тоже нет.

- Какие интересы может преследовать президент, замораживая конфликт на Украине вместо того, чтобы распалить его с новой силой?

- Путину не нужна постоянная напряженность. Он понял, что больше не является для своих бойцов идеальным лидером. Чтобы удержаться у власти, замороженный конфликт его вполне устроит. Силы, участвующие в нем, будут и далее оставаться на востоке Украины, но не разрастаться. Это важно и по другой причине: успех Украины стал бы примером для демократических изменений в России. К сожалению, это понимает и Путин. Поэтому одним из его приоритетов является крах украинского эксперимента.

- Украинское руководство движется в правильном направлении?

- Я бы хотел, чтобы оно ввиду вооруженной конфронтации оставалось единым. Но иногда бывает заметно, что это не так. Еще я бы хотел, чтобы Украина стала для России образцом для подражания в вопросах борьбы с коррупцией. Но пока я не знаю ни одного примера решительных действий в этом направлении.

- Что вы думаете по поводу украинского президента Петра Порошенко?

- Я встречался с ним. Я понимаю, откуда он пришел, как он мыслит и как действует. Больше я ничего не хочу говорить. Я же не являюсь активистом украинской оппозиции.

- Вы десять лет провели в заключении. Насколько вы изменились из-за этого?

- Когда мне говорят, что с кем-то невозможно вести диалог, я вспоминаю эти десять лет моей жизни и улыбаюсь. Однажды я сидел в одной камере с националистом Владимиром Квачковым. Мы нормально общались и решали свои повседневные проблемы. До этого я даже представить себе не мог, что сумею общаться с такими людьми. Но говорить надо со всеми.

- Даже с советником Путина Игорем Сечиным, который в большой степени виноват в том, что вас посадили в тюрьму?

- Да, говорить надо со всеми. Но это не значит, что всех надо прощать. Простить можно того, кто раскаялся в содеянном. Сечина надо отдать под суд, и я был бы готов выступить свидетелем.

- Путин сказал, что его "университетами" было детство, проведенное на улице. А вашими "университетами" стала тюрьма?

- Несмотря на мое непростое отношение к Путину, я не желаю ему получить такое "второе образование", какое пришлось получить мне. Мы росли в одинаковых условиях. Если то, что он рассказывает, правда, то у нас с ним было похожее детство. Но я постарался изгнать из себя следы "улицы", а Путин, напротив, культивирует ее, став президентом.

- Чему можно научиться на улицах российских городов?

- Помните фильм "Крестный отец"? Это похоже на то, что Путин называет своими "уличными университетами". Принципиальная разница между Путиным и мной состоит в том, что я предсказуем. Путин же гордится своей непредсказуемостью. Многие политологи даже считают, что в России властители должны быть непредсказуемыми. Я не могу с этим согласиться. Россия - "глобальный игрок" и не может себе позволить быть непредсказуемой.

- В этом вопросе мы вынуждены возразить вам. В конце 1990-х годов вы тоже были непредсказуемы для западных инвесторов.

- Я считаю иначе. После российского кризиса 1998 года я поехал в Германию и подробно расписывал банкам, как будет развиваться ситуация. Я сказал: "Не волнуйтесь и не делайте необдуманных шагов, и через некоторое время вы получите обратно все ваши инвестиции". И все получилось именно так, как я и говорил. Тот, кто мне поверил, получил хорошую прибыль.

- Еще раз о Путине. Несмотря ни на что, вы должны быть благодарны президенту. Он помиловал вас в декабре 2013 года. Через три месяца, после аннексии Крыма, он бы, возможно, так не поступил.

- Я уверен, что мое освобождение стало возможным благодаря определенным людям - Гансу-Дитриху Геншеру (Hans-Dietrich Genscher - министр иностранных дел ФРГ объединенной Германии в 1974-1992 годах - прим. пер.), Ангеле Меркель, нашим правозащитникам. Я понимаю, что согласие Путина было очень важно. Он столь же легко мог бы распорядиться возбудить и третье дело против меня, о чем его неоднократно просил Сечин. Все это я понимаю. И это влияет на мое эмоциональное отношение к Германии и госпоже Меркель - но также и к Путину. Это не нравится некоторым оппозиционерам, которые говорят, что надо быть бескомпромиссным. Но я все-таки просто человек.

- Как часто вы вспоминаете свое заключение?

- У меня стабильная психика, и я не вспоминаю о тюрьме. Я часто рассказываю о своей жизни в заключении - это был важный опыт. Но эмоционально меня это больше не трогает.

- Вы можете себе представить, что когда-нибудь еще раз займетесь бизнесом?

- Нет, это исключено. Я хочу посвятить остаток жизни новому делу: помочь российскому обществу стать демократическим.

- Когда в конце 2013 года вас освободили из заключения, вы заявили, что не будете участвовать в политике. Теперь же вы не исключаете, что в кризисной ситуации могли бы стать президентом - на время. Почему вы вдруг изменили свое мнение по этому поводу?

- Это совсем иная ситуация. Тогда еще была надежда, что наша политическая система раскроется. Но эта надежда умерла после начала войны на Украине. Мы движемся совсем к другому общественному строю. Мы переживаем распад государственных институтов, напоминающий распад СССР. Если режим падет, то каждый должен быть готов отдать ради своей страны все.

- У вас есть политический кумир?

- На моем рабочем столе стоял портрет Маргарет Тэтчер с подписью: "Если вы хотите, чтобы о чем-то говорили, поручите это мужчине, но если вы хотите, чтобы что-то было сделано, то поручите это женщине". (Смеется.) Это предложение в большой степени правдиво, в том числе и в отношении России.

Оригинал публикации: Michail Chodorkowski: „Es wird keinen unblutigen Regimewechsel geben"

Опубликовано: 11/05/2015 09:43

[Dec 20, 2013] Mikhail Khodorkovsky freed after pardon from Vladimir Putin

Pretty much western media coverage of Khodorkovsky has detached itself from any semblance of reality and is just a spew of propaganda. These pieces are laughable. Only comments makes sense. Post-Communist Russia was plundered by the West, a basket case in which the only internal winners were the complicit oligarchs. That rot has been stopped.
The Guardian


Yay for Putin! Such a nice guy!

Flyper -> HoofItLong

I don't agree with many political opinions with Putins government but incarceration of this guy was one of the best actions Russian government has done for years.

This chap misappropriate almost the entire energy resources of the country in in the recent turbulent past and Putins government Nationalized all natural resources into a government managed enterprise.

So Khodorkovsky is a nasty mafia boss and that's why he has been in jail for years.


Russia can still put billionaires in jail. That's just a pipe dream in the UK.

Paul Davies

Should have got twenty years. He committed the biggest fraud in history. No doubt the west will welcome him.


Yes, Russia is ruled by a corrupt elite, we in the west do not go in for that sort of corruption and bribery and .... oh wait a minute.

Mario Draghi - Ex Goldman Sachs
Mark Carney - Ex Goldman Sachs
Hank Paulson - Ex Goldman Sachs
Timothy Geihtner - Ex Goldman Sachs
Robert Rubin - Ex Goldman Sachs
John Corzine - Ex Goldman Sachs
Mario Monti (Italian PM) Ex Goldman Sachs.

I could go on but I will stop there. As C Wright Mills (The Power Elite) in the 1950s there was a revolving door between the financial and political elite. So you see it is not only Russia which has a system of corruption, clientelism, cronyism and nepotism. We have our own collection of financial oligarchs who form a political-financial complex. Democratic, open, tell that to Assange, Snowden and Bradley.

FrankTheFrank -> Scipio1

Indeed. But Russia is ranked 127th in the world corruption index while the USA ranks 19th. Massive difference there.

smuglyfrombrazil -> FrankTheFrank

The difference also lies in who influences the ranking.


To the everlasting ire of Russophobes everywhere, who revelled in the implosive Yeltsin years, Putin has managed to halt Russia's disintegration and descent into anarchical chaos, often brutally, but certainly effectively. Post-Communist Russia was plundered by the West, a basket case in which the only internal winners were the complicit oligarchs. That rot has been stopped.

It is irrelevant whether Putin is admired outside Russia; within, he enjoys massive popularity, and irrespective of international opposition, Putin has engineered Russia into emerging as a global driving force once more, rather than a drunken passenger whose pocket was picked and shoes stolen. It has been a remarkable achievement, and deserves noting.


Oooh, another potential buyer for Valencia CF or Aston Villa?


Khodorkovsky's reputation has benefitted from being banged up, but of all the oligarchs he probably did most damage to the prospects of Russia's economic transition. He helped the Communist Party transfer huge sums out of Russia, worked out how to asset-strip Soviet industry through accounting fraud, and in all of this he was protected by the establishment whose dirty dealings he was facilitating through his banks.

It wasn't just Putin who brought him down, a lot of the Family were very happy to see him go after his "conversion" to transparency, probity and integrity, he knew and still knows where the bodies are buried, but a lot of good it did him.


Lots of people here seem to know nothing about Russia and just repeat what they read in the media.

Putin is no tyran, he s been democratically elected, and by a bigger majority than most presidents/PMs.

Those oligarchs are thieves, and they were running the country in the 90s and drove it to chaos and default. The IMF and the West has a massive responsibility here.

Then one man appeared and asked those thieves to stay away from power. Some accepted it (eg Abramovich), some didn't.

How can some people side with those thieves who drove their country to complete chaos??


Khodorkovsky & the Bush Regime!!

"The Khodorkovsky arrest followed an unpublicized meeting earlier that year on July 14, 2003, between Khodorkovsky and Cheney. Following the Cheney meeting, Khodorkovsky began talks with ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, Rice's old firm, about taking a major state in Yukos, said to have been between 25% and 40%.

That was intended to give Khodorkovsky de facto immunity from possible Putin government interference by tying Yukos to the big US oil giants and, hence, to Washington. It would also have given Washington, via the US oil giants, a defacto veto power over future Russian oil and gas pipelines and oil deals. Days before his October 2003 arrest on tax fraud charges, Khodorkovsky had entertained George H W Bush, the representative of the powerful and secretive Washington Carlyle Group in Moscow. They were discussing the final details of the US oil company share buy-in of Yukos.

Yukos had also just made a bid to acquire rival Sibneft from Boris Berezovsky, another Yeltsin-era oligarch. YukosSibneft, with 19.5 billion barrels of oil and gas, would then own the second-largest oil and gas reserves in the world after Exxon-Mobil. YukosSibneft would be the fourth-largest in the world in terms of
production, pumping 2.3 million barrels of crude oil a day. The Exxon or Chevron buy-up of YukosSibneft would have been a literal energy coup d'etat. Cheney knew it; Bush knew it; Khodorkovsky knew it.

Above all, Putin knew it and moved decisively to block it."

"Moscow plays its cards strategically"
By F William Engdahl
Asia Times


When Putin came to power in 2000, he offered an informal deal to Russia's oligarchs – t hey could keep their wealth but they were not to dabble in politics. Khodorkovsky broke the deal.

This clearly indicates that Putin knew by then that the Oligarchs were basically nothing elese then mafiosi and that they had adquired their wealth thru largely illegal means. Offering the deal was probably the most sensitive way of dealing with them without causing a bloody war as the country has not been that stable by then and nobody could be really sure how far the power of their money would reach. In the light of this micro analisis Khodorkovsky's imprisonment could be seen as some sort of state self defense to avoid that mafiosi finally proliferate into politics and take positions of political power which undoubtedly would have massive corrosive effects at a society and its evolution at every level.

RussianVoice -> ChrisKlein

This clearly indicates that Putin knew by then that the Oligarchs were basically nothing elese then mafiosi and that they had adquired their wealth thru largely illegal means.

Yes, and from my personal point of view, this is his biggest achievement that he stopped 'business' taking over politics completely. In a way, at some point he put a wall between the two, and stopped them from merging. If that didn't happen, Russia today would've been similar to China, where there is an elite that operates manufacturing business for the world market, and those that are used as labour. Well, Russia would've been elite that has Russian resources, and the rest would've been just mere labor force that helps to extract natural resources...

Quiescentkiev21 -> kiev21

Khordorkovsky was a part of the gangster elite and the mob just let him out, but if it were a real mafia he would be 'sleepin with the fishes'.


Generally I approve of amnesties, and it's a sign of the cruel and hard moral backwardness of the UK that we don't do them. Even the US pardons people now and then.

It's high time to free Khodorkovsky; he's been giving indications that he's ready for it and won't cause trouble, so, contrary to the nonsense in this article, it's really not a surprise. It's also a suitable way to resolve the problem of those Greenpeace types. But I do wish he wasn't including those unrepentant church-desecrating provocateur sluts in the amnesty. They belong in jail until they see why their behaviour was beyond the pale, and including them in this pre-Olympic amnesty just panders to the deluded idiots in the west who swallow the lies about them being musicians or political dissidents.


The reality is that american funded civil society initiatives run around Russia funding and creating 'human rights scandals' for the West to wring their hands at.

This is all so well known and yet never really published in the msm. America and Russia have conflicting spheres of influence and both are intolerant of real dissent at home and welcoming of it abroad when it suits their interests.

Освобождение Ходорковского виза визе рознь - Новости - Общество - Голос России

История с молниеносной доставкой Михаила Ходорковского из колонии общего режима №7 в Берлин еще раз доказывает верность мысли, высказанной в знаменитом фильме "Процесс о трех миллионах": "Тюрьма тюрьме рознь"

0В этом фильме, снятом в двадцатые годы прошлого века, мелкий вор Тапиока, которого играет Игорь Ильинский, попадает в тюрьму в момент, когда окружающие (включая тюремщиков) уверены, что ему удалось похитить 3 миллиона долларов. И воришка с удивлением видит, как прежде грубые тюремщики вытягиваются перед ним во фрунт, а вместо тюремной баланды в камеру, теперь больше похожую на номер в отеле, приносят изысканные кушания. Ведь вдруг отблагодарит, когда выйдет?

0Читайте также:

Ходорковский встретился в Берлине с сыном

"Помилование Ходорковского - акт гуманизма"

Биография Михаила Ходорковского. Справка

0Ходорковскому, проведшему десять тяжелых лет с самой страдающей частью народа, истина Тапиоки открылась, похоже, только после выхода из мест не столь отдаленных. Давно не тайна, что многие заключенные в России с самыми тяжелыми проблемами сталкиваются как раз не в неволе, а после освобождения из исправительного учреждения: за время их отсутствия в квартиры вселяются другие люди, с судимостью никто не берет на работу и т.д. А Михаила Борисовича ждал самолет под парами, трансфер с вереницей автомобилей эскорта из берлинского аэропорта "Шенефельд" в отель и прочие удобства, которые, думается, еще нескоро войдут в какой-нибудь федеральный стандарт "постпенитенциарной реабилитации лиц с непогашенной судимостью" - или какое там еще придумает определение отвечающая у нас за формулировку правительственных программ Высшая школа экономики.

0Впрочем, не только тюрьма тюрьме, но и виза визе рознь. В соответствии с шенгенскими стандартами для поездки в Германию обычный смертный россиянин может подать документы на визу "не ранее чем за три месяца до планируемой даты поездки", да потом еще нужно дождаться зафиксированной посольством даты собеседования. Похоже, для Михаила Борисовича сделали исключение. Вряд ли в посольстве ФРГ в Москве были заранее проинформированы о том, что он, оказывается, еще 12 ноября подал прошение о помиловании и что прошение это будет удовлетворено через месяц, а не через три (как положено для визы) или через шесть (когда истекал срок).

0Добавьте сюда еще справку с места работы (допустим, хорошо работает отдел кадров колонии общего режима №7), а также бумагу об отсутствии непогашенных судимостей (отбросим формализм: то, что для Запада судимость судимости рознь, мы знаем уже давно). Обязательная для других россиян "гарантия возвращения на родину" в случае Ходорковского, похоже, тоже вряд ли может быть названа стопроцентной...

0Мелочи, бюрократическая волокита? Да, но ведь нам, кажется, уже больше двадцати лет все те же господа из посольств читали лекции о равенстве всех перед законом. В деле Ходорковского этих же господ, а также их соотечественников из западных СМИ возмущала как раз "селективная юстиция". То есть почти никто из них не отрицал, что компании Ходорковского недоплачивали налоги и поглощали другие предприятия с нарушениями. Не это возмущало, скажем, немецкий журнал Der Spiegel, который назвал Ходорковского до его ссоры с Путиным и ареста в 2003 году "комсомольским перевертышем" и "приспособленцем чистой воды". Der Spiegel, как и другие западные СМИ, возмущало то, что Ходорковского за эти преступления посадили, а другие "авторы" подобных деяний ходят на свободе.

0Вопрос: а чем селективная юстиция в визовом вопросе так уж принципиально отличается от селективной юстиции уголовной? И там, и там - ограничение свободы передвижения. И там, и там - бесправие, очереди, непрозрачность, оставление за чиновником права "не называть причин отказа".

0Политологи спорят, будет ли участвовать Ходорковский в публичной политике или останется частным лицом? Соглашусь с либеральными коллегами: человек, проведший 10 лет в тюрьме, имеет право сказать, что знает жизнь народа. Он заслуживает и того, чтобы его считали сильным человеком с твердой волей. Но сильный - не всегда добрый, а твердость воли не всегда означает демократичность убеждений.

0Пока что ни один бывший олигарх в России не показал себя сильным и демократичным публичным политиком. Закрытый, явно не дружественный к массовому активисту-"пользователю" характер политических структур Михаила Прохорова, бесконечные манипуляции Березовского... Прямо скажем, не тянет это все ни на Мартина Лютера Кинга, ни даже на американского миллиардера-мэра Майкла Блумберга.

0Вот и теперь Нельсон Мандела не получился. Сторонники Ходорковского ждали его в Москве, еще лучше - в Петрозаводске или Сегеже, а не в Берлине. Не дождались. Похоже, российская бизнес-культура девяностых имеет мало общего с демократией. И место ее носителям в "топе" нашей политики обеспечивают их капиталы, а не личные качества и убеждения.


Грядёт новый Х...! Новый Х.:
Молния. Вчера произошло беспрецедентное событие. В ходе ежегодный пресс-конференции тиран и душитель свобод Влад Путин коварно отбил стандартные вопросы демократических журналистов о новом деле Юкоса, а затем громогласно объявил о помиловании Мордухая Боруховича Ходорковского. Вся либеральная общественность оказалось в шоке. Всех как из душа окатило. Стало вдруг совестливо и гадливо на душе. Ведь очевидно же, что это новая провокация КГБ.

Меня спросят, Ходорковский выходит на волю, где слезы радости на глазах всех честных и порядочных людей, геев и демократических журналистов? Ведь столько лет все рукопожатники, совестливцы и политкошерники боролись за освобождение узника совести №1. Проведено бесчисленное множество пикетов, митингов, перфомансов, хэппенингов , творческих вечеров интеллигенции и трехчасовых голодовок в поддержку главного политзаключенного этой страны. Но не рада, не рада демократическая общественность вести об освобождении Мордухая Боруховича. Многие совестливые креаклы призвали Ходорковского, если он честный человек, отказаться от путинской подачки.

Спрашивали – отвечаем. Во-первых, с выходом политузника прекратится широкий поток грантов за его освобождение. Многие НКО окажутся под угрозой существования, вынуждены будут перейти на голодный паек. А ведь нет лучшего пособника чекистскому режиму, чем голодающий правозащитник. Работать он никогда не умел и не пробовал, у КГБ появляется весомые аргументы, чтобы перепрофилировать его в свои провокаторы. Во-вторых, это меняет расклад в политических силах. Ходорковский вызывал умиление и объявлялся новой Манделой, когда он сидел в ГУЛАГе на Таймыре. Его внезапный выход на волю вызывает шок самоназванного лидера оппозиции Навального и его приспешников. Ведь Лехаим вынужден будет подвинуться на второй план. Ставя перед тяжелой дилеммой Женю Альбац. The New Times не вынесет двоих. Так что, уже предвижу ситуацию, когда бывший олигарх будет сворой Навального объявлен путинской мурзилкой.

Ну а самое главное – теряется главный козырь всего прогрессивного человечества, Стинга и Бжорк в борьбе с тоталитарным режимом Северного Мордора. Освобождая Ходорковского, коварный Путин выбивает весомый рычаг давления из рук Запада. О чем будет негодовать сенатор Джон Маккейн и составители списка Магницкого? Таким образом, мы вынуждены признать – Мордухай Ходорковский полезен всем неравнодушным креаклам, хипстерам и оппозиционным микроблоггерам был именно в ГУЛАГе. На свободе он мало кому нужен. Есть конечно призрачная надежда у любого совестливца, что во время транспортировки из ГУЛАГа с МБХ случится несчастный случай, но шансы невелики. Возникает вопрос – как дальше жить?

Давайте честно признаемся себе: Ходорковский – отработанный материал. Конечно, весь свет либеральной журналистики со слезами радости будет приветствовать Мордухая-освобожденного на банкете в редакции Эха Москвы. Но что делать дальше? На какое-то время хватит Олимпиады, рассказывая Правду о нарушениях прав человека и запрете гей-пропаганды в Сочи. Но это временное решение. Нужна новая жертва кровавого режима по масштабу фигуры, сопоставимая с Мордухаем Боруховичем. Брайтонская интеллигенция, которая постоянно думает о России и о судьбах, устроила мощный мозговой шторм в трактире "Матрешка", чтобы найти новую кандидатуру на роль главного политзека. Было выпито море скотландског уиски, сломана не одна гитара, сожжено несколько томиков Осипов Мандельштама в процессе бурных дебатов.

Давайте рассмотрим претендентов. Алексея Кабанова откидываем сразу. Конечно, в приличной компании принято подчеркивать, что он не убил жену, а якобы убил, тем более под действием внезапного помутнения рассудка (не замешано ли здесь КГБ?). Но общество не созрело иметь в безблагодатных кумирах нового Джека Потрошителя. Маша Баронова в связи с амнистией отпадает сама. Остаются две значимые кандидатуры – Тимур Хорев и Сергей Гуриев. Вокруг них и развернулись основные споры. Сторонники каждой жертвы режима приводили свои аргументы. С одной стороны отважный гражданский журналист Тимур Хорев, вынужденный тайно бежать в трущобы Лос-Анджелес, чтобы спасти свою жизнь от агентов КГБ. С другой – умнейший экономист, из золотой плеяды Гайдара, приведшей эту страну к освобождению от советской плановой экономики и осуществившей перевод на рельсы невидимой руки рынка, вызвавший небывалый энтузиазм населения этой страны в славных 90-х.

И все-таки я – за Тимура Хорева. Ну что такое Сергей Гуриев? Тихо уехал в Париж, тихо раздает интервью о притеснениях каким-то мутным личностям. Пресен и скучен. Разве может он противостоять такой глыбе как Тимур Хорев? Отцу русской игровой журналистики. Отважному гражданскому активисту днем и ночью ведущему онлайн –трансляции с оккупай-Абая. Как только где-нибудь режим задумывал осуществить какую-либо пакость, Хорев вырастал, словно из под земли, и нес миру Правду. В конце концов ОМОН поцарапал ему айпад, после чего он и покинул эту страну. А Гуриев то чем запомнился? Х умер, да здравствует Х! Даешь Хорева на замену Ходорковскому. Сенатор Джон Маккейн уже согласовал аудиенцию для гражданского журналиста и политбеженца. Ведь жить надо не по лжи. За вашу и нашу свободу. В небе Боннэр, на земле Хайкин в воде Шестой флот. В космосе Клуни, в Лос-Анджелесе Хорев. Мы здесь власть. Так победим!

С уважением, Лев Щаранский.


На тему освобождения Ходорковского тезисно.

1. Уверен, что если бы у Кремля были серьезные основания опасаться будущих политических амбиций опального олигарха, то он был не только досидел 2-й срок, но и благополучно получил очередной по 3-му делу, которым не так давно начали активно наполнять информационное пространство.
Ну а раз Ходорковский выходит, то либо Кремль уже не видит в нем серьезной угрозы, либо же получил от него какие-то гарантии связанные с перманентной возможностью возобновления уголовного преследования по другим делам.( Читать дальше...Свернуть )

2. Так или иначе, икона либеральной оппозиции была по тем или иным причинам вынуждена попросить помилования и принять его, а это конечно серьезно подрывает политические перспективы, так как отсидеть, а потом строить из себя Манделу у Ходорковского уже не получится. Мандела в отличие от, пока был в тюрьме, своим принципам не изменял (это потом, уже на свободе отдрейфовал от них). Разумеется, преданные фанаты Ходорковского простят ему эту слабость, тем более он героически держался почти 10 лет, так что тут его грех пинать, попробуйте 10 лет отсидеть, а потом на 11-м году поступится принципами, уверен, что далеко не каждый так сможет, так что тут кидать камни в Ходорковского глупо. Внутренний стержень имелся, просто наступил определенный предел.

3. Станет ли он вождем либеральной оппозиции? После помилования, шансы на это откровенно не богаты. Роль мученика, который пострадал за ПРАВДУ и не отступил от нее, ему уже не доступна. Разумеется, в либеральном лагере будут определенные группы, которые хотели бы видеть Ходорковского вождем, но это не та аудитория, которая сможет привести его к лидерству, взамен раскручиваемого Навального. Одним из, он вполне может стать, тем более, что какие-то ресурсы он мог сохранить, но возглавить в нынешних условиях - сильно вряд ли. А захочет он быть одним из, это еще вопрос. Тем более, что Ходорковский мог дать какие-то обещания в плане - не заниматься политикой, не делать политических заявлений, а то и вовсе - уехать из страны. В общем, политические перспективы у него так себе. Думаю в ближайшее время он их так или иначе обозначит.

4. Так же стоит упомянуть, что на фоне ухудшающейся экономической ситуации в стране, освобождение Ходорковского может иметь и сугубо экономическую подоплеку, призванную притормозить бегство капитала из страны. Судя по комментариям видных либералов, они хоть и настороженно отнеслись к этому освобождению, не понимания до конца всех мотивов Кремля, но с точки зрения "инвестиционной привлекательности", наблюдался сдержанный оптимизм, который может оказаться кратковременным. Будет ли от освобождения Ходорковского какой-либо экономический толк, узнаем в январе-феврале, когда скажут, сколько в этом году увели денег из страны.

5. В целом же, при желании Ходорковский мог сидеть на зоне пожизненно, в качестве живого напоминания другим олигархам, что их возможности таки ограничены властью силовиков и бюрократии, но настало время и самый известный российский полит.зэк сидевший формально за обычный криминал и экономические преступления выходит на свободу. Политические перспективы его ныне сомнительны, как один из экономических рулевых России начала "нулевых" и один из потенциальных политических лидеров, он был системой уничтожен. Сможет ли он подняться после падения с такой высоты? Едва ли. Хотя не исключаю, что если он останется в стране, то при возможных потрясениях, связанных в том числе и со сломом существующей модели у которой он плотно сидит на крючке, Ходорковский возможно еще всплывет в роли публичного политика-диссидента.

6. В обществе же это освобождение на мой взгляд будет воспринято в большинстве своем безразлично, так как кроме узкой прослойки либералов озабоченных судьбой Ходорковского для которых он стал иконой и столь же узкой прослойки охранителей, которые увидят в этом слабость власти, людям в целом, Ходорковский малоинтересен.
Лично мне он всегда был малосимпатичен как представитель той группы людей, которые с подачи правящей бюрократии разграбили страну и даже тот факт, что сидел он по сути по делу, а его подельники по правящей олигархии вообще не сидели, симпатий к нему не прибавляет. Плохо не то, что Ходорковский сидел. Плохо то, что он сидел один, став козлом отпущения за Потаниных, Авенов, Абрамовичей и Дерипасок, которые вовремя уловили изменение правил игры, а Ходорковский либо не смог, либо не захотел, за что и поплатился.


2013-12-20 12:48 (UTC)

Отпустил Ходора, все сразу захотят ехать в Сочи? Нет конечно. Там взаимоотношения намного сложнее.

Кому-то что-то показывает дядя Вова.

Ну и страдалец, значит, переформатирован в нужном русле, раз принял условия игры. Забыли все про Берёзу? А зря.

Ой, а как либерасня икру мечет…


December 19, 2013


Володя Путин помиловал ХМБ

На этот раз Владимир Путин превзошел сам себя, просто зажег вечерние новости. На евроньс блеяли, блеяли про свой сьезд дружных народов африканско- европейских стран, даж не сразу отреагировали про новость о своем любимом детище- Мише. прихуели- не верят. Рупор евреев эхо москвы тоже язык из... часа два не мог вынуть, икали все, тож видать ума не хватало понять. А Путин просто так, по деловому сказал: написал - помилуем. Ну конечко разные адвокатишки глювганты прихуели, мол мы не знаем ничего и пр.

А хули вам знать, господа юристы, идите учите ГК и УК, Миша вам нихуя не доверял никогда, прошение сразу через прапора дежурного Начальнику тюрьмы передал. И правильно, а адвокатишки явно зажали бы прошение, ктож такие бабки хочет потерять? еврейская община детям своим мандарины на новый год не покупает какой год- все в фонд Ходорковского. Конца и края нет деньгам, знай протестуй. боюсь эхо москвы теперь закроется, после десятилетних вливаний за пиар такой облом. и главное неожиданно. дружная команда защитников Ходорковского уже так наз третье дело придумало, бабки из госдепа должны были рекой течь и тоже облом! Блллядь , а ведь теперь придется работать пойти! На завод или озеленение улиц.

А за такие деньги, что там платят на самолете то в европу да штаты- израэль не накатаешься, а еще ведь и свита прицепом... пиздец короче, обломал Володя целую отрасль. да, следом еще этих баб тупых наверное отпустят, ну их должны немецкие налогоплательщики содержать, а они им будут песни петь. Оппозиция в полном ахуе, ленточки выпали, айфоны тоже, майдан в бессилии заламывает руки обращая свой взор в Европу- поможите люди дорые! А те: ну вас нахуй, заебали дикари, мы вас понять не можем. и правильно!

The Real Crime of M. Khodorkovsky Correction added by F. William Engdahl

Mikhail Khodorkovsky's real crime was not stealing Russia's assets for a pittance in the bandit era of Yeltsin. His real crime is that he was a key part of a Western intelligence operation to dismantle and destroy what remains of Russia as a functioning state. When the facts are known the justice served on him is mild by comparison to US or UK standard treatment of those convicted of treason against the state. Obama's torture prison at Guantánamo is merely one example of Washington's double standard.

According to the politically correct sanitized account in Wikipedia, "Yukos Oil Company was a petroleum company in Russia which, until 2003, was controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky…Khodorkovsky was convicted and sent to prison…Yukos was one of the biggest and one of the most successful Russian companies in 2000-2003. In 2003, following a tax reassessment, the Russian government presented Yukos with a series of tax claims that amounted to $27 billion. As Yukos's assets were frozen by the government at the same time, the company was not able to pay these tax demands. On August 1, 2006, a Russian court declared Yukos bankrupt. Most of Yukos's assets were sold at low prices to oil companies owned by the Russian government. The Parliamentary Council of Europe has condemned Russia's campaign against Yukos and its owners as manufactured for political reasons and a violation of human rights."

GIF - 31.4 kb
Prior to his arrest in 2003 Khodorkovsky (in the photo with first Russian President Boris Yeltsin) funded several Russian parties, including the Communist Party, most of which were in competition with each other.

If we dig a little deeper however we find a quite different case. As he stepped out of his private plane in Siberia in October 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested. He was arrested, as Wikipedia correctly states, for tax crimes. What they did not say is that he at the tender age of 40 had risen to become the richest man in Russia worth some $15 billion by fraudulent acquisition of state assets during the lawless Yeltsin era. In an auction run by his own bank, Khodorkovsky paid $309 million for Yukos. In 2003 the same company was assessed as worth $45 billion, and not owing to Khodorkovsky's management genius.

In 1998, Khodorkovsky had been let free in a US case where he was charged with helping launder $10 billion with his own bank and the Bank of New York. He had very influential friends in the US it appeared. The then head of the Republic National Bank of New York, Edmund Safra, was murdered some months later in his Monaco apartment reportedly from members of an alleged "Russian mafia" whom he had cheated in a drug money laundering scheme.

But there was more. Khodorkovsky built some impressive ties in the West. With his new billions in effect stolen from the Russian people, he made some powerful friends. He set up a foundation modeled on US billionaire George Soros' Open Society, calling it the Open Russia Foundation. He invited two powerful Westerners to its board-Henry Kissinger and Jacob Lord Rothschild. Then he set about to develop ties with some of the most powerful circles in Washington where he was named to the Advisory Board of the secretive private equity firm, Carlyle Group where he attended board meetings with fellow advisors such as George H.W. Bush and James Baker III.

However, the real crime that landed Khodorkovsky behind Russian bars was the fact that he was in the middle of making a US-backed coup d'etat to capture the Russian presidency in planned 2004 Russian Duma elections. Khodorkovsky was in the process of using his enormous wealth to buy enough seats in the coming Duma elections that he could change Russian laws regarding ownership of oil in the ground and of pipelines transporting same. In addition he planned to directly challenge Putin and become Russian President. As part of the horse trade that won Putin the tacit support of the wealthy so-called Russian Oligarchs, Putin had extracted agreement that they be allowed to hold on to their wealth provided they repatriate a share back into Russia and provided they not interfere in domestic Russian politics with their wealth. Most oligarchs agreed, as did Khodorkovsky at the time. They remain established Russian businessmen. Khodorkovsky did not.

Moreover, at the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky was in the process of negotiating via his Carlyle friend George H.W. Bush, father of the then-President George W. Bush, the sale of 40% of Yukos to either Condi Rice's former company, Chevron or ExxonMobil in a move that would have dealt a crippling blow to the one asset left Russia and Putin to use for the rebuilding of the wrecked Russian economy: oil and export via state-owned pipelines to the West for dollars. During the ensuing Russian state prosecution of Yukos, it came to light that Khodorkovsky had also secretly made a contract with London's Lord Rothschild not merely to support Russian culture via the Open Russia Foundation of Khodorkovsky. In the event of his possible arrest (Khodorkovsky evidently knew he was playing a high-risk game trying to create a coup against Putin) the 40% share of his Yukos stocks would pass into the hands of Lord Rothschild.

The crocodile tears of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the violations of Khodorkovsky's human rights hide a far deeper agenda that is not being admitted. Washington used the Russian to try to reach its goal of totally destroying the only power left on the earth with sufficient military strike power to challenge the Pentagon's Full Spectrum Dominance strategy-control of the entire planet. When seen in that light the sweet loaded words "human rights" take on a quite different meaning.

At the author's request, Voltaire Network is reproducing a letter correcting a reference he made in this article:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dear Mr. Engdahl,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation and Mrs. Lily Safra concerning an article which you published on the website, on January 5, 2011, entitled "The Real Crime of M. Khodorkovsky."

The article contains the following reference which is false:

"The then head of the Republic National Bank of New York, Edmund Safra, was murdered some months later in his Monaco apartment reportedly from members of an alleged "Russian mafia" whom he had cheated in a drug money laundering scheme."

In fact, Mr. Safra's death was ruled by a court to be arson by one individual. Mr. Ted Maher confessed to the crime and was convicted by the Court of Monaco in 2002. He was sentenced to a prison term, which was served in its entirety. There was never a question of any other person's or group's involvement.

We would appreciate your posting this correction of the erroneous information on your site.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best Regards,

Seth Goldschlager
Safra S.A.

Truth & Beauty (… and Russian Finance)

A Voice of Dissent – from an ex-White House Lawyer

That man's name is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former majority owner and CEO of Yukos, Russia's largest oil company. Khodorkovsky, who has become an international cause célèbre as a supposed Russian "prisoner of conscience," was sentenced on December 30 to 14 years in jail on fraud charges. This means he will serve another six years in jail, following the end of a current eight-year sentence he is serving on charges dating from 2004. The verdict has met with widespread international condemnation for selective justice.

But for the man who launched the hunt for Viktor Bout, the charges against Khodorkovsky would have come as no surprise. In 2000, the same year as he started the hunt for Bout, in a seminal article in the U.S. flagship journal Foreign Affairs, Wolosky accused Khodorkovsky of egregious crimes, even suggesting complicity in murder, called on the Russian government to strip him of his oil company, and for the West to launch a transnational law-enforcement campaign against Khodorkovsky and his colleagues.

In hindsight, Wolosky's targeting of Khodorkovsky in 2000 shows that the West's adoption of the oligarch's cause only a few years later was hardly written in the stars. Instead Wolosky represented a new consensus among U.S. policymakers that things had gone badly wrong in Russia and the oligarchs were to blame.

"These ruthless oligarchs have fleeced Russia of staggering sums, seizing control of its oil industry one of the world's largest in the process," Wolosky wrote in the article. "Through payoffs and intimidation, they have insinuated themselves into electoral politics and virtually immunized themselves from prosecution," he continued.

The White House security official called for the United States to treat Russia's oil oligarchs Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky "like pariahs." "In the battle against the oligarchs," he wrote, "Moscow and the West must rely on every weapon available. If they do not, the oligarchs will."

The manifesto-like article, entitled "Putin's Plutocrat Problem," set down the views that secured Wolosky's appointment in the last years of the Clinton administration as director at the U.S. National Security Council's Office for Transnational Threats. In this capacity, Wolosky handled interagency coordination on issues related to counterterrorism, international organized crime, and international narcotics.

His job was to protect America from what President Bill Clinton called "the dark side of globalization." Wolosky was well qualified to do so, being among the first to comprehend the shockwave of crime and violence the collapse of the Soviet Union sent around the world. Having worked alongside Grigory Yavlinsky and Jeffery Sachs in Moscow on reform initiatives in the last years of the Soviet Union, in the later 1990s he then tangled with the misshapen results of those reforms Russia's ruthless breed of businessmen in international courtrooms as a practicing lawyer.

A research fellowship at the Council of Foreign Relations then marked his return to the policy arena, and allowed him to formulate the arguments set down in his Foreign Policy article. The influence of his views on Russia was such that the incoming Republican administration of George W. Bush in 2001 even retained him in his position, although a Democrat. Wolosky's calls for a tougher line on Russia, and on what he regarded as its openly criminal and internationally active oligarchs, dovetailed with the views of Bush's own Russia specialists, such as new national security advisor Condoleeza Rice.

Among the weapons Wolosky advocated against the oil oligarchs was transnational criminal prosecution of individuals, similar to that later deployed against Viktor Bout. It was time, said Wolosky, for the West to "get personal" with the "oil pariahs."

Another weapon Wolosky advocated was for Russia to renationalize its oil sector. "Given the extraordinary circumstances and the considerable stakes, the United States and multilateral organizations should actively encourage and support renationalization and re-privatization on a case-by-case basis," he wrote.

And at the heart of White House official Wolosky's analysis of the "oil pariahs" stood the figure of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

In his article, which deals only with the years 1998 to 1999 – Wolosky detailed how "Khodorkovsky's Yukos managed to siphon off some $800 million during a span of approximately 36 weeks," in 1999 through transfer pricing forcing Yukos' Russian subsidiaries to sell oil at a fraction of world market prices to the holding company.

Wolosky also described how Khodorkovsky had engaged in massive asset-stripping of Yukos subsidiaries following the 1998 financial crisis: "After three international banks acquired approximately 30 percent of Yukos following a default on a loan to an affiliated bank, Khodorkovsky sought to turn Yukos into an empty shell. He forced it to convey its most significant asset its controlling position in oil production subsidiaries to unknown offshore entities. At the same time, he attempted the mother of all share dilutions: by transferring a massive number of new shares to offshore entities he is believed to control."

Not content with this, according to Wolosky, Khodorkovsky and his colleagues "loot(ed) their companies even more directly by stealing valuable assets, including wells, equipment, and anything else that can be found on an oil field." "From 1997 to 1998, Yukos made the oil production companies it controls part with assets having a book value of some $3.5 billion," the U.S. White House official wrote.

But even this theft on a grand scale was not the worst of Khodorkovsky's offences, according to Wolosky. Wolosky suggested Khodorkovsky had been complicit in two contract killings in the course of 1998 to 1999 alone. "In June 1998, the mayor of Nefteyugansk was murdered. That spring, he had led a very public crusade and hunger strike against Yukos, protesting the enormous wage and tax arrears that he claimed were impoverishing the region. (…) The mayor had previously sent a secret cable to Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko requesting his assistance in the showdown. But the mayor was found dead before Kiriyenko could answer."

"In March 1999," continued the U.S. official in the Foreign Affairs article, "the car of a Russian oil executive allied with Western investors against Yukos was attacked in a military-style ambush. The executive was not in the car at the time of this attempt on his life the second such attack. His bodyguards and driver were not as fortunate, however: one was killed in the assault, the others badly wounded."

In 2006, a Russian court sentenced former Yukos head of security Aleksei Pichugin to lengthy prison sentences for organizing these and other contract killings. European representatives have however disputed that Pichugin, who claims innocence, had a fair trial.

Khodorkovsky never took legal action against Wolosky for the very damaging allegations made against him in a highly influential U.S. journal. Remarkably, nor did he specifically refute any of Wolosky's allegations in a letter he subsequently wrote to the journal's editor. Instead he merely called Wolosky's analysis "simplistic" and "misguided" and warned the U.S. that any "economic warfare" against oligarchs would worsen already fragile relations between the United States and Russia.

Today, Wolosky, who has returned to practicing international corporate law for Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, stands behind his views on Khodorkovsky of over ten years ago. "I have little doubt that Mr. Khodorkovsky's business practices were highly irregular," he says, while however skeptical that Khodorkovsky has been afforded due process. Wolosky said he was unable to comment on the Russian state's case against Khodorkovsky.

Wolosky's political career ended in 2001. But, while he has been largely silent on Russia and its oligarchs since then, he made numerous high-profile public interventions on the Bout case, forcing reluctant officials to keep the gunrunning mastermind on the national security radar. He attributed this reluctance to Bout's role in performing dangerous airlifting contracts for the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Two thousand and ten finally brought him the public accolades he deserved, for his groundbreaking work in bringing Viktor Bout to justice.

Meanwhile, nearly eleven years after a White House national security official called for Mikhail Khodorkovsky's prosecution and the renationalization of Yukos, international debate still rages over Khodorkovsky's jailing, and what it tells us about Vladimir Putin's Russia. But it is in a very different vein from the debate about Khodorkovsky in 2000. "After the last presidential election, in 1996, the oligarchs captured Yeltsin, his successive governments, and the political process," wrote Wolosky in 2000. "Regrettably, few signs so far point to significant changes under Putin."



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