Fiona Hill, Putin’s Apology; Analysis Part 2

Before proceding further, it’s essential to create “Putin’s Apology.” Here “apology” refers not to Webster’s “1.a : an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret”, but “2.a :  something that is said or written to defend something that other people criticize :…” Plato’s The Apology of Socrates is the great example. … Continue reading Fiona Hill, Putin’s Apology; Analysis Part 2

Putin’s Job Works on Him; His Apology; Navalny Detained

We continue with Putin’s Apology.  As a reminder, an apology is a defense, such as a good trial lawyer might offer. In comparison with the unknowable facts, it could be true, false, or a mix. The only requirement of this apology is that it be favorable to Putin, and not definitively refutable. (Reuters) Opposition politician … Continue reading Putin’s Job Works on Him; His Apology; Navalny Detained

Fiona Hill, Putin’s Apology; Analysis Part 4; KGB Culture

Let’s pick up from Fiona Hill, Putin’s Apology; Analysis Part 3 with an examination of KGB culture, which changed over the lifespan of the Soviet state. Nikita Khrushchev’s “Thaw”  actually presaged Gorbachev’s Perestroika, weak in the absolute sense, but profound compared to what had come before. When a totalitarian leader experiments with liberalization, one of … Continue reading Fiona Hill, Putin’s Apology; Analysis Part 4; KGB Culture

Putin Wins; Russian Politics & Novichok Part 1

Now that Vladimir Putin has been reelected, it’s possible to discuss Russian politics. Before the election, lacking a mythical reputation for objectivity, there would have been several accusations: Meddling in Russian politics, made by the dozen or so people in Russia who regularly read the blog. Participating in the snuffing out of what tiny shreds … Continue reading Putin Wins; Russian Politics & Novichok Part 1

Russia-Gate; Robert Mueller’s Role Part 2

We continue from Russia-Gate; Robert Mueller’s Role Part 1, with the question, Is Putin’s Russia good/bad for Russians? Is it good/bad for everybody else? For Russia itself,  Neutral: Vladimir Putin resurrected a failed nation-state that had attempted to reconstitute itself along the lines of western democracy. His solution,  part of Putin’s Apology, was to co-opt every … Continue reading Russia-Gate; Robert Mueller’s Role Part 2

Fiona Hill, Putin’s KGB; Part 4

Every totalitarian state has a distinct character, which may change over time. Nazi Germany was characterized by competitive fiefdoms, with division of domains adroitly juggled by Hitler to prevent combination against him. In this sense, privileged individuals had considerable latitude of personal choice, as do oligarchs. Private lives also existed, with some finding sanctuary in … Continue reading Fiona Hill, Putin’s KGB; Part 4

Trump Putin Meeting; Finding the Great Trade; Conclusion

We discussed SALT I as an example. What are the  current elements of Identity of interest, linkage, and trust? We have to do some creative thinking to find these elements. Recently, with large troop concentrations around Moscow, there has been some speculation that the Russians are more fearful of the threat environment than revealed by … Continue reading Trump Putin Meeting; Finding the Great Trade; Conclusion

Russia/ St. Petersburg Metro Blasts and the Caucasus

Reuters: Russian minister: 10 dead in St. Petersburg metro blast – Interfax. A sequence of questions results: Is this terrorism? The probability is high, but the question is necessary.  No decent government wants to exacerbate tensions because of the actions of the purely deranged. Is it related to the Caucasus? If it is terrorism, the … Continue reading Russia/ St. Petersburg Metro Blasts and the Caucasus