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Putin Is (Finally) Purging the Medvedev Government
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While the word was focused in rapt attention on the outcome of the US Presidential election, Vladimir Putin did something quite amazing – he arrested Alexei Uliukaev, Minister of the Economy in the Medvedev government, on charges of extortion and corruption. Uliukaev, whose telephone had been tapped by the Russian Security Services since this summer, was arrested in the middle of the night in possession of 2 million US dollars. Putin officially fired him the next morning.

Russian official sources say that Uliukaev extorted a $2 million bribe for an assessment that led to the acquisition by Rosneft (a state run Russian oil giant) of a 50% stake in Bashneft (another oil giant). Apparently, Uliukaev tried to threaten Igor Sechin, the President of Rosneft and a person considered close to Vladimir Putin and the Russian security and intelligence services.

Yes, you read that right: according to the official version, a state-owned company gave a bribe to a member of the government. Does that make sense to you? How about a senior member of the government who had his telephone tapped and who has been under close surveillance by the Federal Security Service for over a year – does that make sense to you?

This makes no sense at all and the Russian authorities fully realize that. But that is the official version. So what is going on here? Do you think that there is a message from Putin here?

Of course there is!

Remember the corrupt Minister of Defense Anatolii Serdiukov? He was first fired from his position and only then arrested. But this time around, it is a member of the government which is arrested in the middle of the night. For a few hours, his subordinates could not even reach him – they had no idea what had happened to him. Was that a mistake? Hardly.

The way Uliukaev was detained was carefully choreographed to instill the strongest sense of fear possible in all the other 5th columnists still in power because in so many ways Uliukaev was a symbol for all the the “Atlantic Integrationists” (those in the Kremlin who want to integrate Russia into the US controlled international security system): Uliukaev was a known liberal, just like Nikita Belykh, governor of Kirov Region, who was detained in a high-publicity arrest in June for taking a 400,000 Euros bribe. I would even say that Uliukaev could be considered the ultimate symbol of the Atlantic Integrationists and a faithful member of the Russian “liberal” (meaning the “Washington consensus” type) sect who, in the past had worked with Egor Gaidar and Alexei Kudrin and who now has been brought down by the Russian “siloviki”, the top officials of the so-called “power ministries” (defense, state security, intelligence). This was immediately recognized by everybody and the main headline of the popular website could not be clearer, it read: “The Siloviki brought down Uliukaev” and featured a photo of the key actors of this drama, including the tough-looking man thought to have brought Uliukaev down, Sergei Korolev, the Head of the Economic Security service of the FSB (shown on photo here).

In April, I predicted that a government purge was in the making. I have to admit that I thought that this would have happened earlier. Apparently Putin decided to take action while Uncle Sam was busy with his own internal problems. If that is indeed the reason for the late timing, that says a lot about the power of the USA still wields in Russia. Some observers noticed that the arrest of Uliukaev took place after the telephone conversation between Trump and Putin, hinting that Trump might have given Putin the go ahead for the arrest. That is, of course, utter nonsense, but if that can make Putin look bad – it’s good enough for the 5th columnists.

The list of potential ‘candidates’ to be purged next is still long and includes names like the Deputy Prime Minister Arkadii Dvorkovich, the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and, of course, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev. Uliukaev was only one amongst many more. Still, he was definitely a top-level target and the manner in which he was arrested must have sent a chill down the spine of all the other 5th columnists in the Kremlin. Just the fact that his phone was tapped for so long is quite unthinkable and clearly points to the fact that nobody is safe from Putin’s purges. And that, by itself, is truly a most welcome change: every member of the Medvedev government now has been put on notice that his/her life is now spent under the close scrutiny of the FSB.

It really matters little what will happen to Uliukaev next. He has be formally arraigned, now his case will be further investigated and then Uliukaev will have his day in court (right now he has only be detained and he will be kept under house arrest for the next two months). Potentially, he faces 15 years in jail and a fine equivalent to 70 times the amount of the bribe he took. Judging by the case of Serdyukov, who is managed to escape any prison time thanks to a Presidential Amnesty at the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, Putin seem to be reluctant to inflict any form of retribution upon his enemies. But even if Uliukaev does not get to enjoy the fresh air of the Siberian taiga, he is already finished as a power broker, and that is all that really matters to Putin.

The crucial point here is that in the course of one night, a top level Russian Minister went from his Ministerial Offices to a holding cell and that absolutely nobody saw it coming or could prevent this. Yet again we have a case of 100% Putin style: no warnings of any kind, no hints even, just sudden dramatic action with an immediate result. His “handwriting” is clearly all over the case.

The reaction to this arrest in Russia was predictable, especially after sources in the security services told the Russian media that Arkadii Dvorkovich and Andrei Belousov were also under investigation. Anatolii Chubais, for example, declared that he was in “total shock”. Even better was the reaction of Prime Minister Medvedev who said that this development was at the “edge of his understanding”.

It will be interesting to observe the inevitable reaction from the Atlantic Integrationists: if they really feel defeated, they will pay lip-service to the need to “fight corruption on all levels” and generally keep a low profile. If they still have some fight in them, they will denounce a “Stalinist” crackdown, the return to “1930’s -like purges” and a “new campaign of terror” against democracy. The western corporate media, whose only “value” is money, will write about how the Russian “secret police” is cracking down on “business entrepreneurs” and how that will end up damaging the Russian economy. Basically, a repeat of the whining which we all heard when Putin dismantled the infamous semibankirshchina. As Elton John would say, we “have seen that movie too…”

As for the rabid Putin-hating nationalists, they will say that this is too little too late. For years they have been complaining about corruption and how top level officials were never investigated, and now that they seem to have gotten their wish, it’s “too little, too late”. But that doesn’t really matter, since they have almost as little credibility with the Russian general public as the pro-western parties like Iabloko or Parnass.

The main media outlets and political commentators are all giving Putin a standing ovation right now. That is hardly surprising since they are the ones who for many months now have been loudly and constantly complaining about the “economic bloc of the government”, meaning the pro-US 5th columnists inside the Medvedev government. Quite literally all the main political commentators have been begging and demanding a purge of this “economic bloc” and a radical change in the economic policies of Russia. Well, they got one villain purged, which is a good start, but there are no signs that more heads will roll or that the economic course of Russia will finally break from the Washington consensus kind of policies and be replaced with much needed policy of internal growth. But then, knowing Putin, we should not expect any signs – only action.

In Russia, just as in the USA, changing the people is far easier than changing the system while the only way to achieve real change is, precisely, to change the system, not the people. So far, Putin has only succeeded in kicking some of the worst people out and, to his credit, getting some very good people in. Now that a threat of war with the USA is very substantially reduced and that Uncle Sam will be busy with his own internal struggles, I hope that Putin will finally take some very strong action to liberate Russia from the Washington consensus types and replace them with real patriots who will finally make it possible for Russia to become a truly sovereign country, even in the economic sense.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Neoliberalism, Russia, Vladimir Putin 
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  1. Perhaps the timing had something to do with opening Trumps mind to heretofore unimagined possibilities.

  2. I rather doubt it, because when it comes to economic policy in Russia, free-market liberals is the only game in town. The FSB people in particular are clueless about economics; if put in charge of economic policy, they will quick run it into the ground, and Putin seems to understand that.

  3. Interesting that so much power in any nation is vested in its Deep State. Since it is secret and democratically unaccountable, the tendency is for it to supplant public facing institutions and leaders, in the end rendering them impotent. Once off the leash, it doesn’t matter much what form of government a country operated under – even, in the past, communism.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In other words, Russians are still communist scum.

  5. 5371 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    It’s just a myth that the sun will only rise in the morning if liberals keep their jobs.

  6. Parbes says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Meaningless bridge-selling neocon blather. “…when it comes to economic policy in Russia, free-market liberals is the only game in town”. Yeah, right, SUUURE – the same “free-market liberals” who turned Russia into a de-industrialized, de-technologized, de-socialized semi-Third World economy dependent on fire-sale of state assets, financial speculation, rent-seeking and raw material extraction.

    Dumb, obvious neocon hack!

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  7. Parbes says:

    Russians removing a sleazy corrupt politician from power IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY, is a reason for you to call them “communist scum”. Cold War bottom-feeders like you need to CROAK already. Piece of slime.

    • Replies: @Realist
  8. Re: Elvira Nabiullina

    As far as I understand, the Russian National Bank was quite slow both in 2008-9 and late 2014 to stop the bleeding. They were essentially lending unlimited amount of RUB to their banks, who – instead of lending it out – used that to short the currency against USD and EUR. That bled dry the currency reserves while doing nothing to rectify the internal liquidity shortage. Then, both in 2009 and I think in December 2014 (or perhaps early 2015) they rectified the crisis by simply prohibiting the banks to short RUB against foreign currencies. Other than this, the Russian National Bank was mostly professional, I’m not sure how responsible Nabiullina was in that crisis, but as governor of the central bank she either knew or should have known and so this was clearly a huge error.

    In any event, she wasn’t head of the RNB during the 2008/9 crisis, and after realizing the initial error, she managed the crisis quite well, in my opinion.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  9. Hunsdon says:
    @Felix Keverich

    They may run it into the ground, but it’ll be Russian ground.

  10. Hunsdon says:

    I admire your insightful commentary and your pithy economy with words. I suppose its the best you can do, bless your little heart.

  11. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Well, was the person actually guilty? Is there an idea that this was selective enforcement, that he wouldn’t have been taken in had he been aligned with Putin? Perhaps we’re overthinking this. It may be just a case of cracking down on egregiously corrupt government officials. It’s also possible that there’s much crookedness on the part of the ‘Atlantic Integrationists’ since when one thinks about it that camp probably attracts the aspiring moneybags who place their bank accounts over all else. Corruption crackdowns would probably hit them disproportionally harder.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  12. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    free-market liberals is the only game in town

    No, they are not. In fact, they are a tiny minority of monetarist ignoramuses (and outright saboteurs) among a very vibrant and large community of Russian economists who exist in vast numbers beyond the smelly confines of VShE.

  13. Andevro says:

    Bravo Russian people

  14. Tervel says:

    Not that I like any liberal politician, but it looks like Uliuykaev was against the budget increase for Chechnya and also did not want to give the Chechen oil company to Kadyrov.

    He was probably sacked because he angered Allah and his humble servant Ramzan.

    Russia is a fucking islamic state now, chechens can do everything and fuck with everyone, they can beat up the 9year old daughter of someone like Fedor Emelyanenko and the Russian cucks will do nothing.

  15. @anonymous

    Is there an idea that this was selective enforcement, that he wouldn’t have been taken in had he been aligned with Putin?

    I’d find it plausible.

  16. Parbes says:

    Yeah, like you neocon shitheads are really worried about “Islamic states” and Islamism. If Russia is an “Islamic state now”, then it means you should love Russia, you stupid blockhead, since there’s hardly an Islamic extremist regime anywhere that your lowlife neocon leaders waste any time before starting to suck off and conspire against independent secular nationalist governments with, from the vile camel jockeys of Saudia to Erdogandog who actually IS turning Turkey into a “fucking Islamic state”.

    Yell all you want in impotent rage, you ain’t gonna change nothin’, douchebag third-rate troll. You guys’ days are numbered; and hopefully someday we’ll all be dancing and singing on your graves.

  17. @Parbes

    ” Yeah, right, SUUURE – the same “free-market liberals” who turned Russia into a de-industrialized, de-technologized, de-socialized semi-Third World economy dependent on fire-sale of state assets, financial speculation, rent-seeking and raw material extraction.”

    Didn’t happen under free market liberals. It happened under Yeltsin who was a lot more nationalist than he is credited for, to Russia’s detriment. In particular, he blocked foreign investors from the privatization process.

    • Replies: @Avery
  18. This is not a trend. Vladimir Yukunin, head of Russian Railways, a right wing nationalist and an enthusiast for adventures in Ukraine was sacked, with more dignity, in August. Russia has a matrix management system for a government. Ulyukaev (Улюкаев transliterations vary with personal names) made more than a few enemies by pushing his column of the matrix hard especially heads of state companies. $2m would be selling himself cheap. Sechin outwitted AAR to bring BP into the Rosneft fold where Medvedev failed miserably with the same task using Gazprom. Formidable operator.

    • Replies: @5371
  19. Is all this is true, Alexei Uliukaev is obviously a candidate for a Nobel Prize. Does he write song lyrics by any chance?

    Medvedev was marked as a no-go with Russia’s abstention on the “moronic” UN no fly resolution in regard to Libya.

    He is kept around as a formality.

    Most of his brain cells and Russianness were destroyed early in his student days listening to Deep Purple.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @dahoit
  20. neutral says:

    I have never understood cucks like you, if Russia becomes Islamic then you should be happy. Neocons love diversity, if Russia becomes non white why would you not be happy with that ?

  21. Boris N says:

    What really does not make sense it is why those people appeared in the Kremlin in the first place. And this fact is not explained either by the government or by Putin apologists. Medvedev has always been a puppet of Putin, hence everything Medvedev did and is now doing can be done only with Putin’s approval if not with direct Putin’s order. So it is Putin who has infiltrated the Kremlin and the government with a swarm of “5th columnists” (what a silly propagandist cliche) and “Atlantic Integrationists”. So Putin is the boss and patron of the traitors himself.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  22. JL says:

    So it is Putin who has infiltrated the Kremlin and the government with a swarm of “5th columnists”

    I know you know this, but you are being disingenuous because the Atlantic Integrationists were already there before Putin became President. He consolidated power in the security sector and social spheres of the government, while the economic block is the last remaining bastion of the US-installed 1990s cadre. There are a number of possible reasons for this, among them that economics is not exactly Putin’s strong suit.

    Mikhail Khazin writes very long predictions at the beginning of the year, one for the world and another separate one for Russia. This year, he predicted that in the unlikely event of a Trump presidency, the liberal economic block of the Russian government would have to be purged. That is because all these people are associated with the Clinton clan, having been installed by Bill during his term. And Trump would refuse to work with them. Not to mention the difference in ideology, where both in the US and Russia, economic liberals will be replaced by “nationalists”.

  23. 5371 says:
    @Philip Owen

    That would be August 2015, and he was sacked because his son became a subject of Her Majesty. Do you ever write a word without attempting to deceive your readers?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  24. @Tervel

    Well, it is certainly true that Putin is afraid of Kadyrov and will do nothing to cross him. But non-Chechen Islamists do not have much influence in Russia.

    • Replies: @Parbes
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  25. @Boris N

    Of course. Putin is very careful to keep any one faction from getting strong enough to challenge him. It’s the same game Stalin and Mao played, and now Erdogan. All Saker’s blather about cleaning up corruption is nonsense. Putin does whatever is good for Putin.

  26. Vinnie says:

    Um, you mean that there has NEVER been a “secret” (i.e., non-public) investigation of an American politician by the FBI, IRS, SEC, etc., etc., followed by a sudden public arrest of the criminal? In Illinois, the joke is that the Federal Prison in Joliet is the “retirement plan” for Illinois governors. Governor Blagojevich’s phone was tapped because he was a person who frequently called president-elect Obama. And the FBI was then surprised to discover how interesting Blaggy’s non-Obama conversations were. In a democratic Russia, shouldn’t the government be REGULARLY arresting corrupt politicians?

  27. Avery says:
    @Philip Owen

    {….under Yeltsin who was a lot more nationalist than he is credited for, to Russia’s detriment. }

    You keep repeating the same lie every Russia related thread.
    Yeltsin was no ‘nationalist’: he was a nothing. A Western puppet, whose alcohol addled mind was too out of it to figure out what was going on.

    Assorted anti-Russians – liberals, neocons, traitors, … – looted Russia of $100s of billions of national wealth, and almost brought it to the brink of collapse.
    It’s well documented.

    A bunch of them fled to London (e.g. Berezovsky) or Tel Aviv when true Russian patriot and true nationalist Putin appeared. They took $100s of billions of looted Russian national wealth with them. One mega-looter, Khodorkovsky, was given time to relax and adjust his errant ways at State expense, when he tried to do the same thing he done with Yeltsin to Putin.
    The others still in Russia got the message.

    Berezovsky committed suicide in London, although I truly hope it was FSB’s long arm of justice that reached out and touched the wretch.

  28. Rehmat says:

    It’s Putin new ploy to fool Russians by screening his life-time puppet Medvedev. As long as Putin remains surrounded by oligarchs – corruption would remain a part and parcel of Russian society like during the Soviet era.

    Anyone familiar with western deception will tell you the US, Russia, UK, France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia cannot be trusted when it comes to nations that believe Israel has no right to exist.

    It’s Medvedev who as Russian president cancel the S300 deal with Iran even receiving $800 million in advance – after meeting Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

    On February 11, Syria Jewish expert at Israel Lobby WINEP, Andrew Tabler, told Kathy Gilsanan editor of Jewish The Atlantic that if Syrian army recapture country’s largest and strategically important Aleppo province with the help of Iran, Hizbullah and Russia – it would be a clear defeat of the US and its regional allies….

  29. The Soviet Union was not a threat to the Historic Native Born White American Majority back in 1965….nor was Vietnam. Back in 1965….Emanuel Cellar…..Jacob Javitts…filthy reprobate Teddy Kennedy….and the passage of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act….this was the mortal,fatal,existential threat to the continued existence of Native Born White America.

  30. pyrrhus says:

    It’s time, and pretty good timing with Trump in the ascendant.

  31. @Anonymous

    I would use the name “Anonymous” too if this was the sort of tripe I wrote.

  32. Parbes says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Putin isn’t “afraid” of Kadyrov, nitwit. Kadyrov is a loyal regional leader who has been doing a lot to purge Chechnya and the surrounding areas of separatists and Saudi and Western-supported Wahhabi terrorists, and who is an ASSET to Russia. His Islamism is probably at least partially a ruse to placate the conservative Islamic majority population of his own Chechnyan region – but even if it isn’t, the important thing is that he is NOT ANTI-RUSSIAN, NOT SEPARATIST, NOT A JIHADI, and FIGHTS TERRORISTS. A loyal Russian citizen of Chechen Muslim extraction like Kadyrov, is worth more to the country than all the shiftless treasonous Fifth Columnist Atlanticist Slavic and Jewish faux-liberals, oligarchs, etc. put together.

    Do you idiotic rank-and-file neocon trolls get special training somewhere, on how to disingenuously misinterpret and misrepresent things?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  33. geokat62 says:

    Do you idiotic rank-and-file neocon trolls get special training somewhere, on how to disingenuously misinterpret and misrepresent things?

    Of course, they do:

    “Douglas Bloomfield and Newsweek have… exposed a secret hasbara handbook written for The Israel Project by star Republican marketer, Frank Luntz. The oddly-named Global Language Dictionary (pdf) is a veritable goldmine of arguments, strategy, tactics. At 116 pages, it’s not for the faint of heart. But anyone who wants to get inside the head of the Israel lobby must read this document.”

    • Replies: @Parbes
  34. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @E. A. Costa

    Most of his brain cells and Russianness were destroyed early in his student days listening to Deep Purple.

    Don’t insult Deep Purple. Many good people listened to this band, yours truly included, although I’ll give you that some of my brain cells were destroyed, including listening, however accidentally, to bands, who, unlike Deep Purple, could barely play.

  35. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Well, it is certainly true that Putin is afraid of Kadyrov


  36. dahoit says:
    @E. A. Costa

    Deep Purple?How about Leonard Cohen?

  37. No_0ne says:

    Hey, don’t forget to give some credit to Harvard and (((Larry Summers))) for the rape of Russia.

    • Replies: @neutral
  38. @Avery

    The PILLAGE OF RUSSIA – a much better term IMHO – in the 1990’s was ostensibly to introduce liberal capitalism to Russia. Many of the proponents of the plan were Jewish Neocons and the real aims were twofold
    1. To enrich the cronies – many of them Jewish – around Boris Yeltsin. State Assets were sold to these people at ridiculously cheap prices. In return, they were to financially support political parties which were subservient to the US. Rather like the Donorist Class in America pre-Trump.
    2. Assets were then sold at considerable profit and the money taken abroad. This deprived many industries of investment capital as a result. The ultimate aim was to bring extractive and other highly profitable industries under the control of western-based oligarchs or directly under western companies, like BP. Other industries- including heavy – were to be deprived of investment and permitted to collapse. This was to be the Russian equivalent of the MORGENTHAU PLAN ( devised by Harry Dexter White, an American Jew ). Russia was to be so bereft of industry that it could never oppose America again, politically or otherwise.
    Fortunately, the rise of Vladimir Putin stopped this. Whatever the man’s faults, his perseverance has saved Russia. Let’s hope Donald Trump can do the same for America.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @E. A. Costa
  39. @Andrei Martyanov

    Richie Blackmore used to live in Lloyd Neck done the road from Mr. and Mrs Derbyshire …Now he lives in the lilly White gated community overlooking Port Jefferson Harbor…just across…15 miles…from the toilet bowl Bridgeport….Happily composing English folk madgigals(I have no idea how to spell this word)…

  40. neutral says:

    Harvard and (((Larry Summers)))

    Should be: (((Harvard))) and (((Larry Summers)))

  41. Parbes says:

    I was already aware of this hasbara project, of course; but thanks for the link anyway… However, I think – though I could be wrong – that most of these neocon trolls who post lying smear propaganda about Putin and Russia on this website and others are not direct Israeli propagandists, but rather U.S. neocon types (and their Ukie, Balt, etc. acolytes).

    • Replies: @utu
    , @anti_republocrat
  42. Avery says:

    {The PILLAGE OF RUSSIA – a much better term IMHO }

    Agree: much better and more accurately describes what actually was done to Russia.

  43. @Verymuchalive

    “Let’s hope Donald Trump can do the same for America”

    There is an old Spanish saying–La esperanza es un buen desayuno pera una mala cena. To wit, “Hope is a good breakafast but a bad supper.”

    Trump is simply not in Putin’s league, intellectually or in other ways, but even if he were, the situation in Russia, though catastrophic, had gone one for only a few years.

    In the United States of P. T. Barnum it is long past supper–past even midnight snacks or next day’s breakfast, next week’s, even next month’s.

    Trump will make an even worse mess of it, as Señora Clinton also would have done, with slightly different cosmetic aspects.

    As it stands they are all–including the Finance Capitalists–seeking the status quo ante. But the status quo ante is what led to the present pass. And now it is way beyond any possibility of that. However bad it was, it will get worse.

    • Replies: @edNels
  44. edNels says:
    @E. A. Costa

    I was going to ”agree”, however the system says, I didn’t post often enough to ”up or down” it.

    I agree with this post by E.A. Costa.

  45. “You make a good point”–jeje.

    Did not read the whole thing–do they have Kinky Friedman’s “Always answer a question with a question”?

    One’s own examples:

    “Was Moses a Jew?” (Probably no more than Sargon of Akkad who was much earlier found in the bulrushes)

    Was Alexander the Great Greek?”(No)

    “Was Napoleon French?”(No)

    “Was Stalin Russian?” (No)

    Und so weiter….

  46. @Anonymous

    Yes completely ‘other’ as in fictitious.

  47. Svigor says:

    Yes, you read that right: according to the official version, a state-owned company gave a bribe to a member of the government. Does that make sense to you?

    Factionalism being important in a state heavy with state enterprises left over from a one-party state, where most of the action is still state-run? No, it’s a totally incomprehensible.

    How about a senior member of the government who had his telephone tapped and who has been under close surveillance by the Federal Security Service for over a year – does that make sense to you?

    Yes, it makes perfect sense, you nincompoop.

    Are you on drugs?

  48. Svigor says:

    Seriously, what is wrong with this clown? Why do people read him?

  49. @Parbes

    Mainly they are useful idiots.

  50. Anonymous [AKA "Waffen SS"] says:

    I am glad he is purging the remnants of the bolsheviks, America needs to do the same.

  51. @Anonymous

    And what are ‘Merkins? (Remember the scum that supported Lenin and Stalin? What do we call those pigs?)

    • Replies: @edNels
  52. It is illogical. Putin does not have to purge the government like this. He can dismiss all of them and then bring charges.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  53. @Sergey Krieger

    It seems to me that it takes a very smart person to second guess Putin.

  54. edNels says:
    @jacques sheete

    That’s a good question Jacques. What is a ‘Merkins? Ok, to start with it was the way the Blue Dog Democrats used to talk, they used to say… ” … and my feller ..aMerricans…or murrcans…blah…

    so now that has naturally changed in a couple a decades to… my feller ‘murkins..blah da blah,

    Only just one problem, the word Merkin, means a fake ”beard” for the privat parts… and that isn’t too cool, for the ‘Mericanos… nes pe Barnie?

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  55. “Now that a threat of war with the USA is very substantially reduced and that Uncle Sam will be busy with his own internal struggles”.
    Yes, let us hope so. But equally, let’s not take it for granted.
    Even IF Trump is against Imperial shenanigans, there’s MANY in Washington who continue to lust after such “adventures”…

  56. @edNels

    Well, there’s more than enough schwas to plant one somewhere in “American”, but you are right, Lyndon Baines Johnson used to say something closer to Murkin than Merkin.

    Probably some greater orthographic aesthetic going on–especially in Texas with Merkin and Meskin.

    Acadian became Cajun–a pity. One should have applied it to all Canadians thereafter. Canucks, like brown shoes, just don’t make it. Anyone for Canayjin?

  57. @Avery

    You are embarrassing yourself.

    Before calling someone else a liar, it might help if you were to present some of your own credentials. I have done business in Russia, on my own account, since 1994, so I had skin in the game even then and a need to pay close attention. Since 2007, I have owned a business in Russia and employed Russians. On a daily basis, I monitor, in Russian, about 1000 headlines from 109 separate news sources (Government and company PR). I reprint those that illustrate the positive opportunities in Russia for Trade and Investment.

    The story that you have been taught as a good little parrot is about 90% true. It was created in 2004 after the right wing takeover of the Russian Government. The whole point of the story is the 10% lies, in particular the xenophobia. Hermann Goering said it quite well. “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    And yes, there are American professors and consultants with books to sell and contracts to bid for who exaggerated their own importance in events. To credit them with any responsibility is to discount the agency of the Soviets/Russians themselves as it they were helpless little children. It is often the case in the public sector that consultants are employed to tell management what they want to hear so that they can avoid responsibility for the decision.

    Compare Russia to Ukraine. Russia privatized in some imitation of a transparent process. Ukraine was simply given to buddies of the ruling clan. Russian corruption is genuinely much lower than Ukraine’s as a result.

    So your credentials for calling me a liar please? Equality is not enough, that’s a difference of opinion. You need superiority to say what you said.

  58. @5371


    When you know what you are talking about, write! Until then, please desist.

    Yakunin was sacked for being too close to China. He was one of the more committed Eurasianists and a major supporter of the Donbass debacle. In his role as boss of the railways, he agreed a contract in which Russia is providing a 15% subsidy to transport Chinese goods to Germany without any obvious added value for Russia. He also negotiated to allow the Chinese to fund the railway line between Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan. This is the absolute centre of the future Russian high speed rail system. The Chinese contract only allowed Chinese locomotives to run on that stretch. This would have allowed the Chinese to control the entire locomotive fleet. The new head of Russian Railways is now talking to Siemens as part of the Russian Government’s continuing efforts to repair the damage done by the excesses of its Eurasianist far right. These days Eurasianists have to be nice to Japan not China. Saker hasn’t caught up and never will, anti-Japanese sentiment is part of the White package.

    When a senior official is sacked, there is always the real reason and the spin story. The spin story is usually corruption. However, Yakunin’s British son was obviously too good a piece of irony to resist.

    Until you can manage greater perception than simply regurgitating one sides propaganda stories or whipping straw men, do us all a favour and stop writing. It is your self deception that requires the guidance of reflection.

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