Ruthless Russia

It was but all a dream to ever believe Russia would be benign and peaceful under Putin. Deplorably, numerous people in strategic posts misjudged Russia.

Today the Kremlin is on the offensive. It has positioned military and ex-security service personal in charge of Russian industry and all key governmental posts. It is liquidating its adversaries even across international borders, has gagged the media, suppressed civil liberties, harassed foreign diplomats, intimidated businessmen and NGOs, it's threatened to target Europe with ABM missiles, it carried out intense cyber attacks against its neighbor, Estonia and it's using pipeline power to shake down its near abroad and wrest the rest of Europe into line. As if that weren't enough, an even more sinister development has arisen.

Putin has created a very sophisticated youth movement made up of over 100,000 volunteers called "Nashi", much like a clone of the Nazi youth movement. It is a well-equipped, fanatical, nationalistic private army that is hostile to foreigners and to any political group opposing the Kremlin leadership. Their aggressive behavior is not only tolerated by the authorities but also even encouraged. They help re-enforce local police; wearing black attire, they aggressively beat anyone they consider hooligans or insurrectionist.

They have been taught to believe that the United States is actively preparing a pro-western revolution in their country and that they will thwart it. They have developed high-level recruiting and training camps right across the expanse of Russia. Not only are they schooled in a variety of military issues, they also have orientation courses in such esoteric subjects as gestalt therapy, to help them to survive under extreme conditions.

This newly created, virtual army needs to be closely monitored and taken very seriously as it could well get out of hand and take on an even more menacing function.

What might come as a surprise to some readers is that the average citizen is not pleased with the way Putin has carried out his mandate and conducted his administration. The official approval rating of 81% is not an accurate figure, nor an up to date indication of his popularity; just consider where a poll would be coming from today, how objective it could be now with the media so effectively muzzled. Opposition candidate's rights to address the media and television stations have been eliminated, making it nearly impossible to get exposure.

Putin has already abused the spirit of the Russian constitution by making it so difficult for an opposition party, or an individual, to present itself/himself for elections; it is only another small step towards remaining in office for another term over some convenient pretext. Does this country really deserve G-8 status? Makes one wonder.
It was but all a dream to ever believe Russia would be benign and peaceful under Putin. Deplorably, numerous people in strategic posts misjudged Russia.

Today the Kremlin is on the offensive. It has positioned military and ex-security service personal in charge of Russian industry and all key governmental posts. It is liquidating its adversaries even across international borders, has gagged the media, suppressed civil liberties, harassed foreign diplomats, intimidated businessmen and NGOs, it's threatened to target Europe with ABM missiles, it carried out intense cyber attacks against its neighbor, Estonia and it's using pipeline power to shake down its near abroad and wrest the rest of Europe into line. As if that weren't enough, an even more sinister development has arisen.

Putin has created a very sophisticated youth movement made up of over 100,000 volunteers called "Nashi", much like a clone of the Nazi youth movement. It is a well-equipped, fanatical, nationalistic private army that is hostile to foreigners and to any political group opposing the Kremlin leadership. Their aggressive behavior is not only tolerated by the authorities but also even encouraged. They help re-enforce local police; wearing black attire, they aggressively beat anyone they consider hooligans or insurrectionist.

They have been taught to believe that the United States is actively preparing a pro-western revolution in their country and that they will thwart it. They have developed high-level recruiting and training camps right across the expanse of Russia. Not only are they schooled in a variety of military issues, they also have orientation courses in such esoteric subjects as gestalt therapy, to help them to survive under extreme conditions.

This newly created, virtual army needs to be closely monitored and taken very seriously as it could well get out of hand and take on an even more menacing function.

What might come as a surprise to some readers is that the average citizen is not pleased with the way Putin has carried out his mandate and conducted his administration. The official approval rating of 81% is not an accurate figure, nor an up to date indication of his popularity; just consider where a poll would be coming from today, how objective it could be now with the media so effectively muzzled. Opposition candidate's rights to address the media and television stations have been eliminated, making it nearly impossible to get exposure.

Putin has already abused the spirit of the Russian constitution by making it so difficult for an opposition party, or an individual, to present itself/himself for elections; it is only another small step towards remaining in office for another term over some convenient pretext. Does this country really deserve G-8 status? Makes one wonder.