Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The victory of the counter-revolution in Russia in 1991-1993 would not have been possible without massive and massively intensive psychological warfare by the government against its own nation. And this psychological warfare against Russia--by the Russian government (and not just the "liberal opposition") is again in full swing.

The current mutual spike in militant rhetoric between the US and Russia looks like an ordered and coordinated side help in creating and massaging the "right" atmosphere in the last few weeks that remain till the US presidential elections. On Russia's side most of the measures look hasty, improvised, and rather symbolic, that is, weak (3 ships here, 5000 soldiers there etc.).

This does not mean that there is no risk or danger in heating up the talk (of hitting each other with bombs or even nuclear missiles). Equally, such aggressive talk does not make it less irresponsible or less a tool of psychological war (even against one's own population like today's reported announcement of assuring the people of Petersburg with 300 grams of bread and a nuclear shelter). And, yes, there are enough people who not only would not mind, but would rather welcome pulling off something similar to Erdogan's "stabbing Russia into the back."

Still wider and cooler heads have noted that, facing the steady resilience of Damascus and Putin's own ever harder to conceal anxiety and crumbling facade, Moscow had displayed in the past a pattern of sorts--just before caving in with Minsk 1 and 2 or with the rejection of the Novorossiya referendum in Donbass or the deals on Syria (signing on the US demands), Moscow tried to project and increase its "firmness" and "patriotism" and to use up that "assurance" and capital on the sudden sellouts which left the beguiled public disoriented, confused, stunned, surprised, unprepared and--dumb.

For a more careful look still reveals that both Putin and Lavrov are fighting hard (and desperately) to bring the Lavrov-Kelly pact on Syria back from the dead, together with saving al Qaeda in Aleppo and Aleppo for the rebels, and that the Kremlin is still moving resolutely forward in its "strategic" haggling over presenting the Kuril Islands to Japan as part of the newly found supposed "trust" or confidence in Japan (perhaps as good and logical as the newly restored confidence in Erdogan). Similarly, the Kremlin is still trying to square the circle of Donbass and return it ("re-integrate" it) to anti-Russian, NATO-dependent Ukraine.

It is also interesting to note that, very recently, the Russian media, including the state media, began posting photos of Putin, which, unlike the previous ones often doctored, carefully designed and angled,  are presenting Putin in his more true-to-life much less impressive and much less stately physiognomy. This is, moreover, happening while there is a growing talk about a possible early presidential election in 2017 (instead of 2018).

For how, let say, BBC covers some aspects of this situation, see for example here.

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