Here’s the predictive record of a certain Russian “pundit” who is constantly quoted as an authority by Western hacks:
- 2013: “Putin system degenerating and will be swept away”.
- 2016: Russians turn against Putin in 2017.
- 2016: Putin may be about to quit due to illness.
- 2017: “The last time I felt like this was at the end of the Soviet Union”.
- 2019: “Political crisis” in 2020, leading to revolution by 2022. Or even 2021.
- February 2020: Russia could invade Belarus “in the coming days”.
- September 2020: Claims to belong to a secret international organization “more powerful than the FSB” which protects him.
Suffice to say, if you were a serious journalist, you would think twice before reporting such a pundit’s latest “revelations” – especially not without adding this quite important context of failed predictions. And if social media was truly concerned about “fact checking”, as opposed to partisan-driven censorship, it would be attaching warning labels to all of his pronouncements.
But Western journalists are not serious, they are sensationalist, Russiagate-peddling hacks whose disinformation about Russia is promoted and enabled by Big Tech so long as their narrative syncs with elite interests.
Oh Jesus. US/UK media has diagnosed Putin with a serious illness again. This time Parkinson's disease.
Based on comments from Valery Solovey, a well-known Moscow-based conspiracy theorist.
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) November 6, 2020
So of course Valery Solovei is their leading rent-a-quote for the latest on the Putler regime’s imminent collapse.
And Valery Solovei, to give credit where credit’s due, is an accomplished spoofer who perfectly timed his latest “leak” on Putin’s latest illness – Parkinson’s now, stroke in 2015, the true old timers will also recall the sarcoma of the spine rumors back in 2012 – to coincide with newly proposed laws to give Russian ex-Presidents lifetime immunity. This even allowed the hacks at The Daily Mail to quote Bryan MacDonald’s story on that development to implicitly support Solovei’s conspiracy theories.
These reports have also been explicitly denied by the Kremlin.
And in any case, as I have pointed out, Putin probably has very good longevity genes (mother, father, and grandfather all lived into their late 80s), a healthy lifestyle, and access to elite healthcare. So by any reasonable actuarial logic he can be expected to live into his 90s. Yes, accidents or freak illnesses can certainly happen. But you should not expect to hear that from Valery Solovei. And even if he eventually manages to predict something, in all likelihood it will be in the same sense that a broken clock is correct twice a day.
But who cares about all that context? The disinformation clearly works. The New York Post story – their Trumpist transgressions a couple of weeks ago now presumably forgiven – is currently second on /r/worldnews, probably the world’s most popular international politics forum.
Even so, it’s worth noting down who writes these stories, as well as who takes them at face value, and adjust your evaluations of them correspondingly.