Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Odessa Massacre and the Silence of the Lambs

One of the main organizers of the Odessa massacre, Dmitry Fuchedji, the then deputy chief of the police for the Odessa region (many remember him from the videos where he was seen organizing the Nazi thugs and coordinating their actions with the police) gave an interview to a Russian reporter for Russia's 1st TV Channel. The link goes to the transcript of the interview, which is given in Russian.

Fuchedji agreed to talk just after the junta named him as the main culprit and principal scapegoat of the Odessa massacre with 23 other people. 

Fuchedji denies his own guilt and responsibility. He claims that the Odessa massacre turned out to be bigger than how it was planned, and he talks about a super-secret meeting of the security officials with Parubiy, but then when asked what the secret meeting was about, he claims that he can't remember and that it was about "nothing"--just to keep them in a room. 

But he does names Purubiy and the then Odessa governor Nemirovsky as the main organizers--with a full approval and backing by Yatsenyuk and Turchinov. The massacre was very carefully planned. The massacre itself was organized as a two-stage operation. The second operation had a code name "Plan Khvyliu." The objective was to destroy the anti-fascist Kulikovo field and to pacify Odessa under Kiev's neo-Nazi rule. 

Soon after the Odessa massacre, Fuchedji, fearing for his life, fled Ukraine and he now lives in hiding in Transdniestria, an unrecognized state managed by Russia. 

Evidently, Moscow is keeping Fuchedji there--without either charging him and making him testify in a more compelling way against the Nazi junta in Kiev.

In his recent speech at the UN, Sergey Lavrov had to say the following about the Odessa massacre as well as other crimes of the Kiev regime: 

The attempts to distort the truth and to hide the facts behind blanket accusations have been undertaken at all stages of the Ukrainian crisis. Nothing has been done to track down and prosecute those responsible for February’s bloody events at Maidan and the massive loss of human life in Odessa, Mariupol and other regions in Ukraine. ... The culprits of all these crimes must be identified and brought to justice. Otherwise it is unrealistic to expect a national reconciliation in Ukraine.

More recently, Lavrov further said this in an interview with Rossiya-1 broadcaster and Russia Today TV channel:

We will insist on the establishment of the truth in all these cases. We work hard and routinely to remind the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the human rights bodies of the United Nations about it. It seems that they recognize these requests and are willing to continue to put in some effort. Until the Ukrainian authorities do not [sic] ensure the independence, openness, and transparency of these investigations providing all necessary access to the materials, facts, and witnesses, nothing will happen.

Over the course of the last month, when asked about the Odessa massacre, Sergey Lavrov thus kept saying that the Russian governments demands reliable investigations from Europe and the Kiev regime. The Russian government was thus limiting itself to a demand for "open and independent investigations" from the perpetrators and their Western supporters. 

However, as it turns out, Moscow has kept all this time in its Transdniestria asylum one of the main culprits and also a key witness of the massacre. What for?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Can New Nazism be Fought and Defeated by an "Impossibly Bourgeois" (and Hence Corrupt) System and Leaders?

Michael Green made two important points, one of which at least (the latter) is self-evidently true (both the West and Russia are "impossibly bourgeois"): "There is no enduring meaning in a Russian victory at this point, IMO, other than to thwart an American victory. But they're both playing for the same team, actually. IMO, that kind of victory is Pyrrhic. It is also stupid, petty and, as Marx would put it - though I am not a Marxist - impossibly bourgeois ...."

The recognition of the oligarchic nature of today's Russia is a basic, fundamental political fact which any honest and truthful analyst and analysis has to recognize and even to begin with. The Western left or most of what identifies itself with the "left" in the West is also admittedly bourgeois.

The essential political nature of today's Russia also greatly explains why official Moscow was never happy about or  supportive of anti-oligarchic demands and the anti-oligarchic aspirations of the Novorossiya revolution and why, instead, one could see in any of its "peace" initiatives to be reintroducing either some oligarchs or oligarchic interests back into the game and back into Novoroosiya.

Colonel Cassad said already twice at least (again just yesterday) that Putin represents the interests of Russia's big capital. A good number of people on the left did not like to hear it, but a personal dislike for something does not necessarily count against the truth.

The US demands and demands very severely that Russian oligarchs stop playing and fussing around and that, instead, they do what the highest priests of the system demand from them--either total subordination or suicide.

To this effect, the US is also trying to frame and set up the game so as to leave to Russian oligarchs and the Russian leadership only these two "options."

In all this, tragically and sadly, for the Russian leaders it has been more about Kerry this or Kerry that, about Poroshenko, the "good cop" of the Nazi junta in Kiev, whom they laud as a very good person to talk to (as if they never bothered to listen to what he is actually saying about Russia), and about calling the anti-Russian oligarchs and the Nazis in power in Kiev "partners" ...

At the same time, Putin, Lavrov, and Medvedev have been audibly numb and loudly deaf when it comes to listening to the political will and voice of the people of Novorossiya themselves. Instead, the Russian leadership struck a deal with the US (and Kiev) behind the scenes (the Minsk "accords") and called it "the beginning of an all-Ukrainian dialogue."

As Michael says, "at this point" (emphasis on "at this point"), there is no clear, enduring or solid meaning or stance formulated or expressed by the Russian elite tied very tightly to the interest of Russia's big capital and Russian oligarchy.

Recently, Lavrov argued that the US did not make a socio-political analysis of the situation in Ukraine. I think the US policymakers did that. For not only the New Left was successfully infiltrated from the level of its leading thinkers, but the first generations of neo-conservatives started first by posing as leftist intellectuals as well, and Marxism and Trotskyism were plundered for clues and ideas of how to defeat one's enemy with his own ideological and political weapons turned against him. At the same time, the US establishment tried to learn from its enemy as much as it could, while much of the left replaced genuine political know-how and education with a load of post-modern (self)deconstruction--its own neo-colonization. So when it comes to knowing oneself, it is not given that, between the Russian and American elites, it is the latter that needs to be worse off.

Thus, ironically and paradoxically, but understandably, it is the US establishment that has a very realistic and, if you want, even a class based (of sorts) view of the Russian oligarchs who shared and share with their class brothers in the West more than ventures, accounts, tastes, vices or beds. But this, of course, does not mean that the US capital does feel a great urge and desire to treat Russian oligarchs similarly to how Cain handled his brother Abel.

As to the original question asked whether "Nazism can be fought and defeated by an 'impossibly bourgeois' (and hence corrupt) system and leaders," we can say that this question has already been answered in World War II. Nazism cannot be defeated "half-as" or by half-as men ... Nazism cannot be defeated by men and women who are corrupt or "impossibly bourgeois."

While Nazism is not merely the darkest of the Western civilization's shadows, but also an extreme prejudice to life, the spirit of money is and remains the spirit of Judas. Imperialism is not the last stage of capitalism. Imperialism was the first stage of capitalism and its continuous character. Its last stage is Nazism and its morbid desires, sadism, and will.

When the night comes, man kindles his fire and if he and others truly care, then the fire--the fire of human spirit--endures,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lavrov Explains the Mechanism and Nature of "Partnership" of Russia's Big Capital with the West and Global Capitalism

On September 27, Sergey Lavrov with eyes fixed to the floor gave an interview to RT at the UN in New York.

In this connection, Lavrov explained Russia's and Russian big capital's concept of "partnership" with the West and global capitalism:

Russia is seeking compromise and accommodation.

Thus, for example, at the beginning of the war in Syria (the West's attempt at overthrowing the Syrian government by force, by al Qaeda-led armies, to establish a dictatorship of the latter in the name of "democracy," "freedom" and "moderation"), Russia and China put together a resolution that called on the Syrian government to negotiate with al-Qaeda "revolutionaries" the new character of Syria.

For the West, this effectively pro-Western proposal was still not good enough. [Too little. Too little short of the complete regime change, overthrow of the Syrian government and an opportunity to see a repeat of Qaddafi's final moments.]

So, instead of presenting this resolution for voting in the Security Council and making the US to veto it in public, that is, in the face of the US clear Nyet (No) to Russia's attempt to be helpful and forthcoming, Russia decided to withdraw its resolution. In the name of "partnership" with the West.

Russia decided that the US does not need to be put through what the US does not want to go--in this case, having to use a veto.

According to Lavrov, this is how Russia's "partnership" ought to work. As Lavrov explains, such "partnership," thus exemplified by Russia, is "more correct and more ethical, if you want," than "partnership" practiced by the West--by the West that, mind you, does not even bother to recognize any presence or existence of such partnership. See and listen here at 4:00-6:00

As this helpful explanation of the nature of Russia's partnership with the West indicates (and only Russia is using this formidably sounding term in its relationship with the West), one may start realizing that what we have at hand is yet one of the numerous cases of "relationship" in which one side is holding desperately to its abuser and where the other side displays numerous symptoms of a successful and self-confident sociopath.

Whether the concept of "partnership," as displayed here by the abused, is actually "more correct and also more ethical, if you want," however, remains a question the answer to which is not hard to verify.

One thing, however, appears to be self-evident. In this abusive relationship, which can be described as "partnership" with a good deal of self-denial or delusion, even the abused is not allowed to have much of his principles left.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"You turned out to be such a fool, America! All you had to do was wait twenty years — and we would have been forever yours" (Lament of a Betrayed, Morally Superior America's Former Best Friend)

A very interesting "confession" by a post-Soviet Russian was published by a great pro-Novorossiya site slavyangrad.org. This confession written by a worldly middle-aged Russian inadvertently maps several important blind spots on the part of post-1991 Russia and its new generation.

It is framed in the style of a letter penned a betrayed, bitter boyfriend who was taken advantage of. While the piece is conceived as a condemnation of the US as a "dying" empire, it could also be read as a self-indictment of sorts, which this confession was not meant to be:

"When we were teens, growing up in the early 90s; most of my friends the same age did not even question their attitude toward Western civilization. It was great, how could it be otherwise?
Finally, we would quench our sensory deprivation. ... It’s hard to believe now, but even the Orthodox Church coming out from under communist supervision was for us the same thing as the triumph of Western liberal values. The celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia and the first concert of the Scorpions in Moscow with their “Winds of Change” — was, for us, all part of the same thing.
The war in Iraq and even the breakup of Yugoslavia mostly escaped our attention, somehow. And it was not just that we were young and carefree. I, for one, was already trained in the “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, in the International Department. I was monitoring the English Reuters feed that was full of Izetbegovic, Karadzic and Mladic, but somehow did not take all these events seriously. It was somewhere far away, and not in our area. And, of course, the war in the Balkans did not fit within any kind of anti-Western storyline for me. ... [a case when "of course" may be read apologetically, but also as a case where assumed self-evidence stands in the place of numbed self-reflection, which abounds here]
In 1990 we voted for “Yabloko” democrats, went to the White House barricades on the side of democratic forces, watched the newborn CHANNEL and listened to the echo of Moscow radio. Our first journalistic articles always mentioned the “civilized world” and we firmly believed that it was really civilized. ...
The smart liberal hosts on NTV kept explaining that dropping bombs on [Belgrade in 1999], a large European city is a bit much, of course, but Milosevic is the greatest bastard in recent history, so he deserves it, no big deal. Their “Dolls” satirical show portrayed the events as a good quarrel in a communal apartment, where a drunken neighbor torments “Miss Kosovo” and no one in the house can help, except for her lover with a powerful torso and the face of Bill Clinton. We looked ...  [but it] was no longer funny. ...
The parade of “color revolutions” seemed to be petty mischief until the last. ....
We see the blood and war crimes, the bodies of women and children, an an entire country sliding back into the 1940s – and the Western world, which we loved so much, assures us that none of this is happening. The culture which brought us Jim Morrison, Mark Knopfler, and the Beatles, does not see it. The descendants of Woodstock, and the participants themselves; the aged hippies who sang, “All you need is love” so many times, do not see it. .... For me and for many thousands of middle-aged Russians, who came into the world with the American dream in our heads, the myth of the “civilized world” collapsed completely. The horror is deafening. There is no more “civilized world.” And it’s not just the shattering of youthful ideals, but a very serious danger. Mankind has lost its values, turned into a mob of predators, and a huge war is simply a question of time.
Twenty years ago, we were not defeated. We surrendered. We did not lose militarily, but culturally. We really just wanted to be like them. Rock-n-roll did more than all the nuclear warheads. Hollywood was stronger .... America, you are such a fool! All you had to do was wait twenty years — and we would have been forever yours. [just to wait till these post-Soviet middle-aged men reach safely their retirement age?] Twenty years of vegetarianism — and our politicians themselves would have handed over our nuclear weapons; even shaking your hands in gratitude for taking them away. What a blessing that you turned out to be such a fool, America!
You do not even know us! We shouted these words, among others, toward the Kremlin just two years ago. Since then, thanks to you, America, the numbers of those who want to go out into squares have fallen dramatically. .... You were a cool country once, America. Your moral superiority rose over Europe after WWI and was reinforced after WWII. Yes, you had Hiroshima, Vietnam, KKK and a closet full of other skeletons, like any [like any?] empire. But for a time all that crap [that crap??] did not reach the critical mass that turns wine into vinegar. ... It’s been a while since you wrote any songs sung round the world [Cathy Perry? Lady Gaga anyone?]. You’re squandering your main asset – moral superiority [was this the main asset? Self-praise? Not $?]. ... We, the people who have been through the sunset of our empire, could even explain what you are doing wrong. But we will not."

PS: "America, we did not care about the Southern Slavs in Yugoslavia, we only cared about you and ourselves. We wanted to hold hands and screw the world together with you. It did not occur to us that you would want to screw us too like all those others. We thought that you would make us a new Germany or a Singapore. Now we are getting screwed and that's so unfair. It was never supposed to be this way for we were so good and so morally superior--together--over all the others, even over all the other Slavs--and we were buying the myth of your moral superiority. We were truly buying it! You were such a fool!"

The article is entitled "The Russia They [= the US] Lost." Perhaps it should read instead: "The Russia Which these Russians Have Been Losing ... For Whom "All [This Was] Part of the Same Thing and It Is No Longer Funny."

What Can Dostoevsky Teach the Russian Leadership about New Russia (Novorossiya)?

What follows was inspired by Alexander Prokhanov, a Russian writer, who, on a Rossiya 1 TV panel, made a very insightful comment. The so-called March of Peace (Orwellian Peace, in fact) organized by friends of NATO and the Kiev junta in Moscow on September 21 was, as he put it, really a march of the Besy, which Dostoevsky described so well in his novel under the very same title. Besy is usually rendered as demons or the possessed. But none of these terms quite fit. I would perhaps define these besy, as Dostoevsky sees them, as nihilistic forces or as Poison Ivy implants that would like to take over Russian civilization in order to destroy it.

See Prokhanov's statements here at 9:00

Following Prokhanov's revealing clue, the path then brought me to this Fyodor Dostoevsky's aphorism: "To love someone means to see him as God intended him." One thing thus led to another.

In his statement quoted above, Dostoevsky defined the meaning of love, but also the essence of great art, such as the art of the Greeks or the Egyptians. The other art, often proudly calling itself "realism," does not know much either about this love or this source, thus killing and depleting what is meant to live and unfold. Without this understanding, the best that we get are our desires, the power of Eros, which mingles and mangles death and life, apathy and love, demons and gods. Then there is also a morbid desire, which wants and desires the annihilation of God and love itself. If, in the former case, to consummate a relationship ultimately means to see and realize God's intention, the latter case sees the consummate as all-consuming horror, degradation, and (self)destruction. What does what one is. And similarly with politics.

And today Ukraine is degrading, consuming and destroying itself with the fascism, which it is practicing--on behest of the US and its Empire, which sees precisely in this its only way for its own salvation and hope. When the mind of de Sade becomes a political system and, when, unlike in liberalism, it emerges from behind the scenes and from dark corners into the open and into the streets, it becomes Nazism. Self-destruction and self-degradation that wants to last and see everything else in one's own likeness--as oneself.

Interestingly, Russian Orthodox believers know and sense this very well. Their sense of their own depth and thus also of deeper meanings has not been erased or lost on them. Interestingly, Aleksandr Dugin knows and senses this very well too, even though he is mightily drawn to the dark by the abyss. But Lavrov, the good pro-Western liberal he is, or Medvedev, who defined the game as converting trust in the Government (with a capital G as in God) into making more money, and possibly even Putin, holding on to the promise of "partnership" with the old men's club or party of de Sade, seem to safely insulated, immunized, and protected from such a sense. While, in Machiavelli, Francis Bacon, Hobbes and even Locke, modern liberalism was founded upon the Odysseus-like descent into the dark and the abyss, later liberalism and nearly all the left has become a matter of self-indulgent consuming and living on the surface (or things). As Aristophanes teaches us in his would-be anti-Socratic comedy Frogs, every Hell has its frogs who partaking as if of the best of both the worlds don't' dare or cannot go too deep.

Russian liberals are evoking great Dostoevsky in vain. He was never on their side. He looked into the face of the abyss. But, unlike Nietzsche, who looking there became a voice and prophet of the dark, Dostoevsky looked and, instead of being punished with madness as Nietzsche was, Dostoevsky's soul--much like the Russian soul--was reborn and continued to live.

Yet the fact remains that, after 1953, all or nearly all Soviet and Russian leaders remained and remain safely dead and soulless.

Both literally and symbolically, Novorossiya means New Russia. And New Russia would be Russia Reborn. Russian Renaissance. And this is what the deeper and hence more fundamental meaning of the struggle for Novorossiya is really about. In other words, after its political and spiritual near death, Russia is now fighting for her own re-birth, while the Empire tries to slice her and kill her for good--with great help in this from Nazified Slavs in Ukraine. Since the Empire's morbid, fascist desire is Russia's political and spiritual death, it also desires and demands abortion of Novorossiya.

As an amateur who is sitting at a remote desk in the school of Socrates, this expert in midwifery of the mind and the soul, it would seem to me that, during these difficult and dangerous times of posible delivery, Russia might need help of some midwives too. But, while Russia has been incredibly blessed with natural resources, true Socratic politicians might not only sound like an oxymoron, but it might also be an extinct race. In cases like this, we all do what we can do under the given circumstances--as ordained by Fate and God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Putin's Counteroffensive against the "Fifth Column": Lenin Is Responsible for Betrayal of Russia's National Interests and for Russia's Betrayal by Today's Bourgeoisie, Oligarchs, Liberals, and the Fifth Column

After the Minsk Accords, the struggle for Russia and the New World Order, which, as Medvedev told us in his recent Sochi speech, presupposes that Russia has no national interests of her own, has evidently entered a new stage where strange things are happening and many no longer seem to be how they presented themselves just a while ago:

On September 18, Evgeniy Fyodorov gave a new interview, in which, now in a visibly upset mood, he was responding to questions of his supporters and, more importantly, he tried to provide 1) the best possible damage control for the apparent political capitulation act struck in Minsk over Ukraine (and Russia) and to demonize yet more the legacy of the Soviet Union in order to pave the way to what is coming next:

"The fifth column has not won--yet. ... The Minsk accords stopped Novorossiya's offensive under the pressure of the fifth column and the US. ... 
Putin has addressed the Russian people many times, but the Russian people don't listen. That's why he is not going to explain his [Novorossiya] policy to the Russian people. Instead he is forced to talk to peoples of other countries like the Brazilians, the Venezuelans or the Chinese ... And so Putin has unfortunately to rely more on the Chinese people than on the Russian people. ... 
Lenin brought to Russia in 1917 an idea of the defeat of one's own country, Bolsheviks were foreign agents; the [communists] had never national interests among their priorities. Because of this, resources [in the Soviet Union] were not used for the well-being of man and people lived ten times worse off than how they should have lived. ...
We [Putin, Fyodorov, etc.] are now trying to restore the principles of the Russian statehood, which were uprooted in 1917 [and then again in 1993] ... And Stalin tried to oppose Lenin and purge the fifth column ..."

According to Fyodorov, the fifth column are not merely people, but whole institutions--institutions of the Russian government and state, starting with the Central Bank and ending with the Parliament. Russian Customs are also included.
What to make of this? In the light of Putin's own denunciation of the Bolsheviks in August, it seems that Putin's wing in the Russian political elite started a campaign against the communists and the left .... in the name of the struggle against the liberal fifth column. 
It was, however, the anticommunism of the 1990s that created the foundation for the oligarchs and the following (neo)liberal order, including its "fifth" column and what Fyodorov calls the current "colonial status of Russia managed from the outside--by the US."
For Fyodorov, the Russian state had the right constitutional principles till 1917.
Is this a big blunder or an incredibly clever political strategy utilizing the sophism of triangulation, the negation of the negation, confusion and chaos?
Too bad that Lenin has been silenced and cannot talk back.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It Is Sad to See Russian Diplomats "Bewildered": You Have Been Nice to a Bastard and He Still Treats You as a Bastard

The Russian government, and especially Russia's Foreign Ministry, is "bewildered" that Poroshenko made so many anti-Russian statements in Washington.

It seems that Russian diplomacy and those who worked on and for the Minsk accords had no idea that this (continued) Poroshenko's attitude and practice was coming and was bound to happen (again). So RT reports:

"Moscow is bewildered by Washington’s warmongering rhetoric, which accompanied President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to the US. Russia has also noted all the Russia-unfriendly opinions voiced recently by hawkish American politicians.
“We’ll keep in mind all signals, including those unfriendly towards Russia, that were heard during the visit of the Ukrainian president to Washington,” commented Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. “We do regret that there are quite influential circles [within the American establishment] that are unambiguously working against the emerging stabilization [in Ukraine],” Ryabkov said."

Russian diplomats and officials are especially hurt after they put so much of their principles and credibility (and whole of Novorossiya) on stake in Minsk.

Now, the Russian government appears upset in discovering that the US government is capable of hypocrisy, and Russia's Foreign Minister Deputy thus complains: “They are hypocritically advocating normalization of the situation, while actually impeding this process."

The Russian government apparently hoped and trusted the US government that the latter would spare it after Russian intervention spared the Kiev junta from the brunt of its military defeat, which could have been a political disaster for the junta and a brilliant victory for Novorossiya.

It seems that when one spares oneself of a victory that one would then win, right? For the other side would appreciate it, especially if the other side has been planning Russia's undoing for so long and asked a combination of unscrupulous oligarchs and hardcore Banderites to do the job.

But, surprisingly, Washington is treating Moscow as before.

When a common man gets cheated on, he might feel slighted and cheap. But how does it feel when this happens to diplomats? Or when the Empire cheats with Nazis on what they call "peace"?

And what happens when people begin to think that they are being cheated on?

When History Combines Tragedy and Comedy into One, Then You Are Either Initiated at Last or Screwed (Or What Happened in Donetsk Late Night on Friday, September 19)

Report from Strelkov: "[Sad] news for Donetsk--last Saturday, in a restaurant in Moscow, sixty people were celebrating victory. They were led by Surkov. On behalf of the DPR, Boroday, Zakharchenko, and Purgin had a great time there."

23.09.14. 01:30. Сообщение от Стрелкова Игоря Ивановича.

"Сегодня весь вечер слушал "делегатов" из Донецка. Пятерых выслушал. Очень печальные впечатления. Делиться не буду, но скажу лишь, что МНЕ СТЫДНО ЗА НЕКОТОРЫХ СОРАТНИКОВ ИЗ ЧИСЛА КОМАНДИРОВ. Надеюсь, им передадут мои слова и они поймут - за кого конкретно (и почему) мне стыдно. 
Ряд командиров с сегодняшнего дня перестанут получать гуманитарку от наших тыловых подразделений. На это у меня еще "власти" хватит.
"Порадую" немного дончан - в минувшую субботу в Москве, в ресторане, "праздновали победу" 60 человек во главе с Сурковым. От ДНР "гуляли" Бородай, Захарченко и Пургин."

"Порадую" немного дончан - в минувшую субботу в Москве, в ресторане, "праздновали победу" 60 человек во главе с Сурковым. От ДНР "гуляли" Бородай, Захарченко и Пургин.

Confirmed (by Mozgovoy and others): The Supreme Soviet of the DPR initially unanimously voted down the Minsk memorandum. Then, the secession was quickly reconvened, and Kalashnikovs were added for moral support to the ambiance. Under these new convincing and appeasing arguments, a new thinking prevailed, and the Supreme Soviet changed its mind, as Moscow requested. Everything is fine, and everyone should stay calm.

On this incredible hands-off-hands-on management ("voting at gunpoint in the Supreme Soviet of the Donetsk People's Republic) in order to implement the Minsk Protocol at any cost, as Lavrov indicated, as they would, see Mozgovoy's statement (for now just in Russian):

The West has been outsmarted again, and the secret plan both confirms and refutes inscrutable Divine Providence by its own inscrutableness. The junta has been yet again defeated, and those who worried are simply not as smart as the rest of us who always think the same, thinking the same meme over and over again, once we are told to do so. And to think outside the meme means to think too much and, if we do so, then we would not be able to outsmart the West or appreciate our own intelligence.

The Minsk Protocol is essentially a different way for Putin making good on his request to postpone (upon the request of the West and Kiev) the referenda in Donetsk and Lugansk. Putin made his plea to postpone (read: cancel) the referenda just five days after the Odessa massacre. The massacre was carried out in Odessa, the city-hero, on May 2 by the very same Nazi junta. The junta's "legitimacy" was to be restored via the electoral farce that made Poroshenko president with some 54% votes right in the first round. Most previous polls were giving Poroshenko only some 20%.

Holding the deputies at gunpoint was needed, to use Lavrov's own expressions, to "implement [the Minsk Deal] without any attempts to disrupt the process," to implement it in each and every point and respect (changing Novorossiya to "special regions" of Lugansk and Donetsk, accepting the junta's law on their status, replacing the army of Novorossiya with new "local" police force, having Kiev-run local elections, recognizing the supremacy/sovereignty of the junta, "Ukraine," hence the US  and NATO). For, as Lavrov also emphasized earlier, "Russia is against all that may hinder the implementation of the Minsk accords ... [Russia] will seek [their] fulfillment."

It seems that Lavrov thinks that once the US established Ukraine as its protectorate, the US should not give them any discretion or freedom to act on their own: "It is unacceptable for the West to give Kiev the freedom act at its own discretion for months ..." And it seems that Lavrov has a similar view of Novorossiya.

As Dmitry Medvedev said the whole point of all this is to trust the government and its NWO partners and hope that this confidence will be converted soon into making more money for oneself.

Medvedev verbatim: "Today we have a unique opportunity to convert people's confidence in the Government ... [into a chance] to work and make money ... and protect them from unscrupulous officials. ... [For] everything is relative." And unscrupulously convertible.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ukraine: Post-modern personalization of politics versus the lost art of people's politics

A number of analysts (from Lavrov to Cassad) argue that Poroshenko does not control all the armed forces deployed by the junta. While, this is technically correct, this argument still at times seems  to assume that Poroshenko is the main decision maker for Ukraine in Kiev, which is false.

On a related issue, the same people recognize, but fail to draw necessary conclusions from the obvious fact that Ukraine is run as a US and NATO protectorate.

Such a protectorate has its formal and official structures, but also its deep state, and the two, not being the same, however, permeate each other.

The deep or deeper state starts where Avakov, Yatsenyuk, Kolomeysky, and the real or true Nazi leaders abide. Poroshenko has the right ethnic profile, he is an oligarch, he served nearly every ruling clique, but none of the evident power-brokers from the deep state seem to have any great respect for Poroshenko. Yet, for some very curious reason, both Putin and Lavrov are not only trying to woo this imperial agent (from 2006?), but they also seem to believe that Poroshenko is in Kiev their best man, however much he slanders and attacks Russia.

Even of Tymoshenko, who called for extermination of millions of Russians, Putin seems to have only good, positive things to say. Thus, back on March 4, Putin had to say the following:

QUESTION: You said that we should make contact with everyone. Yulia Tymoshenko was planning it seems, to come to Moscow.
VLADIMIR PUTIN: As you know, we always worked quite productively with all of the different Ukrainian governments, no matter what their political colour. We worked with Leonid Kuchma, and with [Viktor] Yushchenko. When I was Prime Minister, I worked with Tymoshenko. I visited her in Ukraine and she came here to Russia. We had to deal with all kinds of different situations in our work to manage our countries’ economies. We had our differences, but we also reached agreements. Overall it was constructive work. If she wants to come to Russia, let her come. It’s another matter that she is no longer prime minister now. In what capacity will she come? But I personally have no intention of stopping her from coming to Russia. 

In his article, "Putin's Shrewd Endorsement of Tymoshenko," Evgeniy Kiselyov of the Moscow Times put on this the following spin:

"Putin made it very clear that Moscow would like to see former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko become that country's next president. He alluded to this twice recently, using almost exactly the same wording each time and wistfully recalling their productive working relationship.
Why is Putin endorsing Tymoshenko? Does he want to undermine her chances of winning the presidential elections on May 25 by casting her as the Kremlin favorite? Or does he have just the opposite plan in mind — to help Tymoshenko win the support of the pro-Russian voters who previously stood behind former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych?
The second theory is bolstered by the fact that Tymoshenko holds very close political ties to Viktor Medvedchuk, once the head of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's administration and a man who has long and unabashedly been Putin's personal agent for influencing the situation in Ukraine. Also, Medvedchuk's long-time political and business partner, Andrei Klyuyev — a pro-Russian politician and former head of Yanukovych's presidential administration — was one of the main advocates for unifying the Party of Regions with the bloc supporting Tymoshenko into a so-called "broad" coalition in 2009."

When Lavrov is reminded of the constant vicious attacks on Russia by these men, and here Poroshenko is no exception, he merely says the following:

Question: A technical [sic] question. There is President Poroshenko who is the guarantor of the Ukrainian constitution and who is conducting the negotiations, while at the same time there’s Prime Minister Yatsenyuk making a statement on the country’s unaligned status. I could also mention the Ukrainian defense minister who wrote on Facebook that nuclear weapons should be used against Russia. Mr Lutsenko says that Europe is already supplying high-precision weapons and that the war must go on. What are the implications for the dialogue you’re conducting? Who are the negotiations being held with? How can Poroshenko keep the process under his control?
Sergey Lavrov: The President of Russia has repeatedly said that he is satisfied with how direct contacts with President Poroshenko have been established. We are engaged in a dialogue with him and those who support his position, which is Ukraine’s official policy.  ... It seems to me Poroshenko is interested in a peace deal and needs support, primarily from the West, which was hoping Ukraine would transition from the post-Maidan situation to something more legitimate. This is why presidential elections were announced. I think the West should support Poroshenko’s desire to make a peace deal ...  
Poroshenko does not control everything because, being a figurehead-in-chief, he is only a part of the enterprise. But this does not mean that the enterprise as a whole is not commanded or controlled as such.

The limits of Poroshenko's powers are not caused by the insubordination of the Right Sector, the Naz-battalions, etc. Poroshenko bears full responsibility due to his office, but by the limits of Poroshenko's own role.

So Moscow has been trying to rely on Poroshenko, who, without controlling everything, has still a lot to answer for. In this, Moscow has been relying on the figurehead-puppet-in-chief of the junta.

Looking at this through the prism of the heroic struggle of the working people of Novorossiya, one cannot help but noticing that Moscow's strategy seems to have become victim to a mirror image of Western demonization and personalization of its enemy. Here, when it comes to the Nazi junta in Kiev, Moscow tries to personalize it and then positively spin and polish it in the figure-head of Poroshenko, the supposed more moderate one among all the radicals around--at the expense of what a long time ago Russian or Soviet policy and diplomacy could do--recognizing the importance of the people and a policy relying on the people and not on hostile figureheads and puppets.

In this connection, we might also perhaps recognize the contradiction, glaring inconsistency, in the following statements made by Lavrov about the mechanism agreed between Moscow and the West over the heads of Novorossiya and the people:

That is why the reference in the Minsk agreement to an inclusive national dialogue – that is, with the participation of all stakeholders – is a matter of principle for us. All the agreements on passing a law on the interim status through the Verkhovna Rada are essentially an obligation on the Ukrainian leadership. Lugansk and Donetsk will first of all need to see how the law will be written, but that still does not completely resolve the problem. A lasting solution can only be achieved by consensus through an inclusive national dialogue.

Lavrov says that the "principle" is "an inclusive national dialogue" in Ukraine. However, he then says right away that, "all the agreements on passing a law on the interim status through the Verkhovna Rada are essentially an obligation on the Ukrainian leadership"--the law on the special status for the regions (not even people anymore) of Lugansk and Donetsk(not any more Novorossiya) is "an obligation" (and hence also the right) of the Ukrainian leadership, the junta, only. The law is to be made by the junta--before any national dialogue can even take place and without it. Whether the junta would be nice enough to allow some amendments is one big if. Moreover, the junta made it clear that, by signing on the Minsk Protocol, it has no intention to talk to the leadership of Novorossiya. The junta wants new local elections there , which, as Poroshenko, said would replace the present "terrorists" with some new "real people."

Moreover, the Minsk Memorandum explicitly defines the Contact Group as consisting only of Kiev, Russia, and the OSCE, and Novorossiya was noticeably left out as a recognized party of the talks. Plotnisky's and Zakharchenko's signatures have only their personal names with no titles attached to them--in contrast with the representatives of Ukraine, OSCE, and Russia.  Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko can be thus merely acknowledging what they were being told to do by the three others whose signatures are set apart. The leaders of Novorosssiya thus appear there not only unrecognized in their capacity as representatives of a new political entity, but virtually as private individuals only. And this means not just unrecognition of the status of Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko, but also unrecognition of Novorossiya and the people of Novorossiya--and not just by Ukraine and OSCE, but by Russia as well.

The current Russian leadership has a hard time to recognize what Machiavelli already knew (however, Machiavellian he was) and not this one cardinal insight he put the foundation of all modern politics--namely that power and sovereignty resides in the people. If one loses or offends the people, one loses sooner or later everything--no matter how shrewd or cunning one is.

Understanding politics as the plaything of great leaders only and delegating people to the props is one of the devil's temptations. But the people are not just a "base." All power comes from the people and, ultimately, also returns to the people.

In the case of Crimea, the will of the Kremlin coincided with the will of the people of Crimea and the people of Russia. In the case of Novorossiya, and through the Minsk process, Russia denied voice, agency, and recognition to the people of Novorossiya for Russia agreed to reducing the Contact Group only to a trinity made of Ukraine, OSCE, and Russia--to the exclusion of Novorossiya. In this way, Russia effectively agreed that, for all practical and political purposes, it currently controls Novorossiya--only to assert and recognize Ukraine's de iure and sovereignty over Novorossiya and not the political will of the people of Novorossiya. Under the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, as its provisions stipulate, Novorossiya is not recognized as a state formation. It is allowed to exist only in the form of "special" and temporary "regions" as defined unilaterally by the junta itself and he junta's "law." In this case, the will of the Kremlin went on record as being at odds with the people of Novorossiya and Russia too. But it pleases and accommodates Kiev and the West.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What the Minsk Ceasefire Means to Dmitry Tymchyuk

Junta's top social media warrior, Dmitry Tymchyuk shared his view on the ceasefire and the junta's need to legislate some special status for "regions" in Donetsk and Lugansk:

"We are retreating, the army is demoralized because of social networks. If we had 100,000 trained and equipped troops, there would be no cease-fire."
"The army is demoralized, we are retreating, and we no longer have the resources to continue the war," - said at a press conference in Kiev the chief promoter of the ATO and now coordinator of the military council of the party "National Front" and a supporter of initiatives of Poroshenko on adoption of laws on the special status of Donbass, Dmitry Tymchyuk.
"Let's look at the map from mid-August and to the present day, there is a difference: we are retreating. We do not have the resources to continue the war - it's a fact. We have a demoralized army, by the way, thanks to the same social networks, the same panic, the same stories about corrupt generals, about traitors. It is also a powerful factor that played into the demoralization of the army," - said Tymchyuk, cited by "UkrInform".
According to Tymchuck, all willing to fight are already in the volunteer battalions, and to carry out another wave of partial mobilization - woud be an unpopular and inefficient step.
"Yes, we can now scramble hundreds of thousands of people, but it will be cannon fodder. We at least need some period of time to train, and secondly to equip and arm. Only then it makes sense to talk about further offensive steps," - he said.
According to the Ukrainian "military expert", it is necessary to mobilize about 100 thousand people, trained. To do this, he recommended that parties like "Batkivshchyna" should help.
"I wonder if "Batkivshina" could tell us how can we get prepared for the operation. According to our estimates, the day-before-yesterday we needed about 80-100 thousand people for the operation, but they should be trained, rather than cannon fodder. If "Batkivshyna" can tell where can we get 100 thousand people, weapons, and not just small arms, machine guns, and heavy weaponry - that's when we would answer: "Yes! We were wrong, the special status law is not needed, we will fight on!" But, unfortunately, they only criticize," - said Tymchuk, commenting on the remarks made earlier by some critics of the special status law of Donbass.
Dmitry Tymchyuk is a top junta Facebook blogger, who is often cited in Ukrainian media for his insider info from the front. It's been rumored, that he got an $80,000 grant from American embassy in Kiev for that position.

(Translation by Kristina Ruslan Rus)

Tymchyuk confirms that the junta's army was badly beaten, it needs to regroup, hence Kiev's junta needed very badly the ceasefire.  The law on special regions is part of the deal--in the place of the crushing victory over Novorossiya, which the junta much desired. But this does not mean that the ceasefire and the special law adopted by Kiev is the junta's defeat. It is a forced measure of sorts, but, like the ceasefire, a measure allowing the junta a new chance.

Tymchyuk does nowhere say that the ceasefire and the Minsk Protocol is a defeat of the junta. He does not like the ceasefire, the talks, and giving any status, any special status to the people in Donbass whom the junta (if we remember what Yatsenyuk said) sees as "subhumans." But he sees this Minsk arrangement as necessary with a view of the military defeats which the junta suffered and from which the junta hopes to recover--much by means of the ceasefire and the Minsk process.

Thus, as Tymchyuk tells, the ceasefire saved the junta from an even greater defeat and, under these conditions, he supports the law on special regions: "[Tymchyuk] is a supporter of initiatives of Poroshenko on adoption of laws on the special status of Donbass ... We have a demoralized army  ... We at least need some period of time to train, and secondly to equip and arm. ... If Batkivshyna" can tell where can we get 100 thousand people, weapons, and not just small arms, machine guns, and heavy weaponry - that's when we would answer: 'Yes! We were wrong, the special status law is not needed, we will fight on!'"

To the Russian Elite: Надо определиться (The People Already Know What to Do)

It is clear that Russia, Kiev, and the US must have struck some deal before September 5 and both the West and Kiev are showing that whatever they promise is as good as a promise given to Gorbachev, the traitor, that NATO would not expand east. At the same time, it is also evident that the Army of Novorossiya is of now under orders not to make any major offensive.
Strelkov's escape from Slavyansk was a key factor in changing or postponing a similar deal which was in the works back then, and then the sudden increase in aid made a great difference relatively fast. But once its effectiveness was shown, the advance was stopped in its tracks and even rolled back around Mariupol in the south.
So unless the decisions are final, I would say that right now there is some intense battle within the Russian elite and that this battle or war within the Russian elite had to be fought. The pressure of the US and the war in Ukraine is making this polarization a must. Neutrality or sitting at two chairs is no longer possible--except for doubles.
Today, at Minsk, the West and Kiev are certainly pushing for Novorossiya's surrender, while Novorossiya is trying to get out of them at least some minimal form of quasi recognition, which they have no intention of granting.

The Minsk "talks" have, moreover, been framed to give an appearance of talks, while denying real voice and agency to Novorossiya. The Minsk Deal was clearly made and agreed upon before September 5--in-between the US, the EU, Kiev, and Russia .... with no detectable prior input by the Novorossiya leadership or their say in it.

The official agenda for today was a priori defined merely as Implementation: "The agenda of the talks focuses on the discussion of a document that will regulate the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine, reached on September 5."

More specifically, the powers that be wanted to have these talks be reduced merely to passing on more specific instructions on the "implementation" of the junta's law of the special status of Donbass, wich was approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The intention is not to yield more than that. 

Quite symbolic images of the opening of the new rounds of talks in Minsk: the world is big, then it comes down to relatively a few people holding in their hands the fates of so many. 

A big circle with lots of empty space all around. How many real people are in that room? And why "trilateral talks" exclude the fourth--the OSCE, the other EU and West proxy there? 

Russia is trying officially to pretend that this is all an internal problem of Ukraine, the solution to which the Russian leadership can also support and assist without being "a party to the conflict." The big trouble with this ostrich-like position is not only that is ineffective, but also that no one believes it in any format any more.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sergey Lavrov Tells It as It Is: The Minsk Protocol and Kiev's Laws Ought to Be Implemented

It is pretty much official. Putin's government has made its decision on the May 11 referenda in Donetsk and Lugansk and on what "respecting the will of the people" means in this case.

1. Russia's Foreign Ministry stated on September 17 that the law unilaterally adopted by the Kiev junta regarding special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is "positive" and "provides the basis for the launch of a substantial constitutional process in Ukraine." Moscow also said that "ANY attempts to prevent the law from coming into force ... might worsen the situation in the country's south-east and undermine international and local politicians’ efforts" to solve the crisis."

2. Sergey Lavrov himself went on record (Russia's Foreign Ministry's official site): "We proceed from the assumption that ALL provisions of [the Minsk Protocol] should be meticulously met." (Interview by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with Russia Beyond the Headlines, Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s supplement to Spain’s El Pais, September 17)

3. While Lavrov and hence Russia is insisting on complete implementation of the Minsk Protocol, that is, all its provisions, he, however, wonders: "We see the new round of EU sanctions against our country, which came into force on 12 September, as a response by Brussels to the results of the Minsk meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine [and the Minsk Protocol]– a response that is totally out of synch with reality." (Ibid.)

4. Lavrov then continued: "We regret that our Western partners [cannot make] an in-depth analysis of the internal socio-political processes in [Ukraine]." (Ibid.)

5. Did Lavrov himself make such a socio-political analysis?

6. The ceasefire is observed as well as the truth and Novorossiya's act of self-determination.

7. On this topic Lavrov said: "We note that the ceasefire has been generally observed, although there are isolated incidents ... The Kiev authorities are assuring us that they have no plans to disrupt the ceasefire." (Ibid.)

8. Why should diplomats be telling the truth?

9. The next day, on September 18, just one day before the next meeting in Minsk, Lavrov declared: "But in general our assessment and the assessments of our colleagues in other countries, including the European Union, is that the ceasefire is holding and the incidents that are still occurring should gradually stop. ... The Defence Minister would do well ... [not to] air speculations about arms from NATO countries flowing into Ukraine, something the members of the Alliance themselves deny." Let's deny it together (Opening remarks and answers to media questions by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a joint press conference after a meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Addis-Ababa, 17 September 2014)

10. So, besides reasserting Ukraine's sovereignty, that is, the Nazi junta's sovereignty, that is, US and NATO sovereignty over Novorossiya and the millions of Russians there, what exactly does the junta's law on "local self-management of special regions" in Donetsk and Lugansk mean?

11. An interesting thing has been noted. After the law on "special regions" and "special order" in Donbass was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada, its text in Article 1 was tacitly changed, yet some people noticed that.

According to the original text Article 1, "special order is being introduced for local self-management in individual regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions ... which are [will be] determined by a decision of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine."

That's how the law was adopted by the parliament. The next day, when the law was published, instead of the "decision of the Verkhovna Rada," it read: "as [will be] determined by a decision of the director of the Anti-Terrorist Center with the Security Service of Ukraine ..."

"Согласно этому Закону временно, на три года со дня вступления в силу этого закона, вводится особый порядок местного самоуправления в отдельных районах Донецкой и Луганской областей, к которым принадлежат районы, города, поселки, села в пределах территории, определенной решением руководителя Антитеррористического центра при Службе безопасности Украины (далее – отдельные районы Донецкой и Луганской областей)"

12. Point? In the guise of limited, local self-management, which requires disarming and disbanding of the Army of Novorossiya (a pre-condition for the "amnesty"), financial control over Donbass by Kiev, and new elections, which will replace the current "terrorists" with "real people" (as Poroshenko said it on September 17), the junta legislated a military dictatorship for Donbass.

From the Army of Novorossiya support team: "Last few weeks ... after the so-called Minsk Agreements have been very uneasy for us ... We have experienced negative changes personally--on September 10, our account for the Army of Novorossiya donations became blocked; 80% of donations were coming to this account. Big difficulties have also arisen with volunteers and transportation of aid. ... Now, judging from numerous signs, we are now running into systemic opposition, with which it is much harder to fight."

Последние недели психологически были для нас очень непростыми - и как для ополченцев, и как координаторов материальной помощи и добровольцев из РФ.

После так называемых "минских соглашений" и последующего "перемирия", после заявлений Игоря Стрелкова о действиях "пятой колонны" в ДНР, в Новороссии и в РФ зазвучали голоса разочарования и сомнения по поводу перспектив национально-освободительной войны на Юге России.

"Нехорошие перемены" мы ощутили и на себе: 10 сентября была заблокирована карта Сбербанка, на которую приходило до 80% переводов, также возникли большие осложнения в работе с добровольцами и с переправкой грузов. Если ранее мы рассматривали подобные вещи как "рабочие моменты" и оперативно их решали, то сейчас по ряду признаков мы столкнулись с системным противодействием, с которым бороться стало значительно сложнее.

Lavrov's Ignored Bombshell: The West Is Not Supporting Poroshenko and His Peace-Loving Efforts, but Russia Is

While, in US Congress, Poroshenko made today (September 18) a passionate call to the world to oppose Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine under storming ovations, which would to shame even the communists of old, Lavrov's sensible position on Poroshenko presents the latter (Poroshenko) as the principal, if not the sole, person on whom the Russian government relies for a (peace) deal. 

Lavrov hopes that Poroshenko will be carrying out his duties as the Commander-in-Chief in charge of the war against Novorosiya and that he will also carry out all those decisions, which he (Poroshenko) himself "sanctioned and approved."

Lavrov hopes that Poroshenko will be doing what he is doing even though, "almost everyone is trying hard to frustrate [these] efforts," while Lavrov and the Russian government is trying to support Poroshenko and them.

Here is the recording of Lavrov's interview (in Russian):

At the same time, Lavrov seems to think that the West is not supporting Poroshenko and his peace-making desire enough:

"President Poroshenko – despite the statements you quoted – has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to the ceasefire deal. We still hope that, as the embodiment of whatever legitimacy the 25 May presidential election conferred, he will perform his duties as supreme commander-in-chief, take all necessary measures and exercise his presidential powers to make sure that the current Kiev government, which reports to the president and the parliament, does not undermine the decision he has sanctioned and approved. ...
Just recently, two or three days after the ceasefire was signed in Minsk, we got information, confirmed by the self-defence forces, that a strike force of artillery and tanks was being formed near Debaltsevo. We drew the attention of the Kiev leadership to these reports. We were assured that there were no such plans and that measures would be taken to clear up any confusion. Based on our information, these movements have stopped, and nothing similar has been reported. [We believe in what Kiev says and nothing similar has been reported]The President of Russia has repeatedly said that he is satisfied with how direct contacts with President Poroshenko have been established. We are engaged in a dialogue with him and those who support his position ...  
It seems to me Poroshenko is interested in a peace deal and needs support, primarily from the West ...
I think the West should support Poroshenko’s desire to make a peace deal, because everyone, or almost everyone, is trying hard to frustrate his efforts ... 
The US doesn’t hide its partiality. Ukrainian radicals and extremists, including those in governing bodies, practically get carte blanche from the US, and there is no traction for arguments in favour of objectively looking at the situation and supporting a national dialogue, reconciliation and respect of the rights of minorities – all the values the West seeks to promote in any other conflict. Washington has proved repeatedly that its aim is to aggravate the crisis as much as possible ...
Take for example, the law on temporary self-rule in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that was mentioned today. We don’t know what it will look like, because this is Ukraine’s responsibility. [Novorossiya's self-rule is Ukraine's, Kiev's responsibility]"   
If this is the case, then Lavrov's supporters too should hope that Poroshenko will accomplish what he decided to do and support him against "almost everyone," including the West, who "wants to frustrate [Poroshenko's] efforts."

So as Lavrov says, the conflict in Ukraine could be and should be resolved only if everyone or almost everyone stops frustrating Poroshenko's efforts. This nearly everyone might also include Novorossiya and the Army of Novorossiya. That's why we need Strelkov back.

PS: Also keep in mind that Lavrov was speaking here to a Russian domestic audience, when saying all the above. It is evident that he tried hard to sell the Minsk Deal and, to this effect, he also tried to present Poroshenko as the best man Russia has in Kiev. But this does not make it better. He was not trying to play a game with the West per se in doing so. 

If you really want to know what some of the more-in-the-know standby participants in the panel were thinking of Lavrov's performance, you should treat yourself to the cue briefly displayed at 25:18-21 of the video on the part of Svetlana Babaeva, a RIA News Agency foreign affairs correspondent. The audience is, of course, capping when given its cues.  Babaeva's cue comes at the very moment when Lavrov is trying to claim that Russian diplomacy came to the rescue and was saving the Maidan leaders and their Western sponsors from their own "inability" to fulfill all the points in Yanukovich's capitulation agreement made on February 21. Perhaps Lavrov will use the same line later on in relation to the Minsk Protocol.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What happened to our elites? Where did their Ciceronian Hochstube go?

The last years of British snobbism and old patrician, imperial culture caught and frozen in a little dialogue from 1949:

-- How can you just sit there?
-- Well, Mrs. Riordan, what else can I do? Are you sure that my pipe is not worrying you?
-- Is this really Scotland Yard in action?
-- Is that wheels in motion? Some of us are serving in a sitting way.

This could well be contrasted almost with any Soviet, proletarian movie. Hence the advantage of U.S. Empire and culture: its patricians learned and obtained sooner proletarian ways of talking and thinking (almost).

British movie by American blacklisted director Edward Dmytryk, 1949

at 1:18:30

Cracking Putin's Egg (Does It Stand on Its Head or on Its Feet?)

Putin: Bolsheviks were complete traitors!

According to Vladimir Putin (an interview given on August 29 to a national youth camp), Bolsheviks of 1917 were "complete" traitors to the motherland and her national interests.

Of all observers and commentators, only good old imperial and anti-Russian BBC picked on this in its September 15 article (just ten days after the Minsk Protocol was signed), "Traitors in Vladimir Putin's Russia": 

"Last month, in a live TV broadcast from a political youth camp, Vladimir Putin warned that some people in Russia were prepared to "fully betray the country's national interests". He compared them to the Bolsheviks, who had exploited Russia's weakness in World War One to carry out revolution back home."

Here, from the official transcript, is the full passage which contains Putin's indictment of Lenin and the Bolsheviks on the account of "complete national treason." 

"Regardless of how hurtful it might be to hear, perhaps, even to some of this audience, people who hold leftist views, but in the First World War, the Bolsheviks wished to see their Fatherland defeated. And while the heroic Russian soldiers and officers shed their blood on the fronts in World War I, some were shaking Russia from within and shook it to the point that Russia as a state collapsed and declared itself defeated by a country that had lost the war. It is nonsense, it is absurd, but it happened! This was a complete betrayal of national interests!"

Is Putin right? Does this Putin's position have any relevance to what is going on or what has happened in Novorossiya?

With respect to Putin's charge of Bolsheviks (hence also Lenin, the founder of the USSR) with a "complete treason."

My original Facebook posting on this yielded a great amount of collective wisdom. My own personal pick is the comment made by De-li Wei: 

"Thanks for posting this as it helps us to understand Putin better. I think Putin is speaking more to his current / potential future domestic situation fearful that trouble will start within Russia which will shake what is otherwise incredible unity at this point. As he is the authority that interprets "national interests" his discussion of what the Bolsheviks did vis-a-vis the ruling power at the time during a war against a foreign power is telling. A more sober assessment tells us that it was not in any parties' best "national interests" to be involved in WWI. As the burden on society caused in part by that war helped fuel the Bolsheviks dissent , even if one disagrees with them ideologically or in other regards, it is not reasonable to state that their actions were a "betrayal of national interests." Even in authoritarian societies sovereignty resides with the people and obviously the people were sick of war at that juncture and acted to extricate the nation from that war in the interests of the nation. This statement is even more ironic given the lengths to which Putin has gone to avoid an open conflict with Kiev's Western allies. Reversing roles, some could easily say Putin's insistence on non-confrontation is the same "betrayal of the national interests" that he identifies in the Bolsheviks' actions. Ethnic Russians are this moment on the battle front and the powers that be are extricating its self from blame, making "peace" oblivious to their consideration. We can understand more clearly how he defines both his nation and its interests and also takes a "relativist" (is there such a term?) position, re-interpreting similar events with nearly diametrically opposed labels."

What lends support to De-li Wei's assessment is also this Putin's curious explanation of his or Moscow's "secret," "secret strategy," which does explain a lot about his and Lavrov's apparent "weakness" for Poroshenko (as I tweeted it the other day), Putin's stated goal to "create the best possible conditions" for legitimizing Poroshenko and his elections, Putin's, and especially Lavrov's, continued support for the capitulation agreement signed by Yanukovich under the direct pressure of France, Germany, Poland, Maidan, the EU, (and the US), which inevitably led to the unconstitutional coup (both Putin and Lavrov kept insisting that the February 21 agreement should have been "fully" implemented), the Minsk Protocol, Putin's and Lavrov's aversion to the idea of revolution and any new revolutionaries, and the lack of genuine political and social strategy on the part of Putin and his leadership. Putin's revelation of his strategic and political "secret" happened at the same youth camp, and I already drew attention to it before, for it shows Putin's evident deference to and reverence to the ruling authorities, even if they are are avowed enemies of Russia or the Banderite, Nazi junta in Kiev. 

In contrast with the US which is "always putting their eggs into multiple baskets,"  as Putin indicates, the main political rule of his leadership was to try to warm the one egg--the egg of the existing authorities. 

The key formulation of this "conservative" strategy comes in these Putin's frank confession: 

"Russia always supports the acting authorities ...  I have an inner conviction that that’s how it works. ... it’s as simple as that.  And naturally, we always rely on the current government and always support it.we treat everyone equally, but we cooperate with the government in power."

"It’s not even a secret, just a story"--The story of Ukraine, Putin's Russia, and Novorossiya

The sad thing is that, evidently, Putin himself does not still see what this very strategy of supporting even one's own enemies and most thieving and prostituting oligarchs, who grossly sin against their own people and actively work with NATO against Russia, has done to Ukraine and to Russia and its own security after pursuing this not-so-secret strategy for all these years.

So, since clearly this seems to be a crucial passage, I am giving it here fully and completely as transcribed in Putin's official transcript right from his own site:

"I will let you in on a little – it’s not even a secret, just a story. There is nothing special here, I will tell you about it as it has to do with former president Viktor Yanukovych. We did not push or thrust Yanukovych anywhere. I want you to know, and for Russia to know, and for everyone in Ukraine to know: nothing of the sort ever happened. Russia always supports the acting authorities. We are not like some of our partners. Maybe, in this regard, they are even being more pragmatic, they are always putting their eggs into multiple baskets. Moreover (the Americans do this), even if a government somewhere is loyal to them, they always work with the opposition. Always! And they even set it against the current government a bit, so that even if that government is loyal, it will stay even more loyal, and to show that yes, we have someone else to work with. I suppose that’s a pragmatic position. And I see that it was used for centuries by Britain as well. This Anglo-Saxon approach migrated to the United States and is used by them today. Regardless of how they might respond to me (they will certainly respond and discuss it now), I have an inner conviction that that’s how it works. But in Russia, especially in the post-Soviet space, we cannot do that. Things are different here, it’s as simple as that. And naturally, we always rely on the current government and always support it. This does not mean that we are indifferent or even antagonistic towards the opposition. No, we treat everyone equally, but we cooperate with the government in power. That was true during Kuchma’s presidency as well. And when his presidential term expired, I asked him directly: “Mr Kuchma, who should Russia support in the next presidential election?” And he told me: “Yanukovych.” I had some doubts as to whether Kuchma felt certain about Yanukovych’s candidacy, and I asked him about it during the final preparations for the presidential election campaign. He told me: “That’s it, it’s decided, a decision has been made; we will support and promote Yanukovych, and I am asking you and Russia to support him through information resources and support him politically.” And that is what we did. Later, when they made a complete mess of the third round, I cannot call it anything else, I was certainly surprised. I asked Mr Kuchma again, “What is going on? Are you supporting him or not?” Yanukovych was not able to use his result in the elections. After all, he won in the second round. All this turned into a fairly sharp political struggle. Mr Yushchenko, who became President, and Ms Timoshenko, who became Prime Minister, apparently didn’t have great success either, since Yanukovich won in the next election. Incidentally, I always ask: “So why didn’t you sign an association agreement with the European Union back then? Who was in your way? All the power was in your hands.” But the fact is that they did not do it. The question is: why not? I suspect they did not do it because it is fairly dangerous socioeconomically, because the consequences could be quite grave for Ukraine’s economy and, therefore, for Ukraine’s social sphere and politics. But we have never pushed through any candidate, we do not do it and we will not do it, and this is true regarding Yanukovych as well. This was exclusively the choice of the Ukrainian people and the logic of internal political processes. Incidentally, we would have cooperated fully with Yushchenko, who is considered a pro-western politician, and Timoshenko, who has that same image. As you know, even when Ms Timoshenko found herself in jail, our position was quite clearly stated. I said and felt that it is unacceptable to use a policy of criminal prosecution in politics. Those developments were damaging for Russian-Ukrainian relations; we did not feel there was anything criminal in her signing gas contracts with Russia. Incidentally, her fellow party members, who were present when this contract was signed, including the current Energy Minister, Mr Prodan, for some reason today do not want to comply with the documents that they themselves signed, but that’s a separate issue. Let’s talk about demographics; there is a proposal on boosting the birth rate, which is interesting. Go ahead." 

When Putin said all this, he looked entirely honest and relaxed, as you can see for yourself for the whole almost 2.5-hour interview can be watched on Youtube:

In fact, in this very same interview (at 46:00), Putin himself talks of the importance of honesty for a leader like him:

"That is extremely important; if people see that the head of a region, city or state believes in what he is doing, if he is honest and open, then I assure you, I have seen this many times, people begin to trust and support him. This is extremely important. And even if this is not reflected in the mid-term ratings, so long as there are no mistakes, so long as we are moving in the right direction, then the right and principled position always pays off; people understand and support this. That is how I try to work."

So let us get it straight. For, in this very important and revealing communication, Putin explains how a great deal of Russia's long-term, non-existing strategy was created. It was not created as a result of Russia's long term vision; it was born out of Kuchma's own personal fiat and wish. And who is Kuchma? A key maker of Ukraine's oligarchic thieves in the 1990s. A crook of the crooks. And now he is also the Nazi junta's confidant and go-between who put his signature on the Minsk Protocol so that no actual official of the Kiev regime had to. 

Unless we missed that part, let's review this again--in Putin's own words: 

"I asked him directly: 'Mr Kuchma, who should Russia support in the next presidential election?' And he told me: 'Yanukovych.' I had some doubts ... [but he] told me: 'That’s it, it’s decided, a decision has been made; we will support and promote Yanukovych, and I am asking you and Russia to support him through information resources and support him politically.' And that is what we did. Later ... they made a complete mess ... I was certainly surprised ... This was exclusively the choice of the Ukrainian people ... we would have cooperated fully with Yushchenko ... and Timoshenko ..."

The portions from Putin's extensive speech referred to here come at 58:00 (the condemnation of the Bolsheviks as traitors of Russia's national interests, which does follow immediately upon Putin's discussion of Crimea and Ukraine) and 2:12:15 (hatching and keeping just one egg of the authorities that happen to be in power).

What this approach meant specifically for Ukraine and Russian-Ukrainian relations after 1991 in practice was diagnosed by Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the post-perestroika Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Zyuganov's analysis reads like a clean, cold, precise, and quick cut into the heart of the matter with a cavalryman's saber (while the rest of his analysis of the "deep roots of Ukraine's crisis") is good, but long and ponderous artillery fire). Zyuganov's article was published on the very day when the Minsk Protocol was signed--on September 5:

"Russia’s ruling group saw and still sees Ukraine primarily as a territory in which a gas pipeline is laid. Therefore, the policy of the upper RF authorities focused almost exclusively on ensuring a smooth flow of gas to Europe. Public sentiments in Ukraine were not only a mere subject of interest and influence for the Russian “elite”, but were completely ignored as a factor fully irrelevant against the background of intrigues around the gas pipeline at the “top” of the authorities of the two countries, for which the peoples of the fraternal republics subsequently had to pay a heavy price."
Besides making inter-and intra-oligarchic bargains and deals involving oil, gas, military production, etc., Russia did really have any other political strategy or policy, which, in my view, voiced already elsewhere, was quite criminal. And to have seen Ukraine primarily "as a territory in which a gas pipeline is laid" also meant irresponsible disregard for existing realities, sensibilities, needs, and aspirations of the people. This approach and this lack of real strategy (besides asking Kuchma, the crook-godfather of Ukrainian oligarchic thieves what he wanted) also meant that Russia's policy toward Ukrainian has been built on a politically and socially narrow base dictated by Ukrainian oligarchs who, having their souls lost a long time ago, have sold their allegiance to the Empire (and NATO) a long time ago as well. 

Putin's disclosure of his own secret also helps explain the insensible, counter-productive, and, frankly, humiliating "negotiations" with the Kiev putschists on Russian gas, which Kiev had no intention, and soon also hardly any means, to pay for. Kiev needed to finance the war against the people of Donbass.

This quality (which Michael Green called Moscow's desire for comity) also helps explain Moscow's strange addiction to the sound of the word "partners," which has been Putin's and Medvedev's main address of choice when referring to the West and even to the Kiev junta.

This Putin's confessions should also dispel the surviving illusions popular with Western leftists and liberals who see in Putin a new socialist leader in waiting. Disclosure of Putin's rejection of the communist cause also helps explain Putin's evident lack of empathy and support for the clearly socialist or pro-socialist and anti-oligarchic yearnings of anti-fascist uprising of the working class and miners of Donbass. Does he see them as traitors--traitors of Ukraine's national interests as well?

It should also be noted that when Putin unveiled the poverty of strategic thought and the absence of real principles, presented as the principle itself, he seemed to believe that his position is the solely right one.

What can one make of this? As Michael Green put it, the two of us happen to think alike. So I take the liberty to reproduce here his comment, which says that Putin's denunciation of the Russian communists as "complete national traitors" is no small thing (Did "complete national traitors" lead the victory of the Soviet people over Nazism in World War II? Does this then make Gorbachev and Yeltsin a negation of communism as "complete national treason"?): 

"Fifth column is just a phrase, but let's look at it critically. As used here, the phrase has Orwellian overtones. Consider that Putin has denounced not just the Bolsheviks, but the entire period of Russian history between the time of the Czar and Boris Yeltsin (most of the 20th century, that is). Presumably, a Russian fifth column would have done much the same. It would also have been currying favor with not just the West, but also the ideological enemies of the Russian state during that time. That, we know, is exactly what Putin has done as well, to the extent that he has curried favor with those most committed to destroying Russia. Here, I am not speaking of only Brzezinski and his crew of rabid neocons, but also people like Poroshenko and, of course, his ideological mentor who, as things have played out, would appear to have been the late Stepan Bandera. Because Putin is moderate and well-spoken, and because has a reputation as a wheeler and dealer on the business side of things, the liberal left has chosen to ignore evidence ..." 

I would also like to note that I took Putin's statement on the Bolsheviks directly from the official transcript posted on Putin's official site. BBC quoted in its article only its partial, cut-off segment.