Putin using Western values to destroy the West, Moscow analyst says

Putin in a propaganda video by RT (Russia Today): "This is the choice of British people" (Image: screen capture).

Putin in a propaganda video by RT (Russia Today): "This is the choice of British people" (Image: screen capture). 

2016/06/27 • Analysis & Opinion

Moscow commentator Andrey Malgin delivers a warning that no one should ignore: Vladimir Putin, he argues, “will use Western values like direct democracy (referenda), freedom of speech and assembly and all the rest for the destruction of the West and these things which are its values.”

Andrey Malgin (Image: kasparov.ru)

Andrey Malgin
(Image: kasparov.ru)

The Kremlin leader understands perfectly well, he says, that he will not be able to defeat the West by economic or military means and thus must choose an indirect approach, one that judo-style exploits the West’s strengths against it. Putin will thus promote populist anger in Western countries with the goal of “converting any vote into a protest.”

There can be “no doubts,” Malgin says, “that Putin’s agents will now push for referenda wherever possible” and on whatever subject, left, right or center, with the goal of achieving the most “destructive” outcome possible. And to that end, he will step up his propaganda directed at Western countries.

Anyone who objects as some have and more will, he continues, Moscow will challenge with the question “Are you against freedom of speech, respected ‘partners’?” To be sure, Russia Today (RT) is “not taken seriously” by many. But it is useful for Putin because of the impact it has on Western journalists who cite it in the name of balance, the current standard of objectivity, and thus spread “Lubyanka fakes” to their audiences.

Sometimes, of course, this will be exposed; but the work is “so total that individual failures will not be able to have an essential impact on the results” the Kremlin seeks, Malgin says, adding ominously that this is the way “the third world war” is being fought, even if one side refuses to acknowledge that fact.

Kirill Martynov, Political editor, Novaya Gazeta (Image: novayagazeta.ru)

Kirill Martynov,
Political editor, Novaya Gazeta
(Image: novayagazeta.ru)

Kirill Martynov, the political editor of Moscow’s “Novaya gazeta,” offers an explanation for why Putin is being so successful in this effort. It is because he appears to understand something that many in the West do not: the way in which the Internet revolution has spread contempt for all elites and expert opinion.

In recent years, he says, “there have been many arguments about what changes the Internet promises us,” especially in the wake of the impact of Twitter on the Arab Spring and the supposedly “liberating potential of new media.” But, he continues, “only now are we beginning to understand how these changes work in fact.”

“It is possible that the main thing that the Internet teaches people is distrust in their own elites,” he argues, noting that “it is difficult to imagine the Trump phenomenon or the ‘incorrect’ voting on Brexit in an era of television” alone. But the Internet in both cases has done its destructive work.

“Now in the new media, we see experts much closer up and in more detail than ever before,” Martynov says. “We observe representatives of the establishment as living people who make mistakes, say stupid things and are laughable.” As a result, “voters in the West no longer want to subordinate themselves to the directives of ‘the empty suits.’”

And that in turn means, he concludes, that “a revision of the social contract in the entire world awaits us.” Such a process will entail many “risks,” including “the collapse of old political alliances and the coming to power of populists.” Those who are banking on this like Putin may thus win, particularly if those he wants to defeat do not recognize the challenge.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Terry Washington

    Whatmakes Putin think he can succeed where his Soviet era predecessors from Lenin to Gorbachev abjectly failed???

    • Quartermaster

      That’s a good question. And, the answer is a simple one – he will not succeed.

    • zorbatheturk

      Possibly because he is insane.

      • Kruton

        Bolsheviks are nutjobs,exactly .

        • zorbatheturk

          Da.

          • zorbatheturk

            I deleted the post. There didn’t seem to be any intelligent debate happening on the thread, so I felt no need to share my wisdom.

  • Mephisto

    There is little doubt that Putin contributed to the results of the Brittish referendum – he financed scoundrels like Farage, Le Pen, Klaus etc. But stupid inbred brittish voters are equally to blame because are susceptible to populist propaganda.
    But i would not overestimate the power of Putin do destroy Europe. He can do mischief, can do some damage (as he has done), but more and more people are starting to wake up and see throught the russian sponsored populism.

    • Quartermaster

      Farage didn’t need any money from Putin. Farage started his resistance to the EU long ago, while Putin was still an aid to the mayor of St. Petersburg, and has been using his own resources which he gained from the financial markets many years ago. When the EU morphed from the common market tot eh EU, and Brussels apparatchiks started running things in way that suited them, and no one else, many started getting uneasy, and the UK has only one of them.
      He has been funding LePen, however.

      • Mephisto

        I come from Czech Republic, and I see the destructive influence that russian subversion has on Czech politics. Our last two strongly eurosceptic presidents (Klaus and Zeman) are very probably russian agents. There is enough indirect evidence to support these claims but I do not want to bore you with irrelevant czech politics.

        I have no doubt that the EU is not perfect, it is bureacratic, lacks good leaders, imposes stupid regulations. Merkel has made serious mistakes with Greek crisis and even greater mistakes with refugees crisis. But the general idea of the EU is good.

        It is in russian interest to break the EU, create rifts, fragment it etc. And the russians are using subversion to this end. The infiltrate politics, place moles in public functions, buy journalists and spread progaganda – not a propaganda about Russian, but a negative subversive progaganda to infect the minds of the people, the erode western values.

        http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21643189-ukraine-suffers-it-time-recognise-gravity-russian-threatand-counter

        “The EU and NATO are Mr Putin’s ultimate targets. To him, Western
        institutions and values are more threatening than armies. He wants to
        halt their spread, corrode them from within and, at least on the West’s
        fragile periphery, supplant them with his own model of governance. In
        that model, nation-states trump alliances, states are dominated by
        elites, and those elites can be bought. Here, too, he has enjoyed some
        success. From France to Greece to Hungary he is cultivating parties on
        Europe’s far right and left: anyone who might lobby for Russian
        interests in the EU, or even help to prise the union apart (see article).
        The biggest target is NATO’s commitment to mutual self-defence.
        Discredit that—by, for example, staging a pro-Russian uprising in
        Estonia or Latvia, which other NATO members decline to help quell—and
        the alliance crumbles.”

        • Kruton

          The Bolshevik child rapers must be obliterated,no mercy,no prisoners!

    • Kruton

      Farage is a good man. Should the British people accept more Moslem invaders,er immigrants,sorry! The elites don’t like their own people,not obedient enough.

  • zorbatheturk

    Putin, and all future Putins, must be stopped. It is as simple as that.

    • Bryan See

      Agree with you.

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    In the era of anti-intellectualism….the average Westerner is starting to think like the average Russian cretin.

    • Kruton

      Not me. Death to the Bolshevik savages!

  • Bryan See

    Five years… from the absurd Phobos-Grunt episode on Wikipedia following the failure of the first Russian interplanetary mission in years perpetuated by BatteryIncluded and administrators across Encyclopedia Dramatica and Know Your Meme to Russavia (from March 2013 to June 2013 to 2015)… that was Vladimir Putin’s plan all along! To use Western values to destroy the West; one of the ways are through BatteryIncluded and Wikipedia administrators.