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Tag: FSB

Putin’s Rasputin

Tuesday, 4 March, 2014 0 Comments

At the end of January last year, Charles Clover, then Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times, asked “How much influence does Father Tikhon Shevkunov have over the Russian president?” The question was posed in a lengthy portrait titled “Putin and the monk“. Snippet:

Father Tikhon Shevkunov “Father Tikhon wields influence in the church far above his modest rank of Archimandrite, or abbot, due primarily to his contacts in the Kremlin. The story that travels with him, which he will neither confirm nor deny, is that he is the confessor to Vladimir Putin. The only details he gives is that Putin, sometime before he became president at the end of 1999 (most likely while he was head of Russia’s FSB security service from 1998 to 1999) appeared at the doors of the monastery one day. Since then, the two men have maintained a very public association, with Tikhon accompanying Putin on foreign and domestic trips, dealing with ecclesiastical problems. But according to persistent rumour, Tikhon ushered the former KGB colonel into the Orthodox faith and became his dukhovnik, or godfather.”

Father Tikhon’s other claim to fame, as Charles Clover points out, is a film entitled Gibel Imperii (The Fall of the Empire), which he produced, and in which he argued that the Byzantine Empire fell, not as the result of assaults by the Ottoman Turks, but because its rulers and elites unwisely copied Western social, economic and political models. Worse, the West, especially Venice, supported separatist movements and central government in Byzantium was weakened. Worse again, young scholars went to the West to study and came back with outlandish notions such as individualism, free enterprise and common markets. Thus, was corrupted the soul of the East to the point where its merchants were ruined and the Empire fell.

Gibel Imperii was ridiculed by historians as a crude attempt to fabricate history and create false parallels with Putin’s imperial Russia. The faithful didn’t care, however. Father Tikhon is now the ex-colonel’s dukhovnik and there can be no doubt about what he’s been whispering in his master’s ear.


Kasparov checkmates Putin pawn Snowden

Friday, 4 October, 2013 0 Comments

It’s heartening to see that the grandmaster Garry Kasparov has more than 50,000 “likes” on Facebook. Not surprising, though, when one considers the quality of his posts. Take the 1 October one about the repulsive fact that the leaker and fugitive Edward Snowden has been shortlisted for the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament. As Kasparov points out: “…his providing cover to the Putin regime should disqualify him from any award bearing the name of the great Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.” And for the useful idiots in Brussels and across the West in denial about Putin’s police state, Kasparov adds: “The next day, the Russian Communication Minister announced that the Russian FSB (KGB) can listen to ANY conversation, read any email or text or any other form of communication with no warrant or special permission. I imagine Snowden will have some strong comments about this!” Doubt it. Pawns don’t speak.

https://www.facebook.com/GKKasparov/posts/10151918633533307

Note: The word “pawn” is often used to mean “one who is sacrificed for a larger purpose”. Because the pawn is the weakest piece on the chess board, it is often used metaphorically to indicate outright disposability: “He’s only a pawn in the game.”