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Is Putin profoundly corrupt or “incorruptible?”

By Sharon Tennison | CCI | April 2017

As the Ukraine situation has worsened, unconscionable misinformation and hype is being poured on Russia and Vladimir Putin. Journalists and pundits must scour the Internet and thesauruses to come up with fiendish new epithets to describe both. Wherever I make presentations across America, the first question ominously asked during Q&A is always, “What about Putin?” It’s time to share my thoughts which follow:

Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes. Based on my earlier experience with him, and the experiences of trusted people, including U.S. officials who have worked closely with him over a period of years, Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man.

He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he became Russia’s second president.

I’ve stood by silently watching the demonization of Putin grow since it began in the early 2000s –– I pondered on computer my thoughts and concerns, hoping eventually to include them in a book (which was published in 2011). The book explains my observations more thoroughly than this article.

Like others who have had direct experience with this little known man, I’ve tried to no avail to avoid being labeled a “Putin apologist”. If one is even neutral about him, they are considered “soft on Putin” by pundits, news hounds and average citizens who get their news from CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a program developer in the USSR and Russia for the past 30 years. But during this time, I’ve have had far more direct, on-ground contact with Russians of all stripes across 11 time zones than any of the Western reporters or for that matter any of Washington’s officials.

I’ve been in country long enough to ponder on Russian history and culture deeply, to study their psychology and conditioning, and to understand the marked differences between American and Russian mentalities which so complicate our political relations with their leaders.

As with personalities in a family or a civic club or in a city hall, it takes understanding and compromise to be able to create workable relationships when basic conditionings are different. Washington has been notoriously disinterested in understanding these differences and attempting to meet Russia halfway.

In addition to my personal experience with Putin, I’ve had discussions with numerous American officials and U.S. businessmen who have had years of experience working with him––I believe it is safe to say that none would describe him as “brutal” or “thuggish”, or the other slanderous adjectives and nouns that are repeatedly used in western media.

I met Putin years before he ever dreamed of being president of Russia, as did many of us working in St.Petersburg during the 1990s. Since all of the slander started, I’ve become nearly obsessed with understanding his character. I think I’ve read every major speech he has given (including the full texts of his annual hours-long telephone “talk-ins” with Russian citizens).

I’ve been trying to ascertain whether he has changed for the worse since being elevated to the presidency, or whether he is a straight character cast into a role he never anticipated––and is using sheer wits to try to do the best he can to deal with Washington under extremely difficult circumstances.

If the latter is the case, and I think it is, he should get high marks for his performance over the past 14 years. It’s not by accident that Forbes declared him the most Powerful Leader of 2013, replacing Obama who was given the title for 2012. The following is my one personal experience with Putin.

The year was 1992

Putin with Anatoly Sobchak, Mayor of St. Petersburg, early 1990s. Putin was one of Sobchak’s deputies from 1992-96

It was two years after the implosion of communism; the place was St.Petersburg.

For years I had been creating programs to open up relations between the two countries and hopefully to help Soviet people to get beyond their entrenched top-down mentalities. A new program possibility emerged in my head. Since I expected it might require a signature from the Marienskii City Hall, an appointment was made.

My friend Volodya Shestakov and I showed up at a side door entrance to the Marienskii building. We found ourselves in a small, dull brown office, facing a rather trim nondescript man in a brown suit.

He inquired about my reason for coming in. After scanning the proposal I provided he began asking intelligent questions. After each of my answers, he asked the next relevant question.

I became aware that this interviewer was different from other Soviet bureaucrats who always seemed to fall into chummy conversations with foreigners with hopes of obtaining bribes in exchange for the Americans’ requests. CCI stood on the principle that we would never, never give bribes.

This bureaucrat was open, inquiring, and impersonal in demeanor. After more than an hour of careful questions and answers, he quietly explained that he had tried hard to determine if the proposal was legal, then said that unfortunately at the time it was not. A few good words about the proposal were uttered. That was all. He simply and kindly showed us to the door.

Out on the sidewalk, I said to my colleague, “Volodya, this is the first time we have ever dealt with a Soviet bureaucrat who didn’t ask us for a trip to the US or something valuable!

I remember looking at his business card in the sunlight––it read Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

1994

U.S. Consul General Jack Gosnell put in an SOS call to me in St.Petersburg. He had 14 Congress members and the new American Ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, coming to St.Petersburg in the next three days. He needed immediate help.

I scurried over to the Consulate and learned that Jack intended me to brief this auspicious delegation and the incoming ambassador.

I was stunned but he insisted. They were coming from Moscow and were furious about how U.S. funding was being wasted there. Jack wanted them to hear the”good news” about CCI’s programs that were showing fine results. In the next 24 hours Jack and I also set up “home” meetings in a dozen Russian entrepreneurs’ small apartments for the arriving dignitaries (St.Petersburg State Department people were aghast, since it had never been done before––but Jack overruled).

Only later in 2000, did I learn of Jack’s former three-year experience with Vladimir Putin in the 1990s while the latter was running the city for Mayor Sobchak. More on this further down.

December 31, 1999

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin leaves the Kremlin on the day of his resignation, December 31 1999. Prime Minister Putin (second left) became acting president.

With no warning, at the turn of the year, President Boris Yeltsin made the announcement to the world that from the next day forward he was vacating his office and leaving Russia in the hands of an unknown Vladimir Putin.

On hearing the news, I thought surely not the Putin I remembered––he could never lead Russia. The next day a NYT article included a photo.

Yes, it was the same Putin I’d met years ago! I was shocked and dismayed, telling friends, “This is a disaster for Russia, I’ve spent time with this guy, he is too introverted and too intelligent––he will never be able to relate to Russia’s masses.”

Further, I lamented: “For Russia to get up off of its knees, two things must happen: 1) The arrogant young oligarchs have to be removed by force from the Kremlin, and 2) A way must be found to remove the regional bosses (governors) from their fiefdoms across Russia’s 89 regions”.

It was clear to me that the man in the brown suit would never have the instincts or guts to tackle Russia’s overriding twin challenges.

February 2000

Almost immediately Putin began putting Russia’s oligarchs on edge. In February a question about the oligarchs came up; he clarified with a question and his answer:

What should be the relationship with the so-called oligarchs? The same as anyone else. The same as the owner of a small bakery or a shoe repair shop.

This was the first signal that the tycoons would no longer be able to flaunt government regulations or count on special access in the Kremlin. It also made the West’s capitalists nervous.

After all, these oligarchs were wealthy untouchable businessmen––good capitalists, never mind that they got their enterprises illegally and were putting their profits in offshore banks.

Four months later Putin called a meeting with the oligarchs and gave them his deal:

They could keep their illegally-gained wealth-producing Soviet enterprises and they would not be nationalized …. IF taxes were paid on their revenues and if they personally stayed out of politics.

This was the first of Putin’s “elegant solutions” to the near impossible challenges facing the new Russia. But the deal also put Putin in crosshairs with US media and officials who then began to champion the oligarchs, particularly Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The latter became highly political, didn’t pay taxes, and prior to being apprehended and jailed was in the process of selling a major portion of Russia’s largest private oil company, Yukos Oil, to Exxon Mobil. Unfortunately, to U.S. media and governing structures, Khodorkovsky became a martyr (and remains so up to today).

March 2000

I arrived in St.Petersburg. A Russian friend (a psychologist) since 1983 came for our usual visit. My first question was, “Lena what do you think about your new president?” She laughed and retorted, “Volodya! I went to school with him!

She began to describe Putin as a quiet youngster, poor, fond of martial arts, who stood up for kids being bullied on the playgrounds. She remembered him as a patriotic youth who applied for the KGB prematurely after graduating secondary school (they sent him away and told him to get an education).

He went to law school, later reapplied and was accepted. I must have grimaced at this, because Lena said:

Sharon in those days we all admired the KGB and believed that those who worked there were patriots and were keeping the country safe. We thought it was natural for Volodya to choose this career.

My next question was:

What do you think he will do with Yeltsin’s criminals in the Kremlin?

Putting on her psychologist hat, she pondered and replied:

If left to his normal behaviors, he will watch them for a while to be sure what is going on, then he will throw up some flares to let them know that he is watching. If they don’t respond, he will address them personally, then if the behaviors don’t change–– some will be in prison in a couple of years.

I congratulated her via email when her predictions began to show up in real time.

Throughout the 2000s

St.Petersburg’s many CCI alumni were being interviewed to determine how the PEP business training program was working and how we could make the U.S. experience more valuable for their new small businesses. Most believed that the program had been enormously important, even life changing. Last, each was asked:

So what do you think of your new president?

None responded negatively, even though at that time entrepreneurs hated Russia’s bureaucrats. Most answered similarly, “Putin registered my business a few years ago”.

Next question:

So, how much did it cost you?

To a person they replied, “Putin didn’t charge anything”. One said:

We went to Putin’s desk because the others providing registrations at the Marienskii were getting ‘rich on their seats.’

Late 2000

Into Putin’s first year as Russia’s president, US officials seemed to me to be suspect that he would be antithetical to America’s interests––his every move was called into question in American media. I couldn’t understand why and was chronicling these happenings in my computer and newsletters.

Year 2001

Jack Gosnell (former USCG mentioned earlier) explained his relationship with Putin when the latter was deputy mayor of St.Petersburg. The two of them worked closely to create joint ventures and other ways to promote relations between the two countries. Jack related that Putin was always straight up, courteous and helpful.

When Putin’s wife, Ludmila, was in a severe auto accident, Jack took the liberty (before informing Putin) to arrange hospitalization and airline travel for her to get medical care in Finland. When Jack told Putin, he reported that the latter was overcome by the generous offer, but ended saying that he couldn’t accept this favor, that Ludmila would have to recover in a Russian hospital.

She did––although medical care in Russia was abominably bad in the 1990s.

A senior CSIS officer I was friends with in the 2000s worked closely with Putin on a number of joint ventures during the 1990s. He reported that he had no dealings with Putin that were questionable, that he respected him and believed he was getting an undeserved dour reputation from U.S. media.

Matter of fact, he closed the door at CSIS when we started talking about Putin. I guessed his comments wouldn’t be acceptable if others were listening.

Another former U.S. official who will go unidentified, also reported working closely with Putin, saying there was never any hint of bribery, pressuring, nothing but respectable behaviors and helpfulness.

I had two encounters in 2013 with State Department officials regarding Putin:

At the first one, I felt free to ask the question I had previously yearned to get answered:

When did Putin become unacceptable to Washington officials and why??

Without hesitating the answer came back:

The knives were drawn’ when it was announced that Putin would be the next president.”

I questioned WHY? The answer:

I could never find out why––maybe because he was KGB.”

I offered that Bush #I, was head of the CIA. The reply was

That would have made no difference, he was our guy.

The second was a former State Department official with whom I recently shared a radio interview on Russia. Afterward when we were chatting, I remarked, “You might be interested to know that I’ve collected experiences of Putin from numerous people, some over a period of years, and they all say they had no negative experiences with Putin and there was no evidence of taking bribes”. He firmly replied:

No one has ever been able to come up with a bribery charge against Putin.”

From 2001 up to today, I’ve watched the negative U.S. media mounting against Putin …. even accusations of assassinations, poisonings, and comparing him to Hitler.

No one yet has come up with any concrete evidence for these allegations. During this time, I’ve traveled throughout Russia several times every year, and have watched the country slowly change under Putin’s watch. Taxes were lowered, inflation lessened, and laws slowly put in place. Schools and hospitals began improving. Small businesses were growing, agriculture was showing improvement, and stores were becoming stocked with food.

Alcohol challenges were less obvious, smoking was banned from buildings, and life expectancy began increasing. Highways were being laid across the country, new rails and modern trains appeared even in far out places, and the banking industry was becoming dependable. Russia was beginning to look like a decent country –– certainly not where Russians hoped it to be long term, but improving incrementally for the first time in their memories.

My 2013/14 Trips to Russia:

In addition to St.Petersburg and Moscow, in September I traveled out to the Ural Mountains, spent time in Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Perm. We traveled between cities via autos and rail––the fields and forests look healthy, small towns sport new paint and construction. Today’s Russians look like Americans (we get the same clothing from China).

Old concrete Khrushchev block houses are giving way to new multi-story private residential complexes which are lovely. High-rise business centers, fine hotels and great restaurants are now common place––and ordinary Russians frequent these places. Two and three story private homes rim these Russian cities far from Moscow.

We visited new museums, municipal buildings and huge super markets. Streets are in good repair, highways are new and well marked now, service stations look like those dotting American highways. In January I went to Novosibirsk out in Siberia where similar new architecture was noted. Streets were kept navigable with constant snowplowing, modern lighting kept the city bright all night, lots of new traffic lights (with seconds counting down to light change) have appeared.

It is astounding to me how much progress Russia has made in the past 14 years since an unknown man with no experience walked into Russia’s presidency and took over a country that was flat on its belly.

So why do our leaders and media demean and demonize Putin and Russia???

Like Lady MacBeth, do they protest too much?

Psychologists tell us that people (and countries?) project off on others what they don’t want to face in themselves. Others carry our “shadow” when we refuse to own it. We confer on others the very traits that we are horrified to acknowledge in ourselves.

Could this be why we constantly find fault with Putin and Russia?

Could it be that we project on to Putin the sins of ourselves and our leaders?

Could it be that we condemn Russia’s corruption, acting like the corruption within our corporate world doesn’t exist?

Could it be that we condemn their human rights and LGBT issues, not facing the fact that we haven’t solved our own?

Could it be that we accuse Russia of “reconstituting the USSR”––because of what we do to remain the world’s “hegemon”?

Could it be that we project nationalist behaviors on Russia, because that is what we have become and we don’t want to face it?

Could it be that we project warmongering off on Russia, because of what we have done over the past several administrations?

Some of you were around Putin in the earlier years. Please share your opinions, pro and con …. confidentiality will be assured. It’s important to develop a composite picture of this demonized leader and get the record straight. I’m quite sure that 99% of those who excoriate him in mainstream media have had no personal contact with him at all. They write articles on hearsay, rumors and fabrication, or they read scripts others have written on their tele-prompters. This is how our nation gets its “news”, such as it is.

There is a well known code of ethics among us: Is it the Truth, Is it Fair, Does it build Friendship and Goodwill, and Will it be Beneficial for All Concerned?

It seems to me that if our nation’s leaders would commit to using these four principles in international relations, the world would operate in a completely different manner, and human beings across this planet would live in better conditions than they do today.

As always your comments will be appreciated. Please resend this report to as many friends and colleagues as possible.

Sharon Tennison ran a successful NGO funded by philanthropists, American foundations, USAID and Department of State, designing new programs and refining old ones, and evaluating Russian delegates’ U.S. experiences for over 20 years. Tennison adapted the Marshall Plan Tours from the 40s/50s, and created the Production Enhancement Program (PEP) for Russian entrepreneurs, the largest ever business training program between the U.S. and Russia. Running several large programs concurrently during the 90s and 2000s, funding disappeared shortly after the 2008 financial crisis set in. Tennison still runs an orphanage program in Russia, is President and Founder, Center for Citizen Initiatives, a member of Rotary Club of Palo Alto, California, and author of The Power of Impossible Ideas: Ordinary Citizens’ Extraordinary Efforts to Avert International Crises. The author can be contacted at sharon@ccisf.org

January 28, 2018 - Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | ,

48 Comments »

  1. Putin is the “Villain De Jour”…….It used to be Castro, Khrushchev, Ayathollah Khomeini, Kym Jong Il, Saddam Hussein, Mr Assad….. etc etc……..

    America always needs a villain, a ‘Bad Guy’ to DIVERT the American people’s attention away from the criminals that have Hi-Jacked the USA, from within.
    Take a ‘long hard look’ at who REALLY has massive interference in the day to day running of the USA, America.

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 28, 2018 | Reply

  2. Thanks,

    For your insight on this subject.

    This link, may provide further information,

    http://voxfux.com/features/bush_counterfeit.html

    Comment by mudx | January 30, 2018 | Reply

    • NOTHING would surprise me, when it comes to the Criminals who run, and control, the USA. I think the American people are waking up to what is being done behind their backs, but, what can they do. The Criminals have all bases covered.
      The Banking system, the legal system, the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, NSA, Media, etc etc, are run and controlled by the “DEEP STATE”……..and, if “The People” arise……..The Dept of Homeland Security(armed to the teeth) are there to “restore order”…..

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 30, 2018 | Reply

      • Correct!

        Comment by Baird Seymour | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  3. I have visited Russia twice, 1990 and 1994 and hosted a few Russians here in Los Angeles. All were highly intelligent cultural leaders. In about 1996 I told them that America would never be their friend and would not be satisfied until American troops occupied the Moscow Kremlin. My Russian friends were absolutely horrified by my remarks. I had no specific reason. it was just my intuitive judgement, which appears to be true.

    Since that time I have concluded that these are the reasons for the animosity:

    1. American leadership wishes to loot Russia of its resources
    2.American hatred of Russia is partly a result of following British foreign policy (they hate Russia).
    3. Putin stopped the Jewish oligarchs from looting. A big no no. One must never interfere with Jews.
    4. The brutal history of Soviet Communism makes Americans very uneasy and rightly so.
    5. Russia has a first class nuclear deterrent that could destroy America easily.
    6. Russia has had a profound Christian transformation. Many Americans are very anti Christian.
    6. They speak a very differnt language and have a different alphabet.
    7. The military / industrial / security complex needs them as an enemy to gain funding.
    8. People are not too smart and stick to their old patterns.

    Comment by Wayne pacific | January 31, 2018 | Reply

    • “Like”

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 31, 2018 | Reply

    • Exactly. The renaissance of Christianity in Russia in the last 30 years is a problem for Pax Americana and fledgling Pax Judaica. Multipolar world advocated by Russia threatens the petrodollar and its financial slavery. Communism ( Bolchevik revolution) in fact was a Jewish organized revolution to diminish Russia and slaughter the Christians ( 60 million were killed) was financed by Jewish Wall street banks… Anthony Sutton and E. Dillon ( the plot against Christianity) and yes Washington would love to loot the gold reserves of Russia….

      Comment by Steven Harris | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • Agree

      Comment by Baird Seymour | February 3, 2018 | Reply

    • NUMBER THREE AND FOUR ARE ACTUALLY NO.TWO. THIS HATRED GOES BACK CENTURIES WITH THE SZARS POGROMS AS THE REASON. IT IS INSTILLED IN ALL JEWS FROM BIRTH ON, THAT THE RUSSIAN IS A MURDERER. AND WORSE. AND DON’T FORGET 99% OF THE REVOLUTIONARY BOLSHEVICS WERE JEWS AND RAN RUSSIA EVEN AFTER STALIN PURGES. AND THE AMAZING THING IS IN THE SO CALLED ANTI SEMETIC PURGES OF THE 70S WAS ACTUALLY PERPETRATED BY THE JEWISH SOON TO BE OLIGARCHS.

      Comment by RICHARD A FEIBEL | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  4. Much is left out of this story: Putin started his career working for the KGB and worked closely with Staci in East
    Germany, actually receiving an award from Staci for his services.

    After the USSR was dissolved, he worked for bloody dictator Yeltsin, and eventually he was named head of the successor to the KGB, the FSB. While working in St Peterburg in the 90’s he continued his service to the FSB.
    “When Putin returned to St. Petersburg, he took a job for a year and a half as assistant to the rector of the university, dealing with “international relations.” However, that was partly a cover story. He was still working for the KGB, recruiting or spying on students. Putin acknowledged recently that he was “a KGB officer under the roof, as we say,” noting that the rector knew about it.” Washpo

    In short what is omitted from this tribute is that Putin has his roots in the KGB, serving 17 years including close co-operation with the notorious East German Staci and that he is, in effect, not only President but the head of the Russian Deep State.

    PCR claims this is an honest assessment of Putin, but I would call it whitewashing, ignoring his rise to power as a spook.

    By honest PCR means that this assessment serves his purpose, which is to glorify Putin while claiming, for instance, that under Obama, the US Police State was worse than the Gestapo……and that the investigation to find out the truth about the Trump campaign is an attempted coup with the purpose of derailing Trump’s efforts to make peace with Russia and avoid the nuclear annihilation PCR feels is more than 50% likely to happen.

    I urge readers to educate themselves on Putin’s background and without distracting from the success he has had, consider his roots in the Deep State of Russia and how it forms a layer of operations which are masked by his public role as President.

    Comment by Dale Ruff | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • What you are saying, in essence, is that we should ignore his behavior of the last fifteen years, and focus on the specious argument of how he should have turned out, considering his “roots.”
      That’s a really narrow-minded and mean-spirited view of life. I don’t think I would like you, based upon your last comment, fifteen tears of proving me wrong notwithstanding.

      Comment by Pejig Mikiziw | February 2, 2018 | Reply

      • Good reply to Ruff’s unfounded implications that Putin’s KGB service is a black mark on his career. Does Ruff equally disparage US military and security agents, and claim that any positive word spoken of any US President who is “commander in chief” of the Deep State agents is “whitewashing”?

        Comment by Derryl Hermanutz | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • In other words, ignore the obvious, and focus on the obscure.

      I don’t think so. PCR has it right.

      Comment by Baird Seymour | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  5. Here is just the latest publication at the Paul Craig Roberts website: “Former Mueller deputy Phil Mudd Tells CNN Government Is Going To Kill Trump”

    Please note that the chiefs of all government agencies have been appointed by Trump and that the
    FBI:, Department of Justice, etc are all Republicans Trump handpicked.

    Also note that relations with Russia are at “an all-time low since the Cold War” and that Putin is claiming:
    “Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the United States for releasing a list of over 200 people with close ties to the Russian government. Putin described the release as a hostile and “stupid” move led by opponents of U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. Treasury Department published the list .”

    The Treasury is run by Trump’s pal, Secretary Mnuchin .

    It appears it is the Republicans who are trying to execute a coup and are the enemies of
    Trump, a standard perception of the paranoid but in this case, likely true, witness the vote by Republicans in Congress to oppose Trump’s repeal of the Russian sanctions: 254-4.

    Comment by Dale Ruff | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  6. Hello Sharon, good afternoon,

    Many thanks for such an interesting report, Culturally speaking among other attributes Russian President Vladimir Putin has, makes him stand out from the crowd, congrats!

    Comment by FRANK BETTE | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  7. Outstanding article, I have a Russian spouse, we were talking about Putin and she told me she thought he was a very good man and President. I had a sort of negative view of Mr. Putin at the time, she asked me if I had actually read any of his speeches, I had to admit I had not.

    So I started reading his speeches from the day he became president forward, and studying Russian societal conditions when he became president and how they changed going forward. A few weeks later my view was completely changed.

    Now, about six years later, I am convinced that he is the greatest statesman alive in the world today, followed by President Xi, for similar reasons. I just wish I could say such nice things about our last five presidents.

    Comment by Neo Nemo | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • I do not know the man, but what I hear from him, and what I see of him, I think he is a highly intelligent and conscientious man. (Unlike the lot in the USA)

      Comment by ilse | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • You are 100% correct Neo Nemo. I too have listened to Putin for years and it is obvious to anyone with even one brain cell that he speaks the truth and is undoubtedly the only Statesman in a position of power today. He is the only one calling for international law to be observed and for countries sovereignty to be respected. That is what riles the Jews who run the USA as they want the NWO world fascist government run by the Vatican, Rothschild maggots, fat little Nicky Rockefeller, Warburg gangsters and the rest of the Freemason Knights of Malta Jesuits.

      Comment by Catalpa | February 7, 2018 | Reply

  8. Thanks for your insights! I admire Putin for what the man has accomplished in his short tenure. I have listened to many of his speeches including the ones where he simply answers questions for a continuous 4 hours and really answers. The man is very informed and, I believe, extremely honest. It is clear to me that there is only one reason why he is so demonized in the U.S. : the need for a perceived enemy so that the totally out of control funds to the dod keep flowing.

    Comment by Dutch | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  9. The author is absolutely right about U.S. leadership “projecting” our own brutality, dishonesty and desire for global domination “onto” the current villain of the month (decade) – in this case Putin. When our CIA was running drugs to fund the Contras the Whitehouse accused the “Sandinistas” of being drug runners, when the UN under U.S. pressure killed a half million Iraqi children with our sanctions we accused “Saddam” of being brutal to his people, when later under Bush II invaded Iraq and slaughtered men, women and children, we accused those Iraqi’s that fought back of being “terrorists” or “insurgents.”

    This favored method of demonization is clear from countless examples of U.S. foreign policy, including the issue of the moment, the accusation that Russia “influenced our elections.” The reality of course is that in full view of the world the U.S. got our puppet Yeltsin back into power with massive election rigging, taking him from single digit approval back into the presidency. Only by being totally ignorant of our history are Americans able to convince themselves of the latest nonsense out of the State Department, CIA and Pentagon.

    Comment by intergenerationaltrauma | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  10. I had subscribed to doug casey’s newsletter around 2008, one writer, marin something or other, had written a tell all book about Putin, the chetchan (?) war was semi correct and pure subjective the rest, in my opinion, was speculation and hearsay crap so I cancelled his newsletter. I like Putin and have followed his career since and this report confirms my opinion of this man.

    Comment by Rick Marshall | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • In wars there will always be outrages, on all sides. The first question should be whether the situation is a choice or a reaction.

      If the Chechen war was fomented by the NATO bloc as means of keeping Russia down which side was most culpable?

      Since the 90s we have learned a lot more about international sponsorship of Islamic militant groups.

      Comment by aletho | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  11. My mother meets Putin.

    Perhaps it was still the late 1990ties when Putin was in NewYork City and a reception was created for him at Columbia University where my mother was a Professor in the Slavic Department. As a senior member of the faculty and one of the few for whom Russian was a first language she was invited to this reception. She hesitated to attend arguing she had no reason or desire to meet a KGB agent, the standard take on Putin in those days. She doubted his genuineness very seriously and proclaimed that any politician can and will walk into a church to make a sign of the cross for publicity and voter support. Putin had by that time already demonstrated his support for the Russian Orthodox Church. Most Russian emigres were quite cynical about this support. A standing play on words at the time was that Russia had already suffered under Rasputin, and it surely didn’t need a Dvaputin. (“Ras” = once; “Dva” = twice). Nonetheless duty called and my mother went to the function.

    At the reception she was approached by a Russian speaking stranger and asked if she would like to meet Putin. She was taken aback and responded that she had no reason to speak with Putin and implied that she had nothing to say to him. Then the stranger offered that it was not he himself who was proposing the introduction but that it was Mr. Putin who had heard about my mother and her background and expressed an interest in meeting her. That was difficult to turn down, and the meeting took place.

    This meeting served to diametrically reverse previous opinions she had held. She found that Putin spoke a “beautiful” Russian, was not a “muzhik” at all, seemed extremely intelligent and well informed and above all – he seemed genuine. He apparently knew some of her family history, knew that some relatives had served under the Tsars (Alexander III and Nicholas II), and then played roles in the Provisional Government. He knew of writers and musicians in the family, etc. I.e. he came equipped with her resume. This startled and charmed her and left the impression with her that she had spoken to a truly gifted and enlightened man.

    None of this can be verified with my mother since she passed more than two years ago. But it remains in the realm of family legends. I, for one, have no reason to doubt its truth.

    Comment by Dimitri Ledkovsky | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • Beautiful. Lovely share.

      Comment by Catherine Polumbus | February 2, 2018 | Reply

    • Hello Sirs, good day!

      Very interesting story indeed,

      Best regards,

      Frank

      Comment by FRANK BETTE | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  12. Thanks for this peace..

    Comment by Gary Walker | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  13. I found him accidentally one night after 2am when RT had one of his 4 hour annual press conferences on. I was mesmerized. Been reading everything ever since. Your article does justice to President Putin and it is far more complete than anything I’ve read. Thank you.

    Catherine Polumbus
    Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
    1964-66

    Comment by Catherine Polumbus | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  14. Rick Marshall,

    The Chechen war began almost immediately after Madeline Albright (US Secretary of State) visited Chechen leaders. I have no doubt she dropped off the huge bribe payment to get it going. If you watch closely, this pattern is repeated again and again, only to be followed by war. By the way, Chechnya is a very small place. But it gathered international headlines to embarrass Russia. As you probably know, the MSM is CIA.

    Comment by Wayne pacific | February 2, 2018 | Reply

  15. I’ve just spun through this analysis/report and its numerous excellent comments. Good job–thanks for this post!

    Comment by roberthstiver | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  16. I was in Russia from 1995 to 2003. At first I was critical for all the wrong reasons – like a fish out of water I was in unfamiliar territory and felt insecure and so found fault. Once I got over myself and started to get some insight into the Russian character I realized I had a lot to learn – and learn I did, it was a great ride.

    I worked as a ESL teacher at a university and in several joint venture businesses teaching Russian men and women, and although I never met Putin I was there when Yeltsin resigned and felt the difference – a lifting of the spirit. Being familiar with the Russian character and listening to a number of Putin’s speeches and his reaction to his detractors I concur with the writer’s assessment of Putin’s character and his reasoning as to why Americans demonize him. What they don’t realize is that this kind of criticism (like mine when I first arrived there) reveals more about the weaknesses of the critic than the person being criticized.

    Comment by Elle Sig | February 3, 2018 | Reply

    • Like

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  17. It’s only about MONEY & specifically the military industrial complex. The millions of people on this planet who were killed or were forced to leave their homes & country. Washington calls that ‘COLLATERAL DAMAGES’

    Comment by o.j. frowein | February 3, 2018 | Reply

    • Thank you for your patriotism to Russia that you carried through decades living in the U.S. I’m not a “Communist” in terms, that everyone who likes the Soviet Union must be a communist, but I grew up in and love my Russian – Soviet world that we lost 27 years ago. (I’m in my late 40s.) And I think Russia is so lucky to have Putin who turned it on the track to be a great country again. I hope Ukraine will have the same leader too, some day. I was born in the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, which was completely Russian in the language and mentality. I’m thinking now about changing my Ukrainian citizenship to Russian. Why? Because the frenzied anti-Russian propaganda in my country makes out of our youth, who grew up reading the fake – from the Soros sponsored school textbooks – history of Ukraine, anti-Russian zombies. They have no idea what’s is going on in Donbass, they don’t leave me any promise that my country will in any close times get back to be the same – or friendly to – country with Russia. Eventually, one day, I believe it will happen anyway.

      Comment by alegria | February 19, 2018 | Reply

      • You might want to keep your citizenship in order to be able to vote, instead of leaving it all to the banderistas…

        Comment by G. Coste | February 20, 2018 | Reply

  18. I lived in the US for 30 years having immigrated with my parents in ’81. In 2011, for many reasons, now a grown man I moved back to Russia and have lived here since. By and far it was the best decision I ever made and yes, this article has its rightful place to tell the truth. The only thing I would critique is how careful it is and asks its questions as if to probe. Take my word for it, Russia is now a better place than the USA. Although it still clearly has a ways to go before its infrastructure can compare, at the rate it’s going that won’t take long. My children will live in a Russia that rivals any wealthy country. Putin is awesome! I know that comment reads child-like, but it’s true. I love it here. Still, the obvious problem exists — The US (rather those who own and operate it) has surely become a more pronounced version of Nazism than I ever thought could be possible. Right now, literally EVERYTHING I read in the western MSM is so 180 degrees turned around from the truth that it is articles like this one that give me hope. But, as with all things factual nowadays, I am certain this article will never be shown on any mass media platform that could actually get the requisite amount of people to read it so as to make any difference or impact at all. I’m afraid that all roads lead to war, and as much as I refuse to believe that’s possible, unfortunately that is where the math leads. As for NGOs and meddling in other people’s/countries’ business, especially Russia, the US with all its NGOs has earned a special place in hell. Sorry of that offends anyone, but for all Americans that read this — you may be unaware that you live in a modern Fascist country, but in much the same way that most Germans in the late 1930s would argue that Hitler’s cause is correct, and that German “exceptionalism” is justified. It’s hard to see oneself from the outside looking in and notice the obvious faults. That is what decades of brainwashing does to people. Say to any American on any street, “Your country is responsible for all of the evils on the planet” and you will get everything from a laugh to an argument and through to a fist to the face, but very few people will ever acknowledge that the current US of A is by far worse and more evil than Nazi Germany ever was. It’s just that people can’t see it since they live as a part of it. All I hope for is that by some miracle all of the anti-Russian politicians end up in prison where they belong and a golden age of friendship and peace somehow manages to navigate through the lies… but that’s childish I suppose. One can only hope.

    Great article. Thank you!

    Comment by Robert | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  19. If you want to know about Putin, get a globe and put red pins on those countries/areas where exists significant and UNINVITED/ILLEGAL Russian military presence(s). Do the same with the U.S. using blue pins.You have your answer right there. My dad served in the Army Air Corp/USAF during WWII, Korea, & Vietnam and was heavily involved in the cold war theatrics being played out with Russia. He would be dumbfounded by the state and hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy and the constant MIC warfare. Putin is a sound leader who is interested in stability, peace and prosperity for his country. Can’t say the same for the current and past U.S. leadership – red, blue or whatever color you choose to vote for.

    Comment by Brian | February 3, 2018 | Reply

    • “Like”….

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | March 27, 2018 | Reply

  20. Albright was up to her neck in starting the Chechen war. Of course Madeline Albright is a Jew surprise surprise.

    Comment by catalpa | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  21. Thank you for enabling me to read and learn more about Putin. I was living in Spain at the time he came to power and his name gave the Spanish a few giggles at the time. I am now back in Ireland and have always defended him to any Irish brainwashed from the Irish media into thinking badly of him. Not true I tell them, Watch what you read in the Media. I think he’s great and long may he be around as an example to the rest of the so called ‘politicians;.
    Judith Robinson

    Comment by Judith Robinson | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  22. ​I just happened to stumble on this piece and there is one thing that no comment has mentioned. Given the incredible deeds of the Russian diplomacy, V. Putin – or the deep state that probably brought him to power – has to be pretty good at picking the right people for whatever job that needs to be done. To me that sounds like true meritocracy, meaning that Russia will thrive even if the current leadership dies of a heart attack. That is, of course, if further wars and some colour revolution can be avoided, as they must if there is going to be a planet worth living on.

    Comment by G. Coste | February 3, 2018 | Reply

  23. This article and it seems most coments expressed here, portray V. Putin in a very positive light very much at variance with the book I am currently reading “The Man Without a Face The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin” by Russian/American journalist Masha Gessen. Have any of the commenters here read this book?

    Comment by R. Jones | February 5, 2018 | Reply

    • Masha Gessen is a Jewish name and every Jew I have known hates Putin. I suppose it is because he brought the looting Jewish oligarchs under control, and he is a devout Christian, that helped Christianity to regain its position in Russia. Jews find this abhorrent.

      Comment by Wayne pacific | February 6, 2018 | Reply

      • At least Putin Puts his country, Russia, before everything else, unlike America, which always puts Israel before everything, including the USA, first.

        Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | February 6, 2018 | Reply

        • I work in Retail clothing and so many of my clients are from Russia. I always ask with great enthusiasm, “don’t you just love Putin?” And they look at me like I had 2 heads. Now, I know why.

          Comment by Catherine Polumbus | February 7, 2018 | Reply

          • Russians here in the USA are not typical Russians. A poor sample. I know that many Russians here in the USA are Jewish.

            Comment by Wayne pacific | February 8, 2018 | Reply

      • I work in Retail clothing and so many of my clients are from Russia. I always ask with great enthusiasm, “don’t you just love Putin?” And they look at me like I had 2 heads. Now, I know why.

        Comment by Catherine Polumbus | February 7, 2018 | Reply

  24. God is using Mr Putin – since the Medes- as he types are not a people that can be bribed – see Scripture. You should do more and PRAY for Mr Putin as my wife and I do. You won’t have a single friend left within the week if you do.

    Comment by Ian Shears | February 9, 2018 | Reply

  25. the same damn boxer calls out Putin for a fist fight, let us burn in hell

    Comment by jesser1971 | April 21, 2018 | Reply


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