Robert- In all seriousness why is Putin so great according to the Alt Right and Left? I understand he is an ‘answer’ to neocon bullshit so to speak, but let’s not delude ourselves about this guy.
Juan: He has brutally suppressed opposition to his rule, oftentimes through the murder of journalists, Chechens, whomever. It’s not a free society.
His political opposition are convicted in kangaroo courts of nothing.
Meanwhile Putin has massive investments in 0il in his country, allowing him to push policy to line his pocket books. He is worth $70 billion.
As I said above, an alliance with him and against neocons is a good thing, but this “muh poor Putin victimized by the West” rhetoric is not good.
I cannot speak for the Alt Right. The Left goes a bit too easy on Putin. Putin is definitely a thug. He has had a few people killed. Those people were spies. Intelligence agents, working for the FSB (Russian CIA). All of them were double agents. Even under Yeltsin, several US double agents were executed. In many countries, double agents are considered traitors. It is quite typical for countries to execute double agents. Double agents do not have a long life expectancy. I do not have much sympathy for such heedless and death-defying people. They chose a profoundly risky profession and they paid with their lives. So what?
Also, Putin is out for Putin. He supported Trump because Trump promised to go easy on him, while Hillary had him down as US enemy #1. Who do you expect him to support.
Russia has not been a free country since 1991 and it was not a free country before that all the way back to 1917. Russian people seem like to like benevolent dictators. It’s all they’ve ever known. Most of them don’t even believe in democracy. Putin is extremely popular, with popularity at 87%. Compare that to the popularity of US-supported Medvedev and Yeltsin at ~10%. Isn’t it better to have an authoritarian leader who everyone loves as opposed to one who everyone hates?
You must understand how many people in Russia are corrupt. Putin is about the least corrupt man in the whole country. Nearly the entire opposition is dirty and corrupt. Many to most have organized crime connections. Well documented white collar crime has been aptly demonstrated among nearly all major opposition figures. Some of these people have run afoul of Putin and have been tried and convicted in completely fair courts of law. The Russian legal system is quite fair. There are no kangaroo courts in Russia. A charge of selective prosecution could be made though. The opposition figures now in prison should have thought about that before they committed their dirty white collar crimes.
Putin does not have one nickel of investment in oil in his country to my knowledge.
The Chechen War has been going on since 1991. It’s been a Dirty War from the start, exactly like all of the counterinsurgencies the US supports. Russia’s war against the Chechens is not much different from your typical US supported counterinsurgency. Killings of opposition journalists, human rights activists and Chechen opposition figures and rebel supporters have been going on the entire time. In recent times, almost all such killings have been linked to the internal security forces of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, etc.
I agree that some journalists have been beaten up for reporting the wrong things. Probably Putin’s thugs did this. But the other Presidents murdered journalists. Putin just has a few beaten up. That’s an improvement. Mostly all Putin ever does is shut down opposition media. Most of the opposition TV has been shut down. I think some is still available on cable though. I am not sure about opposition papers, journals and magazines. Actually I believe that the opposition media is alive and well. For instance, I can point you to a CIA-run website that quotes Russian opposition figures on a daily basis. Often they are professors, researchers, journalists or think tank workers. Most are employed inside Russia. They sit there in Russia and shoot off their mouths every day and nothing seems to happen to them. Often the quotes are from Russian papers, magazines, journals, TV stations or radio stations. I assume that all of these are active in Russia. For the most part, it seems that these opposition figures are left alone. You would be amazed at the sort of crap these people say on a daily basis. A lot of them are openly treasonous, supporting the enemy in wartime. For instance, many support Ukraine in the current war.
The Internet is free in Russia and a vast proportion of Russian language media is run by the Opposition, mostly out of Europe. Finland is a major center for this. Any Russian can call up any Russian Opposition website anytime they want to. Most such sites are also in English because most of their readership is among English speakers. Opposition daily newspapers and magazines can be purchased for sale every day in Moscow. I believe the big foreign press is on sale there. I am sure you can buy a copy of the New York Times in Moscow. It is just that nobody wants to read this stuff.
The truth is that the Opposition has no support. The Opposition leader who was killed had gotten 1% support in the last election. The pro-Western Opposition, which is most of the Opposition that the US cares about, has 5-10% support, closer to 5%. Nobody likes them, nobody wants them. I have known some Russians and I asked them about the pro-US Opposition. They all told me, “Oh you mean the traitors? We don’t call them Opposition here. We call them the traitors. Everybody hates them. They support the US. Here in Russia, if you support the US, you are a traitor who supports the enemy. All Russians oppose the US as an enemy state.”
Putin has not murdered one single journalist during his most recent terms in office. In fact far fewer journalists have died under Putin than under any previous President.
There are deaths of journalists in Russia. A few journalists have been killed under Putin. These hits were mostly mob hits or personal disputes. A few were political killings in the Caucasus.
Since 1991, the vast majority of journalist killings have been in the Caucasus. These have all been related to the insurgency down there. Journalists suspected of siding with the rebels or writing about human rights abuses have been killed. This happens in most insurgencies. US-supported insurgencies are notorious for slaughtering journalists and opposition media. The US murdered opposition media in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is standard Pentagon procedure to target opposition journalists as combatants in modern warfare.
By far the most killings of journalists occurred under Boris Yeltsin. Vastly more journalists were killed under Yeltsin than under anyone else. Yeltsin was a stauch US ally and not a single disparaging word was ever written about him in the US press. He also stole elections. Putin’s elections are much freer than Yeltsin’s, and Putin is far less corrupt.
Putin is not worth $60 billion. This is just flat out fake news. In 2007, Putin had a net worth or $150,000. In 2012, Putin’s salary was $130,000. Surely his net worth now is hardly worth more than it was in 2007. Putin has not used the Presidency to enrich himself, unlike our current Scumbag in Chief. Russia’s Executive Branch is vastly more honest and less corrupt than America’s. What I think is amusing is that Americans who just elected a multibillionaire who has filled his Cabinet with billionaires and multibillionaires, are outraged that Putin is supposedly a multibillionaire himself. It’s rich, but all US criticism of anyone is usually pretty rich. We’re Number One all right. Number One in exceptionalism, self-delusion and hypocrisy.