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    Western propaganda #2

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    Post  flamming_python Tue Feb 21, 2023 12:08 pm

    I came across an article in PC Gamer about the new Russian game Atomic Heart, and while I did expect a cursory mention of the Russian-Ukrainian war and a brief repeat of the party line, I certainly did not expect an article that fully belongs in the 'Western propaganda' thread and moreover just about outdoes any Washington Post or The Economist piece I've come across to date. I couldn't even finish reading to be honest.

    And all this, despite the fact that the company is registered in Cyprus (I don't know whether its developers are based there), and tried to disassociate itself with the Russian government and claim that it's pro-peace. It makes no difference. The game is being attacked because its developers are Russian, there is no escape for them.

    The article even admits to this itself:
    "On the other hand, whether it's headquartered in Cyprus or not, Mundfish is a studio with Russian roots and Russian staff (with Russian family and Russian friends)"
    and
    "To some, it felt like Mundfish—which has drawn criticism for downplaying its Russian roots in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine"

    Not that I think this kind of thing will open the eyes of anyone who still insists on keeping them shut

    https://www.pcgamer.com/why-are-people-arguing-about-atomic-heart/
    Why are people arguing about Atomic Heart?
    By Joshua Wolens
    published 4 days ago

    Mundfish's retro-future Soviet shooter has stirred up a whole lot of controversy.

    Atomic Heart was a bolt from the blue when its first trailer dropped in 2018, showcasing a shining Soviet retrofuture FPS that seemed like it was learning all the right lessons from BioShock, Stalker, and the Metro series. Never mind that it was the debut game from a new developer—a Russian studio called Mundfish—it was laser-targeted at a category of players who devoured immersive sims and ambitious-but-flawed works of genius from East European studios alike. It very quickly became an object of internet obsession, a game we were intrigued by but knew very little about.

    But a lot has happened since then. In February last year, Russia invaded Ukraine, starting a war that has killed thousands on both sides and sparked one of the biggest refugee crises in modern history, with millions of Ukrainians fleeing abroad to escape the war at home. Russia became an overnight pariah in the west, excised from fundamental mechanisms in the international banking system, deserted by some of the biggest corporations in the world—including several gaming titans — and censured in the UN.

    In the wake of that invasion, Atomic Heart's Russian provenance became more than an interesting detail of the game's development. As many kinds of Russian art found itself subject to intense scrutiny and swift bans, rumours began to swirl about Mundfish's investors and excited fans feared their purchase would somehow end up funding a brutal war. Even though Mundfish says it's based in Cyprus, gamers are still arguing about whether it's okay to buy Atomic Heart.

    An equivocal statement on the war

    Although some kind of debate has gone on around Atomic Heart since Russia first invaded Ukraine, it was brought to the fore by a tweet from Mundfish last January. In response to questions about where the studio stood in regards to the war, Mundfish tweeted that it was "a global team focused on an innovative game and is undeniably a pro-peace organization against violence against people," and did not "comment on politics or religion".

    It also tweeted that it didn't "condone contributors or spammers with offensive, hateful, discriminatory, violent, or threatening language or content," and, indeed, has been criticised for blocking users that ask about its position on the war.



    It was not the statement of support for Ukrainian independence that some were hoping for. Mundfish's reticence to even name the war in question sparked outrage, summed up by tweets from game designer Sergey Mohov, who mocked Mundfish's position as "We're for all the good things and against all the bad ones," lambasting the studio for "having the unbelievable privilege to have this kind of position".

    Mundfish's statements that it was only interested in "getting Atomic Heart into the hands of gamers everywhere," or that it was "For players who just want to play" struck some people as, at best, a marketing attempt to redirect the conversation surrounding its game or, at worst, some kind of tacit support for the actions of its original home country. A video from a Ukrainian YouTuber titled "Please, Don't Buy Atomic Heart"—which has managed to accrue nearly 2 million views in just over a week—highlighted the absurdity of a game based around an alt-history USSR claiming it doesn't "comment on politics," calling it "absolute nonsense" and "one step away from the types of gamers who say 'I don't like politics in my videogames' and then immediately open up Fallout".



    On the other hand, whether it's headquartered in Cyprus or not, Mundfish is a studio with Russian roots and Russian staff (with Russian family and Russian friends), as a 2019 article documenting a tour of its Moscow office will attest. The Russian state has taken a hard line against any and all internal protest against its so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine, arresting thousands of protestors, threatening years in prison camps over anti-war social media posts, and charging a political opposition figure with treason for "spreading disinformation" about the Russian army.

    Even when Russia isn't at war, the country maintains a deeply alienating political system that has entrenched power among a cabal of lackeys and oligarchs for decades. The Russian political scientist and anti-war activist Greg Yudin described this system as one that generates "incredible contempt and disdain for all kinds of politics" among Russians, who are "completely certain that there is no possible way to change anything through politics, that no change is possible in general".

    Marking oneself as anti-war in that kind of environment is an act of profound courage and incredible risk. It could be that Mundfish's tweet was an ungraceful attempt to thread a political needle without jeopardising itself, its staff, or those associated with either.

    I've reached out to the studio to ask about its statement on the war, and I'll update this section if I hear back.

    Following the money: Mundfish's investors

    In early 2021, over a year before Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Mundfish announced that it had secured funding from three key investors: Tencent, GEM Capital, and Gaijin Entertainment (the maker of War Thunder). Tencent is, well, Tencent, the Chinese tech behemoth that owns whole segments of the gaming industry, from a piece of Epic Games, Discord, and Ubisoft to Riot Games in its entirety. But the other two quickly became more controversial in the wake of the invasion, with audiences placing both companies under the microscope to figure out where they stood in relation to the war, and whether they might be financially supporting the Russian state.

    Here's what's definitely true: GEM Capital founder Anatoliy Paliy worked as first deputy general director for a Gazprom subsidiary — Gazprom Gazenergoset—in the past, before going into business for himself alongside other Gazprom management types in the 2010s. Gazprom is Russia's state-run energy giant which generates scads of cash for the government, has been instrumental in the ongoing economic warfare between Russia and the west, and which was reported to be creating its own private military company as recently as last week.

    Atomic Heart is also being distributed via VKPlay in Russia—after sanctions led Steam to effectively end business there—and a few other countries. VKPlay is run by VKontakte, a social media company often referred to as 'Russia's Facebook' over which Gazprom has effective control via investments made by subsidiaries and affiliate companies.

    Whether or not Paliy is personally associated with this or that infamous Russian oligarch is more tenuous and difficult to concretely establish, but GEM was still wheeling and dealing in the Russian energy sector as recently as 2021. It's hardly out of the realm of possibility that a businessman with Gazprom ties and investments in Russian energy—the sector where several oligarchs make their money—would be on first-name terms with some of Russia's ruling elite.

    Gaijin, meanwhile, came under fire for a reason that's far easier to parse. In 2021, midroll ads for Gaijin's games appeared in videos shot by a YouTuber in an area of the Donetsk People's Republic, a pro-Russian separatist region of Ukraine that the Ukrainian government considers occupied territory (and which was recognised by Russia as a sovereign state just prior to the 2022 invasion). The War Thunder logo was also visibly spray-painted onto props used in the video.

    When questioned, Gaijin said it didn't directly buy YouTube ads on any channel "except a handful of extremely big ones". All others, it claimed, were bought through YouTube itself or through advertising agencies. Gaijin said it doesn't "provide political support to anyone anywhere," and knows "nothing about politics and [prefers] to stay out of it". The videos in question were made private, and Gaijin, in a statement echoing Mundfish's own, said it prefers "to talk about games and games only".

    GEM Capital told games journalist Kirk McKeand that it has no Russian investments as of 2022 (like Mundfish, it now says it's Cyprus-based), and Gaijin's headquarters are in Hungary. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that no money earned by Mundfish and its investors from Atomic Heart's sales will end up in the pockets of the Russian state, if only by taxation on whatever interests they still have in the country, so a refusal to purchase the game on those grounds seems pretty justified, but some people have rankled at what they perceive as a double standard here.

    An Arabic Resetera user going by the name Al-Dylan summed this viewpoint up in post which said it was hurtful to see people advocate only for boycotts "against Russia (and not even against Russia for how they helped destroy Syria, only for what they are doing in Ukraine)," while nothing is said "against the US for how they financed terrorists, invaded and completely destroyed our countries for decades, or Israel and its apartheid regime against Palestinians, or Saudi Arabia for what they've done not only in Yemen, but in the whole region by funding wahabist [sic] groups".

    After all, we exist in a world in which companies like Nintendo enjoy direct investments from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, Activision employs a former politician who defended torture under the Bush administration, the military uses videogames as a recruitment tool, and Call of Duty worked with a man who helped fund right-wing death squads in Nicaragua. To some people participating in the debate around Atomic Heart, it seemed arbitrary to boycott that game for its possible ties, but to let so much else slip by. Though, of course, the takeaway from this probably isn't that Atomic Heart shouldn't be criticised, but that far more games should be.

    I've asked Mundfish about these issues, too, and I'll update this section if I receive a response.

    Fetishising the USSR

    Atomic Heart lives and breathes Soviet kitsch, but not everyone finds it quaint. In particular, an event held for Russian games media drew criticism for its seemingly uncritical reproduction of Soviet revolutionary bombast: The walls were festooned with slogans reading things like "Glory to Soviet engineers," everything was swathed in red, and in general the entire thing felt like a psychedelic retrofuture take on Stalin's funeral.



    To some, it felt like Mundfish—which has drawn criticism for downplaying its Russian roots in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine—was actively celebrating the legacy of the Soviet Union, with all the connotations of 'unity' between Russia and Ukraine that entails. Sergey Mohov spoke up again, suggesting that the notion that Atomic Heart would be critical of the Soviet Union was clearly false given the nature of the event. The fact that the game's protagonist—Major Nechaev—is an agent of the Soviet KGB has also raised eyebrows as onlookers worry the game might attempt to rehabilitate the notorious Soviet intelligence service.

    Given that the game isn't out yet, there's not much to go on here beyond the screenshots, trailers, and brief hands-on sessions we've gotten so far from Atomic Heart. But we do know that the central narrative of the game centres around a bloody disaster at a Soviet research facility, where the robotic servants that are meant to tend to man's needs have become unhinged and started murdering them instead. The theme here seems to be one of a utopian vision with a rotten, eventually-fatal flaw in its foundation, which has been a recurring theme in anti-Soviet art and literature since there's been anti-Soviet art and literature.

    When I got to play the game recently, I felt like I had the narrative figured out in the first 10 minutes: Your Soviet philosopher-king boss will turn out to be a bad guy and the dissidents he tasks you to hunt down will end up being right all along. I could be wrong, of course, and it could be the case that Atomic Heart ends up taking an uncritically apologetic view on the USSR, but that'd be quite a left-turn based on what we've seen so far.

    So, should I buy Atomic Heart?

    In the opaque bramble of our global economy, we're all put in the difficult position to buy stuff that may be financially entangled with people, causes, or governments that, say, commit unspeakable atrocities. If we buy Hogwarts Legacy, are we indirectly supporting JK Rowling's transphobic comments? If we buy Call of Duty, are we endorsing Activision Blizzard's harmful labour practices? And if we buy Atomic Heart, are we, through some winding, invisible scheme, backing Russia's war against Ukraine?

    We all have to make that decision ourselves. Personally I think the frustration felt by Ukrainians whose homes are being destroyed with Mundfish's vague, equivocal statements is entirely understandable. But I don't think there's enough concrete evidence to condemn the studio as a whole as 'pro-war' or anything like it. I suspect Mundfish, like millions of Russians, had the rug pulled out from under it by the start of a war it didn't ask for, and its moves since have been a clumsy attempt to navigate uncharted and choppy waters.

    If you're interested in grappling more with this tough moral question, someone basically made four seasons of a TV show about it: The Good Place, a philosophical 2016 comedy basically about how it's impossible to get into heaven because modern society is unavoidably complicated.

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    Post  ALAMO Tue Feb 21, 2023 12:23 pm

    And all this, despite the fact that the company is registered in Cyprus (I don't know whether its developers are based there), and tried to disassociate itself with the Russian government and claim that it's pro-peace. It makes no difference. The game is being attacked because its developers are Russian, there is no escape for them.

    Meta world creates meta madness.

    McGregor started putting his materials on YT with dumb titles like "Putin Russia is collapsing" because that pumps the YT algorithms and stats.

    It is unfuckinbelievable.

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    Post  AlfaT8 Tue Feb 21, 2023 1:52 pm

    "McGregor started putting his materials on YT with dumb titles like "Putin Russia is collapsing" because that pumps the YT algorithms and stats."

    Oh, so thats why the infograph.show went full retard with anti-Russian propaganda.
    Its all they do now.

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    Post  ALAMO Tue Feb 21, 2023 2:08 pm

    They are in full retard mode for a while.
    Ukro propaganda is being pushed above all limits.

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    Post  GarryB Wed Feb 22, 2023 12:39 am

    They are in full retard mode for a while.
    Ukro propaganda is being pushed above all limits.

    Almost like they are getting desperate...

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    Post  kvs Wed Feb 22, 2023 12:48 am



    I like this guy's reviews and he steered clear of spewing anti-Russian propaganda.   The game looks like a Russian BioShock but not the same.
    By the standards of today's games I think it is one of the better ones in spite of whatever issues it has.

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    Post  higurashihougi Wed Feb 22, 2023 2:47 pm

    Western propaganda #2 - Page 14 Kimber11

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    Post  flamming_python Wed Feb 22, 2023 3:17 pm

    Pretty funny how this Global south anti-colonialist leader's country had troops in Iraq and even sent a small number to Afghanistan

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    Post  ALAMO Wed Feb 22, 2023 10:36 pm

    lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1 lol1

    Now just take a look at that :

    73 yr-old AZ Rancher Looks for Justice

    This irrelevant title is made by Mr. Napolitano.



    No idea about his career in the US, and I give a shit.

    But he is just another person in the Anglosphere forced to change the titles of his YT entries.
    To avoid blocking and censorship.

    Oh, land of a free, oh land of a free ...

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    Post  GarryB Thu Feb 23, 2023 2:33 am

    I came across an article in PC Gamer about the new Russian game Atomic Heart, and while I did expect a cursory mention of the Russian-Ukrainian war and a brief repeat of the party line, I certainly did not expect an article that fully belongs in the 'Western propaganda' thread and moreover just about outdoes any Washington Post or The Economist piece I've come across to date. I couldn't even finish reading to be honest.

    Well this might make you chuckle:

    Controversial Soviet-style ‘retrofuturist’ game tops sales chart

    https://www.rt.com/pop-culture/571858-atomic-heart-controversy-top/

    It seems that it knocked the western powerhouse game Hogwarts of the top sellers list for a bit... and as this article mentions Russian gamers are banned from Steam so you can't blame Russian gamers for boosting sales.

    Another funny point the article mentions but does not follow through on...

    Ukrainian YouTuber 'Harenko' claimed that ‘Atomic Heart’ glorifies the Soviet Union and the KGB, and called on Western players to boycott it.

    I might be mistaken but wasn't the Soviet Union a group of countries that included the Ukraine... and Georgia... and the Baltic States... and all the other bits as well as Russia and for the time period this game is set in the leadership of the Soviet Union was not Russian in real life...

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    Post  kvs Thu Feb 23, 2023 3:11 am

    This Ukr is just feeding into the western BS narratives. Ukrainians were over-represented in the Communist Party of the USSR. Just
    consider the gifting of Crimea (without Sevastopol) in 1954 as an example. It's not like Ukraine merited such a prize. Belarus deserved
    some sort of special accommodation considering it lost something like 25% of its population. It did not get any lands gifted to it.
    Khruschev was engaged in ethnic corruption.

    Like I have said many times, Lenin is the founder of Ukraine (in its NATzO recognized borders). So it is quite ironic how his statues
    are being torn down by the Ukr nazionalists.

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    Post  higurashihougi Thu Feb 23, 2023 3:57 am

    @kvs: because the self-called "nationalist" are essentially compradors, selling their souls and bodies to foreign powers while deluded themselves as "patriots".

    I have seen many of these "patriots" in Vietnamese history and even now. They claim that they are the only ones defending Vietnam's independence against foreign powers... by selling their own country to Western powers. Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

    Each class of the society has a different perception about patriotism or motherland, which more or less reflects their interest. If their interest are closely tied with Western corporations at the expense of their fellows, then their "patriotism" is essentially national treason. Anyone stand against their Western masters, in this case communism and the Soviet Union, become "enemy of the country" in their eyes, despite the fact it is the Soviet Union who guaranteed the equality and human rights of ethnic minorities in Russia.

    Other self-proclaimed "nationalists" are fanatical adherents of "might make rights" theory and "no lasting friends" theory of Winston Churchill, which means they are easily submitting to the ones more powerful than them and are willingly selling their souls to the powerful foreign powers, of course in the name of patriotism and nationalism.  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

    I usually become very antipathetic to anyone claim themselves as "nationalist", for that very reason. At least from my experiences, any self-proclaimed "nationalist" essentially would degenerate into the very opposite of what they claimed to be.

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    Post  higurashihougi Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:28 am

    The message of Maidan's chargé d'affaires to Vietnamese people: "Glory to Stepan Bandera". pwnd pwnd pwnd pwnd

    And she once claimed that she is a friend of Vietnamese.  Shocked  Shocked  Shocked

    Does she mean to be friend of anti-communist losers burying their meaningless lives in California ?

    Now the Maidan chargé d'affaires is increasingly famous in Vietnam as a symbol of mental disorder.

    What the hell is going on with Maidan diplomatic policy recently ? Why they are having a nasty tendency of pissing people off ?

    Sorry but it is Vietnam, not America or EU. No sane Vietnameses want to side with fascists.

    Western propaganda #2 - Page 14 Daibie10

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    Post  ALAMO Thu Feb 23, 2023 9:18 am

    What the hell is going on with Maidan diplomatic policy recently ?

    They get used to being glorified n matter the context.
    That is why they can't get in line with sober countries.
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    Post  flamming_python Thu Feb 23, 2023 12:03 pm

    Major entitlement complex.
    The US is backing them in everything, and so they think everything is allowed for them. And if someone argues, then they can just hurl profanities at them like a bunch of Ukrainian ambassadors/diplomats did in various situations last year.

    The other problem is that the Ukrainian diplomatic corps like many other state structures were purged of part of their professional cadres who refused to toe the new party line by the post-2014 regime, or otherwise were perceived as unreliable. They were replaced with people the main qualifications of whom were nationalism and loyalty. You can see the same thing when it comes to the mayors of Ukrainian cities and governors of Ukrainian regions, the police, and other places.

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    Post  flamming_python Mon Feb 27, 2023 12:21 pm

    So one of the instruments the US and pals have employed against Russia is exactly a local franchise of one of their alphabet of identities, rainbow colours and interest groups; feminists in this case.

    A little documentary has just come out in the Russian section of YouTube (Russian only unfortunately)



    The 'Feminist anti-war resistance' group in Russia has, as I have just learned, been active with participation at past anti-war protests and dumb street stunts, or whatever it is, and it is very obvious that they have received considerable financing and PR help, even despite their lack-luster results.

    Although I have to confess I have never heard of them before now, and neither has anybody in Russia russia

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    Post  Broski Mon Feb 27, 2023 12:49 pm

    The 'Feminist anti-war resistance' group in Russia has, as I have just learned, been active with participation at past anti-war protests and dumb street stunts, or whatever it is, and it is very obvious that they have received considerable financing and PR help, even despite their lack-luster results.
    The treatment ordinary Russians received from the Europeans and Anglo Saxons over the past year has done a lot of damage to the 5th & 6th columnists and the influence they had in Russian society, their position is grossly unpopular in the face of constant provocations, threats and sactions from the Western World and no amount of money and PR can overcome that.
    After all, they're not Americans  russia .

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    Post  flamming_python Mon Feb 27, 2023 5:28 pm

    Couple of gems from the previous months I meant to post earlier

    Despite the subjects of both articles referencing Putin personally, what they're really about is what the West expects to happen once Russia is defeated.

    Goes together well with CIA Director Burns' comments about how insolent his counterpart was during his meeting with Naryshkin in Turkey last year.. how dare those Russians don't recognize their supposed inferiority and beg for peace!!

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/putin-last-stand-russia-defeat

    Putin’s Last Stand
    The Promise and Peril of Russian Defeat
    By Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage
    Published on December 20, 2022


    Western propaganda #2 - Page 14 Final_EMorciano_ForeignAffairs.jpg

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine was meant to be his crowning achievement, a demonstration of how far Russia had come since the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991. Annexing Ukraine was supposed to be a first step in reconstructing a Russian empire. Putin intended to expose the United States as a paper tiger outside Western Europe and to demonstrate that Russia, along with China, was destined for a leadership role in a new, multipolar international order.

    It hasn’t turned out that way. Kyiv held strong, and the Ukrainian military has been transformed into a juggernaut, thanks in part to a close partnership with the United States and Western allies. The Russian military, in contrast, has demonstrated poor strategic thinking and organization. The political system behind it has proved unable to learn from its mistakes. With little prospect of dictating Putin’s actions, the West will have to prepare for the next stage of Russia’s disastrous war of choice.

    War is inherently unpredictable. Indeed, the course of the conflict has served to invalidate widespread early prognostications that Ukraine would quickly fall; a reversal of fortunes is impossible to discount. It nevertheless appears that Russia is headed for defeat. Less certain is what form this defeat will take. Three basic scenarios exist, and each one would have different ramifications for policymakers in the West and Ukraine.

    The first and least likely scenario is that Russia will agree to its defeat by accepting a negotiated settlement on Ukraine’s terms. A great deal would have to change for this scenario to materialize because any semblance of diplomatic dialogue among Russia, Ukraine, and the West has vanished. The scope of Russian aggression and the extent of Russian war crimes would make it difficult for Ukraine to accept any diplomatic settlement that amounted to anything less than a total Russian surrender.

    That said, a Russian government—under Putin or a successor—could try to retain Crimea and sue for peace elsewhere. To save face domestically, the Kremlin could claim it is preparing for the long game in Ukraine, leaving open the possibility of additional military incursions. It could blame its underperformance on NATO, arguing that the alliance’s weapon deliveries, not Ukraine’s strength, impeded a Russian victory. For this approach to pass muster within the regime, hard-liners—possibly including Putin himself—would have to be marginalized. This would be difficult but not impossible. Still, under Putin this outcome is highly improbable, given that his approach to the war has been maximalist from the beginning.

    A second scenario for Russian defeat would involve failure amid escalation. The Kremlin would nihilistically seek to prolong the war in Ukraine while launching a campaign of unacknowledged acts of sabotage in countries that support Kyiv and in Ukraine itself. In the worst case, Russia could opt for a nuclear attack on Ukraine. The war would then edge toward a direct military confrontation between NATO and Russia. Russia would transform from a revisionist state into a rogue one, a transition that is already underway, and that would harden the West’s conviction that Russia poses a unique and unacceptable threat. Crossing the nuclear threshold could lead to NATO’s conventional involvement in the war, accelerating Russia’s defeat on the ground.

    The final scenario for the war’s end would be defeat through regime collapse, with the decisive battles taking place not in Ukraine but rather in the halls of the Kremlin or in the streets of Moscow. Putin has concentrated power rigidly in his own hands, and his obstinacy in pursuing a losing war has placed his regime on shaky ground. Russians will continue marching behind their inept tsar only to a certain point. Although Putin has brought political stability to Russia—a prized state of affairs given the ruptures of the post-Soviet years—his citizens could turn on him if the war leads to general privation. The collapse of his regime could mean an immediate end to the war, which Russia would be unable to wage amid the ensuing domestic chaos. A coup d’état followed by civil war would echo what happened after the Bolshevik takeover in 1917, which precipitated Russia’s withdrawal from World War I.

    No matter how it comes about, a Russian defeat would of course be welcomed. It would free Ukraine from the terrors it has suffered since the invasion. It would reinforce the principle that an attack on another country cannot go unpunished. It might open up new opportunities for Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova, and for the West to finish ordering Europe in its image. For Belarus, a path could emerge toward the end of dictatorship and toward free and fair elections. Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine could strive together for eventual integration into the European Union and possibly NATO, following the model of Central and Eastern European governments after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Though Russia’s defeat would have many benefits, the United States and Europe should prepare for the regional and global disorder it would produce. Since 2008, Russia has been a revisionist power. It has redrawn borders, annexed territory, meddled in elections, inserted itself into various African conflicts, and altered the geopolitical dynamic of the Middle East by propping up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Were Russia to pursue radical escalation or splinter into chaos instead of accepting a defeat through negotiation, the repercussions would be felt in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Disorder could take the form of separatism and renewed conflicts in and around Russia, the world’s largest country in landmass. The transformation of Russia into a failed state riven by civil war would revive questions that Western policymakers had to grapple with in 1991: for example, who would gain control of Russia’s nuclear weapons? A disorderly Russian defeat would leave a dangerous hole in the international system.

    Can’t Talk Your Way Out

    Trying to sell Putin on defeat through negotiation would be difficult, perhaps impossible. (It would be much likelier under a successor.) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would demand that Moscow abandon its claim on the nominally Russian-controlled territories in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. Putin has already celebrated the annexation of these areas with pomp and circumstance. It is doubtful he would do an about-face after this patriotic display despite Russia’s tenuous hold on this territory. Any Russian leader, whether Putin or someone else, would resist relinquishing Crimea, the part of Ukraine that Russia annexed in 2014.

    Conditions on the ground in Russia would have to be conducive to compromise. A new Russian leadership would have to contend with a demoralized military and gamble on a complacent public acceding to capitulation. Russians could eventually become indifferent if the war grinds on with no clear resolution. But fighting would likely continue in parts of eastern Ukraine, and tensions between the two countries would remain high.

    Still, an agreement with Ukraine could bring normalization of relations with the West. That would be a powerful incentive for a less militaristic Russian leader than Putin, and it would appeal to many Russians. Western leaders could also be enticed to push for negotiations in the interest of ending the war. The hitch here is timing. In the first two months after the February 2022 invasion, Russia had the chance to negotiate with Zelensky and capitalize on its battlefield leverage. After Ukraine’s successful counteroffensives, however, Kyiv has little reason to concede anything at all. Since invading, Russia has upped the ante and escalated hostilities instead of showing a willingness to compromise. A less intransigent leader than Putin might lead Ukraine to consider negotiating. In the face of defeat, Putin could resort to lashing out on the global stage. He has steadily expanded his framing of the war, claiming that the West is waging a proxy battle against Russia with the goal of destroying the country. His 2022 speeches were more megalomaniacal versions of his address at the Munich Security Conference 15 years earlier, in which he denounced American exceptionalism, arguing that the United States “has overstepped its national borders in every way.”

    Part bluster, part nonsense, part trial balloon, Putin’s rhetoric is meant to mobilize Russians emotionally. But there is also a tactical logic behind it: although expanding the war beyond Ukraine will obviously not win Putin the territory he craves, it could prevent Ukraine and the West from winning the conflict. His bellicose language is laying the groundwork for escalation and a twenty-first-century confrontation with the West in which Russia would seek to exploit its asymmetric advantages as a rogue or terrorist state.

       The consequences of a Russian nuclear attack would be catastrophic, and not just for Ukraine.

    Russia’s tools for confrontation could include the use of chemical or biological weapons in or outside Ukraine. Putin could destroy energy pipelines or seabed infrastructure or mount cyberattacks on the West’s financial institutions. The use of tactical nuclear weapons could be his last resort. In a speech on September 30, Putin brought up Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offering jumbled interpretations of World War II’s end phase. The analogy is imperfect, to put it mildly. If Russia were to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, Kyiv would not surrender. For one thing, Ukrainians know that Russian occupation would equal the extinction of their country, which was not the case for Japan in 1945. In addition, Japan was losing the war at the time. As of late 2022, it was Russia, the nuclear power, that was losing.

    The consequences of a nuclear attack would be catastrophic, and not just for the Ukrainian population. Yet war would go on, and nuclear weapons would not do much to assist Russian soldiers on the ground. Instead, Russia would face international outrage. For now, Brazil, China, and India have not condemned Russia’s invasion, but no country is truly supporting Moscow in its horrific war, and none would support the use of nuclear weapons. Chinese President Xi Jinping made this publicly explicit in November: after he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he issued a statement declaring that the leaders “jointly oppose the use or threat of the use of nuclear weapons.” If Putin did defy this warning, he would be an isolated pariah, punished economically and perhaps militarily by a global coalition.

    For Russia, then, threatening to use nuclear weapons is of greater utility than actually doing so. But Putin may still go down this path: after all, launching the invasion was a spectacularly ill-conceived move, and yet he did it. If he does opt for breaking the nuclear taboo, NATO is unlikely to respond in kind, so as to avoid risking an apocalyptic nuclear exchange. The alliance, however, would in all likelihood respond with conventional force to weaken Russia’s military and to prevent further nuclear attacks, risking an escalatory spiral should Russia launch conventional attacks on NATO in return.

    Even if this scenario could be avoided, a Russian defeat after nuclear use would still have dangerous repercussions. It would create a world without the imperfect nuclear equilibrium of the Cold War and the 30-year post–Cold War era. It would encourage leaders around the globe to go nuclear because it would appear that their safety could only be assured by acquiring nuclear weapons and showing a willingness to use them. A helter-skelter age of proliferation would ensue, to the immense detriment of global security.

    Heavy is the Head

    At this point, the Russian public has not risen up to oppose the war. Russians may be skeptical of Putin and may not trust his government. But they also do not want their sons, fathers, and brothers in uniform to lose on the battlefield. Accustomed to Russia’s great-power status through the centuries and isolated from the West, most Russians would not want their country to be without any power and influence in Europe. That would be a natural consequence of a Russian defeat in Ukraine.

    Still, a long war would commit Russians to a bleak future and would probably spark a revolutionary flame in the country. Russian casualties have been high, and as the Ukrainian military grows in strength, it can inflict still greater losses. The exodus of hundreds of thousands of young Russians, many of them highly skilled, has been astonishing. Over time, the combination of war, sanctions, and brain drain will take a massive toll—and Russians may eventually blame Putin, who began his presidential career as a self-proclaimed modernizer. Most Russians were insulated from his previous wars because they generally occurred far from the home front and didn’t require a mass mobilization to replenish troops. That’s not the case with the war in Ukraine.

    Russia has a history of regime change in the aftermath of unsuccessful wars. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5 and World War I helped lead to the Bolshevik Revolution. The collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, came two years after the end of the Soviet military’s misadventure in Afghanistan. Revolutions have occurred in Russia when the government has failed in its economic and political objectives and has been unresponsive to crises. Generally, the coup de grâce has been the puncturing of the government’s underlying ideology, such as the loss of legitimacy of Russia’s monarchy and tsardom in the midst of hunger, poverty, and a faltering war effort in 1917.

    Putin is at risk in all these categories. His management of the war has been awful, and the Russian economy is contracting. In the face of these dismal trends, Putin has doubled down on his errors, all the while insisting that the war is going “according to plan.” Repression can solve some of his problems: the arrest and prosecution of dissidents can quell protest at first. But Putin’s heavy hand also runs the risk of spurring more dissatisfaction.

    If Putin were deposed, it is unclear who would succeed him. For the first time since coming to power in 1999, Putin’s “power vertical”—a highly centralized government hierarchy based on loyalty to the Russian president—has been losing a degree of its verticality. Two possible contenders outside the traditional elite structures are Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, a private military contractor that has furnished mercenaries for the war on Ukraine, and Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic. They might be tempted to chip away at the remains of Putin’s power vertical, encouraging infighting in the regime in hopes of securing a position in the center of Russia’s new power structure after Putin’s departure. They could also try to claim power themselves. They have already put pressure on the leadership of the Russian army and the Defense Ministry in response to failures in the war and attempted to broaden their own power bases with the backing of loyal paramilitary forces. Other contenders could come from traditional elite circles, such as the presidential administration, the cabinet, or military and security forces. To suppress palace intrigue, Putin has surrounded himself with mediocrities for the past 20 years. But his unsuccessful war threatens his hold on power. If he truly believes his recent speeches, he may have convinced his subordinates that he is living in a fantasy world.

    The chances that a pro-Western democrat would become Russia’s next president are vanishingly small. Far more likely is an authoritarian leader in the Putinist mold. A leader from outside the power vertical could end the war and contemplate better relations with the West. But a leader who comes from within Putin’s Kremlin would not have this option because he would be trailed by a public record of supporting the war. The challenge of being a Putinist after Putin would be formidable.

    One challenge would be the war, which would be no easier to manage for a successor, especially one who shared Putin’s dream of restoring Russia’s great-power status. Another challenge would be building legitimacy in a political system without any of its traditional sources. Russia has no constitution to speak of and no monarchy. Anyone who followed Putin would lack popular support and find it difficult to personify the neo-Soviet, neoimperial ideology that Putin has come to embody.

    In the worst case, Putin’s fall could translate into civil war and Russia’s disintegration. Power would be contested at the top, and state control would fragment throughout the country. This period could be an echo of the Time of Troubles, or smuta, a 15-year crisis of succession in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries marked by rebellion, lawlessness, and foreign invasion. Russians regard that era as a period of humiliation to be avoided at all costs. Russia’s twenty-first-century troubles could see the emergence of warlords from the security services and violent separatists in the country’s economically distressed regions, many of which are home to large numbers of ethnic minorities. Although a Russia in turmoil might not formally end the war in Ukraine, it might simply be unable to conduct it, in which case Ukraine would have regained its peace and independence while Russia descended into anarchy.

    Agent of Chaos

    Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a first step in refashioning a Russian empire has had the opposite effect. The war has diminished his ability to strong-arm Russia’s neighbors. When Azerbaijan fought a border skirmish with Armenia last year, Russia refused to intervene on Armenia’s behalf, even though it is Armenia’s formal ally.

    A similar dynamic is at play in Kazakhstan. Had Kyiv capitulated, Putin might have decided to invade Kazakhstan next: the former Soviet republic has a large ethnic Russian population, and Putin has no respect for international borders. A different possibility now looms: if the Kremlin were to undergo regime change, it might free Kazakhstan from Russia’s grasp entirely, allowing the country to serve as a safe haven for Russians in exile. That would be far from the only change in the region. In the South Caucasus and in Moldova, old conflicts could revive and intensify. Ankara could continue to support its partner Azerbaijan against Armenia. Were Turkey to lose its fear of Russian opprobrium, it might urge Azerbaijan to press forward with further attacks on Armenia. In Syria, Turkey would have reason to step up its military presence if Russia were to fall back.

    If Russia descended into chaos, Georgia could operate with greater latitude. The shadow of Russia’s military force, which has loomed over the country since the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, would be removed. Georgia could continue its quest to eventually become a member of the European Union, although it was bypassed as a candidate last year because of inner turmoil and a lack of domestic reforms. If the Russian military were to withdraw from the region, conflicts might again break out between Georgia and South Ossetia on the one hand and between Georgia and Abkhazia on the other. That dynamic could also emerge in Moldova and its breakaway region Transnistria, where Russian soldiers have been stationed since 1992. Moldova’s candidacy for European Union membership, announced in June 2022, might be its escape from this long-standing conflict. The European Union would surely be willing to help Moldova with conflict resolution.

       Putin’s fall could translate into civil war and Russia’s disintegration.

    Leadership changes in Russia would shake Belarus, where the dictator Alexander Lukashenko is propped up by Russian money and military might. Were Putin to fall, Lukashenko would in all likelihood be next. A Belarusian government in exile already exists: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who lives in Lithuania, became the country’s opposition leader in 2020 after her husband was jailed for trying to run against Lukashenko. Free and fair elections could be held, allowing the country to rescue itself from dictatorship, if it managed to insulate itself from Russia. If Belarus could not secure its independence, Russia’s potential internal strife could spill over there, which would in turn affect neighbors such as Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine.

    If Russia were to truly disintegrate and lose its influence in Eurasia, other actors, such as China, would move in. Before the war, China mostly exerted economic rather than military influence in the region. That is changing. China is on the advance in Central Asia. The South Caucasus and the Middle East could be its next areas of encroachment.

    A defeated and internally destabilized Russia would demand a new paradigm of global order. The reigning liberal international order revolves around the legal management of power. It emphasizes rules and multilateral institutions. The great-power-competition model, a favorite of former U.S. President Donald Trump, was about the balance of power, tacitly or explicitly viewing spheres of influence as the source of international order. If Russia were to suffer a defeat in Ukraine, policymakers would have to take into account the presence and the absence of power, in particular the absence or severe decline of Russian power. A diminished Russia would have an impact on conflicts around the globe, including those in Africa and the Middle East, not to mention in Europe. Yet a reduced or broken Russia would not necessarily usher in a golden age of order and stability.

    A defeated Russia would mark a change from the past two decades, when the country was an ascendant power. Throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of this century, Russia haphazardly aspired to integrate into Europe and partner with the United States. Russia joined the G-8 and the World Trade Organization. It assisted with U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan. In the four years when Dmitry Medvedev was Russia’s president, from 2008 to 2012, Russia appeared to be playing along with the rules-based international order, if one did not look too closely behind the curtain.

    A Russia amenable to peaceful coexistence with the West may have been an illusion from the beginning. Putin projected a conciliatory air early in his presidency, although he may have harbored hatred of the West, contempt for the rules-based order, and an eagerness to dominate Ukraine all along. In any case, once he retook the presidency in 2012, Russia dropped out of the rules-based order. Putin derided the system as nothing more than camouflage for a domineering United States. Russia violently encroached on Ukraine’s sovereignty by annexing Crimea, reinserted itself in the Middle East by supporting Assad in Syria’s civil war, and erected networks of Russian military and security influence in Africa. An assertive Russia and an ascendant China contributed to a paradigm of great-power competition in Beijing, Moscow, and even a post-Trump Washington.

       If Russia were to disintegrate and lose its influence in Eurasia, China would move in.

    Despite its acts of aggression and its substantial nuclear arsenal, Russia is in no way a peer competitor of China or the United States. Putin’s overreach in Ukraine suggests that he has not grasped this important point. But because Putin has intervened in regions around the world, a defeat in Ukraine that tore apart Russia would be a resounding shock to the international system.

    The defeat could, to be sure, have positive consequences for many countries in Russia’s neighborhood. Look no further than the end of the Cold War, when the demise of the Soviet Union allowed for the emergence of more than a dozen free and prosperous countries in Europe. A Russia turned inward might help foster a “Europe whole and free,” to borrow the phrase used by U.S. President George H. W. Bush to describe American ambitions for the continent after the Cold War ended. At the same time, disarray in Russia could create a vortex of instability: less great-power competition than great-power anarchy, leading to a cascade of regional wars, migrant flows, and economic uncertainty.

    Russia’s collapse could also be contagious or the start of a chain reaction, in which case neither the United States nor China would profit because both would struggle to contain the fallout. In that case, the West would need to establish strategic priorities. It would be impossible to try to fill the vacuum that a disorderly Russian defeat might leave. In Central Asia and the South Caucasus, the United States and Europe would have little chance of preventing China and Turkey from moving into the void. Instead of attempting to shut them out, a more realistic U.S. strategy would be to attempt to restrain their influence and offer an alternative, especially to China’s dominance.

    Whatever form Russia’s defeat took, stabilizing eastern and southeastern Europe, including the Balkans, would be a herculean task. Across Europe, the West would have to find a creative answer to the questions that were never resolved after 1991: Is Russia a part of Europe? If not, how high should the wall between Russia and Europe be, and around which countries should it run? If Russia is a part of Europe, where and how does it fit in? Where does Europe itself start and end? The incorporation of Finland and Sweden into NATO would be only the beginning of this project. Belarus and Ukraine demonstrate the difficulties of protecting Europe’s eastern flank: those countries are the last place where Russia would give up on its great-power aspirations. And even a ruined Russia would not lose all its nuclear and conventional military capacity.

    Twice in the last 106 years—in 1917 and in 1991—versions of Russia have broken apart. Twice, versions of Russia have reconstituted themselves. If Russian power recedes, the West should capitalize on that opportunity to shape an environment in Europe that serves to protect NATO members, allies, and partners. A Russian defeat would furnish many opportunities and many temptations. One of these temptations would be to expect that a defeated Russia would essentially disappear from Europe. But a defeated Russia will one day reassert itself and pursue its interests on its terms. The West should be politically and intellectually equipped both for Russia’s defeat and for Russia’s return.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/ukraine/dont-fear-putins-demise

    Don’t Fear Putin’s Demise
    Victory for Ukraine, Democracy for Russia
    By Garry Kasparov and Mikhail Khodorkovsky
    January 20, 2023


    Western propaganda #2 - Page 14 RTSF93XD_0.jpg
    Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 2023

    The regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin is living on borrowed time. The tide of history is turning, and everything from Ukraine’s advances on the battlefield to the West’s enduring unity and resolve in the face of Putin’s aggression points to 2023 being a decisive year. If the West holds firm, Putin’s regime will likely collapse in the near future.

    Yet some of Ukraine’s key partners continue to resist supplying Kyiv with the weapons it needs to deliver the knockout punch. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in particular seems afraid of the chaos that could accompany a decisive Kremlin defeat. It has declined to send the tanks, long-range missile systems, and drones that would allow Ukrainian forces to take the fight to their attackers, reclaim their territory, and end the war. The end of Putin’s tyrannical rule will indeed radically change Russia (and the rest of the world)—but not in the way the White House thinks. Rather than destabilizing Russia and its neighbors, a Ukrainian victory would eliminate a powerful revanchist force and boost the cause of democracy worldwide.

    Pro-democracy Russians who reject the totalitarian Putin regime—a group to which the authors belong—are doing what they can to help Ukraine liberate all occupied territories and restore its territorial integrity in accordance with the internationally recognized borders of 1991. We are also planning for the day after Putin. The Russian Action Committee, a coalition of opposition groups in exile that we co-founded in May 2022, aims to ensure that Ukraine is justly compensated for the damage caused by Putin’s aggression, that all war criminals are held accountable, and that Russia is transformed from a rogue dictatorship into a parliamentary federal republic. The looming end of Putin’s reign need not be feared, in other words; it should be welcomed with open arms.

    UNFOUNDED FEARS

    Putin’s effort to restore Russia’s lost empire is destined to fail. The moment is therefore ripe for a transition to democracy and a devolution of power to the regional levels. But for such a political transformation to take place, Putin must be defeated militarily in Ukraine. A decisive loss on the battlefield would pierce Putin’s aura of invincibility and expose him as the architect of a failing state, making his regime vulnerable to challenge from within.

    The West, and above all the United States, is capable of providing the military and financial support to hasten the inevitable and propel Ukraine to a speedy victory. But the Biden administration still hasn’t coalesced around a clear endgame for the war, and some U.S. officials have suggested that Kyiv should consider giving up part of its territory in pursuit of peace—suggestions that are not reassuring. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made it clear that the Ukrainian people will never accept such a deal. Any territorial concessions made to Putin will inevitably lead to another war down the road.

    At the root of Washington’s unwillingness to supply the necessary weapons lies a fear of the potential consequences of decisively defeating Russia in Ukraine. Many in the Biden administration believe that Putin’s downfall could trigger the collapse of Russia, plunging the nuclear-armed state into chaos and potentially strengthening China.

       Putin’s aggression has exposed the inherent instability of his model of government.

    But such fears are overstated. The risk of a Russian collapse is, of course, real. But it is greater with Putin in office—pushing the country in an ever more centralized and militarized direction—than it would be under a democratic, federal regime. The longer the current regime remains in power, the greater the risk of an unpredictable rupture. Putin’s aggression has exposed the inherent instability of his model of government, which is built on the need to confront foreign enemies. The Kremlin Mafia, having turned Russia into a staging ground for its military plans, has already threatened to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It is not the collapse of Putin’s regime that Washington should fear, therefore, but its continued survival.

    For nearly two decades, some Western pundits have claimed that the Russian people will never accept democracy and that Russia is doomed to revanchism. Indeed, Putin’s propaganda has managed to instill in a sizable segment of Russian society the view that Western values are entirely alien to Russia. But economic integration with the West has enabled other countries to overcome a fascist heritage. And deeper integration with Europe, coupled with the conditional easing of Western sanctions, could help Russia do the same.

    In the aftermath of Putin’s military defeat, Russia would have to choose: either become a vassal of China or begin reintegrating with Europe (having first justly compensated Ukraine for the damage inflicted during the war and punished those guilty of war crimes). For the majority of Russians, the choice in favor of peace, freedom, and flourishing would be obvious—and made even more so by the rapid reconstruction of Ukraine.

    HOPE OVER FEAR

    Putin’s military defeat would help catalyze a political transformation in Russia, making it possible for those seeking a brighter future to dismantle the old regime and forge a new political reality. The Russian Action Committee has laid out a blueprint for this transformation, aiming to reestablish the Russian state “on the principles of the rule of law, federalism, parliamentarism, a clear separation of powers and prioritizing human rights and freedoms over abstract ‘state interests.’ ” Our vision is for Russia to become a parliamentary republic and a federal state with only limited centralized powers (those necessary to conduct foreign and defense policy and protect citizens’ rights) and much stronger regional governments.

    Getting there will take time. Within two years of the dissolution of Putin’s regime, Russians would elect a constituent assembly to adopt a new constitution and determine a new system of regional bodies. But in the short term, before that assembly could be seated, a transitional state council with legislative powers would be needed to oversee a temporary technocratic government. Its nucleus would be composed of Russians committed to the rule of law, those who have publicly disavowed Putin’s war and his illegitimate regime. Most have been forced into exile, where we have been free to organize and create a virtual civil society in absentia. Such preparations will enable us to act swiftly and work with the Western powers whose cooperation the new Russian government will need to stabilize the economy.

    Immediately after assuming power, the state council would conclude a peace agreement with Ukraine, recognizing the country’s 1991 borders and justly compensating it for the damage caused by Putin’s war. The state council would also formally reject the imperial policies of the Putin regime, both within Russia and abroad, including by ceasing all formal and informal support for pro-Russian entities in the countries of the former Soviet Union. And it would end Russia’s long-running confrontation with the West, transitioning instead to a foreign policy based on peace, partnership, and integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

       The United States cannot let its fears stand in the way of Ukraine’s hopes.

    On the home front, the state council would begin to demilitarize Russia, reducing the size of the armed forces and by extension the cost of their maintenance. It would also dissolve the organs of Putin’s police state, including the repressive Federal Security Service and Center for Combating Extremism, and repeal all repressive laws adopted during Putin’s rule. All political prisoners would be released and fully rehabilitated, and a broader amnesty program would be adopted to reduce the overall number of prisoners in Russia.

    At the federal level, the state council would pursue lustration, conducting open and thorough investigations of former officials to disqualify those responsible for the prior regime’s abuses. In addition, it would liquidate all political parties and public organizations that supported the invasion of Ukraine, so that they cannot interfere with the construction of a new Russia. At the same time, the council would liberalize electoral laws, simplify the process for registering political parties, and scrap Putin-era restrictions on rallies, strikes, and demonstrations.

    The state council would also begin the process of decentralizing the country, transferring broad powers to the regions, including in the budgetary sphere. Such reforms would weaken Russia’s all-powerful imperial center: if the federal government does not have total control over state finances, then it won’t have the means to wage military adventures.

    Finally, the council would ensure that war criminals and senior officials from Putin’s regime were held accountable. Those responsible for the worst war crimes would be tried in an international tribunal, and Russia itself would try the rest. To do so, it would need to draw a clear line between war criminals and former regime operatives—offering various forms of compromise with the latter to better assure a peaceful transition.

    This is a make-or-break moment for Ukraine. Biden can turn the tide in Kyiv’s favor by backing up his declarations of support with the delivery of tanks and long-range weaponry. He can also hasten the demise of Putin’s regime, opening up the possibility of a democratic future for Russia and demonstrating to the world the folly of military aggression. The United States cannot let its fears stand in the way of Ukraine’s hopes.

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    Post  andalusia Tue Feb 28, 2023 4:50 am

    What do you guys think of Putin and the Russian military are scared of US Gravity bombs?


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    Post  TMA1 Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:09 am

    Unsettling and stupid

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    Post  kvs Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:21 am

    YouCrap pushes all sorts of inane cope videos at me. The above is like the rest of such shit.

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    Post  GarryB Tue Feb 28, 2023 9:40 am

    My god what a load of shit that video is andalusia... if people in the US believe that then I just feel sorry for them.

    Trying to suggest a bomber delivered nuclear bomb scares the leader of the country with the worlds strongest air defence system is juvenile but the first minute when it tried to suggest Russias nuclear missiles are old and obsolete and might not work tells me immediately that facts and reality have nothing to do with this video you posted... I just stopped it there.

    What Russia is probably scared of is how fucking stupid western people are and the sort of shit they will believe because it is fed to them day and night... things like western sanctions on Russia will destroy their economy and they will come begging to the west to be allowed to buy apple phones and blue jeans and watch netflicks.

    Doesn't seem to be happening though does it?

    Almost like the leadership of the west are fucking wrong... but they will never admit that... they haven't so far... and they are pretty much wrong about everything...

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    Post  andalusia Fri Mar 03, 2023 6:01 am

    Russia braces for civil war chaos as Kremlin opposition votes for 'Revolutionary Act'

    Just a bunch of meaningless drivel.

    Probably funded by the CIA




    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1739632/russia-news-putin-andrey-sidelnikov-congress-people-deputies-ukraine-war-latest
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    Post  TMA1 Fri Mar 03, 2023 12:12 pm

    Revolutionary acts during a war for existence eh? Sounds like some opposition leaders need some polonium in their tea.
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    Post  flamming_python Fri Mar 03, 2023 2:05 pm

    Russia braces for civil war chaos as Kremlin opposition votes for 'Revolutionary Act'

    Just a bunch of meaningless drivel.

    Probably funded by the CIA




    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1739632/russia-news-putin-andrey-sidelnikov-congress-people-deputies-ukraine-war-latest

    Andrey Sidelnikov has an extensive background in Russian politics, having initially acted as one of the leaders for Boris Berezovsky's Liberal Party, before going on to help found the Union of Right Forces in 1999 and whose backers included Boris Nemstov and Yegor Gaidar.

    Nice resume

    And there is no 'probably'. Although perhaps he is just funded by MI6.

    AlfaT8, kvs and Hole like this post


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