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    Vladimir Putin Thread

    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:17 am

    Even if they showed photos, many would say they were digitally altered, i.e. photoshopped.
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    Post  PapaDragon Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:22 am

    Tsavo Lion wrote:Even if they showed photos, many would say they were digitally altered, i.e. photoshopped.

    So Navalny can't even afford photoshop anymore?

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:27 am

    Putin & his friends just laugh at those who believe his official propaganda, all the way to the bank, so to speak!
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    Post  GarryB Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:51 am

    Read an excellent article written by an American that perfectly explains the Putin enigma.

    It makes perfect sense and explains exactly the situation the world faces today regarding the relationship between the west and Russia, and though it talks about changes in the US after the end of the cold war it is not rocket science to work out similar changes likely occurred in EU countries too, though many just do as they are told so their intel services and advisors are not so relevant compared with those in the US who have access to the top ears in the country making important decisions and policy...

    Biden’s Sanctions Binge represents the high-water mark of the ‘Putin Whisperers’


    Scott Ritter

    is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of 'SCORPION KING: America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter


    Joe Biden has announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia and signalled the potential for more. Biden’s mouth is writing checks the US can’t cash, and his latest tantrum is likely the last gasp of failed anti-Russia strategy.

    Back in the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union wore “big-boy pants” – they understood the realities of the world they lived in and accepted the consequences of their respective actions like adults. Espionage was a given; when you succeeded, you kept your mouth shut, and when you were caught, you took your lumps in silence. What underpinned this approach was the kind of begrudging respect that professionals of equal stature afford to one another – each side had a job to do, and they got on with it.

    Both sides were engaged in active propaganda, some overt, much of it covert. This ideological combat was waged in the battlefield of the minds of intellectuals and activists, who were entrusted to decide for themselves which brand of idealism they would embrace. The CIA underwrote such notable literary journals such as The Paris Review and Encounter, while Soviet efforts to infiltrate the Black Civil Rights movement and the anti-war movement of the 1960’s are well documented. And yet, throughout this war of words, Kennedy somehow met with Khrushchev, Nixon and Carter with Brezhnev, and Reagan with Gorbachev. We opposed the Soviets, but we also respected them as worthy opponents.

    This attitude changed, almost overnight, with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, and the end of the Cold War. The successor to the once mighty Soviet Union was the Russian Federation, which had been transformed from a world power capable of dictating global outcomes to a regional train wreck, in desperate need of foreign assistance to keep it from falling apart. Inside the CIA, the once all-powerful Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA), the largest and most prestigious fiefdom within the Directorate of Intelligence, was dissolved, replaced by the more generic sounding “Office of Slavic and Eurasian analysis”, and later, the Office of Russian and European analysis. Old-time analysts who had spent decades studying the Soviet Union were dismissed or reassigned, replaced by a new breed, who viewed Russia not as an adversary to be respected, but a victim to be exploited.

    Moscow Station – the CIA operation inside the Soviet Union – was likewise gutted, transforming overnight from the premier posting for the agency’s most capable case officers into a backwater where new officers were sent to cut their baby teeth and old officers to retire. The CIA’s approach to Russia in the 1990’s was one of negligent incompetence, where analysis was lazy and operations virtually non-existent. The demand for high quality intelligence simply did not exist in an environment where the Russian government, in the form of an alcoholic president named Boris Yeltsin, had completely subordinated himself to the will of his American masters, and the Russian national security establishment was more than happy to sell its secrets to anyone willing to pay a price.

    As the old cadre of Soviet-era specialists were pushed to the side, they were replaced by a new breed of activist-analysts, people who viewed Russia as a laboratory for Western notions of democracy, and the Russian people as little more than guinea pigs to be experimented with. The buy-in to this approach to US-Russian relations was absolute, with little or no examination as to its wisdom, or its long-term viability in post-Soviet Russia. The “experts” that emerged during this time – personalities such as Michael McFaul, Anne Applebaum, Susan Glasser, Fiona Hill, and others – were intellectually lazy, if for no other reason than their theses went unchallenged.

    The rise of Vladimir Putin took this universe of self-minted “new Russia” experts by storm – they literally did not know what hit them. Their buy-in into the artificial reality of Boris Yeltsin was so strong that these so-called experts had no real foundation upon which to assess the Putin phenomenon. Rather than seeing Putin’s rise as part of a natural reaction on the part of the Russian state and people to the abject failure of the Yeltsin years, these “experts” viewed Putin as an alien being, a foreign object which had intruded upon their exclusive playground and was disrupting their nation-building fantasies. Anti-Putin literature became par for the course, and these so-called Russian experts helped found a new school of Russian studies, where the Russian nation was simplified into the person of a single man, whose life and politics were simplified into a cartoon-like caricature far removed from reality.

    These “Putin whisperers” infiltrated every aspect of American culture and politics, their writings achieving near-scripture-like reception in the pages of American newspapers and political journals, and the authors of this intellectual dreck being offered prime seats at the table of national security policymaking, either on the National Security Council, or as a National Intelligence Officer.

    The ranks of these “Putin whisperers” were further filled by a breed of failed spies garnered from a generation of Russian case officers who were never trained in the old-school “Moscow Rules” of the Cold War, where tradecraft and professionalism were taken seriously by all involved, but instead weaned on the easy pickings of Russia under Boris Yeltsin, where spies were not recruited so much as plucked from a pool of volunteer traitors. When the Russia of Vladimir Putin brought an end to those halcyon days of spying on the cheap, the CIA was not equipped or trained to respond. With embarrassing regularity, poorly trained CIA officers were caught red-handed trying to recruit Russian assets and kicked out of the country.

    Many of these failed spies chose second careers as “talking heads” on television networks, or frequent contributors to the same journals and papers that had made publishing anti-Putin screeds an American norm. Names like John Sipher and Steven Hall have become well-known in the anti-Russian propaganda circuit, even though they operate more as apologists for failed policy than actual experts.

    The cumulative impact of these “Putin whisperers” on US-Russian policy is telling. Rather than dealing with the reality of a Russian nation seeking its rightful place at the table of a multi-polar world, the “Putin whisperers” created a domestic market for their personification of all things Russian into the form of a single man. Russia stopped being a national security problem to be managed through effective diplomacy, but rather a domestic political issue which American politicians from both sides of the aisle used to scare the American people into supporting their respective visions of the world.

    These “Putin Whisperers” thrived during the administration of President Barack Obama, led by the likes of Michael McFaul, and achieved near-critical mass during the Trump administration, empowered by overly politicized claims of collusion with Russia by people in the Trump circle. They continue to play an important role today, filling the airwaves and pages with anti-Putin propaganda whose cumulative effect is to dumb down the American public by demonizing Russia and its president to the point that any accusation will be accepted at face value, regardless of the lack of corroborating evidence or the improbable veracity of its claim; the recent scandal over allegations that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan serves as an apt illustration of this phenomenon.
    Also on rt.com Biden’s decision not to punt on ‘Russian bounties’ is embarrassment for US media – but they’ll continue to push favored narrative

    This is the world that President Joe Biden and his national security team live in, one where Russia is as much, or more, of a domestic political problem than a legitimate national security threat. The seeming mixed signals being sent by Biden in his public pronouncements – sanctioning on the one hand, while seeking a summit with Putin on the other – are less a sign of a feeble mind than the byproduct of a process of transformation as the Biden administration learns to deal with the reality of Russia as it really is, as opposed to the fiction of Russia as painted by the “Russia whisperers.”

    Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence, recently noted in the “Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence community”, that “We expect Moscow to seek opportunities for pragmatic cooperation with Washington on its own terms, and we assess that Russia does not want a direct conflict with US forces.” Her assessment was funded in the realistic appraisal of Russian policy objectives, which are formed from a belief that the US “is conducting its own ‘influence campaigns’ to undermine Russia, weaken President Vladimir Putin, and install Western-friendly regimes in the states of the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.” The goal of Russia is not to achieve “victory”, per se, but rather to seek “an accommodation with the United States on mutual noninterference in both countries’ domestic affairs and US recognition of Russia’s claimed sphere of influence over much of the former Soviet Union.”

    You will not find any of the “Putin whisperers” offering up such a balanced and accurate assessment of Russian national security objectives under Putin.

    Biden is a prisoner of his own anti-Russian rhetoric, influenced in large part by the need to be seen as responding to a domestic political prerogative founded on decades of Russia- and Putin-bashing at the hands of the “Putin whisperers” and their ilk. It is one thing to spout off as a candidate for president; it is an altogether different reality to be serving as president, where words and actions have life-or-death consequences.

    Biden is being educated on the fact that his mouth is writing checks the United States is not prepared to cash – the recent decision to halt the deployment of US Navy ships into the Black Sea during the heightened crisis between Russia and Ukraine is one such example. His recent wave of sanctions is a byproduct of the political need to be seen as putting action behind his rhetoric; indeed, the strength of the domestic political appetite for anti-Russia actions mandates that Biden issue a second wave of sanctions sometime down the road.

    These are policies pushed and promoted by the “Putin whisperers.” For the moment, their will continues to prevail. But their days are numbered, as realpolitik pragmatists in the White House, Pentagon and Intelligence Community are recognizing the reality that the days of taking for granted US global hegemony are over, and that for the United States to remain relevant, it must adapt to the reality of a multi-polar world, and Russia’s rightful role therein. This will not happen overnight, but it is in the process of happening. In promoting and supporting Biden’s latest round of sanctions, the “Putin whisperers” have reached their high-water mark. From here on out, their influence will begin to ebb as the national security demand for fact-based assessments outstrips the domestic political need for fact-free propaganda.

    source: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/521315-biden-sanctions-russia-putin/

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    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:18 am

    Scott Ritter gets it, and its a great testimony to the mans integrity considering his backgroud of US military service and as a UN weapons inspector.  He's a truth teller, and it has led to his persecution by US authorities seeking revenge for his revealing the lies and fabrications of US official doublespeak.

    I read all of his articles whenever I find them, and I'd encourage others to do the same.

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    Post  Big_Gazza Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:23 am

    Tsavo Lion wrote:What is the main response of Russian propaganda to our investigation about Putin? Putin does not and cannot have palaces and billions, because he is not interested in luxury. He is an ascetic. He eats the simplest food, wears the same shirts, instead of expensive rest, he likes to wander through the woods with a staff and think about Russia. But this is a lie. Putin loves luxury. He lives for her. He just hides it very carefully. And we will show you everything. And for this we will go ... to the official residence of Vladimir Putin on Valdai. Yes, to his state dacha. So that this time no one has any doubts who it all belongs to. All documents and plans are here https://navalny.com/p/6480/

    The secret of Putin's Valdai dacha

    This fucking crappola is why you're still on my forum shit list. Why do you people choose to go full retard? dunno

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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Sun Apr 18, 2021 3:45 pm

    I have respect for Ritter and his analysis, but he makes the usual westerner fantasy fiction projections:

    his attitude changed, almost overnight, with the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, and the end of the Cold War. The successor to the once mighty Soviet Union was the Russian Federation, which had been transformed from a world power capable of dictating global outcomes to a regional train wreck, in desperate need of foreign assistance to keep it from falling apart.

    Actually Russia did not need any foreign assistance during the 1990s. What it needed was some basic import control instead of Yeltsin's binge on free trade.
    The endlessly yapped about 20 billion IMF loan did jack shit but Russia paid it off even though I recall Ross Perot whinging about what a loss of money it was.
    And Russia did not stop being a nuclear superpower during the 1990s. This is a particular wank fetish in the west which is clearly fantasy projection. If
    the USSR really became "a regional train wreck" it would have been taken out by NATzO. But NATzO was clearly too chicken shit to do this during the 1990s
    and was banking on the rot being progressive such as in the Ukraine. Russia was supposed to swirl the oligarch toilet bowl and flush itself down. But
    instead, horror of horrors, Putin showed up in 1999 and made the phoenix rise from its ashes. NATzO is still in at least partial denial of the fact that Russia
    has essentially recovered from the 1990s and is now stronger militarily than the USSR was.

    The USSR's thousands of tanks was not a sign of hard power. In terms of per unit effectiveness which includes the advancement of the weapons the USSR
    was behind Russia today.

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    Post  Hole Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:17 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Tsavo Lion wrote:What is the main response of Russian propaganda to our investigation about Putin? Putin does not and cannot have palaces and billions, because he is not interested in luxury. He is an ascetic. He eats the simplest food, wears the same shirts, instead of expensive rest, he likes to wander through the woods with a staff and think about Russia. But this is a lie. Putin loves luxury. He lives for her. He just hides it very carefully. And we will show you everything. And for this we will go ... to the official residence of Vladimir Putin on Valdai. Yes, to his state dacha. So that this time no one has any doubts who it all belongs to. All documents and plans are here https://navalny.com/p/6480/

    The secret of Putin's Valdai dacha

    This fucking crappola is why you're still on my forum shit list. Why do you people choose to go full retard?  dunno

    He should be banned for quoting a Nazi site.

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    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:37 am

    Putin's stagnation. Why “stability” won't last long
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    Post  Big_Gazza Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:54 am

    kvs wrote:I have respect for Ritter and his analysis, but he makes the usual westerner fantasy fiction projections:

    Yup, I didn't say he is perfect Laughing but he's worth reading, and is a refreshing change from the usual brain-dead exceptionalist idiots that have donned US/NATO military attire...
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    Post  Arrow Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:36 pm

    How do you think Putin will declassify some new types of weapons in his speech tomorrow.
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    Post  PapaDragon Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:42 am

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    kvs wrote:I have respect for Ritter and his analysis, but he makes the usual westerner fantasy fiction projections:

    Yup, I didn't say he is perfect Laughing but he's worth reading, and is a refreshing change from the usual brain-dead exceptionalist idiots that have donned US/NATO military attire...

    Yup

    We are grading on a curve here
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:43 pm

    Shovin and Putin, Navalny and Floyd
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    Post  Backman Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:57 pm

    I also read that Ritter piece. But Moon of Alabama had a good counter point to it.

    Ritter argues that Biden trapped himself:

    Biden is a prisoner of his own anti-Russian rhetoric, influenced in large part by the need to be seen as responding to a domestic political prerogative founded on decades of Russia - and Putin-bashing at the hands of the “Putin whisperers” and their ilk. It is one thing to spout off as a candidate for president; it is an altogether different reality to be serving as president, where words and actions have life-or-death consequences.

    As the realities set in the people and their policies will have to change:

    These are policies pushed and promoted by the “Putin whisperers.” For the moment, their will continues to prevail. But their days are numbered, as realpolitik pragmatists in the White House, Pentagon and Intelligence Community are recognizing the reality that the days of taking for granted US global hegemony are over, and that for the United States to remain relevant, it must adapt to the reality of a multi-polar world, and Russia’s rightful role therein. This will not happen overnight, but it is in the process of happening. In promoting and supporting Biden’s latest round of sanctions, the “Putin whisperers” have reached their high-water mark. From here on out, their influence will begin to ebb as the national security demand for fact-based assessments outstrips the domestic political need for fact-free propaganda.

    I am not that optimistic. The Blob is resistant to change because those who are inside it tend to bite away anyone with even a slightly different view.

    Consider the case of Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is known as a middle-of-the-road expert of U.S. and Soviet/Russian relations - not a hawk, but also not an appeaser.

    Rojansky was supposed to chair the Russia desk in Biden's National Security Council. As soon as that became know the 'Putin Whisperers' came out in force to fight the nomination. Axios led the charge:

    Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."
    ...

    In 2017, Rojansky decried America's "Cold War style paranoia about the Russian bogeyman," acknowledging that Putin "is a huge problem for the United States" while arguing that escalation carries "unacceptable risks." He has consistently called for managing competition with Russia in a way that protects U.S. interests and minimizes risks.
    "Russia is not going to go away," Rojansky wrote in a National Interest op-ed last year criticizing what he characterized as the overuse of sanctions. "Peaceful coexistence remains an imperative, no matter how unsavory Putin’s regime might be."

    Bad headlines and heavy lobbying against Rojansky followed. Biden hints at Russia appeasement policy wrote the Washington Examiner pointing to Rojansky nomination.

    Today we learn that Rojansky has been canceled because his middle-of-the-road position is now deemed 'controversial':

    A Russia expert whose bid to join the Biden National Security Council sparked an outcry among prominent critics of the Kremlin is no longer under consideration for the role, according to three people familiar with the matter.
    ...
    Rojansky got far in the hiring process, the people noted, and was being considered for the role for at least six weeks before his name was made public by Axios. That report provoked uproar among well-known Russia hawks, including activists Bill Browder and Garry Kasparov, as well as the largest Ukrainian-American organization in the country. Rojansky’s critics have pointed to the Kennan Institute’s 2015 award to Russian oligarch Petr Aven, and an open letter written by Ukrainian alumni of the Kennan Institute in 2018 that slammed the think tank unit as an “unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference.”
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    Post  Backman Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:58 pm

    This is Matthew Rojansky.

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    Post  Backman Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:09 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:Putin & his friends just laugh at those who believe his official  propaganda, all the way to the bank, so to speak!

    If anyone has some time, listen to these speeches by Richard Sakwa of Kent University and the last US ambassador to the USSR.

    The question period at the end is quite telling. Watching people get the Putin they believed exists ripped out of them. No!! Dont tell me that Putin isn't an asshole ! You cant do that !

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    Post  miketheterrible Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:17 pm

    You are aware you waste your time with Tsavo, right? It's like arguing with a wall. Or a retard. About the same thing

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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:37 pm

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    Post  Backman Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:49 am

    miketheterrible wrote:You are aware you waste your time with Tsavo, right? It's like arguing with a wall. Or a retard. About the same thing

    Yeah I was posting it for everyone but him. Just used his quote to show it was a counter point to his retardation.

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    Post  limb Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:54 am

    May I ask, why can't there just be elections in Russia, instead of a handpicked successor being put into power? I firmly believe, like probably most of you, that nations have a right to self determination in terms of who to trade, politically align with, etc. Why can't the citizens of the RF not have the opportunity to elect a leader? Its awefully western to have rigged elections where only the candidates that serve the financial interests of the grande bourgeoisie and oligarchs are allowed to be elected.


    Also is putin considering another 2 terms a tacit admission that he has largely failed in creating stable institutions in Russia, that serve russian popular and national interests instead of the whims of domestic and foreign oligarchs? 20 years has been a long time, but the central bank still follows neoliberal monetarist dictats, the Russian governor system is still full of kleptocrats, idk about the judicial system, etc. Resource companies like nornikel are still owned by 90s era oligarchs like Rotenberg. The only institution that has been fixed to some extent to act without being micromanaged is the military industrial complex.

    Im just very worried that the vast majority of institutions are filled with a comprador elite, and putin is still too cautious of kicking their sandcastles built on stolen russian wealth.
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    Post  kvs Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:42 am

    limb wrote:May I ask, why can't there just be elections in Russia, instead of a handpicked successor being put into power? I firmly believe, like probably most of you, that nations have a right to self determination in terms of who to trade, politically align with, etc. Why can't the citizens of the RF not have the opportunity to elect a leader? Its awefully western  to have rigged elections where only the candidates that serve the financial interests of the grande bourgeoisie and oligarchs  are allowed to be elected.


    Also is putin considering another 2 terms a tacit admission that he has largely failed in  creating stable institutions in Russia, that serve russian popular and national interests instead of the whims of domestic and foreign oligarchs?  20 years has been a long time, but the central bank still follows neoliberal monetarist dictats, the Russian governor system is still full of kleptocrats, idk about the judicial system, etc. Resource companies like nornikel are still owned by 90s era oligarchs like Rotenberg. The only institution that has been fixed to some extent to act without being micromanaged is the military industrial complex.

    Im just very worried that the vast majority of institutions are filled with a comprador elite, and putin is still too cautious of kicking their sandcastles built on stolen russian wealth.

    Russians need the right leader and not phony "process" like in the USA and the rest of NATzO.

    When you talk about having elections instead of a picked successor you sound like you are spreading NATzO anti-Russian hate propaganda.
    In the west, successors are picked by the various parties and then you have these candidates subjected to elections. That is exactly
    what is happening in Russia. Russians will get to vote on the candidate chosen by the United Russia Party and Putin as its head. The
    other parties can field any candidate they like.

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    Post  miketheterrible Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:01 am

    Actually, last elections Putin ran as independent. United Russia didn't have a candidate so they threw their support to Putin. I know it's rather pointless difference but there is that.

    United Russia isn't going away though. They will probably rule for long time to come. Alternatively, the nationalists may gain power. But United Russia seems to be the middle ground still.

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    Post  GarryB Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:54 pm

    May I ask, why can't there just be elections in Russia, instead of a handpicked successor being put into power? I firmly believe, like probably most of you, that nations have a right to self determination in terms of who to trade, politically align with, etc.

    Perhaps you don't understand how democracy works... Putin was handpicked and got elected as an unknown based on Yeltsins endorsement because Yeltsin was the leader of the most popular party.

    Putin took over from Yeltsin as the leader of their party who probably would have won the election if Donald Trump had been chosen as its leader because the alternative at the time was the Communists and the rest of the 1% rabble that are around today.

    Putin can pick anyone he pleases and his party will likely select them as their leader, but the Russian population are not obliged to vote for anyone they don't want and the picked person still has to get the votes of the Russian people to be elected.

    In Russia right now there is one dominant party... in the US there are two, but if Russians or Americans really wanted an alternative choice there are dozens of actual options in Russian elections and about two other options in most US elections... in 2016 Hillary blamed Jill somethingorrather who was the Green candidate for stealing votes from Hillary, because if Jill had not run in the election the obviously Hillary would have gotten all her votes and that would have been enough for Hillary to win... ignoring the fact that people that voted for the Greens and Jill whateverhernameis, probably did so because they didn't want to vote for crooked hillary and could just as easily voted Trump instead.

    Just sour grapes really... no surprise.

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    kvs
    kvs

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    Post  kvs Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:09 pm

    Even though there is one dominant party it is not analogous to the USA. In the USA there are two "big tent" parties that absorb the
    left and right wings of the US political spectrum (at least that is the pattern established for decades but the Overton window is shifting).
    There is no such feature in Russia. Russia is like Canada and many other countries where left and right parties of various sizes exist.
    So Russians get several (over four) choices for President on their ballots whereas Americans typically get only two. Third party candidates
    do not even get to appear on all the ballots. This happened with Ralph Nader in 2004 when various electoral committees around the
    USA which are dominated by Democrats and Republicans excluded him from the list.

    As usual, Russia is painted as a "tyranny" and the USA as the "biggest democracy" by western hate propaganda. The USA was close
    to a one party state and now has basically turned into one with the Democrats staging a coup.

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:48 pm

    I will also add that Joe Biden was basically Obama's VP.

    While Kamala did not even get to dispute the primaries in her own party.
    In the debates she did worse than even Tulsi Gabbard.

    In the USA they have stupidly high barriers to entry to anyone running on elections to a national office.
    To the degree only the two main parties have any chance of electing anyone.
    They come up with all sorts of lame justifications as to why they have had this two party scheme since like forever while ignoring this basic fact.

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