Chances are, you started paying attention to Russia right around the time that the Euromaidan coup was pulled off and the rebellion in the East began. Or, you came in around the time that the Syria intervention kicked off.
During this period, people on the internet began looking for explanations to understand what was occurring. They started asking questions like: what does Russia stand for? What is Russia’s plan? Is Russia back on the world stage as a serious player? And, what alternative can Russia offer the world?
They quickly found that Russia’s government was as murky and opaque as their own, and they had little choice but to fall back on the tea-leaf analyses of self-styled Russia experts on the internet. Without any exception, the big name pro-Russia bloggers of this period did not live in Russia, had no real insight into Russian politics, and used the informational vacuum on the topic to get away with saying whatever they wanted.
But we’ve learned so much in recent months. The war has put so much of the bullshit that we’ve been hearing about Russia, the Kremlin, the 5D plans to test. So many truths have surfaced now that can give us some hindsight perspective on what was really going on in the lead-up to this war.
These revelations are worth jotting down here, now.
Also, I realize that I’ve been a rather dour blogger over the last couple of months. If its any justification, believe me, I’ve been far more measured in my doom-posting than a large chunk of Russia’s Telegram analyst community. Right-wingers, in particular, like to get together on livestreams to ritually tear their hair out and throw accusations of treason at government officials, despite the inherent risk of engaging in such behavior. It would not surprise me in the slightest to see the FSB make an example out of one of them soon.
But I don’t want to constantly dwell on Russia’s past mistakes obsessively. I want to learn from them and use them to inform my view of the internal political situation in Russia, nothing more. Furthermore, I don’t have a personal axe to grind against the kleptocrats that run Russia, and, hopefully after this post, I will simply put a bookmark on the long string of past failures of the Russian government leading up to the current situation and focus instead on what will come next.
This ought to at least make my writing a bit more upbeat. And, frankly, it just isn’t in my nature to constantly repeat the same talking points over and over again. I quickly get tired of doing that. If I were a propagandist trying to convince people to think a certain way and adopt a new worldview, then repetition, repetition, and yet more repetition would be the most powerful tool in my arsenal. But I realize now that I’m not really trying to convince anybody of anything when I write. I can’t even say that I’m working to hone my craft. My non-fiction writing serves the simple function for which it is intended: to inform and entertain somewhat. And that is enough for me. Most importantly, it is simply a tool for me to organize my own thoughts and keep track of my own progress in understanding the world and the hidden power processes that govern it.
With this post, I hope to provide a short and concise overview of what really was happening in Russia to get us where we are today that doesn’t rely on 5D chess theories and explains why it has been difficult to figure out just what exactly Russia stands for, what they were aiming to achieve, and why things worked out the way that they did so far in Ukraine. Once that’s done, we will be able to move on, together, to new topics with this general understanding under our belts.
Anyway, with that long preamble out of the way, we really should start our narrative in the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union to understand how we got to where we are today.
A sizable faction of the Soviet elite was well and truly working towards rapprochement with the West towards the end of the Soviet Union. As far as I am aware, it was Comrade Andropov who first said what had been left unsaid up until that point. He characterized the convergence of the elites as an inevitable and favorable goal for both the USSR and the USA. If effected, the world would converge into a new world order somewhat similar to the NWO that we see coming into shape now, but with the East and the West as equal partners in it.
Gorbachev continued with efforts to bring the West and the East into alignment with his reforms. Needless to say, they were disastrous. Often unmentioned by anyone except Western conspiracy theorists, the other part of the bargain was that the West would also begin reforming to become more compatible with the East. Seeing as the West went into steep cultural decline from the 60s onwards, it appears that as the East was Westernizing, the West was Easternizing as well.
By the time that Boris Yeltsin and his gang of Jewish gangsters came to power, the terms of the deal had well and truly been changed, even if many elites in Russia still clung to the false hope that the West would treat them as equals. By the time that Putin succeeds Boris, it becomes clear that the West will not treat the Eastern elites equally and will not give them a seat at the big boys’ table. Putin starts off his presidency with the same positions as Yeltsin — he wanted rapprochement with the West and did what he could to curry favor by playing nice. And it seems that he well and truly hit it off with George W. Bush — the two enjoyed amicable relations.
But around the time of the Obama presidency, we begin to see changes occur in Russia’s attitudes towards the West. NATO expansion East was almost certainly the largest determining factor in the newfound pessimistic viewpoint that the Kremlin adopted. Furthermore, it was becoming clearer and clearer that the neocons in the West were serious about implementing the American century-of-hegemony project. In the aftermath of the fall of Ghadaffi, Putin decided to start doing what he can to bring the West to the negotiation table. Russia began looking for cards to play and took a more active role in resisting the West.
Despite numerous warnings and all the tell-tale signs of a brewing CIA color coup, Russia still managed to lose Kiev to Western-backed revolutionaries. Worse, the Kremlin forbade Yanukovich from calling in the army or cracking down on the coup. The only ones left holding the line against the terrorists were police cadets, who got brutally savaged by armed thugs and left to fend for themselves while the actual Berkut was largely kept back.
Thankfully, not even the most hopeless 5D chess theorists can spin the loss of Kiev to Victoria Nuland’s cookie-coup as a clever Judo move by Putin.
The Kremlin most likely also prevented Yanukovich from heading to his strongholds in the East to raise support there. Chances are, he probably stole too much from Moscow’s oligarchs, and they were content to see him ousted. In time, the Kremlin no doubt surmised, Kiev would hold new elections and yet another Eastern Ukrainian mafia don would take power again. In the meantime, the oil and gas continued to flow across the territory, so the situation was by and large acceptable to the oligarchs interests.
So, for them, so long as the profits continued to flow, and Ukraine remained dominated by networks of Jewish oligarchs that had shown themselves to be open to accepting Moscow’s bribes in exchange for neutrality towards Russia, the new status quo could be tolerated. Plans for drastic and decisive action were tabled and such talk was vigorously clamped down on by Russia’s liberal private and state-run media. Only certain segments of the patriot blog sounded the alarm on their various blogs and social media accounts.
Concurrently with Euromaidan, the government of Lvov had been taken in a Maidan-type coup and the region proceeded to declare its intent to become independent of Kiev. When Kiev was taken, this was all forgotten. But, just as one separatist movement fizzled out, another one began. Furthermore, a precedent had been set in both Lvov and Kiev. Despite the Kremlin’s laissez-faire attitude to the events occurring in Ukraine, patriotic Russian nationalists like, most famously, Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, organized a populist uprising in the East. Rebels tried to take the government buildings in much the same way as was done in Kiev. In some regions, this action was successful, but in others, armed gangs and the SBU prevented the separatist coups. Regardless, these actions triggered a response from Kiev and the situation began to spiral out of control shortly after the Ukrainian army was sent in. Kiev’s ATO (anti-terrorist operation) began shortly after and bedlam ensued.
The separatist rebels enjoyed early successes against the unmotivated, disorganized and poorly-equipped Ukrainian army. But volunteer gangs of mercenaries sent in by Kiev and on the pay of the various Jewish oligarchs began to turn the tide against the rebellion. At long last, with defeat of the rebels imminent, Russia did a partial intervention in Debaltseve which got Kiev to back off. From then on, the Kremlin committed to providing a lifeline to the separatists, but also did everything in its power to prevent further escalation. No advances against Ukrainian positions were allowed. Volunteers, funds, equipment and weapons were routinely arrested at the border. Charismatic separatist militia commanders who were disliked by either Ukraine’s or Moscow’s oligarchs suddenly began dropping like flies. For 8 years, Kiev shelled the separatist cities while NATO re-armed and re-trained the Ukrainian army. As we now know, Russia largely did nothing during this time in way of military preparation. If anything, they downplayed the significance of Kiev’s attacks and provocations because it would jeopardize their precious Minsk I and II deals. These agreements were never honored by the Ukrainian side and never achieved the stated goals of the Kremlin.
Putin, in a moment of candor, ended up admitting that waiting for 8 years to do something was a bloody and costly mistake.
The Special Military Operation
For reasons that are still not readily apparent, possibly an imminent Ukrainian attack on Donetsk, Putin ordered a strike force to invade Ukraine on the 24th of February in an attempt to effect a coup d’etat in Kiev. This operation was almost certainly prepared based on intelligence provided by the so-called “5th Service” of the FSB and the network that they had set up in the country. With a few exceptions, this plan failed everywhere it was attempted. When the lightly-armed Russian soldiers reached Kiev, they found that there was no plan for the taking of the city, and that the gates of the city hadn’t been opened from within as was almost certainly what they had been led to expect would happen. The surrender of Kharkov then turned out to be a fake-out and it almost led to a repeat of Grozny i.e., an ambush of Russian columns entering the city along the main road. Cities like Mariuple that had been largely undefended 8 years ago, had been turned into fortresses. Operations to liberate them would prove to be costly and time-consuming.
Russia was forced to retreat soon after the initial strike to regroup and then launch a more conventional operation against entrenched Ukrainian positions in the East. Months of deadlock and grinding ensued. Eventually, it became clear that the Russians had committed far too few men and that, having failed to knock out Kiev, Ukraine’s army, equipped by the West, had time to mobilize and could now go on the counterattack against Russia. In quick succession, Russia lost Kharkov and then Kherson. During this time, the Kremlin finally accepted reality and gives the green light to begin mobilizing more men. Problems ensued as it became clear that the military had largely been gutted by previous defense ministers leading to a deficit in officers, equipment and infrastructure. Furthermore, a growing awareness of the need to have a second and possibly a third wave of mobilization began to dawn on many analysts. This conclusion, however, at the time of my writing up this summary is vociferously denied by the Kremlin and their various mouthpieces. It is unclear why.
We now wait to see if the first wave is enough to hold back the Ukrainian counterattack or whether more territories will have to be abandoned. Zaporozhiye is the most likely domino to fall next.
Then, having had time to reinforce, we wait to see if Russia will be able to stabilize the contact line. No serious commentator or analyst believes that a Russian advance is possible with the paltry numbers of soldiers that Russia is able to field now. The serious debate is about a) where exactly the Russians will try to hold a defensive line against Kiev’s larger army, and b) when exactly the second mobilization will be announced and how slow and effective it will be compared to the first one.
Should Russia be able to mobilize 1.5–2 million men quickly, then a counteroffensive becomes possible again. But, again, this depends largely on the political will of the Kremlin. It also depends on the power balance within the Kremlin. Finally, it depends, to a lesser extent, on the goodwill and trust of the Russian peasants in their own government. The prevailing sentiment in Russia is what you would expect: discounting the urban Liberal elite, the Russian people are far more patriotic than their own government.
The Great Russian Restoration
The beginning of the SMO caused a great convulsion in Russian society. The Liberal Opposition began to array itself for battle in the media and the streets against the “Fascist” Putinist government.
They found themselves pre-empted and swiftly shut down by the police.
It was a breathtaking spectacle to behold. The shutdown was so smooth and well-organized and uncompromising that the Liberal Opposition suffered the worst defeat it had ever experienced in the country’s history. Within a few weeks, major flagship liberal media projects were shut down and large media personalities and political figures found themselves fleeing for Israel, Latvia, Georgia and Turkey.
I wrote extensively and enthusiastically about all of this at the time.
You really should take the time to read my “Great Russian Restoration” series of essays if you haven’t already. I’ve reread them myself for this post and I think they hold up, even months later. Some of them are downright prescient, frankly.
I also gave an overview of the general state of the military. As well as the kvetching of the oligarchs. And how even the Orthodox Church was forced to clean up the subversives within its own ranks.
However, I had to abandon that series of essays, even though it was by far the most popular and widely-circulated writings that I produced. The series came to a premature end, but not because I lost steam or interest in the topic or anything like that though. I had to stop writing about it because there was simply nothing new to report by the start of summer. It seems that the changes were happening too fast and were too alarming for the Kremlin, so they dialed it all back. Or, perhaps, they themselves were surprised by the extent of the shake-up that had occurred and so decided to rein things in.
No prominent government officials lost their positions or their heads as was hoped for by many patriots in Russia. The same rogue’s gallery of crooks and cretins who seized power in the 90s and 00s occupy the same positions as before.
Furthermore, it seems that we have reached the limit of what the Kremlin is willing to consider in terms of internal reforms for now. Either the situation drastically worsens in some way, necessitating a swift reaction from the Kremlin, or internal forces like the largely unorganized, but massive patriot bloc does something to shake things up internally again. Many Russian bloggers, myself included, have come to believe that the Kremlin is largely bereft of any larger vision, strategic plan or any new ideas at all for the country. The only silver lining is that the old plan — integration with the globalist one world government — has been sabotaged. But if the positive process of “sovereignization” is to continue, the driver for it has to likely be forces within the country that are outside of the Kremlin or further pressure must be brought to bear on the country from external enemies. Barring that, the Kremlin will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo as best they can. For people who want to see a revanchist, re-militarized and re-invigorated Russia retaking her place on the world stage and taking the fight to the globalist new world order, the current status quo is simply unacceptable.
In the meantime, Russia’s elites continue to make deals with the West on the sidelines and continue to try and prevent any further escalation in rhetoric or measures taken to combat the NWO. This is largely because most of Russia’s elites still desperately hope for a convergence of one kind or another. It’s one thing if Putin forces the West to come to the table to offer better terms for Russia’s elites with his brinkmanship. It’s quite another matter if an actual open conflict between the West and Russia begins, dashing plans for integration with the West for the foreseeable future.
The Russian Idea
We have seen a drastic escalation in rhetoric coming from people like President Putin, who now refers to the West as Satanic and fundamentally opposed to the continued existence of Russia as a sovereign state. Furthermore, pundits and even generals refer to the current conflict as an existential war against NATO and the NWO. Despite this, few measures are being taken domestically to reflect this new reality. There is no great economic mobilization going on. There is no “New Russia” idea being promoted by patriotic thinkers. No large populist movements take to the streets to wave flags and show their patriotic support for their troops and so on.
It appears that the Kremlin is afraid and wary of the very people that it rules over. It seems quite clear that they fear unleashing a patriot-populist movement because they know that the populace is far to the right of them on almost every social, political and economic issue. As a result, despite popular support for the war, the government has discouraged large-scale marches and other citizens’ initiatives to support the effort. In many ways, the situation is indeed comparable to the state of affairs in pre-Revolutionary Russia where the secret police spent most of its time rounding up Black Hundreds populist-patriots and turning a blind eye to organized Jewish terrorist cells in the country.
We are left asking the same questions that we began with almost a decade ago.
What does Russia stand for? What does Russia fight for? Why should Russians lay down their lives in the current war and the wars to come?
The government has provided no real answer to these questions. And, again, it appears that a large part of the nomenklatura is dragging its heels or actively in denial of the new reality that Russia faces. More effort is expended by the state media and the government on trying to mollify and calm the Russian people down than in trying to provide a coherent plan of action going forward. This is largely due to the fact that the Russian government is flying by the seat of its pants and has no plans whatsoever for what to do next or how to prevent further escalation. As a result, they cannot announce that an offensive will begin before Christmas or that a new 5-year plan to put the country on a solid military footing is being put into effect. All they can repeat over and over again is that everything is fine, that there is no cause for concern, and that there’s nothing to see here or there.
Now, my analysis flies in the face of what you have been hearing from all the large pro-Russia bloggers. This is because these other writers are simply dogmatic propagandists for a certain party line. Furthermore, they get their information from Russian government sources, which they trust blindly. Me, I am not a propagandist for any standing government anywhere. Instead, I see myself as an advocate for the Russia of the past that we lost and the Russia of the future that we must become again.
With all of this committed to virtual paper, I hope to be able to move on with my writing and my analyses. I don’t want to keep rehashing the same talking points over and over, and, going forward, I will simply link this post as my executive background primer on Russia and just move forward, whether people are ready to follow or not. We’re actually in uncharted territory now, and the only thing preventing us from boldly launching an expedition to explore it are these lingering preconceptions and narratives that blind us to the reality that we now face. In other words, a person who is still waiting for the other shoe to fall on Putin’s 5D Eurasian Judo-flip to checkmate NATO is not capable of soberly analyzing the fateful crossroads that Russia is standing at now.
Decisions are being made in key areas now that will determine the fate of Russia in the coming years.
Specifically, these are:
The scale and pace of the ongoing military mobilization;
The economic model going forward;
The adoption of a so-called “Russian Idea”;
The attitude of the authorities to the patriotic bloc;
The roster of the cadres of the Kremlin elite;
The expansion of the scope of the conflict.
Much depends on the developments in these key areas. It is my position that without drastic reforms, Russia simply won’t be able to hold out against NATO. It is also my position that the Kremlin won’t take the necessary measures unless forced at gunpoint to do so either by external or internal pressure. Furthermore, I assert that there is no 5D chess plan, only prevailing and countervailing forces exerting pressure on the Kremlin and the country at large. These forces and the pressure that they apply are only growing in intensity and you can almost hear the government apparatus groaning from the strain.
Russia is once again facing an existential threat to its continued survival as a sovereign state.
Either the country becomes strong enough to stand on its own two feet and put up a serious fight, or we will live to see a repeat of the 90s and another iteration of the Time of Troubles occur all over again.