Russia, the 19th century Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev reminded the world, cannot be measured by “an ordinary yardstick.” The same thing is true of its current leader, Vladimir Putin, he isn’t a politician in the sense most understand the word. Rather he is a KGB officer given to spying and provocations, according to a Ukrainian blogger.
In a post, the blogger, who uses the screen name G. Monro, argues that it is critically important to understand this difference lest anyone “dangerously underestimate the Kremlin Chekists” and what they are quite ready to do.
The blogger says that he doesn’t believe the recent terrorist acts in Odessa were accidental. Instead, he argues, they reflect the fact that the Russian state “by means of the hands of its marionettes or diversionary units sent in from abroad, its spies and agents” is engaged in a war against Ukraine and acting in the only way its leaders know how to act.
“Why does Russia need these terrorist actions?” he asks rhetorically. “In all probability,” he says, the Kremlin needs them to destabilize the situation in the south of Ukraine to make a land corridor to Crimea and also to punish Ukraine for its having blocked Moscow’s Novorossiya project.
“Now let us imagine what will happen if such terrorist acts will continue in Ukraine, if Russia via the hands of its spies, diversionists, special services and the like will increase tension and fear in Ukraine. Toward what will that lead the Ukrainian side in response?” the blogger asks.
In the blogger’s view, “security and the defense of the state are too important tasks to entirely entrust them not to politicians but to intelligence officers, spies, or military officers because a professional politician thinks globally while a professional spy thinks [only] locally.”
That is, the spy carries out a specific task or order from above, but a politician “above everything else will calculate all the consequences for himself and the state if he were to give an order to destabilize a city or state beyond the borders of his own.”
“It is time to dispel the myth that Putin is a politician. Putin is not a politician,” the blogger says. He “is a spy, a diversionist and a provocateur.” That is how he was trained, and that is how he acts. He “never participated in a political struggle as did Yeltsin, Gorbachev, Thatcher, Kohl, Mitterand, Bush or Obama.”
Putin “received power in Russia not as a result of elections but as a result of a complex espionage-political special operation,” as the Kremlin leader has himself acknowledged. And he and the KGB officers who came to power with him reflected their experiences which were very different from those of politicians, even Soviet politicians.
Unlike those who went into Komsomol or Communist Party work, KGB officers “were not trained to be politicians or major government managers.” They were trained to be intelligence officers, in their own separate schools, and with their own separate system of values and rewards. All that set them apart from the others.
What did Putin and his fellow officers learn in the KGB? “To find sources of information, to steal documents, to hand over money to agents abroad … to deceive, to persuade, to use hypocrisy, to kill, and to employ” all the other black arts of their profession within the terms of its rules rather than those of anyone else. And that is what they brought with them to power.
“Even in the USSR,” the blogger continues, “politicians of the level of Premier Kosygin understood very well what Putin and his creatures in the Kremlin do not: ‘politics is the concentrated expression of economics.’” That led those like Kosygin to be careful and cautious; the lack of such understanding has unhinged Putin to engage in “stupidity and adventurism.”
Returning to the situation in Ukraine, the blogger notes that “politicians there were not taught in the Ukrainian SSR to be politicians, and as a result they have made approximately the same mistakes as their colleagues in Russia.” But in Ukraine, those in power are not Chekists but “former Komsomol secretaries” who understand more about politics.
If Moscow continues its terrorist attacks on Ukraine, that situation could change, and Ukrainian special services could assume a larger role. If that happens, then it is entirely possible that they would want to organize “just such terrorist actions in Russia, such as, in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Rostov, Belgorod and Voronezh.”
In that event, there would likely arise “a years-long terrorist war,” one very much like that which has taken place in Northern Ireland. Indeed, the Russian-Ukrainian situation would make that pale into insignificance
“Comrade Putin!” the blogger ends his post with an appeal. “Stop engaging in terrorism in Ukraine.” Ukrainians will eventually respond in kind.“Think about the possible consequences of that for Russia.”Or is it the case, the blogger concludes, that the comrade in the Kremlin doesn’t care about that at all?