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Why Jews and Ukrainians Have Become Unlikely Allies

Why Jews and Ukrainians Have Become Unlikely Allies
The history of Jewish-Ukrainian relations hasn’t been a happy one. But these days, the two sides are joining forces against Vladimir Putin.

BY JOSH COHEN MAY 7, 2014

ukejew

In the propaganda battle between Russia and Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been playing up the nationalist roots of the new government in Kiev, alleging — among other things — that it is composed of “neo-Nazis, Russophobes, and anti-Semites.” Putin’s attacks have stirred up memories of ugly events in Ukrainian history, from the violence directed at Jews during Ukrainian uprisings against Polish rule in the 17th and 18th centuries, to the pogroms of the 1800s and 1900s in cities such as Odessa, Kirovograd, and Kiev. More recently, during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine during World War II, the dreaded Ukrainian Auxiliary Police — trained by the Nazis at the SS camp of Trawniki — played an active role in the extermination of 900,000 Ukrainian Jews.
As if on cue, over the last several months, mysterious attackers have targeted Ukraine’s Jews in physical assaults in Kiev; defaced synagogues in cities such as Zaporizhia and Simferopol; and, most chillingly, distributed anti-Semitic leaflets in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk instructing the community to “register” with local authorities. (Insurgents have denied responsibility for these flyers, and some have even called it a hoax.)
Given these events, it is well worth wondering what the future holds for Jews in post-Maidan Ukraine?
Given these events, it is well worth wondering what the future holds for Jews in post-Maidan Ukraine?
It is indisputably true that the revolution in Ukraine has been partially driven by elements with questionable pasts, primarily by two organizations: the Svoboda political party and the smaller Right Sector movement. Right Sector first emerged at the beginning of the Maidan protests in Kiev as a paramilitary alliance of several far-right Ukrainian nationalist groups who played a key role in the violence between the Maidan protesters and the Yanukovych government. Right Sector’s leader, Dmitry Yarosh, venerates the controversial Stepan Bandera, who fought on the side of the Nazis from 1944 until the end of World War II. According to Yarosh, however, Bandera is a passionate but traditional nationalist, and not an anti-Semite.
The greater concern for Ukraine’s Jews is Svoboda. The leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok, certainly has a history of making inflammatory, anti-Semitic statements. During a 2004 speech before Ukraine’s parliament, Tyahnybok stated that Ukraine is controlled by a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia,” and in 2005, Tyahnybok signed an open letter to then-President Viktor Yushchenko, calling for the government to halt the “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry.” Svoboda shocked observers by winning 10 percent of the vote in the 2012 parliamentary elections in Ukraine, becoming the fourth biggest party in parliament. Svoboda party members now lead a number of ministries in the interim government of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenuk, including the Ministry of Defense led by Ihor Tenyukh. While Svoboda has strongly denied that it is anti-Semitic, concern about the party’s ideology remains strong amongst Ukraine’s Jews.
So is the Maidan movement “more a pogrom than a revolution” as Putin has described it, and what — or whom — should Ukraine’s Jewish community fear most? Despite the substantial presence of right wing nationalists on the Maidan during the revolution, many in Ukraine’s Jewish community resent being used by Putin in his propaganda war. (In the photo above, a poster in Sevastopol portrays Crimea’s vote to secede as a choice between Russian citizenship and living in a Nazi state.) On March 5, 21 leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish community signed an open letter to Putin excoriating the Russian president for using Ukraine’s Jewish community to bash the interim government — and insisting that the real threat to Ukraine’s Jews emanated from Russia: “We know that the political opposition consists of various groups, including some that are nationalistic. But even the most marginal of them do not demonstrate anti-Semitism or other forms of xenophobia. And we certainly know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government — which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.”
This letter to Putin brought forth an important point: namely, that much of the real anti-Semitism directed at Ukrainian Jews is actually coming from Russia.
This letter to Putin brought forth an important point: namely, that much of the real anti-Semitism directed at Ukrainian Jews is actually coming from Russia. As David Fishman, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and director of Project Judaica (JTS’s program in the former Soviet Union), explained: “When we look at what is going on the ground in Eastern Ukraine, we are seeing the revival of language of Russian imperial ideology from 100 years ago, which is both very nationalistic and very anti-Semitic, as well as anti-Ukrainian.” Echoing what he wrote in an earlier article, Fishman noted that there has been a shift in how the Kremlin is using Jews in Ukraine. “Having failed to convince world public opinion that the new Ukrainian regime is anti-Semitic, we have recently had news programs on Russian state television asserting that leading Ukrainian political figures such as Tymoshenko and Yatseniuk are actually Jews,” he continued. “Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Russian far-right inside Russia proper say that frequently, but it is the Russian government that sent such anti-Semitic extremists into Ukraine.”
In fact, Yaakov Dov Bleich, an American-born rabbi recognized as Chief Rabbi of Ukraine since 1990, says that the recent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions have largely been staged Russian provocations designed to discredit pro-Ukrainian activists and Kiev’s interim government. Bleich is not a Pollyanna about the existence of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, and remains deeply concerned about Svoboda and Tyahnybok’s unapologetic use of anti-Semitic language — but he is much more concerned about Russia: “All of the recent attacks on synagogues and Jews have taken place in the east where the Russian extremists are operating. Meanwhile, in the West, where there are supposedly ultra-nationalist extremists, all has been quiet. The Ukrainian Jewish Community is definitely more afraid of Putin and these pro-Russian hooligans than of Ukrainian anti-Semitism.”
Bleich also noted that the threat from Russia has actually brought Jews and Ukrainians closer together, a process driven by the tribulations of the Maidan where, as Bleich pointed out, Jews stood side by side with Ukrainians. Three of the 82 protesters killed by Yanukovych’s police were Jewish, and Right Sector activists took a lead role in honoring one Jewish protester who was killed by a Berkut sniper. In what sounds almost like a made-for-TV movie, five Ukrainian Jews who had immigrated to Israel and served in the Israeli Defense Forces actually returned to Ukraine to lead a group of 40 Ukrainian fighters defending the Maidan. Jews also occupy a number of positions in the transitional Ukrainian government. Volodymyr Groysman is a deputy prime minister, while another Jewish-Ukrainian, Ihor Kolomoisky, was named governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region.
Right Sector leadership has also publicly gone out of its way to reassure Ukrainian Jews that the Jewish community has a safe and secure future in post-Maidan Ukraine.
Right Sector leadership has also publicly gone out of its way to reassure Ukrainian Jews that the Jewish community has a safe and secure future in post-Maidan Ukraine. In February, Yarosh met with Israel’s Ambassador to Ukraine Reuven Din El to and told him that the Right Sector rejects anti-Semitism and xenophobia and would not tolerate it. Subsequent to the meeting, the Israeli embassy posted a statement on its website noting that Yarosh “stressed that Right Sector will oppose all [racist] phenomena, especially anti-Semitism, with all legitimate means.” Then, on April 8, after unknown actors defaced a monument to the victims of the Holocaust in Odessa with neo-Nazi graffiti, Right Sector leaders condemned the vandalism and said that it was now a matter of honor for Right Sector to find and punish those who defaced the Jewish cemetery. Right Sector official Valery Zavgorodny also offered Odessa rabbi Avraham Wolff assistance in protecting Jewish property in the city, and the next day — in a moment that surely must have given Putin a bad bout of heartburn — the world saw photos of Wolff and Zavgorodny jointly painting over the graffiti and shaking hands at a press conference.
Putin, it now appears, has achieved the opposite of his original goal. Rather than splitting Ukraine’s Jews from their fellow citizens, Putin’s behavior has encouraged the Jewish community to condemn Russia’s cynical use of anti-Semitism as a political tool. And in the process, as Timothy Snyder wrote recently, the Jews in Ukraine have become Ukrainian Jews.

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/05/07/why_jews_and_ukrainians_have_become_unlikely_allies

Read More:
The beginning of Jewish-Ukrainian reconciliation:
Russia’s propaganda war is a danger for Ukraine’s Jews
Despite what Putin says about antisemitism in the new Kiev government, Ukraine’s Jews are committed to independence….

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/27/russia-propaganda-war-danger-for-ukraine-jews

Ukrainian Jewish leader says Russia is the threat
cjnews.com/canada/ukrainian-jewish-leader-says-russia-threat

Ukraine conflict hits home among Russian-speaking Israelis
www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.589730

Don’t Be Fooled: The Kremlin Isn’t Backpedaling

Don’t Be Fooled: The Kremlin Isn’t Backpedaling

What to make of Putin’s call for the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to postpone their referendum? Nothing, except perhaps that it represents a shift in tactics.

Yesterday Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian separatists in Donetsk to postpone their referendum on independence from Ukraine. Putin also called for dialogue between the Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian forces, and offered support for Merkel’s idea for a Ukrainian “roundtable.” What are we to make of this?

There are a few things we can say about this gesture. First, it could represent Putin’s understanding that a referendum under the barrel of a gun wasn’t going to receive much in the way of global recognition. Second, it would have increased the threat of more painful sanctions. Third, we could interpret it as a change of tactics by the Kremlin: Putin is now pursuing the Kremlin agenda in Ukraine by presenting Russia as a neutral Arbitrator between the two sides of the conflict. Moreover, Putin hopes to strike a deal with the West that would guarantee the principle that external forces (and Russia first of all, of course) have a right to influence the internal political process in Ukraine.

One thing we can safely say is that the Kremlin hasn’t given up on other means of meddling. But what to make of the fact that the Councils of the Donetsk and Lugansk “People’s Republics” have rejected Putin’s call? Does this mean that the pro-Russian separatists in the Ukrainian East have cut the leash? Or is it the beginning of the new Kremlin intrigue: “See? We aren’t controlling them!” It remains to be seen.

But while we wait for the next development in the crisis, we need to start thinking about what this situation means for global security, the world order, and our understanding of key political principles and norms. Let’s look at the major implications of the Ukraine crisis.

1. The Kremlin is attempting to reassess the outcomes of the Cold War, which it views as unjust. This reassessment is about far more than just redrawing borders: It is about re-examining the conventional views of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the Cold War’s winners and losers. Rectifying “historical wrongs” in Crimea is but the first step on this mission. Considering Putin’s perception of Russia and Ukraine as a “single nation”, and his dismissal of the current Ukrainian leadership as a “junta”, we ought to expect him to take additional steps toward “righting historical wrongs” in Ukraine. The Russian president has probably decided to enter the textbooks as a visionary who changed the course of history. In this case, once Putin has started to restore justice, he hardly would stop in Ukraine. Putin’s conciliatory tone on May 7 and his support of the Ukrainian “dialogue” should be interpreted not as a change of his Doctrine but a change of tactics.

2. Some mistakenly believe that the Kremlin is returning to the 1945 Yalta Accords, which established spheres of influence for each of the victors of the war. Much of the world evidently hoped that placing Crimea more firmly within the Russian sphere of influence would satisfy the Kremlin. What naiveté! The Kremlin’s agenda is much more ambitious: It wants global actors to endorse Russia’s right to create and protect the “Russian World”, including ethnic Russians in other states. Essentially, this is an attempt to repeat the 1938 Munich Agreement. However, I suspect that this notion of the “Russian World” is only a pretext to pursue other goals—the actions of a leader who has begun to feel omnipotent, who has lost (or perhaps never had) an adequate understanding of dangers, threats, and limits. Putin certainly has never expressed any concern for the discrimination faced by Russians in Turkmenistan, or the safety of Russians in Chechnya. No, the “defense of the Russian-speaking population” looks more like an ideal way to turn Russia into “A Nation at War.” Tomorrow could just as easily bring a different pretext for keeping the country in this mode.

3. Many fear that Moscow craves another land grab, that its aim is territorial expansion. To be sure, Putin seems to have a healthy respect for the time-honored uses of holding onto land and flexing military muscle. But I am confident that territory is only playing a secondary role here in Putin’s calculus. The idea of “justice” is more important to the Kremlin, and justice in this case does not necessarily have to mean holding on to territory. One can only imagine what would become of the world order if it were regulated by this notion of justice.

4. Putin has laid waste to a host of international agreements. It’s not that he rejects the need for them; he just wants others to recognize that the Kremlin has the right to its own interpretation of international agreements and principles.

5. The West will have to take another look at the security challenges it is facing, particularly as they relate to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. After all, if Ukraine in 1994 had not given up its nuclear arsenal, it wouldn’t be in the spot it is today. Both Iran and North Korea have certainly taken several lessons from the Ukraine saga. The conventional forces regime after Russia’s withdrawal from the CFE treaty is also in shambles, and this allows Russia to mass its troops along any border it wishes. NATO, in response, was forced to break its 1997 pledge not to position its forces in Eastern and Central Europe. Pandora’s box has been opened…

6. This isn’t the first time the Kremlin has offered to create, with the West, a “collective” governing body (an axis) including the United States, the European Union, and Russia. This has long been a favorite proposal of Sergei Lavrov. Moscow may very well interpret the Geneva agreements of April 17, which contain demands for internal political changes in Ukraine, as a step in this direction. In fact, Moscow was able to force Washington and the European capitals to open a discussion of Ukraine’s constitutional arrangement, which amounts to collective curtailment of the country’s sovereignty. The idea is supported by quite a few Western pragmatists who have lobbied for a “collective help” solution for Ukraine that would, of course, include Russia. The German idea of “roundtable” in Ukraine fits nicely the Kremlin model of “collective leadership”, which would give Russia a role as one of the moderators in the conflict, presenting one of the sides.

7. In the course of looking for solutions for the Ukrainian crisis, leading political figures have lost much of their authority. German Chancellor Angela Merkel could become a prime example of this. After establishing herself as a key European actor during the global financial crisis and the Eurozone crisis, Merkel attempted to assume the role of a peacemaker in the Ukrainian conflict. But the Kremlin interpreted the “Merkel formula”, which was supposed to be a calibrated response that allowed Putin to save face, as a sign of weakness and an invitation to push Germany (and the West) even further. I would bet that the Kremlin believes that Germany’s “moderating” influence would prevent the West from doing anything that would risk making the Kremlin really unhappy and would allow the Kremlin to strike a new Faustian bargain with the West over Ukraine.

8. Europe’s failure to thwart Putin prompted Washington’s return to the European stage. As much as President Obama does not want to get himself entangled in the Ukrainian events, these very events, thanks to their geopolitical and civilizational component, will become a litmus test for determining how successful his foreign policy has been. But the unfortunate truth is that President Obama can’t win in the short to medium term, no matter what he does. “Sectoral sanctions” on Russia’s finance, energy, or defense industries? These all take time, and won’t be able to disrupt Putin’s plan for undermining the Ukrainian elections and “reformatting Ukraine” (although it could modify his means of pursuing his agenda). Readiness to “accommodate” the Kremlin? This would mean a defeat for the United States as a leading Western power, which would have tremendous international and civilizational consequences.

9. Russia has once again taken up the tools and principles of confrontation and “might makes right.” Postmodern Europe, with its emphasis on treaties, soft power, and negotiations, has proven utterly feckless when it comes to bringing the Kremlin to heel. It still isn’t clear whether the United States will be able to return to Europe and reinvent the Transatlantic partnership in order to check Putin’s revanchism. Will the United States be able to turn away from its policy of retrenchment? Will NATO be able to adopt a new mission? We don’t have an answer to these questions yet. One thing is clear, however: Russia’s return to militarism is certain to make the Western powers reconsider their defense budgets. We are in for a new arms race.

10. I can’t help but smile when I hear Putin called a “Russian nationalist.” It’s a sign that the speaker doesn’t really understand the Kremlin’s motives. Just like all of his predecessors, Putin supports the empire. Just like them, he probably believes that Russia can survive only as an empire rather than as a normal nation state. You may ask, “What about his pledge to defend Russian speakers?” The answer is quite simple. In order to advance his imperial agenda, Putin is trying to co-opt the nationalists, who have thus far fallen in the anti-Putin and anti-Kremlin camp. At present, he is succeeding in this task: Both the left-wing and the nationalist segments have supported his crusade, both inside and outside Russia! Who could ever have predicted that after the collapse of the Soviet Communist International, Moscow would succeed in building a Right-Wing International that supports its adventure in Ukraine.

11. The West understood how to deal with the Soviet Union, but dealing with Russia will be far more complex. Today, Russia and the West (especially Europe) are tightly interconnected. The Russian elite is plugged into the Western economy and its financial system. That is why the West is helpless when it comes to containing Russia. So far, the Western governments haven’t shown any willingness to inflict financial or other kind of pain on themselves.

12. The crisis in Ukraine has raised the issue of “fifth columns” within Russia, and elsewhere as well. By fifth columnists, I mean minorities whose interests differ from those of the state where they live. Russia’s liberal minority suffered a devastating defeat when Russia returned to its traditional matrix; this minority will also be the first victim of the Kremlin’s next crackdown.

But what will happen to the “fifth column” of Russia supporters in the West? These are the business leaders, the lawyers, the politicians, and the media personalities who serve the interests of Russia’s corrupt Western laundry machine. These figures are obviously worried; they have an interest in proving that the crisis was caused by the West, which doesn’t understand Russia. They have urged the West to give Ukraine to Moscow, to guarantee that it will never become a member of NATO or the EU. Chances are that the voices of this “fifth column” will be heard, since pragmatic Western politicians who do not cater to Russia’s corrupt elite hold similar views. They don’t want to get involved in this conflict, so they have drawn up the Western sanctions regime so as not to compromise Western business interests in Russia and not to anger Putin and close off a chance to cooperate with him. It makes sense; if the West backs down it will need to know who is dictating the rules of the game.

There are plenty more implications of the Ukrainian crisis besides these. Some are just beginning to make themselves known, and besides, the Law of Unintended Consequences is working its magic as well. Putin has unleashed a tide and nobody knows what it will bring for Russia and its leader. I’ll talk about some of these possibilities in future updates.

LILIA SHEVTSOVA Published on May 8, 2014
RUSSIA DIARY
www.the-american-interest.com/shevtsova/2014/05/08/dont-be-fooled-putin-isnt-backpedaling/

Read more: Russia’s actions in Ukraine clearly violate the Geneva Conventions
www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/russias-actions-in-ukraine-clearly-violate-the-geneva-conventions/2014/05/06/74c8fcde-d22f-11e3-937f-d3026234b51c_story.html

Neo-Nazis in Moscow’s Service
khpg.org/index.php?id=1399501345

Ruslana – Putin’s plan is to destroy Ukraine | BBC News

Putin’s Useful Idiots

Putin’s Useful Idiots

Western intellectuals have long had a soft spot for Russia. Voltaire, the French teacher of tolerance and a great friend of Catherine the Great, said that he would gladly move to Russia, though only if its capital were Kiev, not icy St. Petersburg. Johann Gottfried von Herder, the German philosopher of enlightened nationalism, dreamed that he would obtain earthly glory as the “new Luther and Solon” for an as-yet-unspoiled Ukraine, which he would transform into a “new Greece” within the Russian empire.

And in the last century intellectuals like André Gide, Pablo Neruda and Jean-Paul Sartre all stumped for the Soviet Union as what Lenin allegedly called “useful idiots,” apologizing for its monstrosities long after the rest of the world recognized them.

To those in the Eastern Europe left — myself included — who know Russia better than most, such naïveté has long been a source of chagrin. And yet it continues, even today, as many American and Western European intellectuals do all they can to minimize the dangerous aggression by Vladimir V. Putin.

Writing in The Nation, the Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen argued that Mr. Putin was largely blameless for the conflict in Ukraine, that he had tried to avoid it but that the West had forced his hand. In Mr. Cohen’s eyes, the West has unnecessarily humiliated Russia by inviting countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to join NATO.

Ukraine, he wrote, is part of Russia’s sphere of influence, so why can’t we just accept Mr. Putin’s proposal that Ukraine be federalized, with neutrality guaranteed in a new constitution?

Mr. Cohen’s defense of Russia’s sphere of influence overlooks the question of whether the countries that fall within it are there by choice or coercion. Ukraine is willing to be in the Western sphere of influence because it receives support for civil society, the economy and national defense — and Russia does nothing of the kind.

Mr. Cohen and others don’t just defend Russia; they attack the pro-democracy activists in Ukraine. Another American pundit, Max Blumenthal, described the Euromaidan movement as “filled with far-right street-fighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.”

True, such people were present at the square, but they were marginal figures, and slogans about ethnic purity never gained popularity. Yes, generally speaking, Ukraine has its skinheads and its anti-Semites and even serial killers, pedophiles and Satanists. They are not present in smaller or larger numbers than in any other country, even in the most mature European state.

In one particularly egregious passage, Mr. Blumenthal writes about how the “openly pro-Nazi politics” of the Ukrainian political party Svoboda and its leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, “have not deterred Senator John McCain from addressing a Euromaidan rally,” nor did it “prevent Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland from enjoying a friendly meeting with the Svoboda leader this February.”

That distorts how these things work. A whole range of Western political leaders traveled to Euromaidan, and virtually all of them were photographed with Mr. Tyagnibok. For better or worse, Svoboda was part of the coalition of parties behind the Euromaidan movement, and they had agreed to support one another. Americans would behave exactly the same way in a similar situation.

Strangely, Western intellectuals seem unbothered by anyone who notes the similarity between their pronouncements and Russian propaganda. Indeed, they dismiss such charges out of hand. Zoltan Grossman, who teaches at Evergreen State in Olympia, Wash., writes that it is “wrong and irresponsible to assert that the presence of fascists and Nazis in the new government is merely Russian propaganda.”

For Dr. Grossman, inconvenient details are less important than the fact that Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of the far-right organization Right Sector, had been appointed deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.

That sounds ominous, until you realize that Mr. Yarosh is not formally a member of the government, and that in February he met with Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine and gave public assurances that Right Sector intended to fight all instances of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and chauvinism.

What naïve American intellectuals say free of charge, the canny Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, says for 250,000 euros a year as a board member of Gazprom, the Russian oil giant. Mr. Schröder, the German father of “Gazprom socialism” — a new subspecies of limousine liberalism — has repeatedly embarrassed Berlin by supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

He isn’t alone — another former chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, has likewise sung Russia’s praises of late, as has Günter Verheugen, a prominent former European Union commissioner.

What drives these men? Is it a case of poorly conceived pacifism? An eruption of remorse for war crimes carried out against Russians, so many years ago? Or the Stockholm syndrome of a victim fascinated by his executioner?

Obviously, they are entitled to their opinions. But in speaking out this way they are doing great damage to Germany’s postwar government, built on a commitment to democracy and national self-determination, everything that is currently under attack by Mr. Putin.

The irony is that by standing beside Russia and pointing fingers at fascist phantoms in Ukraine, Western intellectuals are aligning themselves not just with the autocrat in the Kremlin, but the legions of far-right parties across Europe that have come to Russia’s defense, among them Hungary’s Jobbik, Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Austria’s Freedom Party, Italy’s Lega Nord and the French Front National. Who says Russia needs propaganda? It already has its useful idiots.

Slawomir Sierakowski became a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times in the fall of 2013. Mr. Sierakowski, born in 1979, is a Polish sociologist and political commentator. He is a founder and leader of Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique), an Eastern European movement of liberal intellectuals, artists and activists, with branches in Ukraine and Russia. He is also the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw and the president of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association, overseeing its publishing house; its online opinion site; cultural centers in Warsaw, Gdansk, Lodz and Cieszyn, in Poland, and in Kiev, Ukraine; and 20 local clubs.

contributors-images-slide-VVT3-articleInlineA graduate of the University of Warsaw, Mr. Sierakowski has been awarded fellowships from Yale, Princeton and Harvard and from the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He has written for many journals and newspapers, including The Guardian, El País, Haaretz and Die Tageszeitung and Gazeta Wyborcza. He has also collaborated (as a writer and actor) on “Mary Koszmary” (“Nightmares”) in 2008, which was expanded into a film trilogy, “And Europe Will Be Stunned,” by the Israeli-Dutch visual artist Yael Bartana. The work represented Poland in the 2011 Venice Biennale.
APRIL 28, 2014
Slawomir Sierakowski is a sociologist, a founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement and the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw. This article was translated by Maria Blackwood from the Polish.
www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/opinion/sierakowski-putins-useful-idiots.html?_r=0

Read More: Der Spiegel getting into the Putin’s useful idiots club by linking the Ukraine government to Syrian jihadists.
euromaidanpr.com/2014/04/28/der-spiegel-about-worthless-ukraine/#more-7887

German government distances itself from Schröder after Putin embrace How much is Germany anti-Ukrainian or how much pro-Russian is Germany?
www.dw.de/german-government-distances-itself-from-schr%C3%B6der-after-putin-embrace/a-17600263

Unverschämt!
www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ukraine-krise-gerhard-schroeder-feiert-mit-wladimir-putin-geburtstag-a-966641.html

Merkel fury after Gerhard Schroeder backs Putin on Ukraine Is Merkel also a Russophile and former communist buddy of Putin?
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10697986/Merkel-fury-after-Gerhard-Schroeder-backs-Putin-on-Ukraine.html

Putin’s remarks raise fears of future moves against Ukraine

Putin’s remarks raise fears of future moves against Ukraine

Video: NSA leaker Edward Snowden questioned Russian President Vladimir Putin about domestic spying on Thursday. Putin wasn’t exactly truthful in his response. (Fact-checking source: Andrei Soldatov)Video
By Kathy Lally, Published: April 17 E-mail the writer
MOSCOW — A confident President Vladimir Putin on Thursday used his annual televised meeting with the nation to portray a powerful Russia — one that is dismissive of the West, had troops operating in Crimea even as it denied it and regards a large swath of southeastern Ukraine as historically part of its territory.

Somewhat ominously, Putin reminded his audience that Russia’s parliament has given him the authority to send troops into Ukraine. Southeastern Ukraine — including the cities of Luhansk, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Odessa — had been part of the Russian empire, called New Russia, he pointed out. The Soviet Union turned it over to Ukraine. “Why? Let God judge them.” The argument was reminiscent of the one he had made earlier about Crimea, which was given to Ukraine in 1954.

Putin’s remarks raised fears that he was justifying a possible incursion into southeastern Ukraine, where the United States says 40,000 Russian troops are massed just across the border. U.S. and European officials have accused Russia of organizing the armed men and agitators who have been capturing government buildings in southeastern Ukraine and raising Russian flags. Putin denies it. The West says he is lying.

“Nonsense,” Putin said Thursday. “There are no Russian units in eastern Ukraine — no special services, no tactical advisers. All this is being done by the local residents.”

In early March, Putin denied that the well-equipped troops operating on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and wearing green uniforms without insignia were Russian. Anyone could buy those uniforms, he said. On Thursday, when asked about the soldiers widely known as the green men, Putin acknowledged that they were Russian. Their presence had been necessary, he said, to keep order so that Crimeans could decide their future in a referendum.

“We didn’t want any tanks, any nationalist combat units or people with extreme views armed with automatic weapons,” he said. “Of course, Russian servicemen backed the Crimean self-defense forces.”

The hastily arranged March 16 referendum resulted in 96 percent counted as voting for joining Russia. “In this situation,” he said, “we couldn’t have done otherwise.”

For just shy of four hours Thursday, Putin answered questions from a studio audience, from a video-connected crowd standing in the heart of the Crimean city of Sevastopol and from people calling in and texting from around the nation. Of 2 million calls and 400,000 texts, he answered around 70 questions. Last year, he spoke for four hours and 47 minutes.

Even Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who revealed a wide-scale U.S. surveillance program and has taken refuge from prosecution in Russia, came out of the shadows to ask a video question: Does Russia spy on its citizens the way the United States did?

No, Putin said. “Thank God, our special services are strictly controlled by the state and society, and their activity is regulated by law.”

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow tweeted in contradiction: “Snowden would probably be interested to know that Russian laws allow the control, storage and study of all data in the communication networks of the Russian Federation.”

Putin’s program was broadcast live on three main television channels and three radio stations. From across the nation, people added their voices to a chorus of “thank-you-Mr.-Putins,” expressing their gratitude for his acquisition of Crimea and his standing up to the West. Journalists and artists lauded him. “There is no legitimate power in Ukraine today,” lamented Karen Shakhnazarov, a filmmaker, who said that as a 20-year-old, his father had fought in the Soviet Army to free Crimea in World War II.

Andrei Norkin, a journalist for Kommersant Radio, said he was worried about the nation’s level of patriotism and urged Putin to support legislation that would set up military academies where schoolchildren could study under inspiring conditions.

“They learn respect for women and older people,” he said. “At cadet schools, they are trained to become real men.”

A few critics were heard, giving Putin the opportunity to describe how misguided they were.

“Laws are being developed that will make culture just a servant of ideology,” said Irina Prokhorova, a literary critic, head of the Civic Platform party and sister of Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. People are being persecuted if they object to the annexation of Crimea, she said, calling it a “sad and forced decision.”

This is not 1937, Putin said, when people were being sent to labor camps.

“Some members of the Russian intelligentsia are unaccustomed to the fact that they might meet resistance or have someone else express a different position and disagree with their position,” Putin said. When contradicted, he said, they get emotional.

He said he had heard that regarding Crimea, some people “want their country to lose and think that this is a good thing. Here, too, there is a continuity. As is known, during the First World War, the Bolsheviks also wanted the Russian government and Russia in general to lose, and the situation quickly got out of hand, which led to the revolution.

“There is some sort of historical continuity here, not the best, though. However, I agree that in any case, we should not slip into some extreme forms of dealing with each other’s views or cast aspersions on people for their opinions. I will do my best to prevent this from happening.”

He dismissed U.S. complaints about Russian behavior as a double standard. “Why isn’t Russia allowed to defend its own interests?” he asked. And he criticized the sanctions the United States has imposed on Russia because of its annexation of Crimea as counterproductive.

“If you try to punish someone like mischievous kids and put them in a corner kneeling on frozen peas so it hurts them, then in the end, you will cut off the branch on which you are sitting,” he said, mixing his metaphors.

Many of his friends — wealthy men — were targeted by the sanctions. They had nothing to do with Crimea, he said.

“I should tell you,” he said, “that I don’t feel ashamed of my friends.”

Would he remarry, someone asked, referring to Putin’s recent divorce.

“First, I have to help my former wife get married, then think about myself.”
His comments were once again met by applause.
www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-changes-course-admits-russian-troops-were-in-crimea-before-vote/2014/04/17/b3300a54-c617-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html

Read more, very ominous message from Putin with Russian imperialism intending on destroying Ukraine and/or start a World War 3:

Putin Makes Worrying Comments About Novorussia
www.businessinsider.com/maps-of-novorussia-and-old-russian-empire-2014-4?nr_email_referer=1

Terrible weapon of propaganda against Ukraine.

Ruslana: The problem is, we are dealing with this terrible weapon of propaganda against Ukraine. And we are not defending ourselves in any way from it.
And as a result, these are the consequences.

All weak spots were stepped on.
All aspects have… been touched, religion, language, military power – everything, all the main basis of support have been touched.
When will we actually be engaged in propaganda FOR Ukraine?
When will we be engaged in that internal core, which is a base for our country.

The fact that Russia suddenly, thanks to this propaganda, became aggressive.

Today I will be repeating the word “propaganda” as many times as possible, until we all memorize how much more terrible this weapon is, much more frightening than all the tanks gathered together around our borders.

And so, exactly thanks to this propaganda, note sociology. .
Yes, the selection is not very big – only 4.5 thousand respondents, nevertheless, an indicator.
More than 50% of simple people living in Moscow are ready to go to war with Ukraine… This is the result of propaganda…
These are the consequences of the entire negative, splashed out on us by Kremlin, and I personally think – Putin’s politics.

It’s absolutely obvious to me that now all these conflicts, this artificially created situation, absolutely accurately injected informational viruses, absolutely all of us are infected, everyone, even those who considers themselves adequate, believe me, certain nervousness is already programmed in us.

As it’s clear to us what situation we are in. (I want to use concrete word…)

And we are trying to understand, how to simply go outside with the flag and try saying something nice… you might get killed, taken down. I can’t…
I am trying to plan a trip to, at least one of the cities in the east, and it’s impossible because I’m told, “well, Ruslana, there is not enough security present to ensure your safety”.

I know that there are people living in Donbass, who call every day asking for some help. They say, “We are patriots, we won’t give up Ukraine. Will never give up Ukraine, never, under no circumstances. Kiev, please, give us a hand”.
There were 300 signatures collected in 3 hours, if I’m not mistaken. Look, these are live signatures of people from Donetsk who signed for united Ukraine.
They ask Turchinov (acting President) to somehow personally pay attention to protection. The East is protected neither by police, nor by “Berkut”, nor by informational politics.
Can you understand how it’s for these people to live in these conditions?

Here I’m specially addressing to them! Guys! We will come to you and will help, and we will give you a hand. Most important – please keep that core inside you! Your core is Ukrainian!

Three facts to the guys in the east who are watching this program now.

Guys, “Russian Radio” started broadcasting in Lviv, started about a year ago. Was there at least one person who came outside with protests, did you hear anything like this, that Lviv was protesting against “Russian Radio”? It’s broadcasting and people area listening to it in minibuses. I will even tell you more, God forgive my hometown, but it’s the fact. And is there at least one problem? – No.

I will tell you more, my mother is Russian, and she is from Ural.
My mother speaks Russian in L’viv 35 years. Nobody has ever made a remark regarding that during her whole life.

And the third, concerning fascist technologies, we were sent the poster (everyone knows about it, it was disbursed online) – there is an eagle on the background and a mother with the child. This is classical propaganda, in Soviet style posters, and it has writing: the Russian Empire brings you better life. There was identical Hitler poster found dating to the 1930’s, absolutely similar picture, simply changed the name.

That is, after all, technologists know what gets on people’s nerves, what intimidates them, keeps them frightened. This means, it is necessary for Putin to keep Russia in awe, and for some reason we are the ones suffering from that. Perhaps, after all, we will find (I will address to you all the time) find that core within ourselves, find it, it is Ukrainian, it is much stronger than Russian core, we is stronger today. The problem now is not puppet – Yanukovich. He already ran away. There is much more serious problem upon us, and unfortunately, most likely Ukrainians will need to fight this problem. And this problem is one word – Putin.

Once again I can appeal to Putin because it is my method. I personally chose it. I travel worldwide and try to implement protection for our country’s image on the informational arena, because it is getting killed at the international level, globally, and killing us in such manner than it’s very difficult to imagine.

Here is one of those famous plots, very famous on the internet, where the same person is filmed in two different episodes and showed on two different Russian TV channels. According to the story, he brought about 500 thousands EUR to Maidan in order to supply military protective uniform. I was at Maidan. We never had any protective uniform. There was always deficiency. We had merely 20 armored shields for the entire Maidan and we exchanged them often with each other, depending what direction the bullets were coming from. In the second video, same person played anti-maidan protester who took part in rally against current temporary government and was beaten there. So this means that Russian propaganda technologists work crudely. It means that not in all cases everything has been going well. They rely on the idea that we are all, Russians in particular, stupid idiots who are going to believe anything they say. So, they work very and very crudely.

Now I would like to appeal to some Putin’s agents…

I hope Putin will get this appeal on his table sooner or later.
Taking an opportunity, once again I want to address to Putin and say:

“If you think that there were technologies, I personally, as a person who was at Maidan, can tell you that no technologies were present. I did not see them. I was at Maidan for 4 months, 3 for sure, and the last month I devoted to international travels and meetings. However, in the course of 3 months, during which day-by-day, night-by-night, I was at Maidan, everything was born in itself, people thought it out under way. We organized it because it didn’t exist and it was immediately needed. So, why are you assuming the right to our so-called “technologies”, inversing it? Why do you use everything we created and show it as the end product of technology? But there were no technologies. It was simply defense mechanism of Ukrainian people to actions you tried to implement with the help of Yanukovych”.

That’s all!

Ruslana receives Women of Courage award
www.kyivpost.com/guide/people/lifestyle-blog-ruslana-receives-women-of-courage-award-338653.html

False Claims About Ukraine

False Claims About Ukraine
Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 13, 2014

“No amount of propaganda can make right something that the world knows is wrong.”
– President Obama, March 26

Russia continues to spin a false and dangerous narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine. The Russian propaganda machine continues to promote hate speech and incite violence by creating a false threat in Ukraine that does not exist. We would not be seeing the violence and sad events that we’ve witnessed this weekend without this relentless stream of disinformation and Russian provocateurs fostering unrest in eastern Ukraine. Here are 10 more false claims Russia is using to justify intervention in Ukraine, with the facts that these assertions ignore or distort.

1. Russia Claims: Russian agents are not active in Ukraine.

Fact: The Ukrainian Government has arrested more than a dozen suspected Russian intelligence agents in recent weeks, many of whom were armed at the time of arrest. In the first week of April 2014, the Government of Ukraine had information that Russian GRU officers were providing individuals in Kharkiv and Donetsk with advice and instructions on conducting protests, capturing and holding government buildings, seizing weapons from the government buildings’ armories, and redeploying for other violent actions. On April 12, armed pro-Russian militants seized government buildings in a coordinated and professional operation conducted in six cities in eastern Ukraine. Many were outfitted in bullet-proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed, and carrying Russian-designed weapons like AK-74s and Dragunovs. These armed units, some wearing black and orange St. George’s ribbons associated with Russian Victory Day celebrations, raised Russian and separatist flags over seized buildings and have called for referendums on secession and union with Russia. These operations are strikingly similar to those used against Ukrainian facilities during Russia’s illegal military intervention in Crimea in late February and its subsequent occupation.

2. Russia Claims: Pro-Russia demonstrations are comprised exclusively of Ukrainian citizens acting of their own volition, like the Maidan movement in Kyiv.

Fact: This is not the grassroots Ukrainian civic activism of the EuroMaidan movement, which grew from a handful of student protestors to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians from all parts of the country and all walks of life. Russian internet sites openly are recruiting volunteers to travel from Russia to Ukraine and incite violence. There is evidence that many of these so-called “protesters” are paid for their participation in the violence and unrest. It is clear that these incidents are not spontaneous events, but rather part of a well-orchestrated Russian campaign of incitement, separatism, and sabotage of the Ukrainian state. Ukrainian authorities continue to arrest highly trained and well-equipped Russian provocateurs operating across the region.

3. Russia Claims: Separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine enjoy broad popular support.

Fact: The recent demonstrations in eastern Ukraine are not organic and lack wide support in the region. A large majority of Donetsk residents (65.7 percent) want to live in a united Ukraine and reject unification with Russia, according to public opinion polls conducted at the end of March by the Donetsk-based Institute of Social Research and Policy Analysis. Pro-Russian demonstrations in eastern Ukraine have been modest in size, especially compared with Maidan protests in these same cities in December, and they have gotten smaller as time has progressed.

4. Russia Claims: The situation in eastern Ukraine risks spiraling into civil war.

Fact: What is going on in eastern Ukraine would not be happening without Russian disinformation and provocateurs fostering unrest. It would not be happening if a large Russian military force were not massed on the border, destabilizing the situation through their overtly threatening presence. There simply have not been large-scale protests in the region. A small number of separatists have seized several government buildings in eastern cities like Donetsk, Luhansk, and Slovyansk, but they have failed to attract any significant popular support. Ukrainian authorities have shown remarkable restraint in their efforts to resolve the situation and only acted when provoked by armed militants and public safety was put at risk. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers have reported that these incidents are very localized.

5. Russia Claims: Ukrainians in Donetsk rejected the illegitimate authorities in Kyiv and established the independent “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”

Fact: A broad and representative collection of civil society and non-governmental organizations in Donetsk categorically rejected the declaration of a “People’s Republic of Donetsk” by the small number of separatists occupying the regional administration building. These same organizations confirmed their support for the interim government and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

6. Russia Claims: Russia ordered a “partial drawdown” of troops from the Ukrainian border.

Fact: No evidence shows significant movement of Russian forces away from the Ukrainian border. One battalion is not enough. An estimated 35,000-40,000 Russian troops remain massed along the border, in addition to approximately 25,000 troops currently in Crimea.

7. Russia Claims: Ethnic Russians in Ukraine are under threat.

Fact: There are no credible reports of ethnic Russians facing threats in Ukraine. An International Republican Institute poll released April 5 found that 74 percent of the Russian-speaking population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine said they “were not under pressure or threat because of their language.” Meanwhile, in Crimea, the OSCE has raised urgent concerns for the safety of minority populations, especially ethnic Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, and others. Sadly, the ethnic Russians most at risk are those who live in Russia and who oppose the authoritarian Putin regime. These Russians are harassed constantly and face years of imprisonment for speaking out against Putin’s regular abuses of power.

8. Russia Claims: Ukraine’s new government is led by radical nationalists and fascists.

Fact: The Ukrainian parliament (Rada) did not change in February. It is the same Rada that was elected by all Ukrainians, comprising all of the parties that existed prior to February’s events, including former president Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The new government, approved by an overwhelming majority in the parliament — including many members of Yanukovych’s former party — is committed to protecting the rights of all Ukrainians, including those in Crimea.

9. Russia Claims: Ethnic minorities face persecution in Ukraine from the “fascist” government in Kyiv.

Fact: Leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish as well as German, Czech, and Hungarian communities have all publicly expressed their sense of safety under the new authorities in Kyiv. Moreover, many minority groups expressed fear of persecution in Russian-occupied Crimea, a concern OSCE observers in Ukraine have substantiated.

10. Russia Claims: Russia is not using energy and trade as weapons against Ukraine.

Fact: Following Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea, Russia raised the price Ukraine pays for natural gas by 80 percent in the past two weeks. In addition, it is seeking more than $11 billion in back payments following its abrogation of the 2010 Kharkiv accords. Russia’s moves threaten to increase severely the economic pain faced by Ukrainian citizens and businesses. Additionally, Russia continues to restrict Ukrainian exports to Russia, which constitute a significant portion of Ukraine’s export economy.

Kiev’s Independence Square, the focal point of protests against Mr. Yanukovych, has echoed in recent days with angry denunciations of authorities for their failure to crush separatists in the east and calls for citizens to take up arms to defend the country.

A recent opinion poll in Donetsk suggested that less than a third of the population wants to join Russia, far less than the proportion that wants Ukraine to remain intact. Donetsk residents who support Kiev increasingly wonder why a pro-Russian minority has been able to run amok.

“The ball is now on the side of Kiev,” wrote Oleksandr Honcharov, a lawyer from Donetsk, on his blog. “If the government cannot stabilize the situation, does it deserve to be called the government at all?”

www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/04/224759.htm

Will the world unite against Putin? Russia’s UN veto must be overturned by the civilized world.
Ukraine pleads with U.N. for peacekeepers
www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/14/kiev-russia-ukraine-insurgents/7691747/

Modern-Day Russian “Dupes”

Modern-Day Russian “Dupes”

pat

Pat Buchanan’s column, “Is God Now on Russia’s Side?,” is difficult to read and almost laugh-out-loud funny, as Buchanan was once a staunch anti-communist who served President Reagan as his communications director during the Cold War. Buchanan’s opposition to the Evil Empire, as Reagan correctly called it, has given way to an unseemly embrace of former Soviet KGB colonel Vladimir Putin, the virtual dictator of Russia who served the “Evil Empire” for decades.

Once a sharp thinker, Buchanan argues that Putin is a Christian and Russia is now a Christian nation. We are apparently supposed to ignore, or forgive, Putin’s violations of human rights, including murders of journalists, and the invasion of Ukraine.

There is absolutely no evidence, aside from rhetoric, to suggest that Russia in general and Putin in particular have been converted to Christianity. Instead, what we are witnessing is a massive Russian “active measures” campaign that has ensnared many American conservatives, convincing them that Putin is somehow a legitimate alternative to President Obama’s decadent worldview. It is troubling to see some of these conservatives endorse Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The term “active measures” refers to influence operations that use agents of influence, disinformation and propaganda.

The main flaw in Buchanan’s argument is the lack of any real evidence that Russia has come to grips with—and disavowed—its Soviet past. To the contrary, Putin laments the passing of the USSR and has put the former KGB, now the FSB, in charge of the power centers in Russia. He celebrates Russian spying on America.

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc defector, says that Russia is “the first intelligence dictatorship in history.” Two brave Russian investigative journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, have captured the nature of the problem in their book, The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB.

Buchanan cites pro-family statements by Putin, and anti-gay and pro-life laws passed in Russia. But like the Soviet propaganda and disinformation that Buchanan fought to expose when he worked for Reagan, the Russian rhetoric and legislative maneuvers cannot be considered legitimate. It is a show, designed to mask the dangerous path Russia is on, both domestically and internationally.

Rather than embrace Christianity, the evidence shows Russia has embraced the Russian Orthodox Church, always a tool of Soviet intelligence.
As we noted in an AIM Report back in 1984, John Barron’s authoritative book, KGB, said that the KGB’s Directorate 5 is assigned to “clandestinely control religion in the Soviet Union” and to “insure that the Russian Orthodox Church and all other churches serve as instruments of Soviet policy.” Barron added, “The directorate placed KGB officers within the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy and recruits bonafide clergymen as agents. Much of its work is accomplished through the Council on Religious Affairs, which is heavily staffed with retired and disabled KGB officers.”

Nothing has really changed. In fact, the Russian Orthodox Church is even closer to the regime these days, and is still so morally bankrupt that it published a 2014 calendar in honor of Soviet mass murderer Joseph Stalin. Former KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky has called it “Putin’s Espionage Church,” and devotes a major portion of his book, KGB/FSB’s New Trojan Horse, to its use by the Russian intelligence service.

The scholarly paper, “The Occult Revival in Russia Today and Its Impact on Literature,” demonstrates the existence of something as sinister as the regime’s domination of the church for its own political purposes. It describes how “post-Soviet Russia” has embraced New Age and occult ideas, even what the author, German academic Birgit Menzel, calls “dark” or “evil forces.”

“The occult has always been used for different ends, for purposes that range from benignly spiritual to totalitarian or fascist,” she writes.

Menzel’s detailed article notes the impact of Theosophy on Russia and Russian Marxists. Founded by a Russian mystic named Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–1891), who wrote The Secret Doctrine, Theosophy teaches that man can become God through mystical experiences, and can even perform miracles.

Traditional Christians have a different view. Theosophy, writes Dr. Peter Jones, one of the world’s foremost experts on paganism and the occult, is part of a movement which “plans to eat the Christian church alive in the days ahead.” He says Theosophy is at “the spiritual heart” of the United Nations and notes that the Lucis Trust (originally the Lucifer Trust) is an occult Theosophist group in charge of the United Nations’ Meditation Room.

In Russia, Menzel cites evidence that the Soviet secret police had “special agents for occult matters” who monitored the theosophical society in Russia, several esoteric orders, and even a “secret society” of some kind.

One of many fascinating revelations from Menzel’s well-researched 2007 article is that Aleksandr Dugin, now an adviser to Putin, has incorporated some of these ideas into his theory of “geopolitical Eurasianism,” a revival of the Russian empire that includes Islamic Iran. She writes, “Since 2000, Dugin has moved to the center of political power close to the Putin administration by a deliberate strategy of veiling his mystic-esoteric ideology…”

This is the same Dugin who was photographed meeting with former American Ku Klux Klan leader and neo-Nazi David Duke in Russia. Duke argues, like many Russian nationalists, that communism was imposed on Russia by a Jewish banker conspiracy.

Robert Zubrin, the author of several articles about Dugin, points out the similarities between the National Socialism of Hitler and Dugin’s original National Bolshevism. He says Dugin gave up on the idea of his own political party so he could become an adviser to Putin’s United Russia Party. For a time, he worked with the Russian Communist Party, the second largest political party in the country next to Putin’s United Russia.

As part of this transformation, Zubrin says, Putin himself became a spokesman for tradition and morality, even though the Russian government “runs the biggest organized human trafficking operation in the world,” kidnapping Russian girls and selling them around the world as prostitutes. “Nobody should be fooled by Putin’s claim of being a defender of conservative morality,” Zubrin says.

“There’s far more depravity in Russia, including homosexual depravity, than there is here,” he says. “In the Russian army, boyish recruits are subject to homosexual rape by officers as a form of hazing, and the regime protects this.”

Equally troubling, there are reports that Dugin’s vision of a resurgent Russia is built in part on the ideas of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), a Satanist who described himself as the “Beast 666,” or Antichrist, of the Book of Revelation. “It [is] worth mentioning that in early 90s the National Bolsheviks and their main ideologist Aleksandr Dugin tried to bring Aleister Crowley’s ideas to wide popular masses in Russia with enviable persistence,” one observer of the Russian political scene noted.

Some analysts say Crowley, who visited Russia twice (in 1898 and in 1913), was a mastermind of an international conspiracy rooted in Satanism, and that he helped the Communists in Russia and his philosophy played a role in the subsequent rise of the Nazis in Germany.

His associates included Walter Duranty, the correspondent for The New York Times who achieved notoriety—and a Pulitzer Prize—for helping cover up the crimes of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, such as his murder of millions of Ukrainians.

As incredible as it seems, S.J. Taylor writes in her book about Duranty, Stalin’s Apologist, that Duranty and Crowley participated in drug-taking Satanic orgies. In a series of rituals conducted in Paris in 1913, Crowley received a “sacrament” from “a certain priest, A.B.,” who Taylor says was Duranty. The sacrament was semen. Taylor said that, during these orgies, verses were chanted, including one consisting of “Blood and semen! Blood and semen!”

In his column on Putin’s alleged Christ-like qualities, Buchanan writes that he was “startled to read” that the newsletter from the social conservative World Council [sic] of Families had hailed Russia as a “pro-family leader” and that the group’s conference this fall was being held in Moscow.

Buchanan asked, “Will Vladimir Putin give the keynote?”

Buchanan failed to notice that the conference has been “suspended,” in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The World Congress of Families says, “The situation in the Ukraine and Crimea (and the resulting U.S. and European sanctions) has raised questions about the travel, logistics, and other matters necessary to plan” the Moscow event.

In other words, the Americans planning to go to Moscow and attend services at Christ the Savior Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church would not be able to spend the Russian rubles that were coming their way.

Those rubles were supposed to be provided by Putin crony Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB officer like Putin who reportedly stole millions, if not billions, from public expenditures on construction projects related to the Sochi Olympic Games. Some of the stolen funds were used to build a fancy estate for Yakunin that includes a guest house, a servants quarters, a garage for 15 cars, sauna, swimming pool and prayer room.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) has been collaborating with the Russians since at least 2008, when it participated in the World Public Forum, another group founded by Yakunin. Larry Jacobs of the WCF said at the time, “Much credit should be given to Vladimir Yakunin, who has invested his time and resources for the betterment of world civilizations.”

Tell that to the people of Ukraine.

Cliff Kincaid — April 4, 2014
www.aim.org/aim-column/modern-day-russian-dupes/

Kremlin and Putin are Anti-Christ….propagating evil against the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN world and weakening it against Al Queda.

Read More:
Revelation13.net: Is the Antichrist Russian President Putin? — More on Putin and Russia — a Bible prophecy and New Age analysis


revelation13.net/Putin.html


Putin's Russia: 'Evil Empire' 2.0? by FORAtv

Admiral Igor Kabanenko: Real intentions of Russia

Admiral Igor Kabanenko: Real intentions of Russia
adminral
Dear Friends!
Let’s take a look at what Russian intentions really could be and what signs are we seeing.

They are as follows:

Putin’s statement about possible revising of Bialowieza Accords is a serious signal. Last time Putin made his speech in Moscow, he stated that “legitimization of Ukraine as an independent state” is illegal and gives Kremlin the right for restoring the old USSR by force;
A statement of NATO Secretary General about mismatch between claims of Russia pulling back their troops from the eastern borders of Ukraine and the real picture (an information about alleged departure of the Russian battalion to Samara was nothing more than a publicity stunt);
By evaluation of NATO commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the situation on the Russian – Ukrainian border is “extremely alarming” and that “Russians have everything they need to invade Ukraine”; that there is a possible scenario of invasion of Southern Ukraine to establish a land link to Crimea; as well as thrust to Odessa, and invasion of Eastern Ukraine;
The stationing of audio equipment by Russian troops on the borders with Ukraine for an active propaganda aimed at both Ukrainian military and local population;
The active intelligence by Russian special services and military intelligence on the territory of Ukraine, in particular by spy-ship near port of Odessa;
Cancelling by Russia previously scheduled talks between deputy foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia in Minsk on April 4 is very alarming signal;
The decision of Donetsk Regional Council to hold a local referendum regarding region’s status, as well as continuous destabilizing of situation in Donetsk, Kherson, Odessa and other regions by utilizing insurgents, extremists and members of the fifth column. All these actions are directly supported by Russian leaders and State Duma;
Fierce propaganda by Moscow with a twisted rhetoric aimed at the “unity of Russian and Ukrainian people”, of course, under Moscow protectorate, as well as calming claims that Russia has no intent to invade Ukraine – we have heard this before and know how it has ended. In the war language it is called “continuous strategic misleading of the enemy”;
The rhetoric towards Ukraine changed to calming (see – after all, invasion did not happen last week!), also Russian media switched their attention to elections which clearly is a trick orchestrated by Moscow to divert attention from military escalation.
Therefore, if Kremlin truly did not want the war, it would immediately start relocation of troops to their usual bases of deployment and pack up weapons and equipment, in other words – do everything to demonstrate its good intentions. Unfortunately, their actions so far indicate exactly the opposite.
My advice, is not to relax. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

This record is also available in: Russian, Ukrainian

inforesist.org/admiral-igor-kabanenko-real-intentions-of-russia/?lang=en

Read more:Russia could achieve Ukraine incursion in 3-5 days
www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/02/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-idUSBREA310PP20140402

Ukraine needs help from NATO to survive Russian aggression.

Meet Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend in the American Media

Meet Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend in the American Media
He is a great historian of Stalinism who has been celebrated by colleagues on the left and right. So why is Stephen F. Cohen so eager to act as a propagandist for Putin?

Photo by CNN

Photo by CNN


Stephen F. Cohen, a veteran Russian scholar at New York University and Princeton, has lately gained some dubious notoriety as Vladimir Putin’s number one apologist in the ranks of American punditry.
After a piece in The Nation slamming the American media for “toxic” anti-Putin reporting and a CNN appearance defending Putin’s incursion into Crimea as an attempt to protect “Russia’s traditional zones of national security,” Cohen was excoriated not just by the conservative media but by The New Republic and New York magazine. More recently, a critical but respectful feature in Newsweek dubbed him “the man who dared make Putin’s case.”

But what drives Cohen’s ongoing battle against “the demonization of Putin”?
Some of his detractors sound baffled by the paradox of a longtime leftist defending an essentially right-wing authoritarian regime; New York’s Jonathan Chait blames it on “the mental habits of decades of anti-anti-communism” transferred onto a no-longer-communist Kremlin. In The Daily Beast, James Kirchick treats Cohen as one of the “realists” advocating a pragmatic rather than morality-based foreign policy. And Cohen himself, in the Newsweek interview, avers that he is the true American patriot seeking to keep the United States out of a reckless confrontation.

Yet none of these explanations quite captures the motives or the history behind Cohen’s passion, which is ultimately less about realism than frustrated idealism. Regrettably, this idealism has led Cohen—a man of unquestionable erudition, sometimes insightful analysis, and by all appearances genuine sympathy for Russia’s tribulations—into some strange places at odds with both reality and morality.

As he writes in the foreword to his 2009 book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, Cohen’s interest in Russia dates back to his days as a college student in the late 1950s, when he became keenly concerned with social justice after growing up in segregated small-town Kentucky. He developed a particular interest in Soviet alternatives to Stalinism and Nikolai Bukharin, the revolutionary and theorist killed in Stalin’s purges whom Cohen saw as the embodiment of such an alternative—a champion of a mixed economy and more humane politics. (Other historians argue that Bukharin, earlier a full supporter of revolutionary mass terror and state-controlled production, saw liberalization in the 1920s as merely a strategic retreat to rebuild the Soviet economy and pacify the populace.) Cohen’s first book was an acclaimed 1975 biography of Bukharin, an expanded edition of which is to be published this year.

Cohen had a strong personal investment in his subject. In the mid-1970s, he began spending a lot of time in Moscow in academic exchange programs, an experience he describes in his 2010 book, The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin; he grew close to Bukharin’s widow Anna Larina, herself a gulag survivor, and developed friendships with a few Soviet dissidents. He was a devout foe of Stalinism—at the time, he was already doing research on gulag survivors—and no fan of the Brezhnev-era Soviet regime, which for unspecified reasons barred him from travel to the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1985. However, a running theme in Cohen’s writings was the possibility of “socialism with a human face.” He argued that Communism was not monolithic; that Stalinism was not an organic continuation of Leninist Bolshevism (a “richly diverse movement,” as Cohen, then a junior fellow at Columbia University’s Research Institute on Communist Affairs, wrote in a 1967 letter to the New York Review of Books) but a radical break from it; and that the Soviet system had real potential for peaceful reformism. It is telling that his closest dissident friend was Roy Medvedev, probably the only notable dissident in the 1970s who still considered himself a Marxist-Leninist.

In his 1985 book, Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917, Cohen noted with regret that, as reformist hopes withered and died in the 1970s, most liberal dissidents “concluded that the entire Soviet system was hopelessly ill-conceived and corrupt—that reform from within the Communist party-state was impossible,” and their protests “grew increasingly anti-Soviet.” This, he argued, only led to more repression, drawing dissenters into a “political cul-de-sac” since change in the Soviet Union could only happen through “reform from above.” Around the same time, he claimed in The Nation that the Reagan administration’s quest to pressure the Soviets into change would inevitably fail since it was “predicated on wildly exaggerated conceptions of Soviet domestic problems. In reality, the Soviet Union is not in economic crisis; nor is it politically unstable.”

Not long after, Cohen’s cherished “reform from above” suddenly became reality as the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, embarked on a course of liberalization and reform. Still more excitingly for Cohen, glasnost included a Bukharin revival, with major support from Gorbachev himself. Bukharin was formally exonerated in 1988 and became, as Cohen recounts in Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, “virtually canonized as Lenin’s rightful heir, anti-Stalinist prophet and hero, and forerunner of Gorbachev’s perestroika reformation.”

Cohen threw himself enthusiastically into this reformation. He traveled regularly to the Soviet Union with his wife Katrina Vanden Heuvel, an editor at The Nation and currently its editor-in-chief and they co-authored the 1989 book, Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers, a collection of interviews with fourteen officials, journalists, and intellectuals, all of them proponents of a kinder, gentler (and more efficient) Soviet socialism.

Then, in late 1991, the dreams of reformist socialism crashed with the end of the Soviet Union. The new Russian leadership was far more interested in embracing Western-style democratic capitalism than in reforming socialism. Lenin was tossed on the dustbin of history—even if his mummified body remained in the Mausoleum on Red Square—and Bukharin’s ghost faded into irrelevance. As Cohen notes with tangible bitterness in Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, “Of what political use or historical interest was a founding father whose country no longer existed?”

For many observers, the Soviet Union’s downfall leads to the logical conclusion that Soviet communism was not reformable after all: virtually the moment its coercive mechanisms weakened, the entire edifice began to crack and promptly collapsed. Not surprisingly, Cohen strongly disagrees. His view is most succinctly summed up in a 2011 talk at a conference sponsored by the Gorbachev Foundation: the Soviet Union, he believes, did not “collapse” but was dismantled by the power-hungry Boris Yeltsin—aided by “the radical intelligentsia” which “hijacked Gorbachev’s gradualist reformation” and helped bring Yeltsin to power, and by greedy bureaucratic elites eager to plunder the Soviet Union’s wealth. To make this case, he drastically downplays both the economic crisis of 1990-1991 (when, as Russian satirist Viktor Shenderovich once quipped, “Soviet power still existed but the food had already run out”) and the separatist tensions in the Soviet republics.

Meanwhile, Cohen blames Yeltsin’s reforms in the early 1990s for causing “the worst economic and social catastrophe ever suffered by a major nation in peacetime.” That’s a rather startling assertion from someone familiar with Stalin’s brutal collectivization of agriculture and the ensuing “terror-famine” of the early 1930s.

Of course, few would disagree that Russia’s “Wild West capitalism” of the nineties was not a pretty picture, with the rise of oligarchs who gave robber barons a bad name and millions of people cast adrift and struggling. One can argue about the causes and the specifics of this crisis—for instance, whether Yeltsin-era policies were really free market-oriented (the private sector remained crippled by byzantine taxes and regulations, official corruption, and lack of effective legal protection for property rights) and whether some of the decade’s social ills were caused by the transition to the market or by the disastrous Soviet legacy. (Thus, the decline in Russians’ life expectancy began in the Soviet era, with male life expectancy at birth dropping from 64 years in 1965 to 61.4 years in 1980.) Still, Cohen has an indisputable point when he says that the hardship and chaos of the 1990s explain widespread Russian support for Putin’s neo-authoritarian rule—as well as the resurgence of Stalinist nostalgia, with both Putin and Stalin seen as symbols of the “strong hand” bringing order and security.

sadThis, however, should hardly preclude a critical view of Putin and Putinism: if anything, an authoritarian strongman is all the more dangerous when he rides a wave of legitimate popular discontent with economic and social chaos. The fact remains that after his rise to power, Putin systematically strangled Russia’s free press (the remnants of which are now under attack in the warmongering over Ukraine), crushed political opposition, turned elections into a farce and the parliament into an obedient rubber stamp, and moved toward making anti-Western nationalism an official ideology. And these are facts that Cohen either glosses over or downplays—for instance, by asserting that “de-democratization began under Yeltsin, not Putin” (which is true only in the sense that power was increasingly concentrated in the presidency rather than elected representatives).

All this autocratic thuggery seems a more than adequate explanation for why the Western media would take an uncharitable view of Putin, the ex-KGB officer who has always taken conspicuous pride in his Soviet-era career. Yet Cohen professes to be utterly baffled by why Putin is so “villainized.” His explanation in The Nation article is that the U.S. press “adopted Washington’s narrative” of Yeltsin as the man steering Russia to democracy, still treating him as “an ideal Russian leader.” By contrast, in the 2000s, the media—again taking their cue from Washington—began to treat the Kremlin as the enemy. (This account completely ignores, among other things, the complexities of U.S.-Russian relations in both the 1990s and the 2000s: the chill between Moscow and Washington at the end of the Yeltsin years, the initially cordial relationship between George W. Bush and Putin—the War on Terror ally in whose eyes Bush famously got “a sense of his soul”—and the “reset” at the start of Obama’s presidency.)

In essence, Cohen is arguing that the American media dislikes Putin because he is seen as the anti-Yeltsin. But this seems like classic projection: the far more likely explanation is that Cohen sympathizes with Putin because he sees Putin as the anti-Yeltsin, and Yeltsin as the anti-Gorbachev who destroyed the bright and shining hopes of Soviet reformism. The irony, of course, is that Putin’s rule hasn’t seen a restoration of socialism, Soviet-style or otherwise (except for the fact that, while Yeltsin repudiated the Soviet period, Putin treats it as a source of real achievements and legitimate pride). Putin’s Russia is a country of corrupt crony capitalism, conspicuous consumption by the rich and the affluent, and a repressive state that increasingly leans on a subservient church as its source of moral authority. It stands, in short, for everything a leftist should detest.

Many of Cohen’s arguments about post-Communist Russia are legitimate subjects of debate, and his scholarship has been serious enough to draw praise from the likes of Robert Conquest, the British historian and author of The Great Terror. And yet his Putin cheerleading increasingly crosses the line into denial or outright recycling of Kremlin propaganda. Last October, at a New York University symposium, Cohen asserted with a straight face that the game of musical chairs between Putin and Dmitry Medvedev (who was handpicked to succeed Putin in 2007, then stepped aside for his mentor four years later) was not a carefully orchestrated ploy to circumvent the Russian constitution’s ban on two consecutive presidential terms but a genuine, though unsuccessful, “tryout” for Medvedev. “I don’t believe that Putin’s return was agreed upon in advance,” said Cohen—flatly contradicting Medvedev’s own statement to the media in 2011 that he and Putin had “long ago” agreed on the power arrangement.

In a 2012 Reuters column, Cohen complained that Putin is often blamed for the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, even though “the editors of Politkovskaya’s newspaper, the devoutly anti-Putin Novaya Gazeta, believe her killing was ordered by Chechen leaders, whose human-rights abuses were one of her special subjects.” He forgets to mention that the Chechen leader in question, Ramzan Kadyrov, is Putin’s best buddy—or that Novaya Gazeta has also asserted that the actual killers are connected to Russian special services and protected by the government.

But the disconnect from reality is most glaringly evident in Cohen’s Newsweek interview. Take this gem: “We don’t know that Putin went into Crimea. We literally don’t know. We’re talking about ‘facts’ that are coming out of Kiev, which is a mass of disinformation.” Cohen must be the only person in the world who thinks there’s any doubt that the armed men who are all over Crimea wearing Russian army uniforms without insignia and wielding Russian weaponry—“little green men,” as irreverent Russians call them—are actually Russian soldiers.

And he hits an all-time low when asked about Pussy Riot, the activist punk rockers given a two-year prison sentence in 2012 for an anti-Putin protest performance in a Moscow cathedral. After noting that “in 82 countries they would have been executed” (a statement later amended to say that the women “would have faced criminal charges in many countries and the death penalty in several of them”), Cohen tells the interviewer, “You know what they were doing before they went to prison? They would go into supermarkets, strip, lay on their back, spread their legs apart and stuff frozen chickens in their vagina. There were people in there with their kids shopping and Russian authorities did nothing. They didn’t arrest them.”

The very slight factual basis for this outlandish claim is that two members of Pussy Riot once belonged to an activist performance art group called Voina (War). In one of its “performances,” a woman discreetly stuffed a supermarket chicken inside her panties and into her vagina (an act not witnessed by anyone except other group members who took photos), then left the store and “birthed” the chicken in an empty lot outside. However tacky, this was hardly the flagrant public obscenity Cohen alleges. What’s more, the chicken stunt did not actually involve any of the Pussy Riot defendants—though Russian television falsely implied that it did.

It’s rather sad to see Cohen, who has written with sensitivity and compassion about gulag survivors, sink to the level of a pro-Kremlin Internet troll, perpetuating a crude slander against courageous young women who are currently braving harassment and physical assaults as they advocate for prisoner rights.

Cohen is doubtless sincere in his conviction that he stands against a propaganda war that incites dangerous hostility to Russia. Yet his sincerity leads him to channel Kremlin propaganda as effectively as any paid shill. A verse composed by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko for Cohen’s seventieth birthday in 2008 included the lines, “I love you, my unique friend, Steve / And envy you that you’re naïve.” Alas, this brings to mind an old Russian proverb: “There’s a kind of simplicity that’s worse than thievery.”

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She is the author of Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood (Ticknor & Fields, 1989). You can follow her on Twitter at @CathyYoung63

www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/16/meet-stephen-f-cohen-vladimir-putin-s-best-friend-in-the-american-media.html

Omitted in this article is Cohen’s disdain for the Ukrainian people. He refers to Ukraine as a region of Russia denying along with Putin the existence of Ukraine. He is a Ukrainophobe who is against Ukraine’s self determination, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. He believes that his fellow Jews are also against the establishment of an independent , free and democratic Ukraine. I believe this is not true as many Jews have embraced Ukraine as their Homeland.

Garry Kasparov: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They’ll Dump Putin

Garry Kasparov: Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They’ll Dump Putin
Target their assets abroad, their mansions and IPOs in London, their yachts. Use banks, not tanks.

Russian soldiers in the village of Zemo Nikozi. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Russian soldiers in the village of Zemo Nikozi. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By
Garry Kasparov

For the second time in six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops across an internationally recognized border to occupy territory. This fact must be stated plainly before any discussion of motives or consequences. Russian troops have taken Crimea and they are not leaving, despite the Ukrainian government’s protests. Five hundred kilometers southeast across the Black Sea, Russian soldiers still occupy parts of Georgia—South Ossetia and Abkhazia—where they have been since Mr. Putin’s 2008 invasion and de facto annexation.

Mr. Putin belongs to an exclusive club, along with Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Miloševic, as one of the very few leaders to invade a neighboring nation in the nuclear age. Such raw expansionist aggression has been out of fashion since the time of Adolf Hitler, who eventually failed, and Joseph Stalin, who succeeded. Stalin’s Red Army had its share of battlefield glory, but his real triumph came at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, three months before the end of the war in Europe. There Stalin bullied a feeble Franklin Roosevelt and a powerless Winston Churchill, redrawing the Polish borders and promising elections in Poland when he knew that the Communist government the Soviets were installing was there to stay.

Although it is a poignant coincidence, there is more to this look back to World War II than the fact that Yalta is located in Crimea. Mr. Putin’s tactics are easily, and accurately, compared to those of the Austrian Anschluss and the Nazi occupation and annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia in 1938. There is the same rhetoric about protecting a threatened population, the same propaganda filled with lies, justifications, and accusations. Most of the Kremlin’s statements about Crimea could have been translated from German, with “Fatherland” replaced by “Motherland.” Mr. Putin is also following the Stalin model on Poland in Yalta: First invade, then negotiate. Crimea will be forced to hold a referendum on joining Russia in just 10 days, a vote on the Kremlin’s preferred terms, at the point of a gun.

Mr. Putin’s move in Crimea came just hours after now-former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych scrambled up his puppet strings from Kiev to his master’s hand in Russia. He left behind thousands of papers and a few palaces, evidence of the vast scale of his personal and political corruption. His ejection, bought in blood by the courageous people of Ukraine, made Mr. Putin look weak. Like any schoolyard bully or crime boss, he immediately found a way to look and feel tough again. The historically pivotal Crimean peninsula, with its large Russia-leaning population and geographic vulnerability (and a Russian naval base), was the obvious choice.

As I have said for years, it is a waste of time to attempt to discern deep strategy in Mr. Putin’s actions. There are no complex national interests in a dictator’s calculations. There are only personal interests, the interests of those close to him who keep him in power, and how best to consolidate that power. Without real elections or a free media, the only way a dictator can communicate with his subjects is through propaganda, and the only way he can validate his power is with regular shows of force.

Inside Russia, that force comes with repression against dissidents and civil rights that only accelerated during the distraction of the Sochi Olympics. Abroad, force in the form of military action, trade sanctions or natural-gas extortion is applied wherever Mr. Putin thinks he can get away with it.

On Monday, the markets plummeted in response to the news that Russia had invaded a European nation.
Just a few days later, as cautious statements emanated from the White House and the European Union, most markets had rebounded fully. This was due to an illusion of a resolution, as if it matters little to the fate of the global economy that a huge nuclear power can casually snap off a piece of a neighboring country.

Thanks to their unfettered access to Western markets, Mr. Putin and his gang have exploited Western engagement with Russia in a way that the Soviet Union’s leaders never dreamed of. But this also means that they are vulnerable in a way the Soviets were not. If the West punishes Russia with sanctions and a trade war, that might be effective eventually, but it would also be cruel to the 140 million Russians who live under Mr. Putin’s rule. And it would be unnecessary. Instead, sanction the 140 oligarchs who would dump Mr. Putin in the trash tomorrow if he cannot protect their assets abroad. Target their visas, their mansions and IPOs in London, their yachts and Swiss bank accounts. Use banks, not tanks. Thursday, the U.S. announced such sanctions, but they must be matched by the European Union to be truly effective. Otherwise, Wall Street’s loss is London’s gain, and Mr. Putin’s divide-and-conquer tactics work again.

If Mr. Putin succeeds—and if there is no united Western response, he will have succeeded regardless of whether or not Russian troops stay in Crimea—the world, or at least the world order, as we know it will have ended. The post-1945 universe of territorial integrity has been ripped asunder and it will have a far-reaching impact no matter what the markets and pundits say over the next few days.

For those who ask what the consequences will be of inaction by the free world over Ukraine, I say you are looking at it. This is the price for inaction in Georgia, for inaction in Syria. It means the same thing happening again and again until finally it cannot be ignored. The price of inaction against a dictator’s aggression is always having a next time. And in this market, the longer you wait, the higher that price gets.

Mr. Kasparov is chairman of the Human Rights Foundation in New York.

m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303824204579422971651210180?mobile=y

To stop Putin’s aggression onto Ukraine agree wholeheartedly this is where the beef and the money is: Target t he Russian oligarch’s assets abroad, their mansions and IPOs in London, their yachts. Use banks, not tanks.