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“The gunmen were armed quite seriously, they had everything they needed in their arsenal including machine guns and grenade launchers,” Kadyrov said in an interview on the radio station Echo of Moscow. He added that authorities had been expecting an attack and were prepared, though the assault was anticipated for Dec. 12, Russia’s Constitution Day.


(Posted to YouTube by RT 12/4/2014)

Yanukovych Leaks

Putin’s Russia – Miami University, Havighurst Center, Russian & Post-Soviet Studies

Pacepa, Ion Mihai and Rychlak, Ronald J.  Disinformation.  Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2013.

Kundera, Milan.  The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.  Michael Henry Heim, translator.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.

It isn’t simply that “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” as the novel’s most famous line has it. Kundera was showing us not only how one major event sweeps away another, but just how hard it is to remember at all, how disorienting to our own point of view and sense of time it is to try to follow what is going on around us.

http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/remembering-and-forgetting-milan-kundera/ – 4/18/2011 – essay authored by Aaron Retica.

In retaliation for losing Ukraine in the Russian-dominated CIS, Putin seized control of Crimea after a bogus referendum in which 97 percent of the population allegedly voted. The same thing was about to happen in the heavily Russian populated East of Ukraine but halted due to International Sanctions.

Hillstead, Justin.  “Russia is the only country at fault in the Ukraine conflict.” Euromaidan Press, November 27, 2014.

Corruption is a major obstacle to doing business in Russia, and petty corruption is common. The business environment suffers from inconsistent application of laws and lack of transparency in public administration. The public procurement sector is notoriously corrupt, with fraud related to government tenders costing the state billions of dollars each year.

 http://www.business-anti-corruption.com/country-profiles/europe-central-asia/russia/snapshot.aspx – September 2014.

Corruption claims related to the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cups have been circulating. In mid-November, FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of any wrongdoing following an in-depth report by Michael Garcia, FIFA’s leading U.S. investigator and chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee. After FIFA cleared both nations, Garcia slammed the organization for not properly representing the facts. FIFA is once more reviewing his report.

http://www.newsweek.com/sony-drops-fifa-sponsorship-amid-corruption-scandal-288443 – 12/1/2014.

Navalny on Putin’s citing corruption in Russia’s defense sector now and back in 2012. (In Russian, machine translated here).

Inexplicably, President Zeman called on his EU and NATO partners to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea on the grounds that the 1954 decree that transferred the region to Ukraine was “stupid.” He went on Russian television and denounced the sanctions as counterproductive. As far as the fighting in eastern Ukraine was concerned, Zeman argued, the West had no right to interfere since it was a civil war.

Lukes, Igor.  “Prague’s velvet: wearing off 25 years later.”  The Conversation, December 4, 2014.

Igor Luke’s piece fits with BackChannel’s own observations about despotic power (e.g., “Putin-Assad-Khamenei”) and drifts toward it (e.g., “Putin-Orban”) and explanations for the same developed in the books listed in the “Russian Section” of this blog’s incredible library.

I started this post close to the start of Putin’s address (in the above RT video) and may have 30 minutes left before the same draws to a close.  🙂  The Russian President’s emphasis returning capital flight from Russia and developing technology may correspond both to sanctions and reduced oil prices as well perhaps to either desire (that would be nice) or the purchase of time (more likely, chatyping here as a skeptical blogger) to continue developing neo-feudal nationalism and avenues of export for it in eastern Europe.

With loose reference here to political psychology, one may apply the notion that autocrats understand one another better than they do their natural enemies: democratic modern socialists and open society humanists.  Still, as I listen to Putin’s translator – about 56 minutes in — and remarks about population and health care, the turn westward (don’t tell him!) is unmistakable.  Inside of two minutes (and a little more), capitalization, equality, health care, economic and industrial forecasting, education and training, human development and achievement have been injected into the address.

Will Putin — and the oligarch super billionaires, all 110 or thereabouts — walk the turnaround talk?


Dear colleagues, health care, education, social support, social security must become issues of true public good, true public value.  They need to serve our entire society.  

We cannot imitate education.

We cannot imitate health care or social security.

We cannot imitate caring for people.

We need to learn to respect ourselves.

We need to look at this important notion such as reputation and that reputation of a specific hospital, school, institution, or social office is a building stone in the overall reputation of our country . . . .”

If Putin’s neo-feudal and vertical-around-the-power inner circle, nomenklatura, and FSB turn about to embrace integrity and place it in value one step above loyalty — now that will take courage! — well, hell, I’d campaign and vote for him!


Psychology treats persons in part in their capacity as problems unto themselves, never mind their effects on others — everyone may need help, but there’s just one patient and experience of mind at a time.

Political psychology by definition needs must deal with both the vagaries of personality and the social organization of the same.  By inference, we may expect the individual reprobate to consider and find a way of cleaning up his act and at practically any cost: as much becomes for a person an ethical, moral, and spiritual matter, a matter between himself and God or himself, history, nature, and time.

That is man confronting himself and how that story goes matters most to himself.

Putin’s reflection, as I am listening to it, involves the society he has created around himself, and that society has displaced immense wealth from the Russian people: will the owners of the state now return their stakes and set off the process of redistribution down through a new meritocratic Russia?

Noblesse oblige?

It might work.

One notices with people that efforts to improve in one area often yield improvements in other areas as well.

Best advice (if anyone’s reading): draw down the curtain on political theater.  Locally.  Globally.

Become real.

And please stop entertaining the PFLP, using the middle east to distract from eastern Europe, and much else that confuses intimidation, pandering, and patronage — and the fuller suite of degrading, demeaning, and dehumanizing methods — with legitimate power.

Remember what you said: you cannot imitate education, healthcare or social security, or caring for people.

I’ll add my two cents: you cannot imitate integrity either.

Take your time, for time has time in abundance for change.

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