Dedicated Russian thread

More dedicated Russians up to no good.

Moscow sanctioned Russian mercenaries makinga killing (literally):

And a direct link to the report that the above article is quoting:
 
A group of private military contractors running amok in the Middle East with no legal accountability.

Why does that sound so familiar?
 
A group of private military contractors running amok in the Middle East with no legal accountability.

Why does that sound so familiar?
It's old news but the Russian chappies are particularly barbaric. You may argue that if you're dead you don't care how but sledgehammers and then decapitation isn't a way to advertise your capabilities.

They've been demonstrating their booby trapping abilities in Libya but have been getting thier arses kicked anyhoo.
 
It's old news but the Russian chappies are particularly barbaric.
Recall, please, private military contractors that are not that barbaric. Where they could be found?
 

Slime

LE
Recall, please, private military contractors that are not that barbaric. Where they could be found?
Good question.

To make your search easier ignore searching among Russian PMC forces.
 

Slime

LE
Perhaps people need to be kind to KGB Resident for a while. :)
He has a few decisions to make about his posting habits at the moment.

For 27 months he has showed continued support for a wibbling conspiracy loon in various Novichock threads. He has referred to the conspiracy loon as ‘our friend’ and has pointed out that out of the whole of ARRSE the conspiracy loon has confided his personal details with KGB.

KGB has personally vouched for the loon, so has vouched for a poster who.
Thinks the 911 attack was faked.
The WW2 holocaust didn't happen.
The Salisbury Novichock attack didn’t happen.
There was no bomb at the Manchester arena.

What does any of this have to do with this thread?
KGB has been supporting the loon in the thread while it was in the MOD RSS feed. it has now been moved to the NAAFI after a session of crayoning from Bugsy, so has already started to be seen by a wider group of posters.

KGB has to decide whether his efforts to appear normal and rational will be ruined by a larger number of posters seeing him stick up for a conspiracy theorist, or even his own posts saying the U.K. murdered the Skripals or that they had keen kept against their will in a cellar with rats in.

This is a serious comment as I’m keen to see which level of seriousness KGB chooses to have :)
His participation so far in the Novichock thread makes the photoshopped pic he posted in the MH17 said seem like a non event ;)
 
I’ve worked with/for/through several firms that could be called PMC’s, none of which could be remotely called barbaric unless in complete calumny.
 
As Russia’s Constitution Reform Vote Kicks Off, Election Watchdog Decries ‘Manipulative’ Process
In an interview with The Moscow Times, Grigory Melkonyants of the Golos election monitor said the vote is set to be the “least transparent” in years.

By Evan Gershkovich
Updated: 15 hours ago

As Russia’s Constitution Reform Vote Kicks Off, Election Watchdog Decries ‘Manipulative’ Process - The Moscow Times
Couldn't agree more. Personally I will not participate in this political circus.
 
As Russia’s Constitution Reform Vote Kicks Off, Election Watchdog Decries ‘Manipulative’ Process
In an interview with The Moscow Times, Grigory Melkonyants of the Golos election monitor said the vote is set to be the “least transparent” in years.

By Evan Gershkovich
Updated: 15 hours ago

As Russia’s Constitution Reform Vote Kicks Off, Election Watchdog Decries ‘Manipulative’ Process - The Moscow Times
Couldn't agree more. Personally I will not participate in this political circus.
The results are predefined - turnout no less than 2/3 and no less than 3/4 will 'vote' for the changes.
 
An intriguing op-ed, that 15 more years of Putin could actually be a good thing for Russia-Western relations. The question is whether the leopard Siberian tiger is even capable of changing its spots.

'Vladimir Putin should brush off the cold war cobwebs in pursuit of a hard-headed look at national interests. Vladimir Putin is proposing to give himself the option of another 15 years in office. He could spend this time continuing to shake his fist at the west. Alternatively, he could brush away the cobwebs of the cold war and begin to recognise the challenge to Russian power from its friend and ally China.

'So far Mr Putin’s foreign policy has been tactical rather than strategic. Its goal has been to keep up appearances. Russia’s president heads a nation in decline, but one unwilling to cede its place at the top table of global affairs. There is nothing unusual about this. British prime ministers clung on to the idea they were one of the “Big Three” even as the empire dissolved around them. At some point, though, the pretence becomes unsustainable.

'Mr Putin has built his standing at home on the promise of restoring Russian prestige abroad. Above all, he has craved recognition for Russia as a match for the US. Nothing wounded him so much as former US president Barack Obama’s throwaway jibe that Russia had fallen to the role of a “regional power”. The Kremlin’s answer has been to sacrifice strategic interests to appearances. The unspoken price has been the acceptance of the role of junior partner in Beijing.

<snip>

'Although a second term for Mr Trump would be severely disruptive of the alliance, Mr Putin would be chasing dreams. Whether he enjoys defeat or victory in November, Nato will outlast this president. The question a strategically-minded leader in Moscow should be asking is why Russia continues to view the alliance as such a threat. Mr Putin would do better to look eastward to the ever more assertive foreign policy of Chinese president Xi Jinping

'On one level, the present Sino-Russian axis makes perfect sense. Both nations reject the American-designed postwar global order and repudiate the notion of a rules-based system rooted in western values. Both favour a Westphalian order in which the strong carve outs spheres of influence.

'For Mr Xi the gains speak for themselves. Moscow offers secure supplies of oil and gas to sustain the growth of the Chinese economy. The relationship provides strategic reassurance as Beijing confronts the US in pursuit of maritime hegemony in the western Pacific. Looking ahead, depopulated swaths of Russian Siberia offer an opportunity for economic expansion. Mr Putin’s forays in Ukraine and the Middle East are a bonus, distracting US attention from Chinese expansionism in east Asia. The advantages for Russia of such an unequal partnership are not so obvious. Yes, Mr Putin gets a comrade-in-arms for his denunciations of western liberalism but at the expense of watching Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative undercutting Russian power in central Asia. Mr Xi’s plan to open the Northern Sea route to Europe threatens to undercut Russian interests in the Arctic. An expansive view of China’s influence-building in eastern and central Europe would raise fears of strategic encirclement.

'Mr Putin is a creature of the Soviet KGB. It may well be that it is too late for him to escape his own nostalgia. But a leader planning to hold on to power for another 15 years might take the time for a strategic stock-take. The challenges and risks lie to Russia's east.'


(Financial Times, by Philip Stephens, 25 Jun 20)
 
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Zhopa

War Hero
In timely fashion, I've been reviewing chapters for a product designed to tackle nonsense commonly spouted about Russia, because the authors are fed up with having to demolish the same myths and fallacies every single time they start a conversation. By coincidence, the one I've just read is about exactly this - the notion that the threat of China must lead to a more cooperative relationship between Russia and the West.

It says the only people who believe in this are the ones who think Russia behaves according to Western logic and rationality, and therefore must eventually "come to its senses", i.e. do what the West thinks it should. It further points out that there is zero overlap between these believers and people who have been paying any attention to what Russia consistently says and does.
 
In timely fashion, I've been reviewing chapters for a product designed to tackle nonsense commonly spouted about Russia, because the authors are fed up with having to demolish the same myths and fallacies every single time they start a conversation. By coincidence, the one I've just read is about exactly this - the notion that the threat of China must lead to a more cooperative relationship between Russia and the West.

It says the only people who believe in this are the ones who think Russia behaves according to Western logic and rationality, and therefore must eventually "come to its senses", i.e. do what the West thinks it should. It further points out that there is zero overlap between these believers and people who have been paying any attention to what Russia consistently says and does.
I find a similar problem with so much 'analysis' of PRC. It varies between wishful thinking and an assumption that what the western countries want is automatically 'The One True Path', deviation from which is like having 666 tattooed across your national napper.
 
An intriguing op-ed, that 15 more years of Putin could actually be a good thing for Russia-Western relations. The question is whether the leopard Siberian tiger is even capable of changing its spots.

'Vladimir Putin should brush off the cold war cobwebs in pursuit of a hard-headed look at national interests. Vladimir Putin is proposing to give himself the option of another 15 years in office. He could spend this time continuing to shake his fist at the west. Alternatively, he could brush away the cobwebs of the cold war and begin to recognise the challenge to Russian power from its friend and ally China.

'So far Mr Putin’s foreign policy has been tactical rather than strategic. Its goal has been to keep up appearances. Russia’s president heads a nation in decline, but one unwilling to cede its place at the top table of global affairs. There is nothing unusual about this. British prime ministers clung on to the idea they were one of the “Big Three” even as the empire dissolved around them. At some point, though, the pretence becomes unsustainable.

'Mr Putin has built his standing at home on the promise of restoring Russian prestige abroad. Above all, he has craved recognition for Russia as a match for the US. Nothing wounded him so much as former US president Barack Obama’s throwaway jibe that Russia had fallen to the role of a “regional power”. The Kremlin’s answer has been to sacrifice strategic interests to appearances. The unspoken price has been the acceptance of the role of junior partner in Beijing.

<snip>

'Although a second term for Mr Trump would be severely disruptive of the alliance, Mr Putin would be chasing dreams. Whether he enjoys defeat or victory in November, Nato will outlast this president. The question a strategically-minded leader in Moscow should be asking is why Russia continues to view the alliance as such a threat. Mr Putin would do better to look eastward to the ever more assertive foreign policy of Chinese president Xi Jinping

'On one level, the present Sino-Russian axis makes perfect sense. Both nations reject the American-designed postwar global order and repudiate the notion of a rules-based system rooted in western values. Both favour a Westphalian order in which the strong carve outs spheres of influence.

'For Mr Xi the gains speak for themselves. Moscow offers secure supplies of oil and gas to sustain the growth of the Chinese economy. The relationship provides strategic reassurance as Beijing confronts the US in pursuit of maritime hegemony in the western Pacific. Looking ahead, depopulated swaths of Russian Siberia offer an opportunity for economic expansion. Mr Putin’s forays in Ukraine and the Middle East are a bonus, distracting US attention from Chinese expansionism in east Asia. The advantages for Russia of such an unequal partnership are not so obvious. Yes, Mr Putin gets a comrade-in-arms for his denunciations of western liberalism but at the expense of watching Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative undercutting Russian power in central Asia. Mr Xi’s plan to open the Northern Sea route to Europe threatens to undercut Russian interests in the Arctic. An expansive view of China’s influence-building in eastern and central Europe would raise fears of strategic encirclement.

'Mr Putin is a creature of the Soviet KGB. It may well be that it is too late for him to escape his own nostalgia. But a leader planning to hold on to power for another 15 years might take the time for a strategic stock-take. The challenges and risks lie to Russia's east.'


(Financial Times, by Philip Stephens, 25 Jun 20)
In timely fashion, I've been reviewing chapters for a product designed to tackle nonsense commonly spouted about Russia, because the authors are fed up with having to demolish the same myths and fallacies every single time they start a conversation. By coincidence, the one I've just read is about exactly this - the notion that the threat of China must lead to a more cooperative relationship between Russia and the West.

It says the only people who believe in this are the ones who think Russia behaves according to Western logic and rationality, and therefore must eventually "come to its senses", i.e. do what the West thinks it should. It further points out that there is zero overlap between these believers and people who have been paying any attention to what Russia consistently says and does.
Beaten to it by @Zhopa !

Yes, the FT article is a perfect example of the conditioned thought process of most educated and cultured persons in the West. That is summarised roughly as: Russians are European, therefore they should rationalise like Europeans (and other modern peoples of European heritage). This is pure assumption.

The modern Russian is a product of a very different national historical experience that is far removed from the vast majority of European peoples. The split occurred when the Mongols (or Tatars) conquered and decimated vast swathes of eastern Europe in the 13th Century destroying the established East Slav principalities of which Kievan Rus was the greatest (now mainly on the modern day territory of Ukraine, Belarus and a small part of western Russia). Up until then political, socio-economic and cultural development there was progressing roughly similarly to the rest of Europe, though with a certain time-lag, the further east and north-east one went. Kiev or Ky'iv as it is now called in Ukraine was connected through trade, religion and noble/princely marriage ties to other European states.

Mongol rule didn't last too long in the western areas of the initial conquest and the power vacuum thus created was filled by first Lithuania and then the Polish-Lithuanian State, which enabled these western areas to develop in their outlook more in line with the rest of Europe. In the east the Mongols remained as overlords and the (up until then very) minor state of Muscovy (centred on the town of Moscow) became their enforcer and tax collector. The rulers of Muscovy adopted Mongol methods and were so successful that eventually they defeated the Mongols. They then continued similar authoritarian policies of governance, expansion and conquest, subjugating the surrounding peoples to their yoke.

The peculiar mentality that developed among the Muscovite ruling class permeated through the Russian population and conditioned them to a substantially different mindset to the rest of their European counterparts. This is summarised in what I call the "Muscovite Mindset" or "Muscovite Mentality", which I have listed previously in the ARRSE forum, but bears a topical reiteration here (point ten is most relevant to this discussion):

A short and not exclusive summary of the “Muscovite Mentality”.

1. For a Muscovite it is inconceivable that state power is not concentrated at the apex of the pyramid. In Muscovy, this is at the Kremlin and usually rests in one man or a small cabal. No important decision can be made by any other organ. A Muscovite genuinely believes that all political and economic power in the West, is ultimately controlled from Washington - just as Moscow strives to control all political and economic power in as large an area as it can, so does Washington. Multiple power centres cannot be allowed to exist within a political entity as this undermines the power of the centre.

2. A Muscovite sees world affairs as a giant “zero-sum game” with the strings being pulled by the major power centres. For a Muscovite the “Main Adversary” remains the USA. So anything which a Muscovite perceives as detrimental to Muscovy is advantageous to the USA. An independent Ukraine is detrimental to Muscovy, therefore the USA must be causing the independence movement there. For a Muscovite independent NGOs undermine the power of the State, therefore they must be operating under the aegis of Washington. Any citizen of Russia that protests against the Kremlin, is perceived by a Muscovite to be weakening the State, therefore they are being supported by Washington and can be considered traitors.

3. The concept of “Rule of Law” is totally alien to a Muscovite. A Muscovite firmly believes that “the law” is just a tool to serve the ruler in order to make the State strong. It is for the ruler to make the law and to apply it or change it as required.

4. The concept of “Separation of Powers” is totally alien to a Muscovite. The “Executive” is the only Power. The “Legislative” and the “Judicial” are mere [often cosmetic] appendages to facilitate the rule of the “Executive”.

5. The concept of “Separation of Church and State” is totally alien to a Muscovite. The Church serves the State and it is inconceivable that the Church can be regarded as a separate power base.

6. The concept of an empowered “Civil Society” is totally alien to a Muscovite. There can be no organisations which are not answerable to the State. The citizen is there to serve the State. The State is not there to serve the citizen, but to use him/her as it sees fit.

7. The concept of a “Free Press” is totally alien to a Muscovite. The media is there to serve the State. The media must reflect the State position. If independent media offer a different point of view, then they are attacking the State and are seen as traitorous. Of course as this is seen as detrimental to the State, it therefore must have the backing of Washington.

8. The Muscovite sees the world from this point of view and naturally assumes that the rest of the world must have a similar viewpoint [for a Muscovite any different viewpoint is obviously unnatural]. As Muscovy sees all other political entities as competitors in a “zero-sum game”, therefore they all must view Muscovy in the same way. As Muscovy is therefore constantly under threat, it must defend itself. Attack is the best form of defence, therefore Muscovite aggression is logically defensive in nature and thus Muscovy pursues a “peace-loving” policy [even when invading other countries]. There is no contradiction in the “Muscovite mindset”.

9. Muscovy currently feels extremely threatened. Not from without, but from within. The peoples of “all the Russias” are finally, slowly but surely realising that there is a truth in the world that is not the “truth” of the Kremlin. That there is another way of organising a society than that which has been forced upon them by Muscovy for centuries. The countries and nations that had been subjugated to the “Muscovite Yoke” are incrementally breaking away and making it successfully in the modern “free” world. That Ukraine, the seat of the original great principality of Kievan Rus [the legacy of which was stolen and warped by Muscovy] was moving away from Muscovite control, precipitated a crisis. If the so called “Little Russians” can embrace change in the organisation of their society - what will stop the so called “Great Russians” from following suit? [Incidentally the Muscovites coined the terms “Little and Great Russians”. The inhabitants of Ukraine and Belarus were originally called “Rusi” or “Ruthenes” as opposed to the “Rossiyani” further east in the Principalities of Pskov, Novgorod, Muscovy etc.]

10. The "Muscovite mindset" also appears to be quite racist. This explains the pre-occupation with the West and particularly the USA as the "Main Adversary"; whereas a more logical conclusion would be that the primary threat to Russia, in terms of sovereignty (economic and political) is from China. But the Muscovite tends to look down arrogantly on non-Europeans (conveniently forgetting his own historic tutelage at the hands of the Mongols). However, it is because of this that the "Muscovite mindset" views the Chinese political system as similar to its own and thus not a threat in the way the Western political system is, in its potential to undermine the control of the Kremlin through its (perceived insidious) appeal to the masses.
 
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I find a similar problem with so much 'analysis' of PRC. It varies between wishful thinking and an assumption that what the western countries want is automatically 'The One True Path', deviation from which is like having 666 tattooed across your national napper.
Absolutely. For China to suddenly adopt and adapt to norms that have been developed over centuries of Western European civilisation, would be completely contrary to over two millenia of history and traditions deveoped in the civilisation of the "Middle Kingdom".
 
To follow on from my post above:

For the greatest part of the historical record, Chinese civilisation developed separately from civilisation(s) at the other extremity of the Eurasian land-mass. It can also be argued that for much of the time China was more materially and scientifically advanced and far more centralised and continuous (imagine the Roman Empire staying centred on Rome and maintaining and expanding its grip on the Mediterranean Basin, the Near East and Europe.

This latter item is the crux of the matter concerning the greatest difference between Chinese and "Western" worldviews. While western historical development has emphasised the benefit of competing power centres leading to innovation across all spheres of human endeavour and the equation of personal political and economic liberties with progress and mutual benefit, Chinese historical development has emphasised the benefit of centralised authority and power and the subjugation of the individual to the State leading to peace, stability and prosperity.
 
If you disagree with it, why are you not voting against it?
Indeed I have 2 options - not to vote and vote against.
I prefer not to vote because
- it is hard technically to vote for me (falsely), because I could enter the voting station the last day and the last minutes and check the list of those who voted.
- by contrast technically it is not so hard to substitute my ballot list with forged one.
Number of independent observers is insufficient. International observers are not allowed to visit voting stations.
The voting process is under full control of Putin's men and as I wrote the result is in fact predefined. Apparently turnout is planned at 2/3 level and 3/4 'should vote' for. It doesn't matter how the people will vote or not vote.
So I prefer not to take part in this political circus.
 
Indeed I have 2 options - not to vote and vote against.
I prefer not to vote because
- it is hard technically to vote for me (falsely), because I could enter the voting station the last day and the last minutes and check the list of those who voted.
- by contrast technically it is not so hard to substitute my ballot list with forged one.
Number of independent observers is insufficient. International observers are not allowed to visit voting stations.
The voting process is under full control of Putin's men and as I wrote the result is in fact predefined. Apparently turnout is planned at 2/3 level and 3/4 'should vote' for. It doesn't matter how the people will vote or not vote.
So I prefer not to take part in this political circus.
Rubbish. If they can substitute your ballot with a forged one they can do that whether you vote or not.

By not voting you are enabling something you claim to be against. You are a duck.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
The voting process is under full control of Putin's men and as I wrote the result is in fact predefined.
As so often, our good friend Darth nails it:

 

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