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Putin the Great

Russia’s Imperial Impostor

By Susan B. Glasser



On January 27, 2018, Vladimir Putin became the longest-serving leader of Russia since Joseph Stalin. There were no parades or fireworks, no embarrassingly gilded statues unveiled or unseemly displays of nuclear missiles in Red Square. After all, Putin did not want to be compared with Leonid Brezhnev, the bushy-browed septuagenarian whose record in power he had just surpassed. Brezhnev, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, was the leader of Putin’s gritty youth, of the long stagnation that preceded the empire’s collapse. By the end, he was the butt of a million jokes, the doddering grandfather of a doddering state, the conductor of a Russian train to nowhere. “Stalin proved that just one person could manage the country,” went one of those many jokes. “Brezhnev proved that a country doesn’t need to be managed at all.”

Putin, a ruler at a time when management, or at least the appearance thereof, is required, prefers other models. The one he has liked the longest is, immodestly, Peter the Great. In the obscurity and criminality of post-Soviet St. Petersburg in the 1990s, when Putin was deputy mayor, he chose to hang on his office wall a portrait of the modernizing tsar who built that city on the bones of a thousand serfs to be his country’s “window to the West.” By that point in his career, Putin was no Romanov, only an unknown former lieutenant colonel in the KGB who had masqueraded as a translator, a diplomat, and a university administrator, before ending up as the unlikely right-hand man of St. Petersburg’s first-ever democratically elected mayor. Putin had grown up so poor in the city’s mean postwar courtyards that his autobiography speaks of fighting off “hordes of rats” in the hallway of the communal apartment where he and his parents lived in a single room with no hot water or stove.

Peter the Great had no business being his model, but there he was, and there he has remained. Earlier this summer, in a long and boastful interview with the Financial Times in which he celebrated the decline of Western-style liberalism and the West’s “no longer tenable” embrace of multiculturalism, Putin answered unhesitatingly when asked which world leader he admired most. “Peter the Great,” he replied. “But he is dead,” the Financial Times’ editor, Lionel Barber, said. “He will live as long as his cause is alive,” Putin responded.

No matter how contrived his admiration for Peter the Great, Putin has in fact styled himself a tsar as much as a Soviet general secretary over the course of his two decades in public life. The religion he grew up worshiping was not the Marxist-Leninist ideology he was force-fed in school but the heroic displays of superpower might he saw on television and the imperial grandeur of his faded but still ambitious hometown, Peter’s town. Strength was and is his dogma, whether for countries or men, and the Russian emperors’ motto “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality” is a closer philosophical fit with today’s Putinism than the Soviet paeans to international workers’ solidarity and the heroism of the laborer that Putin had to memorize as a child. Brezhnev was not the model for Putin but the cautionary tale, and if that was true when Putin was a young KGB operative in the days of détente and decline in the 1970s and early 1980s, it is even more the case now, when Putin faces the paradox of his own extended rule, defined by great length but also by perpetual insecurity.

SURVIVOR: RUSSIA

Insecurity might seem the wrong word for it: Putin is well into his 20th year as Russia’s leader and in some ways appears to be at his most powerful, the global template for a new era of modern authoritarians. In the early years of this century, when the post-Soviet wave of democratization still seemed inexorable, Putin reversed Russia’s course, restoring centralized authority in the Kremlin and reviving the country’s standing in the world. Today, in Washington and certain capitals of Europe, he is an all-purpose villain, sanctioned and castigated for having invaded two neighbors—Georgia and Ukraine—and for having provoked Western countries, including by interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump and using deadly nerve agents to poison targets on British soil. His military intervention in Syria’s civil war helped save the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making Putin the most significant Russian player in the Middle East since Brezhnev. His increasingly close alliance with China has helped usher in a new era of great-power competition with the United States. Finally, it appears, Putin has brought about the multipolar world that he has dreamed of since he took office determined to revisit the Americans’ Cold War victory. All that, and he is only 66 years old, seemingly vigorous and healthy and capable of governing for many more years to come. His state is no Brezhnevian gerontocracy, at least not yet.

But if Putin has aspired to be a ruthless modern tsar, he is not the all-seeing, all-powerful one he is often portrayed to be. He is an elected leader, even if those elections are shams, and his latest term in office will run out in 2024, when he is constitutionally required to step aside, unless he has the constitution changed again to extend his tenure (a possibility the Kremlin has already raised). Putin has struggled at home far more than his swaggering on the world stage suggests. He controls the broadcast media, the parliament, the courts, and the security services, the last of which have seen their influence metastasize to practically Soviet-era levels under his rule. Yet since winning his latest fake election, in 2018, with 77 percent of the vote, his approval ratings have declined precipitously. In a poll this past spring, just 32 percent of Russians surveyed said they trusted him, according to the state pollster, the lowest level of his long tenure, until the Kremlin demanded a methodological change, and his approval rating now stands in the mid-60s, off from a high of close to 90 percent after his 2014 annexation of Crimea. The subsequent war he unleashed through proxies in eastern Ukraine has stalemated. Protests are a regular feature of Russian cities today—a decision to raise the retirement age last year was particularly unpopular—and a genuine opposition still exists, led by such figures as the anticorruption activist Alexei Navalny, despite years of state efforts to shut it down. Putin has no obvious successor, and today’s Kremlinologists report an increase in infighting among the security services and the business class, suggesting that an enormous struggle for post-Putin Russia has already begun.

At every stage of Putin’s long, eventful, and unlikely rule, there have been similar moments of uncertainty, and often there has been an enormous gap between the analysis of those in distant capitals, who tend to see Putin as a classic dictator, and those at home, who look at the president and his government as a far more slapdash affair, where incompetence as well as luck, inertia as well as tyranny, has played a role. “Stagnation,” in fact, is no longer an automatic reference to Brezhnev in Russia anymore; increasingly, it is an epithet used to attack Putin and the state of the nation, beset as it is by corruption, sanctions, economic backwardness, and an indeterminate program for doing anything about it all. At the end of 2018, Putin’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said that Russia’s economy was mired in a “serious stagnation pit.” As the economist Anders Aslund concludes in his new book, Russia’s Crony Capitalism, the country has devolved into “an extreme form of plutocracy that requires authoritarianism to persist,” with Putin joining in the looting to become a billionaire many times over himself, even as his country has grown more isolated because of his aggressive foreign policy.

Sheer survival—of his regime and of himself—is often the aim that best explains many of Putin’s political decisions, at home and abroad. In 2012, when Putin returned to the presidency after a hiatus as prime minister so as to observe constitutional niceties, he was greeted with massive demonstrations. These shook Putin to the core, and his belief that street protests can all too easily turn into regime-threatening revolutions is the key to understanding his present and future behavior. On the international stage, no cause has animated Putin more than the prospect of another country’s leader being forced from office, no matter how evil the leader or how deserved the toppling. Early on in his presidency, he opposed the “color revolutions” sweeping some post-Soviet states: the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan. He condemned the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar al-Qaddafi in Libya. He went to war after his ally Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, fled the country amid a peaceful street uprising. He is an antirevolutionary through and through, which makes sense when you remember how it all began.

FROM DRESDEN TO THE KREMLIN

The first revolution Putin experienced was a trauma that he has never forgotten, the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the resulting collapse of the communist regime in East Germany. It happened when he was a 36-year-old undercover KGB operative stationed in Dresden, and Putin and his men were left on their own to figure out what to do as angry East Germans threatened to storm their offices, burning papers “night and day,” as he would later recall, while they waited for help. Putin had already become disillusioned by the huge disparity between the higher standard of living in East Germany and the poverty he was used to back home. Now, he saw his country’s leadership, weak and uncertain, abandon him, too. “We cannot do anything without orders from Moscow,” he was told. “And Moscow is silent.”

This is perhaps the most memorable passage from Putin’s 2000 as-told-to memoir, First Person, which remains both the key source for understanding the Russian president’s history and a prescient document in which he laid out much of the political program he would soon start implementing. The revolution in East Germany, as scarring as it was for Putin, turned out to be only the prelude to what he considered and still considers the greater catastrophe, the collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union itself, in 1991. This was the signal moment of Putin’s adult life, the tragedy whose consequences he is determined to undo.

Putin would go from his KGB posting in the backwater of Dresden to president of Russia in less than a decade, ascending to the Kremlin on New Year’s Eve in 1999 as Boris Yeltsin’s handpicked successor. Yeltsin, aging and alcoholic, had brought democracy to Russia after the Soviet collapse but had soured his country on the word itself, which had come to be associated with economic crisis, gangster rampages, and the crooked giveaway of state assets to communist insiders turned capitalists. By the end of his two terms in office, Yeltsin was barely able to speak in public and was surrounded by a corrupt “Family” of relatives and associates who feared they would face prosecution once they lost the protection of his high office.

Putin had arrived in Moscow at an opportune moment, rising in just a few years from an obscure job in Yeltsin’s presidential administration to head of the post-Soviet successor to the KGB, known as the Federal Security Service, or FSB. From there, he was appointed prime minister, one in a series of what had been up until then replaceable young Yeltsin acolytes. Putin, however, was different, launching a brutal war in the breakaway republic of Chechnya in response to a series of domestic terrorist attacks whose murky origins continue to inspire conspiracy theories about the FSB’s possible role. His displays of macho activism transformed Russian politics, and Yeltsin’s advisers decided that this KGB veteran—still only in his 40s—would be just the sort of loyalist who could protect them. In March 2000, Putin won the first of what would be four presidential elections. As in those that followed, there was no serious competition, and Putin never felt compelled to offer an electoral program or a policy platform.

But his agenda from the start was both clear and acted on with breathtaking speed. In just over a year, Putin not only continued to wage the war in Chechnya with unforgiving force but also reinstated the Soviet national anthem, ordered the government takeover of the only independent television network in Russia’s history, passed a new flat tax on income and required Russians to actually pay it, and exiled powerful oligarchs—including Boris Berezovsky, who had helped him come to power and would later suspiciously turn up dead in his British home. Over the next few years, Putin would further consolidate his authority, canceling elections for regional governors, eliminating political competition in the State Duma, and surrounding himself with loyal advisers from the security services and St. Petersburg. He also, in 2004, arrested Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s richest man, and seized his oil company in a politically charged prosecution that had the intended effect of scaring Russia’s wealthy robber barons into subservience.

These actions, even at the time, were not difficult to read. Putin was a KGB man in full, an authoritarian modernizer, a believer in order and stability. And yet he was called a mystery, a cipher, an ideological blank slate—“Mr. Nobody,” the Kremlinologist Lilia Shevtsova dubbed him. Perhaps only U.S. President George W. Bush found Putin to be “very straightforward and trustworthy” after getting “a sense of his soul,” as he announced after their initial 2001 summit meeting in Slovenia, but Bush was not alone in considering Putin a Western-oriented reformer who, although certainly no democrat, might prove to be a reliable partner after Yeltsin’s embarrassing stumbles. At the World Economic Forum in Davos a year earlier, an American journalist had asked the new Russian president point-blank, “Who is Mr. Putin?” But of course, it was the wrong question. Everyone already knew, or should have.

In many ways, Putin has been strikingly consistent. The president who made headlines in 2004 by calling the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century” is the same president of today, the one who told the Financial Times earlier this year that “as for the tragedy related to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, that is something obvious.” For Putin, the goal of the state remains what it was when he came to office two decades ago. It is not a policy program, not democracy or anything approaching it, but the absence of something—namely, the upheaval that preceded him. “Ultimately,” he said in the same interview, “the well-being of the people depends, possibly primarily, on stability.” It might as well have been his slogan for the last 20 years. Where once there was chaos and collapse, he claims to offer Russia confidence, self-sufficiency, and a “stable, normal, safe and predictable life.” Not a good life, or even a better one, not world domination or anything too grand, but a Russia that is reliable, stolid, intact. This may or may not continue to resonate with Russians as the collapse of the Soviet Union recedes further and further from living memory. It is the promise of a Brezhnev, or at least his modern heir.

MISUNDERESTIMATING PUTIN

Today, Putin is no more a man of mystery than he was when he took power two decades ago. What’s most remarkable, knowing what we know now, is that so many thought he was.

There are many reasons for the mistake. Outsiders have always judged Russia on their own terms, and Americans are particularly myopic when it comes to understanding other countries. Putin’s rise from nowhere received more attention than where he intended to take the country. Many failed to take Putin either seriously or literally until it was too late, or decided that what he was doing did not matter all that much in a country that U.S. President Barack Obama characterized as a “regional power.” Often, Western policymakers simply believed his lies. I will never forget one encounter with a senior Bush administration official in the months just before Putin decided to stay in power past his constitutionally limited two terms and engineered his temporary shift to the Russian premiership. That would not happen, I was told. Why? Because Putin had looked the official in the eye and said he wouldn’t do it.

In general, U.S. interpretations of Putin’s Russia have been determined far more by the politics of Washington than by what has actually been happening in Moscow. Cold Warriors have looked backward and seen the Soviet Union 2.0. Others, including Bush and Obama at the outset of their presidencies and now Trump, have dreamed of a Russia that could be a pragmatic partner for the West, persisting in this despite the rapidly accumulating evidence of Putin’s aggressively revisionist, inevitably zero-sum vision of a world in which Russia’s national revival will succeed only at the expense of other states.

There are many reasons why the West misunderestimated Putin, as Bush might have put it, but one stands out with the clarity of hindsight: Westerners simply had no framework for a world in which autocracy, not democracy, would be on the rise, for a post–Cold War geopolitics in which revisionist powers such as Russia and China would compete on more equal terms again with the United States. After the Soviet collapse, the United States had gotten used to the idea of itself as the world’s sole superpower, and a virtuous one at that. Understanding Putin and what he represents seems a lot easier today than it did then, now that the number of democracies in the world, by Freedom House’s count, has fallen each year for the past 13 years.

When Putin came to power, it seemed as though the world was going in the opposite direction. Putin had to be an outlier. Russia was a declining power, “Upper Volta with nukes,” as critics used to call the Soviet Union. Putin’s project of restoring order was necessary, and at least not a significant threat. How could it be otherwise? On September 9, 2001, I and a few dozen other Moscow-based correspondents traveled to neighboring Belarus to observe the rigged elections in which Alexander Lukashenko was ensuring his continuation as president. We treated the story as a Cold War relic; Lukashenko was “the last dictator in Europe,” as the headlines called him, a living Soviet anachronism. It was simply inconceivable to us that two decades later, both Lukashenko and Putin would still be ruling, and we would be wondering how many more dictators in Europe might join their club.

History has shown that just because something is inconceivable does not mean it won’t happen. But that is an important reason we got Putin wrong, and why, all too often, we still do. Putin is only nine years away from hitting Stalin’s modern record for Kremlin longevity, which appears to be more than achievable. But the West’s long history of misreading Russia suggests that this outcome is no more preordained than Putin’s improbable path to the Russian presidency was in the first place. We may have misunderestimated him before, but that doesn’t mean we might not misoverestimate him now. The warning signs are all there: the shrinking economy, the shrill nationalism as a distraction from internal decay, an inward-looking elite feuding over the division of spoils while taking its monopoly on power for granted. Will this be Putin’s undoing? Who knows? But the ghost of Brezhnev is alive and well in Putin’s Kremlin.

~ Foreign Affairs

September/ October 2019
 

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ألكسندر دوغين عندنا...يا مرحباً يا مرحباً
حازم صاغية

قبل قرن ونيّف، كان سؤال بعض النُخَب عندنا: «كيف نصبح مثل الغرب الديمقراطي؟». بعد قرن ونيّف، أضحى سؤال البعض: «كيف نصبح مثل روسيا؟» التي لم تنجح مرة في الانتقال إلى الديمقراطية. القياس اليوم مختلف: طهران مثلاً أرّقها عدم امتلاك الأسلحة الجوية التي تمتلكها موسكو وتقتل السوريين بكفاءة. على هذا النحو يرتسم الطموح وتُختار النماذج. مؤسسة إيرانية اسمها «الأفق الجديد الدولي» مهمومة بالسؤال في صيغته الجديدة، عقدت مؤتمراً في بيروت دعت إليه الروسي ألكسندر دوغين. وسائل الإعلام المرعية من إيران و«حزب الله» احتفلت بالضيف غير العادي.

دوغين، الذي لمع اسمه في ظل فلاديمير بوتين، فيلسوف يطوّر عقيدة مدارها استثنائية روسيا. الرجل يسعى إلى مزيد من البوتينية بعد تحسينها، أي تقريبها أكثر فأكثر من أفكاره. الأهم أنه أراد لهذا العالم أن يكون توتاليتارياً، حيث الدولة تراقب أقوال الجميع وأفعالهم. يعارض حقوق الإنسان وكونيّتها وحكم القانون، ويعتبرها أفكاراً مُعادية صادرة عن غرب مُعادٍ. كثيرون ينظرون إليه كمهرّج، لكن كثيرين يحملونه على محمل الجدّ. في شبابه، إبّان العهد السوفياتي، طُرد دوغين من الجامعة، وكان معروفاً عنه إعجابه بالفلاسفة المناهضين للعقلانية والحداثة. لكنه كان أيضاً معجباً بهتلر. لقد تأثّر بمثقفين ثلاثة تُنسب إليهم بدايات الدعوة الأوراسية: إيفان إيلاين (1883 - 1954)، ونيقولاي تروبتسكوي (1890 - 1938)، وليف غوميليوف (1912 - 1992). المناخ الفكري لهؤلاء يدور على نحو وآخر حول «رسالة روسيا الحضارية»: إنها المسألة التي لازمت، منذ القرن التاسع عشر، ثقافة روسية تنازعتها السلافية والأوروبة. ثالثهم وأشهرهم، الإثنوغرافي غوميليوف، ابن الشاعرين الكبيرين نيكولاي غوميليوف وآنّا أخماتوفا، نزيل السجون ومعسكرات العمل السوفياتية، وفي الوقت نفسه هو لاسامي متزمّت. الأوراسية، كما بلورها دوغين في 2001، مفادها أن وقوع روسيا بين أوروبا وآسيا يعطيها طابعاً فريداً وغير غربي. فهي ليست وطناً فحسب، بل حضارة أساساً. هويّتها لا تنتمي إلى الفيدرالية الروسية، بل إلى «العالم الروسي». العدو الطبيعي لهذا «العالم»: الغرب. دوغين أسّس «اتحاد الشبيبة الأوراسية» اليميني المتطرّف الذي عُرف بمسيرة شبه موسولينية في العاصمة الروسية. أعطي منصباً تعليمياً في جامعة موسكو الرسمية، وتردّد أن بوتين تأثّر به، خصوصاً حين تحدث إلى التلفزيون، بعد إلحاق القرم، عن الانتماء «إلى العالم الروسي». دوغين اعتبر أن رئيسه تبنّى آراءه عن التفوّق الإثني والثقافي والديني لروسيا. ويبدو أن بعض المحيطين بالرئيس يتبنّون فعلاً هذه الأفكار. في الحالات كافة تحوّل إلى نجم إعلامي مؤثّر، بعدما قضى سنوات يدافع علناً عن تقسيم أوكرانيا واستعمارها.

على أن الغرب المكروه ليس كل الغرب. إنه تحديداً الشطر الديمقراطي والليبرالي منه. فمن عِبَر القرن العشرين استنتج دوغين ضرورة تطبيق ما هو مفيد من الفاشية والستالينية، وبالتالي بناء بلشفية قومية. وهو حين أيّد انتخاب دونالد ترمب رئيساً، عام 2016، شدّد على أن ما يفصل بين روسيا والغرب هو أفكار التنوير المتصلة بحكم القانون والحقوق الفردية. من دون هذه يصبح الغرب ممتازاً، أما قادته فحين يفهمون أن هذه أفكار سيّئة، لا يعود هناك سبب للخلاف. دوغين امتدح الشعب الأميركي، لكنه دعاه إلى التخلّص من نُخَبه «الأوليغارشيّة» واعتناق قيم حقيقية، أي توتاليتارية وفاشية.

الحركة الأوراسية هذه تهجس بإمبراطورية تديرها موسكو، إمبراطورية عظمى تتأسس على قيم محافظة وعلى المسيحية الأرثوذكسية. العائلة والاستقامة الجنسية أساسيتان في التصوّر الدوغيني.

وهذا ليس من صراع الحضارات. إنه، على العكس، دعوة إلى اللقاء بين حضارات متشابهة في إصرارها على مقاتلة الغرب، أي رفض الحداثة والديمقراطية والكونية مما يسمّيه دوغين الهيمنة الأطلسية الرأسمالية والليبرالية. ذاك أنه لا بدّ من بناء تحالفات استراتيجية في أرجاء المعمورة بين القوى المناهضة للأطلسية وهيمنتها. أما «الثورات الملونة» فليست سوى القاطرة التي تُستَخدم لتوطيد تلك الهيمنة.

إيران الخمينية تحظى بموقع مكرّس في هذا التحالف. حتى اليسار، لا يعارض دوغين ضمّه إلى مشروعه شرط أن يعترف بالقيم التقليدية والمحافظة، وأن يعادي الحداثة وكونيّة القيم. هذا حاصلٌ اليوم.

بهذا تقود روسيا «موجة ثالثة» ضدّ الغرب بعد موجتين سابقتين قيصرية وبلشفية: الأولى صدّت عنها الكاثوليكية والبروتستانتية، والثانية حَمتْها من الرأسماليّة والتفسّخ.

هذه الوصايا هي بالضبط ما ينقصنا في هذا الجزء من العالم الذي يعاني فائضاً في الحريات وحكم القانون! فكيف إذا ترافقت مع هزيمة روسية ثالثة تلي الهزيمتين اللتين أطاحتا الموجتين الأولى والثانية؟

لقد سبق لبعض العرب أن أنشأوا تحالفات مشابهة مع النازية الألمانية والشيوعية السوفياتية، وكان ما كان من كوارث مطنطنة. أما أن تكون مجابهة الصهيونية، كما قيل، سبب التوجّه هذا، فيذكرنا بأن المجابهة نفسها كانت ذريعة التحالفات الكارثية السابقة. هذا علماً بأن بوتين، لا دوغين، هو من يقرّر في هذا المجال. وهو قد قرّر بشهادة تقاسم الأجواء السورية مع الإسرائيليين. تبقى نصيحة طهران لنا بأن نغطس مرة أخرى في الأوحال إياها. والحال أن هذه الأفكار الموحلة من أفضال الثورة الإيرانية ونظامها علينا. إن العاطفة أخوية لا يرقى الشك إلى ذلك.

الشرق الأوسط
 

Picasso

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Putin’s Long War Against American Science

By William J. Broad


A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses.

On Feb. 3, soon after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency, an obscure Twitter account in Moscow began retweeting an American blog. It said the pathogen was a germ weapon designed to incapacitate and kill. The headline called the evidence “irrefutable” even though top scientists had already debunked that claim and declared the novel virus to be natural.

As the pandemic has swept the globe, it has been accompanied by a dangerous surge of false information — an “infodemic,” according to the World Health Organization. Analysts say that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has played a principal role in the spread of false information as part of his wider effort to discredit the West and destroy his enemies from within.

The House, the Senate and the nation’s intelligence agencies have typically focused on election meddling in their examinations of Mr. Putin’s long campaign. But the repercussions are wider. An investigation by The New York Times — involving scores of interviews as well as a review of scholarly papers, news reports, and Russian documents, tweets and TV shows — found that Mr. Putin has spread misinformation on issues of personal health for more than a decade.

His agents have repeatedly planted and spread the idea that viral epidemics — including flu outbreaks, Ebola and now the coronavirus — were sown by American scientists. The disinformers have also sought to undermine faith in the safety of vaccines, a triumph of public health that Mr. Putin himself promotes at home.

Moscow’s aim, experts say, is to portray American officials as downplaying the health alarms and thus posing serious threats to public safety.

“It’s all about seeding lack of trust in government institutions,” Peter Pomerantsev, author of “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,” a 2014 book on Kremlin disinformation, said in an interview.

The Russian president has waged his long campaign by means of open media, secretive trolls and shadowy blogs that regularly cast American health officials as patronizing frauds. Of late, new stealth and sophistication have made his handiwork harder to see, track and fight.

Even so, the State Department recently accused Russia of using thousands of social media accounts to spread coronavirus misinformation — including a conspiracy theory that the United States engineered the deadly pandemic.

The Kremlin’s audience for open disinformation is surprisingly large. The YouTube videos of RT, Russia’s global television network, average one million views per day, “the highest among news outlets,” according to a U.S. intelligence report. Since the founding of the Russian network in 2005, its videos have received more than four billion views, analysts recently concluded.

Because public interest in wellness and longevity runs high, health disinformation can have a disproportionally large social impact. Experts fear that it will foster public cynicism that erodes Washington’s influence as well as the core democratic value of relying on demonstrable facts as a basis for decision-making.

“The accumulation of these operations over a long period of time will result in a major political impact,” Ladislav Bittman, a former Soviet bloc disinformation officer, said in explaining the Kremlin’s long-game rationale.

Sandra C. Quinn, a professor of public health at the University of Maryland who has followed Mr. Putin’s vaccine scares for more than a half-decade, said the Russian president was drawing on an old playbook. “The difference now is the speed with which it spreads, and the denigration of the institutions that we rely on to understand the truth,” she said in an interview. “I think we’re in dangerous territory.”

Living weapons

As a young man, Mr. Putin served in the K.G.B., the Soviet Union’s main intelligence agency, from 1975 to 1991. He worked in foreign intelligence, which required its officers to spend a quarter of their time conceiving and implementing plans for sowing disinformation. What Mr. Putin accomplished is unclear. But public accounts show that he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and that his 16-year tenure coincided with a major K.G.B. operation to deflect attention from Moscow’s secret arsenal of biological weapons, which it built in contravention of a treaty signed with the United States in 1972.

The K.G.B. campaign — which cast the deadly virus that causes AIDS as a racial weapon developed by the American military to kill black citizens — was wildly successful. By 1987, fake news stories had run in 25 languages and 80 countries, undermining American diplomacy, especially in Africa. After the Cold War, in 1992, the Russians admitted that the alarms were fraudulent.

As Russia’s president and prime minister, Mr. Putin has embraced and expanded the playbook, linking any natural outbreak to American duplicity. Attacking the American health system, and faith in it, became a hallmark of his rule.

At first, his main disseminator of fake news was Russia Today, which he founded in 2005 in Moscow; in 2008 it was renamed RT, obscuring its Russian origins.

Early in 2009, a particularly virulent flu, named H1N1, swept the globe, and thousands of people died. That year, the network featured the conspiratorial views of Wayne Madsen, a regular contributor in Washington whom it described as an investigative journalist. In at least nine shows and text bulletins, Mr. Madsen characterized the deadly germ as bioengineered. “The world is actually fighting a man-made tragedy,” one bulletin declared.



That June, Mr. Madsen told RT viewers that the virus makers had worked at a shadowy mix of laboratories, including the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Md. The institute’s official job is to help defend the United States against the kinds of pathogens that Mr. Madsen accused it of creating.

In a follow-up show, Mr. Madsen said the virus had been spliced together from other flu strains, including the virus responsible for the 1918 pandemic, and likened its creators to the mad scientists of “Jurassic Park,” the hit movie about resurrected dinosaurs. RT’s chyron for the show characterized the result as “Germ Warfare.”

In 2010, the network founded a new arm, RT America, a few blocks from the White House. Mr. Madsen became a regular on-camera guest.

In 2012 Mr. Putin added the military to his informational arsenal. His newly appointed head of the Russian Army, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, laid out a new doctrine of war that stressed public messaging as a means of stirring foreign dissent. That same year, a shadowy group of trolls in St. Petersburg began using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to fire salvos of junk information at millions of Americans. The goals were to boost social polarization and damage the reputation of federal agencies.

A rich opportunity arose in 2014 when Ebola swept West Africa. It was the worst-ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, eventually claiming more than 10,000 lives.

RT’s gallery of alleged criminals once again included the U.S. Army. The network profiled an accusation by Cyril Broderick, a former plant pathologist, who claimed in a Liberian newspaper article that the outbreak was an American plot to turn Africans into bioweapon guinea pigs, and cited the AIDS accusation as supporting evidence.



The RT presenter noted that the United States was spending hundreds of millions of dollars to aid Ebola victims in Africa but added: “It can’t buy back the world’s trust.”

The trolls in St. Petersburg amplified the claim on Twitter. The deadly virus “is government made,” one tweet declared. Another series of tweets called the microorganism “just a regular bio weapon.” The idea found an audience. The hip-hop artist Chris Brown echoed it in 2014, telling his 13 million Twitter followers, “I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control.”

C.D.C. in the cross hairs

Mr. Putin’s campaign of health misinformation was now a global enterprise, with the creative energy of a fun house and the ability to strike anywhere.

The next target was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States’ flagship public health agency. In late 2014, a rash of fake news reports falsely claimed that an Ebola victim in Liberia had been flown to Atlanta, starting a local outbreak. A YouTube video showed what it described as C.D.C. personnel, in hazmat suits, receiving and moving the patient in secret. The deceptive video included a truck bearing the logo of the Atlanta airport.

A rush of tweets turned up the volume. “Panic here in ATL!!” one stated. Another exclaimed, “OMG! Ebola is everywhere!”

As the Kremlin grew more confident, it began to simply recycle old narratives rather than wait for new epidemics to emerge. In 2017, Russian trolls used Twitter to give the AIDS falsehood new life. This time the claimed perpetrator was Dr. Robert Gallo, a scientist who in 1984 had actually helped discover the virus that causes AIDS. The tweets quoted him, falsely, as saying he had designed the pathogen to depopulate humanity. The trolls cited a website, World Truth. Its video attacking Dr. Gallo registered nearly four million views.

Six researchers centered at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that, over decades, the false narratives around AIDS had fostered a “lack of trust” among African-Americans that kept many from seeking medical care. Their 2018 study, of hundreds of black men in Los Angeles who have sex with men, reported that nearly half the interviewees thought the virus responsible for AIDS had been manufactured. And more than one-fifth viewed people who take new protective drugs as “human guinea pigs for the government.”

Beleaguered defenders

Within Russia, Mr. Putin has been a staunch proponent of vaccines.

“I make sure I get my vaccinations in time, before the flu season starts,” he told listeners to a 2016 call-in show. At a televised meeting with doctors in St. Petersburg, in 2018, he scolded Russian parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids: “They endanger the lives of their own children.”

Calling the issue “very important,” he warned of possible administrative steps to speed the pace of childhood immunizations. Last fall, Russia’s health authorities laid out expanded rules that require strict new adherence to protocols for childhood vaccination.

At the same time, Mr. Putin has worked hard to encourage Americans to see vaccinations as dangerous and federal health officials as malevolent. The threat of autism is a regular theme of this anti-vaccine campaign. The C.D.C. has repeatedly ruled out the possibility that vaccinations lead to autism, as have many scientists and top journals. Nonetheless the false narrative has proliferated, spread by Russian trolls and media.

Moreover, the disinformation has sought to implicate the C.D.C. in a cover-up. For years, tweets originating in St. Petersburg have claimed that the health agency muzzled a whistle-blower to hide evidence that vaccines cause autism, especially in male African-American infants. Medical experts have dismissed the allegation, but it reverberated.

In a series of 2015 tweets, Russian trolls promoted a video of a black minister in Los Angeles addressing a rally. “They’re not just shooting us with guns,” he told the audience. “They’re killing us with needles.” The minister and accompanying text in the video claimed that childhood immunizations had caused autism in 200,000 black children.

RT America echoed the charge. It focused on “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” a 2016 film by Andrew Wakefield, a discredited anti-vaccine activist. When the film was pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival after a public outcry, the network aired an interview with its creators. “Can we trust the C.D.C. on vaccines?” a plug for the show asked.

Russian trolls fired off tweets containing links to the film and a fund-raising site for its promotion. One claimed that autism rates were about to skyrocket to “1 in 2” vaccinated children.

Mr. Putin’s disinformation blitz has coincided with a drop in vaccination rates among children in the United States and a rise in measles, a disease once considered vanquished. The virus, especially in infants and young children, can cause fevers and brain damage. Last year, according to the C.D.C., the United States had 1,282 new cases, a record in recent decades; of these, 128 involved hospitalizations and 61 resulted in major complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

The new threat

The Moscow site that retweeted the coronavirus blog in February belongs to a Russian news outlet called The Russophile. It is tauntingly bold. The author portrait on its Twitter page shows an unidentifiable soldier in green fatigues holding an orange tabby cat. The background image is a colorized Kremlin mosaic. The site calls itself a “news feed from free (= not owned by the globalist elite) media.”

On the site’s About page, under the heading “Some more reasons for our existence,” is a quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

The website lists its owner’s name as OOOKremlinTrolls and its street address as an imposing building next door to the offices of Lukoil, a Russian oil giant tied to Cambridge Analytica’s digital campaigns to sway American voters. “It’s a nice part of town,” Darren L. Linvill, a Clemson University expert who uncovered the retweets, said of the Russophile address.

The site epitomizes the complicated nature of the new threat, parts of which have evolved to become more open, while others have grown stealthier. “It’s a cloud of Russian influencers,” said Dr. Linvill, a professor of communications who has studied millions of troll postings. The players, he said, probably include state actors, intelligence operatives, former RT staff members and the digital teams of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a secretive oligarch and confident of Mr. Putin’s who financed the St. Petersburg troll farm.

The new brand of disinformation is subtler than the old. Dr. Linvill and his colleague Patrick L. Warren have argued that Mr. Putin’s new methodology seeks less to create than to curate — to retweet and amplify the existing American cacophony, raising the level of confusion and partisan discord.

Much of the disinformation, like the Russophile site, lies hidden in plain sight. But other elements embody a new sophistication that makes it increasingly hard for tech companies to ferret out the interference of Russia, or any other country. Experts say that Russian trolls may even be paying Americans to post disinformation on their behalf, to better hide their digital fingerprints.

On March 5, Lea Gabrielle, head of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which seeks to identify and fight disinformation, told a Senate hearing that Moscow had pounced on the coronavirus outbreak as a new opportunity to sow chaos and division — to “take advantage of a health crisis where people are terrified.”

“The entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation has been engaged,” she reported. Her center’s analysts and partners, Ms. Gabrielle added, have found “Russian state proxy websites, official state media, as well as swarms of online false personas pushing out false narratives.”

RT America dismissed the department’s charges, which were first made in February, as “loosely detailed.” In her March testimony, Ms. Gabrielle said that her center had intentionally made public few details and examples of the disinformation, so that adversaries could not decipher “our tradecraft,” presumably in an effort to foil countermeasures.

Tass, the Russian news agency, reported that the Foreign Ministry firmly rejected the State Department’s charge. That response echoes an iron rule of disinformation. As Oleg Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general, put it in a video interview with The Times: “Deny, deny, deny — even if the truth is obvious.”

Beijing now appears to be borrowing from Mr. Putin’s playbook, at least the early drafts. It recently declared that the coronavirus was devised by Washington as a designer weapon meant to cripple China.

Mr. Putin has disseminated false and alarming health narratives not only about pathogens and vaccines but also about radio waves, bioengineered genes, industrial chemicals and other intangibles of modern life. The knotty topics often defy public understanding, making them ideal candidates for sowing confusion over what’s safe and dangerous.

Analysts see an effort not only to undermine American officials but also to accomplish something more basic: to damage American science, a foundation of national prosperity. American researchers have won more than 100 Nobel Prizes since 2000, and Russians five. Geographically, Russia is the world’s largest country, but its economy is smaller than Italy’s.

As Dr. Quinn of the University of Maryland put it, Mr. Putin’s salvos are targeting “the institutions that we rely on to understand the truth.”


NYTimes
 

Kizzeb2019

Well-Known Member
I always asked myself how many nationalist (fascist) organizations operate in Russian Federation in general. To the fact that Google gave me an answer I didn't expect.

So, it turns out that in the Russian Federation fascist organizations are divided into moderate, radical, and banned, and there are 53 of them!

Moderate - 23 organizations:

1. Russian Popular Union - ROS

2. National Democratic Party - NPD

3. New Strength

4. EO Russian

5. Great Russia - BP

6. National Democratic Alliance - NDA

7. The People's Cathedral - National Assembly

8. Russian Imperial Movement - RID

9. NDS (National Union of Russia)

10. Cathedral of the Russian people - NRC

11. Russian social movement - ROD

12. National Russian liberation movement - NROD

13. The Party of Defense of the Russian Constitution "Rus" - MANPADS "Rus"

14. National patriots of Russia - NPR

15. National Democratic Movement "Russian Civil Union" - NDD CSG

16. Liberty Nation - National Assembly

17. Russian National Patriotic Movement

18. Resistance

19. National Socialist Initiative - NSI

20. Congress of Russian communities

21. Restrict

22. OD “DAWN” (Public Movement “DAWN”)

23. The national organization of Russian Muslims

Radical - 22 organizations

1. People’s militia named after Minin and Pozharsky - NOMP

2. Another Russia

3. Russian Front of the Liberation "Memory" - RFO "Memory"

4. OOPD “Russian National Unity” - “Guard of Barkashov”

5. OOPD “Russian National Unity” - OOPN RNE

6. The movement "Alexander Barkashov"

7. The National Power Party of Russia - NDPR

8. People's National Party - NNP

9. True Russian National Unity - IRNE

10. The Baltic Vanguard of the Russian Resistance - BARS

11. Russian United National Alliance (RONA)

12. The Guard of Christ

13. National Union - National Assembly

14. The Union of Orthodox Gonfalon Bearers — SPH

15. Union of the Russian people - NRC

16. The Northern Brotherhood - SB

17. The Black Hundred

18. The Parabellum Movement

19. National Socialist Party of Russia - NSPR

20. Freedom Party - PS

21. Russian Image

22. National Syndicalist Offensive - NSN

Forbidden - 8 organizations

1. Movement against illegal immigration - DPNI

2. National Socialist Society - NSO

3. National Bolshevik Party - NBP

4. Slavic Union - SS

5. Front of National Revolutionary Action (FNRD)

6. Russian National Union - RONS

7. Moscow Defense League

8. Format 18

For the fun of the experiment, I looked at how much in Ukraine.
Does anyone know how much? Four. FOUR organizations of a nationalist nature and only Kiselev would consider them fascists !!! Here:

1.BO Freedom

2. Congress of Ukrainian nationalists

3. UNA-UNSO

4. The Ukrainian National Assembly, on the basis of which the Right Sector has recently been created.

THAT'S IT!!!!! So what other evidence is needed? What other arguments are needed to prove that modern Russia is the Fourth Reich ?!

Russian Federation is on the path of the Fourth Reich, from the propaganda techniques to the brainwashed people and different fascist movements Russian Federation considered the heir of the Soviet Union the winner of the WW2. how it ended up Fascist state
 

Kizzeb2019

Well-Known Member
Russian Nazism: Fascists, Vlasovites and White Guards in the Service of the Donetsk People Republic


Sometimes it seems that these “DPR” and “LPR” were indeed created by faithful Leninists-Stalinists, motivated by an archaic fear of Ukrainian nationalism and the capitalist system.

Inspired by the Russian special services, the armed anti-government rebellion in the Donbass eagerly resorts to “anti-fascist” rhetoric. In contrasting themselves with the “Banderaites” and the “right-wingers”, the militants and their fans turn to the images of the Great Patriotic War and appeal to the proletarian consciousness of the inhabitants of the mining region. Together with Russian and separatist flags, terrorists are waving red Communists banners. Contrary to logic, they stubbornly call the Ukrainian government “junta”, and the Ukrainian state as a whole - “fascist”.


Of course, there are many leftists in the general terrorist movement , but far from all the fighters for Novorossia can be called convinced anti-fascists. This is, first of all, about the most prominent representatives of the “warring Donbass” and their Russian friends. For instance the personality of Igor Girkin and his entourage.

The future "Minister of Defense of the DPR" was born and raised in Moscow. Until 2014, he had no relation to the Donbass, in addition to being interested in military reconstruction and the history of the White movement, in particular in Ukraine, Igor Girkin graduated from the Moscow State Historical and Archival Institute, and then served in the Russian army.

He took part in hostilities in Transnistria, in Bosnia and in Chechnya. In the late 1990s, together with Alexander Boroday, he worked as a correspondent for the Zavtra newspaper; in 2011, he was a correspondent for ANNA-NEWS in Abkhazia. At a July 10, 2014 press conference, Strelkov said he was a FSB colonel who resigned on March 31, 2013.

Knowing him since 1994, the Ukrainian military historian Yaroslav Tynchenko (also re-enactor) says:
After meeting, he immediately told me: Ukraine will be part of the great Russian Empire. Soviet or monarchical - he did not care. He considered the independence of Ukraine and other republics of the USSR a misunderstanding, a myth that needs to be fixed - if necessary, by force. Answering the question: “Where will the borders of the empire be?”, Girkin said: “Where do we go, there will be borders.”

1990s. "Strelkov" became a member of Russian white-emigrant organizations, once closely associated with Nazi Germany, in particular, the "Association of the Memory of General MG Drozdovsky and the ranks of the Drozdov Division" and the "Russian Military Union" (ROVS).

In "Drozdovskoe Association" Girkin was enlisted in the rank of non-commissioned officer in May 1996. At first, this group consisted of former members of the Drozdov’s division who fought in the Civil War under the leadership of A. Denikin and ended up in exile after the defeat of the whites. During World War II, the “Drozdovites,” led by General Anton Turkul, collaborated with the Nazis. After the collapse of the USSR, the "Drozdovskoe Association" resumed activity in the Russian Federation. At the moment, its chairman is Mikhail Blinov, with whom Girkin has common reconstruction interests.

Girkin was personally hosted by the head of this organization, Vladimir Granitov, the holder of a number of German military awards: the order “For Assiduous Service”, two distinctions “For Courage” for the eastern peoples, the Cross “For Military Merit” of the 2nd class with swords and two Iron Crosses of the 2nd class. Lieutenant Granitov earned these awards from the German command for his service in the Russian Corps, who fought against the Yugoslav partisans during the Second World War.


the current chairman of the ROVS Igor Ivanov was for some time the head of the “Political Directorate of the Headquarters of the DPR Militia”. ROVS fighters are active participants in the "DPR" military formations. It is known that they held positions near Slavyansk and "distinguished themselves in battles near Nikolaevka."

Among the leadership of the ROVS and other soldiers of Hitler. So, the first deputy of Ivanov, Georgy Nazimov, was a former adjutant to the ataman Andrei Shkuro, who led the Cossack formations in the Wehrmacht and the SS (in 1947, Shkuro was hanged by a Soviet court sentence as a war criminal). For some time Nazimov also served under the leadership of Granitov in the Russian Corps.

The modern ROVS is not limited to relations with collaborators of the past and actively cooperates with young Russian neo-Nazis. One of them, Anton Raevsky, cordially thanked the headquarters officer for assignments under the chairman of the EMRO, Mikhail Abramov, "for the assistance rendered to the soldiers of the DPR army, namely, for the three military uniforms that were given to us."

russian_nazi_06.jpg

There are many photographs where Raevsky poses as Nazi salute,. He does not hide the fact that long before the events of May 2 and the armed uprising in the Donbass, he was pushing the Odessa squad militants to assassinate the local leader of the Right Sector (Raevsky offered himself as the executor of the murder). The action movie quite openly tells of plans for subversive activities in the south of Ukraine:

I was offered to continue pro-Russian activities in other cities of Ukraine, namely to leave for Nikolaev, where our people should have met me. I had to stay in Nikolaev for a couple of days in order to collect information about the actual state of affairs in Kherson and establish contacts with local self-defense activists. Then move to Kherson itself, which is of strategic importance. In Kherson, people are needed for attacks on roadblocks in order to destabilize the situation in the city and then enable the Russian troops to enter with less losses.


late March, fearing prosecution by the SBU, Raevsky flee into Russia. At home, he quarrelled with the leaders of the Black Hundred, for whom it was unacceptable that their member acted under the leadership of the FSB. Raevsky later returned to Ukraine and joined the ranks of the “DPR” militants.


Back to Girkin-Strelkov.

In addition to the fascination with the white movement during the Civil War of 1918-1920, Strelok openly reveres his respect to the anti-communist forces fighting under the banner of Hitler:

As for the abbreviation ODNR that is incomprehensible to me (I suspect the “liberation movement of the peoples of Russia”), I repeatedly signed my respect for the Russian Corps in Yugoslavia. And, also repeatedly, he spoke negatively about the “Vlasovites” and other traitors who objectively fought on the side of the enemies of their country (albeit occupied by the Communists). Fighting against one enemy on the side of another (not at all better) is not an honor.
But for many, this was a fallacy or caused by a hopeless situation (which, from the point of view of military law, by the way, does not justify them at all). But the leaders - Vlasov, Bunyachenko (unlike, say, Colonel Rogozhin or the real Hero and Knight of Honor - Helmut von Pannwitz) and other scum I don’t perceive otherwise than frank traitors and scum - because they didn’t pass to the Germans “by ideological considerations, ”but they surrendered and already in captivity betrayed the country that they faithfully served and swore (and which they would continue to serve, not falling into a situation where they, the poor, could be killed like tens of thousands of their unfortunate subordinates) .

Let's try to clarify. In the war against the Soviet Union, the Germans used two categories of Russians. The first is emigrants living in occupied Europe.

These are, as a rule, former tsarist and White Guard officers (and their descendants) who were forced to leave Russia after the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War. The second category - Soviet citizens who were captured from the Red Army, or who ended up in the occupied territory of the USSR. “Vlasovites” belonged to the second, more numerous category.

Many White Guards (whom Girkin respects) despised the former communist Andrei Vlasov and preferred to create pro-German formations independent of the Russian Liberation Army. But still, an insurmountable line between the Soviet and White Guards in the service of Hitler did not exist. So, a lot of Russian emigrants served in the ROA, and the "White Guard" Cossack units (the same von Pannwitz) were actively replenished due to the collectivized population of the Don and Kuban

to be continued........
 

proIsrael-nonIsraeli

Legendary Member
Russian Nazism: Fascists, Vlasovites and White Guards in the Service of the Donetsk People Republic


Sometimes it seems that these “DPR” and “LPR” were indeed created by faithful Leninists-Stalinists, motivated by an archaic fear of Ukrainian nationalism and the capitalist system.

Inspired by the Russian special services, the armed anti-government rebellion in the Donbass eagerly resorts to “anti-fascist” rhetoric. In contrasting themselves with the “Banderaites” and the “right-wingers”, the militants and their fans turn to the images of the Great Patriotic War and appeal to the proletarian consciousness of the inhabitants of the mining region. Together with Russian and separatist flags, terrorists are waving red Communists banners. Contrary to logic, they stubbornly call the Ukrainian government “junta”, and the Ukrainian state as a whole - “fascist”.


Of course, there are many leftists in the general terrorist movement , but far from all the fighters for Novorossia can be called convinced anti-fascists. This is, first of all, about the most prominent representatives of the “warring Donbass” and their Russian friends. For instance the personality of Igor Girkin and his entourage.

The future "Minister of Defense of the DPR" was born and raised in Moscow. Until 2014, he had no relation to the Donbass, in addition to being interested in military reconstruction and the history of the White movement, in particular in Ukraine, Igor Girkin graduated from the Moscow State Historical and Archival Institute, and then served in the Russian army.

He took part in hostilities in Transnistria, in Bosnia and in Chechnya. In the late 1990s, together with Alexander Boroday, he worked as a correspondent for the Zavtra newspaper; in 2011, he was a correspondent for ANNA-NEWS in Abkhazia. At a July 10, 2014 press conference, Strelkov said he was a FSB colonel who resigned on March 31, 2013.

Knowing him since 1994, the Ukrainian military historian Yaroslav Tynchenko (also re-enactor) says:
After meeting, he immediately told me: Ukraine will be part of the great Russian Empire. Soviet or monarchical - he did not care. He considered the independence of Ukraine and other republics of the USSR a misunderstanding, a myth that needs to be fixed - if necessary, by force. Answering the question: “Where will the borders of the empire be?”, Girkin said: “Where do we go, there will be borders.”

1990s. "Strelkov" became a member of Russian white-emigrant organizations, once closely associated with Nazi Germany, in particular, the "Association of the Memory of General MG Drozdovsky and the ranks of the Drozdov Division" and the "Russian Military Union" (ROVS).

In "Drozdovskoe Association" Girkin was enlisted in the rank of non-commissioned officer in May 1996. At first, this group consisted of former members of the Drozdov’s division who fought in the Civil War under the leadership of A. Denikin and ended up in exile after the defeat of the whites. During World War II, the “Drozdovites,” led by General Anton Turkul, collaborated with the Nazis. After the collapse of the USSR, the "Drozdovskoe Association" resumed activity in the Russian Federation. At the moment, its chairman is Mikhail Blinov, with whom Girkin has common reconstruction interests.

Girkin was personally hosted by the head of this organization, Vladimir Granitov, the holder of a number of German military awards: the order “For Assiduous Service”, two distinctions “For Courage” for the eastern peoples, the Cross “For Military Merit” of the 2nd class with swords and two Iron Crosses of the 2nd class. Lieutenant Granitov earned these awards from the German command for his service in the Russian Corps, who fought against the Yugoslav partisans during the Second World War.


the current chairman of the ROVS Igor Ivanov was for some time the head of the “Political Directorate of the Headquarters of the DPR Militia”. ROVS fighters are active participants in the "DPR" military formations. It is known that they held positions near Slavyansk and "distinguished themselves in battles near Nikolaevka."

Among the leadership of the ROVS and other soldiers of Hitler. So, the first deputy of Ivanov, Georgy Nazimov, was a former adjutant to the ataman Andrei Shkuro, who led the Cossack formations in the Wehrmacht and the SS (in 1947, Shkuro was hanged by a Soviet court sentence as a war criminal). For some time Nazimov also served under the leadership of Granitov in the Russian Corps.

The modern ROVS is not limited to relations with collaborators of the past and actively cooperates with young Russian neo-Nazis. One of them, Anton Raevsky, cordially thanked the headquarters officer for assignments under the chairman of the EMRO, Mikhail Abramov, "for the assistance rendered to the soldiers of the DPR army, namely, for the three military uniforms that were given to us."

View attachment 19906

There are many photographs where Raevsky poses as Nazi salute,. He does not hide the fact that long before the events of May 2 and the armed uprising in the Donbass, he was pushing the Odessa squad militants to assassinate the local leader of the Right Sector (Raevsky offered himself as the executor of the murder). The action movie quite openly tells of plans for subversive activities in the south of Ukraine:

I was offered to continue pro-Russian activities in other cities of Ukraine, namely to leave for Nikolaev, where our people should have met me. I had to stay in Nikolaev for a couple of days in order to collect information about the actual state of affairs in Kherson and establish contacts with local self-defense activists. Then move to Kherson itself, which is of strategic importance. In Kherson, people are needed for attacks on roadblocks in order to destabilize the situation in the city and then enable the Russian troops to enter with less losses.


late March, fearing prosecution by the SBU, Raevsky flee into Russia. At home, he quarrelled with the leaders of the Black Hundred, for whom it was unacceptable that their member acted under the leadership of the FSB. Raevsky later returned to Ukraine and joined the ranks of the “DPR” militants.


Back to Girkin-Strelkov.

In addition to the fascination with the white movement during the Civil War of 1918-1920, Strelok openly reveres his respect to the anti-communist forces fighting under the banner of Hitler:

As for the abbreviation ODNR that is incomprehensible to me (I suspect the “liberation movement of the peoples of Russia”), I repeatedly signed my respect for the Russian Corps in Yugoslavia. And, also repeatedly, he spoke negatively about the “Vlasovites” and other traitors who objectively fought on the side of the enemies of their country (albeit occupied by the Communists). Fighting against one enemy on the side of another (not at all better) is not an honor.
But for many, this was a fallacy or caused by a hopeless situation (which, from the point of view of military law, by the way, does not justify them at all). But the leaders - Vlasov, Bunyachenko (unlike, say, Colonel Rogozhin or the real Hero and Knight of Honor - Helmut von Pannwitz) and other scum I don’t perceive otherwise than frank traitors and scum - because they didn’t pass to the Germans “by ideological considerations, ”but they surrendered and already in captivity betrayed the country that they faithfully served and swore (and which they would continue to serve, not falling into a situation where they, the poor, could be killed like tens of thousands of their unfortunate subordinates) .

Let's try to clarify. In the war against the Soviet Union, the Germans used two categories of Russians. The first is emigrants living in occupied Europe.

These are, as a rule, former tsarist and White Guard officers (and their descendants) who were forced to leave Russia after the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War. The second category - Soviet citizens who were captured from the Red Army, or who ended up in the occupied territory of the USSR. “Vlasovites” belonged to the second, more numerous category.

Many White Guards (whom Girkin respects) despised the former communist Andrei Vlasov and preferred to create pro-German formations independent of the Russian Liberation Army. But still, an insurmountable line between the Soviet and White Guards in the service of Hitler did not exist. So, a lot of Russian emigrants served in the ROA, and the "White Guard" Cossack units (the same von Pannwitz) were actively replenished due to the collectivized population of the Don and Kuban

to be continued........

Where did these guys come from "Vlasovites and White Guards" - got resurrected? :lol:
 

Kizzeb2019

Well-Known Member
Russian Nazism: Fascists, Vlasovites and White Guards in the Service of the Donetsk People Republic


Sometimes it seems that these “DPR” and “LPR” were indeed created by faithful Leninists-Stalinists, motivated by an archaic fear of Ukrainian nationalism and the capitalist system.

Inspired by the Russian special services, the armed anti-government rebellion in the Donbass eagerly resorts to “anti-fascist” rhetoric. In contrasting themselves with the “Banderaites” and the “right-wingers”, the militants and their fans turn to the images of the Great Patriotic War and appeal to the proletarian consciousness of the inhabitants of the mining region. Together with Russian and separatist flags, terrorists are waving red Communists banners. Contrary to logic, they stubbornly call the Ukrainian government “junta”, and the Ukrainian state as a whole - “fascist”.


Of course, there are many leftists in the general terrorist movement , but far from all the fighters for Novorossia can be called convinced anti-fascists. This is, first of all, about the most prominent representatives of the “warring Donbass” and their Russian friends. For instance the personality of Igor Girkin and his entourage.

The future "Minister of Defense of the DPR" was born and raised in Moscow. Until 2014, he had no relation to the Donbass, in addition to being interested in military reconstruction and the history of the White movement, in particular in Ukraine, Igor Girkin graduated from the Moscow State Historical and Archival Institute, and then served in the Russian army.

He took part in hostilities in Transnistria, in Bosnia and in Chechnya. In the late 1990s, together with Alexander Boroday, he worked as a correspondent for the Zavtra newspaper; in 2011, he was a correspondent for ANNA-NEWS in Abkhazia. At a July 10, 2014 press conference, Strelkov said he was a FSB colonel who resigned on March 31, 2013.

Knowing him since 1994, the Ukrainian military historian Yaroslav Tynchenko (also re-enactor) says:
After meeting, he immediately told me: Ukraine will be part of the great Russian Empire. Soviet or monarchical - he did not care. He considered the independence of Ukraine and other republics of the USSR a misunderstanding, a myth that needs to be fixed - if necessary, by force. Answering the question: “Where will the borders of the empire be?”, Girkin said: “Where do we go, there will be borders.”

1990s. "Strelkov" became a member of Russian white-emigrant organizations, once closely associated with Nazi Germany, in particular, the "Association of the Memory of General MG Drozdovsky and the ranks of the Drozdov Division" and the "Russian Military Union" (ROVS).

In "Drozdovskoe Association" Girkin was enlisted in the rank of non-commissioned officer in May 1996. At first, this group consisted of former members of the Drozdov’s division who fought in the Civil War under the leadership of A. Denikin and ended up in exile after the defeat of the whites. During World War II, the “Drozdovites,” led by General Anton Turkul, collaborated with the Nazis. After the collapse of the USSR, the "Drozdovskoe Association" resumed activity in the Russian Federation. At the moment, its chairman is Mikhail Blinov, with whom Girkin has common reconstruction interests.

Girkin was personally hosted by the head of this organization, Vladimir Granitov, the holder of a number of German military awards: the order “For Assiduous Service”, two distinctions “For Courage” for the eastern peoples, the Cross “For Military Merit” of the 2nd class with swords and two Iron Crosses of the 2nd class. Lieutenant Granitov earned these awards from the German command for his service in the Russian Corps, who fought against the Yugoslav partisans during the Second World War.


the current chairman of the ROVS Igor Ivanov was for some time the head of the “Political Directorate of the Headquarters of the DPR Militia”. ROVS fighters are active participants in the "DPR" military formations. It is known that they held positions near Slavyansk and "distinguished themselves in battles near Nikolaevka."

Among the leadership of the ROVS and other soldiers of Hitler. So, the first deputy of Ivanov, Georgy Nazimov, was a former adjutant to the ataman Andrei Shkuro, who led the Cossack formations in the Wehrmacht and the SS (in 1947, Shkuro was hanged by a Soviet court sentence as a war criminal). For some time Nazimov also served under the leadership of Granitov in the Russian Corps.

The modern ROVS is not limited to relations with collaborators of the past and actively cooperates with young Russian neo-Nazis. One of them, Anton Raevsky, cordially thanked the headquarters officer for assignments under the chairman of the EMRO, Mikhail Abramov, "for the assistance rendered to the soldiers of the DPR army, namely, for the three military uniforms that were given to us."

View attachment 19906

There are many photographs where Raevsky poses as Nazi salute,. He does not hide the fact that long before the events of May 2 and the armed uprising in the Donbass, he was pushing the Odessa squad militants to assassinate the local leader of the Right Sector (Raevsky offered himself as the executor of the murder). The action movie quite openly tells of plans for subversive activities in the south of Ukraine:

I was offered to continue pro-Russian activities in other cities of Ukraine, namely to leave for Nikolaev, where our people should have met me. I had to stay in Nikolaev for a couple of days in order to collect information about the actual state of affairs in Kherson and establish contacts with local self-defense activists. Then move to Kherson itself, which is of strategic importance. In Kherson, people are needed for attacks on roadblocks in order to destabilize the situation in the city and then enable the Russian troops to enter with less losses.


late March, fearing prosecution by the SBU, Raevsky flee into Russia. At home, he quarrelled with the leaders of the Black Hundred, for whom it was unacceptable that their member acted under the leadership of the FSB. Raevsky later returned to Ukraine and joined the ranks of the “DPR” militants.


Back to Girkin-Strelkov.

In addition to the fascination with the white movement during the Civil War of 1918-1920, Strelok openly reveres his respect to the anti-communist forces fighting under the banner of Hitler:

As for the abbreviation ODNR that is incomprehensible to me (I suspect the “liberation movement of the peoples of Russia”), I repeatedly signed my respect for the Russian Corps in Yugoslavia. And, also repeatedly, he spoke negatively about the “Vlasovites” and other traitors who objectively fought on the side of the enemies of their country (albeit occupied by the Communists). Fighting against one enemy on the side of another (not at all better) is not an honor.
But for many, this was a fallacy or caused by a hopeless situation (which, from the point of view of military law, by the way, does not justify them at all). But the leaders - Vlasov, Bunyachenko (unlike, say, Colonel Rogozhin or the real Hero and Knight of Honor - Helmut von Pannwitz) and other scum I don’t perceive otherwise than frank traitors and scum - because they didn’t pass to the Germans “by ideological considerations, ”but they surrendered and already in captivity betrayed the country that they faithfully served and swore (and which they would continue to serve, not falling into a situation where they, the poor, could be killed like tens of thousands of their unfortunate subordinates) .

Let's try to clarify. In the war against the Soviet Union, the Germans used two categories of Russians. The first is emigrants living in occupied Europe.

These are, as a rule, former tsarist and White Guard officers (and their descendants) who were forced to leave Russia after the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War. The second category - Soviet citizens who were captured from the Red Army, or who ended up in the occupied territory of the USSR. “Vlasovites” belonged to the second, more numerous category.

Many White Guards (whom Girkin respects) despised the former communist Andrei Vlasov and preferred to create pro-German formations independent of the Russian Liberation Army. But still, an insurmountable line between the Soviet and White Guards in the service of Hitler did not exist. So, a lot of Russian emigrants served in the ROA, and the "White Guard" Cossack units (the same von Pannwitz) were actively replenished due to the collectivized population of the Don and Kuban

to be continued........
Girkin’s ties with Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev and his entourage seem to be very interesting.

russian_nazi_08.jpg
Malofeev is the founder of the Marshall Capital investment group, the largest minority shareholder and member of the board of directors of Rostelecom, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Vasily the Great Fund. They write about him that "sincerely and seriously obsessed with spirituality, sovereignty, military history" and often called the "Orthodox raider."

As a businessman, Malofeev began his career at Renaissance Capital with Boris Yordan. Boris Yordan’s father and grandfather all served in the same “Russian Corps”, which is a matter of pride: in 1999, B. Jordan established the “Cadet Corps Assistance Fund” named after his grandfather Alexei. Every year, the fund helps more than 60 cadet corps throughout Russia.

Until recently, Girkin worked in the security service "Marshal Capital", and Borodai was there "PR consultant." Both Donbass “heroes” are also involved in the Malofeyev structure “The Basil the Great Foundation”. By the way, this organization is headed by Malofeev’s partner - Zurab Chavchavadze, a relative of the ROA officer Georgy Chavchavadze.

russian_nazi_11.jpg
(Alexander Dugin)

Back in the nineties, Malofeev was an active Orthodox figure in St. Petersburg, communicated with Metropolitan Ioann (Snychev), who had a reputation as an open fascist (the closest associate of the Metropolitan Konstantin Dushenov was imprisoned under article 282 of the “extremist” article). After the death of Metropolitan, Malofeev withdrew from church affairs and made friends with the chairman of the International Eurasian Movement, Alexander Dugin.
Alexander Gelievich was a member in the circle with the “sweet” name “Black Order of the SS”, as well as in the national-patriotic front “Memory” and in other neo-Nazi groups.

The extreme right-wing radicalism of Dugin in any civilized country would reduce his role to a marginal, but not so Russia. In addition to other ranks and positions, since March 2012, Dugin has been a member of the Expert Advisory Council under the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Malofeev sponsors some projects with the participation of Dugin, in particular, the congresses of the Black International.

Dugin is actively promoting the heroic image of Igor Strelkov inside the Russian Federation. As you know, in relation to Ukraine, this occult fascist takes an extremely hostile position. “The existence of Ukraine within its current borders and with the current status of a“ sovereign state ”is tantamount to delivering a monstrous blow to Russia's geopolitical security, which is tantamount to invading its territory” - this is one of the quotes from the Dugin opus “Fundamentals of Geopolitics” (published back in 1997).

In an interview with the separatist television channel ANNA-News on May 6, 2014, Dugin called for “killing, killing, killing” those who allow “atrocities in Ukraine.” He is also directly connected with the “DPR” rebels, in particular, with the “People’s Governor of Donbass” Pavel Gubarev. Dugin’s man, head of the Southern Coordination Center of the International Eurasian Movement in Rostov-on-Don, Alexander Proselkov is an adviser to Gubarev.

Do not forget that in the early 2000s Gubarev was a member of the banned for extremism neo-Nazi organization "Russian National Unity" (RNU) Alexander Barkashov. Like ROVS, RNE made efforts to destabilize the situation in the Donbass, in particular, formed a “Moscow detachment of volunteers” to protect the “DPR” and collected donations for the needs of terrorists.

russian_nazi_14.jpg
(Egor Prosvirnin)

Another Russian assistant to the “DPR” is the editor of the nationalist site “Sputnik and Pogrom” Egor Prosvirnin, who shares the views of Dugin and, obviously, also receives money from Malofeev.
The editorial staff of the Sputnik and Pogrom website made a lot of efforts to popularize Strelkov. It belongs to them all this work about “300 Strelkovites” and “Slavyanograd”. Girkin personally expressed gratitude to this publication for its contribution to the “DPR” information campaign.

At the same time, it is no secret that Prosvirnin himself is an open fan of collaborators. Here is what he wrote about the date of the Wehrmacht invasion of the USSR on June 22, 1941:
"June 22 is celebrated as the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow. I do not think it is a day of remembrance and sorrow. This is DAY OF Vengeance ... On June 22, 1941, White Europe returned to Russia. The sky darkened with airplanes. The earth shook from the tanks. The trees staggered with laughter — hundreds, thousands of ranks of the Russian Imperial Army laughed, volunteering in the Wehrmacht, SS, or creating their own units. White Russians were returning to the Red Soviet. Without pity. Without mercy. No sentiment. Without a glimpse of sympathy."

Moreover, Prosvirin considers the pro-Russian rebellion in the Donbass a continuation of the “white cause” and Russian Nazism

"Nazism, in a way, can be considered as a bacterium-carrier of the virus of the sacred Russian madness, the madness of people who have lost everything, scorched by the fire of the underworld and drained by a thirst for revenge. And on June 22, this revenge, this resentment, nourished the hearts of the White Guards, who became Nazi ideologists, oozed in the veins of the NTSovtsy, enlisted in the first-line troops, seething under the skin of peasants and workers, who later left for Dirlewanger, this crazy, black, all-sweeping irrational revenge broke out [...] The Russian Beast broke free for an instant, and it was on these short days that Stalin fled to the country house, where he drank terribly, drank soundly. [...] Two things prompted me to write this post: attempts to use the text about June 22 to organize an information campaign against us and (more importantly) a persistent feeling that the Beast was waking up again. This time - in the scorched steppes of Donbass"
 

proIsrael-nonIsraeli

Legendary Member
you can google it, a lot of old movements resurrected, same as "communists".

Neither of them "Vlasovites" or "White Guards". They can call themselves Mather Theresa organization from what I care.

BTW, fascists and communists are not old dead movements, they are alive and well today and will be for quit long time still.
Vlasovcy and Whiteguards are not movements, but historical episode and they are dead because neither of them have cause today and if anyone is calling themselves so then they are simply ignorant fools.
 
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