Putin: First Soviet government (Communism) was mostly Jewish: The Times of israel

Putin: First Soviet government was mostly Jewish | The Times of Israel

Speaking at Moscow’s Jewish Museum, Russian president says politicians ‘were guided by false ideological considerations’

Russian President Vladimir Putin (photo credit: AP/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (photo credit: AP/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

JTA — Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish.

“I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish,” Putin said June 13 during a visit to Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.

Putin was referencing the library of Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson, the late leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. The books, which are claimed by Chabad representatives in the United States, began being moved to the museum in Moscow this month.

According to the official transcription of Putin’s speech at the museum, he went on to say that the politicians on the predominantly Jewish Soviet government “were guided by false ideological considerations and supported the arrest and repression of Jews, Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims and members of other faiths. They grouped everyone into the same category.

“Thankfully, those ideological goggles and faulty ideological perceptions collapsed. And today, we are essentially returning these books to the Jewish community with a happy smile.”

Widely seen as the first Soviet government, the Council of People’s Commissars was formed in 1917 and comprised 16 leaders, including chairman Vladimir Lenin, foreign affairs chief Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who was in charge of the People’s Commissariat of Nationalities

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The Emerging Multipolar World with The Saker: Cold Wars, Hot Wars

CatherineThe Solari Report on September 7, 2017 at 9:09 am · 

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When you get billions in aid and your weapons resupplied and your ammunition stock resupplied, you don’t learn the lesson that war is bad and nobody wins.”  ~King Abdullah II 

By Catherine Austin Fitts

This week on the Solari Report, Saker joins me for our quarterly review of the geopolitical landscape.  Items on our list to cover:

 

In Let’s Go to the Movies, I will review Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews – four hours of interviews with Vladimir Putin conducted by Stone between 2015 and 2017.

In Money & Markets this week I will discuss the latest in financial and geopolitical news. Please make sure to e-mail or post your questions for Ask Catherine.

Talk to you Thursday!

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Unlike the USA, Russia destroys chemical weapons stockpile

OPCW Marks Completion of Destruction of Russian Chemical Weapons Stockpile

By Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,

Featured image: OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü (Source: OPCW)

In the margins of the 86th Session of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a ceremony to mark the completion of the destruction of the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons took place today at the residence of Ambassador Alexander Shulgin, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OPCW. The Permanent Representatives and delegates from States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and OPCW Technical Secretariat staff attended the ceremony.

The Head of the Russian National Authority, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Georgy Kalamanov, delivered a statement expressing his thanks to the OPCW and States Parties for supporting the destruction programme.

OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, acknowledged the remarkable achievement by the Russian Federation and presented a memorable certificate to Deputy Minister Kalamanov marking the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of Russian chemical weapons. He also gave a commemorative plate to General Viktor Kholstov to recognise his personal commitment to and efforts in achieving this milestone.

The OPCW’s inspection teams have verified the destruction at seven chemical weapons destruction facilities in the Russian Federation. On 27 September 2017, the last of these facilities, located in Kizner, officially concluded its operations.

With the total elimination of Russia’s declared chemical weapons programme, 96.3 per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification.

Background

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.

For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Kremlin Issues Stern Warning to Washington Over Its Help for Terrorists in Syria

Kremlin Issues Stern Warning to Washington Over Its Help for Terrorists in Syria

By Gilbert Doctorow

From time to time, the Kremlin uses the Sunday evening weekly news wrap-up program of Dmitry Kiselyov on state television channel Rossiya-1 to send blunt and public warnings to Washington without diplomatic niceties.

Last night was one such case and we must hope that the intended audience within the Beltway can put aside its focus on Russia Today’s supposed fake news long enough to read a real message from Moscow.

The last such message came in the week following the April 8th Tomahawk attack on a Syrian air base that Donald Trump sprung on the world, allegedly to punish the regime of Assad for a chemical attack on a village in Idlib province.

Kiselyov used his airtime then to spell out the Russian response, which he characterized as unprecedented in scope and seriousness. It was essential to put all of its elements together in one place, as he did, because our boys in the Pentagon chose to downplay one or another element in isolation, such as the Russian installation of their Iskander nuclear potential missiles in Kaliningrad, or the abrogation of the deconfliction agreement relating to air space over Syria, or the dispatch of still more Russian vessels to the Eastern Mediterranean equipped to sink our Navy.

While our generals were saying that the Russians didn’t really mean it, Kiselyov put the whole picture on the screen:  an ultimatum to Washington to back off or be prepared for war.

 

A still earlier message of this kind to Washington aired on the Kiselyov Sunday news show in the week following the supposedly accidental US and allied bombing of Syrian army positions in the encircled eastern town of Deir Ezzor, which killed more than 80 Syrian soldiers and prepared the way for a renewed offensive by the siege forces.

That bombing scuttled the agreement on a Syrian cease-fire concluded with the approval of Barack Obama less than a week earlier by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry after a 14 hour negotiating session.

Lavrov was shown on the Kiselyov program openly accusing US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter of directing “friendly fire” against Kerry and of dangerous insubordination to his boss, the US President, which put in question any possibility of reaching agreements with the Americans on anything.

That last charge has now again re-emerged in the program that Kiselyov presented yesterday.  The Americans were identified as the “main obstacle” to the mopping up operation in Syria, at a time when “the light at the end of the tunnel” is visible [Kiselyov’s characterization], when more than 90% of the Syrian territory is under government control.

To wit, the United States is secretly aiding the terrorists: supplying them with weapons, helping them to move around, removing them from under hostile fire, giving them the findings of aerial reconnaissance, maps of where Syrian government forces are operating and even the locations of Russian military detachments.

Things have gotten to the point where it is not the military capability of the Islamic State but the American assistance which stands in the way of the total liberation of Syria from terrorists.

This, says Kiselyov, is not his own idea: it is the official position of the Russian Ministry of Defense as issued through its spokesman this week, Igor Konashenkov.

Kiselyov resumes:

The Americans deny everything. But the RF Ministry of Defense does not believe their words, relying instead on facts. We recall in the past week how part of the main road connecting Palmyra and Deir Ezzor was taken over by the fanatics.

This is the main artery supplying the Syrian forces leading the offensive from Deir Ezzor against the remaining forces of the terrorists in Syria. De facto this was an attack in the rear. This was planned and facilitated by the Americans.

In parallel, on 28 September a large group of terrorists numbering about 300 men left the area of the American base in Et Tanf at the Jordanian border. In this area there is a refugee camp numbering tens of thousands.

 

 

Per Kiselyov, the Americans have cut off the refugee camp, not allowing in UN or other humanitarian relief convoys, so as to use the camp as cover, a human shield, for the Islamic State fighters they are supporting.

 

Then comes the direct warning from Konashenkov: If the US forces see these attacks by mobile units of terrorists they are assisting as “unforeseen random events,” then Russian armed forces in Syria are prepared to totally destroy all such random events directed against the zone under their control.

Kiselyov asks why is this happening?  Did Trump decide this?

The question is rhetorical. Trump is exculpated.  It may be “amazing,” but it appears that Trump was not a party to this.  More likely it is due to what he calls sloppy management, when the military gets out from under political control, and then on the territory of Syria, “they start wandering around quite on their own” and “flirting” with the terrorist groups.

Whatever the case, says Kiselyov, the result is extremely unpleasant both for Russia and for the American leadership as its generals are being pushed towards adventurism.

Konashenkov characterized the area in Syria under American control near the Jordanian border as a “black hole” that is 100 km long. From this black hole, like devils escaping from a snuff box, the terrorists come out to stage their attacks on Syrian troops and against the peaceful civilian population.

The feature segment moves on to a calm note, with insistence that Putin remains confident in the victory over the terrorists regardless of who is aiding them. 

To demonstrate this Olympian calm, which comes from certainty of victory in the near future, we are shown footage of Putin’s response to questions put to him at the Energy Forum in Moscow at mid-week.

Putin tells us that:

“in the end, we all [presumably including the Americans] have common interests in securing Syria and the region against terrorists and that will bring us together for cooperative action.”

In the meantime though, we are treated to videos showing the consequences of Russian air activity in Syria this past week.

That included more than 400 sorties of Russian planes based in Syria, plus bombing by SU 134 and 135 arriving from Russian territory that killed a dozen or more terrorist leaders together with 50 security personnel and seriously injured their top official, who lost an arm and sank into a coma.

Russian air attacks destroyed the terrorists’ main underground weapons caches amounting to a thousand tons.  And an attack by Kalibr cruise missiles launched from submarines in the Mediterranean destroyed Islamic State command installations and vehicles as well as weapons supplies. This cleared the way for Syrian troops to move to liberate the town of Meyadin.

The dots are left unconnected, but the Russian threat is clear: they will use their air power to eliminate all forces standing in the way of their complete victory including US forces on the ground near the Jordanian border.

The same news round-up last night also had another segment that relates in less direct fashion to the coming Russian victory in Syria: this was a week when the king of Saudi Arabia made the first state visit to Russia in their 90 plus years of diplomatic relations. And it was not a simple affair.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud brought with him a suite of 1,000, including business leaders, ministry officials and senior military.  We are told they came with 100 tons of baggage, including favorite carpets and other necessities of life.

All aspects of this visit were impressive, including the signing of contracts and letters of intent for multi-billion dollar joint investments in industrial projects in both countries, possible Saudi purchases of Russian Liquefied Natural Gas from yet another mega-project seeking financing and multi-billion dollar military procurement, said to include the latest S-400 air defense system that Russia agreed to supply to Turkey a few weeks ago in exchange for a 2.5 billion dollar down payment and which Turkey accepted gratefully over NATO objections.

Putin quipped to the moderator of the Moscow Energy Forum also held during the past week that nothing is forever, not even the U.S. hold on the Saudis.

Kiselyov placed the visit in the context of Russian foreign policy in the region generally. Putin, he said, is pursuing a policy of seeking peaceful harmony in the Near East that takes into account the balance of interests of all countries in the region, a policy which is paying off:

Russia is now the only country in the world to have good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Iraq and, of course, Syria.

From both segments it would appear that US domination is unraveling.

Gilbert Doctorow is a professional Russia watcher and actor in Russian affairs going back to 1965. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1967), a past Fulbright scholar, and holder of a Ph.D. with honors in history from Columbia University (1975). After completing his studies, Mr. Doctorow pursued a business career focused on the USSR and Eastern Europe. For twenty-five years he worked for US and European multinationals in marketing and general management with regional responsibility. From 1998-2002, Doctorow served as the Chairman of the Russian Booker Literary Prize in Moscow.

This article was originally published by Russia Insider

Russia Resurrected: The Putin Doctrine of Leadership Steel

Russia Resurrected: The Putin Doctrine of Leadership Steel

Russia Resurrected: The Putin Doctrine of Leadership Steel

Russia Resurrected: The Putin Doctrine of Leadership Steel

Russia in 2017 under the brilliantly resilient, tough and strategically visionary leadership of President Vladimir Putin is back in international relations in a way it has not been since the final days of its dominant leadership of the USSR under Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s. The Western Alliance would be wise to note Russia’s impressive return to the World Stage and seek to forge a new detente with President Putin’s Russia striving for a more creative, cooperative, harmonious and productive Russo-Western relationship. With the return of the masterful Russian Bear as a rising quasi-oil and gas energy superpowermilitary superpower and dynamic force in global Power Politics the United StatesGreat Britain and their European allies in the EU and NATO should seek a new accommodation and grand bargain with President Putin’s Russia. 

When the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991 the USSR stood as the worlds second largest economy with a proud record of ground-breaking achievements in science, technology, space exploration, the arts, ballet, architecture and much more. As a military Superpower, the Soviet Union and the Russian people in particular, proved themselves as the Red Army, one of the greatest military fighting forces mankind has ever known and only rivalled by the United States after the historic and epic defeat of the Nazi German Wehrmacht and Japanese Imperial Forces during the events of World War II.

With the fall of the USSR Russia entered into a terrible period of instability and chaos much of which was deliberately engineered and inflicted by the West (led by the United States and its junior partner Britain) to kick the Russian Bear when he was down for some perverse reason and to humiliate and weaken Russia for good. Unfortunately the British who had benefited so much from Russian strength and courage during WWII forgot that old English adage that you never kick a man when he is down. The way the American and British Governments behaved towards Moscow post-1991 was nothing short of a truly treacherous scandal in particular the foolish and unnecessary expansion of NATO to absorb former Warsaw Pact countries.

I remember clearly the political-governmental chaos and instability towards the end of the 1990s in President Boris Yeltsin’s Russia with the Rubble Crisis of the summer/autumn of 1998 during turmoil in Asian markets and then a string of different Prime Ministers appointed by Yeltsin. I remember Yeltsin went through quite a few Prime Ministers towards the end of his tenure, so many it was difficult keeping up with his new appointees and learning their new impressive and exotic Russian names. One such new Prime Minister caught my eye because I realised this was a great vigorous statesman of intellectual, political, social, cultural and physical calibre of leadership potential who could actually restore strength and steel to the Kremlin and Russian policy. It was the 47 year old Vladimir Putin appointed Prime Minister in the summer/autumn of 1999 and then Acting President on December 31st 1999 when President Yeltsin announced his surprise resignation ahead of the spring 2000 Presidential elections.

In many ways there is such ignorance and disrespect towards Russia and its contribution to culture, arts, history – and significantly to planetary peace – with its heroic contribution to the defeat of Nazi Fascism in Europe and Japanese Imperialist Fascism in Asia in 1945. Russia and the Russian people have always been far more than their political structures and it has always been extremely disrespectful and short sighted of both American Governments, British Governments and even some European Governments to view Moscow continually as an “Evil Empire” and whip up anti-Russian hysteria in their populations and intelligence & security services. This is simply counterproductive and stupid.

The way of Russian life suits the Russian people and Russian people see in President Putin a Leader of a strong Government and Strong Kremlin able to defend, nourish and enhance that way of life and those prized values. A maintenance of traditional Russian national identity, law and order, strength and stability at home, while abroad, projecting and channelling Russian power smartly in defence of a multilateral international order based on international law at the United Nations while always robustly defending and articulating the Russian national interest and increasingly the guardian against reckless unilateral US-UK led ideological regime change operations.

This trend started under British Prime Minister Tony Blair and was based upon his Doctrine on the International Community delivered in Chicago in April 1999 during the NATO Kosovo War and was also practiced by Presidents Clinton & Bush Jnr, and to a certain extent President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron. In The Leadership Doctrine of President Putin its elements are of a strong assertion of Russian interests at home and abroad. Internationally this has been of particular success in the reestablishment of Russia as the key player in the Syrian crisis if not now the de facto broker of peace in the Middle East and a rising regional power force in Middle Eastern affairs and South East Asian affairs not seen since the days of before the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. This is the President Putin of Steel Leadership Doctrine. The Putin Doctrine of Great Power Leadership.

It is a great shame that Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland led by the British Prime Minister Rt. Hon Theresa May MP did not have have an equally strong, resolute and strategically intellectually brilliant Head of Government/Head of State such as Russia is gifted with in President Vladimir Putin during these critical times for Britain and the European Union. Under President Putin’s Government and leadership the Russian economy has rebounded significantly and strengthened and grown, innovated and diversified, into a natural energy oil & gas superpower economy while Russia is increasingly making its voice heard in world affairs and robustly asserting itself. The Russian military and army are second only to the United States and China. Under President Putin’s leadership muscle Russia muscle back in World Affairs as a superpower.

Russia destroys chemical weapons, USA postpones destruction

Destruction of Last Chemical Munition in Russia is ‘Historic Event’ – Putin

Sputnik – September 27, 2017

Sputnik – September 27, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the destruction of the last chemical munitions in the country a “historic event.”

The last kilogram of Russia’s 40,000-tonne stockpile of chemical warfare agents, which was contained in two artillery shells, was destroyed on Wednesday at the Kizner facility in Udmurtia.

Attending the event via video link, Putin said that it is “a huge step towards” a more balanced and secure world, stressing that Russia had held the largest chemical stockpiles in the world. Putin also said Russia was working closely with partners to save mankind from the threat of the use and spread of chemical weapons.

“In this regard, I would like to recall the key role of our country in solving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria,” he said.

The president pointed out that Moscow is fulfilling all of its obligations under the non-proliferation treaties and expects that other countries, including the United States, will follow in Russia’s footsteps.

“As is known, Russia was the largest holder and possessor of chemical weapons, and so far the United States, which unfortunately does not fulfill its obligations on the timing of the destruction of chemical weapons, has already three times postponed the destruction on the pretext of lack of funds, which sounds very strange,” he pointed out.

The elimination of chemical materials was conducted under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an arms control treaty that prohibits the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The treaty, which came into force in 1997, has been signed by 192 states as of April 2016.

Russia joined the CWC in 1997 and was initially expected to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles by December 31, 2018.

The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

September 18, 2017

by Israel Shamir for the Unz Review

The Lucy Stein Gang Rides Into Moscow

Can the Putin Fans League win municipal elections in New York City? Not bloody likely, you’ll murmur, and probably justifiably so. However, in the municipal elections last week, pro-American forces captured one third of the seats in Moscow. A great shock, slightly mitigated by the media silence that accompanied both the election and its results.

As a rule, I do not dwell much on internal Russian politics (as opposed to foreign relations). They are parochial, obscure and not democratic. That is true for internal politics in every country I am aware of, but in Russia, they aren’t even competitive. Kremlin wiseguys try and fix the results with all the subtleness of Democratic primaries under Ms Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This time they had a seemingly brilliant idea: wouldn’t it be nice if few people would turn up at the election booths? Only those requested to vote? So they had zero publicity, zero announcements, zero TV coverage. People were vaguely aware of the municipal elections but the affair was so low profile that very few cared to attend: slightly over ten per cent of the electorate. The cynical subterfuge flopped badly.

In Moscow (which is the only place in Russia that counts) the three main opposition parties, the Communists and the Nationalists, as well as Kremlin-friendly Socialists, were been decimated. Their votes had been snatched by pro-Western liberals, self-described as “those of good genes”, “the fair-faced ones”, “handshake-worthy”; all these epithets vaguely connected in Russian mind with prosperous Jewishness, of sorts, or with Jewified Soviet nomenclature. The best-known names include Ms Lucy Stein, a young Jewish journalist of some notoriety – she installed plaster copies of her breasts and filmed a staged act of a little boy being roughly treated by Putin’s police. Another one is Mr Maxim Katz, a young Jewish activist – he organized the delivery of flowers to the place of the opposition leader Mr Nemtsov’s assassination, allegedly with some profit for himself.

These youngsters (in their early twenties) have been led by Mr Dmitry Gudkov, a Russian Parliament Member and a son of a Russian Parliament Member. This sounds like the House of Lords, but Gudkov the Senior is an ex-KGB colonel, an oligarch and the owner of a bailiff business, rather than a hereditary peer. Gudkov’s people made a loose coalition with Yabloko (Apple, in Russian), a liberal party of some prominence in the Yeltsin years. They are against Putin’s policies, for the restoration of the Crimea to the Ukraine and for an alliance with the liberal West.

While other parties didn’t give a hoot, the liberals cared to come to the neglected elections, and they delivered their voters to the booths. For that purpose, they imported American technology, and one of Sanders’ operatives, a Russian-born Mr Vitali Shklyarov, who had come to set up what they called “a political Uber”, a web app for fielding candidates and getting voters. In addition, they vastly overspent their competitors.

Democracy in action? Forsooth! This was a clear-cut example of real (as opposed to imaginary) interference in foreign elections. While endless FBI probes have never produced any tangible proof of Russian interference in the US elections, and the Facebook investigation “revealed that it had sold as much as $150,000 in political ads to pro-Kremlin entities between 2015 and 2017”, the US interference in recent Moscow elections had been vast, powerful and effective. The pro-American forces spent over sixty million dollar in Moscow alone by very conservative estimates, and probably much more. And the funds came from abroad.

The very idea of Russian interference in the US elections had been flattering but silly. The Russians are not in the same league, in speaking of political technologies. The Americans are much more masterful, being trained in a competitive environment. The Russians’ only chance to have fair elections is adopting another American technology, namely the active fight against foreign interference. The Kremlin could and should investigate the path of every US buck to the Stein-Katz Gang, and deal with it as harshly as Americans are dealing with imaginary Russian interference. But would they? I doubt it. The wiseguys who mismanaged elections for Kremlin will do all they can to kill the story. No important Russian media carried it, by direct orders from Kremlin.

We have proof to back up our claims of the US interference in the Russian elections: a confession made by the coordinator for Open Russia, a political body created by Mr Michael Khodorkovsky. This oligarch, once the richest man in Russia, did nine years in a Russian jail for massive tax evasion, white-collar crimes, organized crime and conspiracy for murder, as brutal and ruthless a shark as ever swam murky waters of Russian business and politics.

Mr Khodorkovsky had been an American agent of influence for many years. Since being pardoned by President Putin, he moved abroad and became the focal point for the US-led clandestine campaign for regime change in Russia. Together with other exiled (and wanted) oligarchs, Tel Aviv-based Mr Nevzlinand London-based Mr Chichvarkin, Mr Khodorkovsky funnels money to Russia’s pro-Western opposition.

His coordinator Ms Maria Baronova had been quite close to Mr Khodorkovsky but parted with him some time ago. In her Facebook blog she admits that “Gudkov and Katz are a secret project of M. B. Khodorkovsky” while other elements of the opposition are a public project of Mr Khodorkovsky. In other words, the whole campaign has been organized from Washington, or perhaps from Langley.

As we learned from Wikileaks-published State Department cables, this is the current trend of CIA for orchestrating regime change: instead of sending money directly to the opposition with a courier, they employ oligarchs as go-between. This mode has been used in Syria since 2006, as well as in Lebanon, and now is being applied in Moscow.

The winners of the recent municipal elections in Moscow weren’t just the “fair-faced” children of nomenclature, but appointees of the US deep state. They did it using American know-how and American money. This is the real and very successful interference, and the organisers got away with it.

The Russian post-Soviet political system as organized by Putin’s wiseguys should share the blame. The Communists, Nationalists of Mr Zhirinovsky and Socialists of Mr Mironov have been tamed and house-broken so efficiently that they lost their balls, their will power, their desire for victory – and their voters, as well. People stopped to care about them. The ruling party United Russia isn’t better; it is a toothless clone of the toothless CPSU, the late Soviet Union Communist Party that was dismantled by Gorbachev and Yeltsin without a single objection from millions of card-carrying members. It is a party of people who want to have power and its privileges.

The Ukraine had been ruled by a similar Party of the Regions. Led by Mr Victor Yanukovych, the party fell to pieces after the coup, its members deserting the sinking ship as fast as they could. United Russia will also run away in a case of trouble; they will helplessly watch Mr Khodorkovsky enter the gates of the Kremlin and probably applaud him. The United Russia’s 70% of vote is no guarantee of support for Mr Putin’s independent course. It would be better for Putin to rely upon smaller but more reliable and devoted cadres. Lenin used to say, ‘a small anchovy is better than a big cockroach’.

(This is true for other countries, too, as Mr Trump and Mr Corbyn discovered: their big parties just aren’t reliable. A small and reliable party of their dedicated supporters would be a better bet.)

The Kremlin spokesmen comfort themselves and others by stressing very limited powers of the elected deputies. By law, they may deal with municipal questions only. However, it is not unusual for such bodies to reach for more power in a revolutionary situation. In France, in 1789, the elected parliament was intended to be an advisory to the monarch, but very soon it assumed all the powers and chopped off the king’s head. In the USSR, in 1991, the Russian Federation parliament had very few rights being subservient to the Soviet parliament, but it assumed rights and broke up the USSR.

Forget about Mr Navalny. Perhaps we should get used to the idea that the next president of Russia will be called Maxim Katz, and Lucy Stern his Foreign Minister. That is, unless Mr Putin will do a better job at the forthcoming Presidential elections.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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