I think that’s enough to tie Russia’s abysmal purposes in Ukraine to its government’s criminal character at home. Russians have proven weak or bereft of power at home–more the latter, but they have nonetheless painted themselves before the world–and have made themselves ugly worldwide.
The scrapes here are dated but cogent. Ukraine has long maintained surrender hotlines for Russian troops intent on surviving Putin’s catastrophe. For defectors, Vladimir Osechkin has been a go-to via his gulagu site–I’d include the .net extension but haven’t been able to reach it myself (related in Wikipedia). What follows: scraped quotes (in no particular order) and additional reference. For philosophy: life is full of leavings, some sad and sweet, some sudden and wrenching.
Note: in the Blogosphere, “scraping” refers to a part of my method, which distills to “Collect, Select, and Opine”–but when one doesn’t “opine” very much, the work amounts to relay with a minimum of commentary, i.e., “scraping”.
With the Russia v. Ukraine War and Putin’s willful churning of young Russians into fertilizer for Ukrainian soil, Russian motivation for turning against Putin should be powerful in its latency. Indeed, Putin has made his world that of political, practical, and unconscionable criminals making themselves legend for their brutality, dishonesty, greed, ruthlessness, and, ultimately, essential worthlessness.
Caesar said Legion fighters are ideologically diverse but share in fierce anti-Putinism. “Our people hold different views, but we are united in our rejection of the Kremlin dictatorship and the desire to reformat Russia,” he said.
“Our country must become a democratic power, but for this, a reboot of the entire political and social system, lustration, decolonization, de-imperialization and a complete constitutional re-establishment of the state must be carried out.”
Senior Lieutenant at Russian FSB Counterintelligence defected to Europe. Emran #Navruzbekov was to be sent to Turkey & Syria for an operation against Russian citizens wanted by Putin. Instead, he used the opportunity to flee to Europe with a goldmine of intelligence & asked for political asylum.
Emran says the 2nd Service of the FSB essentially controls all criminal activities in Dagestan and Chechnya.
The FSB kidnaps, tortures, & extorts successful businessmen & others who can pay a ransom. The FSB has their own torture chambers across the region for this purpose.
“The last 10 years I do a lot of things to protect the human rights and other people. But in this moment, I understood that my mission to help other people created a very high risk to my family,” Osechkin told CNN from France, where he’s lived since 2015 after he fled Russia and claimed asylum. He now has full-time police protection.
He’s become the champion of a growing number of high-level Russian officials defecting to the West, emboldened and disgruntled by the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. He says ex-generals and intelligence agents are among their number.
Igor Volobuyev spent two decades working in the heart of the Russian business establishment, first for Gazprom and then for its affiliate Gazprombank, where until February this year he was vice-president.
Then Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine in late February, and Volobuyev decided he could no longer stand living in Russia. He packed a small rucksack of possessions and a stack of cash, and flew out of the country on 2 March, pretending he was going on holiday.
A few days later, he crossed from Poland into Ukraine, where he spent his childhood years. Now, he spends his days trying to convince officials to provide him with Ukrainian documents and allow him to sign up for military service.
The history of the Cold War and post-Cold War eras is rife with elaborate, almost implausible tales of defectors and double agents, sometimes even triple agents, spies who worked for one or more governments simultaneously for love or money or for the simple thrill of leading a hidden life. There are those with access to state secrets, some immeasurably valuable, who betrayed their country for ideological reasons or, as they often rationalize the treachery to themselves, perfectly pragmatic ones.
And now there is a historic first: the enemy spy who came back to the people who caught and released him.
This one analysis by French international affairs and security analyst Nicolas Tenzer sets a certain, different, high, and independent standard for diplomatic community and lay readers alike.
The reality is that Moscow is not in a position to seek a balance with the democratic world. It does not set itself limits that could prefigure any compromise, even one that is not very acceptable to us, and the search for a give-and-take on the basis of which a more or less lasting peace could be envisaged. An allegedly “prudent” approach to Russia would be the worst form of imprudence—the history of the last twenty-three years bears witness to this—and any prospect of negotiations a fool’s game. To continue to hold such a discourse about the end of the war in Ukraine is a serious mistake, because it is part of the Russian hope of reaching a compromise, even if it is less than its initial ambitions. To make such remarks would be to do exactly what Moscow is looking for: to present itself as a supposed partner with whom it is possible to reach an agreement, to believe in its signature—which is constantly flouted—and to suggest that the Russian regime is not an absolute enemy. This would again trivialize its crimes. To pretend to give any credence to Russia’s supposed interests as expressed by the regime would be to question the fundamental principles enshrined in the international treaties drawn up in the aftermath of the Second World War. There is certainly no possibility of stability with a power that seeks instability through destruction.
Russia and its culture and language are in no danger as regards their contributions and sustained presence in the world. All that is at stake for Russia is a political criminal–one Vladimir Vladimirovich “Vovo” Putin, in fact, a murderer of ordinary Russians–his associates and cronies and as yet unknown criminals in the transnational crime trades.
“”Up to 70 percent of missiles we are able to stop, but 30 percent is enough.”
Proof of sovereignty?
Proof of sovereignty might be the sovereign’s ability to treat the ownership of property and persons as alike, and that might include (in fact, has included) the ability to destroy either at will and with impunity. For reference, hunt as I would have to through Richard Pipes’ Russia Under the Old Regime: The History of Civilization. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974. The term of interest: “patrimonial authoritarianism”, and it’s in there somewhere–and I have out-aged patience for that kind of hunt.
In the Old Country’s old system, all powered flow down from the Tsar on high as ordained by God, no less, through the Power of the Church and the persuasive power of faith backed, always, by force and wealth.
#PutinFullTonto has lost all credibility in speech while retaining the utmost attention for the wanton destruction that has become Russia’s stain on humanity in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and elsewhere in the former Soviet spheres of control or influence. He has without compassion or intelligence spread brutality, chaos, and death wherever the same serves associated criminals, dictators, and warlords, and so by now he may be imagining a cold and subdued Ukraine, in part or whole, serving other forward operations or merely basing advanced-contemporary and nuclear assets, say, for heightening threats that might inspire “concessions”.
The West’s sin in all of this? To allow, so far, an archaic feudal and criminally bent leadership and its corrupt or intimidated sycophants to threaten not only Ukraine but all of the extraordinary enterprise of Europe, the Atlantic Alliance, and the healthier states of the world.
Hunting the Last Mastodon
You don’t just go into the woods and throw a spear at it.
The West has managed the preliminaries of weakening the damned thing–sanctions to power it down some; confiscations to dampen its confidence while helping it embarrass itself. The Great Internet Reflector and plain truth about malign narcissistic illness and much else might have been more helpful had its target had a lick of conscience and humanity left in its steroid bloated body, but there it sits in Moscow or Wherever, deeply isolated, loathed, and paranoid.
How is it–this #PhantomOfTheSoviet and #GhostOfImperialRussia–going to go down? And what is to come when it does?
Although Putin has been doing a fine job of destroying himself as well as the wealth, power, and relative security of his closest assigns and associations, he has still advanced weapons systems in submarines, hypersonic missiles, and “tactical” nuclear warheads, and he knows he may destabilize and destroy with impunity whatever he wishes for fear of his lunacy.
No mass death or destruction have yet come to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
The imposing of western sanctions has been but a matter of adjustment in relationships elsewhere.
The “Fragile Empire” has been proving surrounding polities, not only the “demo” made of Ukraine, more fragile in their development and heightened sensitivity to threats–or now imposed–disruptions.
How would you like to be hit by an enemy you’re not allowed to hit back?
What if it was your friend’s enemy enjoying that impunity, and you knew that you and yours would be next to be beaten, bribed, intimidated, robbed?
What if you knew that your forces were blocking 90 percent of airborne attacks but the ten percent getting through was destroying basic civilian power infrastructure?
What does “winning” mean when your losing enemy forces are nonetheless freezing and displacing your people?
Of course, Putin and his Russia are losing too, but he is only losing the better–the more good–of his human resources, and his state is only losing money and international stature. That’s not enough for stopping him. As the Malignant Narcissist (#MaligNarc) that he has been, he and his circle needs must be deprived of power and stopped cold, for in his own delusional mind, he cannot lose, and his enablers, sycophants, and fellow thugs are all in too deep for leaving him. War criminals themselves for what they have abetted, they, and exactly like the Nazis before them, may find no refuge elsewhere–or sadly find it through some realpolitik involving occult cash reserves that may land an obscure outpost or two for living (very well, thank you) on the lowdown.