Putin Counters Western and Zionist undeclared Wars; Vineyard of Saker
Interim Observations on PM Modi's US Visit
"Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," said Obama. Clapper & others led by Obama have been equally wrong elsewhere too.
Two days ago I had circulated the following two articles;
1. Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative? By Paul Craig Roberts, and
2. The Crash Heard Round the World- Saudis to Reject USD for Oil Payments by Jim Willie:
The first one was by Dr. Roberts, written in anguish and in anger, against the evil policies of U.S.-led West against Russia and other countries. The second one was about the coming fall of international economic system controlled and manipulated by US led West.
Since then, an article from Vineyard of Saker has gone into details, explaining and extolling the policies followed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the role of China and other countries.
I had myself suggested that Dr Roberts had written the piece out of impatience and anguish .Putin is playing like an international chess grand master, which Russia has produced in abundance. He himself is an expert in judo, calculating his entire enemy's moves well and allowing Obama led West to pursue illegal, brutal and stupid policies leading towards West's own fall.
In fact, since 2000, I have been writing articles on the decline and fall of American century and its hegemony, below;
Modi's US visit; Show, Fun and Charades but little concrete outcome
The whole world is watching with great interest the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to United States. He was denied a US visa for over ten years till his party BJP won a decisive election victory .On arrival Modi was confronted with a charge which the US Courts and the Govt should not allowed to be admitted . It smacks of arrogance of all US branches.
From the coverage in Indian media and especially TV channels, most of whom have sent their chattering and ignorant anchors and experts to New York and Washington, there appears to be little change among the policymakers in United States and their belief in Americans Exceptionalism, which the rest of the world, including India must fall in line with .Others must follow and support American policies. It is sad that these American policymakers and opinion makers still remain in a state of denial .When it was enquired from some of them that India's candidature to the UN Security Council has been supported by Russia and even China and others, while Washington remained opposed to India elevation, the general US reply was that India had not slavishly toed the American line on international events in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. So there you are.
Many of these CEOs and other bigwigs in America are promising conditional investment in India only if Mr Modi changes the economic and monetary policies to align with what America and other Western countries desire, including many Indian jokers, whose perception of reform is selling out Indian public sector undertakings at throwaway prices and grant unlimited concessions to private sector in India and abroad at the cost of wealth which belongs to the people of India without taking into consideration even the immediate and long-term environmental and other ramifications. Modi's statement to CEOs that he will use the Indian Supreme Court judgment which cancelled almost all coal allotments as illegal since 1993 , to cleanse the corrupt system as a cold shower to theft of public money by foul means.
Fortunately, Modi, who intends to chart a new path for the development and uplift of all including the poorest, is not going to make any such concessions wholesale. He has talked about development of all that will benefit and encourage movement of poorest to middle-class and the middle class to move upwards.
This is a clear indication that under Modi, who intends to rule for at least for 10 years and even more, the era of robber barons in India or from elsewhere is not going to return and in fact put a full stop to it .Concessions would be extended to benefit the Indian electorate across the board. US policy makers and CEOs remain in denial. However at the end of Q & A at Council for Foreign Relations in New York, the compere admitted that he had learnt from the Indian PM How to answer questions.
The funniest part is that Americans do not have dollars based on gold or supported by manufacture. Its annual trade deficit runs at half trillion dollars .What Washington has done is that it has created nearly USD 3 trillion of stimulus funds without any backing by gold. This huge amount of money is given to American investors and banks at almost 0% interest to invest .They invest in stocks in various stock exchanges in Asia and elsewhere from where they manipulate stocks and make some profits. Time will soon come when the American dollar resting on Casino like chips based on dollars as reserve currency will be forced to come down to its level, which is very low. US economy is bankrupt. There is continuing depression and the various wars being conducted around the world ie bombings and more bombings by bomber Barack Obama to keep away the day of reckoning is bound to come sooner or later .Better as early as possible for the safety of the well-being of world citizens, including citizens in America.
K.Gajendra Singh 30 September, 2014
The Anglo-Zionist Empire is at War with Russia
By The Saker
The context: A double declaration of war
Russia's long term end goal is to bring down the AngloZionis Empire. Russia's mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev. Russia's short term goal is to prevent the junta from over-running Novorussia. Russia's preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved.
September 28, 2014 "ICH" - "Vineyard of the Saker" - Listening to Poroshenko a few days ago and then to Obama at the UNGA can leave no doubt whatsoever about the fact that the Anglo Zionist Empire is at war with Russia. Yet many believe that the Russian response to this reality is inadequate. Likewise, there is a steady stream of accusations made against Putin about Russia's policy towards the crisis in the Ukraine. What I propose to do here is to offer a few basic reminders about Putin, his obligations and his options.
First and foremost, Putin was never elected to be the world's policeman or savior; he was only elected to be president of Russia. Seems obvious, but yet many seem to assume that somehow Putin is morally obliged to do something to protect Syria, Novorussia or any other part of our harassed world. This is not so. Yes, Russia is the de facto leader of the BRICS and SCO countries, and Russia accepts that fact, but Putin has the moral and legal obligation to care for his own people first.
Second, Russia is now officially in the crosshairs of the Anglo Zionist Empire which includes not only 3 nuclear countries (US, UK, FR) but also the most powerful military force (US+NATO) and the world's biggest economies (US+EU). I think that we can all agree that the threat posed by such an Empire is not trivial and that Russia is right in dealing with it very carefully.
Sniping at Putin and missing the point
Now, amazingly, many of those who accuse Putin of being a wimp, a sellout or a naive Pollyanna also claim that the West is preparing nuclear war on Russia. If that is really the case, this begs the question: if that is really the case, if there is a real risk of war, nuclear or not, is Putin not doing the right thing by not acting tough or threatening? Some would say that the West is bent on a war no matter what Putin does. Okay, fair enough, but in that case is his buying as much times as possible before the inevitable not the right thing to do?!
Third, on the issue of the USA vs ISIL, several comment here accused Putin of back-stabbing Assad because Russia supported the US Resolution at the UNSC.
And what was Putin supposed to do?! Fly the Russian Air Force to Syria to protect the Syrian border? What about Assad? Did he scramble his own air force to try to stop the US or has he quietly made a deal: bomb "them" not us and I shall protest and do nothing about it? Most obviously the latter.
In fact, Putin and Assad have exactly the same position: protest the unilateral nature of the strikes, demand a UN Resolution while quietly watching how Uncle Sam turned on his own progeny and now tries to destroy them.
I would add that Lavrov quite logically stated that there are no "good terrorists". He knows that ISIL is nothing but a continuation of the US-created Syrian insurgency, itself a continuation of the US-created al-Qaeda. From a Russian point of view, the choice is simple: what is better, for the US to use its forces and men to kill crazed Wahabis or have Assad do it? And if ISIL is successful in Iraq, how long before they come back to Chechnya? Or Crimea? Or Tatarstan? Why should any Russian or Syria soldier risk death when the USAF is willing to do that for them?
While there is a sweet irony in the fact that the US now has to bomb its own creation, let them do that. Even Assad was clearly forewarned and he obviously is quite happy about that.
Finally, UN or no UN, the US had already taken the decision to bomb ISIL. So what is the point of blocking a perfectly good UN Resolution? That would be self-defeating. In fact, this Resolution can even be used by Russia to prevent the US and UK from serving as a rear base for Wahabi extremists (this resolution bans that, and we are talking about a mandatory, Chapter VII, UNSC Resolution).
And yet, some still say that Putin threw Assad under the bus. How crazy and stupid can one get to have that kind of notion about warfare or politics? And if Putin wanted to toss Assad under the bus, why did he not do that last year?
Sincere frustration or intellectual dishonesty?
But that kind of nonsense about the Syria is absolutely dwarfed by the kind of truly crazy stuff some people post about Novorussia. Here are my favorite ones. The author begins by quoting me:
"This war has never been about Novorussia or about the Ukraine."
and then continues:
That statement is too vacuous and convenient as a copout. Do you really mean to say that the thousands of people murdered by shelling, the thousands of young Ukrainian conscripts put through the meat grinder, the thousands of homes destroyed, the more than 1 million people who have turned into refugees... NONE of that has anything to do with Novorussia and Ukraine? That this is only about Russia? Really, one would wish you'd refrain from making silly statements like that.
The only problem being, of course, that I never made it in the first place :-)
Of course, it is rather obvious that I meant that FOR THE ANGLOZIONIST EMPIRE the goal has never been the Ukraine or Novorussia, but a war on Russia. All Russia did was to recognize this reality. Again, the words "do you really mean to say that" clearly show that the author is going to twist what I said, make yet another strawman, and then indignantly denounce me for being a monster who does not care about the Ukraine or Novorussia (the rest of the comment was in the same vein: indignant denunciations of statements I never made and conclusions I never reached).
I have already grown used to the truly remarkable level of dishonesty of the Putin-bashing crowd and by now I consider it par for the course. But I wanted to illustrate that one more time just to show that at least in certain cases an honest discussion is not the purpose at all. But I don't want to bring it all down to just a few dishonest and vociferous individuals. There are also many who are sincerely baffled, frustrated and even disappointed with Russia's apparent passivity. Here is an excerpt of an email I got this morning:
I guess I was really hoping that perhaps Russia, China The BRICS would be a counter force. What I fail to understand is why after all the demonisation by the U.S and Europe doesn't Russia retaliate. The sanctions imposed by the West is hurting Russia and yet they still trade oil in euros/dollars and are bending over backwards to accommodate Europe. I do not understand why they do not say lift all sanctions or no gas. China also says very little against the U.S , even though they fully understand that if Russian is weakened they are next on the list. As for all the talk of lifting the sanctions on Iran that is farcical as we all know Israel will never allow them to be lifted. So why do China and Russia go along with the whole charade. Sometimes I wonder if we are all being played, and this is all one big game , which no chance of anything changing.
In this case the author correctly sees that Russia and China follow a very similar policy which sure looks like an attempt to appease the US. In contrast to the previous comment, here the author is both sincere and truly distressed.
In fact, I believe that what I am observing are three very different phenomena all manifesting themselves at the same time:
1) An organized Putin-bashing campaign initiated by US/UK government branches tasked with manipulating the social media.
2) A spontaneous Putin-bashing campaign lead by certain Russian National-Bolshevik circles (Limonov, Dugin & Co.).
3) The expression of a sincere bafflement, distress and frustration by honest and well-intentioned people to whom the current Russian stance really makes no sense at all.
The rest of this post will be entirely dedicated to try to explain the Russian stance to those in this third group (any dialog with the 2 first ones just makes no sense).
Trying to make sense of an apparently illogical policy
In my introduction above I stated that what is taking place is a war on Russia, not hot war (yet?) and not quite an old-style Cold War. In essence, what the AngloZionists are doing is pretty clear and a lot of Russian commentators have already reached that conclusion: the US are engaged into a war against Russia for which the US will fight to the last Ukrainian. Thus, for the Empire, "success"can never be defined as an outcome in the Ukraine because, as I said previously, this war is not about the Ukraine. For the Empire "success" is a specific outcome in Russia: regime change. Let's us look at how the Empire plans to achieve this result.
The original plan was simplistic in a typically US Neocon way: overthrow Yanukovich, get the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, politically move NATO to the Russian border and militarily move it into Crimea. That plan failed. Russia accepted Crimea and the Ukraine collapsed into a vicious civil war combined with a terminal economic crisis. Then the US Neocons fell-back to plan B.
Plan B was also simple: get Russia to intervene militarily in the Donbass and use that as a pretext for a full-scale Cold War v2 which would create 1950's style tensions between East and West, justify fear-induced policies in the West, and completely sever the growing economic ties between Russia and the EU. Except that plan also failed - Russia did not take the bait and instead of intervening directly in the Donbass, she began a massive covert operation to support the anti-Nazi forces in Novorussia. The Russian plan worked, and the Junta Repression Forces (JRF) were soundly defeated by the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) even though the latter was suffering a huge deficit in firepower, armor, specialists and men (gradually, Russian covert aid turned all these around).
At this point in time the AngloZionist plutocracy truly freaked out under the combined realization that their plan was falling apart and that there was nothing they could really do to rescue it (a military option was totally impossible as I explained it in the past). They did try economic sanctions, but that only helped Putin to engage in long overdue reforms. But the worst part of it all was that each time the West expected Putin to do something, he did the exact opposite:
- Nobody expected that Putin would use military force in Crimea in a lightening-fast take-over operation which will go down in history as at least as amazing as Storm-333.
- Everybody (including myself) expected Putin to send forces into Novorussia. He did not.
- Nobody expected Russian counter-sanctions to hit the EU agricultural sector.
- Everybody expected that Putin would retaliate after the latest round of sanctions. He did not.
There is a pattern here and it is one basic to all martial arts: first, never signal your intentions, second use feints and third, hit when and where your opponent doesn't expect it.
Conversely, there are two things which are deeply ingrained in the western political mindset which Putin never does: he never threatens and he never postures. For example, while the US is basically at war with Russia, Russia will gladly support a US resolution on ISIL if it is to Russia's advantage. And Russian diplomats will speak of "our American partners" or "our American friends" while, at the same time, doing more than the rest of the planet combined to bring down the AngloZionist Empire.
A quick look at Putin's record
As I have written in the past, unlike some other bloggers and commentators, I am neither a psychic not a prophet and I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do tomorrow. But what I can tell you is that which Putin has already done in the past: (in no particular order)
- broken the back of the AngloZionist-backed oligarchy in Russia.
- achieved a truly miraculous success in Chechnia (one which nobody, prophets included, had foreseen).
- literally resurrected the Russian economy.
- rebuilt the Russian military, security and intelligences forces.
- severely disrupted the ability of foreign NGOs to subvert Russia.
- done more for the de-dollarization of the planet than anybody before.
- made Russia the clear leader of both BRICS and SCO.
- openly challenged the informational monopoly of the western propaganda machine (with projects like RussiaToday).
- stopped an imminent US/NATO strike on Syria by sending in a Russian Navy Expeditionary Force (which gave Syria a full radar coverage of the entire region).
- made it possible for Assad to prevail in the Syrian civil war.
- openly rejected the Western "universal civilizational model" and declared his support for another, a religion and tradition based one.
- openly rejected a unipolar "New World Order" lead by the AngloZionists and declared his support for a multi-polar world order.
- supported Assange (through RussiaToday) and protected Snowden
- created and promoted a new alliance model between Christianity and Islam thus undermining the "clash of civilization" paradigm.
- booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in the Caucasus (Chechnia, Ossetia).
- booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in Central Asia (Manas base in Kyrgyzstan)
- gave Russia the means to defend her interest in the Arctic region, including military means.
- established a full-spectrum strategic alliance with China which is at the core of both SCO and BRICS.
- is currently passing laws barring foreign interests from controlling the Russian media.
- gave Iran the means to develop a much needed civilian nuclear program.
- is working with China to create a financial system fully separated form the current AngloZionist controlled one (including trade in Rubles or Renminbi).
- re-establised Russian political and economic support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Argentina.
- very effectively deflated the pro-US color-coded revolution in Russia.
- organized the "Voentorg" which armed the NAF.
- gave refuge to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
- sent in vitally needed humanitarian aid to Novorussia.
- provided direct Russian fire support and possibly even air cover to NAF in key locations (the "southern cauldron" for example).
- last but not least, he openly spoke of the need for Russia to "sovereignize" herself and to prevail over the pro-US 5th column.
and that list goes on and on. All I am trying to illustrate is that there is a very good reason for the AngloZionist's hatred for Putin: his long record of very effectively fighting them. So unless we assume that Putin had a sudden change of heart or that he simply ran out of energy or courage, I submit that the notion that he suddenly made a 180 makes no sense. His current policies, however, do make sense, as I will try to explain now.
If you are a "Putin betrayed Novorussia" person, please set that hypothesis aside for a moment, just for argument's sake and assume that Putin is both principled and logical. What could he be doing in the Ukraine? Can we make sense of what we observe?
Imperatives Russia cannot ignore
First, I consider the following sequence indisputable:
First, Russia must prevail over the current AngloZionist war against her. What the Empire wants in Russia is regime change followed by complete absorption into the Western sphere of influence including a likely break-up of Russia. What is threatened is the very existence of the Russian civilization.
Second, Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev. The Ukie nationalist freaks have proven that it is impossible to negotiate with them (they have broken literally every single agreement signed so far), their hatred for Russia is total (as shown with their constant references to the use of - hypothetical - nuclear weapons against Russia). Therefore,
Third, regime change in Kiev followed by a full de-Nazification is the only possible way for Russia to achieve her vital objectives.
Again, and at the risk of having my words twisted and misrepresented, I have to repeat here that Novorussia is not what is at stake here. It's not even the future of the Ukraine. What is at stake here is a planetary confrontation (this is the one thesis of Dugin which I fully agree with). The future of the planet depends on the capability of the BRICS/SCO countries to replace the AngloZionist Empire with a very different, multi-polar, international order. Russia is crucial and indispensable in this effort (any such effort without Russia is doomed to fail), and the future of Russia is now decided by what Russia will do in the Ukraine. As for the future of the Ukraine, it largely depends on what will happen to Novorussia, but not exclusively. In a paradoxical way, Novorussia is more important to Russia than to the Ukraine. Here is why:
For the rest of the Ukraine, Novorussia is lost. Forever. Not even a joint Putin-Obama effort could prevent that. In fact, the Ukies know that and this is why they make no effort to win the hearts and minds of the local population. If fact, I am convinced that the so-called "random" or "wanton" destruction of the Novorussian industrial, economic, scientific and cultural infrastructure has been intentional act of hateful vengeance similar to the way the AngloZionists always turn to killing civilians when they fail to overcome military forces (the examples of Yugoslavia and Lebanon come to mind). Of course, Moscow can probably force the local Novorussian political leaders to sign some kind of document accepting Kiev's sovereignty, but that will be a fiction, it is way too late for that. If not de jure, then de facto, Novorussia is never going to accept Kiev's rule again and everybody knows that, in Kiev, in Novorussia and in Russia.
What could a de facto but not de jure independence look like?
No Ukrainian military, national guard, oligarch battalion or SBU, full economic, cultural, religious, linguistic and educational independence, locally elected officials and local media, but all that with Ukie flags, no official independence status, no Novorussian Armed Forces (they will be called something like "regional security force" or even "police force") and no Novorussian currency (though the Ruble - along with the Dollar and Euro - will be used on a daily basis). The top officials will have to be officially approved by Kiev (which Kiev will, of course, lest its impotence becomes visible). This will be a temporary, transitional and unstable arrangement, but it will be good enough to provide a face-saving way out to Kiev.
This said, I would argue that both Kiev and Moscow have an interest in maintaining the fictionof a unitary Ukraine. For Kiev this is a way to not appear completely defeated by the accursed Moskals. But what about Russia?
What if you were in Putin's place?
Ask yourself the following question: if you were Putin and your goal was regime change in Kiev, would you prefer Novorussia to be part of the Ukraine or not? I would submit that having Novorussia inside is much better for the following reasons:
- it makes it part, even on a macro-level, of the Ukrainian processes, like national elections or national media.
- it begs the comparison with the conditions in the rest of the Ukraine.
- it makes it far easier to influence commerce, business, transportation, etc.
- it creates an alternative (Nazi-free) political center to Kiev.
- it makes it easier for Russian interests (of all kind) to penetrate into the Ukraine.
- it removes the possibility to put up a Cold War like "wall" or barrier on some geographical marker.
- it removes the accusation that Russian wants to partition the Ukraine.
In other words, to keep Novorussia de jure, nominally, part of the Ukraine is the best way to appear to be complying with AngloZionist demands while subverting the Nazi junta in power. In a recent article I outlined what Russia could do without incurring any major consequences:
- Politically oppose the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc.
- Express political support for Novorussia and any Ukrainian oppositionContinue the informational war (Russian media does a great job)
- Prevent Novorussia from falling (covert military aid)
- Mercilessly keep up the economic pressure on the Ukraine
- Disrupt as much as possible the US-EU "axis of kindness"
- Help Crimea and Novorussia prosper economically and financially
In other words - give the appearance of staying out while very much staying in.
What is the alternative anyway?
I already hear the chorus of indignant "hurray-patriots" (that is what these folks are called in Russia) accusing me of only seeing Novorussia as a tool for Russian political goals and of ignoring the death and suffering endured by the people of Novorussia. To this I will simply reply the following:
Does anybody seriously believe that an independent Novorussia can live in even minimal peace and security without a regime change in Kiev? If Russia cannot afford a Nazi junta in power in Kiev, can Novorussia?!
In general, the hurray-patriots are long on what should be done now and very short any kind of mid or long term vision. Just like those who believe that Syria can be saved by sending in the Russian Air Force, the hurray-patriots believe that the crisis in the Ukraine can be solved by sending in tanks. They are a perfect example of the mindset H. L. Mencken was referring to when he wrote "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong".
The sad reality is that the mindset behind such "simple" solutions is always the same one: never negotiate, never compromise, never look long term but only to the immediate future and use force in all cases.
But the facts are here: the US/NATO block is powerful, militarily, economically and politically and it can hurt Russia, especially over time. Furthermore, while Russia can easily defeat the Ukrainian military, this hardly would be a very meaningful "victory". Externally it would trigger a massive deterioration of the international political climate, while internally the Russians would have to suppress the Ukrainian nationalists (not all of them Nazi) by force. Could Russia do that? Again, the answer is that yes - but at what cost?
I good friend of mine was a Colonel in the KGB Special Forces unit called "Kaskad" (which later was renamed "Vympel"). One day he told me how his father, himself a special operator for the GRU, fought against Ukrainian insurgents from the end of WWII in 1945 up to 1958: that is thirteen years! It took Stalin and Krushchev 13 years to finally crush the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents. Does anybody in his/her right mind sincerely believe that modern Russia should repeat that policies and spend years hunting down Ukrainian insurgents again?
By the way, if the Ukrainian nationalists could fight the Soviet rule under Stalin and Krushchev for a full 13 years after the end of the war - how is it that there is no visible anti-Nazi resistance in Zaporozhie, Dnepropetrivsk or Kharkov? Yes, Luganks and Donetsk did rise up and take arms, very successfully - but the rest of the Ukraine? If you were Putin, would you be confident that Russian forces liberating these cities would receive the same welcome that they did in Crimea?
And yet, the hurray-patriots keep pushing for more Russian intervention and further Novorussian military operations against Ukie forces. Is it not about time we begin asking who would benefit from such policies?
It has been an old trick of the US CIA to use the social media and the blogosphere to push for nationalist extremism in Russia. A well know and respected Russian patriot and journalist - Maksim Shevchenko - had a group of people organized to track down the IP numbers of some of the most influential radical nationalist organizations, website, blogs and individual posters on the Russian Internet. Turns out that most were based in the USA, Canada and Israel. Surprise, surprise. Or, maybe, no surprise at all?
For the AngloZionists, supporting extremists and rabid nationalists in Russia makes perfectly good sense. Either they get to influence the public opinion or they at the very least can be used to bash the regime in power. I personally see no difference between an Udaltsov or a Navalnii on one hand and a Limonov or a Dugin on the other. Their sole effect is to get people mad at the Kremlin. What the pretext for the anger is does not matter - for Navalnyi its "stolen elections" for Dugin it's "back-stabbed Novorussia". And it does not matter which of them are actually paid agents or just "useful idiots" - God be their judge - but what does matter is that the solutions they advocate are no solutions at all, just pious pretexts to bash the regime in power.
In the meantime, not only had Putin not sold-out, back-stabbed, traded away or otherwise abandoned Novorussia, it's Poroshenko who is barely holding on to power and Banderastan which is going down the tubes. There are also plenty of people who see through this doom and gloom nonsense, both in Russia (Yuri Baranchik) and abroad (M. K. Bhadrakumar).
But what about the oligarchs?
I already addressed this issue in a recent post, but I think that it is important to return to this topic here and the first thing which is crucial to understand in the Russian or Ukrainian context is that oligarchs are a fact of life. This is not to say that their presence is a good thing, only that Putin and Poroshenko and, for that matter, anybody trying to get anything done over there needs to take them into account. The big difference is that while in Kiev a regime controlled by the oligarchs has been replaced by a regime of oligarchs, in Russia the oligarchy can only influence, but not control, the Kremlin. The examples, of Khodorkovsky or Evtushenkov show that the Kremlin still can, and does, smack down an oligarch when needed.
Still, it is one thing to pick on one or two oligarchs and quite another to remove them from the Ukrainian equation: the latter is just not going to happen. So for Putin any Ukrainian strategy has to take into account the presence and, frankly, power of the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian counterparts.
Putin knows that oligarchs have their true loyalty only to themselves and that their only "country" is wherever their assets happen to be. As a former KGB foreign intelligence officer for Putin this is an obvious plus, because that mindset potentially allows him to manipulate them. Any intelligence officer knows that people can be manipulated by a finite list of approaches: ideology, ego, resentment, sex, a skeleton in the closet and, of course, money. From Putin's point of view, Rinat Akhmetov, for example, is a guy who used to employ something like 200'000 people in the Donbass, who clearly can get things done, and whose official loyalty Kiev and the Ukraine is just a camouflage for his real loyalty: his money. Now, Putin does not have to like or respect Akhmetov, most intelligence officers will quietly despise that kind of person, but that also means that for Putin Akhmetov is an absolutely crucial person to talk to, explore options with and, possibly, use to achieve a Russian national strategic objective in the Donbass.
I have already written this many times here: Russians do talk to their enemies. With a friendly smile. This is even more true for a former intelligence officer who is trained to always communicate, smile, appear to be engaging and understanding. For Putin Akhmetov is not a friend or an ally, but he is a powerful figure which can be manipulated in Russia's advantage. What I am trying to explain here is the following:
There are numerous rumors of secret negotiations between Rinat Akhmetov and various Russian officials. Some say that Khodakovski is involved. Others mention Surkov. There is no doubt in my mind that such secret negotiations are taking place. In fact, I am sure that all the parties involved talk to all other other parties involved. Even with a disgusting, evil and vile creature like Kolomoiski. In fact, the sure signal that somebody has finally decided to take him out would be that nobody would be speaking with him any more. That will probably happen, with time, but most definitely not until his power base is sufficiently eroded.
One Russian blogger believes that Akhmetov has already been "persuaded" (read: bought off) by Putin and that he is willing to play by the new rules which now say "Putin is boss". Maybe. Maybe not yet, but soon. Maybe never. All I am suggesting is that negotiations between the Kremlin and local Ukie oligarchs are as logical and inevitable as the US contacts with the Italian Mafia before the US armed forces entered Italy.
But is there a 5th column in Russia?
Yes, absolutely. First and foremost, it is found inside the Medvedev government itself and even inside the Presidential administration. Always remember that Putin was put into power by two competing forces: the secret services and big money. And yes, while it is true that Putin has tremendously weakened the "big money" component (what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists") they are still very much there, though they are more subdued, more careful and less arrogant than during the time when Medvedev was formally in charge. The big change in the recent years is that the struggle between patriots (the "Eurasian Sovereignists") and the 5th column now is in the open, but it if far from over. And we should never underestimate these people: they have a lot of power, a lot of money and a fantastic capability to corrupt, threaten, discredit, sabotage, cover-up, smear, etc. They are also very smart, they can hire the best professionals in the field, and they are very, verygood at ugly political campaigns. For example, the 5th columnists try hard to give a voice to the National-Bolshevik opposition (both Limonov and Dugin regularly get airtime on Russian TV) and rumor has it that they finance a lot of the National-Bolshevik media (just like the Koch brothers paid for the Tea Party in the USA).
Another problem is that while these guys are objectively doing the US CIA's bidding, there is no proof of it. As I was told many times by a wise friend: most conspiracies are really collusions and the latter are very hard to prove. But the community of interests between the US CIA and the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchy is so obvious as to be undeniable.
The real danger for Russia
So now we have the full picture. Again, Putin has to simultaneously contend with
1) a strategic psyop campaign run by the US/UK & Co. which combines the corporate media's demonization of Putin and a campaign in the social media to discredit him for his passivity and lack of appropriate response to the West.
2) a small but very vociferous group of (mostly) National-Bolsheviks (Limonov, Dugin & Co.) who have found in the Novorussian cause a perfect opportunity to bash Putin for not sharing their ideology and their "clear, simple, and wrong" "solutions".
3) a network of powerful oligarchs who want to use the opportunity presented by the actions of first two groups to promote their own interests.
4) a 5th column for whom all of the above is a fantastic opportunity to weaken the Eurasian Sovereignists
5) a sense of disappointment by many sincere people who feel that Russia is acting like a passive punching-ball.
6) an overwhelming majority of people in Novorussia who want complete (de facto and de jure) independence from Kiev and who are sincerely convinced that any negotiations with Kiev are a prelude to a betrayal by Russia of Novorussian interest.
7) the objective reality that Russian and Novorussian interests are not the same.
8) the objective reality that the AngloZionist Empire is still very powerful and even potentially dangerous.
It is very, very, hard for Putin to try to balance these forces in such a way that the resulting vector is one which is in the strategic interest of Russia. I would argue that there is simply no other solution to this conundrum other than to completely separate Russia's official (declaratory) police and Russia's real actions. The covert help to Novorussia - the Voentorg - is an example of that, but only a limited one because what Russia must do now goes beyond covert actions: Russia must appear to be doing one thing while doing exactly the opposite. It is in Russia's strategic interest at this point in time to appear to:
1) Support a negotiated solution along the lines of: a unitary non-aligned Ukraine, with large regional right for all regions while, at the same time, politically opposing the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc. and supporting both Novorussia and any Ukrainian opposition.
2) Give Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs a reason to if not support, then at least not oppose such a solution (for ex: by not nationalizing Akhmetov's assets in the Donbass), while at the same time making sure that there is literally enough "firepower" to keep the oligarch under control.
3) Negotiate with the EU on the actual implementation of Ukraine's Agreement with the EU while at the same time helping the Ukraine commit economic suicide by making sure that there is just the right amount of economic strangulation applied to prevent the regime from bouncing back.
4) Negotiate with the EU and the Junta in Kiev over the delivery of gas while at the same time making sure that the regime pays enough for it to be broke.
5) Appear generally non-confrontational towards the USA while at the same time trying as hard as possible to create tensions between the US and the EU.
6) Appear to be generally available and willing to do business with the AngoZionist Empire while at the same time building an alternative international systems not centered on the USA or the Dollar.
As you see, this goes far beyond a regular covert action program. What we are dealing with is a very complex, multi-layered, program to achieve the Russian most important goal in the Ukraine (regime change and de-Nazification) while inhibiting as much as possible the AngloZionists attempts to re-created a severe and long lasting East-West crisis in which the EU would basically fuse with the USA.
Conclusion: a key to Russian policies?
Most of us are used to think in terms of super-power categories. After all, US President from Reagan on to Obama have all served us a diet of grand statements, almost constant military operations followed by Pentagon briefings, threats, sanctions, boycotts, etc. I would argue that this has always been the hallmark of western "diplomacy" from the Crusades to the latest bombing campaign against ISIL. Russia and China have a diametrically opposed tradition. For example, in terms of methodology Lavrov always repeats the same principle: "we want to turn our enemies into neutrals, we want to turn neutrals into partner and we want to turn partners into friends". The role of Russian diplomats is not to prepare for war, but to avoid it. Yes, Russia will fight, but only when diplomacy has failed. If for the US diplomacy is solely a means to deliver threats, for Russia it is a the primary tool to defuse them. It is therefore no wonder at all the the US diplomacy is primitive to the point of bordering on the comical. After all, how much sophistication is needed to say "comply or else". Any petty street thug know how to do that. Russian diplomats are much more akin to explosives disposal specialist or a mine clearance officer: they have to be extremely patient, very careful and fully focused. But most importantly, they cannot allow anybody to rush them lest the entire thing blows up.
Russia is fully aware that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with her and that surrender is simply not an option any more (assuming it ever was). Russia also understands that she is not a real super-power or, even less so, an empire. Russia is only a very powerful country which is trying to de-fang the Empire without triggering a frontal confrontation with it. In the Ukraine, Russia sees no other solution than regime change in Kiev. To achieve this goal Russia will always prefer a negotiated solution to one obtained by force, even though if not other choice is left to her, she will use force. In other words:
art: Josetxo Ezcurra
Russia's long term end goal is to bring down the AngloZionis Empire. Russia's mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev. Russia's short term goal is to prevent the junta from over-running Novorussia. Russia's preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved. A prerequisite to achieve these goals by negotiations is to prevent the Empire from succeeding in creating an acute continental crisis (conversely, the imperial "deep state" fully understands all this, hence the double declaration of war by Obama and Poroshenko.)
As long as you keep these basic principles in mind, the apparent zig-zags, contradictions and passivity of Russian policies will begin to make sense.
It is an open question whether Russia will succeed in her goals. In theory, a successful Junta attack on Novorussia could force Russia to intervene. Likewise, there is always the possibility of yet another "false flag", possibly a nuclear one. I think that the Russian policy is sound and the best realistically achievable under the current set of circumstances, but only time will tell.
I am sorry that it took me over 6400 words to explain all that, but in a society were most "thoughts" are expressed as "tweets" and analyses as Facebook posts, it was a daunting task to try to shed some light to what is turning to be a deluge of misunderstandings and misconceptions, all made worse by the manipulation of the social media. I feel that 60'000 words would be more adequate to this task as it is far easier to just throw out a short and simple slogan than to refute its assumptions and implications.
My hope that at least those of you who sincerely were confused by Russia's apparently illogical stance can now connect the dots and make better sense of it all.
Kind regards to all,
The Saker -