The Russians and their Spies
Not even the most crazed of Russosphile or Russian nationalist fanatics can deny it: If a giant sleeper cell of American spies were discovered in Russia, seeking to secretly infiltrate every aspect of Russian society at its most intimate and basic levels, Russians would be livid with rage. Nashi would march on the American embassy with furious anger, screaming epithets of hatred and bile, and America would be vilified as the Great Satan just as it often is in places like Iran. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Russian Orthodox Church weighed in.
So what are Americans to make of the fact that Russians are doing it to them? How should they react? What should their response be when they learn that Russian nuclear bombers are patrolling their coastline, causing their fighter defenses to scramble? How should they understand the fact that Russia is ruled by a proud KGB spy who is liquidating every American value at breakneck speed?
Made in Skolkovo*
29 June 2010
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina
President Medvedev was visiting Silicon Valley. Our Comrade President was told of the achievements of our American colleagues and in turn invited them to take part in the modernisation of Russia. President Medvedev’s visit had two components – one of them was political.
President Medvedev does not in fact have any authority. He can’t fire and replace anyone in the “power” ministries [TN: Interior, Defence, Justice etc…], can’t get into moneymaking deals, can’t push his pals into important posts. In short, he can’t do anything of what it means to be in power in Russia today. What he can do, though, is tweet on Twitter and lunch with foreign presidents so that they can believe that there are some liberal trends in the Kremlin. That is the job that he was given to do by Vladimir Putin and Medvedev puts his all into it, hoping against hope that the West will one day back him instead of Putin.
What the White House really thought about Medvedev’s to California is easily deduced from its pre-visit briefing given to journalists and its press release following the visit.
Caucasus Rebels, getting Bolder by the Minute
They are getting bolder by the minute. Why, it’s almost like Shamil Basayev were still calling the shots.
Last week a bomb ripped through a security cordon outside a theater in Grozny, Chechnya. Inside was the regional dictator and homicidal lunatic Ramzan Kadyrov himself, watching a show. Next time, the local rebels were obviously saying, the bomb will be inside the theater and Kadyrov (and his cadres) will be dead.
So much for Kadyrov having pacified the Caucasus rebels.
James Kirchick of Radio Free Eurpe and the New Republic, writing in the New York Daily News:
The FBI arrest last week of 10 alleged Russian spies has produced a shrug of the shoulders on both sides of the Atlantic. On Wednesday, a senior Russian government official told the state-run Interfax news agency that the incident “will not negatively affect Russian-U.S. relations.”
Such soothing tones have been echoed in Washington, where The New York Times reported that the White House “expressed no indignation that its putative partner was spying on it.”
Many analysts are echoing this official nonchalance. Writing in the Financial Times, King’s College London Prof. Anatol Lieven concluded that the brouhaha is but a “temporary rift” in Russo-American relations, and should do nothing to forestall the fruitful development of the “west scaling back its ambitions in the former Soviet Union with Russia‘s growing realization that it needs a new partnership with its former U.S. and European rivals.”