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The heads begin to roll in Russia

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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The heads begin to roll in Russia


Ruropean media report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the house arrest of two senior Federal Security Service (FSB) officers. Colonel-General Sergei Beseda, Chief of the FSB's "Fifth Service," reportedly was detained along with his deputy, Anatoly Bolyuk, charged with providing flawed intelligence about Ukraine and their improper use of operational funds. Separately, Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's national security council chief, claimed that several Russian generals have been fired. Perhaps emulating Joseph Stalin, this could be the onset of a purge and Putin's desperate ploy to provide his domestic audience with a fall guy for self-inflicted wounds. His call to rid Russia of "scum and traitors" as "a necessary self-purification of society" might be Putin's theatrical unveiling of not merely a further crackdown against the Russian people, but also his version of a "cultural revolution" to bring further to heel those around him on whom he has counted to take and maintain power. If I were one of the oligarchs or "siloviki," those from Russia's intelligence services who profiteered on Putin's kleptocracy, I'd be more than just a little worried.

Putin's rhetoric is victimization, villains and heroes. He casts himself as the people's champion. Putin chose the FSB, a machine organized and conditioned to execute his autocratic vision and tell him what he wants to hear - whether or not it conforms with reality. Putin does not trust the army, a sentiment likely validated by its poor performance and his natural KGB-era disposition. Putin's desperation does not bode well for whatever guard rails we would hope to constrain him. A purge undermines Putin's image of infallibility and strength and could precipitate threats from those who see his desperation as an exploitable vulnerability, or an incentive to act before they're next. A purge of scapegoats among those he has enriched, coming as Russia's economy collapses, could boomerang and create a byzantine backdrop of palace-plotting that compels him to compromise or causes his fall. But insular and paranoid as Putin's decisions seem to suggest he has become, a darker alternative is his choosing to go down with the ship - and possibly taking us with him.

With his Ukraine invasion debacle, Putin has been labeled a war criminal and humiliated on the world stage. Kremlin scapegoats will pay the price for his misappropriated sense of infallability.
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