By Vince Dhimos
Yesterday we discussed how the US completely took over – not just meddled in – the 1996 Russian election to get the pro-US Boris Yeltsin elected, resulting in a disaster for Russia. The American efforts to interfere have resumed since Putin’s election, and particularly since he threw down the gauntlet at the Munich Security Conference, announcing the emergence of a multipolar world in which the sovereignties of all nations would be respected, not just nations loyal to the US in the US-dominated monopolar world of that time.
A few days ago I visited the forum of an article published by my favourite web site Russia Insider. (The comment, by “andrew” is here). I was amazed by an obviously enthusiastically spontaneous comment by a clearly thoughtful and intelligent Russian guy discussing how the comments sections of the internet in Russia had been thoroughly taken over by anti-Russian trolls, which he attributed to US agencies including Soros funds.
In other words, if this is true, as I think it is, then this is a little-known channel for infiltrating the Russian culture and trying to influence the elections.
The difference between Russia and the US in this context is night and day. Russians are delighted with their government and with Putin. His approval rating, despite US influences such as sanctions and those enumerated in our analysis here, ranges around 80% (compared to Obama at 54% and Trump at 35% at the end of their respective first terms).
However, the poster at RI says the Russian web is overflowing with anti-Russian and anti-Putin reader posts. If this is true, then there is an inexplicable discrepancy between poll results and the reader comments, suggesting there could well be a US troll factory spreading anti-Russian propaganda in the Russian blogosphere. Of course, if the US elites are doing this, then it would make sense for them to concoct a story about a sinister pro-Trump Russian troll factory and go to great extremes to convince the public that this story is real, even somehow inducing (paying?) Russian nationals to go along with the story and play protagonists. It sounds outlandish, but what is more outlandish than Russiagate?
Here is NSS’ translation of this very revealing reader comment, which is a rebuttal to another Russian critical of today’s Russia and of Putin. Many of the other respondents accused this first poster of being a troll but Andrew was more conciliatory. In the following, the notation Tr. indicates a comment by the translator.
[Responding to a reader who is sceptical of Russian achievements—Tr.] I understand why you have this impression and what your assessments are based on. And here there are several important points that need to be considered for a more accurate understanding.
The Russian-language Internet is now a real battlefield, which is 80% composed of incompetent slag, filler and outright anti-Russian propaganda. Soros Funds, the CIA and others having gotten at their disposal a huge number of willing Russian-speaking Ukrainians, use them to the fullest. [Many Westerners are unaware that most Ukrainians, even the anti-Russian ones, master the Russian language, which is very closely related to Ukrainian—Tr.] Many of them, by the way, sincerely believe that the situation in Russia is the same as in Ukraine [The Ukrainian economy and government are failures—Tr.]. The small sect of "Strelkovtsy" [followers of Strelkov, former hero of E. Ukrainian Donetsk People’s Republic who turned against Putin after he was removed from his post for his radical views—Tr.], who are used as a mouthpiece by the former Vlasov and Belo-monarchist anti-Soviet offices located outside of Russia, can also be considered part of this.
There are not many sources of genuine reliable information. Therefore, by the way, the impression of such a scattering of opinions can be created. If possible, it is better to look at lively discussions:
[all Russian language sites—Tr]
http: //www.tvc.ru/channel/b ...
http: //www.ntv.ru/peredacha ...
Although, judging by what my friends say (coming back from Canada, by the way), because of the backward Internet networks compared with Russia and the monopoly of AT & T - this can be a problem.
Yes, speaking of salaries, the essence of what I was writing about, is not an attempt to compare prices, or analyse the consumer basket – which is beside the point here. I was trying to explain a simple thing - the quality of life is improving constantly, almost daily. It is simply impossible to list all aspects, because generally everything, from the retail store and the road in front of the house to the interaction of people with state structures.
You surprised me with the newcomers; these are some very unusual people. In recent years, we are seeing a reverse trend, thousands have returned from Germany alone.
The second important point is that you seem to underestimate the deplorable state in which Russia found itself in the early 2000s. In 2003 when I first came to one of the Far Eastern shipbuilding plants to install some equipment, it was in ruins. Just recall the photos of Stalingrad [destroyed by the Nazis in WW II—Tr.] and you’ll have an idea. And this was the situation in so many places.
Last year, this factory sent the first corvette to the Navy. Slow? Sure, you might like it to move along faster, but the amount of work is enormous.
As for machine-tool construction - yes, that didn’t get started until 2011 at the insistence of Putin, when he was prime minister. I wasn’t interested in statistics (I like the saying "there is a lie, there is a big lie and there are statistics"), but the results impress me personally. What is being done now, at least "Rostekhom," is genuine high-tech.
You mention how it was in the USSR, but, damn it, look at the kind of machine-building that was ... it lagged 30 years behind.
In 1981, when I was a student at Baumanka, I worked at one of Moscow's top secret rocket-related enterprises in the summer-time. In the middle of the shop there were two robotic machining centres "Okuma", which looked almost like alien space ships landing on the collective farm. And behind me, the young guy, there was a queue, because I was one of two or three (!) people who could figure out how this crap works and program it. You are again romanticizing the past ...
Another important moment: in 2014-15 and shortly before the presidential elections in the US, our analysts assessed the likelihood of a large-scale conflict at approximately 93%. For three or four years, most of the resources went into ensuring an advantage. And it was done. I don’t know, but I don’t rule out that this could be influencing the choice of US policy.
And what Putin is doing, if we draw historical parallels, it's about like 1939 -1940, but quietly, without any hype, without repression or disruption of the people’s lives.
In all other respects, I have no intention of imposing anything on you. You are an adult; you have the right to any of your own conclusions and opinions.