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.
Greater awareness of the Soviet Era history of the Far Left may help make greater sense of Hassan Akkad’s recent experience.
In relation to yesteryear:
According to Stanislav Lunev, GRU alone spent more than $1 billion for the peace movements against the Vietnam War, which was a “hugely successful campaign and well worth the cost”. Lunev claimed that “the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad”.
Lunev, Stanislav and Ira Winkler. Through the Eyes of the Enemy: Russia’s highest ranking military defector reveals why Russia is more dangerous than ever. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998.
In relation to now:
Perhaps Great Britain’s version of America’s New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left should wish to recover the memory of it’s being played by Moscow.
Vladimir Putin’s fascist nationalist revanche — that thing once again anchored by secret police, the adulation of a Great Leader, and the reappearance of deeply patronized (and compromised) aristocracy — appears to have proven George Orwell as relevant today as back when.
Have another look at the silencing of the one lone protester for Syrian lives at the British “Stop the War UK” event:
After a video of the encounter video was shared widely online, Mr Akkad told the BBC: “I didn’t see them protesting against the chemical attacks, I didn’t see them protesting against Putin bombing Syria for the last two years.
“I wanted to go to that protest and I wanted to observe.
“I went to the protest and I saw a group of 30 people with placards, not a single mention of Assad.
“All the placards are against Donald Trump and they’re repeating baseless slogans with their megaphones.”
Posted to YouTube by The New York Times, April 7, 2017.
The public presentation of conflict may attempt to keep separate Syria, Ukraine, Russia, and Iran, but I don’t think the Kremlin (this is a good comment for Kremlin Watch) has an “Off” button in association with the defense of the autocratic feudal past that each dictatorship represents. Expect “mission creep”.
The inflammatory header now running in the UK’s The Sun: “‘ONE STEP FROM WAR’ Furious Russia warns Trump he has ‘completely ruined’ relations with Moscow after Syria gas attack revenge bombing – as Putin sends warship to the Med” – https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3275613/donald-trump-us-attacks-syria-chemical-attack-sarin-latest-news/
And at this time in the more moderate European News:
BackChannels doesn’t know which way to go with the latest reports of the bombing of a subway car in St. Petersburg — cynical or sincere?
False flag (remember the “Moscow Apartment Bombings“) or authentic independent action by an enemy of the state?
Islamic terrorists or domestic dissenters?
For catching up:
BackChannels may experiment here with watch-write updating on this post.
This is a complicated attack made more so by the foreknowledge that the Russian State, if true to form, will frame it for the public and neither the public nor the sincere among police may have access or authority in the investigation launched.
In the west, the public would trust involved security services to get to the truth and to tell the truth. In Russia, one may expect absolute authority to say what it may and for the public to nod agreeably or mumble away in political impotence.
(more to come)