Then their anger was diverted to the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the KGB’s founding father. A couple of men climbed up and slipped a rope round his neck. Then he was yanked up by a crane. Watching “Iron Felix” sway in mid-air, Mr Kondaurov, who had served in the KGB since 1972, felt betrayed “by Gorbachev, by Yeltsin, by the impotent coup leaders”. He remembers thinking, “I will prove to you that your victory will be short-lived.”
Those feelings of betrayal and humiliation were shared by 500,000 KGB operatives across Russia and beyond, including Vladimir Putin, whose resignation as a lieutenant-colonel in the service had been accepted only the day before. Eight years later, though, the KGB men seemed poised for revenge. Just before he became president, Mr Putin told his ex-colleagues at the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB’s successor, “A group of FSB operatives, dispatched under cover to work in the government of the Russian federation, is successfully fulfilling its task.” He was only half joking.
It is a great honour for me to give the first Tom Lantos Rule of Law Lecture. I would like to thank Annette Lantos, Katrina Lantos, and their whole large family for all their support over these 10 long years.
Today, the outside world is seeing Russia more and more as an aggressive country with an outmoded economy…
Against the background of the latest scandals about interference in elections, military adventurism in Syria and the Donbass, and the seizure of territories in Crimea, my country is more and more often being mentioned in the same breath as places like Iran and North Korea.
Of course, I don’t agree with this, but I cannot help but notice that we are regularly starting out from the position of an aggressor. Of a country that disrupts the world order, an exporter of tension and corruption. And the fact that we are not the only country like this gives me no comfort whatsoever.
I can’t help but notice that my country’s ambition to be a world leader is not supported by the viability of its economic system and the results it produces.These are becoming ever more dismal as the country has stalled its way into stagnation.
Sharapov was imprisoned for 10 years when Vladimir Putin came to power.
Prior to this, in 1993, President Yeltsin confessed to him and his teacher, Vladimir Gomelskyi, that he cannot remove communists even around him in the Kremlin.
Sharapov was an assistant to the deputy of the Commission the Legislative Assembly of the city, where Putin comes from (Saint Petersburg). He was one of the initiators of the procedure for liquidating the District Committee of the Communist Party in the city, and transferring the building to the House of Freedom. Together with Gomelskyi, he was an initiator of dismantling Lenin’s monument at the central station in St. Petersburg.
Starting from 1989 until his arrest in 2000, he was creating anti-communist trade unions without employers and their agents on the basis of the Charter of the Polish group “Solidarity”. These unions were members of the Association of Free Trade Unions “Justice”.
Sharapov won a number of court trials while protecting employee trade unions, but lost his own criminal trial. The court passed the verdict without the presence of a jury in a remote northern region of Russia, where prisoners were tortured. The court’s decision contained Sharapov’s accusation in killing of a previously convicted person with two blows into the stomach, however, the man was killed by the two policemen. In reality, the authorities could not forgive him for the organization of anti-communist trade unions independent of the government in the largest Russian port, on the main railroad from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and in St. Petersburg’s subway, as well as for the organization of victorious workers’ strikes.
After his release, he was seen among the defenders of the Euromaidan barricades in Ukraine.
Given Tehran / Moscow-Tehran’s duplicity where their ambitions have been concerned, State would have known the Iranian treaty worthless before it was signed and consequently used weakness (remember Kerry’s pink tie?) to purchase time for other measures.
In that Moscow-Tehran tie together in analysis, the same policy in diplomacy has helped Moscow-Damascus destroy Syria while running down Moscow’s ready cash base. Possibly: we weren’t going to be blackmailed by the incubating of ISIS or the threat of mass migration; instead, in time-honored fashion, we have been watching the enemies of the west destroy themselves.
The Saudi deal — billions in arms — seems more complex but pursues similar ends in relation to the continued diminishment of the once Soviet Era axis that Moscow has been trying to sustain and Washington has been trying to neutralize and transform. In that the Saudis have had a long history with The English and today are today heavily invested in western success (look over Kingdom Holdings) and taking some steps to alter the deeply medieval character of the state — https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/11/02/sixteen-women-the-kingdoms-most-powerful/ — the relationship may be more valuable than the arc of time involved in getting a medieval state that has contained itself from violently aggressing against the west — into position for updating.
That these “moves” work too slowly and across Administrations dissatisfies us, but some — well, maybe just me — who take the long view of Russian, Islamic, and post-revolution Iranian politics, the popular demand for direct-fast change promises primarily to deliver the chaos and violence of revolution and war (which may have to be met in any case given Moscow-Tehran’s commitment to feudalism, feudal political methods, and the sustaining for their populations a medieval worldview). It would seem better to maneuver both into being less ready for war on a large scale — one by allowing the leadership to run the state short on ready operating cash (Russia) and the other (Iran) by way of the modern wants of its constituents, who will find they cannot get what they want if their regime cannot contain itself.
Claims regarding Iran’s innocence in relation to global terrorism are fallacious. The state supports Hezbollah and Hamas and is itself an immense kleptocracy — http://www.reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1 .
As regards Sunni-based terrorism, a fair look-up of “Zawahiri, Russia” should straighten that out. In the wake of the Soviet defeat in the 1980s, the criminals appear to have picked up on the CIA/ISI method of producing a treasury-draining proxy (Charlie Wilson’s Taliban) and throwing it back at the west.
The Kingdom has invested heavily in western success (via Kingdom Holdings) and has embarked on cultural updating sufficient to produce an iconic set of accomplished women — https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/11/02/sixteen-women-the-kingdoms-most-powerful/ . However, sigh, in the medieval worldview, the legitimacy of kingdoms rest on the persuasive power of clerics.
My trope for all dictatorships: “Different Talks — Same Walk!”
They all produce leaders who look good on the outside — well, maybe Qadaffi’s a stretch on that — but turn out irredeemably ugly on the inside. I call them “MaligNarcs”, short for “Malignant Narcissists”.
The greater east-west framework: feudal methods, medieval worldview v modern democratic rule of law and the constraint of power by representative means. On that, the House of Saud has a long history with “the English” and may be expected to lean westward with time. The same may not be said today of Moscow / Moscow-Tehran and all the related phantoms of the Soviet Era.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
BackChannels readers have enjoyed a glimpse of the relationship between Moscow and terrorism.
The same have witnessed the destruction of Syria by Bashar al-Assad as flanked by Vladimir Putin and Ali Khamenei and how the casualty, IDP, and refugee figures have mounted on the chaos and mass destruction of warfare overseen by Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran.
The ambitious in research have figured out that the three dictatorships would rather fight the west than “The Terrorists” and then use the terrorists — al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and others — in their own interest in sustaining feudalism far into the 21st Century. They should also know of the former Iraqi Baathist officers, those who once served Saddam Hussein, and their role in the creation and “handling” of ISIS.
If you think Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a separate issue . . . think again.
The organizer of the march for Ukraine in Washington, D.C., Ed Skibicki reports that the Ukrainian-language version of the march has pulled more than 120,000 views.
In BackChannels’ opinion, these videos and related material should be pulling hundreds of thousands of viewers worldwide as Ukraine serves — and as it has many times in history and too much in modern or “post-medieval” history — as a front line state standing against the barbarism, iron rule, greed, malign narcissism, and ruthlessness put on full display in Syria and Crimea by the once “Red-Green” phantoms of the Cold War.
Note and update 5/22/2017: BackChannels has trusted UA Position but hasn’t seen second source corroboration on the Crimea story. Source seems to be Crimean Tatar via
Related by Euromaidan Press and published in April 2017:
An alarmist announcement in one publication associated with the justifiable want of sympathy in the maw of an invading force encourages doubt; however, as noted immediately below and in patched-in sections, open source headlines and reports suggest Russia has been revitalizing once abandoned Cold War Era assets in Crimea.
Within the past year:
November 2016: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/727788/Russia-Vladimir-Putin-Crimea-missile-bunkers-Soviet-Cold-War-global-attack-Nato-Ukraine – “Putin renovates Cold War Missile Bunkers in Crimea as Russia prepares for global assault.”
Again: has Moscow really planted nuclear missiles in Crimea?
This note comes from the Federation of American Scientists and comments on similar web claims dating back to 2014:
The news media and private web sites are full of rumors that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons to Crimea after it invaded the region earlier this year. Many of these rumors are dubious and overly alarmist and ignore that a nuclear-capable weapon is not the same as a nuclear warhead.
Several U.S. lawmakers who oppose nuclear arms control use the Crimean deployment to argue against further reductions of nuclear weapons. NATO’s top commander, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has confirmed that Russian forces “capable of being nuclear” are being moved to the Crimean Peninsula, but also acknowledged that NATO doesn’t know if nuclear warheads are actually in place.
Nuclear arms agreements may have comfort the public of an earlier day, but ambiguity would seem to bedevil the field.
From BackChannels’ open source perspective, there are no authoritative or official sources or statements. What appears in the chronologically ordered headlines, however, suggests a course in the redevelopment of Cold War Era military facilities.
A few twists and turns further and the driver pulled over to the side of the road. He was saying something about a monastery, and pointing to a series of blue roofs that rose up above the trees ahead of us. Presumably, it was the only viable tourist destination that he could think of in this vicinity. He seemed friendly enough, so I risked blowing our cover – leaning forward to say, “Objekt Dva-Dva-Adin.”
Our driver laughed, repeated the name of the colossal ruin, once a well kept military secret, and turned the car around.
It is a functioning military base with an anti-ship missile system,” the villager told a Reuters reporter who visited the area in July.
The bunkers are just one small part of a new Russian programme to militarise the Crimean peninsula. Based on recent site observations by Reuters, accounts from locals, media reports and official Russian data, Moscow has reanimated multiple Soviet-built facilities in the region, built new bases and stationed soldiers there
Related: Scandinavian Defense
I had started this separate post last night, but as things may move fast in Crimea and Syria — readers may wish also to take a look at Russia’s cash position as regards funding its aggression and barbarism against the autonomous, democratic, or western-leaning states of its surrounding world — this brief referencing may as well ride along on the same because, essentially, the material is about the same thing: Moscow’s brandishing its biggest gun, i.e., the threat of nuclear exchange and all that may follow it.
Related: Libya: Moscow Naval Launch Exercises
Chess pieces, demonstrations, exercises, sales, and threats — there’s a mix of prudence and evil that seeps down into the economies of all Big Defense Production states, but Moscow has placed itself in the desperate position of wanting to produce a primary defense industry even while Russians suffer from the funds siphoned away for its foreign ambitions and apparently natural kleptocratic tendencies.
Related: General Russian Defense Industry
Putin is allocating unprecedented amounts of secret funds to accelerate Russia’s largest military buildup since the Cold War, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The part of the federal budget that is so-called black — authorized but not itemized — has doubled since 2010 to 21 percent and now totals 3.2 trillion rubles ($60 billion), the Gaidar Institute, an independent think tank in Moscow, estimates.
Stung by sanctions over Ukraine and oil’s plunge, Putin is turning to defense spending to revive a shrinking economy. The outlays on new tanks, missiles and uniforms highlight the growing militarization that is swelling the deficit and crowding out services such as health care. Thousands of army conscripts will be moved into commercial enterprises for the first time to aid in the rearmament effort.