Does Cynically Disordered ‘Civilization‘Start Getting a Return?

In Vladimir Putin‘s interview to the Russian state TV channel announced on 17 May (recorded in September) he called his country that he is controlling for 20 year time not simply a country but the entire ‘separate civilizati…

In Vladimir Putin‘s interview to the Russian state TV channel announced on 17 May (recorded in September) he called his country that he is controlling for 20 year time not simply a country but the entire ‘separate civilization‘– as if in case it was not a civilization it should not own weapons where you cannot find anywhere in the world. Russia must develop, keeping in view what is going on and what is done in other countries, based on the most advances technologies. Summarizing, we cannot lose Russia, thus technologies should be kept in view.    
Talks about separateness and sovereignty (for instance, ‘sovereign democracy’) are not new in this country, however we should say that a ‘separate civilization’ recently is demonstrating not just activity but particularly aggressive relation to ’other’ elements. Commemoration plagues that were removed in Tver for commemoration of Polish prisoners of war shot dead by NKVD in 1940, a monument to Check legionaries, who participated in the Patriotic War of Russia after October Revolution in Chelyabinsk that was violated. The Investigative Committee of Russia started an investigation in regards to holocaust of Russian prisoners of war in Finnish concentration camps during World War II. A lawsuit was initiated against Sergei Dustin, a resident of Baltiysk in the Kalinigrad region, who put flowers on the graves of German soldiers and on the grave of refugees based on the article of the Criminal Code for rehabilitation of Nazi. And so on.    
As Ilya Milstein, a Russian publicist, who is residing in Munich, indicated that similar events are taking place almost every day. We would hardly be mistaken if we thought that demonstration of non-reconciliation with former and current enemies is a part of the state policy in regards to ‘all sorts of’ Germans, Poles, Checks, Finnish, Balts, etc. Enemies ‘live’ in this way in V. Putin’s head, thus they recur like an echo in the actions of leaders, investigators, ‘avengers-enthusiasts’ of Russian regions.   
One of the faces of a ‘separate civilization’ of Russia is called infodemia, which is talked about in the international public space over and over and for long time and what Veronika Víchová, head of the program Kremlin Watch from the organization European Values situated in Prague, called manipulation in information. Russian state media that have their offices in the states of the European Union (EU) are also involved in this (for instance, there are about 40 such representative offices in Czechia).
According to the investigator V. Putin and his environment (necessarily with business oligarchs loyal to the Kremlin) are trying to stay in power as long as possible, thus in the countries of so-called ‘close abroad’ (this term is very popular among people in the ruling class of Russia), such as Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and anywhere else (we named a part of the ‘opponents’ in paragraphs two and three) are pursuing an aggressive politics so its own citizens could not see an example to follow, success stories showing that things can be different from the one in their homeland and ‘would not prevent’ the ruling elite from survival.     
Actually, the need to apply the aggressive politics wherever possible directs the glimpse of the ruling class further away to the West (now, starting with the Baltic States), that are being ‘educated’ to be tolerant to aggressiveness of the Kremlin and pay not so much attention to it. The excuses for that were the crises called up by migrants over a decade ago and now COVID-19 pandemic.
Years back the Kremlin established a practice that crises are the time when people are very vulnerable to negative emotions, so it is the best time to impose its narratives on others. The problem here is not discussions, for instance on the topic of historical justice. We have to talk about a method when the best defence is the attack. How is it related to ‘a sovereign civilization of Russia’? Almost directly, since one of the main ingredients of this civilization is thoughtless hooliganism, careless contempt for time tested rules of ethics and decency also with the help of the most advances technologies, – in this sense the leader of Russia is right.     
However, not only Moscow is attacking now. On 18 May we found out from the news agencies that the former shareholders of the corporation , who were trying to get compensation from Russia for the lost money after the Kremlin expropriated the company, were celebrating the victory at the Court of Appeal in the Netherlands when it passed a judgement to sequestrate the trademarks of vodka ‘Stolichnaya’ and ‘Moskovskaya’ in the territories of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. As one of the former shareholders Tim Osborn indicated, this judgement was only the beginning, when/if Moscow ignores judgments of international courts; they will seek confiscation of the Russian assets. Russia can still make an appeal to the Supreme Court of Netherlands, however the case law of such processes show that nothing will change and nobody will recall confiscations. The Court of Appeal in Hague on 18 February obligated Russia to pay 57 billion US dollars to shareholders who lost their money.    
This story is akin to another result of a ‘fresh’ attempt of Moscow to litigate (it doesn’t matter, that it is from ‘another opera’) when the court of the European Union (EU) adopted a judgement on 20 May that obligated the operator of ‘Nord Stream-2’ that the Baltic States, Poland and Ukraine resisted against consequently, to observe the rules of EU regulations, under which the initiator of the project concern will have no monopoly of the natural gas in the pipes and will have to allow independent suppliers. We have already written (the text ‘Campaign of Diversification of Energy Sources that Started in Lithuania is Gaining Speed’) that to the Russian gas monopolist that was ‘punishing’ the Baltic States at the beginning of the century, which now is trying to do the same with Ukraine, would mean the decrease of the planned profit in half.   
Almost 100 physicians from various countries in their open letter that they wrote in May and which was published on the website of the global public organization , encouraged owners of the Internet social networks to take all measures for fighting the disinformation about coronavirus – for instance, that it was made in the United States or China as a biological weapon. The homeland of most advanced manifestation of Fake News disinformation is known, thus we can say, drop by drop…   
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, in her speech in Bundestage on 13 May indicated that German public prosecutors gathered enough evidence that Russia contributed to the cyber hacker attack against German Parliament in 2015 and that measures could be taken against it and on that occasion she remembered killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, Chechen origin citizen of Georgia in the centre of Germany at noon, Germans accused Moscow of insufficient cooperation in investigation of the crime and sent away a couple of Russian diplomats.
During the attack against Bundestag computer system not only a big amount of information about German politicians was stolen, but also details from A. Merkel Bureau of the Parliament. The user under the nickname of Scaramouche in the computer of the Chancellor installed a virus letter about the war in Ukraine, which after it was opened, activated the malicious software that enabled the hackers to access the computer network of the Parliament. The stolen 16 GB of information was published on the website of , the initiator and inspirer of which Julian Assange is waiting for the court in London in regards to extradition to the United States where he was charged with 17 crimes of spying and conspiracy. The Chancellor was lucky, since the computer was not of the government office and mostly personal but not confidential information has been stolen.        
As the magazine Der Speigel that announced about this, indicated with a reference to the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, Criminal Information Security Service and private information security companies, investigators exposed Russians and managed to restore the attack. The public federal prosecutor of Germany got an international warrant on 5 May from the Russian Main  Intelligence Agency (GRU) for arrest of Dmitry Badin (Germans identified another Russian hacker, however they failed to gather enough evidence in order to get a warrant for his arrest). 29 years old   officer of the military convoy No. 26165 in Moscow belongs to a group of cyber hackers Fancy Bear. Americans allege him attacks to the computers of the World Anti-Doping Agency and   US Office of the Democratic Party during the presidential election campaign in 2016.
Of course, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia have always denied contribution to the attacks of the cyber hackers and still denies, however the moral this time is that the door abroad have been closed for a young Russian D. Badin probably for the rest of his life. A fragment of a ‘hybrid war’ is nothing new, however drop by drop… 
Deutsche Welle with a reference to the news agency The Associated Press on 5 May informed about 8 intervention scenarios to the presidential election of the United States of Russia that have been investigated in the United States. According to the agencies, the Department of Homeland Security of the United States and Federal Investigation Agency with representatives of the candidates in secret consultations discussed the issues such as manipulation in information and details of electors, that is, in scenarios that were actualized during the presidential elections in 2016. Special Services of the United States have not had any doubt before and does not have now that activation of which the authorship of Russian cyber hackers. Since this was in 2016, repetition indicates lack of fantasy, ‘the crisis in genre’, for which the Unites States are preparing in advance.  
Administrators of the Internet social networks look at Russia without any illusions in a reliable way, one of which is Facebook Executive director Mark Zukerberg, who on 21 May indicated that he was convinced that Russia would continue the practice of Fake News in his controlled network, too. According to M. Zukerberg, his company Facebook has been already in gigantic battles and ‘the arms race’ trying to protect the Unites States from disinformation spread from the outside.   
In order a boss of the biggest Internet social network in the planet could get rid of illusions, probably precedent case could ‘happen’ in some ‘minor’ Baltic States such as Estonia, where all employees of the megaphone division website of the Kremlin were made to depart from the job since 1 January because of particularly focused actions of Tallinn against a propaganda channel.
On 17 September the same removed 168 Internet profiles, 149 websites and 79 groups in Ukraine that spread fake news in a coordinated way. Already on 12 May the Internet daily informed about suspended activities of the Security Service of Ukraine by Internet agitators, who under instructions of the tutors published incitements to overthrow the government of the country, to review the borders, instigate meetings to the benefit of federalization of Ukraine, lied about COVID-19. The free world does not stay in one place in reaction to the Russian provocations. To tell the truth, it is rather inert.    
In Moscow ‘playing’ is taking place still according to the old algorithm hardly without awareness of the senior patron. As Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the sixth President of Latvia, told during the online discussion in the Forum held in Kiev on 9 May “The Ongoing War: the Tragedy and Lessons of World War II in a New Reality’, V. Putin who admitted that he was raised by propaganda films about Soviet heroism, most probably, is stuck ‘in the time machine’ and failed to grow to understanding of the benefit of democracy. Undoubtedly, nothing, not even pandemic would make the President of Russia refuse his aggressive scheme and post-soviet space in regards to the whole West. The fact is that everybody understands schemes better and better.      
Arūnas Spraunius

Voras Online
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