The International founded by Vladimir Putin is “unique,” Igor Yakovenko says. It differs from all its predecessors and counterparts in that it is not based on any ideology, instead it based on loyalty to Putin personally and his regime and founded on the use of vast amounts of money to promote itself.
“Despite all the financial problems of Putin’s Russia,” the Moscow commentator points out, there is always enough money for Putin to promote himself domestically and abroad because he controls far more of Russia’s budget, which is much smaller than that of the US, than does Barack Obama of his much larger one.
In an essay today entitled “The Putin International of Lies: Information War and the Schoederization of Elites,” Yakovenko cites as evidence of this the fact that Moscow currently spends 20 times more on its English-language channel Russia Today [marketed abroad as “RT” – Ed.] than all US media does on their broadcasting in Russian.
Yakovenko argues that “it would not be a bad thing for the leaders of Western countries to at least become a little acquainted with this [Putin] instrument of influence and learn how to counter it.” To that end, he offers a brief description both of the International and of the views of the man behind it.
“Lenin created the Comintern for the struggle against Western civilization,” he begins. After World War II, the USSR “broadened its arsenal” with a whole range of institutions. But now, despite the failure of many in the West to appreciate it, Putin has both expanded and transformed this tool.
Everyone must understand, the Moscow commentator writes, that “Putin is an absolute moral idiot and his closest entourage has been chosen for the same quality. He is completely lacking in the ability to distinguish between good and evil. [And] he is convinced that all other people on the planet also do not distinguish between the two.”
Because that is the case, Yakovenko says, Putin “does not understand what is bad in the fact that he first completely denied the presence of Russian invasion forces in Crimea and then admitted they were there. He does not understand why his words about ‘certain Turkomans,’ of which he ‘didn’t suspect’ when he flattened their towns with bombs and cruise missiles, are not viewed as quite right.”
“Deception is part of his professional preparation as a graduate of the KGB Higher School. Therefore Putin lies always and about everything. And namely on the total lie is built the Putin International.” But in contrast to other internationals, Yakovenko continues, Putin’s has an enormous portion that like an iceberg is not visible on the surface.
The visible portion consists of “three main structures:”
- The propagandistic (Russia Today and other propaganda broadcasts),
- The intellectual-analytical (the Valdai Club above all), and
- The Russian Foreign Ministry, which metastasizes throughout “all the state apparatus, political structures and civil society of practically all the countries of the international community.”
The basic method the Putin International uses against the West recalls the way in which a spider kills something caught in its web, but instead of injecting poison as a spider does, the Putin International injects money, something that leads to “the Schroederization of elites” and transforms them into victims of Moscow.
Russia Today gets more attention, but it doesn’t have nearly the impact many assume: its ratings are microscopically small both in Europe and in the US. “A much more effective structure,” Yakovenko says, “is the Valdai Club which now is focused much less on ‘telling the world about Russia with love’ than with setting the agenda Putin needs in other countries.
Its top people are former heads of European countries, and its “second level” includes people like Nikolay Zlobin, Alexander Rahr, and Stephen Cohen “and such who seek to transfer the Putin cult to the West or at a minimum to create the impression in Russia that there is such a cult in the West.”
“And the final element” of the Putin International are those “whom Lenin justly called ‘useful idiots.’ They don’t have to be bought. They simply need to be taken by the head, looked at in the eyes mysteriously, and then they will say RUS-SI-A” with the best of them.” There are many in this category, unfortunately.
But “the useful idiot of the year 2015,” Yakovenko says, is “by a large margin,” US Secretary of State John Kerry” who has performed just as Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov would have him.
Clearly, the Moscow commentator concludes, “the existence of such an instrument as the Putin International together with the possession of nuclear arms allows the owner of these two devices to be the greatest threat to world civilization.” It would indeed be well if Western leaders would wake up to this fact.