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Western Attempts at Colour Revolution in Russia Collapse into Farce

Liberal and Western attempts to turn Russians against Putin continuously backfire and end up reinforcing his position.

Dmitry Babich

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There is a problem with the so called anti-Putin (in reality anti-Russian) global “liberal” franchise. (This franchise sometimes takes the form of a Western-financed virulent upheavals like Ukraine’s Maidan.  At other times it hibernates in the form of negative mainstream media stories on familiar stereotypical subjects, Russian and not Russian.) 

The problem with the franchise’s operators is very simple. These people can’t get anything right.

There is a constant dearth of ideas, and when there are ideas, they tend to be so embarrassing, that they actually become counterproductive, working in Putin’s favour.

For example, Novaya Gazeta’s journalist Arkady Babchenko, who in 2014 covered the infamous siege of DNR’s Slavyansk from the positions of the Ukrainian troops, tried to lash out at the public movement of the Eternal Regiment.

Participants of that movement (at least 1 million of them) marched with portraits of their ancestors (veterans of the World War II) through the streets of Russian cities on May 9 – Russia’s Victory Day.

“I don’t want to see this,” Babchenko wrote on Facebook. “Such a huge number of dead people’s photos produces a negative physiological reaction inside me. It looks like a march of walking corpses.”

As one could easily expect, Mr. Babchenko managed to garner a few Facebook signs of approval from the liberal media’s usual audience. A few hundred people, who last year willingly believed liberal media’s stories about the relatives’ portraits being government-distributed fakes, approved of Mr. Babchenko’s physiological instincts.

Millions of dead soldiers’ real relatives however got quite angry at Babchenko and at the media he represents – the pro-Western Novaya Gazeta in the first place.  Indignant reactions flooded the Internet and appeared in printed media.

The damage to the anti-Putin franchise from Mr. Babchenko’s idea of calling his country’s (and his own!) saviours “walking corpses” was bigger than anything the “Kremlin propaganda” could ever invent. 

“The convulsive hatred which Babchenko exudes at the sight of symbols of Russia’s victory in the Great Patriotic War is actually a good sign. It shows that these are the right symbols, which produce on the likes of Babchenko the same effect, which the Holy Cross produces on the devil,” Nikolai Troitsky, a former political commentator at Ekho Moskvy and RIA Novosti wrote on his Facebook page.

The technology of “regime change” is well known and well tested – first you discredit a country’s government, making its members look corrupt, outdated and out of touch with reality. Then you provoke that government into using violence, combining the image of a victim with the image of a cool guy – witty, guitar playing and forward-looking in technology. Technical devices have changed, but the principle stays the same, from anti-Louis XVI pamphlets in the eighteenth century to nationalist thugs with Twitter and Facebook during Ukraine’s Maidan.

The German news magazine Der Spiegel described the modern application of the regime change technology back in 2004, in the aftermath of the anti-Milosevic Otpor’s “revolution” in Serbia in 2001 and Mikheil Saakashvili’s “rose revolution” in Georgia.

The name of Der Spiegel’s article is “Revolutions GmbH,” which can be roughly translated as “The Franchise Named Revolution.” The article pays special attention to the “coolness” requirement for the Western-financed revolutionaries – they have to be witty and entertaining, reserving the role of the nerds for the “regime” (a name routinely used by MSM to label any government not supporting the US and the EU with 100 percent loyalty).   

So, the Russian anti-Putin franchise tries to crack jokes too. But they never come up with anything on the level of the French revolutionaries’ mortal blow to Marie-Antoinette’s reputation in the 1780s, when all France believed that the French queen did actually say “If the farmers have no bread, let them eat brioches.” (In reality, Marie Antoinette never uttered this phrase.)

The closest to that funny lie which the Russian opposition has managed to produce was just one “viral” joke, spread soon after the US and the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia in 2014. Here it is: “A fridge will defeat a TV set” (meaning that Russia’s economic problems will prevail in the public’s psyche over attempts to make life look good on the presumably subservient Russian federal television.)

“If the fridge does not prevail over the TV set, I will call Russian society a bunch of tramps!” commented in 2015 Yevgeny Gontmakher, an anti-Putin economist and a member of the Committee on Civic Initiatives, a liberal think tank founded by the former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a darling of the West.

In 2016 Gontmakher had to admit he was still waiting for the fridge’s victory, with Putin’s rating, as always, well over 80 percent.

The truth is that President Putin is not a nerd, and he is not a dictator, and his policies are not outdated.  And Russian television is not nearly as subservient as the CNN or Fox News, which reported that the Syrian opposition had “no Islamist elements” inside it in 2012, when schools were already blown up by suicide bombers in Damascus.

The liberal franchise’s technology just does not work, because the realities it wants to see in Russia are simply NOT THERE.

“He [Putin] ran his economy into the ground,” President Obama said about Putin in 2015, clearly putting his hopes on the aforementioned fridge (as prosaic as it may seem for the “idealistic President of Hope,” which Obama claimed to be). But somehow, it is not the Russian people, but the deputies of the French parliament who are bemoaning the effect of the mutually imposed food sanctions (which are actually giving a boost to Russia’s food industry). In April 2016, the French parliament even adopted a resolution recommending the French government top walk out of the sanctions’ regime against Russia.

“We have to admit that the EU’s exports to Russia fell by 12.1 percent, while before the sanctions there were 1.200 French companies with assets on Russian territory and 6-7 thousand French exporters to Russia,” the deputies of the French Assemblee Nationale noted.  Calling on the French government to lift the sanctions against Russia, which had no effect on the fulfilment – or rather non-fulfilment of the peace agreements on the Ukrainian conflict – a deputy, Pierre Lellouche, put it bluntly: “It is not the Russian government that does not fulfil the Minsk agreements on amnesty and more self-rule for the Ukrainian regions, it is the Ukrainian political class that sabotages these agreements, divided and corrupt as this class is.”  One could not possibly put it better.

Now little by little, the nations of the world are going to see: the US-sponsored revolutions are no laughing matter, actually. The foreign-financed clowns may become butchers, like Ukrainian President Poroshenko, who got standing ovations in the parliaments of Canada and the US, when 8 thousand of HIS citizens were losing their lives in Donetsk and Lugansk.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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