Dedicated Russian thread

TBH Sergey, even if I said the earth was a sphere and linked to articles saying the earth was sphere, you'd still say it was flat as that is what the Kremlin says.

It is debatable whether the sanctions have had none, little or a substantial effect on the economy of Russia.
No doubt.
From my point of view there is a lot of different causes that explain why Russian economy is slowing the last years.
They are
- Structure of ownership in Russian economy. In fact the key sectors of the economy are owned by oligarchs or/and controlled by corrupted officials. These people are interesting in fast extraction of profits (to hide huge money somewhere abroad). Interests of ordinary Russians for them are irrelevant.
- Incompetent, corrupted Russian government. absence of public control over key decisions that shape Russian economy.
- Permanet disproportions of Russian economy with huge oil/gas sector and relatively modest other ones, especially those related to services.
- Unstable situation with oil prices. Direct theft of gas by Ukraine and problems with gas transportation to Europe.
- Poor managment of finaces to begin with Central bank and inefficient state run banks.
- Yes, sanctions create additional problems at least during the first years. But due to the efforts for adaptation, the effect of the sanctions will be lower and lower.
 
No doubt.
From my point of view there is a lot of different causes that explain why Russian economy is slowing the last years.
They are
- Structure of ownership in Russian economy. In fact the key sectors of the economy are owned by oligarchs or/and controlled by corrupted officials. These people are interesting in fast extraction of profits (to hide huge money somewhere abroad). Interests of ordinary Russians for them are irrelevant.
- Incompetent, corrupted Russian government. absence of public control over key decisions that shape Russian economy.
- Permanet disproportions of Russian economy with huge oil/gas sector and relatively modest other ones, especially those related to services.
- Unstable situation with oil prices. Direct theft of gas by Ukraine and problems with gas transportation to Europe.
- Poor managment of finaces to begin with Central bank and inefficient state run banks.
All internal factors and you'll need to provide a list of all those Oligarch's who have returned home as demanded by Putin, as I don't recall any. In fact, the ones notably being investigated in the West seem to run elsewhere and not back to 'Mother Russia'.
- Yes, sanctions create additional problems at least during the first years. But due to the efforts for adaptation, the effect of the sanctions will be lower and lower.
Possibly. It can also be argued they are only now starting to have an effect. I suppose eventually Russia can carry on under that regimen if they aren't indeed having an effect. However, I look forward to no further communication from the Russian govt about sanctions as they are 'not having an effect'.

Basically, if they weren't having an effect, why complain about their imposition?
 
No doubt.
From my point of view there is a lot of different causes that explain why Russian economy is slowing the last years.
They are
- Structure of ownership in Russian economy. In fact the key sectors of the economy are owned by oligarchs or/and controlled by corrupted officials. These people are interesting in fast extraction of profits (to hide huge money somewhere abroad). Interests of ordinary Russians for them are irrelevant.
- Incompetent, corrupted Russian government. absence of public control over key decisions that shape Russian economy.
- Permanet disproportions of Russian economy with huge oil/gas sector and relatively modest other ones, especially those related to services.
- Unstable situation with oil prices. Direct theft of gas by Ukraine and problems with gas transportation to Europe.
- Poor managment of finaces to begin with Central bank and inefficient state run banks.
- Yes, sanctions create additional problems at least during the first years. But due to the efforts for adaptation, the effect of the sanctions will be lower and lower.
There are a couple of reports below which you may find interesting. The first is a World Trade Organisation report covering the period from 2008 to 2011. https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/devel_e/train_e/Russia.pdf
Here is their summary of Russia's economic problems as they relate to trade:

Regarding its trade pattern, the main challenges for the RF are:
  • an extremely large share of mineral resources in trade in goods, high level of dependency on oil and gas prices;
  • a very modest portion of machinery in exports;
  • a limited market share in CIS countries;
  • a weak participation in international industrial value chains;
  • vulnerability in terms of food security and agricultural production; and
  • a high level of openness combined with a high level of import concentration.

The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies has a report from the middle of 2018 which discusses some of the changes in recent years. Trade reorientation in Russia: will China replace the EU? (news article)
The items they highlight are:
  • Russia has been successful in substituting Western food with domestic agri-food production after the imposition of import embargo in August 2014.
  • At the same time, a reorientation of trade more generally away from the West and towards China has also been observed.
  • However, some product groups, such as European cars, pharmaceuticals and machinery, cannot be fully and easily substituted by Chinese equivalents.
The second report discusses the degree to which trade with China is replacing trade with the EU. Their conclusion is that trade with China will increase in importance at the expense of trade with the EU.
China is thus gaining in importance as Russia’s leading trade partner, largely at the expense of the EU. It is likely that together with a growing Chinese economy and the lasting conflict with the West, Russian external trade relations will reorient further to the East and Sino-Russian economic relations will become closer. The Chinese ‘One Road One Belt’ initiative, as well as the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, will reinforce and underpin this tendency, despite widening asymmetry in Sino-Russian relations as the Russian economy will fall further behind.
I have read other articles (I can't recall their location at present) which state the the relative elasticity of demand for products from China is less than those from the EU. To put that more simply, in the event of economic problems in Russia, trade with expensive products from the EU is more likely to fall than cheaper equivalents from China. For example, sales of luxury cars from Germany are more likely to suffer than sales of cheap cars from China.

I should note that the above analysis doesn't take into account trade with South Korea and Southeast Asia, both areas in which trade with Russia is expected to grow rapidly. To a great extent this reorientation of trade reflects global trade trends in general, in which China and the rest of East Asia have assumed a very large and growing importance.

The first report (covering up to 2011) said the Russian government had identified five areas for modernisation and diversification of the economy. There were:
  • power engineering,
  • nuclear energy,
  • telecommunications,
  • information technologies,
  • medicine
Previous governments introduced five priority areas for the modernization and diversification of the Russian economy. They included power engineering, nuclear energy, telecommunications, information technologies, and medicine.
I assume that a large part of "medicine" includes pharmaceuticals. "Telecommunications" and "information technologies" will include software and Internet services, both areas which have seen a lot of attention and development in Russia.

Another report (I can't recall where) mentioned that prior to 2010 the development of agriculture and food was also to be a priority. The WIIW report quoted above notes that this has been relatively successful.

My own conclusions are that I believe that Russia has been a beneficiary of the huge growth in demand for raw materials and energy in China over the past couple of decades, and the resulting high prices for these products during much of that time. However, that phase of economic development has come to an end in China, as their economy switches to be more like those in the West, and thus with growth more dependent upon services. Until a similar "resource super cycle" (as it is often called) starts in Southeast Asia or India, then I believe that Russia will face continuing economic difficulties unless they are able to diversify their economy. It should be noted that the Russian government itself recognised this well before 2010, hence their long term projects for economic diversification.
 
Exclusive: U.S. senators to try again to pass Russia sanctions bill | Reuters
The US senate may attempt to pass another sanctions bill against Russia. It’s by Sen Graham (Rep) and Sen Menendez (Dem):
Targets of the sanctions would include: Russian banks that support efforts to interfere in foreign elections; the country’s cyber sector, new sovereign debt; and individuals deemed to “facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”

The bill also would impose several strict new measures on Russia’s oil and gas sector, which makes up about 40 percent of the Russian government’s revenues, including sanctioning people who provide goods, services or financing to support the development of crude oil in the country.
 
Russia moves to mask its soldiers' digital trail | Reuters
New law proposed for Russian soldiers so that when they’re where they deny they are..... eg they’re (not) in Crimea or E Ukraine, or they’re (not) on Ops in Syria etc etc they can be prosecuted for saying they are where the Russian govt says they’re not.

Basically, it looks like the Russian govt are fed up with their soldiers being found out by Bellingcat etc. and are making it illegal to share their locations and job on social media. Not quite the same as we have eg you’re not supposed to take your phone on Ops and the military have a right to confiscate it if you do (unless that’s changed?) and of course disciplinary action can be taken:
Russia is moving to ban its soldiers from sharing information on the internet, a step that follows the use of social media posts by investigative journalists to shine a light on Moscow’s clandestine role in foreign conflicts.

Draft legislation proposes banning servicemen and reserve troops from posting anything online that would allow outsiders to glean their whereabouts or role in the military.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers in its second of three readings in parliament on Tuesday, says the ban would cover photographs, video, geolocation data or other information.
It also applies to pictures etc you take of your mates (and their BUK launcher):
It would also prohibit soldiers sharing information about other servicemen or the relatives of servicemen, while those who break the ban would be subject to disciplinary measures.
The Russian govt think it gives a biased viewpoint. I suppose you could always stop lying about what your troops are up to?
“Information shared by soldiers on the internet or mass media is used...in certain cases to form a biased assessment of Russia’s state policy,” the bill’s explanatory note said.

The move comes with online investigative journalism sites drawing on open source data to probe Russia’s alleged role in clandestine operations abroad.

Investigative site Bellingcat used social network posts extensively in reports concluding that Russian soldiers were involved in the downing of passenger flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.
Obviously, in Russia it’s an offence to talk about casualties, so it encompasses them as well:
“Social networks were used in many other investigations about the war in Ukraine and the war in Syria, for instance when fellow servicemen or relatives spoke about deceased soldiers,” said Roman Dobrokhotov, chief editor of investigative site The Insider.

Reuters has used social network posts to identify Russians fighting in eastern Ukraine at a time when Moscow denied its soldiers were fighting there.
Overall it appears to be formalisation of guidance issued in 2017:
If passed, the legislation will formally institute defense ministry recommendations that pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia says were issued to soldiers in 2017.

The lower house still has to vote on the bill once more before it is sent to the upper house for a vote and is then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
 
It’s only the truth if it’s the Kremlin’s truth. Real truth is not permissible.
 
It’s only the truth if it’s the Kremlin’s truth. Real truth is not permissible.
It is just a partial case of the common rule.
It’s only the truth if it’s the WH’s truth. Real truth is not permissible
It’s only the truth if it’s the DS10’s truth. Real truth is not permissible
And so on...
 
It is just a partial case of the common rule.
It’s only the truth if it’s the WH’s truth. Real truth is not permissible
It’s only the truth if it’s the DS10’s truth. Real truth is not permissible
And so on...
Bit like your fraudulent account on here then surgey mk 3.
 
The Kremlin is rewriting Russian history again. The Muscovite mindset is hard at work to present the past as fully supportive of the present.

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

For those who are faced with a paywall or who do not have the time/inclination to register and sign up for freebies (although Foreign Policy is a very good geopolitical publication and well worth the effort); the gist of the piece is as follows:

This 2017 Russian Channel 1 series is now available on Netflix and presents itself as a historical biopic but in actual fact it peddles a revisionist myth-making which shores up the current Kremlin take on history and offers parallels to the modern myths being propagated about interference in Russia.

According to this:
1. Foreign powers and Jewish outsiders through a Jewish Belarussian social-democratic financier supported and financed Trotsky and by extension are to blame for setting Russia on a path to turmoil. (Just as in the current narrative, any opposition to the Muscovite regime is financed and supported by foreigners.)
2. Trotsky was to blame for putting the revolution on a more bloody path. He is portrayed arguing for the death penalty (for counter-revolutionaries) against an uncertain Stalin and it is also suggested that he was responsible for the deaths of the Romanov Tsar and his family. (This of course facilitates the Kremlin's continued adulation for the "achievements" of Lenin and Stalin together with a new reverence for Nicholas II, the last of the Tsars and the old Tsarist Empire.)

Note: I have not personally watched this TV series, but I am reproducing, in good faith, what has been reported by FP.
 
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Sadurian

LE
Book Reviewer
The Kremlin is rewriting Russian history again. The Muscovite mindset is hard at work to present the past as fully supportive of the present.

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

For those who are faced with a paywall or who do not have the time/inclination to register and sign up for freebies (although Foreign Policy is a very good geopolitical publication and well worth the effort); the gist oif the piece is as follows:

This 2017 Russian Channel 1 series is now available on Netflix and presents itself as a historical biopic but in actual fact it peddles a revisionist myth-making which shores up the current Kremlin take on history and offers parallels to the modern myths being propagated about interference in Russia.

According to this:
1. Foreign powers and Jewish outsiders through a Jewish Belarussian social-democratic financier supported and financed Trotsky and by extension are to blame for setting Russia on a path to turmoil. (Just as in the current narrative, any opposition to the Muscovite regime is financed and supported by foreigners.)
2. Trotsky was to blame for putting the revolution on a more bloody path. He is portrayed arguing for the death penalty (for counter-revolutionaries) against an uncertain Stalin and it is also suggested that he was responsible for the deaths of the Romanov Tsar and his family. (This of course facilitates the Kremlin's continued adulation for the "achievements" of Lenin and Stalin together with a new reverence for Nicholas II, the last of the Tsars and the old Tsarist Empire.)

Note: I have not personally watched this TV series, but I am reporducing, in good faith, what has been reported by FP.
Expect all the relevant files disagreeing with this 'truth' to be mysteriously missing from the archives.
 
The Kremlin is rewriting Russian history again. The Muscovite mindset is hard at work to present the past as fully supportive of the present.

‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

For those who are faced with a paywall or who do not have the time/inclination to register and sign up for freebies (although Foreign Policy is a very good geopolitical publication and well worth the effort); the gist oif the piece is as follows:

This 2017 Russian Channel 1 series is now available on Netflix and presents itself as a historical biopic but in actual fact it peddles a revisionist myth-making which shores up the current Kremlin take on history and offers parallels to the modern myths being propagated about interference in Russia.

According to this:
1. Foreign powers and Jewish outsiders through a Jewish Belarussian social-democratic financier supported and financed Trotsky and by extension are to blame for setting Russia on a path to turmoil. (Just as in the current narrative, any opposition to the Muscovite regime is financed and supported by foreigners.)
2. Trotsky was to blame for putting the revolution on a more bloody path. He is portrayed arguing for the death penalty (for counter-revolutionaries) against an uncertain Stalin and it is also suggested that he was responsible for the deaths of the Romanov Tsar and his family. (This of course facilitates the Kremlin's continued adulation for the "achievements" of Lenin and Stalin together with a new reverence for Nicholas II, the last of the Tsars and the old Tsarist Empire.)

Note: I have not personally watched this TV series, but I am reporducing, in good faith, what has been reported by FP.
Rather than basing your analysis on someone else's brief interpretation of a television series, it might be best to hold your fire until you've seen it for yourself. At present you are criticising a television series for having an agenda without considering the possibility that the author of the Foreign Policy article may have an agenda of her own.

To give you some perspective on historical films and television series, you may wish to have a look at the "History Buffs" Youtube channel, run by Nick Hodges. He regularly reviews historical films in detail, first going over the actual historical events and then comparing them to how they were depicted in the film, before finishing up with commentary on the artistic and entertainment aspects.

I can't recall a single Hollywood or European film which he has reviewed which was completely accurate, and most are outright works of fiction with at most passing resemblance to the actual events. To some extent this is due to the necessity to make the film more entertaining, but in many instances it is clearly a whitewash of historical icons to avoid presenting their audiences with truths that they may find unpalatable or which contradict popular myths too deeply.

Any popular historical film or television series will take liberties with the truth for the sake of entertainment and to fit an often long and complex topic within the confines of a few hours in a format which can actually be filmed. To do this it is necessary to simplify and pare down complex topics and figures. This includes combining several characters into one, choosing a character to embody an idea which he can then expound in simple terms to the audience regardless of whether or not he held those ideas personally, compressing months or years of time into a few days, casting characters as clear "villains" or "heroes", and many other film script techniques. Without these techniques it isn't really possible to put on film non-trivial historical events in a popular entertainment form. And we must admit to ourselves that if it is on Netflix, it is almost certainly there as entertainment first and foremost.

The two points which you highlighted are very routine in western "historical" films and television series, and you would be hard pressed to find many which do not make use of these techniques to some degree. Indeed the article itself points this out, comparing the figures in the series to Hollywood gangster characters.
The series reduces the revolutionary leaders to simplistic archetypes, drawn from the golden age of Hollywood gangsters. Lenin is the Edward G. Robinson of this melodrama—short in stature but filled with megalomaniacal menace. Stalin is the seething George Raft, taciturn and cold-blooded. And Trotsky himself is cast as the Soviet James Cagney, a wise-cracking bantam capable of both epic put-downs and ruthless acts.
And then you have films such as "Braveheart" and "The Patriot" which contain serious major blatant intentional lies intended to cast historical events into a way which supports modern political ideas and agendas. Even the director of Braveheart admitted that he was less concerned about depicting history accurately than he was in using the film to project an "idea" of his own that he wanted to convey.

I'm not sure why we should expect Russian historical films to be of a higher standard than our own.

I'll repeat the recommendation for "History Buffs" (Nick Hodges) by the way. Have a look at some of his reviews to get a clear idea of how many liberties western films take with history. He himself by the way makes some historical errors in his analysis in my opinion, although he's much better than the films themselves are in that respect.
 
Foreign powers and Jewish outsiders through a Jewish Belarussian social-democratic financier supported and financed Trotsky and by extension are to blame for setting Russia on a path to turmoil.
Apparently mr.Parvus is meant.
Alexander Parvus - Wikipedia
Alexander Lvovich Parvus, born Israel Lazarevich Gelfand (September 8, 1867 – December 12, 1924), was a Marxist theoretician, revolutionary, and a controversial activist in the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
1550605129538.png

A. Parvus (left) with Leon Trotsky(center) and Leo Deutsch (right) in prison
While in Turkey, Parvus became close with German ambassador Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim who was known to be partial to establishing revolutionary fifth columns among the allies.
Consequently, Parvus offered his plan via Baron von Wangenheim to the German General Staff: the paralyzing of Russia via general strike, financed by the German government[18] (which, at the time, was at war with Russia and its allies). Von Wangenheim sent Parvus to Berlin where the latter arrived on the 6 March 1915 and presented a 20-page plan titled A preparation of massive political strikes in Russia to the German government.[19]
Parvus' detailed plan recommended the division of Russia by sponsoring the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, encouraging ethnic separatists in various Russian regions, and supporting various writers whose criticism of Tsarism continued during wartime. Basing himself on his 1905 experiences, Parvus theorised that the division of Russia and its loss in the First World War was the best way to bring about a socialist revolution.
In April 1917, in a plan strategized together with Parvus, German intelligence sent Vladimir Lenin and a group of 30 of his revolutionary associates from Switzerland through Germany and Sweden in a train car under supervision of Swiss socialist Fritz Platten
Unlike you, I have seen the film that in my opinion is schematic and primitive. Both Lenin and Trotsky were outstanding historical figures fanatically committed to the implementation of the communist idea. But they were shown in the film merely as political crooks. Mr.Parvus who was indeed a political crook was shown correctly. But he was shown as typical revolutioner and the best friend of Lenin and Trotsky.

The film is hugely politically biased and was intended to present the communist idea as fraudulent one, promoted by crooks. But what one could expect from Putin's regime that is in charge in Russia with our current ugly version of capitalism?
 
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Rather than basing your analysis on someone else's brief interpretation of a television series, it might be best to hold your fire until you've seen it for yourself. At present you are criticising a television series for having an agenda without considering the possibility that the author of the Foreign Policy article may have an agenda of her own.

To give you some perspective on historical films and television series, you may wish to have a look at the "History Buffs" Youtube channel, run by Nick Hodges. He regularly reviews historical films in detail, first going over the actual historical events and then comparing them to how they were depicted in the film, before finishing up with commentary on the artistic and entertainment aspects.

I can't recall a single Hollywood or European film which he has reviewed which was completely accurate, and most are outright works of fiction with at most passing resemblance to the actual events. To some extent this is due to the necessity to make the film more entertaining, but in many instances it is clearly a whitewash of historical icons to avoid presenting their audiences with truths that they may find unpalatable or which contradict popular myths too deeply.

Any popular historical film or television series will take liberties with the truth for the sake of entertainment and to fit an often long and complex topic within the confines of a few hours in a format which can actually be filmed. To do this it is necessary to simplify and pare down complex topics and figures. This includes combining several characters into one, choosing a character to embody an idea which he can then expound in simple terms to the audience regardless of whether or not he held those ideas personally, compressing months or years of time into a few days, casting characters as clear "villains" or "heroes", and many other film script techniques. Without these techniques it isn't really possible to put on film non-trivial historical events in a popular entertainment form. And we must admit to ourselves that if it is on Netflix, it is almost certainly there as entertainment first and foremost.

The two points which you highlighted are very routine in western "historical" films and television series, and you would be hard pressed to find many which do not make use of these techniques to some degree. Indeed the article itself points this out, comparing the figures in the series to Hollywood gangster characters.


And then you have films such as "Braveheart" and "The Patriot" which contain serious major blatant intentional lies intended to cast historical events into a way which supports modern political ideas and agendas. Even the director of Braveheart admitted that he was less concerned about depicting history accurately than he was in using the film to project an "idea" of his own that he wanted to convey.

I'm not sure why we should expect Russian historical films to be of a higher standard than our own.

I'll repeat the recommendation for "History Buffs" (Nick Hodges) by the way. Have a look at some of his reviews to get a clear idea of how many liberties western films take with history. He himself by the way makes some historical errors in his analysis in my opinion, although he's much better than the films themselves are in that respect.
I agree with much of your argument and I willingly admitted that I had not seen the series in order to take the hit with which you opened your argument. But you cannot directly compare independent western media companies concerned mainly with making a decent profit but which can also take independent and provocative viewpoints of its own with Russian media that has to kow-tow to the whims of the Kremlin.

My point is that the Russian TV Channel which commissioned this series unlike western TV channels would have had its product vetted and overseen by the Russian government for "inappropriate political content". Under the Muscovite mindset all Russian media is controlled to one degree or another by the Kremlin and has to put out Kremlin approved material. The most controlled is media destined for internal consumption. I doubt very much that at the current time any Russian TV company would produce a TV series about the deliberate starvation of Ukraine by Stalin in the 1930's.

This series about Trotsky would have primarily been for internal Russian consumption, therefore a prime vector for Moscow to use in order to convey the current correct Kremlin viewpoint. To this end the parallels pointed out in the Foreign Policy article underline this stance considerably.

As to the Foreign Policy website and publications, of course it has an agenda of its own. But having followed it for many years, I have no reason to doubt the veracity and sincerity of its reporting.

Foreign Policy - Media Bias/Fact Check
Foreign Policy - Wikipedia
Our History | Foreign Policy Group

As regards the author, it appears that feminism is on her agenda (which is touched on in the FP article) but that her main interest and field is in comparative politics and what is clearly visible is that she is intent on raisng her academic profile. Invited to write for FP, she would not be likely to write a biased partisan piece.

nik-ford
 
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As for the article in the FP then...
‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History
The series reduces the revolutionary leaders to simplistic archetypes, drawn from the golden age of Hollywood gangsters.
Couldn't agree more.
But the retelling also asserts two very specific ideas about the revolutionary era, each supporting part of Russia’s modern mythos.
The first of these is the idea of Trotsky as a pawn of foreign powers.
Of course Trotsky was not a pawn of foreign powers and hardly the film promotes such a stupid idea.
The real-life Belarusian-born social democrat Alexander Parvus is presented in the series as Trotsky’s wealthy Jewish sponsor, pitting Trotsky against Lenin in a play for the soul of the revolutionary movement. Trotsky depicts Parvus as a scheming agent of German conspirators, armed with a printing press and enough money to convince Trotsky he is a necessary evil.
It is mainly corresponds to historical facts. However, in the film the role of mr.Parvus is exaggerated ... at least a bit.
However, there is no evidence that Parvus (or Germany) bankrolled Trotsky to any serious degree.
Personally I doubt that it happened but it could happen. Trotsky and Lenin could take money from the devil himself to be spend in the name of the World revolution.
The Trotsky portrayal of Parvus also suggests that Jewish outsiders were manipulating the revolutionaries.
Jews in the Russian revolution is a big separate theme but it should be said that number of Jews in Bolshevik leadership was disproportionally high including Jews from foreign contries as Karl Radek.
This narrative downplays the role of the average Russian in the 1917 revolution, particularly the role of the brave women on the front lines
Women didn't play any significant special role during the Russian revolution but as for average Russians then the reason is simple. The main cause of the revolution was huge social injustice, not just a conspiracy of Bolsheviks. And in modern Russia we see social injustive on significant degree. So ruling elites of course prefer not to draw any parallels.

Generally, on many points the author of the article is absolutely right but in some issues is not quite correct.

 
As for the article in the FP then...
‘Trotsky’ Is an Icepick to the Heart of Soviet History

Couldn't agree more.


Of course Trotsky was not a pawn of foreign powers and hardly the film promotes such a stupid idea.

It is mainly corresponds to historical facts. However, in the film the role of mr.Parvus is exaggerated ... at least a bit.

Personally I doubt that it happened but it could happen. Trotsky and Lenin could take money from the devil himself to be spend in the name of the World revolution.

Jews in the Russian revolution is a big separate theme but it should be said that number of Jews in Bolshevik leadership was disproportionally high including Jews from foreign contries as Karl Radek.

Women didn't play any significant special role during the Russian revolution but as for average Russians then the reason is simple. The main cause of the revolution was huge social injustice, not just a conspiracy of Bolsheviks. And in modern Russia we see social injustive on significant degree. So ruling elites of course prefer not to draw any parallels.

Generally, on many points the author of the article is absolutely right but in some issues is not quite correct.


Here's what Trostky had to say about Pavus:
The author of these lines considers it a matter of personal honour to render what is due to the man to whom he has been indebted for his ideas and intellectual development more than to any other person of the older generation of European Social Democrats ... Even now, I see less reason than ever to renounce that diagnosis and prognosis, the lion’s share of which was contributed by Parvus.
Tony Cliff: Trotsky 1 - Towards October 1879-1917 (6. Trotsky and Parvus)
The Prophet Armed

and also:
Parvus was unquestionably one of the most important of the Marxists at the turn of the century. He used the Marxian methods skilfully, was possessed of wide vision, and kept a keen eye on everything of importance in world events. This, coupled with his fearless thinking and his virile, muscular style, made him a remarkable writer. His early studies brought me closer to the problems of the social revolution, and, for me, definitely transformed the conquest of power by the proletariat from an astronomical ‘final’ goal to a practical task for our own day.
So Trotsky himself said that Parvus had a great influence on him. Parvus was one of the leading Maxist revolutionaries in Russia up to the 1905 revolution, and had a great deal of influence on revolutionary thought and theory. This includes being credited with originating the idea that communism could start first in a backwards country such as Russia rather than being destined to originate in Britain and Germany as conventional Maxists had believed up until then.

Parvus was, along with Trotsky and others, sentenced to prison for their involvement in the 1905 revolution. Parvus escaped and left Russian, and eventually developed close links with the German government and used these to operate as an arms dealer, making a great deal of money in the process, particularly in Turkey. Trotsky wrote:
"there was always something mad and unreliable about Parvus. In addition to all his other ambitions, this revolutionary was torn by an amazing desire to get rich".
Trotsky grew suspicious of Parvus, and thought that he was in the pay of the Germans.
When Parvus set up at Copenhagen a 'sociological institute', suspected of being a German propaganda agency, Trotsky publicly warned socialists against entering into any contact with it.
Here's what Encyclopedia Britannica had to say about it (note - Helphand was Parvus's real name Helphand is also sometimes spelled Gelfand):
Alexander Israel Helphand | Russian socialist
With the onset of World War I, Helphand was able to obtain subsidies from the German government in exchange for his advice on ways to subvert Russia’s tsarist regime. He also convinced the German government to provide him with large sums to funnel to the Bolsheviks, though it is unlikely that this service had much impact. Although Helphand helped negotiate with German authorities Lenin’s passage in the notorious “sealed train” across Germany on the way to Russia in April 1917, Lenin refused to allow the disreputable Helphand to return to Russia after the October Revolution of 1917.
As noted above, it was Parvus who helped negotiate with the Germans to obtain Lenin's passage on the sealed train to Russia in 1917. The Bolsheviks were willing to accept help from Parvus, even if they didn't entirely trust him.

German intelligence had been funnelling money to various subversive causes in Russia well before WWI. The claims are that Parvus was one of the conduits for these funds. His own sources of wealth came from arms contracts obtained through the influence of the German government, for which he obtained a very large commission for himself. The German government had great influence over arms contracts in Turkey as they had numerous German officers occupying senior advisory positions in the Turkish government and military. They also had need of an agent to distribute the appropriate bribes to officials in the Turkish government, and Parvus very likely was that man (he had a reputation for involvement in corruption). After the war Parvus retired to a large mansion in Germany.

Here's some of what Deutsche Welle had to say about him:
Berlin's strategy was clear: Lenin and his Bolsheviks were meant to destabilize Russia thereby — in the middle of the First World War — easing the burden of fighting on the Eastern Front. The German Empire was relying on an old rule of diplomacy: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. And the plan worked.

The idea originated with a man who took the communist nom de guerre"Parvus," or the little one: Israel Lazarevich Gelfand. He was a Russian Jew who at the end of 1914 had already been using his influence to offer the German ambassador in Constantinople an alliance of "Prussian bayonets and Russian proletarian fists." He claimed that the interests of Germany and the Russian revolutionaries were identical. After some initial skepticism, he was granted an audience in Berlin.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's also in his writings cast Parvus as one of the biggest villains amongst the communists of that era, and I believe that many present day screen play writers in Russia will be very familiar with Solzhenitsyn's works.

So any film about Trotsky is going to have to also say something about Parvus. And any film which talks about Parvus is going to have to deal with the elephant in the room, which is that he was widely believed to have close ties to German intelligence.
 
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After Putin's warning, Russian TV lists nuclear targets in U.S. | Reuters
More 'upping the rhetoric' from Soviet Russian broadcasters. Whilst the target set includes obvious locales such as the Pentagon and Camp David, it seems Mar a Lago isn't on the target set and a few of the targets haven't been used in years. That is unless the Russians know something more than we do, or 'highly likely' just dusted off the old Soviet target set:
In the Sunday evening broadcast, Dmitry Kiselyov, presenter of Russia’s main weekly TV news show ‘Vesti Nedeli’, showed a map of the United States and identified several targets he said Moscow would want to hit in the event of a nuclear war.

The targets, which Kiselyov described as U.S. presidential or military command centres, also included Fort Ritchie, a military training centre in Maryland closed in 1998, McClellan, a U.S. Air Force base in California closed in 2001, and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in Washington state.
Apparently, despite the target set and the rhetoric displayed, they're not threatening anyone:
Kiselyov, who is close to the Kremlin, said the “Tsirkon” (‘Zircon’) hypersonic missile that Russia is developing could hit the targets in less than five minutes if launched from Russian submarines.

Hypersonic flight is generally taken to mean travelling through the atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound.

“For now, we’re not threatening anyone, but if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” he said.
No prizes for guessing which poster most resembles Kiselyov:
Kiselyov is one of the main conduits of state television’s strongly anti-American tone, once saying Moscow could turn the United States into radioactive ash.

Asked to comment on Kiselyov’s report, the Kremlin said on Monday it did not interfere in state TV’s editorial policy.
 

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If they don't turn the US into radioactive ash, they might send over their toxic green snow instead.

Green snow falling in Russia shakes Vladimir Putin's popularity
Green snow falls on polluted Russian city

Apparently the results of a local chrome factory operating with the usual Russian concerns for environmental regulation.

Chrome is nasty stuff, especially when concentrated as this stuff will have been. Eating it can kill, especially in children, (who are the most likely to come into contact with and eat oddly-coloured snow).
 
Despite Putin's swagger, Russia struggles to modernise its navy | Reuters
Reuters article on the actual Russian fleet modernisation, rather than what the agitprop is telling us. Worth reading in its entirety imo. The key takeaways seem to be:

What you see, is not what you get. The Red Square parades don't always reflect reality:
“You need to always distinguish between reality and the shop window,” said Andrei Frolov, editor-in-chief of Russian magazine Arms Exports.

“Red Square is a shop window. It’s like in restaurants in Japan where there are models of the food. What we see on Red Square are models of food, not the food itself.”
Force projection, particularly in Ukraine and in Syria, is not as great as they say:
“Moscow’s problems mean its ability to project conventional military force — something it is doing in Syria and has done in Ukraine — is not as great as the Kremlin would have the world believe,” said one Western official with knowledge of Russia’s military.
Due to the (ineffective according to some) sanctions imposed since the Crimean invasion, even fitting their latest Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates has proven problematic:
In a speech on Wednesday, Putin did not mention the navy’s engine problems, focusing instead on how it is due to receive seven new multi-purpose submarines ahead of time and 16 new surface ships by 2027.
Whilst the S-400 may indeed be world class and available in numbers, the Su57 and T14 aren't rolling off the production line in as much quantity as proposed:
Frolov said Russia had successfully produced prototypes of new weapons systems, but struggled to move to serial production.

That does not mean Russia’s military is not a force with which to be reckoned. Some of its hardware, such as its S-400 air defence systems, is world-class. Putin has also spent heavily on missile technology, unveiling new hypersonic systems.

But Russia’s air force and army, like its navy, are experiencing re-armament problems. Its new stealth fighter first took to the air more than nine years ago and a super tank made its Red Square debut almost four years ago. Neither is due to be deployed in large numbers soon, government officials say.
12 of the 14 ships have no engines. A company was sourced to produce them. The Director of the company had concerns about costs and delivery time scales. He is no longer Director of the Company. His replacement says that prototypes have been tested and series production will start soon:
The programme to build Russia’s most advanced stealth frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov-class, has been paralysed by sanctions — even before the sanctions hit it took 12 years to build the lead ship, which entered service last summer.

Russia hopes to add 14 more such ships to its navy, but has no engines for 12 of those vessels.

Moscow is trying to develop its own gas turbine engines and its own full-cycle manufacturing base.

That task has been handed to aircraft manufacturer NPO Saturn, which is part of Rostec, an industrial conglomerate run by Sergei Chemezov, who served as a KGB spy with Putin.

Ilya Fedorov, Saturn’s then director, said in 2014 he had concerns about costs, and the company failed to deliver the first engines to the navy in 2017.

Fedorov told the Russian news agency Interfax at the time that “all our ships run on these turbines, and if we don’t make our own everything will grind to a halt.”

Fedorov is no longer with the company. Viktor Polyakov, Saturn’s current director, said early last year that prototypes of its three new engine types had passed tests and that serial production had begun.
Their timescales are doubted by the former engine suppliers in Ukraine:
“We shouldn’t expect Russia to start fully fledged serial production for at least another five years,” said Serhiy Zgurets, director of Defense Express, a Ukrainian consultancy.

Alexei Rakhmanov, head of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, said in December that the first Russian-made engine should be fitted to the fourth of 14 more planned frigates in the “very nearest future.”

Even if that happens, Igor Ponomarev, the head of the St Petersburg shipyard making the new stealth frigates, says that vessel is not due to be ready before the end of 2022. The rest of the programme is likely to stretch into the 2030s.
It would appear that they are still (nearly 10 - 15 years later) suffering from the legacy of the economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union:
Dr Richard Connolly, a Russia specialist at the University of Birmingham, said Moscow’s military might should not be underestimated but Russia was still suffering from the legacy of an economic crisis that followed the Soviet Union’s collapse, hitting state arms orders and the military-industrial complex.

“It’s not as easy as simply saying, ‘Right, we’ve got the money, so go and make it happen’, because a lot of the shipyards have rusted,” Connolly said.
 
Despite Putin's swagger, Russia struggles to modernise its navy | Reuters
Reuters article on the actual Russian fleet modernisation, rather than what the agitprop is telling us. Worth reading in its entirety imo. The key takeaways seem to be:

What you see, is not what you get. The Red Square parades don't always reflect reality:

Force projection, particularly in Ukraine and in Syria, is not as great as they say:

Due to the (ineffective according to some) sanctions imposed since the Crimean invasion, even fitting their latest Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates has proven problematic:

Whilst the S-400 may indeed be world class and available in numbers, the Su57 and T14 aren't rolling off the production line in as much quantity as proposed:

12 of the 14 ships have no engines. A company was sourced to produce them. The Director of the company had concerns about costs and delivery time scales. He is no longer Director of the Company. His replacement says that prototypes have been tested and series production will start soon:

Their timescales are doubted by the former engine suppliers in Ukraine:

It would appear that they are still (nearly 10 - 15 years later) suffering from the legacy of the economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union:
This follows a time-honoured Russian tradition, best exemplified and known in the so-called “Potemkin villages”. A show is put on for gullible fools.
Economic projects don’t work out to plan, because if the State is built upon lies and officially sanctioned theft, then the populace at every level will also lie and steal at every opportunity.
 

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