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The Putinchina: The Yoke Is Again on Russia

Wednesday, 20 April 2005 12:00 AM

Where was Vladimir, the Noble Chekist with 'the warm heart, cool head and clean hands' who will return Russia to greatness?

Last seen, he was groveling in the dirt with his forehead to the ground somewhere to the east of Moscow.

With hordes of Chinese traders and workers pouring into the Russian Far Eastern and Maritime Provinces, and Chinese leaders, 'businessmen and investors' buying up and 'looting' Russia's S&T and military treasures, Putin and his siloviki brain trust seem incapable and unwilling of developing any Grand Global Strategy other than putting on knee pads and padding their bank accounts.

The Russian military, yet to really recover from the collapse of the Soviet Union, must be ecstatic about the coming war games with the PLA. Word is that Russian marines will be right between boats manned by Tibetan monks on one side and Hong Kong businessmen on the other as they invade the imaginary island of Taiwan.

Putin, who clearly aspires to have "Veliki" (i.e., the Great) imprinted on his historical legacy, seems more likely to see "Kalita" (Moneybags), or simply "the Chekist," as his sobriquet.

Just as the Opprichina has a rather sinister aura about it in Russian history, the Putinchina also promises to evoke dark images for future Russian generations. Once again in Russian history, a security elite appears to be on the verge of running amok, terrorizing a people while claiming to protect them, with the added humiliation of being an elite that pays homage and tribute to a foreign power.

The Putinchina may finally put a stake through the Chekist Myth, a myth Vladimir Putin and his siloviki skillfully manipulated to gain the presidency and the Russian state.

The irony of what might be the collapse of the Chekist state is that Russia's path and return to greatness as a world power probably required a Chekist to lead it. Despite the criticism that has been playing and rehashed in much of the mainstream media in the West, many of Putin's actions since taking office made perfect sense.

The need to reassert some centralized state authority; to take back control of government bureaucracies from the oligarchs at federal and provincial levels; to check the unchecked power of rapacious, gluttonous oligarchs who threatened the existence and the very notion of a Russian society; to simplify and standardize the tax code; to expose the corruption and control of media outlets by the oligarchs; to reassert a democratic Russia's national interests in the near abroad and globally were all legitimate goals that Putin pursued with some degree of success.

A leader, a former Chekist, who actually would have committed himself to be guided by the qualities and character of the Chekist Myth, while condemning the Chekist role in defending and promoting the Soviet system, may have had a chance in carrying out the reforms Russia needed.

Unfortunately, in almost every area where Putin has pursued necessary reforms, he has now overreached or ineptly bungled the implementation of reforms. Why?

The answer is quite simple. Putin and his siloviki didn't come clean with the Russian people, the peoples of the former Soviet Union, or the world.

By not coming clean, the same Chekist Myth that Putin and his siloviki exploited will continually crash head on with the legacy of the Chekist Reality.

A leadership that can't face the reality of the world in which it finds itself is not going to be able to identify or envision policies and solutions that function and operate predictably in the real world.

The collision and irreconcilability of the Chekist Myth, as promoted by Putin and his siloviki, and the legacy of Chekist Reality splashed across the world headlines right before the death of Pope John Paul II.

While "How to Kill a Polish Pope with a Turkish Nut" promises to be one of the best sellers to come out of the Stasi archives, it also put a spectacular spotlight on the pitiful attempt of Putin and his siloviki to escape the despicable and degenerate nature of the Chekist legacy, not only in Russia but also around the world.

Was Putin clutching in one hand an after-action report stamped "Mission Accomplished" with various dates crossed out since May 13, 1981 and a phone in the other to inform his Chinese 'partner' that he too would be sitting out the papal funeral?

Are there any true believers in the Chekist Myth left among the Chekists?

Russia and the world can only hope so. There are signs.

Meanwhile, sources at the NSA have informed members of Congress, and hence the media, that intercepted PDA messages between the Russian president, "Putin the Chekist," and the Chinese leader Hu Jintao are now employing some archaic and awkward encoded language.

One message specifically is causing concern. The message repeatedly being spammed from the Russian president to the Chinese leader:

"Our land is large, but we lack order, come and rule over us."

Analysts at NSA are puzzled. Analysts at the Center in Moscow are immersed in Chinese language classes.


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Where was Vladimir, the Noble Chekist with 'the warm heart, cool head and clean hands' who will return Russia to greatness? Last seen, he was groveling in the dirt with his forehead to the ground somewhere to the east of Moscow. With hordes of Chinese traders and...
Wednesday, 20 April 2005 12:00 AM
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