Putin, Russia and the West


#841

[**Russia’s Ghost Towns * * (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v94yjOk02CE)


#842

news.com.au/finance/work/lea … c883290384

Full rogue


#843

Mrs May agrees. She is expelling diplomats and freezing Russian state assets.
bbc.com/news/live/uk-politics-43402524

UK fighting a war on two fronts it seems!


#844

Probably a good enough reason for a boycott in itself. :smiling_imp:


#845

The Grauniad doing its bit to provoke World War…

preview.ibb.co/e3oFAH/Screen_Shot_2018_03_14_at_17_09_58.png

theguardian.com/uk-news - fixed now.


#846

is that from the guardian, i cant see the link


#847

yep UK News front page - theguardian.com/uk-news


#848

I ca’t help but think that if Russia wanted him dead, they’d be able to do it in a way far less likely to have a finger pointed at them.
So, is it someone else who want’s to give Russia the blame?.. even that seems too obvious
Then, is it Russia, thinking, ‘no one would ever believe we’d do something that obvious’

Will we ever know the truth?


#849

I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories at all but it has certainly given Mrs May a welcome respite from Brexit bad news and much need stick to beat Corbyn with!


#850

A few theories doing the rounds within Russia about why Russia might have done this:

  1. It gives a boost to the siege mentality among the Russian electorate ahead of this weekend’s presidential election. (“See they’re blaming us again without any proof.”) The outcome of the elections is not in doubt but they’re pulling out all the stops to ensure a visibly high turnout to give the impression of legitimacy.
  2. Russia is getting nervous about the strength and independence of the Russian emigre powerbase in London and is trying to provoke a backlash from the UK government that would weaken this potential threat to the Moscow regime.
  3. Too many senior people in the current Russian power structures have a foot in the UK (and France, Switzerland etc.) with second homes there and kids in private schools. This was intended as warning in case any might seek to try to jump ship completely.

EDIT: another one I forgot to include.

  1. It is intended to weaken NATO/‘the West’ with the expectation that the UK would react forcefully but its allies would be more circumspect and wouldn’t fully back them.

#851

I don’t think #1 would be the winner here. I don’t think Putin needs any help in that direction.
I think #3 and #4 are linked and realistic.


#852

That might have been the case in the past but now it is clearly a real concern for the regime and acknowledged as such. They’ve been trying all sorts of tricks to boost the turnout. If you know your vote means nothing then why get out of bed and trek to the polling station on a cold March Sunday (the forecast in Moscow is for an unseasonably low day time temperature of -17C). The old reliables are still apparent, like large employers mandating that employers must vote or face consequences (mostly state sector but also private companies reliant on good relations with officialdom). The same with universities compelling students to vote. Also special food deals at polling stations; come and vote and you can buy salami at 50% off. Having Putin’s god daughter run as a fake opposition candidate is a new twist on an old tactic but the brand new feature for this election is parallel local referendums to drum up interest. Maybe you won’t bother going to a polling station to vote for a President who everyone knows is going to win but if you get to vote ‘yes’ for a new sports centre or a new school for your town maybe you’ll be more motivated.

Having said that, even in previous elections it has been clear it is not just about winning but being seen to win resoundingly. It is clear that even with a completely fair voting and counting process Putin (or Medvedev as his proxy in 2008) would always have won the popular vote but, in spite of this, the authorities have felt it necessary to manipulate the vote in an increasing flagrant manner in order to be sure of a comprehensive win in the first round without going to a run off.

In a country with a long history of abrupt changes of power, and with very recent examples of this happening in its neighbourhood, it is understood that the powers of dictatorship are not automatically self-perpetuating. A sense of popular legitimacy is crucial too.


#853

Any theories on who else might have done it, who has Vlad really pissed off over the last couple of years


#854

I was an admirer of Craig Murray’s because of his principled stance in Uzbekistan but his analysis seems to have become somewhat erratic in recent years. That he believes the 1999 apartment bombings in Russia were a false flag by the state (probably true on balance but no firm evidence), but is so keen to deflect Russian blame in Salisbury, strikes me as an application of very contradictory standards of evidence. For what it’s worth he is suggesting Salisbury was something to do with the Trump dossier (without explaining exactly how that provides motive and to whom) or that it was Israel reacting to Russia thwarting its aims in Syria.

craigmurray.org.uk/archives … judgement/


#855

Its the Israel angle I was thinking of, Putin has pissed of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the US, when he saved Assad from ISIS


#856

Well they’ve denied it and nobody has come up with anything other than circumstantial evidence. Russia is not alone in carrying out targetted extra-territorial killings. The US tried it with Castro (and maybe even succeeded with a Cuban passenger flight) and have proven involvement in many deaths in South and Central America. Israel has done it several times (always denied but equally obviously guilty), France did it with the Greenpeace ship, and I think Iran did it a few times as well. These countries were never effectively punished for their acts even when the evidence was overwhelming. Nothing will happen here either.


#857

If they wanted to kill discreetly, they would make it look like an aggravated robbery or an accident. The point of using exotic poisons is to let emigrants know that it was the state that did it. nytimes.com/2016/08/21/world/europe/moscow-kremlin-silence-critics-poison.html


#858

Thats a fair point - leaving the targets knowing they are targets and the host governments unable to conclusively prove that the state was involved.


#859

This is just plain wrong


#860

amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/09/russian-state-tv-warns-traitors-not-to-settle-in-england?__twitter_impression=true