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Thread: Russia, politics and power: internal & external(new title)

  1. #201
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    "Should Turkey not stop supporting al-Qaeda's Syria branch, I am indeed eager to end the job the late Tsar Nicholas II left unfinished. During the World War I , He [Tsar] sought to restore Constantinople (Istanbul) to Christendom and protect Russian maritime security by liberating Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits but fate prevented him," TASS Russian News Agency cited President Putin as saying on Saturday. We also advocate Greek sovereignty over the Cyprus, added Putin, and call the Turkish regime to end its decades-long occupation of this Mediterranean island.
    http://awdnews.com/top-news/putin-if...to-christendom
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  2. #202
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    Mr Petrov from Moscow comments Putin's downfall.

    - Russia’s political regime is unsustainable. It has no capacity to reform, and faces growing economic woes, crumbling infrastructure, and warring elites.

    - After widespread protests and ebbing of support, the government began in 2014 to base its legitimacy on winning wars. Putin centralised all power in the presidency, suppressing dissent and weakening institutions in the process.

    - Now, the regime needs to keep delivering military victories or face a loss of support. Excessive centralisation makes the system unstable and ine cient, focused on survival rather than strategy. As sanctions bite and funds run short, the elites are growing impatient, and the chance of con ict is rising in regions such as the Caucasus.

    - There are two ways out for the Russian regime: improve its nances by reconciling with the West, or regain legitimacy by replacing the president. Even these will only buy it time, and may not prevent a total collapse.

    - There is no clear heir to Putin, and collapse could be followed by the redistribution of power to various government bodies, companies, and regions, including Chechnya.
    http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR_166_PUTINS_DOWNFALL.pdf

  3. #203
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    Chatham House report "Agents of the Russian World: Proxy Groups in the Contested Neighbourhood"

    https://www.chathamhouse.org/publica...-neighbourhood

  4. #204
    Council Member mirhond's Avatar
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    Sounds like total and complete bullsh!t, would you please provide the source of this nonsense?
    Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.

  5. #205
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirhond View Post
    Sounds like total and complete bullsh!t, would you please provide the source of this nonsense?
    Mirhond,

    AdamG did provide a link, although on a quick check it is hard to identify the bona fides of http://awdnews.com.

    Typed too soon, it appears to be Berlin-based. Its YouTube entry states:
    AwdNews is a News Website empowered by Social Networking capabilities aimed at providing unbiased news reported by its users along its own reporters.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-25-2016 at 07:51 PM.
    davidbfpo

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Mirhond,

    AdamG did provide a link, although on a quick check it is hard to identify the bona fides of http://awdnews.com.

    Typed too soon, it appears to be Berlin-based. Its YouTube entry states:
    When I asked for source, I meant actual quotation from tass.ru
    or, at least, a screenshot, or anything. No evidence so far.

    Meanwhile tass.ru has neat English version, but it also shows nothing like this piece of batsh!t

    moreover, google gives relevant links only to pretty much "alternative" news sites, facebook and other oh-so-trusted sources sharing just one identical entry.

    http://europeanpressagency.com/world...o-christendom#
    gives a link on Putin's speech in 2013 (as if his usual rant about decadent West makes this particular crap true). Lame, so lame, even worse than outlaw-stile

    Sapienti sat.
    Last edited by mirhond; 04-25-2016 at 09:15 PM.
    Haeresis est maxima opera maleficarum non credere.

  7. #207
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    Default Russia’s Economy Deteriorates as Putin Focuses on Squabbles Among Siloviki

    JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION - Pavel K. Baev

    President Vladimir Putin is not taking a summer vacation. He has instead maintained a busy schedule of meetings with government officials and regional governors. But his grip on the steering wheel of Russia’s foreign and domestic policy is far from steady. The heavily censored Russian TV footage still portrays him as strong and confident, yet Putin’s public statements increasingly sound odd—like his point about a “certain positive and noticeable warming-up in interactions between state structures and civil society” (Kremlin.ru, July 21). In reality, few civil society organizations likely appreciate the pressure on them from the special services. Indeed, last week (July 22), the think tank run by former Putin aide Andrei Illarionov was labeled a “foreign agent” (RBC, July 22). Andrei Piontkovsky, a well-known Russian commentator, was even less fortunate: on July 23, his Moscow flat was ransacked by the Federal Security Service (FSB) without any warrant (Moscow Echo, July 23). Such small matters are almost certainly below Putin’s station, but he has also been suspiciously absent from matters more definitely requiring presidential decisions.

    The most urgent of such matters may be the escalation of squabbles among the siloviki (security services personnel). Notably, the FSB has launched an unprecedented attack on the Investigative Committee on the pretext of a $1 million bribe from a criminal boss (Kommersant, July 19). Seven high-level prosecutors were detained, and the searches of their offices yielded suitcases of cash as well as a collection of watches evaluated at half a million euros (around $550 million) (Gazeta.ru, July 21). The Investigative Committee, headed by Alexander Bastyrkin, was in charge of high-level cases involving several generals in the Ministry of Interior and the governor of Kirov region, Nikita Belykh. Thus, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov apparently decided to cut his competitor Bastyrkin down to size (Forbes.ru, July 20). It is fairly clear that shrinking profits due to dwindling cash flows drive the turf wars among Russia’s overgrown law enforcement agencies, but it is unclear to what degree Putin is able to reign them in and retain control (Slon.ru, July 21).

    Meanwhile, what he is definitely unable to do is order the economy to start growing again. After Putin expressed surprise over the unusual recent strengthening of the national currency, the ruble immediately resumed losing value; he then had to clarify that this weakening was not part of any plan (RBC, July 22). The Russian government routinely tries to manipulate data in order to create the impression of stabilization, but the depth of recession is hard to camouflage: for instance, construction contracted by 10 percent compared to June 2015 (Moskovsky Komsomoets, July 20). No amount of upbeat talk can change the fact that real incomes have been falling for 20 months in a row (Newsru.com, July 20). Putin demands that the “shadow economy” be reduced; but in fact, up to 30 million Russians struggling to make ends meet are currently involved in various semi-legal enterprises (Moscow Echo, July 19). Opinion polls show mixed views on whether a new zastoi (stagnation) has arrived in Russia, but 64 percent of respondents perceive a lack of stability (Vedomosti, July 22).

    The risk of stepping on the interests of corrupt business is not the only factor standing in the way of implementing economic reforms in Russia. Another roadblock is the absence of reliable information, since fraud is organic to the system of control cultivated by Putin. Particularly illustrative of this fact has been the doping scandal in Russia. Although the whole Russian Olympic team narrowly avoided a blanket ban, the country’s track-and-field athletes will not be allowed to compete at the Rio Games this summer (Moscow Echo, July 19). The machine of state propaganda instantly shifted into top gear, seeking to obfuscate this political disaster with the usual set of stories about Western conspiracies and the West’s envy of Russia’s regained strength and glory (Rosbalt.ru, July 22). Putin, however, opted for a conciliatory stance and initiated an “independent” anti-doping commission that would closely cooperate with the International Olympic Committee (Kommersant, July 22). Nevertheless, it is clearly too late to seek a compromise because the World Anti-Doping Agency demands action not against a few athletes but against the Russian sports bureaucracy as a whole, which is a part and parcel of the corrupt state system driving Russia into deeper international isolation (Ezhednevny Zhurnal, July 22).

    The exposure of the Russian state’s role in managing doping for its athletes increases the reluctance of many international partners to do any kind of business with Russia. Thus, even in acute crises like Syria, fruitful international cooperation with Moscow becomes difficult to establish. The Russian Ministry of Defense has denied responsibility for delivering a strike on a Syrian opposition base that was used by United States Special Forces; at the same time, Moscow has accused Washington of reluctance to engage in practical coordination (RBC, July 23). The Russian Air Force relies increasingly on “carpet bombing” by long-range Tu-22M3 bombers because close air support from the Hmeimym base in Latakia involves a high risk of losses from enemy fire and accidents (Gazeta.ru, July 21). Nonetheless, casualties still continue to rise: last week, a road bomb claimed the life of another Russian soldier (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 22).

    Putin appears to have no plan for extricating the Russian military from the Syrian trap, and he seemingly cannot accept the plain fact that any international cooperation in managing this humanitarian catastrophe is based on the premise of dismantling the Bashar al-Assad regime. He cannot know what future setback may suddenly turn Russian public opinion against the heretofore popular Syrian intervention. However, he evidently understands that his great triumph of organizing—and winning—the “best ever” Olympic games in Sochi is being spoiled by the current doping scandal. He thus suspects that this lasting damage to his popularity was deliberately inflicted. He may also believe that the only way to compensate for this damage is to score another spectacular victory, for which the Russian military is the only available instrument. Yet, the weakening economy almost certainly cannot support another experiment in power projection, particularly since each of the previous enterprises (Syria and eastern Ukraine) has produced a financial “black hole” that consumes resources but generates no profits. The Kremlin appears firmly in control of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, but the “managed democratic” process will inevitably ensure that the next State Duma will also be part of the problem of the degradation of the Russian state. Putin clings to the privilege of presiding over this process but has no control over its speed.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-26-2016 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  8. #208
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    Default On Trump and Putin

    The Democratic Party seems to have found its own conspiracy to wield against its opponents, namely that Trump is an agent of the Russian Federation.

    Unfortunately, the supporting evidence consists of business trips and failed deals from years ago (e.g. 2008), as well as soundbites ("disproportionate") and conjecture (forcing NATO members to commit to the 2% target is equated with American withdrawal). Moreover, people tend to forget Obama's desire for a "reset" with Russia and the fact that Russia was a "partner" up until invading Ukraine in March 2014.

    Hillary Clinton is a known hawk and has a predilection for "humanitarian intervention", selling and supporting an Anglo-French adventure in Libya that only resulted in an ongoing civil war and the infiltration of Daesh. Would Putin support anyone but Hillary? Absolutely.

    Anyone who subscribes to this is no different than those arguing:

    • Obama is a secret Muslim in league with Iran
    • George W. Bush was beholden to the Saudi royal family
    • Bill Clinton was an agent of China for encouraging its membership in the WTO
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-26-2016 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    Azor.... a solid article especially in the light that he is moving against a number of his former supporting oligarch friends.....many who supported him up to now are out in the cold....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-26-2016 at 08:16 PM.

  10. #210
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator adds

    I have moved a number of posts from the Ukraine at War thread to better places: the Russian cyber & infowar and Russian politics threads.

    Just whether a new thread is needed for the apparent Russian impact on the forthcoming US elections is a moot point.
    davidbfpo

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    The Democratic Party seems to have found its own conspiracy to wield against its opponents, namely that Trump is an agent of the Russian Federation.

    Unfortunately, the supporting evidence consists of business trips and failed deals from years ago (e.g. 2008), as well as soundbites ("disproportionate") and conjecture (forcing NATO members to commit to the 2% target is equated with American withdrawal). Moreover, people tend to forget Obama's desire for a "reset" with Russia and the fact that Russia was a "partner" up until invading Ukraine in March 2014.

    Hillary Clinton is a known hawk and has a predilection for "humanitarian intervention", selling and supporting an Anglo-French adventure in Libya that only resulted in an ongoing civil war and the infiltration of Daesh. Would Putin support anyone but Hillary? Absolutely.

    Anyone who subscribes to this is no different than those arguing:

    • Obama is a secret Muslim in league with Iran
    • George W. Bush was beholden to the Saudi royal family
    • Bill Clinton was an agent of China for encouraging its membership in the WTO
    Pay attention to the Russian oligarch cash flow into his businesses and the Ukraine Manafort connection....there is more coming out on both...just wait...social media leads the way especially the Ukrainian

    His business debt has doubled in just one year to 630M......and all US banks have black listed his companies and himself as well....

    And the hacking tracks are getting firmer and heavier and points directly at Russia.....

  12. #212
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    Azor....reference the current Russian economy where we differ on the actual conditions....

    In Novosibirsk, Russia, ~1,000 joined a protest against social benefits cuts & demanded governor resignation:

    http://news.ngs.ru/more/50289091/

    Protests are becoming far more frequent and larger and louder....Putin is in the middle of a guns or butter dilemma .....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  13. #213
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    Azor..goes to what I have been repeatedly saying here.....collapse is now in slow motion and cannot be stopped regardless of what Putin does and or does not do...

    Russia's brittle power, how overlooked domestic issues could come back to haunt Putin’s regime.
    http://wapo.st/2nh7qPF

    The key is the ever increasing number of actual demonstrations being carried out almost daily throughout Russia over every thinkable reason....something totally new...some numbering in the low thousands some only one person....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    Azor..goes to what I have been repeatedly saying here.....collapse is now in slow motion and cannot be stopped regardless of what Putin does and or does not do...

    Russia's brittle power, how overlooked domestic issues could come back to haunt Putin’s regime.
    http://wapo.st/2nh7qPF

    The key is the ever increasing number of actual demonstrations being carried out almost daily throughout Russia over every thinkable reason....something totally new...some numbering in the low thousands some only one person....
    I wouldn't take Joss Meakins too seriously. He's a babe (literally, at 22-years old) in the woods as far as Russia is concerned. This is the same Washington Post that shrilly decried how Russia had inserted an agent or "Siberian Candidate" into the White House and was about to smash both the EU and NATO...

    Reading WaPo for political insight is like reading the NYT for investment advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW
    The key is the ever increasing number of actual demonstrations being carried out almost daily throughout Russia over every thinkable reason....something totally new...some numbering in the low thousands some only one person...
    This is more interesting to me. Do you have statistics or a heat map of these developments?

    I would also bear in mind the following:

    • It is terribly difficult to predict revolutions and analyses tend to rely on scant data
    • Successful revolutions (e.g. Romania and Poland in 1989, Russia in 1991) require a certain measure of key insider support and therefore can be construed as a combination of palace coup d'etat and popular revolution. Therefore, are public protests as important as developments at the "power ministries"?
    • What if Russia descends into the anarchy predicted in the early 1990s i.e. Eurasian warlords running amok with ICBMs (e.g. The Peacemaker, Air Force One, Crimson Tide, The Saint, Goldeneye, etc.)?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    I wouldn't take Joss Meakins too seriously. He's a babe (literally, at 22-years old) in the woods as far as Russia is concerned. This is the same Washington Post that shrilly decried how Russia had inserted an agent or "Siberian Candidate" into the White House and was about to smash both the EU and NATO...

    Reading WaPo for political insight is like reading the NYT for investment advice.



    This is more interesting to me. Do you have statistics or a heat map of these developments?

    I would also bear in mind the following:

    • It is terribly difficult to predict revolutions and analyses tend to rely on scant data
    • Successful revolutions (e.g. Romania and Poland in 1989, Russia in 1991) require a certain measure of key insider support and therefore can be construed as a combination of palace coup d'etat and popular revolution. Therefore, are public protests as important as developments at the "power ministries"?
    • What if Russia descends into the anarchy predicted in the early 1990s i.e. Eurasian warlords running amok with ICBMs (e.g. The Peacemaker, Air Force One, Crimson Tide, The Saint, Goldeneye, etc.)?
    Azor...the demos have been interesting me as well...will start tracking and posting each as they are reported....especially the areas where they occur....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

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    Azor....

    In Russia today there are local protests against oil pipeline construction on native lands. But you'll never hear about it on Russia Today.

    Did not identify where....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  17. #217
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    This story is quite unbelievable: Russian woman jailed over SMS during 2008 Rus-Georgia war, released from prison
    http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sevast...28364651.html#

    8 years for a single SMS.....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

  18. #218
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    Azor....remember my mentioning of Russian demonstrations are climbing....

    Dozens of protests around Russia today against corruption with focus on Medvedev. Arrests began already in Vladivostok

    Valdivostok had several thousand by 10am Moscow time this morning....

    Dozens of small ones sprang up over Saturday around the same topic...all over Russia and were not stopped by the police...


    Protest v. corruption in Kemerovo. Activists are using hashtag #ДимонОтветит ref to nickname of Dmitry Medvedev "Dimon", demanding answers

    Live broadcast (in Russian) of protest rallies around Russia today against corruption, focus on Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

    Protest being led by @navalny
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-26-2017 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Moved from Ukraine War thread as it fits here better.

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    "A few thousand people in Petersburg" protesting, a Ekho Moskvy journalist reports.

    But the truth is in Putin's actions, his fear. Thousands of riot police & military vehicles in streets for every protest, large or small.

    At another protest....Novosibirsk
    People are not afraid anymore.

    In Moscow....
    Moscow protest is at no fixed place, all the way along two-mile street. Lots of people walking peacefully by. (Obv some not protest linked)
    10,000 Russian protesters here.

    Also, Interfax seemingly the only russian press agency to report on the protests. RIA quiet, nothing on Yandex Novosti.

    Shaun Walker

    @shaunwalker7
    Sudden movement of police in side street to grab random people.. including colleague @ASLuhn scooped up from under my nose
    ASLuhn reports alot on Ukraine

    Pretty messy here. Clashes with riot police as people try to stop a bus with detained driving off

    If authorities decide to take the same line as they did in 2012 Bolotnaya protests, some of those people are going to end with prison terms

    Another Russian opposition leader, the more nationalist Vyacheslav Maltsev, arrives with supporters
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 03-26-2017 at 11:56 AM.

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    "A few thousand people in Petersburg" protesting, a Ekho Moskvy journalist reports.

    But the truth is in Putin's actions, his fear. Thousands of riot police & military vehicles in streets for every protest, large or small.

    At another protest....Novosibirsk
    People are not afraid anymore.

    In Moscow....
    Moscow protest is at no fixed place, all the way along two-mile street. Lots of people walking peacefully by. (Obv some not protest linked)
    10,000 Russian protesters here.

    Also, Interfax seemingly the only russian press agency to report on the protests. RIA quiet, nothing on Yandex Novosti.

    Shaun Walker

    @shaunwalker7
    Sudden movement of police in side street to grab random people.. including colleague @ASLuhn scooped up from under my nose
    ASLuhn reports alot on Ukraine

    Pretty messy here. Clashes with riot police as people try to stop a bus with detained driving off

    If authorities decide to take the same line as they did in 2012 Bolotnaya protests, some of those people are going to end with prison terms

    Another Russian opposition leader, the more nationalist Vyacheslav Maltsev, arrives with supporters
    Russians are critical about everything in Russia—economy, corruption, foreign wars. But very hard to blame the one man in total control.

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