Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Paul Goble’s article about Tsipko’s article, Madness as a national idea (Сумасшествие как национальная идея), in Nezavisimaya Gazeta is simply outstanding, highlighting the insanity that is today’s Russia.
Russians recycling previous distasteful propaganda lines on Salisbury. Russians also actively promoting the division in the West over Iran. An outstanding commentary on Russia’s most fundamental dysfunction by Tsipko in Nezavisimaya Gazeta. Eidman elaborates on Russia’s prime propaganda myth, which he describes as “… the myth that the US is “the center of world evil”” – this is the Russian version of Iran’s “Great Satan” propaganda myth.
Multiple reports on Col. Skripal, but mostly speculation.
Intent to pursue new CW control regime as the existing regime is broken. US to propose a revised deal with Iran. EU intends to maintain business ties with Iran. China angling to pick up contracts abandoned by Western nations. Erdogan diligently poisoning relations between Turkey and Israel.
Maintenance of the Western bloc’s fake unity at the expense of ostracizing others, most notably Russia, China and Iran, does not really work, Professor Vladimir Golstein told Sputnik, commenting on the fading hysteria over the Skripal case and the severe tests that US President Donald Trump is ruthlessly subjecting his European allies to.
Vladimir Putin greeted the news of Sergei Skripal’s discharged from hospital by saying he would be dead if Moscow had been behind the attack.
President Putin tried yesterday to use Sergei Skripal’s recovery to cast doubt on Britain’s assertion that Moscow was behind the Salisbury poisoning. Salisbury District Hospital reported yesterday that he had been discharged. Mr Skripal, 66, a former spy once jailed in Russia for working for MI6, ha
The Russian president wished Mr Skripal “good health” as Moscow continues to deny responsibility for his poisoning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 18 that former double agent Sergei Skripal “would have died” quickly if a military-grade poison had been used. Skripal and his daughter collapsed on March 4 in Salisbury, England. Britain has accused Russia of being behind the poisoning, saying it was caused by a type of nerve agent known as Novichok, which was developed in the Soviet Union. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claim. British officials said on May 18 that Skripal had been released from the hospital. His daughter, Yulia, was discharged last month. Putin made the remarks during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wished “good health” to former agent Sergei Skripal as he was released from a British hospital Friday, after recovering from a nerve agent poisoning alleged to have been orchestrated by the Kremlin.
The 66-year-old was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital where he was treated for nerve agent poisoning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday that “foreign armed forces” would leave Syria, according to Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA.
The attacks by European leaders against US President Donald Trump are getting sharper by the day.
Iran may resume its 20-percent uranium enrichment if EU governments fail to respect the 2015 nuclear deal after US withdrawal, the country’s Atomic Energy Organization chief has warned.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 17 – “Madness,” Aleksandr Tsipko says, “is [Russia’s] chief national privilege, its only national idea so far” and “without it we cannot live.” And while that has been true at many points in the country’s history, it has never been more obvious or more dangerous than right now. In a lengthy essay for Nezavisimaya gazeta today, the sociologist and commentator argues that “the stronger the love of the Russian people for Putin and the more our president feels himself to be a tsar … the more the new ‘Crimea is Ours’ Russia displays open insanity” (ng.ru/ideas/2018-05-17/5_7226_madness.html). This is the insanity of a government that threatens the West with new weapons even while it cannot support its own population, Tsipko says. It is the insanity of Duma deputies who celebrate the election of Donald Trump and thus ensure that the new US president will never have the chance to do anything good for Russia. While it is true that regardless of the period of Russian history you examine “the passion for self-destruction … gains the upper hand” over good sense, it is certainly true that “the clearest example of this is the transition of Putin’s Russia of the first decade of this century to the era of ‘Crimea is Ours’ victories.” “For us,” the Moscow commentator says, “freedom is above all the right to the unthinkable, the impossible, the absurd, the unnatural and the desruciton of conditions not only for development but for life in general.” Russia now behaves in such a way that the West is “in shock” because Moscow is undercutting its own development and even military security. According to Tsipko, “Russians today are happy that Russia for the first time in history has become a country isolated from all others, that the ring of enemies of Russia is tightening with each day, and that forever has died the possibility of the reuninficaiton of the Great Russians, the Little Russians and the Belarusians.” All nations go through peeriods of madness, the sociologist says; but “the distinguishing characteristic of our Russian insanity consists not only that it is permanent but also that it is given sacred meaning.” It has become “a national value,” evidence that Russia has something special to teach the world. There is one sense in which this is correct, Tsipko says. He cites the observation of Petr Chaadayev who argued that “the meaning of Russian history consists in ‘giving the world some important lesson,’ to show it how people who are intelligent and have good sense should never under any circumstances act.” Consequently, “if someone were to write a book about madness in the history of humanity, he would have to devote an entire chapter to the analysis of madness of Russians in the 20th century.” And he would soon recognize that “Russian madness of the post-commnist era is even more dangerous than the earlier version because it reflects “a dark death instinct.” Tsipko gives an example views about the sovereignty of the RSFSR. That sovereignt arose “not only from the heritage of Russian history but also from the results of the May 9 victory. It marked the death of the Russian world. The present-day Russian Federation doesn’t have the moral right to be the legal successof of the USSR beccuase precisely it was the initiator of the murder of historical Russia.” “But neither our people nor our politicians understand this. And clearly it is insanity to first do everything possible and impossible so that Crimea will become ‘not ours’ and after only a quarter of a century, these very same people kill the future of the country so that at a terrible price they get back what they in 1991 voluntarily threw into the ashheap of geopolitics.” “Practically all current bright ‘Crimea is ours’ people, except for Aleksandr Prokhanov were supporters of the disintegration of the USSR; more than that, they made their political careers thanks to its collapse. Many current politicians and military figures ran from Gorbachev to Yeltsin” despite “the openly anti-Russian policy” of the latter which “destroyed the USSR.” The liberals are to blame as well, he continues. “They were consistent in their struggle with what they called ‘the imperial heritage of Russia.’” But “they too bear direct responsibility for the insanity of the new Russian autocracy … [because] on the blood of the defenders of the parliament it was not possible to create anything besides a new variant of Russian autocracy.” Thus, Tsipko concludes, “the break with good sense is characteristic not only for all Russian eras, each of which gives us examples of its own insanity but also for absolutely all political parties of Russia.” And thus “our tragedy is that neither our politicians nor out people can peacefully coexistence with good sense or the truth.” Historically, he continues, “the stronger the traditional Russian autocracy and the more subservient the Russian people deifies its leader, the less the leader of the country thinks about the negative consequences of the decisions he takes and the less he is capable of controlling himself, the easier it is for him to act irrationally.” According to Tsipko, “many say that without a super powerful state, there will not be any order or stability in Russia. I don’t know,” he says; “but one must see that in post-Crimea Russia, the autocracy of the ruler has crippled the souls of the people. Autocracy and a feeling of personal responsibility for the fate of one’s country are incompatible.” Conversely, “the weaker Russian autocracy is, the more harmless Russian madness is in human terms … The de-humanization of today’s Russian man is manifested not only in that the values of freedom and truth have become alien to him but also in that – and this is especially horrific, the more the value of human life becomes alien as well.” “It is impossible to combine good sense and today’s ‘While there is Putin, there will be Russia’ because behind this phrase is the conviction that Russia in and of itself is worth nothing and that you and your children are condemned to die after the inevitable death of Putin.” Tsipko says he has never before in his life “encountered such insanity among the people around” him. Indeed, he says, “there is an essential difference between the fatalism and slavish abasement of the Soviet man and the fatalism of those who today consider what they should take into a bomb shelter in the case of the beginning of a third world war.” Soviet people had their limitations, but that was not one of them. It is undoubtedly the case, Tsipko continues, that “the super-power of Putin has removed from t eh agenda the issue about the future of Russia. There remain only murky conversations about passing through the bottom of the crisis and about some breakthrough or other.” If the current “by Russian standards all-powerful nature of Putin – compare the all-powerfulness of Putin with that of Stalin and you will understand what I’m talking about – further spiritual degradation awaits us,” the commentator says. And it will involve “fear of the truth, of having one’s own opinion … [and] of apathy.” Any revolution given Russia’s current state, Tsipko argues, would be disastrous “because we are not a consolidated nation like the Armenians who think about how a crisis will lead to the deaths of their fellow citizens.” Instead, Russians are more like Ukrainians and any Maidan “will inevitably lead to bloodshed, to revenge over those who had been in power, to the dividing up of property, and to a new edition of Russian anarchy.” People must understand that in Russia then, “a revolution of the Armenian type would inevitably lead to the final disintegration of everything in the Russian Federation that remains from the USSR.” And as a result, as long as Putin remains in power, “there are no real paths for overcoming his power by means of the development of democracy.” Instead, he says, such an effort would collapse into “a new edition of Russian autocracy” just as happened with Russian democracy in the 1990s. And that means there is no clear road forward that doesn’t lead the country into yet another dead end.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 18 – Many European intellectuals think that Russian propaganda is “post-modernist” that sows confusion but does not have a specific message, Igor Eidman says; but his own interviews with Russian speakers in Germany show that is not the case and that Moscow today is successfully promoting its myth that the US is “the center of world evil.” And even if one is not a fan of what the US is doing in the world, the Russian commentator for Deutsche Welle says, “it must be recognized that to stop Putin’s propaganda will be possible only by destroying this myth.” Unfortunately, “judging from everything, no one is working on that, not even the Americans” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AFDB7FC9F18C). In the course of interviewing Russian speakers in Berlin for a film about the diaspora in Germany, Eidman says he found that “all of those queried, like criminals who had earlier agreed on their story or followers of a totalitarian sect reproduced one and the same invented stories … the corner stone of which … is the image of the enemy in the form of the US.” Many simply repeat verbatim the messages of Russian television that the US wants to “’subordinate and exploit the entire world and above all Russia which is very rich in resources.’” Sometimes such claims are accompanied by truly strange notions such as America wanting to seize Siberia as a place to move to because of an approaching climate catastrophe. According to his interlocutors, Eidman continues, “’the US (plus sometimes Great Britain as the junior partner of the Americans) is guilty in all current wars including Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and so on. The American wanted to seize Crimea and the Donbass, they help ISIS, and they sow trouble and bloodshed everywhere.” For such people, “Crimea of course is ours and always was (many simply don’t know about the seizure of the peninsula by Catherine the Great, but the main thing is that the Americans wanted to occupy it in order to approach closer to Russia.” Everything Moscow has done in Ukraine, they say, is a response to American plans. “It is interesting,” the commentator continues, “that Germany is not viewed as an independent international force. In the eyes of Russian TV viewers, it also is a victim of the Americans.” But Putin for them is “a remarkable leader: he should do more in the social sphere … but all his efforts have to go to fend off the Americans, preserve Russia and peace on earth.” All other myths – about the disintegration of the USSR, the wild 1990s and so on – “are secondary. In every case, these disasters are the product of American ill will “but now Putin has imposed order and restored the country.” That is why, these Russian-language viewers of Moscow television, the American want to overthrow him “using all these Navalnys.” Even “in Soviet times, there was nothing like this,” Eidman says. “The anti-American propaganda then didn’t work. Many Russians viewed the US with interest and even hidden pleasure.” And those Russian who emigrated were far more likely to be positive about the US than about their own country. But now Putin propaganda with its anti-American focus “has turned out to be extraordinarily effective.” And it is being used successfully by Moscow to “justify in the eyes of people economic difficulties, military adventures, and territorial seizures.” That must be recognized first of all in order that the West can counter and dispel this message.
Paul Goble Staunton, May 17 – “One of the most mistaken notions is the thesis that ‘Putinism’ is Putin and that with his departure (physical or political), it will disappear. Today, it is; tomorrow, it won’t be. But unfortunately, this is not the case,” according to a Telegram writer whose screen name is “The Forbidden Opinion.” “Putin is only a detail of this system which gave rise to ‘the Putin phenomenon’” rather than it being its creator as many assume,” he continues (t.me/TheForbiddenOpinion/1740). “’Putinism’ is the condition of the soul of the non-ethnic Russian post-Sov people, a soul that is hopelessly ill and longing for former imperial greatness.” That is to be achieved, this people believes, by “the seizure of the territory of others, genocides and other ‘charming things.’” And it is a reflection of the coming together of “two lonely things: the sick Russian soul and the gray six-year term with suitcases” that looms before Russia now. Putin fit right in to this sick Russian soul because he too “dreamt of ‘great accomplishments’ with his name becoming inserted in the list of Russian rulers between those of Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin.” Such a “union was condemned to ‘success.’” That is how “’Putinism’ was born. It could have had another name – Vladimir Vladimirovich simply turned up at the right time with his suitcases – but it couldn’t have had a different essence.” And that carries with it an important challenge, one that today’s opposition must think about. And that challenge is this: the opposition needs to be asking itself not what it will “do with Putin or after Putin” but rather “how it will cure this ill (and now ever more seriously so) Russian soul.” Only if it does that does it and Russia have a chance to recover from Putinism whether Putin is around or not.
Parliament in Chechnya submitted the legislation on Friday. It would enable the Russian leader to have a third consecutive term.
The Washington Examiner’s opinion article called for Ukraine to conduct air strikes on a new bridge linking the annexed Crimea Peninsula to Russia. Russian officials were not amused.
Russia has presented to the media the world’s first floating nuclear power station in the port of the far northern city of Murmansk.
FORMER Russian spy Sergei Skripal will be offered a new life and identity in America after recovering from a nerve agent attack in Britain.
Sergei Skripal left hospital last week after recovering from an assassination attempt. One creepy prospect for the Skripals is that the would-be assassins may still be in the UK, as sleeper agents living undercover as normal people. “An actual ‘illegal’ with an existing, years-long ‘legend’ would attract attention by going missing all of a sudden – i.e. friends, co-workers or neighbours might report a missing person to police,” a Russia intelligence expert tells Business Insider.
Hospital officials say Skripal, 66, will continue his recovery elsewhere. He was found slumped over on a bench on March 4 along with his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal.
The former Russian spy targeted in a nerve agent poisoning has finally left a UK hospital. Sergei Skripal, 66, was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital more than two months after he and his daughter,… World News Summaries. | Newser
The former double agent’s mum Yelena said she has not heard from him since he was poisoned with nerve agent Novichok in early March in Salisbury
A new report says that a German intelligence agent was able to get a sample of Novichok from Russia shortly after the end of the Cold War. Insights gained from the sample are reportedly still important today.
Western allies are calling for a rare special session of the 192 nations that agreed to prohibit chemical weapons to establish a new mechanism for enforcing the ban after efforts to do so at the Un…
“This involves a range of things around [Iran’s] nuclear program—missiles, proliferating missiles, and missile technology, its support for terrorists, and its aggressive and violent activities that fuel civil wars in Syria and Yemen,” the State Department’s Brian Hook says.
A new approach to containing and eventually defeating the mullahs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants to broaden negotiations to other nations, but European allies will most likely balk at his demand to forever limit Iran’s nuclear program.
A senior adviser to the secretary of state wouldn’t give details but says the goal is to achieve a "better" and more "comprehensive" deal than the 2015 nuclear pact.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to spell out a new “comprehensive strategy” toward Iran on Monday.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will outline a ldquo;diplomatic road maprdquo; next week that he hopes will convince European and other allies to
The US government is seeking a global coalition to counter what it calls Iran’s ‘destabilising activities’.
From the vantage point of the present White House, the Iran deal amounted, at best, to a temporary deferral of nuclear activity in exchange for billions in funding for Iranian proxy warfare.
Continental leaders worry the president may be the new normal, not an aberration.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran has raised serious concerns and worries among America’s European allies.
Diplomats are in talks to offer Tehran financial aid to curb its missile program and regional meddling
The European Union is planning new measures to protect European companies that continue to do business with Iran from US sanctions.
The European Union’s energy chief sought to reassure Iran on Saturday that the bloc remained committed to salvaging a nuclear deal with Tehran despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the accord and reimpose sanctions.
The European Union’s energy chief tried to reassure Iran on Saturday that the bloc remained committed to salvaging a nuclear deal with Tehran despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the accord and reimpose sanctions.
Tusk said on Wednesday: ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’
On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted the following.Tweet
Germany’s economy minister has issued a warning to the United States about the risks of putting “America First,” saying it will prompt European allies to respond in kind and put their own interests first.
Analysis: Israeli-Iranian conflict in Syria is seen by Arab press as beginning of first war between Israelis and Persians. Many Arab commentators avoid condemning Israel, say Islamic Republic is on the brink of economic collapse.
The U.S. would be wise to prepare for potential regime collapse, which, if mishandled, could exacerbate instability in an already chaotic Middle East.
Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment if the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal failed to keep it alive following Washington’s withdrawal, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said on Saturday.
Iran has signed an agreement with a British consortium to develop an oil field, in the first such deal with a Western firm since Washington announced it would exit the nuclear deal and reimpose san…
Both Iran and Russia are reportedly looking into using cryptocurrency as a way around Western sanctions
Earlier the French gas & oil giant announced that it will abandon Iranian project due to looming US sanctions unless the US Treasury issues a waiver that will grant the company immunity. On May 8, Trump announced that the US had withdrawn from the JCPOA and would be re-imposing sanctions against Iran and any company doing business with the country.
Threat of US sanctions could drive out European and Japanese investors, increasing opportunities for Chinese firms, particularly in the oil sector, analysts suggest
European leaders on Friday agreed on a plan that “forbids EU companies from complying” with U.S. sanctions on Iran, as part of an effort to blunt the effect of President Trump’s withdrawal from the pact.
Keeping the Islamic Republic on the global SWIFT network would defy the U.S. and its sanctions.
The EU has relaunched an old law to protect business in Iran from US sanctions, putting Brussels on a collision course with Washington.
Oil prices jumped after President Trump scuttled the Iran nuclear deal, pushing gas prices higher. Will they pummel your driving budget this summer and thereafter? My research says no.
China To Extract Gas in Iran as French Company Bends Under Threat of US Sanctions
Yahya Sinwar, the Israel-loathing terror group’s Gaza leader, has a reputation as a particularly notorious killer. But after Monday’s deadly clashes, he clamped down
With a rally, harsh words and a recall of ambassadors, Turkey’s president hopes to position himself as a champion of the Palestinians and leader of the Muslim world.
Turkey’s Erdogan calls U.S. out for defending Israel at the UN, saying Jerusalem ‘must be held accountable for massacre of innocent people’
A summit of Muslim leaders in Istanbul on Friday, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called for an international force to protect the Palestinians after Israel killed dozens on the Gaza border. The final communique issued by leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a copy of
In a wide-ranging speech, Erdogan encouraged Muslim unity as a force to defeat the ‘occupation of Jerusalem, the violation of the rights of the folks in Palestine.’
Israel railed against the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday as it voted to set up a probe into recent killings in Gaza and accused Israel of excessive use of force.
Israelis are cheering Trump’s decisions, and Democrats are turning to anti-Israel hostility.