Russia today

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Tue Feb 13, 2024 4:28 pm

What Has the Putin Interview Achieved?
February 12, 2024

Vladimir Putin’s challenge was to tell Americans through Tucker Carlson a complicated and unfamiliar narrative of how dearly Ukrainians and Russians are paying for Putin’s initial naïve trust in the West, writes Tony Kevin.

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U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 6 for an interview that aired on Feb. 8. (Kremlin)

By Tony Kevin
Special to Consortium News

It is clear by now that both Vladimir Putin and Tucker Carlson took risks in embarking on their interview last week, gambles that appear to be paying off so far.

Putin was sick of rude and argumentative Western journalists. He had given no Western media interviews since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began two years ago. He demanded, and received from Carlson, a serious interview in which he would be free to develop his facts and arguments.

He rather sharply reminded Carlson of the agreed ground rules at the outset of the interview, saying: “Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?”

A chastened Carlson replied: ‘Thank you, it’s formidably serious.” And he spent the next two hours listening as Putin expounded at length on his main subjects: Russian-Ukrainian interconnected national histories since 862; and the causes, course and likely end of the present war in Ukraine. [Available in English voice and text on the Kremlin official website.]

This style of interview left Carlson vulnerable to ridicule from leading Western mainstream media, such as The Guardian, The Economist, The New York Times, Washington Post and the BBC.

They all essentially alleged that Carlson had betrayed his profession by fluffing the opportunity to put Putin on the spot with hard “gotcha” questions. Their consensus: the interview was boring, irrelevant, rambling, full of lies, simply not worth anybody’s time watching or reading.

It is clear already that much of the world’s journalistic universe disagrees. Putin’s extended history lesson appears in the world’s media and on social media platforms to have already made an impact on serious U.S., European and Global South audiences. Carlson’s reputation as a serious dissident Western journalist can only be enhanced by this conversation with the Russian president.

Putin’s Betrayed Trust in the West

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Putin in June 2023, showing African leaders what he said was a draft peace agreement with Ukraine, which was discussed in Turkey in 2022. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The risk Putin ran was that under Carlson’s questioning he might inadvertently embarrass himself politically at home by exposing his earlier years of trust in the West. This trust was not finally extinguished in him until the crucial betrayal by Kiev under Western pressure of the agreement to end the Ukraine war, then still in its first weeks, which was reached in Russian-Ukrainian peace negotiations in Istanbul in March-April 2022.

Putin paid dearly for his decision then to withdraw Russian forces that had almost surrounded Kiev, as a gesture of good faith he said to the Kiev regime and its Minsk Accord guarantors, Germany and France. Within days the Bucha massacre took place, blamed on Russia but with evidence that it was carried out by the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.

Initially stunning the Kremlin with its cruelty and cynicism, Putin was then exposed to damaging criticism from harder-line Russian nationalists that he had been too gullible, putting Russian lives at risk.

Putin concluded that the West was never to be trusted again.

In the interview, Putin grieved the tragically huge number of Ukrainian and Russian Federation soldiers’ deaths and permanent disabilities in the long war, which should have ended in March 2022, but still bloodily continues.

Putin’s challenge was to tell American mainstream audiences through Carlson this complicated and unfamiliar narrative without reminding listeners how dearly Ukrainians and Russians — in his view, the same people — are paying for his initial naïve trust in the West. He focused listeners’ minds on Western treachery and duplicity rather than his own naïve acceptance of their trickery.

From this perspective, the interview was a battle of wits.

Putin exposed the history of Western false assurances during the five waves of NATO expansion after President Ronald Reagan’s and Bush Senior’s promises of “not an inch” to the East. He recounted the history of the United States’ sabotage of the Russian-German, Baltic gas pipeline last year, leading to the subsequent impoverishment of the German economy through loss of access to Russian cheap energy.

He denounced the Scholz government’s continuing betrayal of German national interests in favour of U.S. and NATO interests. He recalled how the war in Ukraine actually began with the February 2014 U.S.-instigated coup d’etat in Maidan Square, how Kiev’s military attacked Crimea and the Donbass and how Putin eventually responded by entering Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Rebutting Claims of Territorial Ambition

Putin rebutted claims of Russia’s territorial ambitions in and beyond Ukraine. He left open the possibility of future Romanian, Hungarian and Polish claims on parts of Western Ukraine annexed by Stalin in 1945. He made it clear the Odessa region was at risk of being incorporated into Russia, along with the four already incorporated Novorussian regions. But he promised flexibility in peace negotiations, saying:

“Let them [Ukraine regime, U.S. and NATO ] think how to do it with dignity. There are options if there is a will.”

It may be significant that Putin complimented Volodymyr Zelensky’s father’s good war record in the Great Patriotic War. This may suggest Putin does not rule out Zelensky possibly having a role as Ukrainian leader in peace negotiations.

Putin effortlessly rebutted Carlson’s efforts to tempt him to express an opinion in favour of former President Donald Trump in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, a trap he was too smart to fall into. Putin replied that it does not matter who is U.S. president, the hegemonic policies and values of the Washington permanent elite remain the same.

Carlson’s Curveball

Towards the end of the interview, Carlson threw Putin an interesting curveball, asking him to release Evan Gershkovich, the sentenced and imprisoned U.S. journalist on espionage charges, and allow Carlson to take him back to the United States.

Putin was likely prepared for the Gershkovich issue to come up. Carlson had to raise it, or else he would have been crucified by the Western media.

Yet I think Putin was taken aback by the drama of Carlson’s proposal. He answered carefully and in detail. I believe this exchange will prove useful in negotiating Gershkovich’s eventual release and hopefully also that of Paul Whelan, a U.S. marine imprisoned in Russia for espionage, as part of a delicate prisoner exchange. It would involve the case of a Russian agent’s execution in Germany of a notorious Chechen terrorist who had murdered Russian prisoners of war during the Chechen wars.

Western media had no plausibility in accusing Carlson (as they nevertheless tried to do) of not raising the Gershkovich case strongly enough.

On other matters, Putin bluntly accused the West of C.I.A. subversion against Russia in the Chechen wars and other jihadist violent insurgencies in the North Caucasus — more categorically and bitterly than ever before publicly.

They did not discuss the current appalling situation in Gaza where Israel continues to violate its human rights obligations as a U.N. member. I assume this was by prior agreement: probably Putin did not want to be personally quizzed on Russia’s position on Israel’s ongoing massive war crimes. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia’s U.N. ambassador have already made such criticisms strongly.

One could argue that the outcome was a win for both men. Putin offered the West through the vehicle of the Carlson interview a clear window into his thinking on how to end the war in Ukraine: denazification as part of the peace negotiation and subsequent legislation, and an end to Western arms supplies to Kiev.

Putin ended the interview on his own terms. He was mocked by Sarah Gainsford of the BBC for doing so, proving yet again that years spent working in the in-bred Western foreign correspondent community in Moscow do not open closed Russophobic minds.

https://consortiumnews.com/2024/02/12/w ... -achieved/

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Sputnik International article on Trump’s latest remarks regarding NATO

Sputnik International article on Trump’s latest remarks regarding NATO

I offer the following brief article from Sputnik International as a foretaste of what I intend to post later today or tomorrow when I receive the link to the extensive WION interview I gave this morning covering the same subject.

The whole issue of Trump’s refusal to come to the aid of NATO members who do not contribute fully to the Alliance is a great deal more substantive and thought through than what you hear and read in mainstream media. Like him or not, Trump is no fool and dismantlement of NATO entails a wholly different concept of U.S. defense than what our foreign policy establishment promotes, for its own benefit and to the detriment of the nation.

See https://sputnikglobe.com/20240212/europ ... 44370.html

Regrettably this link may not be accessible in some jurisdictions of the Collective West due to state censorship.

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2024/02/13/ ... ding-nato/

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FEBRUARY 13, 2024 BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
Putin signals interest in Ukraine talks

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) with American journalist Tucker Carlson (L), The Kremlin, Moscow, February 9, 2024

The great beauty of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interview with the famous American journalist Tucker Carlson is that there is something in it for almost everyone — be it historians who memorialise the past; diplomats who isolate history and take it out of context; spymasters who were cold warriors with adrenaline flowing still; politologists who contrived to create false narratives; and even an American president or two and one colourful British Prime Minister most certainly, who may have blood on their hands.

Carlson stated modestly that he wanted to sit down with Putin because “most Americans are not informed” on how the war in Ukraine is “reshaping the world.”

In the event, as their 2-hour long conversation progressed, a vast panorama unfolded:

*from the origin of Rus to the “artificial state” that is Ukraine;
*from Dostoevsky to the Russian soul;
*from the US’ rebuff to post-Soviet Russia’s hankering to be part of the western alliance to CIA’s support for separatism and terrorism in North Caucasus;
*from NATO’s expansion to the appearance of its bases in Ukraine;
*from the US’ proactive deployment of ABM system in Europe to Russia countering with hypersonic strike systems;
*from weaponisation of dollar to the blowback of de-dollarisation; and,
*the imperative need for the US to adjust to the geopolitical reality that “the world is changing.”

The interview has broken the internet, garnering dozens of millions of views on X. Its reverberations may likely continue during the campaign for the November elections. Independent Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr wrote: “Tucker Carlson has been smeared for days. The legacy media and Democrat establishment are upset at him for simply doing his job. Americans can handle thought-provoking conversations. We can handle dangerous thoughts or contrary ideas that don’t fit the MSM narrative. Let us decide for ourselves.”

Without doubt, the war in Ukraine was the leitmotif of the interview. When asked about the prospect for peace, Putin suggested, “If you really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons.” Putin further responded, “It will be over within a few weeks. That’s it.”

The tantalisingly easy solution is anchored on Putin’s belief, which he held consistently since the conflict began in February 2022, that this is at the core a civil war and a fratricidal strife that divided families, relatives and friends, which might not have happened without the maleficent, intrusive behaviour by Western powers.

The interplay of three related factors may account for Putin’s guarded sanguineness. First and foremost, the interview comes as momentum on the battlefield has swung in Russia’s favour. Also, at a deeper level, the Congressional resistance to aid to Ukraine underscores the transformation of party dynamics and the electorate in the US.

The Republican Party, which once distinguished itself by its tough opposition to Russia, is increasingly leaning toward isolationism and, in some circles, there is even sympathy for Moscow.

Of course, if American politics is feverish, it is not due to Putin but due to the growth of populism, the polarisation of society, which are internal phenomena with historical roots. After decades of bipartisan Cold War consensus about America’s role in the world, for many, globalisation, flow of illegal migrants, foreign wars, etc. have discredited the old way of thinking.

A second factor could be the nascent sense in some quarters in Moscow that although President Zelensky “deceived his voters” by turning his back on his mandate to end the conflict in Donbass, and instead decided in self-interest that it was “beneficial and safe… not to clash with neo-Nazis and nationalists, because they are aggressive and very active, you can expect anything from them, and secondly, the US-led West supports them and will always support those who antagonise with Russia” — nonetheless, he still can negotiate with Moscow.

Putin recalled the stunning disclosure in an interview on Ukrainian television by Davyd Arakhamia who headed the delegation to negotiate with the Russian officials in Istanbul in March 2022 and had, in fact, initialled the final document, that “after we returned from Istanbul, Boris Johnson visited Kyiv and said that we should not sign anything with the Russians and ‘let’s just fight’.”

To quote Arakhamia, who currently is the leader of the ruling party’s faction in the Ukrainian parliament and a top advisor to Zelensky, “The war could have ended in the spring of 2022 if Ukraine had agreed to neutrality. Russia’s goal was to put pressure on us so that we would be neutral. This was the main thing for them: They were ready to end the war if we accepted neutrality, like Finland once did. And for us to make a commitment that we will not join NATO. This is the main thing.”

Arguably, this is where the power struggle in Kiev and the ouster of Gen. Valery Zaluzhni, formerly Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces comes into play as the third factor. Significantly, on Monday, according to a Tass report, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service Sergey Naryshkin issued a statement in Moscow that the US and its G7 allies are nervous about defections from Ukrainian regime and are floating an idea to appoint a special representative in Kiev to ensure that Zelensky acts on the dotted line. Naryshkin hinted that there is basis to such fears in the G-7 capitals.

Indeed, at the fag end of the interview with Carlson, Putin also left a parting message that “There are options (for peace talks) if there is a will.” He added:

“Up until now, there has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat on Russia on the battlefield. Now they (NATO) are apparently coming to realise that it is difficult to achieve, if possible at all. In my opinion, it is impossible by definition, it is never going to happen. It seems to me that now those who are in power in the West have come to realise this as well.

“If so, if the realisation has set in, they have to think what to do next. We are ready for this dialogue… to put it more accurately, they are willing but do not know how to do it. I know they want. It is not just I see it but I know they do want it but they are struggling to understand how to do it… Well, now let them think how to reverse the situation. We are not against it.”

The big question is whether the Biden Administration will bite the bullet. The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the White House on February 9. In his media remarks before the meeting with President Biden, Scholz doubted Putin’s intentions, saying “He wants to get the part of the territory of its neighbours. Just imperialist — imperialism. And I think it is necessary that we do all our best to support Ukraine and to give them the chance to defend their country.”

On his part, though, Biden remained circumspect. Later, a detailed White House readout focusing on West Asian developments, merely stated: “President Biden and Chancellor Scholz reaffirmed their resolute support for Ukraine in its struggle against Russia’s war of aggression. The President commended Germany’s exemplary contributions to Ukraine’s self-defence, and Chancellor Scholz emphasised the significance of sustained U.S. support.”

It seems the high probability is that the Biden administration intends to keep the conflict alive at least until November while its main focus will be on West Asian developments that have a direct bearing on the president’s candidacy in the November elections .

https://www.indianpunchline.com/putin-s ... ine-talks/

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REUTERS: WEST STANDS TO LOSE AT LEAST $288 BLN IN ASSETS IF RUSSIAN ASSETS SEIZED -RIA
FEBRUARY 12, 2024

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
Reuters, 1/21/24

Russia’s state RIA news agency said on Sunday it had calculated that the West stood to lose assets and investments worth at least $288 billion if it confiscated frozen Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine and Moscow then retaliated.

After President Vladimir Putin sent forces into Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. and its allies prohibited transactions with Russia’s central bank and finance ministry, blocking around $300 billion of sovereign Russian assets in the West.

U.S. and British officials have worked in recent months to jumpstart efforts to confiscate Russian assets immobilized in Belgium and other European cities in order to help reconstruction in Ukraine, parts of which lie in ruins.

They hope Group of Seven leaders will agree to issue a stronger statement of intent when they meet in late February, around the second anniversary of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, three sources told Reuters on Dec. 28.

Russia has accused Washington of trying to strong-arm countries in Europe, where most of the Russian assets are, into signing up to similar measures, and the Kremlin has said that Moscow has a list of U.S., European and other assets that would be confiscated if Western countries press ahead.

RIA cited data which it said showed that direct investment by the European Union, the G7 nations, Australia and Switzerland in the Russian economy at the end of 2022 totalled $288 billion.

It said EU nations held $223.3 billion of the assets, of which $98.3 billion was formally held by Cyprus, $50.1 billion by the Netherlands and $17.3 billion by Germany.

It said the top five European investors in the Russian economy also included France with assets and investments worth $16.6 billion and Italy with $12.9 billion.

Among the G7 countries, it named Britain as one of the largest investors, citing data at the end of 2021 which showed British assets in Russia were worth about $18.9 billion.

It said the United States had $9.6 billion worth of Russian assets at the end of 2022, Japan $4.6 billion and Canada $2.9 billion.

Switzerland and Norway, which RIA said usually signed up to anti-Russian measures, had $28.5 billion and $139 million respectively at the end of 2022, it said, while data showed Australia had $683 million invested at the end of last year.

Reuters could not verify the data cited by RIA.

https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2024/02/reu ... eized-ria/

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About respect for the state
No. 2/90.II.2024

At one time, the theory of state and law was read to us by an energetic Azerbaijani from the Law Faculty of Moscow State University, who, despite his 35 years, did not hide the fact that he is a communist and adheres to the Marxist theory of state and law. It was in 1997-98, and liberal students somehow decided to tease him and asked how he felt about the Yeltsin regime. Everyone expected to hear the standard Communist Party rhetoric about traitors, but the answer was unexpected for the students. He, with a slight Caucasian accent, simply said: “I don’t respect him.” After which he explained that the state is based not only on violence. Violence is the simplest and most primitive tool, and like all simple and primitive tools, it is useful only for the simplest tasks. But the second important state instrument is the informal authority of the state, that is, recognition by society as a whole, under the ideological leadership of the ruling class, of the wisdom, necessity and usefulness of state decisions and the need to implement them.

It was not for nothing that Plato placed philosophers in his ideal state at the top of the state pyramid. Observing a slave-owning society, in which private property promoted a variety of people to leadership positions on the basis of property - from the capable and talented to complete fools, Plato came to the quite logical conclusion that under conditions of private property there is absolutely no positive selection for public positions, what type of state no matter what: aristocracy, democracy, theocracy, tyranny, etc. The crude and brainless violence, natural for such a selection of personnel, quite often showed in the Greek city policies its powerlessness and inability to solve public problems, and this prompted Plato (and before him and his teacher Socrates) to the idea that only selection based on competence is capable of maintaining the existence of the state as such. In the dialogue “State”, the idea is clearly visible that the state system itself does not collapse solely because it still randomly includes people who think not only about their wallets, one way or another understand the public good and in this they gain support from others citizens of the policy.

If we talk about the Russian state, then negative selection in it has already become the talk of the town.

In the 90s, the newborn Russian bourgeoisie wanted to have a cheap state. That’s why she generously fed the top with bribes in various forms, and kept the lower bureaucrats in a black body - she didn’t pay them wages for six months, salaries in government agencies lagged behind inflation with cosmic acceleration, and whoever was at least a little smarter and could somehow find a job outside government structures , ran from them without looking back.

In the 2000s, during the Putin era, the lower bureaucrats were fed, and the top began to be selected from among the “Rabbit’s relatives and friends,” that is, on the principle of loyalty and devotion to the ruling elite, but a new misfortune came - the strengthening of the vertical of power sharply strengthened what is called "bureaucratic idiocy." That is, those very “faithful people” in the bosses, being recruited not on the principle of competence mainly, but only in order to have “their own” everywhere, gave rise to the most idiotic ideas regarding the organization of processes. Anyone who has worked in government agencies has a fairly clear idea of ​​the huge pile of irrationally, idiotically organized processes, the most stupid decisions, the most confusing regulations and an endless circle of approvals. That is, the strengthening of the state vertical led to the fact that the stupidity of the authorities, previously, under Yeltsin, which was braked at the bottom and leveled out by non-execution, permeated the entire apparatus. In such conditions, the requirements for management personnel should have increased, but in fact they have not increased. Because the class of private owners themselves is basically stupid regarding everything that does not relate to making a profit, and cannot rank their minions according to their competence. This is how furniture dealers appear in ministers of defense, and writers of cheap kitsch in ministers of culture.

If we listen to what the heads of industries, ministries, regional and republican departments say, when they speak not in stereotypical bureaucracy, but purely from themselves, that is, they say what they think, then we will see that there are a tiny number of real specialists there, and the majority of deputies and ministers are just standard ignorant donkeys who can be recruited anywhere, and in order to express such nonsense, you don’t need to graduate from the academies of public administration or the customs service, any khanurik at the market will say essentially the same thing. And it’s not a fact that not in the same words (considering that even the Minister of Foreign Affairs periodically uses obscenities).

For lower-level bureaucrats, the presence of incompetent bosses results in constant stress at work, which, in conditions where the salaries of lower-level officials still, as a rule, do not catch up with salaries in commercial structures, results in an outflow of any thinking personnel, and those who remain simply mechanically perform descended from above, without thinking about the content.

There are, of course, regions with high unemployment and destroyed industry, where salaries in government agencies are like manna from heaven. But in such regions, the selection of personnel sharply begins to follow the principles of nepotism, trade in positions flourishes, the remaining ones frantically hold on to their positions, and therefore are ready to comply with any tyranny of the boss, even if it is prohibitive idiocy.

The result of such a personnel policy of the state is that the low-level official, that is, the representative of the apparatus with whom the ordinary citizen mainly communicates, displays qualities that do not in the least contribute to the respect and trust of citizens in the state apparatus. On the one hand, he furiously and with zeal carries out any nonsense that comes from above, on the other hand, he does not do anything that requires his personal initiative, personal strong-willed decision, even if he subjectively considers this decision to be correct and necessary for the well-being of citizens and states. But for the most part, he doesn’t even think about anything, he has instructions, he mechanically works according to them.

Millions of parents observe administrative idiocy in the education system almost every day. For example, in Moscow they banned New Year's parties with discos in schools, allowing only formal and demonstrative events in the form of rehearsed matinees, they banned school excursions (or rather, they made them extremely difficult - in order to go from a residential area of ​​Moscow in class to the Tretyakov Gallery, you need to book many weeks in advance certified bus, provide and agree on lists, collect all the extra money for this, instead of getting on the subway and getting there. And class excursions to the suburbs and other cities were generally banned). Schoolchildren, parents and teachers are pestered with various idiotic tests and a barrage of unnecessary tests, as a result of which teachers have no time to even study the material for their classes, they have to report. Yes, every parent of a schoolchild throws out a whole heap of such nonsense, obvious even to a person without a specialized education. As a result, only those teachers who have somehow adapted to this administrative stupidity remain in schools, or those who cannot find a job anywhere else, that is, they are not such good teachers as to withstand the competition in the labor market in commercial education. Similar stupidity is happening in the police, and in the registration authorities, and in healthcare.

All complacent (and even correct) decisions at the top, passing through layers of incompetent but stupidly executive bureaucratic masses, turn directly into their opposites and do not achieve the goal that the leaders of state administration initially pursued. At one time, there was a story by Averchenko “Persons Close to the Population” on this topic. 100 years have passed, and “Russia, which we lost,” is again in all its idiotic non-commissioned Prishibeev glory. For example, a completely sensible idea that in conditions of war with Ukraine and confrontation with the West, it would be necessary to close pro-Ukrainian and pro-Western liberal resources (which, it must be said, communists only welcome, since these same resources most aggressively preach the benefits of a market economy) is carried out like this: that it would be better not to do it. Instead of real and effective measures, the idiotic catching of some dude with a sock on his penis begins, the closure of VK accounts of people who liked something anti-Putin, checking the social networks of civil servants for the length of teachers’ petticoats and other very strange events. Why? Because such events correspond to the level of the performer and the official, even if he wants, cannot rise above catching a fool with a sock, because intellectually he is the same fool, only without a sock.

Thus, an ordinary citizen, communicating with the lower elements of the state apparatus, is clearly convinced of its exceptional stupidity, cannot be filled with a feeling of awe towards it, and is certainly not afraid of losing it. Who, the question is, will cry if they suddenly disperse the tax office, which sends wild taxes for a summer cottage, after which a citizen collects papers for six months, proving that he is not a camel? Who, the question is, is afraid of losing a crowd of bailiffs who easily seize credit accounts, as a result of which citizens find themselves in debt to the bank for no reason? Or maybe someone is afraid of parting with the crowd of officials from the Ministry of Education, who come up with more and more new rules for admission to universities every year and constantly change the requirements for the Unified State Exam? Courts that almost never understand the merits of the case, but exclusively formally consider all cases?

Yes, almost every interaction with the grassroots apparatus of the state makes a mentally normal citizen want to, if not shoot, then certainly disperse the entire pack of bureaucrats.

In a word, the state, having a stupid and intellectually incapable apparatus, is not needed by any of the citizens, has no authority, and only the massive disorganization of the proletariat allows it to exist. This is the very case when “order beats class.” The proletariat, having in its composition a sufficient mass of quite capable personnel (from the intelligentsia, advanced workers, office workers), lacking an organization, suffering from state stupidity (and from state stupidity even from the point of view of the bourgeois state), cannot cope with the state machine, and That’s why the “monster is loud, mischievous, yawning and barking” and is feeling great and is not going to get smarter. Even with the prospect that fools never ultimately win.

By the way, the Soviet state was also not free from this vice at a certain stage. The core of the Bolshevik party, those same pre-revolutionary 15 thousand people, were literally the cream of the then society in the best sense, they were the most educated intellectuals with many scientific works, knew several languages ​​and had large technical and social projects behind them: Lenin, Stalin, Krasin, Krzhizhanovsky , Tsuryupa, Semashko, Lunacharsky; These were the best workers, who had a good knowledge of both production and the sociology of labor, who knew how to link social science and philosophical knowledge with practical labor experience, who knew the masses, who knew how to find an approach to them, including an informal, non-official approach. But as soon as the Bolsheviks became the ruling party, they had to recruit many people with much worse qualities into both the Soviet and party apparatus - the apparatus is large, but there are few Bolsheviks. In addition, crooks, careerists, fools rushed into the ruling party, who rushed “along with everyone else,” like that grandfather Shchukar, who believed that the party “will be given a briefcase.” And what they left came back almost immediately.

It took many years of educational work and many years of selection and personnel selection in order to exclude the most obvious fools from the apparatus, in order to achieve creative, that is, understanding the essence of events, execution of orders on the ground (and this was not achieved everywhere). Even during the Great Patriotic War, the result has not yet been fully achieved - the documents convey to us the sheer nonsense of the personnel on the ground: they either plowed a field in the snow, breaking the tractors, or took away from the collective farm grain intended for distribution for workdays, and even at the front, for government supplies. for stupidity and sloppiness they were repeatedly removed and replaced with new ones, or even shot. But the difference from the capitalist state here was that the party perfectly understood this problem, understood how to deal with it, that is, to establish a system for training and monitoring the competence of personnel, and actively fought against it in practice - promptly removed fools from administrative posts, trained young staff, constantly maintained feedback with the population and responded sensitively to disturbances. Even culturally, practically the main object of ridicule in Soviet comedies is the foolish official who performs without thinking.

Does the Russian bourgeois state understand this problem and is it fighting it? “United Russia” in no way aspires to be a full-fledged party - it is simply a loose, formalized association fed by the state apparatus, consisting mostly of representatives of the same state apparatus. The capitalists not only do not allow him to completely change personnel, but they themselves manage it as they want, and they manage it through the same officials. That is, the United Russia body is in no way qualified to act as a control apparatus. Even according to its primitive ideology, United Russia (which is more a formality than ideas realized by its members) is not capable of solving any problems of public administration. The apparatus itself is also incapable of clearing itself of idiots: judging by the fact that Putin has been repeating virtually the same thing on various occasions since May 2005, that his orders are not being carried out locally, beneficent decisions by “persons close to the population” are carried out idiotically in in those cases when the lower ranks of the bureaucracy are left to decide for themselves what and how to execute.

The top leaders of the Russian state and the bigwigs of Russian business not only do not intend to change the personnel policy, but also do not see anything flawed in the current personnel policy that, in principle, should be changed. There is virtually no working feedback system for all “public services” and “electronic governments”. Anyone who writes a complaint against an official about irregularities in matters subordinate to the state will receive only a formal response, generated... by a robot. And, as a rule, there is no reaction other than a formal reply about the “measures taken.” Due to the fact that it is pointless to correspond with a stupid bot that can neither calm down those who violate public order, nor patch roads, nor repair public utilities, citizens simply stop writing there, the system, without even receiving such feedback, becomes a puppet and loses the last vestiges of authority , which are currently supported by the loud statements of Putin himself and spontaneous patriotic sentiments in the lower classes, which still interpret patriotism in a spontaneous communist vein.

However, this situation is just before serious defeats. And defeats are almost inevitable - you can’t always count on, having a stupid state apparatus, that the enemy’s apparatus will always be even dumber! Sooner or later, someone will outplay the fools, and then it will become clear that all the bureaucratic nonsense, hidden for the time being, will come out clearly, the handlessness, incompetence and stupidity of the ruling class in general and the state apparatus in particular will become clear. And here they will lose not only to the external enemy, but also to the internal one, that is, to us. But we, communists, still need to be ready for this:

*to form the required number of personnel, sufficient not only to take power, but also to organize their own state apparatus,
*unite these cadres into a party,
*establish selection for the party based on the principle of competence,
*constantly work to improve the competence of all our personnel,
*to prepare our personnel not only for propaganda work, but also for management, which implies, in addition to general theoretical matters, their development in terms of substantive solutions to management issues in a theoretical form.

I. Bortnik
02/12/2024

https://prorivists.org/90_respect/

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Fri Feb 16, 2024 4:09 pm

THE LATEST MI6 OPERATION AGAINST RUSSIA — A SPY ALONE IS SPY BALONEY

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by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

A book by a man announcing himself on page one as an undercover MI6 agent, dedicated on page two to “the people of Ukraine as they continue their fight for freedom”, then endorsed on the dust jacket by the Times newspaper as “first class”, can’t be fiction; it can’t be fact; and because it declares its audience restricted to those who already believe and don’t need persuading, it can’t be propaganda. It’s the fourth gender in the cyber universe — transfiction, transfact, and transpropaganda, a genre created by a combination of covert insertions and circumcisions, reinforced by injections of hallucinatory substances, including money.

This is what has become of the British these days. The book celebrates it. According to Private Eye, it is “too good to be untrue…Russia and dirty Russian money, out here in the real world, has seeped so deeply into British public life it’s not entirely certain we’ll ever get it out again.”

In this British reality, Charles Beaumont’s book, A Spy Alone, claims to have uncovered the Kremlin plot to cause the British vote for Brexit and thereby destroy the country’s economy; allow Russian manipulation of British energy supplies and prices; destroy the careers of the country’s security chiefs, the Cabinet Secretary, the National Security Advisor, and the Secret Intelligence Service; ignore and discredit the intelligence uncovered by MI6 field agents and Bellingcat; and allow Russian assassins to roam across the UK, killing as they go.

All of this, according to author and hero, amounts to “one of [the Russian government’s] deepest secrets”, “the intelligence coup of the century”, “one of the great revelations in intelligence history”, and “the most important intelligence discovery in Britain since the end of the Cold War”. In short, this does for Britain what the former MIG agent, Christopher Steele (lead image centre) and his Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, claimed to do, and still does, to US presidential elections and Donald Trump in the fabrications of the Russiagate affair.

In fact, this new book may be Steele’s attempt to repeat Russiagate in England, reverse the rulings of the courts against his veracity, and make more money. For Charles Beaumont (lead image, right) is not the author’s real name; the publisher has published an Artificial Intelligence illustration instead of a real face, and since the book purports to be “Beaumont’s” “first novel”, there is no trace of him in the open sources, not even for Bellingcat to find. “The blurb says [Beaumont] is ex-MI6, but then it would, or he would,” comments a source in a position to know. “If I were choosing a pseudonym I don’t think I’d pick one that already belonged to an – admittedly very different – writer.” The source believes “Beaumont” is working in the business intelligence business.

Private Eye has told its readers to buy “Beaumont” because he “shows how powerful a book can be when the writer looks the country straight in the face and writes about what they see. Le Carré used to be very good at doing that. Now Charles Beaumont has done it too.”

Amazon, the world’s largest publisher and bookseller, lacks confidence this is either Russiagate or Le Carré quality. Despite 1,568 ratings as “terrific”, “brilliant”, “stunningly accomplished”, and “scarily plausible”, Amazon is marking the book down to clear at a 50% discount. That’s a steal, not a pun on the real plot in this story.

David Cornwell, a onetime MI6 agent who wrote spy books under the name of John Le Carré, produced one of the most successful British intelligence deception operations since the end of the last war. The objective was to convince millions of readers and moviegoers to pay to believe that for all of its faults, British intelligence has gotten one thing right – Russians are evil and deserve to be liquidated, along with the British traitors who help them. Read the Cornwell/Le Carré dossier here. https://johnhelmer.net/?s=Cornwell
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David Cornwell/John Le Carré: “His fiction masqueraded as the truth for a strategic purpose — to control and repair the damage which Kim Philby had done to the reputation of British intelligence, especially in Washington”.

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Canelo, a small publisher at a Hatfields, London, address which is a low-rent, short-term location for fly-by-night companies, is so new in the market, it has almost no business record, and draws just three paragraphs of Wiki profile. “Charles Beaumont” is the only author on the Canelo list to display no photographic proof of himself/herself/itself. In a promotional podcast, the publisher says that “due to Charles Beaumont's work for the Intelligence Services, our technical division has digitally altered his voice to protect his identity.”

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Canelo lists its address as Unit 9, 5th Floor, Cargo Works, 1-2 Hatfields, London SE1. The fifth floor is the cheapest accommodation in the building’s attic.

The book repeats MI6’s recent Russian operations as successes in exposing Russian evil bested by British ingenuity – e.g., the 1985 exfiltration of Oleg Gordievsky from Russia in the trunk of a car; the recruitment of GRU officer Sergei Skripal in 1995; the running of “a loose global network of ethical hackers , transparency campaigners and freelance investigators… anarchic youngsters [who] had shed more light on the murkier corners of international finance than years of effort by state intelligence agencies” (aka Bellingcat).

Notwithstanding, until “Beaumont” and his hero arrive, the Russians had been outplaying the Brits – e.g., advance MI6 spy-source intelligence of a Russian “invasion of Georgia” (August 2008) and then takeover of Crimea (February 2014) was ignored in London because “London is not interested”. So the hero “fired off his resignation and never stepped inside the headquarters again. Simon sees a rampant Russia annexing sovereign territory and a West that is apparently powerless to respond. He also sees the Russians buying up the best properties in London and enthusiastically laundering their money with the help of the City and the compliance of the regulators. He decides he has given enough of his life in service to a state that appears unable to defend its most basic interests”.

But the hero redeems himself with — and “Beaumont” promotes — the super-secret explanation of why the British have been losing to the Russians. Through a spy ring they recruited at Oxford, the Russians have their agents in the top jobs in Whitehall and Downing Street. This spy ring, code named COSTELLO, is so secret that in Moscow it’s run by the Kremlin apart from the foreign and military intelligence services, the SVR and GRU.

Surviving Chechen assassin squads, the hero discovers that a Russian agent bearing more than passing resemblance to Dominic Cummings, chief staff man to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been masterminding the strategic plot, and forcing resignations of loyal officials bearing more than passing resemblances to Sir Mark Sedwill, Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Theresa May, and MI6 chief, Sir Alex Younger.

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Left to right: Dominic Cummings; Sir Mark Sedwill; Sir Alex Younger.

The backfile investigating the facts exposes these claims to be score-settling inside the British deep state. The evidence, however, is that the domestic potency and media gullibility of the line against Russian evil over the years has been expanding. The book claims the opposite to be the truth.

To paste over this contradiction, “Beaumont” invents a technical improbability. According to A Spy Alone, the Russian services have been able to hack into every police CCTV system in the country, so Moscow knows in real time what happened on March 4, 2018, when Sergei and Yulia Skripal collapsed on a town bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, allegedly from Novichok poisoning. If “Beaumont” is right, then the three-assassin squad from the GRU in Moscow knew their every movement in Salisbury was being monitored, as well as their airport arrival and departure, their London hotel sex night, their train rides, and so on. How then, a naïve reader might ask, were the knowing Russian spies so careless, so open and unconcealed in front of the all-seeing British cameras, which Russian HQ was also monitoring? “Beaumont’s” answer: Russians operate with impunity because they are protected by British traitors in the highest offices of the land.


That fails to explain why the CCTV records of the Skripal affair, and its alleged sequel, the death of Dawn Sturgess, and the witness statements of the two Skripals, have not been allowed to appear in open court, or in the public press for six years, through two inquest coroners and a public inquiry under a Court of Appeal judge. The possibility that MI6 hit the Skripals and then borrowed Sturgess’s corpse to fabricate the Novichok story and cover up the mistakes Sedwill and Younger had made, is the risk “Beaumont” and his book have been invented to neutralize. Read more https://johnhelmer.net/wp-content/webpc ... &nocache=1.

Along the way the author arranges for English bluebells to flower in the summer instead of the spring; an Indian restaurant to serve “papadums” instead of papadams; confuses his glass of Bordeaux between Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Lafitte; and betrays his lack of Eton and Oxford education by creating the verb “administrate” in place of old-fashioned “administer” (since 1395 according to the Oxford Dictionary). There is also the fake tradecraft, enabling the hero to spot hostile agents in the street: “It’s their shoes that give them away…sturdy black leather with a gleam of polish…White trainers, no brand but a muddy line on the left one…converse high tops – navy blue.”

In the tradecraft of police interrogators and counter-intelligence experts, interpreting an individual’s involuntary micromuscular movements across the face, pulse rate, and so on is a guide to gauging when a person is telling the truth or lying. For writers, the clue is what clichés are written on the page. Beaumont’s clichés are involuntary; he can’t hold back:

“the Brits are prissy about blackmail”
“human intelligence is all about control”
“no Russian intel officer does something without a reason”
“the amazing resistance of the Ukrainian military, knocking out Russian tanks with Javelin missiles”
“That was just the hot air they had blown up his arse”
“The power of intelligence to change events and make history”
“Here on the Continent history is something that happened to us”
“Putain”
“’Who were they? Asks Simon. ’Chechens’, says Alena, as if it is the most obvious thing in the world.’…’Never a good sign,’ says Simon, grimly familiar with the use of Chechen gangsters by Russian intelligence to carry out their dirty work.”
“Socialism was never the objective, it was the means. The objective is power. That’s always the objective.”
“Paranoia goes with the territory”
“’I just want people like him to stop getting away with it” (continues with several dozen more iterations until on the very last line of the book)
“Simon has nowhere to go, nobody to meet, no clear plan. But he knows what he has to do.”

The pattern revealed here is of an avid reader of Bellingcat and Private Eye who has never met a Russian intelligence officer or businessman, has no ear for how they speak, nor eye for how they think. His familiarity with British intelligence operatives and operations is also hearsay, cut and pasted. It’s everything Steele’s Russiagate dossier was paid to achieve, except for the bed-wetting in the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.

As MI6 operations go, Beaumont’s book is a golden shower of a kind – the kind which dogs do to trees. This book reveals that MI6 communicates with dogs in a language they understand.

https://johnhelmer.net/the-latest-mi6-o ... more-89387
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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blindpig
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:53 pm

ALEXEY NAVALNY DIES IN RUSSIAN PRISON
FEBRUARY 16, 2024

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It’s sad that a man died at such a young age and left behind a wife and children, regardless of what one thought of his political opinions or allegiances. So I’m not going to gloat like I’ve seen some critics of the west do. However, it’s not lost on me the utter double standard with which western media and officials are treating Navalny’s death compared to the death of Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian prison recently or the imprisonment and consequent ongoing slow death of Julian Assange. The comments of Volodymyr Zelensky are particularly nauseating. – Natylie

Euronews, 2/16/24

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has died in prison, Russian authorities announced on Friday. He was 47.

A statement from the prison service of Yamalo-Nenets, where Navalny was imprisoned, said he “felt unwell after a walk, almost immediately losing consciousness.”

It detailed that medical workers arrived “immediately” and “all necessary resuscitation measures were carried out,” but they did not “yield positive results.”

“Emergency medical doctors confirmed the death of the convict,” the statement added.

Navalny was a lawyer turned blogger, YouTuber, protest organiser, anti-corruption activist and face of Russia’s opposition.

The 47-year-old gained notoriety by criticising President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle whom he accused of vast corruption and opulence.

According to a statement cited by Russian state news agency TASS, Putin has been informed of his foes’ demise, though has no additional information about his death.

Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov is also quoted by TASS as saying that the federal prison service is making all necessary checks regarding his death.

‘No confirmation of this yet’
Navalny’s team, however, said that they have not had confirmation of the politician’s death.

“Alexei’s lawyer is now flying to Kharp. As soon as we have information, we will report it,” Navalny’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh wrote on X.

Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, described the prison services’ announcement as “a confession that they have killed” him, cautioning however that they have not yet had confirmation.

Russian newspaper editor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov told Reuters on Friday that the opposition figure’s death was “murder”, claiming that harsh treatment had caused his demise.

“My sincere belief is that it was the conditions of detention that led to Navalny’s death … His sentence was supplemented by murder,” Muratov said, offering condolences to his family.

Navalny was arrested in 2021 upon his return to Russia from Germany where he had been treated for a suspected assassination attempt by poison. He was immediately incarcerated and sentenced to 19 years in a penal colony on charges of extremism.

Navalny had initially been serving his sentence in the Vladimir region of central Russia, about 230 kilometres east of Moscow.

But he was transferred late last year to a “special regime” penal colony – the highest security level of prisons in Russia – above the Arctic Circle.

‘Killed by the Kremlin’s brutality’
Leaders around the world have condemned his death.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said it was “obvious” Putin was behind Navalny’s death, during a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Zelenskyy said the Russian president does not care who dies so long as his position as the head of the state is secure.

“Whatever story they tell, let us be clear: Russia is responsible,” said US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Munich Security Conference.

Writing on X, UK foreign secretary and former Prime Minister David Cameron said Putin should be held accountable for what had happened.

“Navalny fought bravely against corruption. Putin’s Russia fabricated charges against him, poisoned him, sent him to an arctic penal colony & now he has tragically died,” Cameron added.

Several EU leaders also pinned responsibility directly on Putin’s Russia.

“This terrible news shows once again how Russia has changed and what kind of regime is in power in Moscow,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

French President Emmanuel Macron added: “In today’s Russia, free spirits are sent to the Gulag and condemned to death. Anger and indignation.”

Condemnation and condolences also flooded in from the Belgian, Czech, Dutch, Polish, Spanish and Swedish capitals, as well as from Russia’s neighbouring Baltic countries.

Alexei Navalny had a few health scares since he voluntarily returned from Germany to Russia in 2021.

He had been treated in Germany for what tests showed as nerve agent poisoning, with Navalny saying at the time he was poisoned in Siberia in 2020.

The Kremlin denied trying to kill him.

In 2011, Navalny was asked by Reuters if he feared whether Putin would come after him.

“That’s the difference between me and you: you are afraid and I am not afraid,” he said. “I realise there is danger, but why should I be afraid?”

Scores of Kremlin critics, journalists and turncoat spies have died over the years in suspect circumstances.

Attacks range from the exotic — poisoned by drinking polonium-laced tea or touching a deadly nerve agent — to the more mundane of getting shot at close range.

Read Racist or Revolutionary: The Complex Legacy of Alexey Navalny here.

***

RT, 2/16/24

Jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has died, the prison service of the Yamalo-Nenets Region, where he had been serving his sentence, reported on Friday afternoon.

The 47-year-old began to feel unwell after a walk, and lost consciousness, according to a statement. Russian media outlets have indicated that doctors pronounced Navalny dead after 2pm local time.

“All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out, but they failed to achieve a positive result,” the authorities outlined.

The cause of death is being established. However, according to an RT Russian service source, the opposition figure had a blood clot.

Navalny was jailed in early 2021, over a long-standing fraud case involving French retailer Yves Rocher. The previous summer he attracted major international attention after an alleged poisoning in Siberia, which led to his transfer to Germany. Upon returning, he was sentenced to the first of several prison terms.

Initially, he was placed in a high-security facility in Vladimir Region. In 2023 he was sentenced to 19 years “special regime” for “extremism.” Late last year he was transferred to the ‘Polar Wolf’ colony in Yamalo-Nenets, located 40km above the Arctic Circle.

The Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin has been informed of Navalny’s death. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred questions to the Federal Penitentiary Service, adding that the cause was currently unclear.

Navalny’s lawyer, Leonid Solovyov refused to comment, but explained that his client had held a meeting on Wednesday. “Everything was normal then,” he insisted.

Navalny joined a court session via videolink on Thursday, TASS reported, citing the court press service.

A former Russian nationalist activist, Navalny first came to attention as one of the leaders of the “Russian march,” a far-right rally previously held annually. He subsequently took a prominent role in the liberal-driven 2011-12 protests in Russia, which centered on Moscow’s Bolotnaya square. In 2013, he won 27% of the vote in a Moscow mayoral election.

Later, he established a broader movement – which produced reports on alleged corruption – and attempted to take part in the 2018 presidential contest.

Navalny, a native of Moscow, was married, with two children.

https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2024/02/ale ... an-prison/

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Death of Aleksei Navalny: the Brits did it!

Death of Aleksei Navalny: the Brits did it!

It is remarkable how an invitation to do a live television interview can change your schedule and concentrate your mind.

This afternoon I got a WhatsApp message from TRT, Turkey’s premier English language international broadcaster with whom I had done several interviews a year ago, followed by many months of silence. That is not unusual. Broadcasters rotate experts in and rotate experts out at their pleasure.

The invitation today was to speak about breaking news, the reported death in a remote Yamalo-Nenets prison colony of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny at age 47. A glance at the latest online edition of The Financial Times confirmed that Navalny had indeed died and set out the comments of leading Western statesmen condemning what they considered to be the latest murder by Vladimir Putin of prominent activists who oppose his rule. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were among those who already had spoken before microphones and were reading from the same anti-Putin script.

In short, what happened in the West this afternoon was a new campaign to vilify Vladimir Putin on the world stage based on a death which was, if I may quote former British PM Theresa May, ‘highly likely’ to have been perpetrated by British Intelligence for this very purpose.

In all of the false flag operations that have been directed by the West against Russia over the past decade or more, I have argued that the old Roman investigative principle of cui bono militated against the Kremlin having been involved in any way. So it is today: why would Putin want to murder Navalny, when the man is now largely forgotten within Russia. Navalny is yesterday’s news and his ‘anti-corruption’ campaign is irrelevant to Russians in the midst of an existential struggle with the Collective West that is being fought on the territory of Ukraine? However, the murder of Navalny clearly serves the interests of that same Collective West as an intended antidote to the major Soft Power coup of the Carlson Tucker interview with Vladimir Putin just a week ago and perhaps even more important, to the follow-up Tucker News Briefs showing his visits to the Kievskaya Metro Station and to an Auchan supermarket in downtown Moscow. This was not Gilbert Doctorow publishing his travel notes of visits to St Petersburg markets and reaching 10,000 readers; it was Tucker Carlson, with a regular U.S. audience of 40 million or more for his every broadcast, and a peak of one billion views for the recent interview.

Let us go beyond the cui bono argumentation to circumstantial evidence that is damning for the Brits. As the Americans like to say, there are ‘fingerprints’ of the Brits all over this death of Navalny.

A fair number of the poisonings and other assorted deaths of people who could be said were ‘inconvenient’ to the Kremlin happened in the U.K., after all. That is where Boris Berezovsky, the exiled oligarch who opposed Putin tooth and nail, was ‘suicided’ and it occurred in 2013 at his London estate when it was widely rumored he was looking for forgiveness for his treachery and was preparing to return to Mother Russia with a trove of documents. Earlier still, the U.K. is where the Berezovsky employee Alexander Litvinenko met his death in 2006 from polonium poisoning in a very British cuppa tea.

However, more recently there were incidents in the U.K. which bear directly on the fate of Navalny, and their timing is very relevant. I am thinking about the Novichok poisoning of former Russian spy Alexander Skripal in Salisbury at the start of March 2018, ahead of the 18 March presidential elections in Russia that year, when Putin was making his return to power following the interregnum when Dmitry Medvedev was president.

Hmm. A terrible attack on a Putin enemy in 2018 just weeks before a Russian presidential election. Hmm, again: the date of Putin’s next election happens to be 15-17 March.

The Skripal poisoning was shouted to the skies by the British political establishment. Can you just imagine, they said, that Putin is carrying out revenge murders on British soil! Of course, today, everyone has forgotten about the Skripals, who seem somehow to have survived the Novichok attack which is always fatal and to have been given new identities if they were not simply dumped by MI6 into shallow graves somewhere.

But the Novichok that the Russians were said to have invented also was in production in a chemical weapons facility located not far from Salisbury. Another detail that Western media chose to ignore.

Novichok just happens to be the poison that was allegedly used against Aleksei Navalny back in August 2020 while he was on the stump in provincial Russia working up the population to oppose the oligarchs and crooks who, he said, were running the country. Like the Skripals, Navalny miraculously survived his poisoning by Novichok. He was flown to Germany, where Angela Merkel extended a warm welcome to him and where, during his months long convalescence he oversaw the production by German crews of faked video exposés showing palaces on the Black Sea that were supposedly built for Putin.

Russian doctors at the prison colony were said to have spent half an hour today trying to revive Navalny, but in vain. He is just one more case of collateral damage in the British secret war on Russia

Time was, in the days of Tony Blair, we spoke of the British as the ‘lap dogs’ of Bush. Today it would be more appropriate to say that the British have become the Hound of the Baskervilles, ahead of and likely outside the control of Washington.

When the link to my interview with TRT becomes available, I will post it here.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2024/02/16/ ... ts-did-it/

******

Putin Had No Reason To Kill Navalny But The West Has Every Reason To Lie That He Did

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ANDREW KORYBKO
FEB 17, 2024

The timing couldn’t have been worse from the perspective of Russian state interests.

The death of Alexey Navalny in an Arctic prison on Friday, which was tentatively attributed to a blood clot, has sparked another global round of anti-Russian information warfare. Western officials claimed within minutes of the news breaking that President Putin was responsible for his passing, but he had no reason to kill him while the West has every reason to lie that he did. The present piece will present a few arguments in support of these interconnected theses.

The timing couldn’t have been worse from the perspective of Russian state interests. Presidential elections will be held in a month and the incumbent would prefer as high of a turnout as possible, yet now some misled members of the electorate who wouldn’t ordinarily boycott the vote might sit this one out in protest. The West will predictably spin whatever reduced turnout might result from this as delegitimizing President Putin’s mandate when he wins another term as expected.

Furthermore, the unauthorized demonstrations that have taken place in some Russian cities to mourn Navalny prompted law enforcement to detain some of the participants, which the West will exploit in pursuit of the abovementioned goals. Neither outcome will lead to any serious unrest or disrupt the political process inside of Russia, but their importance rests in how much they might continue kindling anti-Russian information warfare operations inside the West itself.

Therein lies the immediate significance of their lies since they’re aimed at generating more support for lagging financial and miliary aid to Ukraine. There’s no connection between Navalny’s death and that conflict, but the narrative is already being spewed that approving more aid is supposedly the best way to spite President Putin. It’s also fortuitous from the West’s perspective that he died while their elite are in Munich right now for this year’s security conference since they can now easily coordinate these plans.

These arguments cogently explain why President Putin had no reason to kill Navalny, not least of which is because this alleged American agent was already imprisoned and therefore no longer posed a national security threat, but why the West has every reason to lie that he did. About the latter’s reaction to events, it’s clearly hypocritical since they didn’t say a peep when Gonzalo Lira died in a Ukrainian prison earlier last month after being arrested on dubious charges related to his video blogging.

Moreover, Navalny’s embrace of Islamophobic, ultra-nationalist, and xenophobic views at one point in his career would have led to him being “canceled” if he was a Western politician according to that civilization’s modern “politically correct” standards, so it’s ironic that he’s being lionized by them. The only reason why they’re doing so is for domestic and foreign information warfare purposes related to emboldening extremist elements and delegitimizing President Putin in the world’s eyes respectively.

That’s always been the role that he was tapped to play in the larger scheme of things, especially after his mysterious poisoning in summer 2020. It was argued at the time that “It’s Unrealistic to Speculate That the Kremlin Wanted to Kill Navalny” for similar reasons as were shared in the present piece, several months after which an answer was provided to the question of “Why’d Navalny Return to the Same Country That He Claimed Tried to Kill Him?” In short, he was tasked with becoming a “political martyr”.

“Navalny Was A NATO Agent, But Not All Unauthorized Protesters Are Foreign Proxies”, neither back then nor now. Nevertheless, his return to the country to face corruption charges and the steep prison sentence that he knew awaited him was always meant to serve as a means for emboldening extremist elements and delegitimizing President Putin, hence why his handlers ordered him to do so. He could have theoretically declined, but he was either too compromised or radicalized to do so.

In any case, the point in refreshing readers’ memories about this is to emphasize that Russia could have simply kept him inside the country after summer 2020’s mysterious poisoning incident and ensured that he died in the hospital, with there being no reason to send him to Germany if they really wanted him dead. This observation reinforces the suspicions among many non-Westerners at the time that whatever happened wasn’t a botched assassination attempt like the West claimed but a foreign provocation.

At the end of the day, while there’ll naturally be questions about the timing of his demise, there shouldn’t be any doubt that President Putin had no reason to kill Navalny while the West has every reason to lie that he did. If anything, the timing is so disadvantageous from the perspective of Russian state interests that folks can be forgiven for speculating without any evidence at this point at least that a foreign hand was involved, but the investigation will clarify what exactly happened once it finally ends.

https://korybko.substack.com/p/putin-ha ... ll-navalny

******

They Finally Killed Navalny ...

The creation of this news item was suspiciously well timed ...

Putin must pay for ‘murder’ of Navalny, say world leaders - Telegraph, Feb 17, 2022

Speaking at the White House, Joe Biden said the Russian president was “responsible” for the death of Mr Navalny, while David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, said: “Putin’s Russia fabricated charges against him, poisoned him, sent him to an arctic penal colony and now he has tragically died.

“Putin should be accountable for what has happened. No one should doubt the dreadful nature of his regime.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Mr Navalny had been “slowly murdered by President Putin and his regime, who fear nothing more than dissent from their own people”.

Mr Biden, who in 2021 promised “devastating” consequences should Mr Navalny die in jail, said he was considering a “whole number of options” in response.

He urged Republican lawmakers to pass a $95 billion dollar aid package for Ukraine that has stalled after its approval in the senate, saying “history is watching.”

Asked whether Mr Navalny’s death would convince Republican leaders to drop their opposition to the bill, he said: “I hope to god it helps.”

Mr Navalny’s wife urged the international community to punish Putin for her husband’s death as she received the news shortly before taking the floor at a conference in Munich.

---
Daniel McAdams @DanielLMcAdams - 15:40 UTC · Feb 16, 2024
What an amazing coincidence that Navalny's wife happened to be attending the Munich Security Conference this weekend, giving her a world stage just at the right moment... Wow!

max seddon @maxseddon - 14:25 UTC · Feb 16, 2024
Navalny's wife Yulia at the Munich security conference:

"If it's true, I want Putin, his entourage, Putin's friends and his government to know they will be held responsible for what they have done to our country, my family, and my husband. And that day will come very soon."
Embedded video

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Lord Bebo @MyLordBebo - 16:49 UTC · Feb 16, 2024
🇩🇪🇷🇺🚨‼️ Navalny’s wife like a grieving widow, broke down in tears in Munich?

Nah, she smiled, held a speech and (was) showered in applause.

Let me guess she’s the new opposition leader? The story writes itself.

Lord Bebo @MyLordBebo - 15:20 UTC · Feb 16, 2024
🇷🇺🇩🇪🚨‼️ BREAKING: Navalny’s wife is at the Munich Security Conference and holds a speech:

"I want the Russian president, his surroundings, his friends and his government to know they will be held responsible for what they have done to my country, my family, and my husband.

That day will come very soon!” Embedded video


Lets remind ourselves of a few issues which showed that nothing in the alleged Navalny 'poisoning' case was as it seemed:

Russians With Attitude @RWApodcast - 12:56 UTC · Feb 16, 2024
The most bizarre part of Navalny's story is when he got poisoned and a mysterious British citizen - Maria Pevchikh - appeared out of nowhere. Nobody knew who she was. She collected the water bottles allegedly containing novichok and brought them to Germany. It was revealed that she had been secretly running the investigative department of Navalny's organization all along.

The funny thing is... nobody knew about her before the poisoning happened. And things only got worse from there on for Alexey. Coma, slow recovery, arrest, prison and death.

Around anglos, never relax
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There are many other details that make the alleged Poisoning of Alexei Navalny a rather curious issue:

On 20 August 2020, Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent and was hospitalized in serious condition. During a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, he became ill and was taken to a hospital in Omsk after an emergency landing there, and put in a coma. He was evacuated to the Charité hospital in Berlin, Germany, two days later. The use of the nerve agent was confirmed by five Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) certified laboratories.

Look at that date of the alleged poisoning, August 20 2020, and compare:

DRAFT REPORT OF THE OPCW ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION, STOCKPILING AND USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND ON THEIR DESTRUCTION IN 2020

EC-97/CRP.1 - page 10
Technical assistance to a State Party

1.41 At the request of Germany, on 20 August 2020 the Secretariat deployed a team to perform a technical assistance visit (TAV) in relation to the suspected poisoning of a Russian citizen. The TAV was restricted to the collection of biomedical samples. The samples were dispatched to two OPCW designated laboratories. ...


So Germany called the OPCW on August 20 for technical assistance in the Navalny case. That was the very same day a still 'healthy' Navalny stepped onto a plane in Tomsk. How did the Germans know what was coming?

Gilbert Doctorow with a reality check: (More: see above.)

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2024/02/t ... .html#more

******

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Crocodile Tears Over Navalny While Ignoring Assange

If you’re in a country whose government has had a hand in the persecution of Julian Assange, then you can go ahead and shut the fuck up about Navalny.

Caitlin Johnstone
February 17, 2024



The entire western political-media class are currently rending their garments about the prison death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and are being joined by the propaganda-addled citizenry of the western empire. Meanwhile Julian Assange’s last-ditch effort to appeal against extradition to the United States is coming up in a few days with a tiny fraction of the attention.

I really could not have a lower opinion of people who would rather talk about Navalny’s persecution in a far away country that has nothing to do with them than Julian Assange being persecuted at the hands of their own government. It’s the most pathetic, bootlicking behavior imaginable.

Ooh yeah, you’re so brave self-righteously shaking your fist at some country on the other side of the planet which has zero power over your own country while refusing to oppose the power structure you actually live under as it slowly kills a journalist for exposing its war crimes. Groveling, power-worshipping bootlicker. Absolutely sickening.

If you’re in a country whose government has had a hand in the persecution of Julian Assange, then you can go ahead and shut the fuck up about Navalny. Whenever I see people screaming about the persecution of journalists and political prisoners in other countries when they themselves live in a nation whose government is persecuting Julian Assange, I can’t help but think of Matthew 7:4–5,

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

What could be Assange’s final appeal effort against US extradition happens February 20th and 21st in London. Free Julian Assange.

(More: Palestine)

https://caitlinjohnstone.com.au/2024/02 ... g-assange/

******

Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic

February 16, 2024

Two “breaking news” items this week provided a timely opportunity for the United States and its media-intelligence apparatus to regain control of the narrative.

The claims about Russian space-based nuclear weapons unraveled to become a joke. Fortunately, the death of Western-sponsored dissident Alexei Navalny then occurred to enable Western media to go into a frenzy of anti-Russia headlines.

First up was the scaremongering story about Russia allegedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. Initially, it was dramatically trailed as posing a serious national security threat to the United States. Despite the sensational reporting, the story quickly became a laughingstock. Even some U.S. lawmakers dismissed it as “bullshit” and a blatant attempt by the Biden White House and intelligence agencies to push Congress into passing a new mega military aid bill for Ukraine worth $61 billion.

We’ll get to the Navalny story in a moment. But let’s just first parse the orchestration of the alleged Russian space nukes.

The drama began on Wednesday when Mike Turner, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (a dodgy source if ever there was one), made public appeals to President Joe Biden to declassify intelligence on “a serious threat to national security”. Turner is a Republican member of the House of Representatives but he is a close ally of the Democrat White House in terms of keenly supporting military aid to Ukraine. The latest bill passed the upper chamber of the U.S. Senate the day before, February 13, but it is unlikely to be approved by the House where many Republican lawmakers are staunchly opposed to it.

Accompanying the “concerns” of the intel committee chairman Turner, media outlets then vented anonymous US intelligence sources “revealing” that the national security threat was from Russian nuclear weapons allegedly under development for destroying American communication satellites in space. The White House then “confirmed” the intel the next day, February 15. It was a flagrant put-up job. But the Biden administration sought to tamp down any public panic by saying that the threat was not imminent and the alleged Russian satellite-killing weapon had not been deployed in orbit, nor would there be any danger to Earth. (So, what was all the fuss about?)

Ironically, derisive comments from incredulous U.S. lawmakers were also echoed by the Kremlin. The latter’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov made a similar assessment that the Biden administration was playing tricks to push through the military funding package for Ukraine.

That bill has been delayed since the end of last year. The Biden administration has been cajoling Congress for months to vote it through. After the Senate finally passed the bill this week, President Biden put pressure on the House, saying that “history is watching you”. The bill has been exalted as having existential importance in defeating “Russian aggression” in Ukraine. The U.S. media have claimed (preposterously) that if the military aid is not supplied then Ukraine’s defeat could result in American troops being deployed to prevent Russian rampaging across Europe.

The American public, as with the European public, has become increasingly skeptical about the relentless funneling of taxpayer funds and weapons to Ukraine. Many citizens in the West – a majority, according to polls – have become critical of fueling a bloody war for the dubious cause of “defending democracy” in a regime dominated by NeoNazis. At a time of deep social and economic hardship in the U.S. and Europe, the Western public is rightly disdainful of hundreds of billions of dollars and euros being wasted on death and destruction and also being siphoned off by a corrupt cabal in Kiev.

The $61 billion in military aid to Ukraine is just the latest tranche that Washington is seeking to throw at the black hole of its proxy war against Russia – a war that is really all about defeating Russia as a geopolitical obstacle to U.S. hegemony. Another driver is the massive profits that taxpayers are subsidizing the military-industrial complex at the rotten heart of Western capitalism.

There’s a huge lot at stake with the failure of the US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine. The Kiev regime is facing a collapse in the face of a superior Russian military.

That’s why the passing of the latest bill by Congress has taken on such an imperative importance – for the warmongers.

To get this bill into law, the U.S. deep state rulers and the pliant Biden White House along with the media-intelligence establishment sought to demonize Russia with a desperate story about alleged nuclear weapons for outer space. Oh, those dastardly Ruskies!

But as noted above the space nukes scar-story turned into farce. It was too obvious that the public was being manipulated, or gaslighted as one US lawmaker put it. When a psyops fails, the blowback is dangerous for the authors because of the damaging revelation and contempt it engenders. The Biden administration was open to ridicule.

There are several telltale signs that the story was total hogwash from the outset. Bruce Gagnon, U.S.-based coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, said the claims are absurd. In an email exchange with the Strategic Culture Foundation for this editorial, Gagnon said Russia has already developed formidable non-nuclear kinetic weapons to destroy satellites if it wanted to. He also remarked that the United States possesses anti-satellite weapons (ASATs).

In other words, there is no need for Russia to develop a risky nuclear weapon to knock out satellites. The nuclear details flagged up in US media this week are a gratuitous embellishment designed to alarm the public and to demonize Russia as an evil rogue state.

Russia is a co-signatory to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty as are the United States, China, and over 120 other nations.

Bruce Gagnon commented: “I believe the Russians have a long history of generally honoring treaties while the U.S. does not. And remember that Russia and China every year for at least the last 20-30 years go to the UN and introduce a new treaty called Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) to ban all weapons that fall outside of the 1967 treaty. The U.S. always refuses, saying there is no need for a new treaty.”

Apart from the paramount issue of getting additional funding for the proxy war in Ukraine, another timing issue is the aftermath of the blockbuster interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin by American journalist Tucker Carlson. Since the interview was aired last Thursday, February 8, it has broken all records for public audiences around the world. It has garnered over 300 million views, and counting.

The one-on-one interview was seen as a breakthrough world exclusive, an informative platform for Putin to comprehensively give Russia’s point of view on the whole Ukraine conflict, and more. The Russian leader was seen by American and European audiences as reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and convincing. The Western propaganda caricature of Putin was dispelled and for a rare moment, the Western public was persuasively informed of the bigger causes of the conflict in Ukraine. That is, how the U.S.-led NATO axis had instigated the war by fomenting an anti-Russian regime dominated by NeoNazis. The impact of the interview dealt a devastating blow to the Western narrative of “Russian aggression” and “evil Putin”.

Plausibly, the U.S. warmongering establishment was incensed by this exposé.

Hence, to wrest back control of the narrative and corral the Western public, the space-based nukes scare-story was unleashed. Unfortunately, that psyop attempt failed to gain traction and indeed was fast descending into a farce.

Next up, luckily, came the news of Navalny’s death. Western media immediately blared headlines and comments that he had been killed by the “Putin regime”.

Navalny was serving 19 years in prison on multiple corruption convictions. He died Friday apparently from a blood clot. The 47-year-old was a broken and forgotten figure facing a futile existence, having been used and abandoned by Western intelligence handlers as a cut-out dissident figure. His future looked bleak. Who knows at this stage what caused his death? He was last seen by his lawyer during a prison meeting this week two days before his passing. Did his lawyer pass something to Navalny? Was the washed-up Western asset offered a deal for his family’s benefit if he agreed to one last, ultimate psyop on behalf of Western handlers? Taking his own life? His death in prison has certainly provided the Western media with a bonanza opportunity to change the narrative and precipitate an avalanche of Russophobia, just as required.

As for the far-fetched Russian space nukes and the death of Navalny, the criminologist’s question of Who Gains? and the factor of timing are often reliable indicators.

https://strategic-culture.su/news/2024/ ... ballistic/

*****

Banana Diplomacy
February 17, 12:33

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The Russian Ambassador confirmed that Ecuador has reconsidered its decision to transfer old Soviet equipment and weapons to the United States for their subsequent transfer to Ukraine.
During negotiations with President Noboa, the parties came to a new compromise. Ecuador stops arms transfers, and Russia restores access of Ecuadorian bananas to the Russian market.
Problems with Rospotrebnadzor quickly disappeared.

Banana diplomacy in action. In this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked very well. The experience of tomato sanctions against Erdogan came in handy.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8969768.html

Google Translator

It is all so banal, the West needed a counter to the propaganda score made by the Carlson interview so they cashed out a moribund asset for it's last value. Lie down with pigs and you can end up bacon. Being an asset for the West is tricky business, you never know when your shelf life has expired until the lid comes down on the garbage can.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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blindpig
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Sun Feb 18, 2024 5:50 pm

After TRT World failed to post my interview on the death of Navalny….

In my essay on the death of Alexei Navalny published two days ago, I remarked at the end that once my live on air interview with TRT World several hours previous was put up on the internet I would provide the link.

Regrettably, it now appears that editors at the Turkish broadcaster overruled the journalists who took the interview. The taped version never reached the internet. This is sad, but understandable given my direct accusations on air that ‘the Brits did it.’ The courtesies of NATO membership obviously won out over dissemination of a painful truth. So be it.

I note in passing that overall global viewer interest in the death of Navalny, as shown by visitor figures to the many broadcasts posted on youtube.com by television networks over the past two days have appeared to me to be very low. I do not include here the videos on CNN, NBC and Al Jazeera which will catch an audience numbering 100,000 or more for whatever they post. Given that the main purpose of the ‘cancel Navalny’ operation was to wipe away the positive PR impact of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin that garnered 1 billion ‘hits,’ one may say that poor Alexei, MI6 asset that he was, died in vain.

The commentaries on Navalny’s demise put up by TRT itself came to between a few dozen ‘hits’ and several thousand ‘hits.’ I took especial pleasure in seeing that the fraudulent ‘president in exile’ of Belarus Tikhanovskaya got something like 95 views for her remarks on Navalny. These vox populi figures give you the true ratings of Navalny’s importance, not the propagandistic 5 and 10 minute segments you will watch on BBC News in this Sunday morning’s news wrap-up.

When I published my article, I held back part of my analysis of Navalny’s death so as to leave some points for readers to discover in the video. Now I will publish those points below.

*****

These remarks concern first of all the question of why the U.K. might have been interested in arranging the murder of Navalny for the sake of fomenting a burst of anti-Russian, anti-Putin passions. As I said to my interviewer, Britain is actively engaged in a not-so-secret war against Russia. It has provided the sea-going surface drones that have damaged or sunk several ships of the RF Black Sea fleet. It has encouraged and assisted the several attacks on the Crimea bridge since the start of the Special Military Operation. It is facilitating what might be called acts of terror against the Russian homeland.

A news brief in RIA Novosti this morning sets out the claim that the shoot-down over Belgorod oblast (RF) a couple of weeks ago of an IL-76 Russian transport plane was ordered and directed by British advisers to the Kiev regime without the consent of the Kiev military unit responsible for air defense. Just remember that the plane was downed by US made Patriot missiles which are very costly and of which Kiev has a very limited supply. Normally the Patriots would be launched only after approval by top Ukrainian military and political officials. That plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war about to be exchanged for Russian POWs. The fact that a prisoner exchange nonetheless went ahead despite the tragedy seemed implausible at the time unless you consider that the Ukrainian side had nothing to do with the jet’s downing and probably persuaded the Russians of that fact. The Brits did it!

Looking back at the early days of the war, we know full well that the peace treaty which Russian and Ukrainian negotiators initialed in Istanbul in week five of the war was sabotaged by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Kiev. He urged Zelensky to fight on, with Western assistance, and in this way the UK is responsible for the deaths of half a million Ukrainian males in the fighting ever since.

I rest there my case of deep British involvement in the Ukraine war and in doing what they can to harm and discredit Russia. But then, as some readers wrote in, how could British forces reach so far into Russia as the remote penal colony in the North where Navalny was being held and carry out his murder? The answer is very simple: they did it by proxy. As we know from occasional news items on fires, explosions and other acts of sabotage being carried out deep inside Russia, the Ukrainian intelligence agencies have many operatives working clandestinely inside the Russian Federation. They are all native Russian speakers, without a hint of some cockney accent, and they can travel anywhere. They work hand in glove with their British comrades in arms. Once near the penal colony, it would be child’s play to smuggle inside any chemical agent they wished to provoke the embolism said to have caused Navalny’s death. And for money, any number of fellow inmates would have been ready to administer the poison.

And so, to paraphrase Annalena Baerbock, I say: take that Rishi Sunak!

*****

In my article I pointed to the remarkable timing of the murder of Navalny, coming as it has in the month before Russian presidential elections, just as happened six years ago when the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury, U.K. captured global news to the detriment of Vladimir Putin. However, there is also other circumstantial evidence that the death/murder of Navalny was not some fortuitous medical accident but a carefully planned false flag operation in which the Brits, having lost empire, army and fleets still remain world class.

Let us note that his death came the day before the opening of the Munich Security Conference at which so many leaders of the Collective West were gathering for the purpose of condemning Russia as an autocratic and predatory state and to pressure the U.S. Congress to appropriate further funding and arms shipments to Ukraine. There was Zelensky taking the podium to condemn the supposed Navalny-slayer Vladimir Putin. And there was the wife, now widow of Alexei Navalny speaking to reporters at the Munich Conference to vow revenge on Putin. How interesting that she had been invited to Munich beforehand, as if the planners knew of the coming death well in advance.

However much the jackals of our mainstream media seek to dominate world news with the latest false flag operation against Russia, it will all be for nothing. The full victory of Russian forces in the pivotal city of Avdiivka, just outside Donetsk city reported by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu to Vladimir Putin before television cameras yesterday demonstrates clearly which way this war is going.

Navalny is dead, the dogs are braying, and the caravan moves on.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2024

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2024/02/18/ ... f-navalny/

******

Listening To What He Says

Patrick Armstrong, a Canadian expert on Russia, had, unfortunately, stop to blog on Russia.

But the last post he made was an advise that should be followed: “LISTEN TO WHAT HE’S SAYING”.

"He" of course, being Vladimir Putin, (and Lavrov and other Russian officials ...)

Following Patrick's advice I have long used some off time to read through Putin's interviews and talks. They are all available in good English translations on the President's website.

Shortly after his interview with Tucker Carlson Putin had another one with the Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin.

Here are two interesting parts of it:

The first is on Anthony Blinken:

During the taped part of the [Carlson] interview, we should have discussed efforts to use inter-ethnic relations and the Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire as a way of denigrating and demonising Russia. One of the subjects we discussed when the cameras were turned off was what US Secretary of State, Mr Blinken, mentioned on several occasions. He said that his relatives, his great-grandfather, fled the Jewish pogroms and left Russia.
This topic keeps surfacing across the world, in Europe and in the United States. Let me reiterate that it is being used to demonise and discredit Russia and to demonstrate that it is home to barbaric, cruel people and outlaws. However, we can clarify many issues if we try to understand what today’s US Secretary of State actually said and if we look beyond political slogans by focusing on the substance.

All this information is in our archives. For example, Mr Blinken’s great-grandfather did leave the Russian Empire. I think that he was born somewhere in the Poltava Province, and then moved to Kiev before emigrating. This raises the following question: does Mr Blinken think that Kiev and the surrounding territories are historically Russian land? This is my first point here.

Second, if he says that his great-grandfather left Russia to escape the Jewish pogroms, this, at least, means, and I would like to stress this point, that in 1904, since this is when Mr Blinken’s great-grandfather left Kiev for the United States, Ukraine did not exist – this is what he seems to believe. This way, Mr Blinken seems to share our views. That said, he should have refrained from saying so in public. This could undermine his cause.
...
By the way, something has just occurred to me about these pogroms. They took place mainly in the south and southwest of the Russian Empire. In fact, this is where present-day Ukraine is, for example in Kiev, in 1905. If Mr Blinken’s ancestor left in 1904, the first pogrom in Kiev, I mean a big one, happened in 1905, which means that his great-grandfather, or his great-great-grandfather, could only find out what happened there from newspapers, or from those who were in Kiev at that time.


The next part I'd like to share is about the fake Greens of Germany:

Speaking of nationalism, Nazism and fascism, you know, I will tell you something that may sound strange. First, Ms, what is her name?
Annalena Baerbock.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, Baerbock (I do not want to mispronounce her surname) represents the Greens party. Many representatives of this part of the European political spectrum speculate on people’s fears and engage in fearmongering about what might happen in the world due to climate change. Later, they speculate on these fears, fanned by themselves, and follow their political line that differs greatly from their earlier programme, with which they assumed power. This is what is now happening in Germany. For example, the share of coal has increased in the national energy mix. The share of coal was already higher than in Russia, and it has now increased even more. I mean, what happened to the “green” agenda? This is the first thing.
Second, the German Foreign Minister and people like her, are, of course, hostile towards Russia. In my opinion, she is also hostile towards her own country because it is hard to imagine such a high-ranking politician treating the economic interests of her country and people with such disdain. Right now, I will not go into details, but this is exactly what is happening in reality, and we can see this.

The next part of my statement will probably sound out of tune with what I have just said. I do not think that the current generations of Germans should assume complete political responsibility for everything perpetrated by Nazi Germany. It is impossible to blame the current generation of people for what Hitler and his cronies perpetrated in Germany and other parts of the world, in Europe and so on. I believe that this would be unfair. To be frank, sticking this label on the entire German nation is an unfair position; this misuses what people experienced, what the people of the Soviet Union experienced. To my mind, this is unfair and inappropriate. We should proceed from present-day realities and see who is doing what, and what policy they are conducting.


I interpret the last graph as an offer to Germany to renew its friendship with Russia.

Unfortunately no one in the western media seems to have picked up on it.

Posted by b on February 17, 2024 at 15:21 UTC | Permalink

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2024/02/l ... l#comments
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Mon Feb 19, 2024 3:39 pm

WHAT HAPPENED TO ALEXEI NAVALNY THIS TIME ROUND

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by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

Since a pack of lies about Alexei Navalny (lead image, right) won last year’s Oscar for the best documentary film of the year when he was alive, there’s no doubt he can win another Oscar when he’s dead. But alive or dead, the prize-winning propaganda of Navalny’s story bears no resemblance to the truth. This is what happens in wartime, especially when the side which is losing the war on the battlefield – that’s the US, NATO and the Ukraine – claims to be winning the war of words against Russia.

The Navalny story is now in two parts: Part 1, the Novichok in his airport cup of tea, in his hotel water bottle, and then in his underpants which causes Navalny’s collapse, but fails to be detected by Russian doctors in Omsk, by German doctors in Berlin and Munich, and then by Swedish and French state laboratories. Part 2, Navalny’s sudden death after he had taken a walk in the IK-3 penal colony in the village of Kharp, in the Russian Arctic region of Yamalo-Nenets. The first part took 62 reports in this archive to expose the faking; the most telling evidence of this came from Navalny himself in the documented tests of his blood, urine and hair. According to these data, Navalny’s collapse was the outcome of an overdose of lithium, benzodiazepines, and other drugs.

Part 2 of the Navalny story began last Friday, February 16, with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) announcement, followed by an official telegramme to his mother in Moscow, that he had died just after two in the afternoon, Yamalo-Nenets time; that was just after noon Moscow time. Two hours later the Russian media began carrying the official announcement. The wording of the last line of the announcement is significant. “The causes of death are being established”, the FSIN statement said. Causes — plural.

In the UK coroner’s court practice, what this means is that there is likely to have been a sequence of causation, medically speaking, with the first or proximate cause of death identified as heart, brain, or lung injury or failure; and the second, intervening or contributory cause of death such as biochemical factors, including prescription drugs in lethal combination; mRNA anti-Covid vaccination triggering fatal blood clots; or homicidal poisons. For example, in the case of the alleged Russian Novichok death of Dawn Sturgess in England in 2018, the evidence is of British government tampering with the post-mortem reports to add Novichok when it wasn’t identified at first.

In Navalny’s case, poisoning on the order of President Vladimir Putin has already been announced as the cause of Navalny’s death without evidence at all. The delay time required for the complicated processes of forensic pathology and toxicology to establish the evidence has been reported in the Anglo-American media to signify cover-up and body snatching. Meduza, an oppositionist publication in Riga, reports that “a doctor who advised Navalny’s associates” has said that blood clotting was “an unlikely cause of death” – this is medically false.

In speculation of poisoning as cause of death, there is at least as much likelihood that Navalny, his team, and their CIA and MI6 handlers devised a repeat of the August 2020 Tomsk operation; decided when Navalny met with his lawyer at the prison on February 14; but implemented two days later without the resuscitation Navalny himself was expecting.

The Anglo-American propaganda warfare army is already pronouncing the contributory Cause 2– Putin did it — as the cause of Navalny’s death. If the Russians announce the proximate Cause 1 as cardiac arrest or brain aneurism, without a Cause 2, they won’t be believed. In the short term, Cause 2 cannot be established with credibility in Russia since it took the British government ten years, 2006-2016, to fabricate their story of Russian polonium poisoning in the Alexander Litvinenko case. In the Russian Novichok cases in England, it has so far taken six years of court, police and pathologist proceedings, 2018-2024, without outcome, and another two years will follow.

The problem for readers to interpret what has happened is that the Anglo-American propaganda warfare machine is better at what it does than the Russian side. But then when it comes to war with guns, not words, the Russian side is far superior, as can be seen in the Ukraine right now. Accordingly, the Kremlin has decided to concentrate on the main fight. Inside Russia, it has been obvious for a long time that in or out of prison, Navalny alive was politically insignificant; now even less. The new western propaganda is as ineffectual for Russians as Navalny was himself.

And so the purpose of the propaganda is different. President Joseph Biden’s statement on Navalny’s death makes this clear. “This tragedy reminds us of the stakes of this moment. We have to provide the funding so Ukraine can keep defending itself against Putin’s vicious onslaughts and war crimes. You know, there was a bipartisan Senate vote that passed overwhelmingly in the United States Senate to fund Ukraine. Now, as I’ve said before, and I mean this in the literal sense: History is watching. History is watching the House of Representatives. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten. It’s going to go down in the pages of history. It really is. It’s consequential.”

For the German blood and urine proof of Navalny’s lithium and benzodiazepine addiction, start here and here. For the evidence from testing of Navalny’s hair, click. https://johnhelmer.net/hair-raising-new ... so-hidden/

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The scientific research indicating the blood-clot risk from the coronavirus mRNA vaccines is summarized in many places; for example, here.

The medical consensus on the risk of combining benzodiazepines with other drugs through liver enzyme failure and fatal tachycardia has been documented here. Russian doctors typically prescribe a benzodiazepine called Grandaxin (tofisopam in the west) for reducing bipolar mood swings, diffuse anxiety, and panic attacks. If combined with a sedative also commonly prescribed in Russia for sleeplessness and branded as Teraligen (alimemazine), the risk of liver enzyme failure leading to heart attack is not as well known as it is in the US and UK, and not monitored by regular liver testing. Navalny, his family, and his organization have never acknowledged his prior medical conditions, nor the medications he has been taking. To date, however, they have made no complaints against the Federal Penitentiary Service for depriving Navalny of the medicines he has requested. It remains to be seen whether the family or the prison service releases these personal data now.

Listen to the Gorilla Radio discussion with Chris Cook, recorded over sixty minutes on Sunday morning Moscow time, February 18:
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Click on link to listen: https://gradio.substack.com/

There is a notable difference between the US and NATO leaders on what happened to Navalny. In the wording Biden read out in his press conference, he said: “make no mistake — make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death. Putin is responsible.” When pressed by a reporter to clarify “was this an assassination?” the president said: “The answer is, I — we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his — and his thugs did.”

The innuendo of murder does not (repeat not) appear in the statements by the French, German and British leaders.

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Source: https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/

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Source: https://www.bundeskanzler.de

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Source: https://twitter.com/RishiSunak/

The most loyal among the small allies of the US were also reluctant to repeat Biden’s claim and followed the French and British lead instead. Their remarks indicate the US is failing to hold its front against the Russians.

Canadian government leaders were circumspect on the cause of Navalny’s death; the one Canadian exception was Bob Rae, the former Ontario premier and currently Canadian representative at the United Nations. Rae tweeted: “Putin murdered #Navalny just as surely as if he’d strangled him with his bare hands.”

The Australian foreign minister, Penny Wong, stopped short of charging homicide, but imitated Biden: “We hold the Russian Government solely responsible for his treatment and death in prison.”

The New Zealand government was more cautious. Foreign Minister Winston Peters told reporters Navalny’s death was “untimely…Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon tweeted he was “saddened to hear of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death. He was a fierce advocate of freedom and anti-corruption.” When pressed by a reporter, Luxon added that he might talk to the Russian ambassador.

https://johnhelmer.net/what-happened-to ... more-89397

******

The prosecutor's office demands the return of the Ivanovo Machine Tool Plant
colonelcassad
February 19, 14:28

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Another story about effective managers who ruined the Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant.

The prosecutor's office demands the return of the Ivanovo Machine Tool Plant

“Kommersant” became aware of the reasons why the Prosecutor General’s Office (GP) of the Russian Federation filed a claim with the arbitration court to return the Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant (IZTS) to state ownership. The supervisory agency came to the conclusion that the enterprise was privatized illegally in the 1990s. According to the prosecutor's office, the decision to transfer shares of the defense IZTS was made by unauthorized persons and organizations and without the permission of the Russian government, which is obligatory in such cases. As a result , the privatization of the plant, according to the State Enterprise, damaged the country's defense capability. As an interim measure, the court arrested the shares and property of the enterprise.

Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Igor Tkachev filed a claim in the Arbitration Court of the Ivanovo Region to claim in favor of the Russian Federation the shares of OJSC Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant (the interests of the supervisory agency are also represented by the Prosecutor's Office of the Ivanovo Region), the defendants in the document are JSC IZTS, LLC Techinvest, LLC "Investproekt", as well as individuals who own securities.

As stated in the document, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation “during supervision” revealed the fact of illegal seizure from state ownership of an enterprise belonging to it - the Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant. This, the supervisory agency considered, was the result of “intentional and interconnected illegal actions of officials and defendants.”

The Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant was founded in 1953 for the serial production of boring machines; the first stage of the enterprise was launched in 1958. By the beginning of the 1980s, the enterprise became one of the main ones in the Soviet machine tool industry. Its products have been supplied to organizations in the aerospace, defense, automotive and energy industries. In addition, the machines were exported to Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Japan and other countries.

In the 1990s, the enterprise was privatized and transformed into OJSC Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant. In 1998, Vladimir Bazhanov became general director. The plant remained the largest enterprise for the production of high-tech machine tools and was one of the backbone enterprises in Russia. In 2008, there was a fire at the plant, after which it began to have financial difficulties.

In 2011, the company became a guarantor for a loan from Avangard Bank issued to the Bigabum gambling company, which soon went bankrupt. As part of the loan, the bank took the woodworking and foundry buildings of the plant.

Taking into account the status and nature of the plant’s production activities, the Prosecutor General’s Office claims, the decision to transfer it into private ownership by virtue of clause 2.2.1 of the privatization program for 1992 fell within the “exclusive competence” of the Russian government, which was not made by it.

Despite this, the GP notes, the state property management committee of the Ivanovo region administration in December 1992 approved the plan for the privatization of IZTS and issued an order to corporatize it, which “clearly went beyond the limits of the powers granted.” After this, JSC IZTS was registered, 191,439 shares worth 1 thousand rubles were issued. each. “In the period from 1993 to 1998, the KUGI of the Ivanovo region and the region’s property fund distributed 100% of the shares of the enterprise that did not belong to them,” the lawsuit says. All these actions, the supervisory agency believes, “did not comply with the requirements of the law... The Russian Federation, as the owner of the plant, did not privatize it, and did not transfer the authority to own, use and dispose of this property to the Ivanovo region.”

Further, the State Enterprise established that as a result of these and subsequent transactions, which the supervisory department considers insignificant, “state property in the form of securities of OJSC IZTS was illegally taken over by Vladimir Bazhanov (who was one of the plant’s shop managers) and his son Mikhail Bazhanov, who bought 81.8 % of the company's shares."

Having established control over the plant, the lawsuit says, the defendants stopped the production activities of JSC IZTS, broke cooperation ties with defense enterprises, fragmented the property complex of the plant and, in the period from 2014 to 2017, transferred it in parts to affiliated organizations - JSC IZTS and LLC Stanki i instrument”, “which caused damage to the national interests and defense capability of the country…. Currently, the companies to which the plant’s capacities have been transferred do not carry out machine tool-building activities; the property is leased out for the purpose of enriching the final beneficiaries - the Bazhanovs.”

The Deputy Prosecutor General asked the court to reclaim in favor of the Russian Federation the shares of OJSC Ivanovo Heavy Machine Tool Plant, which are now owned by Messrs. Bazhanov, JSC IZTS, LLC Investproekt, LLC Techinvest, as well as the shares of LLC Machine Tools and Instrument, which are owned by JSC IZTS and its leader is Larisa Arbuznikova.

Before the issue of returning the enterprise's assets to the state is resolved, the plaintiff asked, as an interim measure, to seize the shares of the plant owned by the defendants, as well as all movable and immovable property of the OJSC, including funds in accounts, with the exception of those intended for paying salaries and paying taxes , fees and contributions. The court satisfied this application of the Prosecutor General's Office.

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/6523583 ? - tsik

And there are still many such factories. It is necessary to reconsider the results of privatization.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8974228.html

Google Translator

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RILEY WAGGAMAN: DISCREDITING THE MILITARY IN RUSSIA IS NOW PUNISHABLE WITH FINES, PRISON TIME & PROPERTY CONFISCATION
FEBRUARY 18, 2024 3 COMMENTS
By Riley Waggaman, Substack, 2/7/24

Russia’s upper house of parliament on Wednesday (February 7th) unanimously approved a law that allows for confiscation of property and deprivation of military ranks and honorary titles for activities directed against the state, as well as for discrediting the country’s armed forces. Since the start of its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the Russian government has granted itself a range of new powers to combat information deemed nonfactual and damaging to national security.

Under the new legislation, money, valuables and property acquired as a result of discrediting the military, as well as property used to carry out such activities, is subject to confiscation by court order.

A lawyer who spoke with Fontanka.ru explained how the law works by providing an example of “a person who committed a crime by publishing a message on the Internet from a mobile phone.” In this case, “the smartphone can be confiscated as an instrument of the crime, and if the convicted person received money for this crime, then that can also be confiscated.”

The legislation also permits the stripping of military ranks, as well as honorary and state titles, from those convicted of discrediting the army or advocating for activities that threaten the state.

Speaking at a plenary meeting in January, State Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said the bill was designed to punish “scoundrels and traitors who spit on the backs of our soldiers, betrayed our Motherland, and transfer money to the armed forces of the country that is at war with us.”

But what constitutes collusion with Russia’s enemies is open to interpretation.

Russia was the main exporter of uranium to the United States in November, and Russian gas continues to flow across Ukraine. On February 3, Gazprom disclosed that 42.4 million cubic meters of gas was being delivered daily to Europe via Ukraine’s Yelets–Kremenchuk–Kryvyi Rih pipeline. The gas transit deal with Kiev is expected to last until the end of 2024.

The new law expands on preexisting legislation that Russian authorities have used to crack down on speech deemed dangerous to national security. Just hours after President Vladimir Putin announced the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Roskomnadzor, the federal government’s media watchdog and regulator, warned media outlets that they were required to use information only from official sources when preparing materials about the military intervention.

Less than two weeks later, on March 4, 2022, the Russian government criminalized “the public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of Russia and its citizens”, with a maximum punishment of 1.5 million rubles and fifteen years in prison.

Courts have not shied away from punishing the enemies of Russia.

In March, a 63-year-old man was sentenced to seven years behind bars for “posting two comments under other people’s posts on the VKontakte social network, which contained an aggressive attitude towards the authorities of the Russian Federation and hostility towards the course of the SMO in Ukraine.”

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source: TASS

In December, a 28-year-old woman from St. Petersburg was sentenced to six months of “compulsory treatment” at a psychiatric hospital after she was convicted of posting fakes about the military on social media.

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source: RIA Novosti

At the end of January, a 72-year-old pensioner received five years in prison for posting “information about the number of dead Russian military personnel” and an “emotional video.” The elderly woman admitted guilt but said she had acted emotionally after her brother, who lived in Ukraine, was buried under the rubble of a building that collapsed as a result of shelling. A Rostov region court ruled that she had been motivated by political hatred.

Fines are given for less serious offenses. In March 2022, a St. Petersburg court fined a resident 35,000 rubles for holding a sign in public that read “No to war”. The defendant was found guilty of “expressing his opinion and forming the opinion of those around him about the participation of the Russian Armed Forces (AF) in a war, and not in a special operation.”

In November 2023, a resident of Kamchatka was fined 30,000 rubles after a “linguistic study” determined that she had “denigrated” the Russian military in a social media post. Russian media has reported dozens of similar cases over the past two years.

Punishment is not reserved for those deemed “anti-war”. In September, A former member of a volunteer detachment in Donbass was fined 20,000 rubles for hanging a banner with the inscription: “Freedom for Strelkov”, and scattering leaflets demanding the release of the ex-Donetsk commander from a pre-trial detention center in Moscow. The defendant was found guilty of discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

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source: Kommersant

In December, retired GRU colonel Vladimir Kvachkov was fined 50,000 rubles for discrediting the Russian army. Like Strelkov, Kvachkov supports military intervention in Ukraine but has been highly critical of the SMO’s execution.

A month later, Strelkov himself was sentenced to four years in prison, purportedly in connection to several Telegram posts he wrote. The evidence against Strelkov was deemed a “state secret” and his trial was closed to the public.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained in a November interview that “certain censorship” is required during “wartime”. He acknowledged, however, that the rules against dangerous speech are somewhat ambiguous.

“Where is the line? I can’t answer this question. [The line] is very thin. And therefore, I would advise all those who speculate indiscriminately and throw words of criticism towards our army without understanding the essence of the matter … to think ten times,” Peskov advised.

The line is constantly moving. On February 15, 2022—a week before Russia launched its special military operation—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned reports about Moscow’s impending military intervention as “information terrorism”.

https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2024/02/the ... activists/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:49 pm

Death of Navalny Being Exploited to Try and Sustain U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine
By Jeremy Kuzmarov - February 20, 2024 0

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[Source: euro.esuero.com]

Media comparisons of Navalny to Nelson Mandela are totally off-base

The death of Alexei Navalny at a remote Arctic penal colony is being used to try to sustain U.S. military aid to Ukraine at a time of growing congressional opposition and after the Russians have taken control of Avdiivka, a key battleground in eastern Ukraine.

The bias of the U.S. media was evident in The New York Times Sunday opinion section on February 18, which featured the following headlines on one page: “Florida’s Fraudster and Russia’s Killer,” “The Best Case for U.S. Aid to Ukraine,” and “What We Can Learn from Navalny.”

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Maureen Dowd [Source: columnists.com]

The “Florida Fraudster” piece, by Maureen Dowd, replicated an earlier accusation made by Dowd right out of the John Birch Society[1] playbook that Donald Trump was a Russian agent.[2] In a 2018 column, Dowd had inanely suggested that Trump gravitated to Vladimir Putin because “Putin reminded Trump of his authoritarian father.”[3]

In her latest piece, Dowd mocks Trump for having had a “bromance” with the “sociopathic Putin,” “unimpeded by Putin’s foul bid to swallow Ukraine.” Dowd said that this “bromance” had “grown ever more sickening with news that the Russian president’s most potent opponent, Alexei Navalny, 47, died mysteriously in an Arctic prison—very, very suddenly as high profile Putin critics often do.” “Make no mistake—Putin is responsible,” President Biden said.[4]

Well then, if Biden said it, then it must be true. Because Biden never lied before or embellished things for political purposes—ya right! And what about this alleged “bromance” between Trump and Putin? If it really existed, why did Trump escalate U.S. sanctions on Russia? And sell Ukraine Javelin anti-tank missiles the Obama administration refused to sell? Or pull out of a major arms control treaty with Putin (the INF Treaty), which Trump felt was bad for America?[5]

As far as Putin being a “sociopath” who wanted to “swallow Ukraine,” Dowd is obviously unaware that a) the U.S. had induced the Russian intervention in Ukraine by supporting the 2014 Maidan coup and ethnic cleansing operations in eastern Ukraine to which the Russian government was responsive; and b) the leading scholarly study of political assassination states emphatically that it has not been proven that Putin directly ordered anyone to be killed.[6]

And if Putin was indeed a sociopath, what about Volodymyr Zelensky? His administration has admitted to carrying out terrorist acts and killing dissidents, including the daughter of a prominent Russian philosopher, a pro-Russian blogger who was murdered in a café, the head of the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic and former Deputy of the Luhansk regional parliament, and the former leader of the socialist party in Ukraine’s parliament, Illia Kyva, who was assassinated mafia style while taking a walk in a park in Moscow where he had been exiled.[7]

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The late Illia Kyva: where were the Western media to mourn him? [Source: dailymail.co.uk]

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Nicholas Kristof [Source: observer.com]

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Dick Durbin [Source: borgenmagazine.com]

Dowd’s biased analysis is echoed by her colleague Nicholas Kristof, a man about whom Edward S. Herman once called a “cruise missile leftist.”

In his piece, “What We Can Learn from Navalny,” Kristof compared Navalny to Nelson Mandela, criticized Trump and Tucker Carlson[8] for “rolling over before the Russian president,” and quoted from Dick Durbin (D-IL) who asked why Trump and his congressional enablers “want to further appease this Russian tyrant?”[9]

Personally, I am sorry that Navalny died even if I disagreed with his political outlook.

However, the rush to blame Putin for Navalny’s death overlooks the fact that no evidence has so far emerged to prove this, and Putin had no motive to do so because Navalny was not a threat to his reelection since he had low poll ratings, and his death could easily be blamed on him, making him look bad.

Now Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, who gave a blistering anti-Putin speech at the Munich Security conference on the day of Alexei’s death, is going to lead her husband’s organization and try to mobilize opposition to Putin using her husband’s status as a martyr.

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Yulia Navalnaya giving blistering anti-Putin speech at pro-NATO Munich Security conference. Observers found it odd that Navalnaya had been at the conference when she had no security expertise and found her speech to be carefully scripted and that her demeanor did not reflect that of someone that had just lost her husband. [Source: theguardian.com]

As much as Navalnaya and her supporters want to present Alexei as a victim of political persecution, there is a strong evidence indicating that his arrest was not politically motivated, that he violated Russian law, and that he was legitimately imprisoned even if the terms of his sentence may have been unduly harsh.[10]

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[Source: ceneo.pl]

Former Swiss diplomat Jacques Baud reviews the evidence in his 2023 book, The Navalny Case: Conspiracy to Serve Foreign Policy (Paris: Max Milo, 2023).

Baud emphasizes that Navalny was a right-wing businessman given a five-year suspended prison sentence in the early 2000s because he was buying companies in order to illegally privatize their profits.[11]

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Oleg Navalny [Source: expressandstar.com]

Navalny was later given a three-year suspended sentence because of his involvement in an illicit business scheme spearheaded by his brother, Oleg, who used his position as manager of a sorting center at a post office to push the French cosmetics company Yves Rocher to use the services of a private logistics company owned by the Navalny family.[12]

The charges filed against the Navalny brothers were for embezzlement of more than 26 million rubles (nearly $850,000).

Under the terms of Navalny’s sentence, Alexei was prohibited from leaving Russian territory, which was the basis for his most recent arrest and imprisonment.[13]

After he was placed under judicial supervision, Navalny had been obligated to report twice a month to Russian prison authorities until the end of his probationary period, which Navalny did not do.[14]

In 2020, Navalny violated the latter rule six times but Russian authorities were then lenient—he was not actually being persecuted.

Some political observers even believed that Navalny was being used by the Kremlin to weaken the main opposition parties by splintering their vote.[15]

In December 2012, prosecutors in Russia accused Allekt, an advertising company headed by Navalny, of defrauding the liberal CIA-funded Union of Right Forces by taking $3.2 million for political PR in 2007 and doing nothing with the money. The charges were initiated by the party itself and not Russian government authorities.

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Jacques Baud [Source: nuevarevolucion.es]

Navalny’s checkered past renders as obscene Kristof’s comparison of Navalny to Nelson Mandela, who was arrested by South African authorities, with support from the CIA, because of his belonging to the Marxist wing of the anti-apartheid African National Congress (ANC).

Navalny, by contrast, was a marginal figure within Russia politically who, in 2007, was expelled from the center-right Yabloko Party because of his regular participation in the “Russian march,” an ultra-nationalist movement, and for his “nationalist activities,” with racist tendencies.[16]

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Navalny in the early 2000s when a member of the Yabloko Party. [Source: zoomboola.com]

In the video supporting the liberalization of handguns which made him famous, Navalny mimicked shooting Chechen migrants in Russia whom he compared to “cockroaches.”[17]

In 2013, Navalny supported and fanned the Biryulyovo riots, castigating the “hordes of legal and illegal immigrants.”

Salon magazine reported that, “if he were American, liberals would hate Navalny much more than they hate Trump or Steven Bannon.”

Jacobin called Navalny a “Russian Trump.”[18]

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Racist video in which Navalny compared Chechnyan migrants to cockroaches. Navalny never disavowed the video. [Source: thekomisarscoop.com]

This is extremely ironic in light of the fawning depictions of Navalny by Trump-hating columnists whose articles do not actually provide much detail about Navalny and the political positions that he took.

One of these positions that endeared him to the West was his support for regionalist and separatist tendencies, which if successful, would contribute to the destabilization and weakening of Russia.[19] Navalny also advocated for sanctions that harm the Russian people.[20]

No wonder then that he has been accused of being a foreign agent.

In 2010, Navalny was a world fellow at Yale University, whose graduates played prominent roles in the 2014 anti-Russian coup in Ukraine and other U.S.-backed “color revolutions.”

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[Source: 1b.blogspot.com]

He received more than $5 million in funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA cutout that specializes in regime-change operations.[21]

A Russia Today broadcast leaked surveillance footage from 2012, which appears to show Vladimir Ashurkov, the executive director of Navalny’s anti-corruption organization, seeking cash and intelligence from an alleged British spy, James William Thomas Ford, and suggesting Navalny’s anti-corruption work may benefit firms in London.

A person looking at camera Description automatically generated
Meeting between Ashurkov and alleged British MI6 agent James William Thomas Ford at a Moscow café in 2012. [Source: rt.com]

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[Source: rand.org]

I previously detailed in CovertAction Magazine how the fake poisoning of Navalny three and a half years ago appeared to have been generated as part of a color revolution/psychological warfare operation, whose main contours were laid out in a 2019 RAND Corporation report, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia.”

This report recommended an array of measures—from encouraging domestic protests to providing lethal aid to Ukraine to undermining Russia’s image abroad—to weaken and destabilize Russia. High priority was placed on administering sanctions, which Navalny’s alleged persecution justified expanding.

Today, Navalny’s death is being used to further this same operation. The convenient timing for the U.S.—which is losing the hot war and also the larger information/propaganda war—raises questions as to whether there was some kind of black operation involved that we are likely never to know about.

(Footnotes at link.)

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2024/0 ... o-ukraine/

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HOW TO MAKE AN ART MARKET OF RUSSIAN HAYSTACKS IN TIME OF WAR

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by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

To the French artist Claude Monet goes the credit for inventing the idea of making money by producing series of paintings on the same subject – haystacks, poplar trees, church fronts, and water lilies – adding a premium for buying the series as a single lot; dubbing them with a theory of light refraction and of evanescence in the eye of the beholder; then advertising heavily in the newspapers.

Monet’s first Haystack sold for 2,500 francs ($500) in Paris in April 1891; at the time he advertised falsely that he had received double the price. In May 2019, one of his 25-piece Haystack series fetched $110.7 million in New York. That represents an annual rate of return per picture of two thousand percent.

One isn’t obliged to appreciate Monet’s haystacks in order to appreciate the investment return which the art market is capable of producing, given the right ratio of short supply to heavy demand, plus a sustained effort at market rigging.

This is now the ambition, the calculation, and the hope of the leading fine art dealers of Moscow and St Petersburg as they devise their plan for marketing Russian painting after the sanctions war has removed Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and MacDougall’s from market competition and price fixing for Russian art and Russian art buyers.

“The word ‘Russia’ is currently unusable in the West,” says Simon Hewitt, an art market analyst in Geneva. “Russians cannot buy or sell in the West at present, period. That will remain the case for as long as Putin remains in power. I suppose a half-decent Aivazovsky will sell OK in Moscow but the more run-of-the-mill 19th century stuff will struggle to get 30% of what it was worth before Covid and will only appeal to optimists who hope that this figure might rise to 60% or so in the next decade.”

Hewitt’s lack of optimism isn’t shared by his counterparts in Moscow. They believe that in removing the “triad”, the three London auction houses from the Russian art market, the opportunity is now growing fast for Russian auction houses to achieve the house profits and rates of return for Russian art buyers which were impossible before the war.

“In the middle of 2023 the activity began picking up in the domestic market,” reports Denis Lukashin, a leading Moscow art expert and co-owner of Art Consulting, which advises Russian buyers on authentication of works and market pricing trends for individual artists. “Because Russian art was blocked in the foreign auction houses, lots of buyers came back to the Russian market. And they buy rather expensive items. Auction houses are presenting new items for public sale, which, before, were usually sold in a closed or private format. So in the historic and fine art sector the prices are returning to the norm before February 2022. In the other genres, the owners, collectors and sellers won’t lose anything in price. I can say the prices have been rising despite the new economic situation, and so has the demand for modern art.”

Russian artists did not have to go to France to share Monet’s understanding of the dynamics of art markets.

In the lead pictures, Isaac Levitan painted his haystacks in Russian fields – left in 1891; right in 1899. Levitan’s Landscape with a Haystack, currently in the National Museum of Warsaw, was painted in 1886, five years before Monet started on his moneyspinner.

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Isaac Levitan, Landscape with a Haystack, 1886 -- source: https://commons.wikimedia.org

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Claude Monet, left Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun), 1891; right, Haystacks, 1890, which was sold in New York on May 15, 2019, for $110.7 million.

To be sure, before the Revolution they did go to Paris to paint, to show, and to sell. One of the current wartime schemes adopted by MacDougall’s is to re-brand their auctions of Russian paintings as “École de Paris and other masters” – that’s to say, Russian artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which have been hanging on walls outside Russia, and can be traded by Russians and others also beyond the reach of US and European Union sanctions. This isn’t sanctions busting, but it’s small scale in volume and value compared to the domestic Russian art market.

In demand and price, this market has been correlated with the price of oil and the acceleration of individual wealth in the country ever since President Vladimir Putin became president in 2000.

From that beginning this website has been following the Russian art sales in London. Every summer and winter, the story has been told of the London art auction houses displaying the best of Russian painting and fine art objects for a bidding match between Russian bank robbers on the run; museums; boardrooms; and everybody else with the taste to fit their pockets. When the price of oil went up, along with the Moscow stock market index, pockets swelled and the price of the art went up. When court arrest warrants and asset freeze orders were pressing the robbers, the price went down.

In the notorious case of potash oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev and his Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier, the courts of Europe and the US have ruled that the record sums of money paid for paintings by Rybolovlev and earned by Bouvier were not criminal or civil frauds under the principle of caveat emptor or the maxim, you can’t steal from a thief. As Rybolovev’s lawyers have argued in the recent Sotheby’s fraud case in New York, the ruling in Sotheby’s favour by the jury also “achieved our goal of shining a light on the lack of transparency that plagues the art market. That secrecy made it difficult to prove a complex aiding and abetting fraud case. This verdict only highlights the need for reforms, which must be made outside the courtroom.”

Rybolovlev has made another, unintended contribution to Russian art market history. His readiness to pay record high premiums in the belief that he would be able to re-sell at an even higher price, has invited those who appreciate art for art’s sake to realize that Russian painters’ haystacks were once and still are the equal of Monet’s haystacks, possibly even greater.

All the fine art markets are the same; the wartime prejudice against Russian art inflicts a discount. But since the Russian supply is more limited on account of the Culture Ministry’s export controls; and also because the supply history is several centuries shorter for Russian paintings than for Chinese and European; and since intrinsic value will in time overcome prejudice, there can be no limit to the potential growth in appreciation for Russian art.

The victory of the Russian military over the US and European forces on the Ukrainian battlefield has reinforced domestic demand for the Russian culture which has been denigrated and ostracized on the losing side in the war. Follow the backfile here.

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Source: https://johnhelmer.net/

On February 18 the attempt was made by a group of Russian art houses to combine in a single open auction. The press advertising has claimed that 123 lots were up for sale including one of Ivan Aivazovsky’s seascapes – Moonlit Night of 1885.
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In the Vedomosti newspaper report, three dealers, the Moscow Auction House, the Auction House of the Graphic Collectors Club, and the St. Petersburg Auction House had joined to form the Auction Holding Company to conduct auctions in the same way as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s had done before the war. This week’s sale was reported to be the second by the holding; the first took place last December, when, according to Vedomosti, the lots were valued at Rb500 million (about $6 million).

Each of the auction houses was asked how the February 18 auction had gone – what was the total value of the sales; what were the top-priced works and their artists; and what clearance rate was achieved (lots sold as a proportion of the total on offer). Each of the houses refused to answer without explanation.

There is speculation in Moscow and St Petersburg that the new holding is still relatively unprepared for implementing an open auction system, with transparent pricing, sale disclosure, and monitoring of demand, as the London houses were able to deliver to Russian art buyers until 2022.

THE ARTIMX PRICE INDEX FOR RUSSIAN FINE ART, 2001-2024

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KEY: red=all works; blue=paintings; black=graphics.

Source: https://artinvestment.ru/

The ARTIMX index suggests that the domestic art market bottomed out in mid-2022, and started to recover through last year. But then the index appears to have turned down again, according to this source.

This is not the current view of a London dealer who used to specialize in Russian, Ukrainian and East European fine art. “I am so many miles from Russia these days but, from what I hear, the market is pretty buoyant with, naturally, the main interest being in pan Slavic artists. “

In Moscow Lukashin believes that fine art demand is rising now, and taking prices upwards. “I can say the prices have risen despite the new economic situation, and so has the demand for modern art. The demand for the Russian masters is still high among the extremely rich clients; demand for modern is concentrated among all other clients. This depends on the works themselves. Of course it is very difficult now to purchase foreign items, because we’re cut off from the ‘triad’ – Sotheby’s, Christie’s and MacDougalls. But nowadays the new Russian auction houses have appeared and they are creating an auction system similar to the triad’s system. They are looking for new artists, supporting them, promoting their pieces, developing the community of art buyers and collectors, and so on.”

Have the Russian oligarchs under sanctions stopping buying and collecting art, Lukashin was asked. “Most oligarchs are trying to save their assets abroad and pieces of art aren’t the exception. They have stopped buying abroad, so they are buying in Russia, just to be safe. Sometimes these assets abroad are a liability for them.”

“In my opinion the holding can’t replace the triad because they don’t yet have enough understanding of the market and how the auction system should function. A holding doesn’t control the market; the auction houses do, naturally, in competitive collaboration and through the internet platforms, such as Bidspirit, Artinvestment, Litfond, and Russian Auction House, and many others – they are creating the new Russian auction system.”

“By itself, Auction Holding is trying to grab as much share of the market as it can. Such a move doesn’t lead to anything good in the art market, which should always stay competitive. The creation of this holding is more a matter of PR, in order to say that we now have our own Sotheby’s, Christie’s, MacDougalls now.”

https://johnhelmer.net/how-to-make-an-a ... more-89418

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An Opportune Death Hypocritically Mourned

Stephen Karganovic

February 21, 2024

The psychopaths that Navalny foolishly agreed to serve probably got lucky, Stephen Karganovic writes.

If Western media are to be believed, after the countless failures of their poisonous preparations clumsy Russian chemists seem now to have finally gotten it right. Alexey Navalny is reported to be dead and the Kremlin Borgias can now say: Gotcha!

However, unfortunately for the orchestrators of the new media stunt that after February 16 plunged the Western political class and MSM into a hysterical frenzy, the carefully crafted delusion began to unravel as soon as it was launched.

First off, it turned out that the politicians and media began to react as if on cue literally just a quarter hour after the obscure website of the Russian penitentiary system posted the news of Navalny’s death.

Observe the highly indicative chronological sequence of events and draw your own conclusions about the plausibility of their indignation.

Аt approximately 2:19 p.m. on February 18, 2024, the website operated by the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area (surely not in the favourites section of most people’s computers) reported the death of convict Alexey Navalny in Prison Colony No. 3.

Literally, 15 minutes later, a flurry of cut and paste commentary and accusations from Western political hacks began to pour in:

– 2:35 pm, Tobias Billström (Sweden): ‘Terrible news about Navalny. If the information about his death in a Russian prison is confirmed, it will be another heinous crime by Putin’s regime.’

– 2:35 pm, Barth Eide (Norway): ‘I’m deeply saddened by the news of Navalny’s death. The Russian government bears a heavy burden of responsibility for this.’

– 2:41 pm, Edgars Rinkevics (Lithuania): ‘Whatever your thoughts about Alexei Navalny as a politician, he was just brutally murdered by the Kremlin. That’s a fact and that is something one should know about the true nature of Russia’s current regime.’

– 2:50 pm, Jan Lipavsky (Czech Republic): ‘Russia still treats foreign policy issues the same way it treats its citizens. It has turned into a violent state that kills people who dream of a beautiful, better future, such as Nemtsov and now Navalny, who was imprisoned and tortured to death.’

– 2:51 pm, Stéphane Séjourné (France): ‘Navalny paid with his life to fight against a system of oppression. His death in a penal colony reminds us of the realities of Vladimir Putin’s regime.’

– 3:02 pm, Charles Michel (EU): ‘The EU holds the Russian regime solely responsible for this tragic death.’

– 3:10 pm Kiev regime kingpin Zelensky: ‘Clearly, he was killed by Putin, like thousands of others who were tortured to death.’ (And just as clearly Gonzalo Lira was murdered by you, one would be inclined to respond to Zelensky in his face.)

– 3:16 pm (media), 4:50 pm (social media), Jens Stoltenberg (NATO): ‘We need to establish all the facts, and Russia needs to answer all the questions.’ (How about waiting for the facts to be established first and then asking questions?)

– 3:20 pm, Mark Rutte (Netherlands): ‘Navalny’s death once again bears witness to the immense brutality of the Russian regime’;

– 3:30 pm, Maia Sandu (Moldova): ‘Navalny’s death in a Russian prison is a reminder of the regime’s egregious suppression of dissent.’

– 3:35 pm, Annalena Baerbock (Germany): ‘Like no one else, Alexei Navalny was a symbol for a free and democratic Russia. That is precisely the reason he had to die.’

– 3:43 pm, Ursula von der Leyen (EU): ‘A grim reminder of what Putin and his regime are all about.’

– 3:49 pm, Ulf Kristersson (Sweden): ‘The Russian authorities, and President Putin personally, are responsible for Alexei Navalny no longer being alive.’

– 3:14 pm, Olaf Scholz (Germany): ‘He has now paid for this courage with his life. This terrible news demonstrates once again how Russia has changed and what kind of regime is in power in Moscow.’

– 3:25 pm, Antony Blinken (USA): ‘Beyond that, his death in a Russian prison and the fixation and fear of one man only underscores the weakness and rot at the heart of the system that Putin has built. Russia bears responsibility for this.’

– 5:28 pm, Emmanuel Macron (France): ‘In today’s Russia, free spirits are put in the Gulag and sentenced to death.’

Are we expected to believe that these ministers and officials have nothing better to do than to unceasingly monitor the website of the Russian Penitentiary service, in the hope of finding bits of information to which they might publicly react?

Note should be taken that within fifteen minutes to two hours following the 2:19 p.m. announcement of Navalny’s death no autopsy had or could have been performed. There was no forensic evidence whatsoever on which any conclusions about the causes and circumstances of Navalny’s demise could have been based. The only factual data that could have been known to these hacks at the time when they made their comments was that Navalny was exercising in the prison courtyard when he suddenly collapsed. A blood clot was suspected according to prison medical staff. What might that indicate?

It suggests, as Paul Craig Roberts has cogently argued, that outwardly at least Navalny’s observable manner of death was identical to that of numerous victims of the mRNA “vaccine.” Thousands of vaccinated young athletes and even airline pilots are dying in exactly the same way.

Where could Navalny possibly have received the fatal “vaccine,” which as former British Prime Minister Teresa May was fond of saying, “highly likely” was a shot manufactured by Pfizer, statistically the deadliest of them all? Not just by Teresa’s but in Navalny’s case more importantly by any reasonable person’s evidentiary standards, the answer is very simple. After his botched “Novichok poisoning” in Russia in 2020, Navalny was flown to Berlin where he received treatment at the top of the line Charité hospital. That was at the height of the Covid commotion. The hospital communique on his condition may have been redacted by Western intelligence agencies, but it is inconceivable that patient Navalny would have been hospitalised there without first being injected with the vaccine. In Germany, rigorous hospital protocol made that obligatory. We have no direct evidence that while in Germany Navalny did receive the jab, but under the circumstances that appears to be the logical and natural conclusion. The leading authority in such matters, Teresa May, would be simply obliged to agree that this would be a scenario that was “highly likely.” Unless she were prepared to contradict herself, of course.

So there you have it, as Andrey Martyanov would put it.

None of the West’s sock puppet politicians took that into consideration before issuing hackneyed carbon copy statements all of which appear to have been redacted by the same propaganda spin bureau.

Navalny’s death, whatever may have been its direct cause, could not have been better timed from the standpoint of his Western masters. For them, it came as a godsend, serving as a double distraction. Firstly, to turn attention away from the collapse of the Ukrainian front, not just in Avdeevka but along the entire line of contact. Secondly, to reframe perception and neutralise the impact of the truth bombs which exploded in the course of Tucker Carson’s interview.

It is – to reverse Teresa’s now famous dictum – highly unlikely that the reach of Western agencies extends to the remote prison camp in Magadan. The outcomes that from the standpoint of Navalny’s psychopathic controllers would be “good,” amongst which Navalny’s exploitable death would be a conspicuous benefit, easily could have happened fortuitously.

Even Freud was obliged to admit that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

The psychopaths that Navalny foolishly agreed to serve probably got lucky. By dropping dead when he did Navalny performed his last and perhaps most valuable service to at least partially offset the huge investment they had made in him.

https://strategic-culture.su/news/2024/ ... y-mourned/
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Fri Feb 23, 2024 4:26 pm

Russia’s Embrace Of Traditional Values-Espousing Immigrants Won’t Be As Simple As Some Think

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ANDREW KORYBKO
FEB 23, 2024

Unlike the West, Russia isn’t interested in “replacement migration” for purely economic reasons. It wants new arrivals to assimilate and integrate into society, make ends meet on their own, and ideally embrace their host society’s values.

RT and Sputnik reported that President Putin agreed with an Italian student’s proposal last week to streamline the naturalization process for immigrants who espouse traditional values, which are shared by many Westerners, though he cautioned that there’s no way to test for these beliefs. Nevertheless, a lot of “Non-Russian Pro-Russians” (NRPRs) were encouraged by his words and imagined that they might soon be able to make their dream of moving there come true, but it’s not as simple as they think.

Although Russia is courting highly qualified workers from abroad and needs to replace its naturally declining population through a more liberalized migration system, even for low-qualified workers, these people’s personal beliefs aren’t as important as their ability to assimilate and integrate into society. Working knowledge of Russian is required, as is knowledge of the country’s laws and history, in order to obtain residency as the usual steppingstone that most take before eventually applying for citizenship.

Some basic questions about traditional values could therefore be easily added to these exams such as asking applicants to define marriage and to list the number of genders, but agreement with these beliefs – whether sincere or faked – will never realistically be the primary criteria for letting one move there. Immigrants must be able to play a positive role in society and economically support themselves, and only those who are able to can then receive citizenship regardless of whether they’re liberal or conservative.

The migration system is still very complex to navigate even for those who already meet these criteria, however, and usually requires a specialized lawyer such as the ones from VISTA Immigration in order for residency or citizenship applications to be successful. That’s because this branch of the government largely retains its byzantine Soviet-era bureaucratic traditions that haven’t improved much over the past three decades despite the state’s well-intentioned efforts at reform in recent years.

The most common way for someone to permanently relocate to Russia nowadays is to first come there as a student or worker, but simplified avenues are available for those who complete military service or have immediate family in the country, among other categories that NRPRs can learn more about from the abovementioned link. The point in sharing these details is to temper these people’s expectations so that they’re not disappointed once they find out how difficult it still is to move to Russia.

A proverbial mountain of paperwork is required for most applicants, and interacting with clerks inside the country can oftentimes be a stressful experience, especially if someone doesn’t speak Russian fluently. This process isn’t for anyone with limited patience, but only for those with the grit to persevere. It’s well worth it, especially for people who espouse traditional values, but navigating this complex system will likely never be anywhere as simple as it is in the West.

There’s also the challenge of making a living in Russia, where costs widely vary depending on the location. Without speaking fluent Russian or working as a teacher of whatever one’s native language may be, it’s extremely difficult to find employment. That’s not because the economy is doing poorly, but because few people speak a foreign language, so they naturally won’t hire anyone who doesn’t speak Russian like they do. Exceptions exist, like everywhere, but nobody should take them for granted.

Someone can of course be self-employed, and it might be easier for them to do an online job of some sort for comparatively measly pay by Western standards while living in a small town or rural area where costs are pretty low, but those who want the city live will probably struggle to make ends meet. A NRPR can be the most gung-ho about traditional values and behave “more Russian than the Russians themselves” but still never be able to move there unless they meet the previously mentioned criteria.

That’s why it’s so important for those who are interested in this life choice to begin learning Russian right away, which they can start doing remotely or with private lessons if they’re available wherever they currently live, not to mention taking classes at a local university if that’s also an option. The next step for many could be applying to a Russian university as a full-time student, where they can also learn Russian alongside whatever their regular studies may be, after which they can apply for temporary residency.

That could help folks get a head start on everything, but this pathway is mostly relevant for younger ones in the mid-20s or perhaps early 30s, being much more difficult for someone who’s already planted roots in the West or wherever they come from. In those cases, military service or entrepreneurship might be a more realistic option if they don’t meet the criteria of a highly specialized worker, the category of which is eligible for simplified citizenship processes.

Unlike the West, Russia isn’t interested in “replacement migration” for purely economic reasons. It wants new arrivals to assimilate and integrate into society, make ends meet on their own, and ideally embrace their host society’s values. The last-mentioned is preferred but not a prerequisite since it can never be tested for in any foolproof way. Those who espouse these beliefs and appreciate Russia’s defense of them therefore shouldn’t get their hopes up for simplified migration procedures on that criterion alone.

https://korybko.substack.com/p/russias- ... nal-values

I am not keen on Russia's turn towards 'traditional values'. Do remember that prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union adherents to the ROC were 20%. Then came the 90's where an acute need for Marx's opium emerged and now the proportion is reversed. The communists parties could not provide the proper 'medicine' as communism was in disgrace. And now, with the collective West bent upon Russia's diminution and possibly dismemberment nationalism and a rejection of all things 'Western' were an unavoidable reaction. And the ROC had always been associated with the State when communist were not in power. And here we are...

Putin's going to, has to, ride that nationalist horse given the circumstances. And it probably soothes the butt-hurt of the serial rejection of his reasonable attempts at a diplomatic solution by the arrogant and aggressive West.

I am amused by some Russian bloggers who while going on about rejecting Western decadence but still pick and choose stuff they like: video games, {some)Hollywood movies, crappy rock&roll from the 80s and bourbon come to mind.


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THE FUTURE FOR RUSSIAN ART – NEEDLE V HAYSTACK

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by John Helmer, Moscow
@bears_with

When the previous piece on the Russian art market was published early this week, an Anglo-European art critic didn’t like the independent direction this market is now forced to take. He was also angry that his personal animus towards President Vladimir Putin, the Russian army, and the war against the US and NATO in the Ukraine was quoted. “You sound like a Putin stooge”, he added.

The source is an Englishman working in Geneva named Simon Hewitt. He is emphatic in belittling the quality of Russian painters compared to their French counterparts, and also the Russian galleries, entrepreneurs, and promoters now trying to build the Russian art market – compelled for the first time in their history to be independent of foreign aesthetics and the business of the art trade; that’s Anglo-French aesthetics, Franco-American business,* and the Russian oligarchs dependent on them.

Hewitt, who has been employed to follow the Russian art auctions of Christie’s, Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s, has now become a Russia hater. “I don’t expect to be back in Russia,” he has said, “until the war is over. I imagine that the Russian army will eventually vote with its feet as it did in 1917, but my guess is that won’t be for another 18 months or so.” Hewitt’s once measured assessments of Russian painting since 2014 have been transformed into a political and military ideology, the object of which is the defeat of Russia in the war, and its collapse into another revolution.

The capitulation of Russian culture to its US and European masters is what this ideology requires – and the recapture of the Russian art market by the triad, the name which Russian art experts give to Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and MacDougall’s.*

In the history of the French artist Claude Monet’s life and art, there were almost no Russians to speak of.

An exceptional one, the artist Wassily Kandinsky, saw one of Monet’s series of haystack paintings in a show in Moscow not long after the first exhibition of them in Paris in 1891. “For the first time I saw a picture,” Kandinsky said. “That it was a haystack, the catalogue informed me. I didn’t recognize it…Painting took on a fairy-tale power and splendour. And albeit unconsciously, objects were discredited as an essential element.” Kandinsky, one of the founders of abstractionism in Russian art, saw Monet’s picture as a non-figurative creation of colour, line, shape.

Several years later, Sergei Shchukin, heir to a Moscow industrial fortune, bought one of a series of canvases Monet had been painting in 1899 of London around the Savoy Hotel, the Thames, Houses of Parliament, and the nearby bridges. Shchukin’s wife told him to return the picture because she didn’t like the coloured, shapeless smoke, fog, water, forms, and sunless skies. The thirteen Monet paintings which Shchukin kept – until the collection was expropriated by the state in 1917 – were all figurative. His Haystack at Giverny, painted in 1886, was one of the first of very many Monet painted before Kandinsky saw them a decade later. Shchukin’s wife preferred recognisable objects in the landscape for the decade before Kandinsky preferred abstraction.

This is an obvious matter of aesthetics and taste; it is also a well-known part of the history of modern art inside and outside Russia before the Bolsheviks and the Soviet state cut the money and market nexus, and embarked on revolutionizing the intrinsic value of art.

The telling point now is that in the conditions of war – existential defence for Russia, as this website has been reporting for more than a decade — it is now possible, even required for Russians, and for everyone else exercising their aesthetic principles and personal tastes, to look again at the pictures and compare their intrinsic values – without the rigging of the money market.

In Monet’s time that was arranged by a handful of Paris dealers and a large volume of American money flowing into the Paris market for the first time. Since 2012, when the short history of the semi-annual Russian Art Week auctions began in London, this has been arranged by Christie’s, Sotheby’s and MacDougall’s channelling a large volume of money from the Russian oligarchs and other wealthy Russian businessmen exporting their capital to foreign havens, free ports, and the walls of their offshore residences.

In short, what there is now, because of the war, is a revolutionary condition for the intrinsic value of Russian art — at home now because there is nowhere else.

Here then – on February 23, the Russian holiday known as Red Army or Defender of the Fatherland Day — is an invitation to readers to experiment with their eye, their wartime eye, in looking again at paintings of haystacks.

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Monet’s Haystack at Giverny, painted in 1886, was one of his first to depict haystacks. It was bought by Sergei Shchukin for his Moscow collection; it is now in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

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Viktor Vasnetsov, Haystacks, painted in 1890.

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Alexei Savrasov, The end of the summer on the Volga, 1873 (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)

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Isaac Levitan’s Haystacks, 1887.

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More Levitan Haystacks – above left, 1894; above right, 1899. Below: four undated pictures by Levitan in Russian state galleries.

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Levitan, Hay-making, 1900 (Tretyakov Gallery). Levitan died on August 4, 1900.

Looking at these pictures, what do you see? The old Russian national idea or a new one? Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality? National liberation? Or yellow – the sun in Provence, the Romanov flag, or the colour of xanthopsia and cowardice?

The price for these continues to go up.

[*]Christie’s auction house is owned by the French businessman, Francois Pinault; Sotheby’s is owned by Patrick Drahi who is French and Israeli. Because they are private businesses, they don’t publish audited financial reports, but issue press releases instead. In 2023 Christie’s reported its sales revenue had fallen 26% from the year before -- $8.41 billion down to $6.22 billion. Sotheby’s reported its sales revenue came to $7.9 billion, down marginally from $8 billion in 2022. “We are rigorously following the present sanctions and complying with any regulations put in place,” Sotheby’s has announced. Christie’s has said “politically exposed persons, and those with a connection to a sanctioned or other high-risk jurisdictions, are also subject to enhanced due diligence.” In February 2023 federal prosecutors in New York issued subpoenas for auction house records in an investigation of Russian art dealings. MacDougall’s was established in London and Moscow by William MacDougall and his wife, Catherine; William died in August 2022.

https://johnhelmer.net/the-future-for-r ... more-89432

***

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Haystacks Calhoun
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:03 pm

Yulia Navalnaya’s Embrace By Biden & Brussels Discredits Western Denials Of Meddling

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ANDREW KORYBKO
FEB 25, 2024

It doesn’t matter to Western policymakers that they discredited their prior denials of meddling in Russia’s affairs by feting her like they have since they’ve unofficially given up on trying to convince those at home and abroad who already believe that they’re guilty of this.

False claims of Russian meddling in the US’ 2016 elections caused the entire West to melt down in a paranoid frenzy that continues to this day, all while denying that they ever meddled in Russia’s affairs, yet their claims are now discredited like never before after Biden and Brussels’ embrace of Yulia Navalnaya. The first literally hugged her when she visited DC while the second earlier let her address the bloc’s Foreign Ministers, both of which came after she declared that she’ll continue her husband’s legacy.

Alexei recently passed away in an Arctic prison colony where he was serving a lengthy sentence for corruption-related crimes, but President Putin previously accused him of working for American intelligence. He fashioned himself the leader of the Russian opposition despite only representing its fringe non-systemic faction, though his vocal condemnation of the Kremlin earned him the praise of Western leaders and their media.

Yulia’s decision to follow in his footsteps already suggested that she’ll also collude with foreign intelligence agencies to meddle in her homeland’s affairs, but her embrace by the West leaves no doubt that this is indeed what they’ve been doing for decades already. It’s somewhat surprising that Biden and Brussels would host her like they did since this discredits their denials of doing exactly what they’ve alleged that Russia is guilty of, but on the other hand, it also makes sense if seen in a certain way.

The Western public, which is the target audience of those two’s embrace of her, has bifurcated into those who are skeptical of practically everything that their governments do and those who blindly support the same. The first already knew that the West is meddling in everyone else’s affairs while the second tacitly acknowledges this but believes that it’s in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” and is therefore acceptable.

Meddling in their minds only means that a supposedly non-democratic country is intervening in an allegedly democratic one’s affairs, but when the latter does the same to the former, then it’s regarded as “nobly spreading democracy”. It’s this category of Westerner that Biden and Brussels’ embrace of Yulia was aimed at, and these stunts were intended to boost their morale after it recently sank following the failure of Kiev’s summer counteroffensive.

These people think that International Relations is a Marvel movie replete with its own superheroes like Zelensky and Navalnya whose defeat they can’t accept. When confronted with “politically inconvenient” facts like the aforementioned counteroffensive’s failure or Alexei’s alleged ties with American intelligence, they simply ignore them and distract themselves with political fantasies. In Ukraine’s case, this is expelling Russia from its pre-2014 territory, while the second is seizing power in the Kremlin.

Neither will ever happen, but those among the Western public who still have false hopes about them after blindly supporting their governments’ respective goals need to be fed “hopium” from time to time in order for them to remain committed to these doomed causes, ergo turning Yulia into a celebrity. She’ll continue touring the West in self-imposed exile and profiting handsomely from it, both via public channels like predictably forthcoming book sales and clandestine ones like foreign intelligence payrolls.

It doesn’t matter to Western policymakers that they discredited their prior denials of meddling in Russia’s affairs by feting her like they have since they’ve unofficially given up on trying to convince those at home and abroad who already believe that they’re guilty of this. Instead, the focus is now on keeping their supporters fed with “hopium” in order for them not to become disillusioned to the point that they defect, thus explaining why they’re making such a spectacle of embracing Yulia.

https://korybko.substack.com/p/yulia-na ... e-by-biden

******

Lukashenko is thinking about a new term
February 25, 12:22

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Lukashenko has previously promised several times that he will transfer power to a successor in 2025.
But he decided to change his mind and hinted that he would run for office again in 2025.

“The more difficult the situation is, the more actively they will excite our society and you, including (for me, believe me, this is very important - not a single person, a responsible President will abandon his people who followed him into battle), than they will "The more stress you, me and society have, the faster I will go to these elections. Don't worry, we will do what is necessary for Belarus."

If he really changes his mind and goes to the polls, he will become the record holder for the longest reign in the territory of the Republic of Ingushetia and the USSR in the 20th and 21st centuries.

From other statements by Lukashenko.
Nobody will give up power in Belarus to anyone;
Belarusians and Russians have exhausted the limit of revolutions;
Belarus holds elections for itself and does not need their recognition;
Together with Putin, he considered joint opposition to hostile forces;
Russia and Belarus make the Union State stronger as two states, not one.
Western "democracy" led to war in Ukraine;
If Kyiv does not negotiate with Moscow, Ukraine’s days as a country are numbered.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8987700.html

Google Translator

******

FEBRUARY 25, 2024 BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
Russia’s victory in Ukraine resonates in Central Asia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (third from left) with Central Asian counterparts at a recent CIS summit, Kyrgyzstan, Oct 12, 2023

Russia’s stunning victory in the battle of Avdeevka and the rout of the Ukrainian military, boosts the credibility of Russia as provider of security for the Central Asian region. The point is not lost on the erudite Central Asian mind that Russia has single-handedly put the NATO on the back foot.

This becomes a defining moment, as it complements the comfort level stemming out of the new normalcy in Afghanistan, thanks to Russia’s effective diplomatic engagement with the Taliban.

Yet another vicious cycle of western propaganda is petering out — predicated on the false assumptions that Russia’s influence in Central Asia is in “decline” (Wilson Centre); that the Central Asian states are “are emerging from Russia’s shadow and asserting their independence in ways not seen since the collapse of communism in 1991” (Financial Times); that in the wake of the war in Ukraine, Central Asian leaders “might well be now considering how long Putin will be able to remain in power in Russia” (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty).

In reality, the economic performance of the region in 2023 registered an impressive GDP growth of 4.8%. And Russia contributed to this success story. The Ukraine war led to the vacation of western firms from the Russian market, which created new opportunities for regional states. At the same time, the conditions under sanctions prompted Russian firms and capital and Russian citizens to relocate their businesses to the Central Asian region.

Central Asian entrepreneurs haven’t missed the lucrative opportunities to source Western goods and technology for the Russian market — walking a very tight rope by ensuring compliance with Western sanctions, while also nurturing their interdependence and integration with Russian markets. The recovery of the Russian economy and its 3.6% growth last year created business opportunities for Central Asian countries.

Moscow’s policies aim at a ‘Renaissance’ in the region’s relations with Russia. The new thinking in Moscow meant that Putin took a hands-on role to maintain a high momentum of contacts with the Central Asian leaderships at a personal level, making use of all available formats of interaction bilateral as well as regional. The Russian approach allowed space for the regional states to adopt a ‘neutral’ stance on the war.

A comprehension problem for outsiders is very often that the Central Asian attitudes are seldom in overt mode, and under specific circumstances (such as Ukraine war), they need to be discerned in terms of preferences. Thus, the political message out of the May 9 parade in Moscow last year when all the Central Asian presidents joined Putin at the ceremonies on the Red Square was a massive gesture of support for Russia — and for Putin personally.

Throughout 2023, the Central Asian states found themselves targeted in an unprecedented diplomatic effort by the West to uphold the sanctions against Russia. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French President Emmanuel Macron visited the region. Two historic summits in the ‘C5+1’ format were hosted by President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz respectively in Washington and Berlin.

But the western interlocutors refused to see the writing on the wall. Blinken’s Kazakh counterpart told him that Astana ‘does not feel any threats or risks from the Russian Federation.’ The joint statements issued after the two ‘C5+1’ summits did not even mention Ukraine!

Putin’s new thinking puts the great game on the back burner and instead prioritises the accretion of content in Russia’s relations with the Central Asian states, especially in economic and humanitarian spheres. This approach has palpably dissipated the ‘Big Brother’ syndrome. Putin’s meetings with his counterparts from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in Kazan on Wednesday took place in a palpably relaxed atmosphere. (here, here and here)

Interestingly, Emomali Rahmon, Tajik president, wished not only Putin’s success “in everything you do” but his “nerves of steel” as well. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakh president underscored meaningfully that “under your (Putin’s) distinguished leadership, Russia has achieved notable, impressive successes. In fact, your statements and actions are shaping the global agenda.” Tokayev’s remark is particularly noteworthy, as western analysts had spotted him as a potential mutineer against Putin in the steppes!

However, in the final analysis, if Russia’s security relationship with the Central Asian region has transformed during the past couple of years, it is because Moscow’s coordinated efforts to forge ties with the Taliban has gained traction lately. They helped diminish the threat perceptions regarding Afghanistan in the Central Asian region.

If the traditional pattern of addressing the threat perceptions was to resort to military means and by sequestering the region from Afghanistan, Russian diplomacy switched to a radically different approach by constructively engaging with the Taliban (although Taliban continues to be a proscribed organisation under Russian law) and strove to make the latter a stakeholder in building cooperative ties within a matrix of mutual interests. It paid off.

Moscow estimated that Taliban rule has stabilised the Afghan situation significantly and it is in Russian interests to help the Kabul administration to effectively counter the extremist elements in the country (especially the Islamic State, which is known to be a legacy of the US occupation of Afghanistan.) Russia leveraged its influence with the Central Asian states to ensure that western-backed anti-Taliban ‘resistance’ forces did not get sanctuaries.

Of course, the strategic objective is that the western intelligence will not be able to manipulate free-wheeling Afghan elements to destabilise the Central Asian region or the Caucasus all over again.

Taliban has been most receptive to the Russian overtures aimed at strengthening the Afghan statehood. Recently, Taliban went to the extent of boycotting a UN-sponsored conference on Afghanistan on February 18-19 in Qatar, which was, in reality, an invidious attempt by the US to re-engage the Taliban on the pretext of promoting “intra-Afghan dialogue” (which essentially meant the return of the West’s Afghan proxies living in exile in Europe and America.)

To be sure, the Taliban saw through the western game plan to rebuild their intelligence network in Afghanistan and countered it by setting conditions for its participation in the Doha conference, including that it be the sole representative of Afghanistan at the meeting. The Taliban also opposed the appointment of a UN special envoy to Afghanistan, whose main task would be to promote “intra-Afghan dialogue”.

The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement ahead of the Doha meeting, accused the international community of “unilateral impositions, accusations, and pressurisation.” The most interesting part of the pantomime playing out in Doha was that at the Taliban’s request, the Russian delegation that participated in the Doha meeting refused to meet the so-called ‘civil society representatives’ from Afghanistan. It signalled that Russia has begun working with the Taliban as the de facto rulers of Afghanistan.

Indeed, the Central Asian states heartily welcome this brilliant diplomatic initiative by Russia to strengthen regional security and stability. The region’s confidence level vis-a-vis the Taliban rulers has already reached a point that at the meeting with Putin in Kazan on Wednesday, Uzbek president Mirziyoyev raised the “important question” of Uzbekistan and Russia moving ahead with the construction of a new railway via Afghanistan connecting Central Asia with the adjacent regions and the world market.

https://www.indianpunchline.com/russias ... tral-asia/

******

India’s Top Diplomat Explained Why His Country Is Doubling Down On Ties With Russia

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ANDREW KORYBKO
FEB 25, 2024

The self-fulfilling prophecy of the Sino-Russo Entente caused by the West’s strategically counterproductive sanctions policy can only be managed by major economies bravely defying them in pursuit of the “greater (geopolitical) good”.

Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar informed those members of the global policymaking elite that attended his country’s prestigious Raisina Dialogue last week why it’s doubled down on ties with Russia over the past two years. Simply put, it’s all about preemptively averting Russia’s potentially disproportionate dependence on China, exactly as I assessed here at a top Russian think tank in summer 2022. Here’s RT’s report about his remarks during that event:

“Subrahmanyam Jaishankar made the comments on Friday at the Raisina Dialogue, India’s main geopolitical gathering in New Delhi. He said Moscow and Beijing had been forging stronger ties since the West ‘closed the doors’ on Russia.

‘On the one hand, you have people who set policies that bring the two together,’ Jaishankar explained. ‘And then you say, ‘Beware of them coming together.’’

Discussing Moscow’s advocacy of multilateralism, Jaishankar said Russia was a power with an ‘enormous tradition of statecraft.’ Therefore, it would never put itself into a single relationship of an ‘overwhelming nature,’ he added. He said Russia was turning towards non-Western parts of the world, and it ‘makes sense’ for countries to give it ‘multiple options.’

‘If we railroad Russia to a single option, then you’re making it a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Other countries, especially in Asia, need to engage Russia,’ Jaishankar said, adding that this was ‘certainly in the Indian national interest but it is also in the global interest.’

The minister was responding to the question of whether India sees the relationship between China and Russia as a sustainable and equitable one.”


The first point that stands out is his tacit critique of Western sanctions, which were responsible for the comprehensive expansion of Russian-Chinese relations since 2022 to the point that those two can now be described as having formed a Sino-Russo Entente. This resulted in a self-fulfilling prophecy, albeit an imperfect one, since India’s subsequent prioritization of relations with Russia enabled Moscow to maintain its Sino-Indo balancing act that readers can learn more about here.

The gist is that Russia relies on India to preemptively avert potentially disproportionate dependence on China, but this balancing act would be maximally effective if there were additional Asian countries to complement Delhi’s role, ergo the next point that EAM Jaishankar made. He urged fellow countries on the continent to follow his own’s lead, which can be interpreted as a wink to Japan, widely considered to be India’s top partner in the East.

Prior to the special operation, Russian-Japanese relations were impressively stable despite negotiations on a peace treaty for ending World War II having stalled after the late Shinzo Abe left office. They then deteriorated in parallel with Russia’s Western relations upon Japan following its allies’ lead in imposing sanctions, though Tokyo still retains some level of energy cooperation with Moscow. In the event that relations improve, Japan could complement India’s role and more effectively help Russia balance China.

Even if they don’t, as many experts unfortunately expect, then that doesn’t mean that Russia would then inevitably become China’s “junior partner”. EAM Jaishankar poignantly reminded everyone that its “enormous tradition of statecraft” wouldn’t allow its diplomats to let that scenario irresponsibly unfold. Relations with India are already sufficient enough of a safeguard, but without additional parties complementing Delhi’s role, Beijing would end up purchasing the lion’s share of Moscow’s resources.

This would turbocharge China’s superpower trajectory at the moment when the US’ unipolar hegemony is fading, thus risking a return to the Sino-US bi-multipolar system that characterized the pre-special operation era as those two negotiate a “new normal” for managing their relations. EAM Jaishankar warned at a separate event last week about the threat of “Great Power collaboration”, which he said is much worse than the “Great Power competition” that he championed last month vis-à-vis China.

He couldn’t come out and directly say it due to his status as India’s top diplomat, but this is certainly an allusion to the scenario of China and the US dividing the world into “spheres of influence”, which could be averted by accelerating tri-multipolarity processes of the sort explained in the preceding hyperlink. India’s role is indispensable to these processes since it was the rapid rise of this globally significant South Asian civilization-state over the past two years that broke the bi-multipolar system.

Nevertheless, this trend could still theoretically be offset if China remains the largest market of Russian resources as a whole by far since that could turbocharge China’s superpower trajectory to the detriment of everyone else per the Neo-Realist paradigm of International Relations. India can’t realistically consume the same level of resources as China can, but Japan and other Asian countries could make up the difference if they scale their imports from Russia, though this requires Tokyo lifting its sanctions.

EAM Jaishankar explained earlier in the month while speaking at an event with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that India envisages having the largest number of options available at all times in reference to why it purchases Russian oil, remarking that this policy deserves praise, not derision. Similarly, his latest remarks are aimed at replicating this policy with respect to Russia, which necessitates other major economies to following suit for the implied purpose of enhancing Moscow’s balancing act.

The failure to do so won’t lead to Russia becoming China’s “junior partner”, but it could turbocharge China’s superpower trajectory to the detriment of everyone else, especially those of its neighbors who are embroiled in fierce maritime disputes with the People’s Republic. The self-fulfilling prophecy of the Sino-Russo Entente caused by the West’s strategically counterproductive sanctions policy can only be managed by major economies bravely defying them in pursuit of the “greater (geopolitical) good”.

India is proudly leading the way in this respect and hopes that others will take EAM Jaishankar’s hint by emulating its pragmatic approach. The more resources that Russia sells to China due to an absence of interested partners brought about by US pressure, the faster that this will fuel China’s superpower rise, the outcome of which works against those same countries’ geopolitical interests. They haven’t yet realized it, but India is far ahead of the curve, and it knows how to most effectively decelerate this trend.

https://korybko.substack.com/p/indias-t ... lained-why

Little Andy has got a problem with China... Guess he's not a communist. And while US hegemony is to be abhorred the fans of multipolarity better be careful what they wish for. What I see developing, perhaps after a 'honeymoon' period, is a return to increasingly intense imperialist competition. But perhaps China will have something to say about that.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Mon Feb 26, 2024 4:26 pm

THE CASE OF THE NAVALNY CORPSE – CHERCHEZ LES FEMMES

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by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

Two women, Kira Yarmysh (lead image, left) and Maria Pevchikh (2nd left), made up the series of lies which in August 2020 claimed that Alexei Navalny had been poisoned with Novichok by a Russian state death squad – first in a cup of tea he drank at Tomsk Airport; then in a bottle of mineral water which he drank in his hotel room; and finally in the underpants he dressed himself with before the water, before the tea.

As each of these claims proved untrue on the public evidence, they and Navalny agreed to the release of medical data collected by the group of German doctors who treated Navalny after his admission to the Charité Clinic in Berlin on August 22, 2020. But neither data presented in the doctors’ publication in The Lancet of December 22, 2020, nor the doctors’ report itself proved that Navalny had been poisoned by Novichok. That conclusion came in press releases from the German military, and then from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

According to the Berlin doctors, “severe poisoning with a cholinesterase inhibitor was subsequently diagnosed. 2 weeks later, the German Government announced that a laboratory of the German armed forces designated by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had identified an organophosphorus nerve agent from the Novichok group in blood samples collected immediately after the patient’s admission to Charité, a finding that was subsequently confirmed by the OPCW.”

That’s a political advertisement, not a medical diagnosis – no doctor has signed his name to either, and no German military officer has signed his name to the first.

One day before The Lancet publication, on December 21, Navalny, Pevchikh and Yarmysh published their fabrication of the underpants story with the fake telephone call of an FSB agent, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, admitting to Navalny everything which had been disproved until that time. The combination of fabricated evidence of the murder weapon and then of the murderer’s accomplice was repeated in the documentary film which won the Oscar award for documentary films in March 2023.

Yarmysh was Navalny’s press spokesman in August 2020; she still is. Pevchikh was the script writer for Navalny and the channel to him from Anglo-American government agents, as well from Russian financiers in London like Yevgeny Chichvarkin, once the Evroset mobile telephone magnate.

If the two women had been telling the truth and Novichok had been in Navalny’s tea, water, or underpants, he would have been dead within minutes of contact. So too would Pevchikh who hand-carried the water bottle from Tomsk to Novosibirsk, then Omsk, and finally Berlin. Navalny’s blood, urine, skin, and hair, clinically tested and reported by the German doctors treating him at Charité Clinic, proved his collapse had been caused by a combination of drugs he had himself consumed.

The two women, and other members of Navalny’s family, including his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, (3rd left) 47, his mother Lyudmila Navalnaya (right), 69, and his daughter Daria, 23, have all refused to disclose any medical data on his prior medical conditions and the medicines he was taking before the August 2020 episode. Navalny himself gave permission to the Charité Clinic doctors in Berlin to publish their test results in The Lancet report, believing they would corroborate his story.

Following Navalny’s death on February 16, 2024, there has been no release of the medical data, nor the medicines Navalny was taking at the time of his death; the record of his vaccinations against Covid-19 which were given to him in Germany; his prior medical conditions; or the toxicology and pathology data collected in the post-mortem investigations following his death.

Russian law prohibits the release of this personal information without the permission of the senior next of kin and executor whom Navalny named in his will. He named his mother, Lyudmila. He did not name his wife, Yulia. His reason for doing that has begun to surface in Moscow. It marks infighting over the political succession to Navalny, and the money which the US has been providing to the Navalny organization.

That heirs fight over succession rights, assets and cash is commonplace. What has not yet been noticed in either the Russian or western press reporting is the document on which probate cases start the world over – the will of the deceased.

The first sign that an inheritance fight has begun is that while Lyudmila Navalnaya went to Kharp, where Navalny had been imprisoned, and Salekhard, where his body was taken for post-mortem testing, Yulia Navalnaya flew to California to meet President Joseph Biden. Between the two political corpses, a lot of money is at stake.

The Russian statute on burial, Federal Law (FZ) No. 8 of 1996, requires a signed will by the deceased to confer authority on a survivor to take custody of the body and arrange burial either in Russia or abroad, according to the terms of the will.

That Navalny, a lawyer by training, made such a provision in a will is certain, though the contents have not been released publicly.

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Source: https://cis-legislation.com/ See also: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/

More, Navalny designated his mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, to take charge because she, it was, who flew to the body to take charge, present the will and other documents required for presentation to the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), in order for them to deal with her. This also means that Navalny did not select his wife, Yulia Navalnaya – or that if he had named her in earlier wills, he had changed his will in favour of his mother before he went into prison isolation. Even there and in secret, Russian law provides that Navalny may have composed a last will which will be accepted in court.

The Russian law regulating wills, and how the FSIN must interpret it in the Navalny case, is the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Articles 1110-1159. Article 1117, titled “Unworthy Heirs”, creates the legal grounds which Lyudmila Navalnaya and Anatoly Navalny, mother and father, may go to court against their daughter-in-law if by “deliberate illegal actions aimed against the deceased or any of the deceased’s heirs or against the exercise of the deceased’s last intentions expressed in a will assisted or tried to assist in their being called upon to inherit or other persons’ being called upon to inherit or who tried to assist in increasing the share of the estate they or other persons are entitled to, if such circumstances have been proven in court.”

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Source: https://new.fips.ru/

The contents of Navalny’s last will need not have been disclosed to his wife, his children, his associates, or his organization’s lawyers. The secrecy of its contents is absolute in Russian law, according to Article 1123.

In Article 1129 the law also provides that “in a situation that obviously threatens his/her life and who, by the virtue of prevailing extraordinary circumstances, is deprived of an opportunity to create a will under the rules of Articles 1124 – 1128 of the present Code may make his/her last wishes as to the disposition of his/her property in a simple written form. A citizen’s last wishes set out in simple written form shall be deemed his/her will, if the testator has written a document in his/her own hand in the presence of two witnesses the content whereof evidences that it is a will.”

The powers of the executor over assets, money, and other inheritance are considerable under this law; if there had been an earlier inheritance contract between Navalny and Yulia, his wife, Lyudmila’s powers, being more recently attested, would cancel it.

Last week an audio tape, alleged to be Lyudmila Navalnaya making several criticisms of Yulia Navalnaya began to circulate. The tape appears to have been a fabrication out of fragments of Lyudmila’s voice from authentic videotapes she had made days earlier. Whether or not there has been a serious falling-out between Navalny and his wife has been speculated about before in the Russian social media; whether this has now turned into acrimony and legal argument over inheritance, including custody of Navalny’s body and the place and arrangements of his funeral, is unknown.

What is certain is that spokesman Yarmysh has acknowledged that as of Saturday evening last, there was no agreement among the family, heirs and organization, so “the funeral is still pending”.

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Source: https://twitter.com/Kira_Yarmysh/

Omitted from this Yarmysh statement, and also in the mother’s statements, is any repetition of earlier claims from the organization and from the wife that Navalny had been murdered, either by poison, beating, torture, or other methods ordered by the Kremlin. The evidence for these claims has vanished. The wife’s last claim, that President Vladimir Putin was “holding the body hostage, mocking his mother”, was a lie.

In fact, what was happening followed precisely the terms and deadlines of the law on burial and in the standard post-mortem practice for cases of death by natural causes and suspicious death, as these terms are used in Anglo-American coronial law. Again, click on FZ 8.

Chapter II, Article 7 sets a limit of time for release of the body from the morgue. “It is guaranteed: 1) the issuance of documents necessary for the burial of the deceased, within 24 hours from the moment of determining the cause of death; in cases where to establish the cause of death, there were grounds for placing the body of the deceased in the morgue, issuing the body of the deceased at the request of a spouse, close relatives, other relatives, legal a representative of the deceased or another person who has assumed the responsibility to carry out the burial of the deceased, may not be delayed for more than two days from the moment the cause of death is established.” When Yulia Navalnaya broadcast her lie, just one day had elapsed since Lyudmila confirmed she had been shown the official death certificate. On the next day, within the statutory time limit of two days, the body was officially released. However, Lyudmila Navalnaya has not made public the death certificate accompanying the body, nor the post-mortem report containing more details.

What details must be included in the report have been confirmed by a paper issued by the US Embassy’s current “Disposition of Remains Report” for Russia.

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Source: https://ru.usembassy.gov/

“In accordance with Russian law, an autopsy is required if criminal circumstances are suspected. Autopsies are performed only by state pathologists…Normally an autopsy must be performed in order to list a specific cause of death on the medical death record. An autopsy may be waived upon request of the next-of-kin if the police do not suspect a criminal cause of death. Russian authorities require a letter from the Embassy either relaying the relatives’ permission for or objection to an autopsy. Objection to an autopsy causes the Russian authorities involved to spend up to three additional days completing the necessary paperwork. The next-of-kin usually must wait two months to receive complete autopsy results.”

In other words, the handling of Navalny’s death and his corpse not only followed the federal law, but it was conducted according to the book – the US Embassy’s book.

Everything alleged by Yulia Navalnaya before and following her meeting with Biden is a lie. So was Biden’s brief statement to the press in which he repeated that Putin was “responsible” for Navalny’s death. This claim was not repeated in the official White House “read-out” of the San Francisco hotel meeting.


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Top source: https://www.youtube.com/
Below: source: https://www.youtube.com/

Speaking for the Ukrainian government and secret services, Kirill Budanov, head of military intelligence service (GUR) in Kiev, announced on February 25: “I may disappoint you, but what we know is that he really died from a blood clot. And this is more or less confirmed. It's not taken from the internet, but unfortunately it's a natural [death]." A Budanov statement of the truth is exceptional; it was intended as a political strike against the White House.

After broadcasting Navalnaya’s claims that Navalny had been murdered on Putin’s orders, the BBC has deleted its report.
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In its February 22-24 publications, the BBC reported that “Yulia Navalnaya has claimed [URL link] that he was killed on the orders of Mr Putin”. However, the link no longer works -- the state propaganda platform has deleted all prior publications, including the Wayback Machine archive.

Since the Navalnyites, including the mother, have accused state officials of “torturing” Navalny (meaning autopsy), and threatening to let his body “rot” (meaning not embalm the corpse), the US Embassy report and advice to US citizens in Russia explains otherwise: “Embalming: There are no requirements for embalming if the remains will be buried locally. Embalming facilities exist in large cities in the consular district. Preparation and air shipment of remains is carried out in accordance with the laws and facilities available in Russia, and, in most cases, the services fall short of those expected in the United States.”

In other words, embalming cannot be done before completion of the autopsy, toxicology, and other post-mortem investigations have been completed. After that, and after the issuance of the death certificate and release of the body, the decision on embalming is up to Navalny’s mother as his executor. This in turn depends on the funeral arrangements and the cemetery location which she must also decide.

According to her, in a videotape recording she made and the BBC authenticated on February 21, she read out the script of an appeal to Putin. The BBC report said: “The family have been told his body will not be released for two weeks. His mother was informed it was being held for ‘chemical analysis’, a representative for Navalny said. There has been no confirmation of the whereabouts of the body from Russian authorities, while efforts to locate it have been repeatedly shut down.Yulia Navalnaya has alleged her husband’s body was being kept until traces of poisoning by the nerve agent Novichok had disappeared.”

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Source: https://www.bbc.com/

By British coronial court standards, the time required for post-mortem pathology and toxicology, especially when unusual poisons are suspected, can take several months; in the case of Dawn Sturgess, allegedly killed by Novichok in mid-2018, two state post-mortems were carried out, and the final cause of death report delayed for four months. Release of the body to the family for funeral arrangements took 22 days.

By the homicidal poisoning standard which Navalny alive, and his heirs after his death, have set for the western media to repeat, the Russian post-mortem investigation of the cause of death, and the release of the body for funeral, have taken just seven days; this is one-third of the time which the British state organs took in the Sturgess case. The death certificate in her case remains a state secret; details were inadvertently leaked during an inquest hearing after a delay of three years.

Lyudmila Navalnaya has now acknowledged that she has “seen” the death certificate on February 21 There are also reports that on the next day, February 22, after spending “almost a day alone with [state] investigators and criminologists”, she signed to receive the death certificate; along with that there were other documents required for her to contact undertaker, church, cemetery, and make flight arrangements if the body is to be flown from Salekhard to another location in Russia for burial. It is not yet clear if she has also been given a copy of the post-mortem papers, including the autopsy findings; blood and urine toxicology; and the scan or other images showing blood pooling (haemorrhage) and vessel damage in the heart, brain, and lungs.

For reasons of her own, Lyudmila Navalnaya is not revealing the evidence of cause of death she knows, and is no longer disputing — not only the official certification of cause of death, but also the scan and other organ images which leave no doubt – except for Yulia Navalnaya and President Biden.

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Fatal embolism haemorrhage in heart, lung, brain: left to right: https://www.shutterstock.com and https://www.mayoclinic.org/ and https://my.clevelandclinic.org/

As for the reporting of bruising, torture, convulsions, and other allegations of cause of death injuries, published by Russian opposition media abroad, these have turned out to be evidence of standard resuscitation methods, which were attempted by ambulance medics over thirty minutes, but which failed. For the British standard of evidence on bruising in post-mortem analysis, read this. ttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1731416/

Salekhard district hospital – Salekhard is a city of almost half a million people.
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Salekhard morgue.
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IK-3 “Polar Wolf” prison at Kharp, 55 kilometres northwest of Salekhard city.
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Salekhard, on the Ob River, is about 2,000 kms northeast of Moscow.
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In other words, in a provincial medical centre at the Arctic Circle, Lyudmila Navalnaya has accepted the evidence of the cause of Navalny’s death which Biden, Yulia Navalnaya and the Anglo-American propaganda organs refuse to accept, repeating allegations they know to be false.

In the Russian media, there are allegations in circulation which suggest motives on Yulia Navalnaya’s part which may not be shared by the other women in the Navalny organization. Money is the first of them.

An audiotape, fabricated for 90 seconds from segments of Lyudmila’s voice in authentic recordings, has alleged that the mother has accused the daughter-in-law of failing to visit Navalny in prison for two years; of failing to have conjugal and marital relations with him for three years; of arranging for Navalny’s assets to be transferred to her name; and of causing an inheritance conflict between Navalny’s teenage son Zakhar and older daughter Daria.

Russian media investigations have established that the tape is a fake; that it was launched on several Telegram channels on February 22, and then went viral in the local social media.
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This is the main investigation of the tape substantiating it was faked, published on February 23 -- 24 hours after the tape began to circulate.

However, the substance of the particular allegations may be verifiably true. “It is possible that this correspondence, albeit a fake communication, will grow into a real and public one,” an editorial writer has reported in Tsargrad. “Lyudmila Navalnaya’s alleged appeal to her daughter-in-law has been viral on the web. After a couple of hours, it became clear that it was not genuine. Nevertheless, many people believed it. The reason is simple – it lists facts which Navalny’s widow herself has nothing to refute.” The headline of the Tsargrad story is: “The appeal of Navalny’s mother to Yulia Navalnaya is fake. It didn’t become true for only one reason.” Illustrating the text, Tsargrad has published pictures of the family and of Yulia Navalnaya with the London exile and Evroset billionaire, Yevgeny Chichvarkin. Chichvarkin’s role as a financier of the Navalny operations is well-known; so was his visit to Navalny in Germany, when Chichvarkin was accompanied by his partner.

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Left to right: Yevgeny Chichvarkin with partner; Yulia and Alexei Navalny. Source: https://www.instagram.com/

For more on the visit to Germany, read this. For Chichvarkin’s role as a London financier for Navalny, together with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Ashurkov, click.

So far, the public relations roles played in the Navalny organization by the four women have obscured the two males in the family – the father, Anatoly Navalny, 77, a retired Soviet Navy officer and small businessman; and son, Zakhar, 16. No statement has been recorded from either of them since Navalny’s death.

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Left, father, Anatoly Navalny; right, son, Zakhar Navalny.

Now that Lyudmila Navalnaya appears to have accepted the first or proximate cause of death to have been an embolism striking the heart, this leaves undisclosed by the Navalny family what the second, intervening or contributory cause of death was; this includes biochemical factors, including prescription drugs in lethal combination or the Pfizer mRNA anti-Covid vaccinations Navalny received in Germany, before his return to Russia.

If there is now a fight over the inheritance between the family members and members of the organization, it isn’t likely that those secrets will leak into the Russian press unless the inheritance fight goes to court.

A well-connected Moscow political source speculates that because of his lithium and benzodiazepine drug habit, “Navalny was told in Berlin that [if he continued] he should expect a repeat of his episode and that next time it might be terminal. Then came the Covid vaccination factor. My belief is that he came to Russia knowing he might die, and that the succession was planned. This does not mean Alexei and Yulia knew when he was going to die or have an episode. Obviously if there had been another episode and he survived, there would have been more political mileage and international pressure to release him from prison. But this time it didn’t work.”

https://johnhelmer.net/the-case-of-the- ... more-89447

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GORDON HAHN: THE CARLSON-PUTIN INTERVIEW: PUTIN’S FAILED BUT VERY RUSSIAN HISTORY LESSON
FEBRUARY 25, 2024 LEAVE A COMMENT
By Gordon M. Hahn, Landmarks, 2/19/24

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin was a tour de force of both journalism and political communication, with a few caveats. Here I will address the issue of Putin’s long historical preamble to Carlson’s first question as to why he chose to invade Ukraine precisely on February 24, 2024, escalating the Ukrainian civil war to a NATO-Russia Ukrainian War.

This was not one of Putin’s communication successes during the interview. Many Americans were perplexed, consternated, and/or irritated by Putin’s long introductory exegesis on Russian history in response to a question regarding the reasons he chose to invade Ukraine when he did. But Putin did not do this to filibuster or avoid answering the question. He gave us a review of more than a thousand years of mostly Russian but also Ukrainian history and relations between Russia and the West for several very Russian reasons.

First, in that part of the world and particularly in Russia, history is the root of all existence: past, present, and future. The past explains the present and may foretell the future. History is sacred, not just because it is powerful but because, for many Russians, it has a larger, even religious meaning. Many Russians’ interpretation or view of history is defined directly or indirectly by the teleology of Orthodox Christian eschatology regarding the second coming of Christ and the advent of the Kingdom at the end of time. History is a phenomenon often guided by God and with a meaning defined by God’s world-historical project.

None of the above means that all Russians, or even all those Russians who have an Orthodox view of the meaning of Russian and/or world history, apply an Orthodox Christian model to their views on various historical or contemporary issues. On the other hand, this kind of thinking influences the culture and thus even the thinking of Russian non-believers and even atheists. For example, Soviet communists developed a proletarian model of a coming communist utopia that replaced the Orthodox utopian vision of their forebears.

Second, the teleological approach to history and Russian history—that they have meaning and even a predetermined outcome of one kind or another—conveys to Russians’ vision of world and/or Russian history as being integral or whole. Russians prefer and in good part aspire to the unity of their history, and this follows from their habit of viewing history as having a single meaning, goal, or outcome, whether under or aside from God. The single, predetermined end unites the historical process. As I have written elsewhere, Putin himself has called for preserving the unity of Russian history by respecting all its different periods as a single history that belongs to each and every Russian.

I wrote in my book Russian Tselostnost’: Wholeness in Russian Culture Thought, History, and Politics that Russians have a general tendency to aspire to, or to assume, the existence of wholeness or the condition of wholeness (tselostnost’ in Russian). Russian tselostnost’ includes monist tselostnost’ or simply monism (a unity between God and Man, the Divine and the material, spirit and matter), universalism (the wholeness of the world or parts of the world), communalism (social unity), and solidarism (political, national, and identity wholeness). Across Russian history, numerous Russian writers, theologians, philosophers, political, religious, and opinion leaders have articulated these five (historical, monist, universalist, communalist, and solidarist) kinds of wholeness in their work.

The desire for historical wholeness has particular resonance in the Russian mind when considering Ukraine, or, more precisely, Kiev. As Putin emphasized in his opening monologue to Tucker Carlson, the Russian state and Russian Orthodox Church were founded in Kiev. He reviewed the continuity between Kievan Rus and Muscovite, then Imperial Russia, and the interconnections between Russia and Ukraine across history, up through the Soviet period into today’s post-Soviet Russia. Thus, if one takes Kiev and thus Ukraine as well out of Russia and its history, then this leaves shattered: the integrality of Russian history and of the Russian state (having implications for political solidarist tselostnost’ and identity), as well as the integrality of the Russian Church (having implications for Russian monist tselostnost’). But Russians would deny this is possible: all these form a single whole.

With regard to Ukraine, historical tselostnost’ is intertwined with universalist and solidarist tselostnost’. Universalism presumes and might logically be preceded by smaller, narrower unifications. Semi-universalisms popular among Russians are pan-Eurasianism, pan-Orthodoxy, and pan-Slavism. Many Russians are enamored by the idea of, and support the unity of, the eastern Slavic peoples: the Great Russians (Rusians), the Little Russians (Ukrainians), and the White Russians (Belorussians). In this view, this ‘triune’ of peoples forms a united Russian nation with overlapping cultures, languages, and familial ties, as Putin himself has argued. If the Russian triune is a single nation, formed albeit by a trinity or troika of essentially Russian nationalities, then Russian solidarism, which is the most politically relevant of the Russian tselostnosts, would lend Russians a preference for some form of at least minimal ‘national’ political and ontological (identity) unity. In these ways, with regard to Ukraine, historical tselostnost—historicism, if you will—is closely tied to and supports the values of universalism, solidarism, and corresponding popular feelings.

None of this means necessarily that any particular Russian or even a majority of Russians requires that Ukraine or Kiev remain part of territorial Russia of the Russian state. However, it does mean that Ukraine’s and Kiev’s turn against Russia, so encouraged and cultivated by the West, is a blow to Russian national identity. Many Russians would be quite happy if Ukraine were to join the Russia-Belarus Union, strengthening the interconnectedness of the Russian triune. In lieu of all this, Kiev’s turn against Russia by seeking NATO membership and attacking ethnic Russians, and more recently, the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, is a harsh blow to Russian honor, an aspect of international relations that has been unduly ignored, as Andrei Tsygankov has pointed out.

All the above does not by itself explain why Putin decided to invade Ukraine on February 22, 2024. The main cause of that decision was national security: the threat posed by the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, being armed by NATO, and then, in our post-2014 world, attempting to seize back Crimea and the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, turning Ukraine, in particular Kiev and historically Russian and Russian-populated eastern Ukrainian lands, against Russia added insult to injury, perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back, bringing Putin’s invasion earlier than it might have come otherwise as NATO expansion continued. Thus, Putin’s history lesson was intended to explain why, beyond security, Ukraine is such a sensitive issue for Russia. Ukraine’s break with Russia and movement toward the West is an offense to Russian honor and sense of wholeness, adding insult to injury, as it were. For the same reason, Putin mentioned twice that a large portion of Russian families have Ukrainian roots, relatives, and other ties.

What is regrettable and disappointing is that Putin’s historical discourse will have little to no influence on average Americans, who have a very limited interest in history, even their own history, much less that of a distant people or at least that of a political figure whom they have been trained to be suspicious of, if not to despise. Russians live in the past and future. For the present, Americans live in the present.

https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2024/02/gor ... ry-lesson/

Hahn's anti-communism naturally leads him to over value the ROC. That church has been riding high since the dissolution of the USSR and subsequent harsh 1990s in Russia though I suspect some of the numbers I've seen on church attendance/affiliation, which are about opposite of those seen in the USSR. The ROC, like it's Byzantine predecessor, is joined to the hip of any state power that will have it and the Putin government no doubt has used it to diminish the good memories and attachments to the communist government. That is, until the current hostilities, when the necessity of rallying the people to the government forced them to not offend the people's sensibilities and furthermore that more and more Soviet methods have proved correct and one by one, however reluctantly, are the revived.

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Pashinyan’s Latest Anti-Russian Statements Shows That Armenia Became a NATO Proxy

Lucas Leiroz

February 25, 2024

Since the 2018 color revolution, Armenian has become a NATO ally against Russia in the Caucasus.

Diplomatic tensions between Russia and Armenia continue to increase. In a recent statement, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed anti-Russian views, condemning Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine. These divergences are a direct result of the pro-Western mentality adopted in Yerevan since the 2018 color revolution, severely affecting the historic ties between both countries.

On February 11, Pashinyan made a statement condemning Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine during a security conference in Munich. According to him, Armenia “is not an ally of Russia against Ukraine,” emphasizing that the country shares the West’s pro-Kiev stance. Pashinyan also said that Armenia “can no longer rely on Russia” to protect it militarily, resuming the biased narrative that blames Moscow for the escalation in tensions with Azerbaijan.

In response, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that both countries “have diametrically opposed points of view regarding what is happening in Ukraine and regarding the conflict.” He also stated that, despite any divergent opinions on the part of Armenia or other countries, Russia will continue to defend its legitimate interests on the Ukrainian issue.

This exchange of statements between Armenian and Russian officials makes it clear that the diplomatic crisis between both countries continues to worsen. The Armenian government is not willing to seek to improve relations with Moscow, appearing resolute in consolidating the pro-Western turn that Yerevan has been taking in recent years. In practice, the consequences of this worsening of bilateral relations could be catastrophic for Armenia, as the country will lose an important strategic ally.

All of this is a consequence of the 2018 so-called “Armenian Revolution”, which was a Western-sponsored regime change operation to strengthen the anti-Russian sectors of Armenian political society and deteriorate the relations between Yerevan and Moscow. The revolution made if feasible for Nikol Pashinyan to come to power, launching a campaign of rapprochement with the U.S. and the EU – especially France. The results of this geopolitical orientation can be seen in the conflicts that have occurred since then: in 2020, Armenia lost a war against Azerbaijan and in 2023 the separatist region of Artsakh (called Nagorno-Karabakh by the Azeris) was captured by Baku, extinguishing Armenian-majority autonomous republic.

Ties with the West have not brought any guarantee of security to Armenia, which is natural since NATO has no interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Caucasus. For Western powers, the more chaos in the Russian strategic environment, the better, as this prevents Moscow from stabilizing itself as a regional leader in the post-Soviet space. It is interesting for the West to foment wars, terrorism, economic crisis and political instability in countries close to Russia, which is why the rapprochement with the U.S. and EU is a true “strategic suicide” for Armenia.

The negative aspect of this pro-Western strategy can be seen in the fact that Yerevan was induced by its “partners” to recognize Artsakh as a territory of Azerbaijan in the so-called “Prague Accords“. Yerevan was deceived by its supposed “allies” and convinced to give up its interest of protecting the Armenian people in Artsakh, which is why the country had to keep inert when Baku launched its 2023 offensive.

Armenian ultranationalists, who have been strongly encouraged by the government since 2018, try to blame Russia for the Azerbaijani advance. It is claimed by them that Russian troops in Artsakh were supposed to prevent the offensive, which is absolutely illogical. Moscow maintains a peacekeeping mission in the region and is not authorized to fight either side. There is no Russian responsibility for the crimes committed by Azerbaijan – however, there is undoubtedly Armenian responsibility, as Yerevan tacitly consented to anti-Armenian ethnic cleansing by signing the Prague Protocols.

It is possible to say that Armenia is going through a time of successive humiliations. Military defeats and the end of the Republic of Artsakh were extremely negative milestones in the country’s history, the consequences of which will not be reversed anytime soon. If the local government were really interested in improving this scenario, it would stop trying to dialogue with the powers that foment chaos in the Caucasus and would seek cooperation with Moscow to create regional security mechanisms within the scope of the CSTO. But this is definitely not Pashinyan and his team’s plan.

Indeed, Pashinyan’s words in his latest speech show that, despite the recent humiliations suffered by his country, he remains unwilling to dialogue with Moscow to improve regional security. He will continue trying to create a strategic alliance with the West, ignoring the fact that Western countries want the perpetuation of the conflict in the Caucasus. In other words, Pashinyan is willingly seeking the worst for his country and its people.

https://strategic-culture.su/news/2024/ ... ato-proxy/

*****

Medvedev In Famous Recent Interview...

... people asked where they can find it. Here is a critical part of it in English.



http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2024/02 ... rview.html

******

We have frozen no less
February 26, 11:11

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Siluanov said that a comparable number of Western assets are frozen in Russia, which could be confiscated if an attempt is made to steal frozen parts of Russian gold and foreign currency reserves.

Any actions with Russian assets abroad will receive a symmetrical response; in Russia no less is frozen, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

““This is not a question for us, we are following the decisions of Western countries . We have frozen no less. Any actions with our assets will receive a symmetrical response ,” Siluanov said, answering a question about the possible fate of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves frozen abroad.

Unfriendly countries have been imposing sanctions against Russia since February 2022; as a result, both sovereign assets and funds of private investors have been frozen. The country's foreign exchange reserves were frozen in the amount of about $300 billion. Almost immediately, talk began about the confiscation of these assets by foreign countries for various purposes. In October 2022, EU leaders instructed the European Commission to prepare proposals for using frozen assets to finance the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The Kremlin stated that making such decisions “would be another step in violating all the rules and norms of international law.” The Russian Foreign Ministry called the freezing of Russian assets in Europe theft, noting that the EU is targeting not just the funds of private individuals, but also the state assets of Russia.
According to Siluanov, other countries are already drawing their own conclusions from this story.
“The Chinese are reducing their participation in American securities - this is a consequence of what is happening. The reliability of the dollar and euro has been undermined,” he said.


https://ria.ru/20240226/otvet-1929457010.html - zinc

It’s good if so.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8989559.html

Putin and Dota 2
February 25, 19:18

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Putin and Dota 2

After the opening ceremony of the Games of the Future tournament, Russian President Vladimir Putin got acquainted with the game Dota 2. On

February 21 in Kazan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko told Vladimir Vladimirovich and the heads of six states who arrived at the beginning of the tournament about the computer game Dota 2. So the presidents of the Russian Federation , Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Republika Srpska learned that Dota 2 is a popular (the final of the Dota World Championship was watched by more viewers than the Olympic Games in Tokyo) strategic computer discipline in which you need to conquer the enemy field. Chernyshenko also said that - sit down on the nearest generator and grab tightly to Chernyshevsky’s book “What to do?” - this game is more complicated than chess, because in chess there are only six pieces, and in Dota there are 121 pieces, all with different roles and completely unpredictable.

Is it that the era of “Doki 2” is gone? Now computer games will not be blamed for all sins in any incomprehensible situation? I would like to believe. But we don’t really hope so, remembering how recently the “Organization for the Development of the Video Game Industry” appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office with a demand to check the “Moscow Department of Transport” map in the game Counter-Strike 2, arguing that in the conditions of “an increased terrorist threat, it is unacceptable to broadcast for young people content that allows you to take on the role of a terrorist.”


https://vk.com/journal_joj - zinc

As for “Contra”, they woke up interestingly. 20 years later.
As for chess being more difficult, the statement is of course dubious. More popular - yes. More difficult - no.
Putin clearly cares about “Contra” and “Dota”, but from the point of view of the development of the domestic gaming industry (the departed Western one still needs to be replaced), this issue cannot be done without state support.

PS. There should have been a 300 joke about motorcycles and generators.
PS2. I played Dota 2 and didn't like it at all. I played a little Contra in the 2000s; I still saw the time when you could go to computer clubs with friends. But I gave up pretty quickly, although I have a couple of acquaintances who are extras in cybersports.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8988927.html

What could be more Western than computer games? It is understandable that Putin wants to boost the Russian economy and control the content. I find the whole 'Russian civilization'/ wholesale rejection of the West to be mostly opportunistic propaganda which will evaporate in the middle term.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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blindpig
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Re: Russia today

Post by blindpig » Tue Feb 27, 2024 3:57 pm

The first grin of Russian "democracy"
February 27, 12:21

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The first grin of Russian "democracy"

In a recent publication, “Death in Labytnangi from different points of view” https://mustoi.ru/smert-v-labytnangi-s- ... k-zreniya/ , it was explained why one of the problems of many commentators on the Internet is the impossibility of somehow -understand the point of view of the other side or at least comprehend it. Probably one of the reasons for this is the lack of knowledge, especially about our recent history. Namely, today there is a reason to recall an event that happened just 32 years ago.

So, February 23, 1992. Complete freedom and democracy came a few months ago. In power are liberal democrats, winners of Soviet totalitarianism, bearers of European values. On this day, several tens of thousands of people gathered for a mass demonstration in the capital. People came out to protest against the economic reforms of the Yeltsin government, which pushed most Russians to the brink of poverty. Many were disappointed by the transformations initiated by the new government.

Retired military men walked side by side with the youth; there were many participants in the Great Patriotic War who wanted to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on this holiday. There were still a lot of them then...

However, on Mayakovsky Square their path was blocked by KamAZ trucks, which had been driven to the center of Moscow in advance. People were not allowed near the Kremlin. Democratic riot police met people with batons and water cannons. Apparently, President Yeltsin and the then Moscow mayor Popov, the idol of the liberal intelligentsia, decided to act extremely cruelly in order to discourage people from taking to the streets. The author of the Moscow Literary magazine Svetlana Gladysh wrote:

“On February 23, 1992, veterans of the Great Patriotic War went to bow to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier... The old people who have survived to this day still remember this day with horror and, I hope, with shame and consciousness of sin, the young punishers who raised clubs on those who keep them alive. My friend’s father was beaten until he lost consciousness by two strong guys and they tore out the Order of the Red Banner and the medal for the liberation of Budapest: “You, grandfather, are red-brown scum.”

What was the reaction of that community, the remaining representatives of which are now sighing for the “saints of the 90s”? The “democratic” press covered the beating of veterans with mockery and joy, reporting on the prevention of an attempt at “communist revenge”; the liberal intelligentsia unanimously applauded the then government. You will be surprised, but for some reason Western governments and the Western press did not show concern either...

By the way, in Soviet times the police did not carry batons and during perestroika no one beat demonstrators in Moscow. But as soon as the then liberals came to power, the riot police received a direct order to beat people. Later, this practice continued: blocking traffic, setting up employees with shields and batons, and beating everyone. Then there was a bloody massacre on May 1, 1993, and it all ended in the bloody October 1993. And massive fraud in the 1996 elections.

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May 1, 1993. Archive photos

It’s strange, but after everything that happened, people with bright faces, most of whom now turn out to be foreign agents, are sincerely surprised why most people don’t believe them at all. Why don’t they believe their words about freedom, fair elections and the beautiful Russia of the future? Why don’t they sympathize when they are now being beaten with batons or imprisoned? And why millions of people, without any particular illusions about the current government, would never and would never want the current liberal opposition to return to power. But this is also why...

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(c) Alexander Stepanov

https://mustoi.ru/pervyj-oskal-rossijskoj-demokratii/ - zinc

Yes, the late Vladimir Bushin wrote about this attitude. So modern liberals should not be surprised at all by the people’s attitude towards them. The people remember everything and have not forgotten anything. And not only about democratic batons.

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/8992364.html

Google Translator

******

NAVALNY ORGANIZATION SPLITS INTO WHITES AND REDS AS LIES MULTIPLY

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by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

Alexei Navalny’s organization outside Russia is now repudiating Lyudmila Navalnaya, Navalny’s mother, for having accepted the medical evidence and official certification that the cause of his death was an embolism, or blood clot, which stopped his heart.

On Monday, several days after the release of the post-mortem documents and of Navalny’s body to his mother’s custody, Maria Pevchikh, Navalny’s script writer, and Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary, have repeated their allegations that Navalny had been murdered. In their revised version of the story on Monday, Pevchikh claimed in a self-produced video that “on February 16, 2024, Vladimir Putin killed Alexei Navalny”.

Reuters, the New York-based news agency, reported Pevchikh’s claim, adding that “Maria Pevchikh, who is based outside Russia, did not present documentary evidence for her assertion.” The New York Times amplified Pevchikh’s allegations, but omitted the Reuters qualifier. The newspaper did not report attempting to make contact with Lyudmila Navalnaya but added this innuendo: “it remained unclear whether his family would seek to conduct an independent autopsy before his burial.”

“Alexei Navalny could be sitting in this seat right now, right today,” Pevchikh broadcast. “That’s not a figure of speech, it could and should have happened…Navalny was supposed to be free in the coming days.” Pevchikh then recited details of a purported exchange of Russian spies in prison outside Russia in exchange for Navalny and Americans in Russian prisons.

The NATO-funded Bellingcat organization was involved, Pevchikh said. “Investigator Hristo Grozev helped us devise and implement this plan.” Negotiations took place with American and German officials, she said, but “they did nothing.” She then said: “Roman Abramovich was the one who delivered the proposal to swap Navalny to Putin. As an informal negotiator communicating with American and European officials, and at the same time representing Putin; an unofficial channel of communication with the Kremlin.” Pevchikh claims she asked Abramovich for details of what had been told to Putin and what the president replied. “Unfortunately”, Pevchikh said, “Abramovich did not answer these questions but he did not deny anything either.”

Yarmysh followed Pevchikh with a 3-line tweet: “We know why Alexei was killed right now. He should have been exchanged literally these days. An offer was made to Putin.”

The evidence of prisoner swaps between the US, Germany, and Russia is no news and corroborated officially, although the identities of the swap candidates keep changing, as do the names of the reported go-betweens. Abramovich’s role as the intermediary in the abortive Istanbul negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials of March 2022 has not been followed with any report of subsequent intermediation by Abramovich, except to save himself from sanctions.

All that is missing from the new Pevchikh-Yarmysh announcements is the medical evidence of the cause of Navalny’s death. That is being closely held by Navalny’s mother, and she is in charge of the arrangements for his funeral.

In her latest tweet, Yarmysh implies this too is no longer under the outside organization’s control, as it proposes an alternative, parallel ceremony. “We are looking for a hall for a public farewell to Alexei,” Yarmysh said yesterday. “Time: end of this work week. If you have suitable premises, please contact us.”

Pevchikh is based in London; Yarmysh left Russia in 2021 and is also abroad. They are the Whites now. The Reds, Navalny’s mother and Anatoly Navalny, his father, remain in Moscow. The Reds are holding the evidence that Navalny was not murdered and that everything the Whites are saying is false.

The 7-minute Pevchikh video applies the method of repeating the lie several times over with the juxtaposition of unrelated evidence to create the appearance of veracity.

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqevNxQ2T8Y

Pevchikh’s video appeared early on Monday afternoon, Moscow time. At the same time, Yarmysh issued a tweet – her first since acknowledging two days earlier that Navalny’s body had been transferred, together with the medical documents, to his mother. Yarmysh’s new release provided the link to Pevchikh’s video.

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Source: https://twitter.com/

An hour and a half later Yarmysh broadcast an appeal for an alternative to his funeral and burial.

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Source: https://twitter.com

Christo Grozev has been a member of the Bellingcat organisation in several of its formations and financings since 2015. His byline has not appeared on the Bellingcat website since 2022. Follow the archive on Bellingcat here.

Grozev has been a close collaborator with the Navalny organization and with Yulia Navalnaya since Navalny’s time in Germany from August 22, 2020, to January 17, 2021; and then during the production of the documentary film which was first announced on January 13, 2021, and premiered on January 25, 2022. Follow the story of the film here.

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Source: https://johnhelmer.net/

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Left, Christo Grozev (foreground left) in the recording studio preparing for Navalny’s fabricated telephone call in which an FSB agent admitted to the Novichok-in-underpants plot, December 2020. Right: Grozev with Yulia Navalnaya and Maria Pevchikh at the New York City screening of the Navalny documentary film, April 6, 2022.

Grozev has been publishing a Twitter stream since 2010, reporting himself as a journalist with the Bellingcat website.


Last week, on February 20, Grozev claimed in an interview with Meduza, which is published in Latvia, that he was pursuing evidence to support his theory of poisoning as the cause of Navalny’s death. There has been no response from Grozev on Twitter or other media since Navalnaya received the body and the medical documents.

https://johnhelmer.net/navalny-organiza ... more-89469

*******

Aleksei Navalny’s death and the war drive against Russia
February 24, 2024 Stephen Millies


Why has the big business media given so much coverage to the death of Aleksei Navalny? The New York Times ran at least 56 articles about the Russian political figure since he died in a Siberian prison on Feb. 16.

Nobody should die in jail. Prisons shouldn’t be dangerous, and inmates who are ill should be taken to a hospital.

Socialists look forward to building a future society where there are no prisons.

U.S. prisons are particularly dangerous. Just last year, 10 prisoners died in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail. One of those who died, 34-year-old Samuel Lawrence, complained that he had been beaten.

It’s the United States — not the Russian Federation or the People’s Republic of China — that’s the world’s greatest jailer. Over two million people are locked up across the U.S. Almost all are poor.

It was a lack of medical care that caused Henry Winston to become blind while incarcerated in the Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S. Penitentiary in 1958. The Black communist leader had been jailed for his political beliefs using a thought control law called the Smith Act.

Political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is being denied adequate medical care in a Pennsylvania prison. Earlier, Abu-Jamal and other inmates had been denied treatment for hepatitis, a liver disease.

The real reason for the media uproar about Aleksei Navalny’s death is the proxy war against the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The halo of martyrdom placed upon Navalny is being used to get Congress to approve another $61.7 billion of arms to prolong this bloody conflict.

President Biden is bragging about how much of this money will go to war profiteers like General Dynamics. The production of 155-millimeter artillery shells is set to increase six times over three years.

Providing billions more for the war in Ukraine is just as obscene as the $14 billion that Genocide Joe wants to give to the Zionist regime, which has killed 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza. All of this money is stolen from poor and working people.

Who was Navalny?

Forty-seven years old when he died, Navalny was an unsuccessful capitalist politician who became a favorite of the U.S. and Western European capitalist powers.

Navalny appealed to racists by attacking migrants. He demonstrated alongside fascists in the annual “Russia March” demonstrations. Doesn’t that sound like Donald Trump?

The Russian Federation is a multinational state with millions of people from other ethnic backgrounds. Never forget that 27 million Soviet people from nearly 200 nationalities died defeating Hitler.

Eighty percent of the Nazi war machine’s casualties occurred fighting the Soviets on the Eastern Front. Unlike the U.S. armed forces, which under Jim Crow laws even had a segregated blood supply, all the Soviet nationalities fought side by side in the Red Army against the fascists.

Many Russians take pride in that. Recognizing the sacrifices of other nationalities doesn’t diminish the heroism of the Russian people.

Over 2,000 Ukrainians were awarded the socialist country’s highest military honor, Hero of the Soviet Union. The present Ukrainian regime has demolished thousands of monuments commemorating anti-fascists.

Nazis murdered more than a quarter of the population in Belarus, which was occupied for three years. Partisans there played a vital role behind enemy lines, blowing up railway tracks and attacking enemy forces.

Although the Nazis didn’t occupy the Uzbek Soviet Republic, 420,000 Uzbeks died fighting them. Uzbeks are among the peoples from the former Central Asian Soviet republics that Navalny wanted to round up and kick out.

The unity achieved in defeating the Nazis can be seen in the backgrounds of Soviet leaders. Riding on horses together in Moscow’s Red Square at the 1945 Victory Parade were Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who was Russian, and Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky, who was Polish.

Gen. Ivan Chernyakhovsky, the youngest general appointed to lead an entire front, was Jewish. And the Commander-in-Chief was the son of a shoemaker from Georgia.

Navalny spat on this history. He issued a video portraying himself as a dentist and compared migrants from other former Soviet republics to cavities, calling for their deportation. Navalny claimed that in order to prevent the rise of fascism, fascist round-ups of migrants had to be carried out.

A tragic defeat for all workers

The overthrow of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a bigger and more dangerous defeat for humanity than Hitler coming to power by smashing the German working class. Like the bloody overthrow of Reconstruction in the United States, which guaranteed hell for Black people, the demise of the Soviet Union had terrible results.

Living standards fell as production plummeted. Millions became jobless as socialist economic planning was abandoned. Even the death rate dramatically increased.

The Soviet Union itself was broken up as ethnic hostilities increased. This break-up was imposed despite the overwhelming vote in a March 17, 1991, referendum to preserve the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Seventy percent of people in Ukraine voted to keep the USSR.

Industries built over a dozen five-year plans were practically given away to a new class of big thieves known as oligarchs. U.S. and European capitalists hate Belarus because it’s the only former Soviet republic that didn’t conduct these fire sales of socialist property.

Navalny never attacked this criminal privatization and didn’t call for a redistribution of wealth to benefit the working class.

Instead, he appealed to smaller shareholders and wannabe capitalists. Navalny’s attacks on governmental corruption ignored the immense loot stolen by the new billionaire class as well as foreign thieves like ExxonMobil.

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U.S. stooges

What sealed the capitalist counterrevolution was Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s Oct. 4, 1993, military assault on the Russian Parliament. President Bill Clinton and the corporate media were cheerleaders for this massacre in which hundreds were killed.

Three years later the U.S. Government got their stooge Yeltsin reelected in 1996. A Time magazine cover chortled: “Yanks to the rescue. The secret story of how American advisors helped Yeltsin win.”

Just as Yeltsin got rid of a troublesome parliament, Ukraine’s elected government was overthrown with Washington’s support during the orchestrated “Euromaidan” revolt in 2013 and 2014. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland admitted to CNN that the U.S. spent $5 billion on the takeover.

Trump supporters were seeking similar results to what occurred in Moscow and Kiev when they were allowed to attack the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Ukrainian fascists secured their victory by burning down Odessa’s House of Trade Unions in May 2014 and murdering at least 48 people there. It was in reaction to this fascist coup that workers in Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine set up their own governments.

The Russian Federation intervened in 2022 to protect Eastern Ukraine from an impending invasion orchestrated by the U.S. and NATO. To the Pentagon, the Russian Federation’s 6.4 million square miles of territory needs to be occupied.

Working and poor people shouldn’t be fooled into supporting the NATO war in Ukraine. Like Boris Yeltsin, Aleksei Navalny was another stooge of U.S. big business.

https://www.struggle-la-lucha.org/2024/ ... st-russia/

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Putin’s Reasons

Eduardo Vasco

February 27, 2024

The “Global South” countries have been uniting against imperialist domination following the severe blow it suffered from the Russian action.

This February 24th marked two years since the beginning of Russia’s intervention in the war in Ukraine. All major Western media — monopolized by billionaires who use the press to maintain their domination — call the Special Military Operation, the official name of the Russian campaign, “war”. With this, they propagate the idea that it was Russia that started the war.

A lie that (purposefully) covers up the guilt, not only of the government that is today headed by Vladimir Zelensky, but, mainly, of the great Western powers. The propaganda disseminated by this gigantic press monopoly attempts to brainwash ordinary citizens, accusing evil Russia of invading defenseless Ukraine in a criminal war of conquest.

The truth is that the war started not two years ago, but ten years ago! And the one who started it was not Russia, but Ukraine itself. Russia was not even directly involved in the conflict. Those who played a fundamental role in the outbreak of this war were precisely those who accuse Russia today.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in his interview with American reporter Tucker Carlson, recapped the dramatic events that led to the war. Let us analyze the history of relations between the so-called “West” and Russia over the last 30 years and we will see that, in fact, Russia was forced to defend itself against a war that was already underway against it.

The dismantling of the Soviet Union weakened Russia as never before in history. Practically overnight, the peripheral territories that had belonged to it for centuries became independent. The great objective of the imperialist powers since the beginning of the 20th century had been achieved. The wave of separations also encouraged two wars in Chechnya in the 90s and 2000s, at the same time that the neoliberal shock policy was devastating its economy.

In addition to having lost much of the territory of the former Soviet Union, Russia saw these new countries being completely dominated by imperialism. In 2004, a “color revolution”, known as the Orange Revolution, prevented the election of a neutral president in Ukraine to ensure a U.S. puppet — Viktor Yushchenko — in power. In 2008, it was Georgia’s turn to be captured by Western nations, which made Russia outline its first response to this suffocation that they sought to impose on it, in what became known as the Ossetian War.

All of Russia’s former allies were being wiped off the map. The NATO bombings in Libya, with the execution of Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011, once and for all raised the alarm for Moscow. When the United States, England and France tried to do the same in Syria, soon after, Putin learned the Libyan lesson and vetoed in the UN Security Council an identical operation to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in addition to supporting it militarily.

The last straw for the Russians was the second coup in Ukraine, which began at the end of 2013. Viktor Yanukovych, who had been prevented from being elected in 2004, was in power. He conducted a friendly policy with Moscow, although he was hesitant and negotiated with the European Union. However, in the end, he did not adhere to the latter, preferring the greater advantages that his country would have by maintaining privileged relations with its sister nation. The EU and the U.S. did not accept this modest demonstration of sovereignty by Ukraine and used, as in 2004, NGOs paid by George Soros and the CIA to execute a new “color revolution” in Kiev. This time, however, avowedly neo-Nazi groups were the shock troops of the demonstrations on Maidan Square.

The result of the coup d’état, consolidated at the beginning of 2014, was not just the fall of a government that was in dialogue with Russia to replace it with one aligned with the West. It was more than that: a regime came to power supported by the same fascist organizations that led the Maidan. Ukrainian fascism has always been strongly anti-Russian and its influence on the new regime led to the persecution of all Ukrainians of Russian origin — who represent the majority of the population in around 40% of the country’s territory. The regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, where 75% of voters had elected Yanukovych in 2010 and were of Russian origin, were the most persecuted and rebelled. Crimea held a referendum where the overwhelming majority of the population chose to reincorporate into Russia (to which it had always belonged), resulting in an annexation carried out shortly thereafter by the Russian Federation.

Putin, however, did not do the same in Donetsk and Lugansk. The people of these two regions declared independence from Ukraine and formed two self-styled people’s republics. Armed with arms, they resisted the military invasion ordered by the new Kiev authorities, spearheaded by fascist paramilitary militias such as the infamous Azov, Aidar and Right Sector battalions.

This was the true beginning of the current war in Ukraine, which, until the beginning of the Russian intervention, had claimed the lives of more than 14,000 people — most of them killed by the invading Ukrainian forces.

At the same time that all this was happening, Russia saw a successive approach to the only true post-Cold War military alliance, NATO. Rather than ceasing to exist, as the official excuse for its existence — the Soviet “threat” — had disappeared, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has expanded into Eastern Europe since the mid-1990s, betraying promises made to Russia.

This expansion means the integration of new countries into the alliance — including former members of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet-led alliance, and the former Soviet Baltic republics themselves. And this integration means that these countries began to install heavy weapons on their territory and host military exercises with the participation of the armies of the U.S., England, France and Germany. The partnership with Ukraine after the 2014 coup made it clear to Putin that it would be used for an attack against Russia — NATO’s main goal.

During the eight years that followed, Russia prepared economically and militarily for this attack. It adapted to the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe due to the reincorporation of Crimea and accelerated the development and modernization of its military power. The Russian population, however, did not show as much coldness as their government. She watched her brothers — most Russians have a family member or friend who lives in the Ukrainian separatist region of Donbass — being killed by the usurpers of power in Kiev, who turned Ukraine into a proto-fascist military dictatorship. The calls for the Russian army to do something increased.

Finally, Russia intervened, shortly after officially recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk (approved by popular vote in 2014) and establishing a pact with their governments in which Russia committed to protecting the new partners in the event of external aggression. Now, this aggression had been taking place for eight years.

Before Russia’s entry into the war, Ukrainian forces had already occupied more than half of the territory of Luhansk and almost all of Donetsk. The situation was dramatic for those people. If they were conquered by Kiev, they would lose all their rights, such as membership in left-wing and pro-Russian political parties and the right to speak their original language (as had happened in the rest of Ukraine).

For the people of Donbass, the arrival of Russian troops was a salvation similar to that carried out by the Red Army in World War II against the Nazi invasion. The Russian military was considered liberators.

Today, two years after the start of the Russian intervention, the balance of forces has been drastically changed. Russia unbalanced the conflict, even with all of NATO’s military and economic support for Kiev. Thanks to Russian intervention, the Lugansk People’s Republic was fully freed from Kiev’s aggression in August 2022. In September, Lugansk and the parts of Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye (two other Russian-majority Ukrainian regions with separatist movements) held referendums where the majority voted to integrate with Russia — returning to their original territory, to which they had belonged for centuries.

Although the war has barely gone away since then, all serious analysts who follow the conflict agree that Russia has the advantage over Kiev. The recent liberation of Avdeyevka was an important victory for the Russians, which provides greater security for the city of Donetsk — which continues to suffer daily bombings from Ukraine, mainly targeting civilians, causing constant deaths.

There is no prospect that this war, which has entered its tenth year, will end anytime soon. But Russia’s main objective is being achieved little by little: first, the protection of Donbass, then the gradual dissolution of neo-Nazi organizations and the demilitarization of Ukraine, in practice expelling the imperialist military presence.

Despite apparently being far from its end, it is clear that the great victor is already Russia and the great loser is not even Ukraine — or rather, the regime presided over by Vladimir Zelensky. But rather the very imperialist forces that did so much to crush Russia in the last century, particularly in the last 30 years. The world is no longer the same in the last two years. The countries of the so-called “Global South” have been uniting against imperialist domination following the severe blow it suffered from the Russian action. Russia and China, this fantastic alliance, increase their influence every day.

The Russian intervention in Ukraine to defend itself from NATO showed people around the world that it is possible to fight and overcome the powerful oppressive forces. Popular movements in the Middle East, led by the Palestinian Resistance, Hezbollah and the Houthis, understood this perfectly. More people will understand and act to break the shackles that chain them.

https://strategic-culture.su/news/2024/ ... n-reasons/

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SARAH LINDEMANN-KOMAROVA: SITREP SIBERIA TWO YEARS INTO THE SMO: PART ONE
FEBRUARY 26, 2024
By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Website, 2/15/24

Lindemann-Komarova has lived in Siberia since 1992. Was a community development activist for 20 years. Currently, focuses on research and writing.

Russia made it through year two of the SMO intact and with a new sense of confidence. 2023 was the year of moving on. The geopolitical dimensions of this have been well documented. Equally notable is how the year required people in Russia to move on within the context of the SMO that is never really out of sight or out of mind regardless of its relationship to an individual.

In a December 28 article, Denis Volkov of the Levada Center quantified this mood, “More than half (57%) are looking at their own future “with confidence” for the first time in 10 years.” He provided two options for the root of this confidence, “self-hypnosis and complacency or signs that people are gradually learning to navigate even in a poorly predictable situation.” Out here in a Siberia, the Village of Manzherok and Novosibirsk, the third largest City in Russia, with an added glimpse of Kaliningrad, the farthest Western tip of Russia, all evidence points towards the latter, improved navigation. Once again in Russia, the boom has come crashing overhead and it is “ready about hard a’ lee!”.

The last time there was such a wholesale transition was in the 90s. Back then, most people were incapable of thinking, assessing, and adapting. They settled into a crash position waiting for the next hit. This transition was the kick in the ass people needed to challenge themselves and move on to the next phase of their lives. Life during SMO time, everything is different and still in motion. Moving on went in a myriad of directions from leaving or returning to Russia (done quietly this year without any social media fanfare), a career change, stopping drinking etc. This was the year of committing and taking responsibility for your choices.

Thus, the long Russian New Year/Christmas holiday (December 31-January 9) ended with a sigh of relief in the Village of Manzherok for everything except the weird weather and ongoing bloodshed. A neighbor praised the new Sber Bank 5 star ski resort opening festivities raving about how beautiful it was and how great it was to see so many families enjoying it, “but then there is Belgorod, AWFUL!!! Not Russki this or Ukrainski that, just awful for mankind”.

The next day several posts on the Village chat criticized the dazzling drone show as an “excess during active hostilities”. The drones were of particular offense considering a local Soldier’s Mothers group recently raised 15,400 rubles for drone parts and honey containers to support the SMO. The discussion went on to consider what is an appropriate way to celebrate the upcoming New Year landing on, “This is a matter of everyone’s conscience, we are on the side of modesty”. There were no official fireworks or drone displays.

The SMO is part of the background for everyday life with soldiers at the airport, recruitment posters dotting the roads, Z’s on cars and walls. There are school bake sales and other fundraisers soliciting money or home-grown canned goods. Women in various villages in the Republic meet for a couple of hours a day to make camouflage netting. One village documented the smooth shift from the spring, summer, fall khaki/green netting to winter white. In my village, the volunteers celebrated the New Year with their 11th net while another neighbor was busy making bed mats out of donated coats and other garments. RIA News posted a story about a medical soldier from another district who requested a van to evacuate the wounded where he is serving. The Regional Dermatological Dispensary responded by sending an UAZ van.

Social networks, What’s App group chats, Telegram, VK etc. play an important role in information exchange. Two types of videos appear on the chats. The first is forwarded patriotic messages or songs. Less often are videos targeted at people in Altai, sending thanks for donations or just saying “hi”. Our Village has not suffered a loss but occasionally memorials to those lost in other villages are posted on our chats. Deaths are covered in Telegram news channels and in the regional press often with photos and heart-breaking detail: village, family, education, interests etc. In October, one year after the mobilized soldiers departed, an article appeared covering the opening of a Memorial Book at the Polytechnical College to memorialize 21 of their graduates killed in the SMO.

As we neared the end of year two there was freakishly little snow, temperatures even reaching +10 and rain. This turned the bi-annual Katun River ice parade into a majestic daily event. Non-Siberian winter weather slowed down the construction of the ice sculpture exhibition, but overall the virtues of the new ski resort were not thwarted as snow making machines blanketed the 30 km of downhill trails.

The only thing everyone wants is an end to the killing but that sentiment, even when colored with a desire for negotiations, is still rooted for most in the belief that “something had to be done” after 8 years of fighting in the Donbass. You don’t get a sense of war weariness, just a desire for it to be over.

Thanks to the unexpected success on the economic front government, “to do” lists have morphed into action plans yielding such things as long promised bicycle paths in Akademgorodok. This does not diminish the anguish associated with the kinetic aspect of the conflict with the West. What it has done is provide economic opportunities that go beyond what would have been available if the SMO had not happened. Some of this is related to the enhanced salaries offered to volunteers and military factories working overtime. More notable where I live, is the impact of investments turned inward now that they are no longer welcomed in the West. Whether or not government and the people will take full advantage of these opportunities is not clear but among those opportunities is the possibility of renegotiating the social contract.

Stay tuned for Part Two: “It’s the economy stupid”

https://natyliesbaldwin.com/2024/02/sar ... -part-one/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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