“Whispered codes” – feel the sinister security agency style of Putin’s policies… Evil KGB officers hiding the true reasons behind their actions not only from the common people, but even from uninformed members of the elite!
One of the unique traits of the modern informational war, which the West is waging against Russia, is the rejection of such a fundamental concept as facts. Society faces not only an anti-Russian approach to interpreting the events, but also speculations and absolutely unsubstantiated statements, based on which the media and politicians fuel anti-Russian hysteria and portray Russia as the enemy. And we are not talking about some Western fringe politicians or “hawks”, but about an established consensus within the elite.
An example of what a deliberate and well-thought-out information and propaganda campaign can lead to can be seen in the rhetoric of contemporary US and European politicians, who try to explain the reasons behind all their problems by saying that “it’s the Russian’s fault”. Today, the expression “omnipresent KGB agents” is not a reference to an old US Cold War era film, but a new political trend. All kinds of facts are being tailored to serve this trend, and if there is a lack of facts and evidence, then obvious fakes and gross manipulations are used, along with the principle of “who else could it be?”
A good illustration to this is a recent call by Russian phone pranksters to María Dolores de Cospedal, the Spanish Defense Minister. The prankster introduced himself as the Minister of Defense of Latvia. He told de Cospedal that Carles Puigdemont, the former head of Catalonia, is a Russian intelligence agent code-named Cipollino, and that half of the Russian tourists in Barcelona are military personnel. After receiving this information, the Minister of Defense of Spain was about to report it to the country’s Prime Minister. At the end of the call, the prankster also informed de Cospedal, posing as the Latvian Defense Minister, that his own personal driver and even his wife are KGB and FSB agents. Such information also did not raise any doubts, and the Spanish Defense Minister promised the prankster an early meeting with the Spanish head of state.
What should de Cospedal doubt? Of course, KGB and FSB agents are everywhere! This needs no proof!
The works of British journalist Charles Clover, the former Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times, are another brilliant example. In the spring of 2016, Clover published the book Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia’s New Nationalism. There, he tries to prove that Eurasianism (or “The Eurasian Idea”), a theory developed by Alexander Dugin, is the true basis for the actions of Russia’s modern leadership.
The book was included in The Economist‘s Books of the Year 2016 list. Combining known facts with behind-the-scenes stories told, apparently, by their participants (otherwise, they would not be from behind the scenes), Charles Clover presents his English-speaking reader a terrible secret about Russian politics: the secret ideology of Eurasianism and KGB/FSB agents control the country.
Clover uses all possible means to link the concept of Eurasianism, developed by Dugin, to the foreign and domestic policies of modern Russia. He describes the essence of it as follows, “For 15 years of rule by Vladimir Putin and his circle, the Kremlin has drifted towards this idea, aimed not at mass mobilization behind public slogans, but at consolidating an elite behind a set of understood (if unspoken) truths, deniably vague statements and opaque policies; it is the subject not of booming speeches but of whispered codes.”
“Whispered codes” – feel the sinister, security agency style of Putin’s policies… Evil KGB agents hiding the true reasons behind their actions not only from the common people, but even from the uninformed members of the elite!
Only the chosen and informed ones will be able to read their code. One of them, by the way, is the British journalist Charles Clover.
Dugin plays the following role, according to the British journalist: once a marginal figure, who was engaged in transforming the Eurasian theory based on of the ideas of the “new right” into a neo-fascist concept, he becomes the Kremlin’s mastermind. Thus, according to Clover, Dugin is able to influence the development of political events in Russia and around the world. The author does not notice the obvious fact that Dugin is removed from taking part in Russian television broadcasts. He also fails to notice that the first of the Russian intellectuals to speak about the need for a Eurasian reconstruction of our territory was not the terrible ultra-conservative Dugin, but the liberal Andrei Sakharov, who was quite respected in the West. Together with his advisers, he proposed to create a United States of Northern Eurasia (USNE) on the remnants of the USSR during the perestroika era (when no one had even heard of Dugin).
The British journalist presents a series of “testimonies” of how Dugin predicts the future. This should greatly impress the foreign reader. Here is an example of such foresight, “In 2009, in a nationalist prank, Dugin drew a map of a dismembered Ukraine, which included the fateful words ‘Novorossiya’ to signify the eastern provinces, which would ultimately break away after an armed uprising by Russian-backed separatists in 2014. His use of the tsarist-era term prefigured by five years Putin’s use of the same label” It is very strange that Charles Clover does not disclose the influence of Dugin’s ideas not only on Russia’s future, but also on its past, including such rulers as Catherine II who introduced the concept of “Novorossiya” into the political vernacular. However, it seems that Black Wind, White Snow is not the British journalist’s last book, and many miraculous discoveries about Russian history and politics still await the foreign reader.
Dugin himself is described by the British author as follows, “Rather than Cardinal Richelieu, the hidden hand on the tiller of state, Dugin seems more like a character in an Umberto Eco novel – a conspiracy theorist and pamphleteer who is just as surprised as everyone else when his creations leap off the page and into real life.” At the same time, Clover notes that Dugin “deconstructs his arguments as rapidly as he makes them.” Therefore, if you follow the logic of the British journalist, Dugin makes many contradictory statements. It is not surprising that among them can be explanations for any actions by any politician. Then the connection between Putin’s policies and Dugin’s contradictory reasoning seems at the very least problematic, if not to say absolutely illogical. However, this does not concern the British journalist who is engaged in the propaganda of his idea and who is firmly determined to persuade his reader by all means that he is right.
The project of the Eurasian Union, according to Clover, is one of the important pieces of evidence that links Eurasianism and the Russian authorities’ agenda. The British journalist points out that “Putin insisted that the union was ‘not like other previous unions’ and was simply a trade organization analogous to the EU.” But can we trust any of Putin’s words, according to Clover? Of course, we cannot! Not believing is not enough, it is necessary to make up a clever hypothesis which describes what Russia’s leader really wants. In such a case, facts are not needed.
Speaking regarding the true purpose behind the creation of the Eurasian Union, Clover writes, “The Kremlin responded that Clinton had ‘fundamentally misunderstood’ Putin’s vision (the essence of the Eurasian Union – MZ)”, – but this is how dog-whistle politics works: the leader keeps a deniable distance, while the initiates, cloistered away from the profane masses, interpret his esoteric meanings.”
It is noteworthy that the British journalist quotes Hillary Clinton as saying that the Kremlin is trying to “re-Sovietize the region” and at the same time insists that it is not about re-Sovietization or restoring Russia’s influence in the post-Soviet space, but about Eurasianism according to Dugin.
Clover not only interprets Clinton’s words the way he deems necessary, but he also allows himself to criticize John Kerry, who called Russia’s behavior in Ukraine “nineteenth-century thinking.” Clover says that Kerry’s position is wrong, because Russia uses not of a 19th century, but a 21st century ideology, namely, political postmodernism. The British journalist claims, “The Ukraine crisis owes more to the twenty-first-century simulacrum of Russia’s state media bubble…” Clover further notes that Russian politics is a mere simulacrum where “Ukrainian fighter planes shot down Malaysian airliner MH17 over Donetsk, Russian soldiers are ‘on vacation’ in eastern Ukraine, and Kiev is in the grip of a fascist pro-NATO junta.” Meanwhile, the British journalist, of course, does not offer any proof or rebuttal. It must be obvious to everyone that there are no Bandera Nazis and fascists in Ukraine, and that there were never any, and that the Russians are to blame for everything.
Clover “proves” the devotion of Russia’s policy to Dugin’s ideology of Eurasianism with the help of certain words Putin uses in his speeches. Such words as “Eurasia” or “Russians”, in particular, should prove that the Russian President has ominous plans, according to the logic of the British journalist. Here is a detailed quote:
“In speeches, TV talk shows and newspaper articles, he (Putin – MZ) began to use new terminology. Referring to the West, for example, he began to use the term ‘Atlantic’; and when he spoke of Russia’s broader identity he used the term ‘Eurasia’. When he refers to Russians, he increasingly frequently uses the term Russky (meaning ethnic Russians), rather than Rossiisky (referring to a more civic and inclusive definition of the Russian nation state). He also replaced the term ‘nation state’ (with its liberal connotations) with ‘civilization state’, as more appropriate to the historical sweep of the Russian people. Later, unmistakably militaristic words started to enter his lexicon – ‘national traitor’ and ‘fifth column’. When he spoke of patriotism he began to appeal to ‘passionarity’.
These words were drawn from a literature which, until recently, had been the preserve of fringe radical nationalists, and signalled to close observers of Russian politics that their arguments had taken hold. Many of these were drawn from Gumilev’s own works or those of proponents of his theory of Eurasianism, both earlier and later. Now, they are increasingly accepted by a ruling elite that has historically been susceptible to the temptations of philosophical dogma.”
Clover does not have any other proof connecting Putin’s policy and Dugin’s Eurasianism. He admits it openly, “In more than ten years of acquaintance with Dugin, I have no reason to doubt his insistence that he has no direct connection to Putin – I have found none.”
Surprisingly, Clover does not show Dugin’s sinister influence on American ideologists, particularly Z. Brzezinski, who discussed geopolitics and US strategy in Eurasia in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard. Also, there is no mention of the obvious fact that Russia’s citizens have always been traditionally called “Russians”, and “Rossiyane” is a word that sounds odd to these same “Rossiyane” [Russian nationals – translator’s note]. It was introduced into Yeltsin’s political newspeak after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, these facts could cause Western readers to question the logic of Clover’s conclusions, and he certainly does not need it.
In addition to the devious Russian state ideology transmitted via secret code, foreign readers must be convinced that Russian intelligence service agents are everywhere. Clover’s book goes together well with a widespread public information campaign in the West about Moscow hand-picking US presidents and its long reach. This way, on page 256 of the Russian edition of Black Wind, White Snow, Sergey Kurginyan [Russian political scientist, theatre director, politician, and leader of the Essence of Time movement – translator’s note] is mentioned revealing the fact of betrayal on the part of Igor Strelkov [one of the major leaders of DPR militia in summer 2014, who used his authority to withdraw troops and to surrender half of the DPR’s territory to the Ukrainian military without a fight – translator’s note] during his arrival to Donetsk in the summer of 2014. Clover writes, “In fact, Kurginyan’s connection to the KGB may have been more than casual; in 2014, while filming a webcast with the governor of Donetsk People’s Republic, Pavel Gubarev, he referred to himself an ‘officer’ (here and thereafter highlighted by me – MZ), ‘You say to me, an officer, that you know better than I what the situation is?’ he retorted, giving Gubarev a dressing-down.” It may have been an inadvertent slip of the tongue, but, given Kurginyan’s association with the senior KGB leadership, it would surprise no one if that referred to an actual military rank.”
The Western reader, of course, completely agrees with the British journalist. The KGB agent “exposed” himself on camera! What more proof is needed! And Charles Clover needs no proof.
Apparently, the Financial Times held great seminars at their Moscow office on how to expose KGB and the FSB agents, but not on history. All in vain. There, Clover could have found out that in the Soviet times, there were military departments in universities, where students went through military training. At the end of such programs, students were awarded the rank of lieutenant. Subsequently, reserve officers participated in regular military exercises and they would receive promotions.
This is an absolutely common practice for both the USSR and modern Russia. Any person who is in the least bit familiar with Russian reality knows this. Except for foreign journalists working in Moscow. Even without knowing this, it would be possible to search the Internet for information about Kurginyan or his “military rank” and find the necessary information. But why should a British journalist do this? He needs a sensation of exposing security service agents, not facts and evidence.
In general, it seems that all American and European politicians and journalists are handed out special guidelines on how to respond to any information found about Russia.
- Can it be factually proven that KGB or FSB agents’ actions were the cause of something?
- If not, is it possible to come up with a cunning scheme based on which they could have theoretically acted? Then the facts are not needed, but the scheme must be very clever.
- If it is not possible to come up with such a scheme, then think about the fact that you yourself are implicitly defending KGB and FSB agents. Do you disagree?
- If you disagree, then maybe you yourself are a KGB or FSB agent?
- No? Then look again at points 1-3.
It would be funny if it were not so sad …
Today, Western countries are using a primitive information campaign of brainwashing their populations and demonizing Russia. It is based on the rejection of such concepts as fact and proof. It is said: “It does not matter if this is true or not, it is important that it could have been true.”
Such an information campaign is bearing its fruits. Today, there is a fairly large number of people, who sincerely believe that Russian hackers can elect American presidents, and that KGB and FSB agents are so ubiquitous that they have penetrated all spheres of government and society. At the same time, all those who even indirectly appear to have contact with Russia are immediately called agents of the Kremlin.
The most disturbing thing here is that such a demonization of Russia and Russians leads to the creation of such an agenda, under which it would be possible to justify any repressions against our country and our people. Unfortunately, Ukraine’s Bandera Nazi policy confirms this sad fact.
Today, strong parallels can easily be seen between the modern Western Russophobic propaganda and the anti-Semitic policy of the Nazis, who portrayed Jews as the world’s enemy and looked for “Zionist agents” everywhere. Reading Clover’s book, there is
a constant feeling that the British journalist took Nazi texts as the basis, and he simply replaced their mentioning of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion with “Eurasianism”, and ”Jews” with ”Russians”. As you know, a few years after the popularization of these “protocols”, Kristallnacht took place, and later the Nazis moved on to the “final solution to the Jewish question.”
It is impossible, by any means, to ignore the seriousness of the information war being waged against our country. Russia must provide a comprehensive response to the challenges it faces today. Otherwise, there will be no Russia.
This is the translation of an article by Maxim Zhilenkov, first published in the Essence of Time newspaper issue 256 on November 30, 2017.
We encourage republishing of our translations and articles, but ONLY with mentioning the original article page at eu.eot.su (link above).