WEDNESDAY APRIL 1 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Girding for War in the Arctic
(2) EDITORIAL: Exposing Putin’s Chechnya Fraud
(3) Neo-Soviet Russia Continues to Weaponize Psychiatry
(4) Under Putin, Neo-Soviet Russia Stands all Alone
(5) Russia’s Impending Banking Collapse
(6) Confirmed: KGB Launched Cyber Attacks on Georgia
NOTE: Nationalist wacko Dmitri Rogozin has a “crazy-as-I-wanna-be” column on the Guardian‘s blog “Comment is Free.” Its readers, duly appalled, expose Rogozin for the maniac that he is. Shows the power of commenting and, encouragingly, how little traction there is these days in the Western world for ludicrous propaganda from the Kremlin. Still, shame on the Guardian for not giving readers a more accurate biographical statement on Rogozin.
Girding for War in the Arctic
It’s time the Obama administration realized that the KGB Kremlin of Vladimir Putin is taking the new cold war very literally indeed.
Last week the Associated Press reported that according to a Kremlin strategy paper signed by Dmitri Medvedev “Russia plans to create a new military force to protect its interests in the disputed Arctic region.” According to the AP: “The Kremlin paper says the Arctic must become Russia’s “top strategic resource base” by the year 2020.” The paper “calls for strengthening border guard forces in the region and updating their equipment, while creating a new group of military forces to ‘ensure military security under various military-political circumstances'” and states that by 2011 Russia will have “proved” its Arctic borders.
Putin’s Chechnya Fraud
Last week various news organizations reported on Russia’s announcement of a major force withdrawal from Chechnya. The Kremlin was attempting to make it seem that it was pulling out troops because it could declare, like George Bush: “Mission accomplished!” As if to add another exclamation point, the Kremin assassinated yet another Chechen national on foreign soil (but would Russia accept Britain liquidating Russian citizens it felt were connected to the Litvinenko murder?).
Bush, however, didn’t pull troops out of Iraq after making that declaration, and the ever-watchful Paul Goble was not fooled by the Kremlin’s gambit, as were some of the clueless news organizations who reported the story. And, encouragingly, Goble says that many Russians are also wise to the Kremlin’s ridiculous fraud. In fact, the only reason Russia is pulling forces out of Chechnya is that it simply can’t afford to keep them there any longer.
The Other Russia reports:
A Russian opposition activist, who says he was confined against his will to a mental hospital, [was ordered to] remain in the facility after a St. Petersburg court ruled in favor of his compulsory treatment on March 15th. According to the ZAKS.ru online newspaper (Rus), Vadim Charushev is well known as the creator of several political web-resources and social networking groups.
Paul Goble reports:
Vladimir Putin because of his hatred for Ukraine, Estonia, and Georgia has managed to leave Russia without any allies in the former Soviet space, a remarkable performance and one that means Moscow now must try to intimidate these countries to get its way or yield to others in ways many Russians would fine offensive. This is a remarkable performance, Vladimir Nadein points out in Yezhednevny Zhurnal, one that is almost unprecedented. “Even Hitler,” even when it was obvious that he was losing the war “retained allies up to the end of 1944. But Putin, after ten years of uninterrupted rule doesn’t have any.”
The Financial Times reports:
Hundreds of Russian banks are likely to go under by the end of the year as the amount of bad loans surges, potentially hitting as much as 20 per cent of credit portfolios, a senior Russian banker has warned.
Pyotr Aven, president of Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest private banks, called on the government to move swiftly to recapitalise the top 30 banks and name the institutions that will receive assistance to help kick-start the flow of credit, which has almost dried up amid growing fears over bad loans. “We can expect that the level of overdue loans for the whole system might reach 15-20 per cent” by the end of the year, Mr Aven told the Financial Times. “Maybe the 20-30 biggest banks, including Alfa, will receive state support – we’re sure. “But the future of hundreds of small banks is under big question . . . I believe that hundreds of banks will disappear by the end of the year.”
Axis Global reports:
Security researchers from Greylogic published a report which concluded that the Main Intelligence Directorate of Armed Foces of the Russian Federation (GRU) and the Federal Security Service (FSB), rather than patriotic hackers, were likely to have played a key role in co-ordinating and organising the attacks, The Register writes. More circumstantial evidence has emerged linking the Russian authorities to cyber-attacks on Georgia that coincided with a ground war between the two countries in July and August last year.