Regime change needed in Russia? A debate

Richard Stanley

Administrator
In spite of that, Putin won that election with 63.6% of the vote. The #2 candidate was Zyuganov of the Communist Party.
As I coined the phrase long ago, "Shto what?" Putin gets to pick his opposition. That's what happens here, only we disguise it better. Ksenia Sobchak is even the daughter of Putin's first political mentor.

Below, Masha Gessen discusses the manipulation that went on in one polling place, in a larger article about having no good options, a Hobson's Choice.

And 'shto', in Russian means 'what'.

...
At the end of the day, some activist observers posted the final tallies from their precincts; they, too, say that turnout was high, and that Putin’s margin was wide. Some of those who boycotted the vote wrote bitter posts about their forced idleness. But the most heart-wrenching post I saw came from a woman who had voted: Svetlana Dolya, a theatre producer in Moscow, wrote that she had broken down into tears right there, at the polling place, as soon as she had cast her ballot.

Dolya later told me that she had gone to vote for Sobchak, even though she assumed that Sobchak was running by arrangement with the Kremlin. “But in the time she had to campaign, she managed to reach a large number of people with a set of facts, meanings, and rhetoric that had until then been the province of a very small number of people,” she wrote to me. “And I share that rhetoric completely.”

Dolya is thirty-six, which means that she became eligible to vote the year that Putin first became President. Why did she cry when she had just had a chance to cast her vote for a candidate who spoke her language? She told me that it was the polling place itself that reduced her to tears.

“You see these people,” she wrote, “and you hear music—music from your childhood. There are school desks set up as though for a schoolroom tea, with spam, hot dogs, cookies, and grain, just like I remember from my childhood, and women who all look like the vice-principal. And what this provokes is not a tender feeling of nostalgia, but the heavy sense that you live a life that’s somehow separate from your country. In your life, all of this is a memory, it’s the past. In the country’s life, nothing has changed, they are still living right there. And then you look at the board where they list the bios of different candidates, and it’s full of direct, blatant lies, and to know this you don’t need access to any sort of special clan: all the information is openly available. But no one cares, and no one is bothered by the poster there, which says ‘We elected the president,’ like they’ve already elected the president and you have no place here.”

So, Dolya cast her vote and cried, because casting her vote was a bad and fruitless option, robbed of all meaning and hope in advance, like the so-called election itself.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/in-the-russian-election-voters-had-nothing-but-bad-options
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Richard,

In case you haven't noticed, Putin has alienated his original "base" of Yeltsin-affiliated, Atlanticist oligarchs. So it shouldn't be a surprise to find them opposing him in the election.

I watched that pathetic, one-sided excuse for a BBC documentary. One of the main interviewees was Sergei Pugachev. Under Yeltsin, and in the early Putin years, he became an oligarch worth about $15 Billion. He was known as Putin's banker, and apparently just as much implicated in the 2008 financial implosion as any Western banker. Unlike any of our bankers, Pugachev faced criminal charges for embezzling from his bank. See: https://en.crimerussia.com/corruption/gone-in-60-seconds-top-10-russian-fugitive-corrupt-officials/. So now he's down to his last $70 million, and trying to sue the Russian government to recover his fortune.

Now, none of that necessarily invalidates Pugachev's opinion of Putin. But it's background information that the documentary should have mentioned.

Another major character on the show was Mikhail Khodorovsky. Under Yeltsin, Khodorovsky fraudulently maneuvered to gain control of the state-owned Yukos oil interests. Putin's nationalization of those oil interests that belonged to the state in the first place, seems like a perfectly Georgist policy, wouldn't you say? At least the documentary had the decency to mention that Putin believed Khodorovsky had stolen these assets, although it didn't exactly explain how it happened.

Masha Gessen was also on the show. She's the author of the above-linked New Yorker article. Gessen is a Russian-born Jew whose family moved to the USA in 1981, and she returned to Russia in 1991 to work as a "journalist" and to be on the board of directors of an LGBT rights group there. She has subsequently worked for Radio Liberty, a US-funded broadcaster in Prague. In other words, she is a Western-funded paid provocateur.

Ksenia Sobchek is a clearly pro-Western candidate. Gessen's article in the New Yorker makes a big to-do about Navalny, "probably the only person who could be an obstacle to Putin’s victory", but the fact is that Navalny also musters about 1% support in public opinion polls. Gessen assures us that Navalny's multiple embezzlement and fraud convictions have been "trumped up", but how do we know?

Richard, you are going to have to face facts here. Putin is enormously popular among ordinary Russians, whose opinion is generally much closer to Vltchek's than it is to yours. The Russian elections have a wide variety of candidates, including a broad range of viewpoints from Western collaborationists to Marxists, and they overwhelmingly support Putin.

In spite of Navalny's call to boycott the election, turnout is said to be about 76%. That puts US elections to shame.

Putin gets to pick his opposition.
I've heard that elsewhere, but where is this popular opposition that can't run? It doesn't exist.

One would think that the Communist Party would be real opposition in a Capitalist Russia, but they aren't doing so well.

You can complain that democracy is a flawed system, and assert that Russians are victims of mass delusion. But you can't pretend that Sobchek's tearful supporter Dolya is representative. And WTF is this: Gessen says "they list the bios of different candidates, and it’s full of direct, blatant lies", but no specifics given?

This New Yorker article is just another example of tear-jerking, war-mongering Western propaganda.

The Saker says this morning:

http://thesaker.is/the-outcome-of-the-election-in-russia-explained-in-simple-plain-english/

1) Putin easily wins by a landslide and is *more* popular than ever
2) The Russian Communists and Zhirinovsky have reached terminal irrelevancy
3) Only 2.6% of Russians are pro-USA and generally pro-West (Sobchak+Yavlinsky)
4) The entire AngloZionist anti-Putin campaign has miserably failed
5) The Empire has two choices left: go to war or fold
6) If the Empire choses to to go war it will face a completely united Russia
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Most all such leaders are very popular Jerry. Oddly Trump is the least popular of them, at least, at the moment.

I'm not interested in supporting such blatant, chauvinistic nationalists, playing the what-aboutism about how great Putin is. If Putin is an authentic dialectic to the evil Anglo-American empire then he is doing a very crappy job of PR to the world outside of Russia. But, it seems to me that he has long figured out his necessary audience, as has Trump.

If Putin is such as great Georgist, then why does he yet have his second generation oligarchs?

6) If the Empire choses to to go war it will face a completely united Russia
I'm sure that Putin understands the script of the Book of Revelation, it translates the same in Russian.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
On second thought, I do find myself wondering if "the fix is in" regarding the Communist Party in Russia? Maybe Vltchek wouldn't approve of this? Fort-russ notes that their candidate, Pavel Grudinin, is "the richest Communist ever". It seems he's also managed to extradite some funds to Switzerland, including 11 accounts that hadn't been properly disclosed. Nevertheless, Grudinin was the second most popular vote-getter, with 12% of the voters.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/03/grudinin-richest-communist-ever/

A rich communist – kind of an oxymoron! The Swiss Tax Service reported 11 extra bank accounts of the presidential candidate of Russia from the Communist Party, Pavel Grudinin. One of the accounts is for precious metals only – gold.

“The Federal Tax Service applied to the Swiss Authorities with request for information. Swiss colleagues informed us that, in addition to the two accounts that we knew of, Pavel Nikolayevich Grudinin, as of December 31, 2017, had 11 more bank accounts. Thus, Grudinin had a total of 13 accounts in Swiss banks.”

“From the answer that we received from our colleagues in Switzerland, the accounts are for different types of finances, including one account in the form of precious metals.”

Grudinin had informed the Electoral Commission that he did not have foreign accounts, besides the two mentioned.

The third most popular candidate, Vladimir Zhirinovski, has proposed to "crush Turkey via a nuclear attack" and also wants to take Alaska back from the US. This guy also out-polled Gessen's favorite.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
One would think that the Communist Party would be real opposition in a Capitalist Russia, but they aren't doing so well.
On second thought, I do find myself wondering if "the fix is in" regarding the Communist Party in Russia?
You know my opinion, contra-Vltchek, about Communism - as opposed to Socialism, especially hybrid Socialism / Capitalism. As such, using Communism in any argument in this regard is a non-starter.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not interested in supporting such blatant, chauvinistic nationalists
By golly you're right, he is a nationalist. And I don't care if you support him. All I'm asking you to do is quit repeating the blatant lies that are told about him in Western propaganda.

If Putin is an authentic dialectic to the evil Anglo-American empire then he is doing a very crappy job of PR to the world outside of Russia.
Apparently, the Western media is all in a tizzy that he's doing a pretty great job of PR. They must be worried that too many of us are getting wise to the Anglo-American hatchet job, otherwise they wouldn't be working so hard to squelch this on social media.

If Putin is such as great Georgist, then why does he yet have his second generation oligarchs?
Georgism is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, right? There's nothing to prevent the existence of successful businessmen under Georgism? Not that I am saying Putin is consistent in this regard.

I'm sure that Putin understands the script of the Book of Revelation, it translates the same in Russian.
Now this is a good point.

One could argue that Russia was better off in one sense back in the Yeltsin days, when their nuclear deterrent was falling apart and they were being invaded by Angl0-American bankers. "The Empire" nearly conquered the place without firing a shot.

Better to be broke and starving, than killed in a nuclear holocaust, right?

The question is whether Putin is actually seeking a nuclear disaster, or whether he's trying to prevent one by modernizing his forces?

Where is the internationalist disarmament movement when we need it?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Are you in a position to claim that Yukos's claim about selective prosecution is wrong?

...
In July 2004, Yukos was charged with tax evasion, for an amount of over US$27 billion. The Russian government accused the company of misusing tax havens inside Russia in the 1990s so as to reduce its tax burden; havens were set up by most major oil producers in outlying areas of Russia which had been granted special tax status to assist in their economic development; such "onshore-offshore" were used to evade profit taxes, resulting in Yukos having an effective tax rate of 11%, vs a statutory rate of 30% at the time. Yukos claims its actions were legal at the time and that the company used the same tax optimisation schemes as other Russian oil companies, such as Lukoil, TNK-BP and Sibneft. However, Yukos was the only one to be charged with tax evasion and penalised by the authorities.[49] ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukos

BTW, Lukoil just got caught with their pants down with Cambridge Analytica, wanting to know how to influence American voters. They can't seem to get their cover stories straight either. They claim their collusion had to do with either Turkish soccer or Turkish loyalty cards, but not Turkish covefefe.

...
But Christopher Wylie, who helped found Cambridge Analytica and develop the companys voter-profiling technology, said Lukoil showed interest in how the company used data to tailor messaging to American voters.

I remember being super confused, said Mr. Wylie, who took part in one of the Lukoil meetings.

I kept asking Alexander, Can you explain to me what they want? he said, referring to Mr. Nix. I dont understand why Lukoil wants to know about political targeting in America. ...

http://newsenter.org/stpetersburg/2018/03/18/213826-cambridge-analytica-links-to-moscow-oil-firm-and-st-petersburg-university.html

Is Lukoil et al. part of the Russian Georgist schema? I don't think so. Or should we simply be glad for selective Georgification, and not referring to the nation of Georgia here?

Interesting that Lukoil is partially owned by the Bank of Cyprus, recently ran by Wilbur "The Sleeping Whorse" Ross, now America's oligarchic Secretary of Rigged Commerce. The majority is owned by the Bank of New Yorkski.

All I'm asking you to do is quit repeating the blatant lies that are told about him in Western propaganda.
OK, so what is the truth about him?

Apparently, the Western media is all in a tizzy that he's doing a pretty great job of PR. They must be worried that too many of us are getting wise to the Anglo-American hatchet job, otherwise they wouldn't be working so hard to squelch this on social media.
I'm not a denizen of social media so I don't know what is being squelched.

I do know that such as many American evangelicals are in love with Putin, as they are with Trump. This is just one reason I find your Putanic reactions curious.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Georgism is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, right? There's nothing to prevent the existence of successful businessmen under Georgism? Not that I am saying Putin is consistent in this regard.
I don't think he is even close to being a Georgist.

I think his motivations against Khodorkovsky were not benign, betrayed by the timing of Khodorkovsky's charges of widespread corruption improprieties. Curious that Putin's musician friend would suddenly come into hundreds of millions of dollars at this time, for no apparent reason.

One could argue that Russia was better off in one sense back in the Yeltsin days, when their nuclear deterrent was falling apart and they were being invaded by Angl0-American bankers. "The Empire" nearly conquered the place without firing a shot.

Better to be broke and starving, than killed in a nuclear holocaust, right?
Well shoot (pun intended) Jerry, how is a good apocalypse supposed to come about if Russia is conquered so easily. We need criminals so that cops can have employment. What have you got against the police Jerry?
The question is whether Putin is actually seeking a nuclear disaster, or whether he's trying to prevent one by modernizing his forces?
Is this a Postflavian question?

As with the frustrated Libertarian vote, for "None of the Above", this was also the largest 'democratic' opposition to Putin. Hence the counter-narrative Putin commercial to get out and vote -- for Putin, and get some free munchies and flag waving.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Are you in a position to claim that Yukos's claim about selective prosecution is wrong?
So you're saying that the nationalization of Yukos was more of a move to benefit Lukoil by shutting down the competition? So that Putin could go on collecting graft, perhaps? I can't discount the possibility.

An alternative narrative might be that Putin didn't attack Lukoil because of the large percentage of foreign ownership. So he made an example of Yukos, and insisted that the rest of them pay their taxes.

I'm not in a position to make any definitive claims, though.

Interesting that Lukoil is partially owned by the Bank of Cyprus, recently ran by Wilbur "The Sleeping Whorse" Ross, now America's oligarchic Secretary of Rigged Commerce. The majority is owned by the Bank of New Yorkski.
I saw this in Wikipedia, but I'm not sure what it means. I think they're saying BNY is the transfer agent, not the owner.

BTW, Lukoil just got caught with their pants down with Cambridge Analytica, wanting to know how to influence American voters.
Interesting. Perhaps Lukoil could create an American subsidiary, and channel funding that way to Cambridge Analytica? Would that be legal?

Curious that Putin's musician friend would suddenly come into hundreds of millions of dollars at this time, for no apparent reason.
Is this really something that happened? Not enough information here for me to even figure out what you're talking about.

As with the frustrated Libertarian vote, for "None of the Above", this was also the largest 'democratic' opposition to Putin.
In the US election, there was a Libertarian candidate: Gary Johnson, who got 3.2 percent. It's quite a stretch to say that the 45% who stayed home, were frustrated Libertarians.

Failure to vote is not a serious voting stance, it's just laziness or neglect. It certainly can't be construed as a principled opposition to the leading candidates.

OK, so what is the truth about him?
Here's what I think. If there was any actual, substantive dirt against him, the mainstream media would not have to go to such lengths to whip up easily discredited phony propaganda.

Another key point here: even supposing Putin is using the Russian presidency as a base for corruption, for purposes of personal enrichment -- you can't neglect the asymmetry of the overall situation. The US and NATO have surrounded Russia with military bases; invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; withdrawn from the ABM treaty and attempted to establish nuclear superiority and a first-strike capability; and now come out with a "National Defense Strategy" that clearly identifies Russia as a target for nuclear war.

In this situation, what you're doing is just blaming the victim. The rape victim deserved it, she was wearing lipstick.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
In this situation, what you're doing is just blaming the victim. The rape victim deserved it, she was wearing lipstick.
I can't for the life of me figure out why your claiming that I'm treating Putin differently to others, when, clearly I'm treating him consistently. My view on him is consistent with my meta-narrative. I see him as part of the larger construct, more than likely a role player like Trump. I see no reason to play the usual game of: if A is Bad, then B must be Good.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I can't for the life of me figure out why your claiming that I'm treating Putin differently to others, when, clearly I'm treating him consistently. My view on him is consistent with my meta-narrative. I see him as part of the larger construct, more than likely a role player like Trump.
Your meta-narrative is creating a confirmation bias. There's no actual evidence that Putin is part of the grand international conspiracy, or that he's a role player like Trump.

There's a video I've been meaning to watch, that specifically addresses Putin's relationship with this larger situation. The summary, from "Inessa S" of fort-russ.com, is:

Russian General and political figure, Konstantin Petrov was a doctor of technical sciences and a member of the NGO “International Informatization Academy.". He was fired from the Russian Armed forces in the 2000s for unknown reasons. Then, he became one of the first scholars to tour Russia as a lecturer, with a special set of talks titled “Secret World Governance” – in which he told all of that, which is today considered “conspiracy”, including the programme for the “Golden Billion” (something along the lines of eugenics that seeks to preserve the wealthy population of the world.) But as we know, the word “conspiracy” itself was propagated by the CIA in order to make all those who speak up seem like loonies.

In this outtake, General Petrov speaks of the general structure of world governance by the elite. At that – he makes it clear, that current Russian president Putin never entered the equation as any kind of competition. However, having come from a Soviet intelligence background, he was able to play by the rules just long enough, to establish his own.

Petrov mentions the position of current Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu – which could be viewed detrimentally. However, his statement must be evaluated in the context of time, before Shoigu became the Minister of Defense, under Putin. Petrov died suddenly in 2009 – his lectures are difficult to find on the internet, but they are there, many hours of them. I encourage you to make up your own about this.

 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The thesis of the above video, is that Yeltsin brought in Putin, an unknown and inexperienced individual, purely for the purpose of serving as a scapegoat for ongoing disaster. According to Petrov, Putin proved to be more skillful than Yeltsin, or the "governing elite", were expecting. The section of the video specifically about Putin is very brief, and presented without any elaboration, much less any evidence.

In broader context, the idea of Putin as a true advocate for Russia is perhaps as unlikely as the idea that Trump is genuinely opposed to "the system". But one big difference is that Putin genuinely was an unknown and inexperienced individual when he was brought into play. The claim that he was intended to be a short-lived victim of circumstance, makes a lot of sense.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Here's some more information about Khodorkovsky, in an article by F. William Engdahl at VoltaireNet.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article168007.html

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s real crime was not stealing Russia’s assets for a pittance in the bandit era of Yeltsin. His real crime is that he was a key part of a Western intelligence operation to dismantle and destroy what remains of Russia as a functioning state. When the facts are known the justice served on him is mild by comparison to US or UK standard treatment of those convicted of treason against the state. ... he was in the middle of making a US-backed coup d’etat to capture the Russian presidency in planned 2004 Russian Duma elections. Khodorkovsky was in the process of using his enormous wealth to buy enough seats in the coming Duma elections that he could change Russian laws regarding ownership of oil in the ground and of pipelines transporting same. In addition he planned to directly challenge Putin and become Russian President. As part of the horse trade that won Putin the tacit support of the wealthy so-called Russian Oligarchs, Putin had extracted agreement that they be allowed to hold on to their wealth provided they repatriate a share back into Russia and provided they not interfere in domestic Russian politics with their wealth. Most oligarchs agreed, as did Khodorkovsky at the time. They remain established Russian businessmen. Khodorkovsky did not.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following 1 hour documentary details how Yeltsin, with American (Clinton and friends) help, turn Gorbachev's 'perestroika' into a capitalist oligarchy, all the while other Eastern bloc countries were able to transition much more equitably for their people. It only discusses Putin briefly, in that Putin was Yeltsin's hand-picked successor and that Putin's reforms of Yeltsin's reforms were minimal. Of course, the replacement of a few original oligarchs with others was just for show and better compliance with Putin's desires.

The trailer:

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/russiasreforms

https://amzn.to/2LlzrlL
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
I forgot to add that the documentary does state that Putin's minimalist reforms and oligarch substitutions were sufficient enough for him to garner a sufficient political base combined with rigging election results. Sound familiar?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt is from a long article about Russian money well embedded in Britain. The roots of which are drawn back to just after WWII with the Soviet Union. Of course, Putin is a creature from the Soviet Union, and as well he is a creature of support from Bill Clinton's and Tony Blair's help to Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin having hand-picked Putin to succeed him. As such, when reading the rest of the article, one has to wonder just why Putin has let so much money escape the economy of Russia. Because he owes his very existence to this corrupt mafia system. And like Trump, he has convinced just enough people that he has drained his swamp, and threatened enough others.

There is a tremendous amount of Russian oligarch money tied up in American high-end real estate as well, BTW.

...
The amazing thing is that we have tolerated this situation for so long. Britain has consistently welcomed Russian money, and consistently ignored the warnings of those concerned about what it is buying. In March 2000, when Putin was still just acting president and had spent six months pulverising Chechnya, Tony Blair dashed to St Petersburg to be the first western leader to secure a meeting with the new man, and to urge more investment in each other’s countries.

At least Blair could claim not to have known what kind of man Putin was, but David Cameron had no such excuse. In September 2011, Cameron went to Moscow to seek business for the City of London, although most of the facts that are currently concerning MPs about Russia were already known. Litvinenko had been murdered five years previously, and Russia had given one of the Met’s suspects in the case a seat in parliament. Magnitsky had died in jail two years earlier, and his tormentors were walking free. But Cameron went to Moscow anyway.

“The whole point about trade is that we are baking a bigger cake and everyone can benefit from it and this is particularly true, perhaps, of Russia and Britain. Russia is resource-rich and services-light whereas Britain is the opposite,” Cameron told students at Moscow State University, on a trip that also involved meetings with Putin and his then placeholder president Dmitry Medvedev.

In his speech, Cameron boasted that Russian companies accounted for a quarter of share offerings on the London Stock Exchange. “Governments need to remember that businesses don’t have to invest in our country – they choose to. And we need to help them make that choice,” Cameron said. “It means minimising the burden of regulation so that business and entrepreneurship can flourish.”

With a prime minister who considered regulations on the origin of money to be a burden, it’s unsurprising that not many of them were made. This approach did not of course begin with Cameron, or even with Blair. In fact, it goes back to the mid-20th century. After the second world war, Britain was all but bankrupt, the City of London was somnolent, and economic power rested on Wall Street. City bankers wanted to get back into business, but were frustrated by the weakness of the pound, and its unsuitability as a means to finance the world’s trade.



Vladimir Putin and Tony Blair in Downing Street in 2003. Photograph: Grigory Dukor/Reuters

Their salvation came from an unlikely quarter: the Soviet Union, which didn’t want to keep its dollar reserves in US banks. Instead, it kept them in London, where British banks began lending them to each other in an entirely unregulated market – they became known as “Eurodollars” – thus giving birth to offshore finance, and providing the City with the startup capital it needed to get back in business. By the end of the communist period, Soviet institutions routinely sent their money through Britain’s offshore territories, and the City was booming. The Central Bank in Moscow even had a shell company in Jersey, which it used to hide money from the government that it was supposedly a part of.

This is one of the problems with trying to ascertain the volume of dirty Russian money in London: how far back do we go? Do the fees Midland Bank received for banking Soviet money in the 1950s still count as Russian cash, and if so, are they dirty? Does the commission the estate agent earned by selling those flats in Kensington in the early 1990s count as dirty money? And what about the £800m that Russians paid for government bonds in return for golden visas? Or the $41,000 of Magnitsky money that was spent on a wedding dress in London? How many times does money have to circulate in the economy before we decide it’s not dirty any more?

This money is so deeply embedded in the UK that extracting it, or even identifying it, would be an unrivalled feat of investigation. “It would be impossible,” says Prem Sikka, professor of accounting at Sheffield University. “They have the big accountancy firms advising them where best to stash the money, to conceal it, to disguise it, all kind of things. The brains of this pinstriped mafia are available to everyone. They’re for hire.” ...

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/25/how-britain-let-russia-hide-its-dirty-money
 
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