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Is Putin Preparing a Governmental Purge?
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As he does once a year, last week President Putin spend over three and a half hours answering 80 questions out of the 3+ million questions which were received. The show, which was aired live on Channel One, Rossiya-1 and Rossiya-24 TV channels, and the Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii was an unprecedented success which was watched and commented upon by millions of Russians. You can read the full transcript of the show by clicking here, and the transcript of a conversation between Putin and the journalist corps following the show here.

The main Russian TV channel, Rossia-1, also aired not one, but two special talk-shows (see here and here) solely dedicated to a discussion of Putin’s performance. These talk-shows are the famous “Evening with Vladimir Soloviev” – by far the highest visibility talk-show on Russian TV. Just for the record, Rossia-1 is the crown-jewel of the powerful and state-controlled All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) media holding. Between the call-in show with Putin (3 hours and 40 minutes), the first talk show (2 hours and 12 minutes) and the second talk show (1 hour 44 minutes) the Russian public was exposed to a stunning seven and a half hours of discussion. Some will call it “propaganda”, which can be viewed as negative or as positive, but which changes little. The main issue here is that this was a major, huge, public-communications effort. So what was the overall message which was conveyed by all this? Let me summarize it for you:

First, Putin is the unchallenged and beloved leader of all the Russian people, he is an extremely effective manager, a defender of the simple Russian people everywhere and he is the last recourse for those who have been wronged by the authorities. Let me add here that all the opposition party heads fully agreed with this. Right now, nobody in Russia dares to criticize Putin personally, not because some KGB goons are going to come in the night and drag him away to a concentration camp, not at all, but simply because bad mouthing Putin is now tantamout to political suicide. Even some members of the non-system political opposition (aka 5th columnists) are realizing this now.

Second, a lot of Russian people are hurting, badly. Not because of sanctions or the drop in the prices of gas and oil, but because of the corruption, incompetence and ideological blindness of the “economic block of the Russian government”. The economy is a mess due to corrupt governors, lazy government bureaucrats and outright sabotage by a quasi-universally hated “economic block of the government”. Sanctions (especially the denial of credits) and the fall in the price of oil do make things worse, but they are not the real problem or even a major part of the problem.

Third, the individuals responsible for this mess are regularly mentioned by name. This hatred for the “economic block of the government” is never openly encouraged by Putin himself who, when directly asked, praises the work of the government’s ministers. Everybody else, however, including all the opposition figures and even the host Vladimir Soloviev, is now openly calling not only for resignations but even for jail terms for the guilty governors and even ministers. While Medvedev himself is rarely the personal target of such denunciations, Arkadii Dvorkovich (Deputy Prime Minister), Igor Shuvalov (First Deputy Prime Minister), Alexei Uliukaev (Minister of Economic Development) and Anton Siluanov (Minister of Finance) are now “openly hated” on Russian TV.

For example, when a woman calls in to denounce the horrible condition on the main road of her city and Putin promises to take action, all the commentators agree that it is a crying shame and a disgrace that only the President is willing to listen to such concerns, while all those who are directly responsible for such matters are indifferent, are doing nothing or, even worse, corrupt to the bone. Another example: workers treated like slaves by a gang of thugs on an island of the Russian Far East have complained to the local police and prosecutors and were completely ignored. One call to the President, and the Russian Investigative Committee (roughly the equivalent of the US FBI) will now investigate not only the mobsters involved, but also the local police forces and regional prosecutor himself. As for Putin, he personally apologized to these workers in the name of the entire Russian government. By the way, it is well known in Russia that the local bureaucrats are absolutely terrified by these call-in shows with the President, as they never know who might call. What they do know is that the investigation and sanctions “from above” will be swift and merciless. As for the Russian general public – he absolutely love it.

Still, there is a strong sense that as soon as the call-in show is over, all those who did not get caught this time are breathing a huge sigh of relief and are immediately returning to their (bad) old ways. The truth is that there is only that much that such an event can deal with and that it is, alas, very much in the Russian mentality to hope that “maybe” (авось) the next again “another guy will be caught but not me”. And thus very little changes in reality.

I should add that some Ministers receive extremely high praise on Russian TV. These are Foreign Minister Lavrov, Defense Minister Shoigu, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Puchkov (Minister of Emergency Situations), Dmitri Rogozin (Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, in charge of defense industry, a ministerial-level rank) and a few others. Notice an interesting pattern here?

All the the “Putin allies” (I call them Eurasian Sovereignists) are getting high marks. All the “Medvedev allies” (whom I call “Atlantic Integrationists) are getting all the blame. Not only that, but the worse the economic situation becomes, the better Putin and “his” men look and the worse all the “westernizers” in power look. In fact, the latter now are openly blamed for it all.

Trust me, seven and a half hours of Atlantic Integrationists bashing on Russian TV did not “just happen” by some coincidence. In Russian way would say that Putin is clearly “digging under” (which could be translated as “scheming against”) the 5th columnists in power.

And now let’s look again at the nomination of Viktor Zolotov as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Russian National Guard. As I wrote in my initial commentary about this, I do not think that Putin needs any Praetorian Guard to protect himself, not with the Military and Special Services solidly behind him, not to mention some 85% plus popularity rating. However, I do think that the position is Commander in Chief is important enough to make the person holding it a member of the Russian Security Council. And, in fact, Putin did make Zolotov member of this body which gives the “Putin camp” a very powerful ally in a top position. True, Putin did remove another powerful ally from the Security Council, Boris Gryzlov, the Speaker of Russia’s State Duma and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the United Russia Party, but he did so to have him in charge of the “Ukrainian policy” of Russia (Gryzlov will now represent Russia at the Contact Group on the Ukraine). But that is an advantageous trade for Putin, because even of both Gryzlov and Zolotov are equally loyal to him, Zolotov bring a lot more “muscle” to the table. Besides, with the Ukraine now clearly in its death throes, a real Putin-man needs to be on top of the situation as things are about to get very serious there.

There is another most interesting development taking place: the meteoritic rise of Putin’s “All-Russia People’s Front” or “ONF” which is, by itself, quite an amazing organization. Let’s look into this unique phenomenon.

The ONF and its role in Russian politics

The ONF is not a political party, at least not officially, but a movement of “like-minded political forces”. Still, Putin is the official leader of the ONF. His co-chair and, I would say, acting leader is Stanislav Govorukhin, a very talented and popular film director who is very ideologically close to Putin (and to the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, would I add). The ONF is an immense patchwork of private individuals, social and political organizations, entire corporations, unions, clubs, social organizations, government agencies (such as the Russian Post Office or Rail Service) and many other entities. Officially, the ONF shares the strategic and tactical goals of the President’s “United Russia” Party, so this begs the question of what the main difference between the two is?

The answer is simple: United Russia was founded by a group of individuals which included Sergei Shoigu, but also the late Boris Berezovskii and its purpose was to promote the “Putin+Medvedev” tandem. The ONF was created by Putin himself. You could say that the ONF is Putin’s personal “political Praetorian guard” without being wrong. In fact, the ONF serves a number of very important political functions for Putin:

1) This is the main non-governmental “organizational tool” Putin has to know what is really going on in the country. The ONF is always at the forefront of all the denunciations about corruption, nepotism, bureaucratic abuse, administrative incompetence, etc. The ONF creates special investigative groups which put a great deal of effort into finding and reporting what is really going on in the country. Recently, ONF activist made a survey of over 65’000km or roads in Russia and reported to the President and the general public a rating of each and every one of these roads thereby exposing the governments, cities and towns who let the road infrastructure decay to public criticism. In fact, the ONF plays a key role in Russia as a type of “watchdog for the President” and the ONF is regularly featured in Russian TV and its leaders are often guests on Russian talk-shows.

2) The ONF also makes it possible for Putin to completely bypass the United Russia party apparatus and deal with the Russian public directly. More relevantly, the ONF could be turned into a “regular” political party literally overnight. Thus, if there was an attempt inside the United Party to somehow weaken Putin or to otherwise take action against him, Putin would have the option to create a nation-wide “Putin Party” almost instantly.

3) The ONF is extremely dangerous for the local mobsters and the corrupt politicians who cannot dare to use their usual intimidation tactics against the ONF lest they get a visit from an FSB SWAT team acting directly on the order of the ONF Chairman, Vladimir Putin himself. Precisely because the ONF is clearly Putin’s personal and much beloved creation, nobody in his/her right might would dare challenge or, even less so, threaten it.

4) The ONF is a big pain in the rear for all the government agencies who are supposed to be responsible for overseeing the situation inside Russia. When the ONF unveils a case of the corruption of a local governor or the plight of factory workers who don’t get their salaries for months, this begs the question of what the responsible government agencies paid to monitor such situations are doing. Each government agency and minister know that they are in direct competition with the ONF. Worse, the ONF might even begin investigating them. A very scary thought.

Bringing it all together

Let’s bring it all together now. The worse the economic situation in Russia is, the stronger Putin becomes and the weaker the Atlantic Integrationists are. Therefore, far from trying to conceal the economic problems in Russia, Putin and his supporters are constantly and publicly speaking about them. Putin is now clearly using the ONF as a tool to take action against the corrupt local authorities. Furthermore, Putin is also using the ONF as a way to denounce the various forms of sabotage committed by the 5th columnists while deflecting any criticisms from himself. At the same time there is a massive media ongoing PR campaign directed directly at the “economic block” of the government who, it so happens, is composed solely of “Atlantic Integrationists” and Medvedev allies. And just to make sure that all his bases are covered, Putin bring an ally with a lot of “muscle” into the Security Council.

Does this indicate that Putin is preparing purge of the 5th columnists?

I am neither a prophet nor a mind reader. I cannot tell what Putin is planning or what the future holds. But I think that when we look at all the facts listed above we can say that they certainly seem to point in that direction. And if we look at the way Putin deal with similar challenges in the past we also can observe a pattern.

Putin has a history of deliberately letting a situation rot before taking action.

In 1999 Putin did wait for the invasion of Dagestan and the Moscow city bombings before ordering the a Russian counter-attack which developed into what became known as the 2nd Chechen War.

In the Ukraine Putin let the Ukronazis lead a massive attack on Novorussia not once, but twice, before allowing the Novorussian to successfully counter-attack and force the junta to sign Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements.

In Syria Putin waited until Daesh was threatening Damascus before ordering a very limited but most effective Russian military intervention.

Putin haters will say that the man is weak and indecisive and that in each situation he should have taken action much earlier. Maybe. But my sense is that Putin likes to take action only once he let a situation become so bad that his action seem like an already unhoped for miracle. This kind of “psychological preparation of the battlefield” would be, I think, very typical of how the Russian secret services operate. I also believe that this approach is the key to the entire Russian policy towards what is left of the Ukraine today.

In theory, instead of Putin, it could also be a “deep insider” like Sergei Ivanov, Chief of the Presidential Administration of Russia, who could be coordinating such a pre-purge campaign, especially if there are reasons to avoid having untrusted members of the Security Council in the loop. But my gut feeling is that Putin likes to be in control, especially of crucial developments.

Whatever may be Putin’s final goal, what is certain is that no government can indefinitely survive the kind of constant political thrashing the Medvedev government has been increasingly subjected to in the Russia media. Again, I should immediately add here that we are not talking about a situation where the media criticizes “the government” in the sense of “those in power”. In the Russian case, the media is heaping praise on the President and the Ministers which are associated with him, while very deliberately targeting either the so-called “economic block” or the government (as opposed to the Presidential Administration). It is all very carefully focused.

On one hand, 2016 will be an important elections year in which the Russian people will elect a new Parliament. Furthermore, the risks of yet another, desperate, Urkonazi attack on Novorussia is very real, if only to distract the public from the apocalyptic domestic situation in the Ukraine. On the other hand, the Russia economy might well come out of its slight, but real, recession and the inflation numbers are steadily getting better. Is that a good time to initiate the purge of the government? Maybe.

One possible scenario would be that the opposition parties (Communists, the Liberal-Democrats of Zhirinovsky and the Fair Russia Party) would do better than expected in the next elections. That could give Putin a pretext to get rid of the “economic block” and replace these Ministers with members of the Communist Party (believe it or not, even if Ziuganov looks like an old Brezhnev era figure, there are quite a few very sharp and interesting young(er) leaders in the CP). One way or another, I have a strong feeling that the “economic block” of the Medvedev government will not last to the end of the year.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Putin, Russia 
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  1. Kiza says:

    It is impossible not to notice the irony: whilst the Western regime-changers and color-revolutionaries are working hard to weaken Russia economically (sanctions, oil price, military pressure), the weaker Russia gets economically, the stronger Putin gets. A true judo move, if I ever knew one.

    Nobody can know the future, but short of knocking Putin dead (like attempts on Castro), there is zero chance for “regime-change” in Russia. The West will collapse under the burden of fictitious money way before the soundly managed Russia does.

  2. Avery says:

    {there is zero chance for “regime-change” in Russia. }

    President Putin will leave office some day.
    There are some younger Russian patriots in the wings, but nobody like Putin.
    Due to his KGB background, he knows the Neocon mindset very well.
    Very intelligent, educated, experienced. Unafraid to make bold, but rational decisions.

    The problem with Russia has always been this: a good Tsar does a lot to move Russia forward, then a bad Tsar comes along and screws everything up. And the cycle repeats.
    Yeltsin was a very bad ‘Tsar’ : he almost brought Russia to the brink of implosion.
    Putin is a great ‘Tsar’: Yeltsin’s one saving grace was that he chose Putin as his successor.

    Russia has to have a system, an entrenched, patriotic bureaucracy, which will immunize the country to the vagaries of one leader.
    In US no matter who gets elected POTUS, nothing changes much: good or bad.
    The System will not allow the POTUS to do anything drastic.

    And the same was the case during USSR.
    How could Gorbachev, one man, be allowed to dismantle USSR overnight all by himself?

    • Replies: @5371
    , @Astuteobservor II
  3. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    “It is impossible not to notice the irony: whilst the Western regime-changers and color-revolutionaries are working hard to weaken Russia economically (sanctions, oil price, military pressure), the weaker Russia gets economically, the stronger Putin gets.”

    This is where memory and state news control come into play.

    If the terrible 90s hadn’t happened, Russian might blame Putin.
    But Russians remember the terrible 90s caused by globalist takeover of Russian government and economy. So, even as things are bad now, they remember how things had been worse under globalist rule.

    Also, media control is key. Stalin controlled the media, so even after disasters, he could control the narrative and be admired by the masses. Mao killed so many in the Great Leap Forward, but he controlled the narrative, so young Chinese worshiped him in the mid 60s.
    The Chinese Communist Party controls media and education, so Chinese youths grew up loving the party.
    And look at Jews. Jews messed up the Middle East, North Africa, and US foreign policy with their control over Democrats and Republicans. Jewish-led financial policies have been disastrous. And Jews have done so much to hurt white people in US and EU. But since Jews and their cuck-collaborators control the narrative and government, they get to spin everything their way. So, even as Jew urge mass invasion of Europe, so many Europeans worship Jews and even welcome their own demise.

    If Russian media had been taken over by the likes of Berezhovsky and Soros, Russians might think very differently.

    Saker is under-stating the role of sanctions and falling oil prices on Russian economic woes. Russia was corrupt even when times were much better. Why were things better? Due to high oil prices and lack of sanctions.
    In a way, the good thing about low oil prices and sanctions is that they’ve exposed the internal weakness of the Russian economy, governance, and management.
    When times were good, all that corruption and mismanagement could be paved over. But when belts must be tightened, we can see the full extent of corruption and other problems.


    Look at Venezuela and Brazil that have fared worse. Venezuela especially. Though Chavez’s anti-Americanism and ‘socialism’ were understandable, his kind of revolution couldn’t be sustained. He just relied on high oil prices(as if such would last forever) and just bribed the populace with free and cheap stuff. He bought popularity by spreading the wealth around. He was a populist of the worst kind.
    He did nothing to fix problems of crime, corruption, mismanagement, and etc. He didn’t address the cultural and moral rot of average Venezuelans. No, he just pretended that poor folks are salt of the earth and he was their noble savior. He could maintain such charade as long as oil prices were high and he should throw cash at everything. Such kind of ‘socialism’ failed with Peron, it is now failing with Chavez’s successor or suckasser. Brazil also relied on high commodity prices and demand for raw material as export, mostly from China.

    Now, small nations with limited resources rely on foreign trade to survive.
    But a nation like Russia and Brazil should try to be self-sufficient as much as possible, not least because Zio-Anglo-US is an imperialist power hellbent on using currency wars, sanctions, trade policy, and other means to weaken and even destroy any nation that dares to defy the NWO.

    Russian economy needs to integrate with the world, but it should be as self-sufficient as possible so that when US does something dirty, Russia will just go happily on its way. The current crisis should teach this to Russians.

    Now, if Russians were German-like or Japanese-like, they would already have a prosperous and self-sufficient economy. Unlike Russia, Japanese and Germans have limited resources and land. So, they have no choice but to go along with American imperial-global dictates. But suppose Germans or Japanese had a land as big and bountiful as Russia. They would have done so much more. Its economy would be second only to the US.
    But Russia cannot achieve this with Russians cuz Russians are creatures into wrestling with bears, drinking excessive amounts of vodka, and dancing on tables. Russians even have a crazy way of fishing.

    And this kind of transportation just won’t do. Imagine anyone doing this stuff in Germany or Japan:

    It’s like Lawrence said of Russians: “So long as the Russians wrestle bears, guzzle vodka, dance on tables, and catch fish with their dicks, so long will they be a little people, a silly people – greedy, barbarous, and cruel.”

    Russians are too much like Uther in EXCALIBUR. Russians need a Merlin who can teach them to be more like Arthur.

    Now, it’s good that Putin is showing concern for all these problems, but it’s a sign of the failure of not just the Russian system but the Russian people. There is lack of Rule of Law, basic governing ethics, and lack of agency among Russians. A lot of Russian localities are corrupt cuz Russian citizens are corrupt. And they have no individual sense of conscience, ethics, morality, and obligation. They complain about corruption, but if they had power/privilege, they would do the same thing. It is people corrupt in character bitching about people corrupt in power. So, the Russian character must be changed.

    Consider American Westerns. These western towns got crooks, outlaws, and bad people. But there are community leaders, social reform activists, lawmen, and etc. who do what they must to create a community fit for womenfolk and children. It’s like in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE. Anglo-Americans had character. They weren’t perfect, but they believed in reform. They believed in conscience and courage.
    They believed in self-improvement. It could sometimes get out of hand, like in the Prohibition that only made the problem of crime worse. But such sobriety and seriousness did wonders for US.

    US was founded on contradictory principles. There was individualism, ambition, freedom, liberty. Such stuff could lead to success and riches but also vanity and indulgence. Indeed, sad to say, individualism has now become indulgencism. We have more indulgents than individuals among millennials. But it wasn’t always like this. American individualism was tempered by the other great narrative: that of puritans, pilgrims, and such folks who were into morality, community, and spirituality.

    Civilization can never be totally consistent. It is usually a blend of contradictory but also complementary(if matched correctly) ideas and values. It’ s like chemistry. Some elements come together easily. Some elements repel one another. But some elements, though ‘contradictory’, may come together under certain circumstances. Elements that might not come together might come together under intense heat or with the introduction of a third element. And in America, the contradictory values of moral puritanism and spiritualism somehow came together with individualism and enterprise. That was the alchemy. There was some of this in Europe already with that Weber stuff about Protestant Work Ethic, but it came to full fruition in the US under Anglo-American domination or supremacism. Maybe the plentifulness of land was it. It offered both a vision of great riches and new Jerusalem. It’s like the Western movies offer both the thrill of individual freedom and promise of taming wilderness into Christian community fit for womenfolk and children.

    But Russia developed differently. Lazy noblemen were dancing in balls like in WAR AND PEACE while peasants were working all day to grow enough potatoes to survive through the winter. Russian elites were indulgent, and Russian masses were without agency. So, the revolution came. But communism didn’t change much. It was about the new elites ruling with iron fist and the masses being taught to obey.
    Russian character was ‘oriental’ and for a while, Russian politics were about conspiratorial goons ogling each other like gargoyles.

    Real reform means society is well-governed by decent individuals even without the government doing so much. Until the New Deal, the US federal government didn’t do all that much. It was under Lincoln during and after the Civil War that the federal government got bigger. But still, central government was weak compared to many other modern nations. But US did so much without the government doing so much for the people. Why? Cuz so many Americans had enterprising spirit. Also, because so many Americans were moralists into social reform and spread of rule of law. They could do so much without the government providing everything for them.

    But in Russia, people just look to big government to fix all the problems. There is little effort to bring rule of law to local communities or to use enterprise to build up own communities.
    Even in the US, this is why Libs win over Cons. Even though Cons talk the talk of business and enterprise, when we look at Hollywood, Silicon Valley, restaurants, media, and etc, it is the Libs who are much better at business.
    Not only do Libs excel in business in big cities but they develop small towns that are falling apart with entrepreneurial spirit.

    Russians need to ask… “what would Germans, Japanese, and Anglos(of old) do with our land if they had all this land and resources and opportunities?”
    Of course, Germans, Japanese, and Anglos would do so much more.
    But why? Germans, Anglos, and Japanese don’t have higher IQ than Russians, at least not by much if they do. But Germans, Anglos, and Japanese have cultural characteristics and attitudes missing from Russians.

    Of course, today’s Germs, Brits, and Jappers are turning silly. Today’s Britons are turning into louts. Today’s Anglo-Americans are turning ridiculous. And Japanese have become childish. But they still have better work ethic and social mindfulness(not messing things up) than Russians do who are slovenly, slapdash, drunk, messy, and barbaric.

    Putin, as leader of Russians, don’t wanna be harsh on Russians for their failings. Russians will take it personally. But there has to be come kind of social-cultural-and-moral movement in Russia to change the mindset, attitude, manners, and habits.

    Only then will Russia be able to fully exploits own land and resources to develop industry and technology that can withstand all the pressures from the Zio-Anglo West.

    Russia and Israel are totally different in their situations.

    Israel cannot survive on its own cuz it’s too small and limited in resources.
    Its great disadvantage is lack of land and resources. But its great advantage is ‘owning’ the US government controlled by American Jews.

    In contrast, Russia can survive on its own cuz it’s big and bountiful in resources.
    Its great disadvantage is its over-reliance on the world economy dominated by US controlled by Jews.

    Israel is enabled by US. Russia is disabled by US.

    That makes Israel, naturally a small and weak country, into a very powerful country.
    That makes Russia, naturally a great and powerful country, into a troubled and vulnerable country.

    Russia thinks too much like Israel when it doesn’t have to. Israel needs the US.
    But Russia doesn’t need to think this way IF it plays its own cards right. Russia has enough people and resources to be mostly self-sufficient and give middle finger to the US and even EU. The failing is the character of the Russian people.

    Russians are too passive than active.
    Russians with all those problems waited all this time to complain to Putin?
    Why didn’t they tackle local problems on their own? Why do they lack agency?

    In this, Russians are like white working class Americans whose only political agency is voting once every 4 yrs. Otherwise, they just watch TV or listen to country music, if not rap. They don’t get off their ass to do something.

    In contrast, Jews are active and ALWAYS doing stuff socially, economically, culturally, intellectually, and etc.
    This is why Jews took over Russia but failed in Germany in the WWI period.
    Just a handful of hyper-active Jews could take power from so many passive Russians in the Russian Revolution.
    But the Jewish-communist putsch failed in Germany cuz the Germans were far more active in resisting such subversion.

    It’s good that Putin cares and does what he can to help out Russians, but this kind of system is pathetic. So, all those Russians can’t do anything for themselves and just bank on winning the lottery of calling Putin to make a complaint that may be addressed?

    Russia needs more democracy to fix its problems. The problem of democracy and more freedom is, of course, the danger of foreign infiltration. A freer society is open to foreign agents.
    In a way, US-meddling makes the democratic project much more difficult. Whenever some nation increases freedom and attempts at more democratization, US intelligence agencies and so-called NGO’s come and infiltrate and buy up local politicians with bribes and spread homo agenda in order to use local homos as collaborators to weaken native culture, values, and unity.

    When some nations oppose US attempt to ‘spread democracy’, it isn’t so much democracy or freedom that they fear as the loss of sovereignty that comes with US takeover of democratization. Look at Ukraine. It has turned into Cuckraine of globo Zio-Anglo empire.

    Russians need to learn from John Wayne and James Stewart in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE. Wayne’s got the guts and toughness, Stewart’s got the learning and seriousness(for reform).

    As for Putin waiting for things to rot before taking action… well, that has its advantages, but the best way is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

    Putin’s waste of money on Sochi was tragic. Such vanity projects must go.
    Russia needs to invest in the real future.
    It’s like Brazil’s Olympics bid was so stupid. Just a big vanity project.
    And Athens Olympics was a total wash for Greece.

    Time to get real.

  4. 5371 says:

    Autocracy is the worst system of government – except for all the others.

  5. Avery says:
    @Priss Factor

    Dominique Turd Society:

    Your lack of knowledge about anything , except scatology, combined with your penchant to fill comment pages of with utter B___S___ is most impressive.

  6. Svigor says:


    If Stalin only knew!

  7. “In the Ukraine Putin let the Ukronazis lead a massive attack on Novorussia not once, but twice, before allowing the Novorussian to successfully counter-attack and force the junta to sign Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements.”

    This would be hilarious if it wasn’t such a lie. The war in the Donbas is Putin’s pure and simple. Putin’s “separatists” which were imported from Crimea after he invaded and stole the peninsula, had their @\$\$e\$ handed to them up until Putin sent the Russian Army to back them up. The “Novorussians” are simply GRU officers.

    Putin’s behavior is paralleling that of Stalin when he was consolidating his power. Putin himself is a mobster, and he’s enriched himself at the expense of the Russian people. Like Stalin, he knows how to ingratiate himself with the masses, but, the truth will always out, just as it did with Stalin. Once it’s too late, it will be realized that Putin took the country down the well worn and marked trail that the CPSU took the country down, and the destination will be the same – degradation and poverty. What Russia has visited upon its neighbors in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, will come back on Russia many fold. When that happens, however, Russia will be a rump state confined west of the Urals, and she will be an impoverished and spent force in world affairs.

    Enjoy the trip because all you’re going to have are a few unpleasant memories and the result of your lies.

    • Replies: @5371
    , @annamaria
    , @stickman
    , @JonL
  8. First, Putin is the unchallenged and beloved leader of all the Russian people, he is an extremely effective manager, a defender of the simple Russian people everywhere and he is the last recourse for those who have been wronged by the authorities.

    Second, a lot of Russian people are hurting, badly. Not because of sanctions or the drop in the prices of gas and oil, but because of the corruption, incompetence and ideological blindness of the “economic block of the Russian government”.

    I see a small contradiction here. As an extremely effective manager he should have eradicated corruption and incompetence by now. I mean he has been in power for quite some time to achieve that.

    By the way, it is well known in Russia that the local bureaucrats are absolutely terrified by these call-in shows with the President, as they never know who might call.

    They must be terrified since the corruption and incompetence thrives.

  9. 5371 says:

    Degradation, poverty and impotence in world affairs are what democrats bring to Russia, every time, and only they. Your threats are empty and your prophecies a joke.

  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Putin is the kind of man other men want as a buddy. He’s real. He has a clear mind. He has a sense of humor. He’s not full of himself. He knows where he’s going. He loves his people. He’s a standup guy. He can’t be bullied. He’s a rugged individual. He loves animals and abhors criminals. He’s been a good father. He’s a patriot. He’s a fast thinker. He’s a good communicator. He says what he means. He means what he says. He’s generous. He’s polite. He’s responsible.Those attributes used to be what Americans cherished as ideal qualities. The representatives of America are anathema to me. I envy the Russia people.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig, Kiza
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
  11. @Priss Factor

    You are funny, Dominique.

    Who controls the media in the Western world?

    Have you ever heard of Uffkote?

    Have you listened to or watched “Ekho Moskvy”?

    Did it occur to you the Western people might think differently if the Western media were taken over by characters like Starikov or Korybko?

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Second, a lot of Russian people are hurting, badly. Not because of sanctions or the drop in the prices of gas and oil, but because of the corruption, incompetence and ideological blindness of the “economic block of the Russian government”.”

    There are lots of reasons why Russia is a middle income country rather than an advanced country but the current economic woes are 80-90% because of low oil prices. And since oil prices are staying low for years so will the economic stagnation in Russia.

  13. tom. says:

    A defender of last resort is not a real defender at all. It’s too late and the damage has already been done. Russia has a high poverty rate thanks mostly to Putin and the government. Economic justice delayed is economic justice denied.

    Is the Saker admitting that there is so little trustworthy bureaucrats in Russia that the corrupt ones cannot be easily replaced ? Did the saker say this because he wants to protect Putin above anything else ?

    In Russia, are talk shows the highest form of “justice” ? That is Putins Russia too.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    , @stickman
  14. @Anonymous

    In what way is Putin real? This is a guy that staged a diving expedition and discovered some preplanted scrolls in an ancient ship wreck. That’s Kim Jong-Il six hole in ones in one round of golf silly. Not to mention the fact he rides around on a horse shirtless. More to the point GW Bush embodied 80 percent of these attributes at least and you likely despise him. I which the Russophile “right” would be a little more honest with the fact that Putin is a son of a bitch but he’s our son of a bitch type thinking.

    Putin is a short, campy guy that left the mother of his children to shack up with someone younger than his children. That you like his policies and confrontational stance towards American power doesn’t change that. It’s kind of like how I agree with a lot that Ted Cruz says but find him repulsive. You don’t have to glorify people just because you like their politics.

  15. @tom.

    This is a common feature of the Russian psyche. Oh if only the czar know about this he’s put a stop to it. It’s the battered moan of people without agency and enveloped in low trust societies. You can’t trust your neighbor so you valorize the remote czar.

    And keep in mind the vast vast majority of Russians were serfs well into the 19th century. It’s a peasant country that killed of its elite class full of peasant magical thinking. Nothing wrong with that I happen to like peasants a lot, but peasantry especially the furthe east you go tends to breed a kind of sad fatalism interrupted by bouts of hubristic folly.

    • Replies: @stickman
  16. Kiza says:

    All this pro-Putin and anti-Putin arguments, they are pointless. All things come down to is – will the NWO (Israel and the West) be able to do “regime change” in Russia? How good or how bad the Russian are plays no part in this. Only will the pro-NWO forces in Russia manage to replace Putin or will Putin manage to replace them. From the history we know very well that there is no such thing as a long term steady-state in politics. Therefore, the current draw between the pro-Western liberals and the Russian nationalists is just temporary. It is only a matter of moment when it will be broken, and then after a good fight, one of the two will prevail.

    Naturally, like Saker, I hope that it will be nationalists/conservatives lead by Putin who will prevail and purge the pro-Western “liberals”.

  17. @Kiza

    the weaker Russia gets economically, the stronger Putin gets

    Sounds rather bad for Russia if Putin loves power.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    , @Kiza
  18. Rehmat says:

    Russia is economically bankrupt since its misadventure in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It lost most of its European empire which used to feed the Russian Bear. Putin has tried desperately to replace European imperialists in Africa and South-East Asia, but with the exception of oil-rich Iran and Libya he failed. Libya was thrown to dogs for Qaddafi’s threat to IMF and WB.

    Most of Russian Jewish oligarchs have taken their loots to Israel or UK. Putin cannot get some financial support from Soviet illegitimate child in the Middle East, the parasite rich state of Israel.

    Most Americans believe that European Jewish settlers need their hard-earned money to makes two-ends meals in a place surrounded by anti-Semite, anti-American 300 million Arabs. But the fact is, while Israeli Jews receive 46% of total foreign USAID – they have the highest standard of living among its Arab neighbors.

    In 2010 – the Zionist entity reported the highest numbers of billionaires (10) and millionaires (5900) in the Middle East.

  19. Tom Welsh says:

    ‘By the way, it is well known in Russia that the local bureaucrats are absolutely terrified by these call-in shows with the President, as they never know who might call. What they do know is that the investigation and sanctions “from above” will be swift and merciless’.

    I am reminded of one of the less well known stories about King Alfred the Great of England. Concerned after hearing that some of his royal judges were not obeying the exact letter of the law, he went “on progress” around his country inspecting all the judges and hearing any and all complaints against them. A number of royal judges were actually hanged as a result!

    Such personal initiatives by the supreme ruler introduce a certain new element of risk into the calculations of criminals and would-be criminals.

  20. Tom Welsh says:

    “The worse the economic situation in Russia is, the stronger Putin becomes and the weaker the Atlantic Integrationists are”.

    No one tell the Washington neocons! Every additional sanction they slap on weakens their chances. Magnificent!

  21. annamaria says:

    “Putin’s “separatists” which were imported from Crimea after he invaded and stole the peninsula…”
    You wanted to impress the Unz readers with your reading of the situation in Crimea, but unfortunately for you, the facts are widely available on the internet:
    Ukraine has become a plaything of the US ziocons. Don’t you like Mr. Groysman, “the first Jewish Premier of Ukraine?” (New Israel-on-Don?)
    How about Mr. Saakishvilly, the fugitive of justice in his native Georgia and governor of Odessa? And why was a foreign fraudster Jaresko appointed by the Us Dept. to manage Ukraine’s finances? It seems as if there are no native Ukrainians to take care of Ukraine (according to the above-mentioned and US-approved appointments).
    Despite your protestations, Ukraine has been indeed infested with neo-Nazis that were used by the US-sponsored putschists as well as by the (former) “leader of Jewish Community of Ukraine” Mr. Kolomoisky:
    And here are some fateful acts undertaken by Yatz-“the guy”: fire sale of Ukrainian assets:

  22. Rehmat says:

    Madeleine Albright, in a recent interview she gave to Austrian newspaper called Russian president Vladimir Putin “a smart but a truly evil man.” She claimed that Putin is trying his best to destroy European Union and NATO, two of Israel’s allies.

    “He is smart but truly an evil man. An officer of KGB, who wants to exercise power and believes that every body has come together to conspire against Russia. This is not true. Putin is playing bad cards well, for the time being at least. I believe his goal is to undermine and split EU. He want NATO to disappear from his sphere of influence,” She said.

    Madeleine Albright, 78, the first Jewish US secretary of state is well-known for her hatred of Arabs. In May 1996, in an interview with 60 Minutes, Albright, then Clinton’s ambassador at United Nations, told Leslie Rene Stahl (Jewish) that murdering 500,000 Iraqi children was worth removing Saddam Hussein threat to Israel.

    • Replies: @stickman
  23. Glossy says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    If the love of power was Putin’s primary motivation, he’d have sold out a long time ago. How would the Western news consumer know it? By all the praise he’d see being heaped on Putin. Look at Merkel. Or Gorby and Yeltsin in the past.

    The most secure kind of power is the kind you get by being helpful to the Borg, the Empire, whatever you want to call it. Rebelling against it is a risky, uncertain thing. Putin is clearly doing that out love for Russia. Why else?

  24. stickman says:

    “Quarteredmaster” is an ambulatory example of Russophobic inanity motivated by an overly deep immersion in military indoctrination orchestrated by the WarDefense industry, which itself is under full operative control by the OWNERS of the world central bankster cabal headed by the Rothschild crime family and their unindicted fellow-conspirators such as the Rockefeller crime clan and subluminary cohorts as per the Bu\$h crime family.

    The Maidan coup d’ etat was long in preparation and was engineered by close minions of the bankster elite such as the Rothschild uber-agent, Little Georgie of the Sorrows and the deeply corrupted elements of the U\$ puppet regime’s deep state. It was orchestrated in the field by Viccious Nudelman (aka Nuland) an open neo-con and the spouse of notorious Neocon Robert Kagan, a direct descendant (as was the engineer of Ukraine’s Holodomor) Lazar Kaganovich; of the ruling Kagans (Khans) of the Khazarian slave empire.

    These Western paid plotters in Kiev and their unsavory allies, the Galician fascist elements such as Pravy Sektor; pulled off the coup vs the duly elected democratic (but unarguably corrupt) Ukrainian government and in the process replaced them with a totally kleptocratic regime beholden to the bankster financial elite and their lapdogs, the U\$ puppet regime’s Department of State and CIA.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    , @Corvinus
  25. stickman says:

    It is doubtful whether Tom has been a deep delver into Russian affairs and it is more likely than not that he still “achieves” many of his attitudes and outlooks by the bankster and CIA-controlled U\$ mainscream media.

    Russia’s poverty rate is NOT due to Putin but resembles the one here in the U\$ puppet regime in that most of the money goes to the fringe on top and mere pittances reach the masses below. This is due to economic policies foisted upon Russia by those bureaucrats bought off by Khazarian oligarchs during the bad old days of Boris Yeltsin, who was kept in top-shelf imported booze by these self-same “made men”, who rapidly transformed their little secret loans from the Rothschild crime family into massive takeovers of previously state-owned industries as exemplified by the arch-criminal Khordorkovsky and his massive Yukos oil holdings.

  26. stickman says:
    @Sam Haysom

    Sam. You appear to be both confused and rather lightly researched as to the killing off of Russia’s elite during the Bolshevik counter-revolution. These evil deeds were done by the primarily Khazarian Judaic elements who made up the highest echelons of the Bolsheviks and were particularly predominant in the terror apparatus, the Cheka and also in the Red Army. They were augmented by a relative handful of Bolshevized Latvians and the renegade Pole, Feliks Dzerzhinsky.

    Russia’s peasantry, the Mir, had little or nothing to do with the mass murder of intellectuals, educators, doctors, engineers, journalists and entrepreneurs. Those evil deeds were the primary province of hate-filled Khazarian schemers such as Lev Bronstein (aka Leon Trotsky).

    • Agree: Rurik
  27. @Avery

    something like china’s ccp and their leaders. they may skim off the top a bit, but they also do their job and improve the country while in office. The chinese leaders juggle their greed and job very well, especially at the top level.

    • Replies: @Avery
  28. stickman says:

    Madwoman Halfbright exemplifies the satanic element within Talmudic Judaism. These people (hardly more than a minority within the Talmudics) harken back to Moloch and the Babylonian delight in human blood sacrifice, particularly of the young and the innocent, on behalf of their non-human Archontic entities.

    Even Torah Jews include elements who revel in blood sacrifice as evidenced in the Xenophobic tribalism evinced in both Passover and Purim, where perceived enemies of the self Chosen People = Master Race, were killed-off and/or genocided. Operation Cast Lead, in which the world’s largest open air concentration camp, Gaza, was targeted by the Rothschild-Zionist regime in occupied Palestine. Well over a thousand were murdered in this excursion, thousands wounded, tens of thousands left homeless and much of Gaza’s infrastructure left in ruins.

    It is clear that tribalistic Judaism has much to atone for, as their leadership appears to be made up of blood-thirsty haters of all who are not of their primitive persuasion. Jews of good conscience need to continue in their good works, such as the BDS movement and to prepare to take on the evil leadership of their people in order to free the majority of Jews from continued ensorcellment by racist evil.

  29. If Putin is truly as smart as people claim, he must have finally come to the conclusion that he can never really be in control of the political situation in Russia if a privately controlled central bank continues to control the money supply there.

    He probably has looked back in history and has come to the conclusion that a privately controlled central bank can dispose of obstreperous politicians on a mere whim if it chooses.

    Just ask George H. W. Bush, a blue blood that The Lobby never really trusted, what he thinks about the very mysterious rise in the interest rates that the Fed imposed in 1992 which severely weakened the economy and led to his defeat in the upcoming election.

    This rise was probably part of the punishment heaped upon the senior Bush for not having succumbed to pressure from the Israel Lobby and gone after Saddam Hussein after the first Iraq war.

    Bill Clinton proved to be much more amenable to the demands of The Lobby. Just ask Madeline Albright about who exactly pushed for the murderous and illegal sanctions on Iraq that ended up being imposed by her and Bill.

  30. Avery says:
    @Astuteobservor II


    No matter who is the Chief Communist Leader, nothing changes much in China.
    They’ve had a few Leaders since Deng Xiaoping, and its “steady as she goes”.
    Xi Jinping can drop dead tomorrow from a heart attack, and China will keep keep going on its set course.

    If Putin drops dead tomorrow from a heart attack, nobody knows what will happen to Russia.
    It could be chaos or no change.
    People of RF deserve better: they need some stability and predictability.

    • Replies: @Historian
  31. Kiza says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Maybe you missed my point – the NWO orthodoxy is that sanctions turn the populace against the leader and prepare for regime change. With the Russians this does not appear to work, and most ironically, appears to turn the majority of the population towards the leader. In my personal view this is because the Russians have a very strong awareness of history and are relatively used to hardship due to various invaders. In other words, my point is that the standard NWO ‘medicine’ applied to Russia appears to work in the opposite direction and that Russia probably is the toughest nut that the regime-changers will ever try to crack. This is not because of Putin then because of the way the Russian people are.

    Regarding power, there is no doubt that every ruler loves power, Putin is no different. But the difference between a leader and a politician is what he/she does for the people he has the power over. The World is full of trashy politicians (Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande etc etc), whilst there appears to be only one leader – Putin. This is why all the politicians are desperately trying to smear the single leader – it is the toll poppy syndrome.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  32. DaveE says:

    Thanks for this, very sincerely. A first-hand account of Putin taking on The Mob. Maybe a sort of ONF Outside Russia, too.

    Anyway, first rate stuff and it certainly has a “ring” (not Ring) of truth to it.

  33. Historian says:

    In China, the vice president usually becomes the next president, and the first vice-premier usually becomes the next premier. Each man gets two terms as heir presumptive, and two terms in the top job.

    This does wonders for continuity of policy. When one team leaves, their successors have already spent 10 years working with each other. Sometimes people resign, die, or do something stupid, and this gives them time to find a replacement well ahead of time.

    Russia went in the opposite direction by abolishing the vice-presidency and making the prime minister the next in line if the president dies. The result of this is Medvedev jockeying for position, and Putin running the country from the premiership.

    This sort of thing can’t happen in China, because the premiership is as high as you can go. Neither the premier nor the first vice-premier can become president. The presidency is a parallel career ladder from the premiership.

    • Replies: @5371
  34. 5371 says:

    Yes, and the system is predictable even on a longer term than that. Not only will the president and premier for 2023-33 (Hu Chunhua and Sun Zhengcai) be officially designated in autumn 2017 by becoming members of the Politburo Standing Committee, but unofficially their successors for 2033-43 will be designated at the same time, by becoming the two youngest full members of the Central Committee.

  35. @stickman

    … notorious Neocon Robert Kagan, a direct descendant (as was the engineer of Ukraine’s Holodomor) Lazar Kaganovich …

    Seriously, is that true? Do you have any documentation on that? I have actually wondered the same thing myself. In Russian, ‘Kaganovich’ would mean something along the lines of ‘son of Kagan’. Can it be just a coincidence?

    • Replies: @tbraton
    , @stickman
  36. tbraton says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    I was struck by the same comment. I do know that Robert Kagan is the son of Donald Kagan, who used to teach at Yale. I know Donald Kagan because I read his magnificent 4-volume analysis of Thucydides famous history “The Peloponnesian War.” I had long been a great fan of Thucydides and thought Kagan’s detailed analysis to be superb. BTW here is what Wikipedia says about Donald Kagan: “Born into a Jewish family from Kuršėnai, Lithuania, Kagan grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, where his family emigrated when he was two years old [i.e., 1934], shortly after the death of his father. He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1954, received an MA from Brown University in 1955 and a PhD from the Ohio State University in 1958.[1]” It says nothing about family connections back in Lithuania. I just checked and found Kaganovich was born in Ukraine, near Kiev. Here is a link to the Google search page dealing with the Kaganovich family tree.

  37. stickman says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    @ Seamus Padraig In traditional societies such as that of the Talmudist Khazarians one does NOT usurp the surname of the Kagans. If the surname happens to be Kagan or Kaganovich, one may be assured that this individual is either a direct or collateral descendant of the once ruling Kagans of ancient Khazaria. I can only surmise possible differentiation in status between Robert Kagan and Lazar Kaganovich.

  38. JonL says:

    The mark of a mature man is that he can decipher reality from fiction and fairy tales. I guess you fail on those 2 points…..

  39. Corvinus says:

    Cool story.

    What is this fixation, this fascination with the former head of the KGB who used his clout to bilk his fellow countrymen out of billions, who proposed to pay men and women to have children, who is using the Russian Orthodox Church as the conduit for Russian nationalism…to keep himself in power! Must we be reminded that under Soviet authorities, at least 200,000 members of the clergy were murdered, according to a 1995 Kremlin committee report, while millions of other Christians were persecuted while Putin was a member of that intelligence community.

    Moreover, what about those citizens who are not Orthodox? What about their religious liberties? Why should the Orthodox Church receive any official sanction from the government?

    Further, for what reason would the Orthodox Church come out to praise Stalin’s successes in industry and its sphere of influence, without even mentioning about the gulags or purges? Interesting…

  40. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    Unless Russians change their character and build a self-sufficient economy, this will happen to them over and over.

    • Replies: @Avery
  41. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website


  42. Avery says:
    @Priss Factor

    Dominique Turd Society:

    Unless you stop playing in turd and spewing turd, you will drown in turd.

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