WASHINGTON: James and Candace Butcher were ready to finalize the purchase of their dream retirement home, and at closing time wired $272,000 from their
Draft of the Book: Russia-gate for dummies part I
Ideology defines the might of the country. Alexandr Dugin
The question now is whether our political system is capable of grappling with this particular form of modern Russian corruption at all.Congress cannot simply ask the question “was this all legal,” because it probably was. Congress, or an independent investigator, needs to find a way to ask, “was this moral,” because it surely wasn’t, and “does it constitute undue influence,” which it surely does.
Anne Applebaum,author of GULAG and IRON CURTAIN, among others. Washington Post columnist. Visiting Professor, LSE Institute of Global Affairs
Intro and Background
Russian participation in 2016 American electoral campaign didn’t come suddenly out of blue. It was a result of years of preparations much of which were taking place almost openly on publicly accessible internet resources. Till very recently, I was monitoring them in real time hardly even making notes for myself being sure that everything is under control and US Intelligence is taking care of the situation.
After November 8, shocking revelations started pouring like rain causing information overload anxiety disorder and crashing any attempt of making an order out of facts and stories mounting somewhere in my long-term memory without being duly processes and digested by conscious mind. In social media I read gazillions of posts of concerned Americans not understanding what is going on and what exactly happened to them. That is when I decided to start making notes for my future book.
Russia’s manipulations during 2016 U.S. presidential election in support of Donald Trump should be considered in context of building a network of far-right political parties and movements in order to advance objectives of the country’s president Vladimir Putin. There are many reasons to believe that sudden revival of right wing extremists in US also for large extend was possible due to support and coordination from Russia. Despite the statement of the head of FBI James Comey about investigating Trump’s connection with Russia during March 20th Intelligence hearing the progress of the investigation will not be smooth, and one of the main reasons for it is that it endangers all booming movements of far-right. If the role of Russia in its rise will become publicly accepted, they immediately lose popularity in eyes of Americans.
Russia has many reasons for support of Alt-Right, among them reason for Putin’s so called hybrid war against Western liberal democracies by supporting traditionalist conservative movement, revenge for “colored revolutions” in former Soviet Republics which are almost every Russian citizen considers to be CIA projects, challenging US as a leader of the free world, as well as some other reasons which I will mention later. Dugin’s explanation of the use of this ideology by Russia is at the end of this part.
The rise of Alt-right and fascist organizations in US is striking, and along with it there was obvious increase of acceptance of extremism and progressing skepticism of political correctness in general public. In the years 2001-2003 there hardly was any mentioning of KKK in press or daily conversations, and according to Wikipedia this organization was dissolved and nonexistent.
i=It is common nowadays in US to tie the rise of hate-crimes and general intolerance in society to election of Donald Trump, and unquestionably there is connection between them. However, Putin’s active involvement in creation and support of far-right groups which is similar to his political and financial support of similar organizations in Europe was at least as essential, and that fact will be actively denied by far-right in struggle for their survival.
My main motivation to write this book was shock from the fact that American intelligence happened to be to critically unprepared for Russian act of Hybrid war despite the fact that a lot of preparation were brazenly open on the internet resources open for general public.
Huge problem complicating work of intelligence professionals and overwhelming general public is information overload. Over a quarter century after fall of Berlin Wall after “legendary and invincible” Russian Army was totally impotent against barely armed untrained civilians at Chechen war, Americans stopped seeing in former archenemy competitor or danger of any kind and rarely focus their attention on Russia. From common sense unpreparedness of the intelligence community was absolutely understandable: who would expect that sick crippled dwarf would hit world champion in karate? But common sense commonly fails in its application to Russia.
Despite the facts, statistical data and everyday experience of poverty by absolute majority of population, Imperial worldview is prevailing in modern Russia which still commonly called itself the third Rome. Today, hardly any day passes without Russia and Putin making headlines in the American and international media. Despite that, public understanding of reasons and nature of Russia’s intervention into political life of other countries and probably even more important awareness that danger of Dugin’s conceptions defining Russian approach to international relations will not cease to be important factor of political environment if wouldn’t be properly addressed.
Some people even started feeling that Russia-gate is deliberate distraction from other serious problems. This feeling of overwhelming is created by right-wing press with the use of noise/chaos machine tool in attempt to kill the public interest in investigation.
Considering the sentiment of public overwhelming from the issue, I decided to present information not in familiar and probably most logical genre of reporting or analytical journalism, in which I wrote many articles in Russian language 30-20 years ago, but in number of biographical stories reflecting my personal experience of Russia. I hope that element of entertainment may help to keep reader’s attention, and also it may help me avoid entangling into controversial subjects and absolve me from attempts to remain objective in the issue which is so deeply charged and painful even 25 years after I left Russia.
This book is consisting from three parts. First, “Russian-gate for Dummies” is itself consisting of two chapters – Introduction of vital notions and a brief bullet-format presentation of the points of what happened and why. I wanted to devote it just enough time to mention what you have to know about Russian-gate. Just in case there will be need in more formal and detailed approach, I may devote another to it another book. This is my first book, since after moving to America in 2001, I thought that my journalistic career is over. I was not interested to write in Russian anymore, and starting to speak English at the age of 35, realistically, I never thought I will dare to write in my third language. As an author and voracious reader I am linguistically spoiled – I know what is a decent expert language proficiency, and I know that I will never had it in English.
However, paraphrasing Jewish saying, I can say that in this case, as usual reality laughs at us. I found myself in the situation that I just can’t not write. It would not be me if I will not react on this. To my owe, the first attempt to express my thought in written English resulted in the article which was published under nickname almost without editing by one of the San Francisco newspapers. This contributed to the sense of impudence which made me write this book, and now I am pretty confident in fact that if my approach to presentation of the problem will find its reader, I will write another book to expand some details.
I hope that personal, biographical presentation of the problem in second part of the book may help me to give to the reader a feeling of Russia, and as I know from psychology, feeling are way more important for forming our views and opinions than we are ready to acknowledge. One thing I know from my experience of 15 years of living in America is that many realities of life in Russia are shockingly unbelievable for Americans. I always avoid touching the most emotional hypes and mitigating potentially disturbing details. But my the experience of war was brutal as was Russian life in 90’s. I do my best to protect the reader from unnecessary strong, but there is some degree of ability to smooth the angles after which story just ceases any likeness of the fact. Just please be aware, that if something will seem intense, I am mitigating, not exaggerating. Third part of the book is Q and A which I mostly write based on my experience of answering readers questions in quora. I am always happy to answer any reader’s questions about Russia to extend of my knowledge.
To make my point clear and less the book less boring, I let other Russians speak and illustrate ideas by real examples from the Russian life from real (and hopefully trustful) Russian Internet sites with my absolutely reliable ))))) translation, just omitting realities which would be unfamiliar and confusing to the American reader. Freedom is not for free. “2016, a hostile foreign power attacked the United States of America. Not presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, not the Democratic National Committee. Those were only the immediate targets. The American people were the target. We were attacked.” – wrote former chairman of the board of National Public Radio Jon Schwartz.
These are the words I was waiting for since November 8, since the day I realized that our freedom is under attack – our freedom of making decisions based on reliable information, not fake news and alternative facts. America knows the value of freedom and couldn’t not to wake up to realization that a foreign power which openly proclaims itself to be in the state of hybrid war with US and targeting its freedoms, is serious and presents imminent danger. According to Dugin, this new kind of war which turned soldiers into hackers and trolls capable to influence opinions of the enemy’s population in order to manipulate political decision in the direction defined by Russia, could potentially result in even bigger and faster political and economic gains than conventional warfare.
The following story of one man’s control over millions computers New York times of March 12, 2017 may illustrate Dugin’s idea:To the targeting anyone with enough money worth stealing — from a pest control company in North Carolina to a police department in Massachusetts to a Native American tribe in December, the Obama administration against Mr. Bogachev and five others in response to intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia had in the presidential election. Publicly, law enforcement officials said it was his criminal exploits that landed Mr. Bogachev on the sanctions list, not any specific role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.But it is clear that for Russia, he is more than just a criminal. At one point, Mr. Bogachev had control over as many as a million computers in multiple countries, with possible access to everything from family vacation photographs and term papers to business proposals and highly confidential personal information. It is almost certain that computers belonging to government officials and contractors in a number of countries were among the infected devices. For Russia’s surveillance-obsessed intelligence community, Mr. Bogachev’s exploits may have created an irresistible opportunity for espionage., Evgeniy M. Bogachev is the most wanted cybercriminal in the world. The bureau has announced a $3 million bounty for his capture, the most ever for computer crimes, and has been trying to track his movements in hopes of grabbing him if he strays outside his home turf in .He has been indicted in the United States, accused of creating a sprawling network of virus-infected computers to siphon hundreds of millions of dollars from bank accounts around the world,
This relationship is illustrated by the improbable mix of characters targeted with the sanctions announced by the Obama administration. Four were senior officers with Russia’s powerful military intelligence agency, the G.R.U. Two were suspected cyberthieves on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list: an ethnic Russian from Latvia named Alexsey Belan with a red-tinted Justin Bieber haircut, and Mr. Bogachev, whose F.B.I. file includes a photograph of him holding his spotted Bengal cat while wearing a matching set of leopard-print pajamas.From Thief to Russian Asset?His involvement with Russian intelligence may help explain why Mr. Bogachev, 33, is hardly a man on the run. F.B.I. officials say he lives openly in Anapa, a run-down resort town on the Black Sea in southern Russia. He has a large apartment near the shore and possibly another in Moscow, officials say, as well as a collection of luxury cars, though he seems to favor driving his Jeep Grand Cherokee. American investigators say he enjoys sailing and owns a yacht.Running the criminal scheme was hard work. Mr. Bogachev often complained of being exhausted and “of having too little time for his family,” said Aleksandr Panin, a Russian hacker, now in a federal prison in Kentucky for bank fraud, who used to communicate with Mr. Bogachev online. “He mentioned a wife and two kids as far as I remember,” Mr. Panin wrote in an email.Beyond that, little is known about Mr. Bogachev, who preferred to operate anonymously behind various screen names: slavik, lucky12345, pollingsoon. Even close business associates never met him in person or knew his real name.“He was very, very paranoid,” said J. Keith Mularski, an F.B.I. supervisor in Pittsburgh whose investigation of Mr. Bogachev led to an indictment in 2014. “He didn’t trust anybody.”Russia does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, and Russian officials say that so long as Mr. Bogachev has not committed a crime on Russian territory, there are no grounds to arrest him.Attempts to reach Mr. Bogachev for this article were unsuccessful. In response to questions, his lawyer in Anapa, Aleksei Stotskii, said, “The fact that he is wanted by the F.B.I. prevents me morally from saying anything.”A line in Mr. Bogachev’s file with the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, which has helped the F.B.I. track his movements, describes him as “working under the supervision of a special unit of the F.S.B.,” referring to the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main intelligence agency. The F.S.B. did not respond to a request for comment.That Mr. Bogachev remains at large “is the most powerful argument” that he is an asset of the Russian government, said Austin Berglas, who was an assistant special agent in charge of cyberinvestigations out of the F.B.I.’s New York field office until 2015. Hackers like Mr. Bogachev are “moonlighters,” Mr. Berglas said, “doing the bidding of Russian intelligence services, whether economic espionage or straight-up espionage.”Such an arrangement offers the Kremlin a convenient cover story and an easy opportunity to take a peek into the extensive networks of computers infected by Russian hackers, security experts say.
Russian intelligence agencies also appear to occasionally employ malware tools developed for criminal purposes, including the popular BlackEnergy, to attack the computers of enemy governments. The recent target Russian thieves who had made a specialty of stealing Americans’ credit card information and breaking into their bank accounts. “Here’s to great investigations,” F.B.I. and F.S.B. agents would toast each other at Manhattan steakhouses during periodic trust-building visits, Mr. Berglas said.But help rarely seemed to materialize. After a while, agents began to worry that the Russian authorities were recruiting the very suspects that the F.B.I. was pursuing. The joke among Justice Department officials was the Russians were more likely to pin a medal on a suspected criminal hacker than help the F.B.I. nab him.“Almost all the hackers who have been announced by the U.S. government through indictments are immediately tracked by the Russian government,” said Arkady Bukh, a New York-based lawyer who often represents Russian hackers arrested in the United States. “All the time they’re asked to provide logistical and technical support.”While it was a widely held suspicion, it is tough to prove the connection between cyberthieves and Russian intelligence. But in one case, Mr. Berglas said, F.B.I. agents monitoring an infected computer were surprised to see a hacker who was the target of their investigation share a copy of his passport with a person the F.B.I. believed to be a Russian intelligence agent — a likely signal that the suspect was being recruited or protected. “That was the closest we ever came,” he said.Fishing for Top SecretsMr. Bogachev’s hacking career began well over a decade ago, leading to the creation of a malicious software program called GameOver ZeuS, which he managed with the help of about a half-dozen close associates who called themselves the Business Club, according to the F.B.I. and security researchers. Working around the clock, his criminal gang infected an ever-growing network of computers. It was able to bypass the most advanced banking security measures to quickly empty accounts and transfer the money abroad through a web of intermediaries called money mules. F.B.I. officials said it was the most sophisticated online larceny scheme they had encountered — and for years, it was . Bogachev became extremely wealthy. At one point, he owned two villas in France and kept a fleet of cars parked around Europe so he would never have to rent a vehicle while on vacation, according to a Ukrainian law enforcement official with knowledge of the Bogachev case, who requested anonymity to discuss the continuing investigation. Officials say he had three Russian passports with different aliases allowing him to travel the height of his operations, Mr. Bogachev had between 500,000 and a million computers under his control, American officials said. And there is evidence that the Russian government took an interest in knowing what was on them.Beginning around 2011, according to an analysis by Fox-IT, computers under Mr. Bogachev’s control started receiving requests for information — not about banking transactions, but for files relating to various geopolitical developments pulled from the headlines.Around the time that former President Barack Obama , in 2013, Turkish computers infected by Mr. Bogachev’s network were hit with keyword searches that included the terms “weapon delivery” and “arms delivery.” There were also searches for “Russian mercenary” and “Caucasian mercenary,” suggesting concerns about Russian citizens fighting in the war.Ahead of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014, infected computers were searched for information about top-secret files from the country’s main intelligence directorate, the S.B.U. Some of the queries involved searches for personal information about government security officials, including emails from Georgia’s foreign intelligence service, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and others, said Michael Sandee, one of the researchers from Fox-IT.And at some point between March 2013 and February 2014, there were searches for English-language documents, which seemed to be fishing for American military and intelligence documents. The queries were for terms including “top secret” and “Department of Defense,” said Brett Stone-Gross, a cybersecurity analyst involved in analyzing GameOver ZeuS. “These were in English,” he said. “That was different.”Cybersecurity experts who studied the case say there is no way to know who ordered the queries. But they were so disconnected from the larceny and fraud that drove Mr. Bogachev’s operation that analysts say there can be no other motive but espionage.Whether the searches turned up any classified document or sensitive government material is unknown, although the odds are good that there were a number of federal government employees or military contractors with infected personal computers.“They had such a large number of infections, I would say it’s highly likely they had computers belonging to U.S. government and foreign government employees,” Mr. Stone-Gross the summer of 2014, the F.B.I., together with law enforcement agencies in over half a dozen countries, carried out Operation Tovar, a coordinated attack on Mr. Bogachev’s criminal infrastructure that shut down his network and liberated computers infected with GameOver ZeuS.Prosecutors said they were in talks with the Russian government, trying to secure cooperation for the capture of Mr. Bogachev. But the only apparent legal trouble Mr. Bogachev has faced in Russia was a lawsuit filed against him by a real estate company in 2011 over payment of about $75,000 on his apartment in Anapa, according to court papers there. And even that he managed to beat.These days, officials believe Mr. Bogachev is living under his own name in Anapa and occasionally takes boat trips to Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia occupied in 2014. Mr. Mularski, the F.B.I. supervisor, said his agents were “still pursuing leads.”This transition to the new warfare of the new world reminds me Don Corleone’s introduction of rules of new game for his criminal syndicate saying explaining that times came when one lawyer with the briefcase can steal more than hundred men with guns. Today it’s all about cyber, Donald! And burning question on the cover of this book which was asked by the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum is whether our political system is capable of grappling with this particular form of modern Russian corruption at all.suggest that the agency also kept a large reference library of hacking kits, some of which appear to have been produced by also hints at a struggle to recruit top talent. A job with the Russian intelligence agencies does not command the prestige it did in the Soviet era. The Russian state has to compete against the dream of six-figure salaries and stock options in Silicon Valley. A recruiting pitch from a few years ago for the Defense Ministry’s brigade offered college graduates the rank of lieutenant and a bed in a room with four other people.And so the Kremlin at times turns to the “dark web” or Russian-language forums devoted to cyberfraud and spam. Mr. Bogachev, according to court papers from his criminal case, used to sell malicious software on a site called Carding World, where thieves buy and sell stolen credit card numbers and hacking kits, according to the F.B.I. One recent posting offered to sell American credit card information with CVV security numbers for $5. A user named MrRaiX was selling a malware supposedly designed to pilfer passwords from programs like Google Chrome and Outlook Express.Rather than shut down such sites, as the F.B.I. typically tries to do, Russian intelligence agents appear to have infiltrated them, security experts say.Some of the forums state specifically that almost any type of criminality is allowed — bank fraud, counterfeiting documents, weapons sales. One of the few rules: no work in Russia or the former Soviet Union. In Carding World, and in many other forums, a violation results in a lifetime ban.The F.B.I. has long been stymied in its efforts to get Russian cybercriminals. For a time, the bureau had high hopes that its agents and Russian investigators with the F.S.B. would work together to
To realize all the profound, dead seriousness of the question America faces today we need to read attentively senator John McCain’s speech
“My friends: In the four decades I have attended this conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important. “The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.
“This question was real, half a century ago, for Ewald von Kleist and the founders of this conference. Indeed, it is why they first started coming to Munich. They did not assume the West would survive, because they had seen its near annihilation. They saw open markets give way to beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism, and the poverty that imposed. They saw a world order fracture into clashing ethnic and nationalist passions, and the misery that wrought. They saw the rise of hostile great powers, and the failure of deterrence, and the wars that followed. “From the ashes of the most awful calamity in human history was born what we call the West—a new, and different, and better kind of world order … one based not on blood-and-soil nationalism, or spheres of influence, or conquest of the weak by the strong, but rather on universal values, rule of law, open commerce, and respect for national sovereignty and independence. Indeed, the entire idea of the West is that it open to any person or any nation that honors and upholds these values.
“The unprecedented period of security and prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past seven decades did not happen by accident. It happened not only because of the appeal of our values, but because we backed them with our power and persevered in their defense. Our predecessors did not believe in the end of history—or that it bends, inevitably, toward justice. That is up to us. That requires our persistent, painstaking effort. And that is why we come to Munich, year after year after year.
“What would von Kleist’s generation say if they saw our world today? I fear that much about it would be all-too-familiar to them, and they would be alarmed by it.
“They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.“They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims.
“They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies. “They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.
“But what would alarm them most, I think, is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West … that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without … and that while Western nations still have the power to maintain our world order, it is unclear whether we have the will.
“All of us must accept our share of the blame for this turn of events. We grew complacent. We made mistakes. At times we tried to do too much, and at others we failed to do enough. We lost touch with many of our people. We have been too slow to recognize and respond to their hardships. We need to face up to these realities, but this does not mean losing hope and retreating. That we must not do.
“I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That is not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That is not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.“Make no mistake, my friends: These are dangerous times, but you should not count America out, and we should not count each other out. We must be prudent, but we cannot wring our hands and wallow in self-doubt. We must appreciate the limits of our power, but we cannot allow ourselves to question the rightness and goodness of the West. We must understand and learn from our mistakes, but we cannot be paralyzed by fear. We cannot give up on ourselves and on each other. That is the definition of decadence. And that is how world orders really do decline and fall.“This is exactly what our adversaries want. This is their goal. They have no meaningful allies, so they seek to sow dissent among us and divide us from each other. They know that their power and influence are inferior to ours, so they seek to subvert us, and erode our resolve to resist, and terrorize us into passivity. They know they have little to offer the world beyond selfishness and fear, so they seek to undermine our confidence in ourselves and our belief in our own values. “We must take our own side in this fight. We must be vigilant. We must persevere. And through it all, we must never, never cease to believe in the moral superiority of our own values—that we stand for truth against falsehood, freedom against tyranny, right against injustice, hope against despair … and that even though we will inevitably take losses and suffer setbacks, through it all, so long as people of goodwill and courage refuse to lose faith in the West, it will endure.
“That is why we come to Munich, year in and year out—to revitalize our common moral purpose, our belief that our values are worth the fighting for. Because in the final analysis, the survival of the West is not just a material struggle; it is now, and has always been, a moral struggle. Now more than ever, we must not forget this.“During one of the darkest years of the early Cold War, William Faulkner delivered a short speech in Stockholm upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. ‘I decline to accept the end of man,’ Faulkner said. ‘I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.’“Even now, when the temptation to despair is greatest, I refuse to accept the end of the West. I refuse to accept the demise of our world order. I refuse to accept that our greatest triumphs cannot once again spring from our moments of greatest peril, as they have so many times before. I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries. I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always, always stand up for it—for if we do not, who will?”
I read this speech many times to feel the uniqueness of the time we are living in, of the crucial importance of this moment, the moment of now for the whole human history when human civilization is making its choice. Think about it: among all Americans, Senator John McCain could be the last one you could call an alarmist. There should be something unique and special which made him to tell the words of his Munich speech.
Think about other fact: Pennsylvania Mennonites, the quietest and most humble community on the planet which never in their history were actively engaged in any politics beyond their own territory, are organizing protests against present US administration.
God, Nature, Cosmos or the Universe, you name it, should have especial love to those living now, because it is incumbent upon each and everyone of us to make the choice and each and every voice matters.
Russia-gate for Dummies.
Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Winston Churchill
Virtually every person writing in Russian for a large audience from classics to contemporary postmodernists, said something about mysterious Russian soul and useless to apply common sense to what is going on in Russia. This was true for 18th century and it is remains equally true nowadays. One of the crucial notions for understanding Russia and Russia-gate is the fact that Russians live in their own dimension of reality they create for themselves. In this reality Russia is still the mightiest world empire even though it is temporary sick.
I have no idea where this dimension comes from, or whether it has actual beginning and end in the material world, but without keeping in mind the unique nature of this Russian dimension of reality, you have zero chance of understanding what is going on. To me, the most plausible explanation was that Russians became entrapped and stuck in this reality due to brutal politico-economical experiment which for some mysterious for the outsider “Russian” reasons they implemented upon themselves for the most of the 20th century.
One of the essential part of this experiment was creating of the parallel REAL reality of the Russian dimension and indoctrinating themselves that their eyes and ears lie to them like in the popular joke.
I would like to clarify by the real life story. In respect to the Russian tradition, commonly using such tool under name of “lyrical digression”, I would like to keep this name in my book. Lyrical digression # 1. **************
M: Igor, you don’t know this in America, because they don’t tell you truth, but we are so happy and prosperous in Russia. It is so wonderful here, you just can’t believe.
S: God Bless Prosperous Russia, I am happy for you
M:We have everything we need, everyone employed, a lot of opportunities. We accepted half million refugees from Ukraine. We provided them accommodations, meals, employment, everything. We provided them housing – all the regions of Russia everyone went to where they wanted.
S: Who said it to you? Where did you get this information?
M: What do you mean who? Everybody!
S: Who exactly told it to you?
M: Everyone knows it. They show devastation in Ukraine. Their bombed villages, their destroyed houses…
S: So, you saw it in TV.
M: Everything in Lugansk and Donetsk oblast is destroyed. Erased…
S: Just a second, you saw it in TV?
M: Yes, our Russian TV shows see what you will never see in your America
S: Why do you believe everything you hear from TV?
M: I don’t want to tell, but I must tell the truth you will not hear in America.
S: Mom, I am a professional movie editor, and I know all these tricks which I can make for you in a couple of minutes..It is all propaganda. Don’t trust it.
M: One day you will see the truth. Whole world will have no choice but to demonstrate devastation in UKraine.
S: Ok, I hope that you will know truth and you will be right, but can I tell you another perspective.
M: No, don’t tell. Ukraine is dead. They did it themselves. They destroyed everything in their own country. And your country blames Russia which only helps every Ukrainian who comes.
S: You don’t want to listen to me. Not letting to say one word in response.
M: Because I know the truth. There are a lot of Ukrainians in our city and everyone helps therm, everyone. And every Ukrainian is taken care of. Each and every Ukrainian. No exception. *********************
I hope that this recent conversation will help you to keep in mind the Russian dimension while reading about this country. Very commonly talking with “real” Russian people I catch myself thinking that I dream about psychological experiment to discover extent to which they really believe what they say. It remains intriguing mystery for me in each particular case, but I think that in many cases they do actually believe in their own words.
I support the theory of communist period as an origin of Russian dimension because I actually grew up discovering my ways of travelling from one reality into another. Due to crazy (and still ongoing) love between my parents I was destined to be stuck in-between several incompatible realities sentenced to make sense out of senseless.
First reality was an official one backed by government and enforced by teachers and most of the classmates who were trusting teachers as the young kids supposed to do. In this reality we lived in absolutely best country possible. Our motherland was taking perfect care of all its citizens who in their turn were always ready to sacrifice themselves for the ideas of communism. With the feel of deep gratitude to the communist party, most of the day the citizens of this perfect country were concerned about optimization of the work performance.
Needless to say that In this reality everyone had everything one can dream of, or even more, including delicious food, ice-cream, opportunity to go to ballet and became cosmonauts. The only missing elements in this reality were jeans Levi’s, chewing gum and discs of Rolling Stones, which some guys brainwashed by Western propaganda were trying to trade from tourists risking to get a prison term. But according to teachers they were perverts.
This reality was aggressive and controlling. It required to praise the motherland and party in songs, skits and compositions which i didn’t like as long as I can remember myself.
Second reality was that of my mother folks. Mother’s father whom I called Deda, was commanding cruiser battle ship at the Second World War. Having more government awards than could fit on a coat, he has never worn them. A devoted Leninist, he cried one time in his life – after famous Khrushchev’s speech on 20th communist party congress about cult of personality and crimes of Stalin. Soon after it he retired and turned down most of his privileges including a car with personal driver, access to the stores not known to Soviet citizens etc.
At the end of life, talking politics was Deda’s favourite pastime along with walking in woods and picking mushrooms. I remember parts of the conversation from the time I was not supposed to understand anything they talked in their specific “old apparatchik” way.
Proletariat in that country is spoiled by bourgeoisie, so it’s hard to find there people who are ready to understand the ideas of communism. So it’s unlikely that party people were asked.” – They told discussing the death of one of the KGB turncoats in Britain meaning that in context of developed economy of the country communist party is not that strong, so it is hard to recruit agents there and it is unlikely Soviet secret services were involved.
Despite this complicated way of communication, Deda’s reality was simple and honest. It was reality of amazingly beautiful suburb of Leningrad, called Petrodvorets – a town of palaces and fountains, a neat flowered yard and casy apartment which by Soviet standards was spacious. It was a reality of people for whom standing behind their words was a matter of life and death. They never repeated their words twice. After being expressed their ideas were becoming realities of life.
Third reality was that of my father’s folks. His mother was “an enemy of the people” accused in “chauvinistic bourgeois nationalism” during Stalin’s campaign of uprooting ethnic cultures which she miraculously survived. A daughter of rabbi in small and poor shtetl, she run away from home to help communists even before her 14th birthday. She was impressed by communist’s promise of repealing a pale of settlements law and giving equal rights to Jews. Very soon she got an office in the headquarters of the Revolution – Smolny, but in 1937 communist bureaucrats remembered that he father was an enemy of the revolution, so she became an enemy too.
Only due to already mentioned crazy love, my mom survived first visit to father’s “home” where three families lived in small room separated by canvas screens. There were five more of such rooms in apartment having one shower and one kitchen so that in the morning the line to the restroom could have taken up to 20-30 minutes.
Mom could not imagine people living in such conditions. Their reality included cacophonia of radio permanently tuned on BBC Russian Service in the neighbor’s room which Soviets tried to muffle by putting another radio station on the same wave. Amazingly, but from time to time BBC anchorman was still audible. Most of the people living in this crazy reality, (which post-factum seems to be the most normal of all) were Jews who lost any kind of fear and instinct of self-preservation.
My friend Yura Alferovitz who was at time about 14 and was 5 years older than me told me: “Study English, it is a sacred language, a language of truth. English could give you a small window to pry through the Iron Curtain into the free world. Don’t trust anything in Russian. If you see even one letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, it is a trademark of fake. Of course, there are other nice and honest languages like French or German, but there is hardly any books available on them in the underground markets. Mostly English.” Later, in my teens, I discovered many more residents of this reality including first of all citizens of the Baltic republics – Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and Poles.
The fourth reality was reality of empty refrigerators of my classmates and half-mile long lines for sausages.
SInce I remember myself, I understood that virtually everything would be reflected in these realities in some unique way. Teachers and radio were telling about Israeli militarism without human soul, Deda talked about bureaucrats in military uniforms unable to give normal training and provide help to brotherly Arab nations, Jews were celebrating their victories, and on the street it would be better to hide any Jewish roots not to get into trouble.
To be on the side of truth, I need to say that some scholars find roots of the Russian dimension even before October revolution, pointing on Potyomkin villages as pathological desire to show off.
Other important Russian character trait vital to understanding of the situation is obsession by country uniqueness, messianic role and isolation. This trait often implying the belief in initial purity of the Russian soul was immortalized by the poet Grigoriev “Wretched, Drunken and in Tatters, But with his Pure Russian Soul”. Russia likes its own solutions, different from all other world. Even the width of railways was deliberately made different, which creates unnecessary problems on the borders when Russian trains going out of the country need to change wheels, but apparently if compensates by supporting the sense of uniqueness.
This Russian trait expressed itself in particular in recent Putin’s confusing “joke” that Russian Borders do not end anywhere. Armies of Putin’s apologists and internet trolls rushed to explain to confused Western public that it is just joke without any particular meaning. Apparently, his other funny joke was establishing of the monument for future generations in Crimea with inscription “We have returned Crimea, it is for you to return Alaska”.
Israeli political scientist Avraham Shmulevich thinks that this Putin’s thought about Russian borders stretching to infinity should be understood in the most literal way. After all, as Russians like to say “One part of every joke is something to laugh at” meaning that every joke has other, serious part – its message for which joke was created. Easiness of joke make message capable of breaking of psychological defenses.
Since beginning of last century Russia changed several times economical models, political systems, ideologies, cultural and ethical norms, even alphabet was modified. One thing remain constant – Russia’s delusion of grandeur defining its insatiable desire for expanding its influence and promoting its message: be it imperial trust in the supremacy of best and chosen or communist beliefs in global brotherhood of working people.
This part of Russianness could be attributed to the most revered Czar, Peter the Great. Even if it existed before, Peter’s project of making Russia a European country formed this national sentiment for several hundred years. It resulted in persistent attempts to impose its love on Europe which Russia unquestionably didn’t fit. always standing out geographically, territorially, culturally and economically. Europeans always saw Russians as different which formed Russian feelings of being isolated and alienated.
Facts in historical perspective.From Empire of Evil to the Crime Syndicate 1991-2004Russians hardly could be called the most freedom-loving nation. In certains sense it would be true to say that most of the nation does not have real experience of freedom. The abolishing of slavery in 1864 was only formal, and in reality serfs or dependant peasants remained being dependant on their landlords who kept organizing their marriages and was a major authority in all practical questions, giving advices and sometimes practical help for household.
Apparently, desire of freedom is not a universal human quality as it is considered in the West, Napoleon was naive enough to believe that Russian peasants will be as happy to see him as liberator as European Jews. Napoleon was first of the great European leaders who declared full equal rights for Jews, and as a result most of the Jews greeted him almost like messiah. Not so with Russian peasants. They understood that he wants to forbid their masters to take care of them and became the most fierce anti-Napoleone combat force. After the revolution the land-owner was replaced by head of the collective farm (kollhoz) to which peasants were forced to join during Stalin. Not only kolkhoz members were forbidden to leave their collective farm, but they have to ask for permission to leave to visit neighboring town in which kolkhoz members saw nothing bad, because they consciously traded their freedom for food, housing and absolving them to take care of problems like medicine, vocations and basically most of decisions free people make in their lives.
Khruschev gave more freedoms to peasants, who used it for the opportunity to leave their farms, but in state where government and party take care of everything they were not actually liberated from the “care” of party who provided jobs, housing and trips to the best resorts of the country.
I often heard even from my educated Russians that people should not have too much freedom. It would be unhealthy for many of them who do not know what to do with their lives and will make bad choices. This argument was paradoxically confirmed by huge amount of the young people willing to go to the military school or college thus creating serious competition between applicants to those institutions. In practice such decision meant total renunciation of any control of their lives. While Westerners choosing military career. Still make choices of their own, in Russia the only choices military person makes before he becomes general is related to the choice of spouse and giving birth to kids. Despite all that, I heard from several young cadets who were happy with their decision of joining military school and euphoric to be accepted words like “you know, they probably saved me, because I didn’t know what to do with my life, and out of not knowing what to do I would probably drink”.End of 80’s in Russia was a period of hopes and expectation that finally Russia will become “normal” country, like everybody else. As a journalist of popular (at that time) newspaper “University”, I was in the middle of political whirlpool. In the vanguard of pro-Western reforms were Baltic republics lead by Lithuania. They were way ahead of others in establishing political freedoms, and we tried to predict next developments reading newspapers of Sayidis – Movement for Independent Lithuania.
The upcoming period of democratic Russia was the great unknown for the average citizen, but expectations were high. I hope to give some insights on the spirit of this time in one of the stories of BOOK 2, so I do not expand much on it here. People who survived Orwellian reality of Soviet Union thought that they already went through the most hellish hell on Earth, and it cannot be worse, but 90’s turned to be one of the worst nightmares in Russian history. It was a time when instinct of self-preservation against each other, and all ethical and moral norms were seen as unnecessary ballast. On one of the popular TV programs, crying mother who was unable to get the necessary medication for dying child got advice to try prostitution by the fat cynical nouveau-rich. Being objective, this solution would unlikely help because in 90’s hundreds of the most beautiful Russian ladies gathered by the end of the day on Preobrazhenskaya square, the popular place for people who were looking for an escort.
Human life was worth about $500, and places where people could hire a hitman were commonly known. It was much easier than finding good building contractor for repairing and remodeling apartment. Honesty became a dubious quality, because it made harder to manipulate other people, and stealing, especially from group like company or government was not necessarily seen by general public as violation. Years later, working with homeless addicts in Israel, than US, and studying their habits, I found a lot of similarity with survivalist anti-morale of Russian 90’s. At the same time, while thousands were suffering from hunger and from on the street from cold during severe Russian winter, handful of others were making billions on privatization. They were called owners of life or bosses, because they had behind them all the power of the corrupt law-enforcement which was always ready to prove that victim killed by hitman fell down on vertical knife for eleven times.
In one of the popular movies of that period “Voroshilov’s sniper” after court acquitted group of young men who gangraped the granddaughter of the war heroe, veteran remembers his skills and takes initiative to restore justice himself. In the movie it was possible, but in real life situation millions of innocent people were left helpless in front of mafias which took control over the big part of the country.
Equating democracy and freedom with catastrophic 90’s makes Western type of democracy in eyes of many Russians immoral also due to the reason that “nobody cared” about so many people who became homeless and died during severe winters. Dictatorial, fatherly Putin’s figure became salvation from this immoral system.
Lyrical digression***********************My high school girlfriend, who at 1995 was a single mother of two little babies, was given a small apartment, but in order to survive she had to rent it, moving to one even smaller on the outskirts. One day she was visited by two young guys with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s types of bodies in early twenties who informed her that she is not an owner of her apartment anymore, because they have documents establishing their own right to own it. They belonged to one of the local mafia groups and arguments were useless or even dangerous. Desperate in tears she went to local police for advice.
I hear your pain, – said young policeman, – but I can hardly help. I hear pain of so many people of the everyday basis. You won’t believe. Young people, old people, children, handicapped… they come non-stop in a seemingly endless stream. And we have one officer, my friend and colleague Gena, officer pointed to another policeman present in the room during conversation, who is in charge of fifty unresolved murders in the neighborhood, who works despite not being paid for two months. Government does not have money to pay him, but he works. They didn’t pay me either… But I work too. Because my grandfather worked in the law enforcement, and his will he passed to me was to fight criminals and protect law and order. An offer I could not reject…
Young policeman asked my friend Polina about the young mafia boys: how did they looked like and how they were dressed, and after description of their rings told with certainty:They are Gosha’s guys, I will call him. You are in touch with bandits? – asked Polina through tears. Of course I am. How would you suppose me to work? How would I be able to help you if I were not? This one, by the way was my classmate in the police academy, so it should not be that challenging. It is much harder with busurmans from Caucasus which barely understand Russian. But I have to talk with them too, and show respect…
You think, it is easy for me – continued young policeman, while his voice was becoming to resemble inhuman and metallic. He was making an unsuccessful effort to hide emotions poinint again to the picture of WWII general hanging on the wall. – My grandpa hated them. He was fighting those subhumans all his life, and during the war he also worked for free, like me now, while those subhumans looted and killed. Few months ago this Ape from Chechnya came here: “I want to rent this your office. I can pay twice market price. I told him “Fuck you, You think that our government has no means to take care of you and put you where you belong?” “Of course it don’t” – he laughs. Your government does not have means to keep me in the prison, and I can give it such an amount, it never dreamt to have, so you will be able to get your salary” I wanted to throw him out of the window, you know. And physically I was totally capable of doing it, despite his size, because I am very well trained and I am exercising since I was four. But if I were so stupid to do it, I would never be able any single crime in our area, – told policeman, looking once again at the general’s portrait as if asking for excuse.
Next day young gangsters came to Polina with a huge bouquet of over hundred roses:How come you didn’t mention that you know Vitalik? – wondered criminals.Who is Vitalik? – asked shocked woman not knowing what to come next. What do you mean who? Vitaliy Vasilievich Zotov – the deputy sheriff. Now Polina started to understand what is going on. He is absolutely crazy, – told one gangster Crazy and saint, – added another. – We have great respect to him. Without him the world would collapse. Pollina got back the keys from her apartment, and when she opened the door, she was shocked again by the view of unnaturally clean rooms and kitchen.Crushed hope of freedom and severe national trauma of 90’s developed in ordinary citizens existential fear of democracy which was blamed for lawlessness and chaos of 90’s.
Most Russians equate democracy and freedom with catastrophic 90’s with its widespread poverty, homelessness and unemployment. In their eyes democracy became a fake for fooling masses, so that they ceased to believe that any elections could be just. ********************************
Ideology in the time of lawlessness and corruption
Probably only person in Russia who was preoccupied with ideology at the time when everybody else either survived or was too busy stealing privatized property and natural resources was Alexandr Dugin.
Wild and Evil 90’s which Russians themselves define by the untranslatable word “ЛИХИЕ 90-е” were the major reason of Russia’s becoming a criminal syndicate. The Moscow times newspaper devoted whole article to explore the meaning of this untranslatable word used to denote indescribable period in the history of the country which became a nutritive soil for criminalisation of the country.
Though many processes leading to transformation started earlier, the period of 90’s is the main basis for understanding phenomena. Earlier we talked about cultural context and other features creating “enigma” of Russia which for centuries puzzled and shocked European mind, as well as briefly discussed total collapse of any ethical or moral norms which defines the period also known to Russians as “Shock without therapy”. In this chapter I would like to concentrate on purely political processes fundamental for criminalization of the country.
Numerous cardinal mistakes or deliberate criminal actions aimed to concentrate all resources of the country in the hands of few oligarchs resulted in total collapse of the government, total financial bankruptcy of which made impossible to pay for the most essential services like police and law enforcement. As a result control over the situation went to criminal mafia groups. The exception was some areas in St. Petersburg and Moscow where former KGB remained in control of situation, and a few other areas which remains in control of government related structures due to fanatically loyal police working underpaid or unpaid at all for months and other local factors.From the early years Soviet Union, KGB has its own political and military structures, independent of communist party and government, and correspondingly it has influence on interior and international politics. It is practically state within state having its elite-of-elite military units (mostly within the Independent Operational Purpose Division aka Dzerzhinsky Divisione) lawyers, courts, law enforcement, even journalists and writers as well as other elements of independent political structure. It was designed to prevent any thought of Palace intrigues, but it also became a cause of headaches of the Soviet leaders in different periods of history.
The most serious incident was the removal from power the closest and most loyal supporter of Stalin, head of the KGB in Stalin’s time Lavrentiy Beria. Before addressing Politburo of the party, Khruschev asked the most famous war hero Marshal Zhukov, and other influential military commanders to signal combat alert in all the military units including even Navy (which could launch rockets to Moscow), bring all the possible arms and equipment including tanks and rockets close to Moscow and prepare to fight. These preparations were made to block possible attempts of Dzerzhinsky Division to interfere in the political situation.
After collapse of the Soviet Union and downfall of all its structures, KGB remained practically perfectly functional institutions as such inherited lion share of party and government treasury. Perfectly functional Intelligence of already non-existing country was as surreal as most of other developments in Russia. For a while KGB became an informal institution, and later it became a basis for the new Russian secret service – FSB. In 90’s ex-soviet citizens unanimously related to KGB as the biggest and mightiest mafia. Many also considered it to be less corrupt and most just one.
Typical mafias of the 90’s, which at time were countless were called “krysha” – roof, alluding to its protective quality, were semi-criminal structures mostly accepting people tested in prison (outside of professionals like programmers or bookkeepers etc). This was necessary to create effective fighting unit where members can totally trust each other. In order to survive in the Russian prison and not become a “cock” (the one who sleeps under bed and has to satisfy sexual needs of others) after certain period of time given for acclimatization, inmate has to join prison gang, which requires passing numerous tests. One of the laws for all gang members to jump and fly for fight on special alert signals. Those who waste a second or try to escape danger in order to survive risk excluded from the gang. Candidate has to pass several test-alerts and fight real fights in order to prove his worth to be a member of the group. In many situations young and aspiring gang members in order to grow had to take some minimal prison term in order to be tested. Tests and ranks were documented in tattoos on the bodies of the gang members.
Gangs varied in their humanness from totally criminal bespredel (no brakes) killers and rapist to some pretty civilized ones. They typically “taxed” all the businesses for protection and took care of the order in the area. In many cases, knowing that these gangs at least bring some semblance of orders, residents were more or less tolerant to them. At least they provided some degree of safety for businesses and prevent competitor from hiring hitman in drunken rage. One of the typical examples of bespredel gangs ruling the area was famous Tsapki gang in small town of Kuschevka in Kuban.
The name of Kuschevka was known to every citizen of Russia after cold-blood murder of 12 people and 4 little children by the gang controlling the area after one of the business owners refused to pay XXXX. The criminal investigation discovered that whole Kuschevka district was ruled by gang headed by Tsapok family who kept slaves, collected regular offering from farmers and based their order on brutal violence. The leaders of the gang, Tsapok brothers were elected representatives of the area having doctoral degrees and large number of academic articles all of which of course were bought as well as the university diplomas. According to the rumors one of the brothers even applied for membership in the Russian Academy of sciences, but failed to explained some very basic notions behind his “scientific interest”.
Among other things, Investigation discovered several hundreds rape complaints from local girls with unopened cases. Local police didn’t open cases on Tsapki gang, because in the eyes of local residents they were legitimate power. Besides having scientific degrees, gangsters had official positions in local administrations, and all of them were active members of Putin’s United Russia party.
In making of the law and order with the use of KGB, Putin negotiated with largest and most civilized gangs who was seen as potentially capable to follow government regulations. In some areas former mafias turned into region administrations. This defined machoist, warrior culture of the modern Russia and its contempt to liberalism as feminine weakness. This culture was implanted by Putin into political bodies of other states in terms of Russian-supported far-right.
While Russia was in agony of deadly fight of the mafia groups over territories, and its ordinary citizens hardly had enough money for public transportation, the future ideologist of the country, Alexandr Dugin was travelling all over Europe making contacts among far-right political parties building the political future of Russia.
In wild and evil 90’s in Russia hardly any person thought about ideology, for Dugin it was one of the elements of the power of the country cutting of which was unnecessary waste of opportunities.
Not so well kept secret.
Dugin’s story goes back to Stalin’s times. “Largely thanks to Dugin’s murky connections within the elite, Geopolitics today is mainstream.” wrights respected and influential political journal Foreign Policy. Charles Clover, the author of the article containing the mentioned quote most probably heard about one of the reason of political influence of Dugin within the Russian elite, but fear of coming close to what may look like conspiracy theory established unnecessary, artificial limits on our consciousness.
The authority and influence of Dugin is partially based on his familiarity with German occult research program Ahnenerbe, making him somewhat like modern Rasputin. (Siberian monk Gregory was familiar with Asian shamanic traditions, which gave him influence over Tsar)
One of the most famous enthusiasts of German occult knowledge was Joseph Stalin. Though he never showed such interest publicly because it does not go along with the tenets of communism, many people knew special mission of KGB military units within the Red Army, whose task was sizing the archives of the Templar Knights and the project Ahnenerbe.
Parts of the German cities where archives were located were never shelled by artillery, and if it was possible, they were captured first to prevent Germans from destroying the documents. This way, after the war, Soviet Union became an owner of the one of the biggest collections of literature and information about esoteric knowledge.
Officially parapsychological and esoteric researches were undertaken with in such secrecy that even mentioning of them could have lead to the problems with law enforcement, practically every Soviet citizen knew that they are happening in the most secret laboratories of the KGB. It is not clear whether Stalin’s interest to Ahnenerbe was coming from idealistic adolescent Joseph Dzhugashvili who wrote romantic poems and studied for the ordination as a priest. Most probably, however, the interest was based on the intelligence information which reported about amount of time and money Nazist Germany spent on occult project to which it attracted the most serious researchers. Knowing that, comrade Stalin just ordered his intelligence community to take care of it and figure out what the hell is there.
Following Stalin’s command, KGB started researching German occult documentation, which by the way was never made public. Apparently, research was similar to exploration of the monkey from the famous Krylov’s fable where to put spectacles. It is highly doubtful that Stalin’s project had any tangible results, But the most serious and unexpected side-effects was rising interest to occult inside KGB. Soviet spies knew that somewhere in the most secret places which were hidden even from them, some specially gifted people with special security clearance are studying secret knowledge of Germany.
Nothing attracts attention like forbidden fruit, so it was nothing but natural that interest towards German occultism became one of the characteristic features of KGB which was definitely familiar to Russian spy in Germany Vladimir Putin.
Dugin is a son of high-rank KGB officer or some kind of official. Dugin’s father organized to his sun access to KGB archives when Alexander was in his teens, and since Dugin was fascinated with Ahnenerbe, he studied related documents and probably became the best specialist in the world on this occult program. Dugin is revolutionary and conformist or even revolutionary conformist to make it simple. He started his adult life confronting USSR’s political system. At the age of 18 he joined “Black Order of SS” society which as we can see it from the name, showed interest in the heritage of Nazis. But for audacious rebel against Soviet state, he was lucky not to have any problems with the law. Usually it meant cooperation with authorities.
It is not secret that almost all of the high-ranking leaders of NSDAP were former members of Thule Society – mystical group studying ancient German occultism. Western sources deny Hitler’s membership in Thule society. Russians however tell that not only Hitler was a member of Thule, but at the certain point was a Magister of it.
Hitler believed that pure Aryan race will develop psychic abilities and other talents not common in ordinary human, and the project Ahnenerbe meant to be a research program of the building of this future super-human race.
Stalin was obsessed with Ahnenerbe, which was at odds with communist worldview. It’s probably was the flashback of his youth when romantic, idealistic poet Soso Djugashvili was preparing himself for the career of priest.
Many soldiers of Red Army rapidly advancing into German territory in 1945 knew about special units whose task was capturing Templar Knights and Ahnenerbe archives. Areas of the cities where according to Soviet intel should been archives were never bombed – they were only stormed by infantry and Stalin didn’t count soldiers when it came to “special mission”.
This way, Soviet Russia captured most of the Ahnenerbe archives and made it top-secret documents no mortal human would dream to see. Such secrecy only increased interest in Ahnenerbe, considering the fact that Stalin pursued study of the material. Stalin’s KGB knew that somewhere in closed cities at the top secret location wierd people studies “the secret of all secrets”.
Peasant Khruschev couldn’t care less about occult crap, and under him almost all the researches stopped; however, the rumours about occult magic hidden in old German papers passed to the new generation, and interest to it never died, especially in the intelligence community.
Dugin on the Importance of the Ideology
Though far-right is over-fixated on PC, considering it to be artificially and unnecessary limiting cognitive process, I have the same opinion to another crippling social limit – conspiracy theories. Though absolutely objectively conspiracies play important role in noise or chaos machine, there is no reason to shun from everything slightly reminding conspirology. Nowadays any unusual idea could be banned for mentioning in group of educated people for its alleged similarity to conspiracy theories. The logic and way of thinking of Talmud is actively encourages using unrealistic, totally fictional examples like thinking of the share of two-headed people in the inherited field. Talmud considers it important to embrace all the possible specter of options. Even if certain element of the theory will happen to be totally fictional, it could give an important insight on principle.
First of all, following my general principle, which I hope is already familiar to the reader, I will give a word to Dugin himself, presenting here his relatively long quote of him. If you cannot digest it – no worries. Dugin is not a page-turner author. He writes for real man who can be persistent in their effort to decipher meaning (sorry for my sexist joke about my Russianness). After his quote I try to sum-up explicit and implicit meaning presenting everything you need to know.
***********Twentieth century marks an attempt to comprehend the balance of interests and values in politics and build relations between countries on the basis of their reasonable balance. The following postulate becomes obvious: if you turn to values and neglect interests, you can lose profit, if you do the exact opposite, you can lose respect. And since prestige and commercial benefits are important factors of the international relations, the states pursuing an active foreign policy are faced the task of developing a strategy that would balance these two factors. First of all, the need for this approach was realized in the USA. American foreign policy in the twentieth century was ideologized in terms of confrontation with the USSR and any, even moderate, socialist-oriented forces around the globe. This approach works optimally in conjunction with other strategies, for example, with supporting military dictatorships in Latin America (let us recall at least Franklin Roosevelt’s phrase about the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza: “He is, of course, a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch”).
A similar, but less flexible approach was applied in the Soviet Union. The USSR refused to support the Communists in Greece in 1944-1945, seeing this as contrdicting the interests of our country; The Soviet Union did actively cooperate with the capitalist countries, which were beyond the orbit of US influence – Ireland, Austria, Sweden and Finland. The lack of flexibility in Soviet foreign policy lead to unnecessary long war in Afghanistan, where our country prioritizing value considerations, cooperated only with political left, thus neglecting potential allies within traditional Islam. American foreign policy has faced the opposite problem: cooperating with dictatorships whose values are opposite to those of American society, US has lost respect of other countries. Therefore, when building constructive foreign policy, a reasonable correlation of ideology and considerations of economic and political cooperation is necessary.
The question inevitably arises as to what kind of foreign policy would better serve Russian interests overseas. There is an opinion that Russia should not stick to any of the ideological concept. This position is fundamentally wrong, since in the conditions of a multipolar world, our country obviously becomes one of the regional leaders. In order to unite the countries that recognize the supremacy of Russia into a cohesive regional conglomerate (for example, Central Eurasia in terms of Mikhail Khazin), and also to overcome old regional conflicts and prevent the emergence of new ones, we need a certain concept that will smooth the interstate contradictions within the group of integrating allies. At the same time, an ideology must be sensitive to cultural diversity of the members.
The opinion that ideology is unnecessary in international relations is also wrong for another reason. Ideology is an integral part of the country’s power, which is especially true for Russia. Austrian geopolitician Jordis von Lohausen, defined power in politics as a force multiplied by location. So what does it have to do with the ideology? In fact, ideology is pertaining to both strength and location: ideological attraction is an integral part of the state’s strength namely “soft power”. As for the location, the thinker of the Enlightenment and the founder of the concept of geographical determinism Charles Louis Montesquieu spoke about the impact of geographical location and climate on the behavior and nature of the values of different ethnic groups and civilizations. Consequently, without developing an ideological concept, oriented both inside Russia and outside it, the power of our country will be inadequate.According to other point of view accepted in our expert community, Russia should be guided by the ideology of liberalism which is dominating now in the modern world. In order not to “annoy” the West with a new concept that runs counter to the prevailing one. This opinion is also wrong, since the liberal tradition totally contradicts the Russian national identity. As such, it is even worse than communism, which, despite its western origin, was resonating Russia, since its main features are the priority of the collective principle over individual. Moreover, the communist ideology successfully supplemented the traditional Russian messianism, becoming an important factor in Russia’s relations with other states in the twentieth century.
Liberalism in its turn does not work that way, because its basic ideas are prevalence of individual over collective, along with its devotion to money. These concepts are absolutely foreign to Russia, and this means that our country can not accept and adopt them, neither in internal nor in foreign policy.
So, what kind of ideology does Russia need for an active and successful foreign policy? First of all, the basis for such a doctrine should be respect for the traditions of other nations. This will give us an edge in competition with liberalism leveling all cultural, historical and existential values. Therefore, such an ideology should be a new type of conservatism. It could be called social monarchism, the Fourth Political theory or neo-Eurasianism. This doctrine will enable uniting under the auspices of Russia all the countries opposing Western hegemony. Russia does not deny uniqueness of any single country or culture. We use the word “progress” in a strictly scientific and technical meaning, and deny so-called “social progress,” in liberal meaning of the word. Therefore, our ideology will help Russia not only in its interaction with the states that will enter the Russian zone of influence, but also with other regional leaders in a new, multipolar world.