The Great Russian Restoration II: The Social Media Purge and the Birth of “Russian Internet Sovereignty”
The Great Russian Restoration III: Draining the Ukrainian Political Swamp
The Great Russian Restoration IV: The State of Opposition Nationalist Politics in Russia
There have been multiple overviews of the situation in Ukraine from former government officials, former military officers and veteran Russia watchers over the last month. Most of them present a fairly accurate macro-picture of the situation and include the proper basics with which to form an accurate analysis of the current conflict. NATO expansion, broken promises, pipelines with Germany, Neocon animus and so on are all certainly necessary to understand the larger political “context” in which the events are occurring.
Others have focused on the actual day-to-day analysis of the conflict, doing their best to piece together the speed and direction of the Russian advance and the tactics being employed by both sides. Unfortunately, the people trying to provide sober macro and micro analyses of the conflict are a distinct minority, completely dwarfed by those promoting the political narrative of NATO, and to a lesser extent, the official line of the Russian Federation. There is enough material out there for people to make up their own minds about which political narrative to get invested in, and I don’t believe that I can add anything of value to the conversation by rehashing what has already been said in the attempt to convince those who have already made up their minds on the topic.
But few have mentioned or analyzed the rapid changes that are occurring within Russian society on the administrative, ideological and social levels. Who can blame them? Perhaps this is because these changes are occurring so quickly and the Grad showers followed by the red-orange hues of the after-blast have captivated the attention of the internet. War is an incredible thing to witness and we can now see it unfold from the safety of our internet devices as its uploaded to Twitter and Telegram faster than we can keep up with it. At this point, even though I personally have an intimate knowledge of the territory on which the war is being waged, it has become difficult to keep track of who captured what, advanced where and hit what target. I can only imagine the informational overload for the average Westerner trying to keep track and keep score.
But just as impressive as the smoking ruins of a Ukrainian jet or a BTR column is the stunning news that “Echo Moscow” has been shot down as well. To those that do not know, Echo Moscow is the NPR or perhaps even New York Times equivalent in Russia. In other words, it is the leading liberal opposition media outlet that has promoted the neoliberal political line in Russia since its inception in 1990 and its vocal support for the neoliberal President Boris Yeltsin. At the time, the political situation was in flux, with USSR hard-liners staging a half-hearted, poorly-planned coup to attempt to salvage the USSR against the “liberal reformers” who had decided to detonate the project. From that point onwards, Echo Moscow supported the work of the reformers, whose names are probably well-known to most Russia-watchers (Chubais, Gaidar, Yeltsin, etc.) who famously sold off state assets for pennies on the dollar to Jewish gangsters and Western companies, creating a system of oligarchic control and a massive, country-wide looting operation that has still, to this day, not fully been shut down.
When, on March 1st, Echo Moscow was shut down by Roskomnadzor (the Russian media watch body), this should have sent shockwaves around the world. It would, perhaps, almost be the equivalent of the Democratic Party shutting down Fox News in the United States. Alexei Venediktov, the editor-in-chief (Jewish) of the organization since its inception, is a veritable icon of the Liberal idea in Russia. But the shutdowns didn’t stop there. Dozhd (Rain), which was a media project aimed at indoctrinating the millennial crowd with SJW ideas, was closed down as well. Tikhon Dzyadko (Jewish), the chief editor, fled the country. The Village, a similar self-described “hipster” project, was closed down as well. Meduza, a media project that mostly transcribed Vice op-eds word for word, had to flee to Riga last year. The Radio Free Europe affiliate in Russia also had to relocate from Moscow to Kiev last year—a poor choice in retrospect. Finally, the Novaya Gazeta (New Gazette), run by none other than Gorbachev himself (nominally), is almost certainly next on the chopping block.
Naturally, most of these media projects are run by Jews and promote the same neoliberal agenda that their cousins in the West promote. And, as victims of the Liberal Occupation Government, we should all understand that Liberal Democracy cannot function without Liberal institutions, of which the media is certainly one of the most important. The media’s role, after all, is to shape political narratives and to outline the acceptable parameters of political discourse. It is the Liberal media that decides what is reasonable, desirable and moral and, of course, what is extremist, hateful and unethical. The Liberal media’s self-appointed job is to decide what should be shut out of civil discourse either through soft or hard methods of censorship.
As such, the implications of Russia shutting down a powerful Liberal institution like the media should be clear to anyone paying attention, but I will elaborate so that there is no confusion about what this means. In simple words: Russia is moving away from the political model of Liberal Democracy and moving back to the traditional Russian political model of Nationalism/Authoritarianism.
But the media is not the only key pillar supporting Liberal Democrat political system— the Oligarchs who finance the media are certainly no less important. Generally, as a rule, the business class of any country since the time of the ancient Greeks supports liberal policies. Granted, there have historically been economically nationalist business elites in places like Germany and even individual titans of industry like Ford in America who have promoted nationalist politics and economic protectionism. But these appear to be the exception, not the rule. Business oligarchs tend to support migrant labor, less government oversight, and political parties who support political measures that will enable these companies to pay less taxes, access international financial markets and to stash their own money in overseas banks. They then invest in skilled ideologists who propagandize the business interests of this caste and cloak it in moral rhetoric. No doubt we have all by now heard quite a bit about the sanctity of the free market, we’ve been morally assuaged by businesses flying BLM and LGBTQRCODE flags, and we accept that the routine buying and selling of politicians by lobbyists in Washington is just part and parcel of the democratic process.
The best example of the tight alliance between the oligarchs and the liberal media in Russia is the aforementioned “Echo Moscow,” which was supported by Gazprom, a quasi-government monopoly company run by Alexey Miller (German/Jewish), who also supported many other liberal political and cultural projects with Russian gas money. This has now come to an end. Gazprom’s media arm has cut funding to Venidiktov’s operation, which has led to much kvetching and the threat of a lawsuit on the part of the Echo Moscow team. Remember: the Echo Moscow media project was majority owned and financed by Gazprom. Meanwhile, Venediktov has openly declared that he is the victim of political repression and that the screws were tightened on Gazprom by Putin himself. There is no reason to believe that he is particularly off-base with his assessment.
Now, the Deep State in the West understands this political situation very well and they have always placed their bets on the Russian oligarchs being able to overthrow Putin and his “siloviki” (military/security people) in the long-run. The formula was simple: support the interests of the big business liberal elite and their media projects to rile the Russian people up and to eventually effect a Maidan-type coup to overthrow the government and install a pro-Western regime. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because the plan for Russia sounds a lot like the plan for Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan and many other states that have had color revolutions in the recent past.
Here, it is worth mentioning another key component of the plan: the nationalists.
In Russia and most of the FSU, the nationalists aligned themselves with the liberals and worked to provide the muscle to form a “taran” (a ram—their words) against which to batter down the gates of the Kremlin. If this is starting to sound familiar… well, frankly, it should all be starting to become quite clear at this point. Once you know the playbook of the Western Deep State, it’s quite easy to see through the ideological smokescreen and the high-minded rhetoric to see what’s really happening behind closed doors. Many prominent nationalists in Russia declared themselves the sworn enemies of Putin and promoted a form of “National-Liberalism” or “National-Democracy” that allowed them to ideologically justify their alliance (and salaries) from oligarchs like the Ukrainian Kholomoisky and marching together with the Liberal opposition against Putin. I plan to come back to the Russian nationalists and the positive recent changes that have occurred in their camp in another article in the near future. It was simply necessary to briefly touch on them and their role to provide an overview of the political situation in Russia.
All in all though, the Deep State’s plan still very much remains in force.
However, recent events have proven that Putin, who seemed content to allow the situation to fester in a state of political stalemate for the last 20 years, has decided to move against this Liberal faction. He has been helped along by the recent economic attacks of the West. The sanctions targeting Russia’s oligarchs seemed intended to poke and prod them into action—to force them to organize politically to demand that Putin accede to the West’s demands so that their hidden stashes of money and their lines to Western credit wouldn’t be seized. And as we can see now, the business class in Russia is clearly feeling the pressure as a result of Western sanctions and Putin has decided to apply his own pressure on these oligarchs, effectively serving as the anvil to the west’s hammer. We now have Dmitry Medvedev, the former President and Prime Minister, testing the political waters and openly talking about a sweeping economic nationalization program. To even utter such words would have been unheard of a month ago, as it would be a violation of the detente that the Putin and the Liberal Oligarch faction had maintained for the better part of the last two decades. In contrast, patriots of all stripes and colors in Russia, whether they be communists, centrists, Putinists or even many un-bought nationalists, have been calling for this measure since the disastrous fallout from the privatization campaign of the 90s under the Yeltsin administration became readily apparent.
To reiterate: we now see active measures being taken by Putin’s administration to shut down the Liberal media and to strip the enemy oligarchs of their assets. In practice, this will mean the government taking greater control of key industries and Putin putting his people in charge of them. The end result should look quite similar to the Chinese model, which Putin has often praised before in the past for its ability to defend national interests and promote economic projects that are in line with the government’s own stated goals. This synthesis between the state and big business has been defined by Marxists in the 70s as the agreed upon textbook definition of Fascism even though it was practiced by Monarchies, Communist states, National Socialist states and literally every single nation state in history during times of war or economic crisis. We will have more to discuss on this front as the days go by, but there is little reason to believe that Medvedev is bluffing on this front. With Russia squarely facing down NATO, the country will be forced into adopting a war economy, and that necessarily means a greater integration of the state and big business, with disloyal elements in the business class almost certainly put on a purge shortlist.
But there is certainly more in the works that will become readily apparent in the days and weeks that follow.
In just one week, Russian civil society has been shaken to its core:
Lines are being drawn between traitors and loyalists within workplaces, universities, and at the bazaar.
The Duma may not survive in its current state for long.
Martial law is being openly discussed.
Talk of QR codes and implementing the 2030 agenda in place like Moscow and St. Petersburg has all but been abandoned.
Liberals are boarding planes and heading for Georgia, Armenia, Turkey and Riga (another poor choice, perhaps).
Central Asian migrants are being deported in droves and many are fleeing of their own volition.
If the 90s saw a new, Liberal Democratic Oligarchy emerge from the chaos of the last days of the Soviet Union, then the 2020s are shaping up to be the death knell of that old political order. Russia is going through yet another political metamorphosis right before our very eyes.