“One of Moscow’s most senior military commanders was arrested on Thursday after Vladimir Putin promised to “purify” Russia of traitors in a sign of “real discord” in the Kremlin over the war, according to a British minister.
It came as US intelligence said at least 7,000 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine, including three generals, with up to 21,000 soldiers injured.
That “conservative” estimate is greater than the number of American troops killed over 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
The losses appear to be leading to a purge of Putin’s top military and intelligence commanders, including General Roman Gavrilov, the deputy head of Russia’s National Guard, on Thursday.
Increasingly isolated and angry, the Russian president this week used a TV appearance to lash out at “traitors”.
“Russian people are able to distinguish between true patriots and scum and traitors, and simply spit them out like a fly that flew into their mouths,” Putin told an online meeting of the Russian cabinet.
“I am convinced that a natural and necessary self-purification of society will strengthen our country.”
James Heappey, the UK Armed Forces minister, said the language was “fanatical” and “hugely dangerous”.
“There’s a desperation that might make him consider a course of action we would view as very dangerous indeed,” Mr Heappey told The Telegraph. “I’m deeply concerned about where his state of mind is at and how desperate he may become.”
He added that the developments within the Kremlin were evidence of “real discord” at the top of the Russian high command.”
Comment: Who will rid us of this damned fool? pl
Vladimir Putin turns on his own as he vows to ‘purify’ Russia of traitors (telegraph.co.uk)
Question. Do you think this business about Hunter Biden’s laptop coming out into the open is pure coincidence? The timing seems awfully like it’s leverage to get Biden to do something he’s been holding off on from doing. Perhaps starting a war with Russia? Cui bono, and who throttles the media both should be taken into consideration before we simply throw the baby out with the bath water.
“get Biden to do something he’s been holding off.”
Do you really believe that Biden in person has any kind of agency over US politics?
(That would be truly frightening 😀 )
“Purify”… A gold standard term amongst the most dangerous and irrational of all human variants throughout our history of any stripe… THE TRUE BELIEVER
True believers “know” they are right/righteous and can go to any length and justify any action to fulfill their right/righteous ends.
Who uses/has used this word? Here are a few starters: Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Hitler…
A guess: Russian patriots will decide this.
“Simultaneously with this political purification of our public life, the Reich Government intends to undertake a thorough moral purging of the German Volkskörper” – March 23rd 1933, Hitler’s speech on the Enabling Act
Hitler gave that speech brimming with confidence & self belief just as he was about to assume absolute power. Putin’s mindset seems more comparable to the point Hitler had reached a decade or so later. Downfall, the film that launched a thousand memes, portrays the logical end state where a powerless tyrant sees almost everyone as a traitor. We are in truly dangerous territory.
We aligned with Mao and Stalin WWII. End of the day WW is nothing but a bunch of large criminal mafias. All you can hope for is that your mafia wins.
Babeltuap “Mafias”, I disagree with that sweeping characterization of the Western World. For all its faults, the people vote and have agency. Your remark is symptomatic of the rot within ourselves. The only threat to the West is the West itself. Make it better or kindly step aside.
Although the Telegraph, with sources like the ,,British minister” and ,,US intelligence”, is not credible, this is an interesting topic. Paradoxically, now is the chance for the Russians to deal with their 5 column. Not purging people (like Stalin did), but taking PR and legal action against then (naming them, revealing foreign sponsorships, implementing laws for foreign agents etc.) Throughout Russian history, the main danger was the 5th column (mostly not in the army but in the government, business and etc.) When the Russians are united, they will manage to defend their country at whatever the cost (the end of the Polish-Lituanian occupation, Napoleon conquest, Hitler’s Vernichtungskrieg). If they are not united due to the 5th column, then come the Times of troubles (rus. Смутное время).
Example: the Russians oligarchs may have their assets frozen or confiscated up to an amount of 700 billion dollars (much depends on how the Swiss act). Imagine how many roads, hospitals, schools in Russia would benefit from this money if it were invested in Russia.
P.S. On the other hand, if the Russians were to try to rebuild the Russian empire, this would lead to the destruction or occupation of Russia and I’m sure the Russian leadership knows this.
It is a striking fact that the Russians have a sad history of military defeat when fighting against well armed foreign powers. Remember that they very nearly lost in 1941 when Barbarossa was initiated. Below is a Wars against powers that Russia won since the victory against Napoleonic France:
War against Japan 1938
Second World War. (and they nearly lost in 1941)
Wars against powers that Russia lost since the victory against Napoleonic France:
Crimean war against France, Britain and Turkey, 1853-1856
Russo – Japanese war, 1905
First World War 1914 – 1917
For the most part through history, the Russian military forces have been badly led and badly organised, poorly armed and with chaotic logistics.
Jovan P says “Now is the chance for the Russians to deal with their 5 column. Not purging people (like Stalin did), but taking PR and legal action against then (naming them, revealing foreign sponsorships, implementing laws for foreign agents etc.) Throughout Russian history, the main danger was the 5th column (mostly not in the army but in the government, business and etc.” Well, perhqaps that was so in the past, but not so at present: when Putin talks about a fifth column – he is not referring to oligarchs and civil servants. He is talking of the young educated and pro western post Soviet generation of journalists, broadcasters, technicians, teachers, small entrepreneurs, university students and others motivated by the values of liberal democracy.
Mike G –
Did you forgot one?
I seem to recall that Poland’s Marshall Pilsudski kicked some Soviet arse at the ‘Miracle on the Vistula’. He did have a few French Army advisors, de Gaulle to name one. But Polish infantry were the David against the Red Army Goliath. Stalin’s quest for glory at Lviv sidetracked much of the Soviet force thereby ensuring Polish victory. Which is undoubtedly why Stalin always had bad blood for the Poles and entered into a Pact with Hitler in 1939 to chew up Poland between them.
Thanks Leith – yes I did forget the Polish war. It emphasises the point that the history of Russia’s wars is one of failure for the most part, not success.
The Russian economy is that of a less developed country. The largest country in area in the world, the country with more nuclear weapons than any in the world bar the US, has a GDP no greater than that of Belgium and the Netherlands added together.
Mike G – Russia’s currency is weak and it has few export champions … but unlike the US it has a strong manufacturing base and has not exported all of its middle class manufacturing jobs to Mexico and China.
Having a weak currency has its downsides – but one upside is that it makes imports more expensive and domestically manufactured goods more affordable.
In many ways Russia has the economy that Trump promised to bring to America. OK – not quite, because Trump implicitly promised America the best of both worlds which is a pipe dream. Protectionism doesn’t come for free.
IMO ….The United States Has Had An Active 5th Column ..That
bacame Extremely Effective after the Viet Nam War Started..
ThE frank Church Hearing Purged The FBI of The FBI Offices Were
Raided…and Dozens of File Cabinets Rolled Out….
It Has Never Been The Same Since ;;It Was prohibited from
“PROFILINING” Causing Its “Legal Deartment” To Deny its
Field Agents to Obtain Search Warrants..of the Terrorists Taking Flight
School Training.. A Matter of Public Record..
Also Frank Church Hearings Destroyed The CIA..Blowing The Cover
of Many Agents In Place and In Embassies Around The World..
The United States has been Going Through Its Own Progressive Purging
Off an On Ever Since…Depending On Rather The E. PLURUBUS UNUM
Folks Have Gotten Thier Man Elected..Or Rather GREEN Freeloaders..
Have powerful Gnomes…waving A Magic Wand..To Change The Nuumbers
on Thier In House Slot Machines..
“who will rid me of this damned priest?” I think no one. Was Lenin evil? He was no choir boy. Was Hitler mad? Maybe. Was Stalin evil; yes. By control of the NKVD he controlled all life. This, BTW, is what frightens me about the FBI, or shall I say the FIB. When state security is politicized freedom dies. But what of Putin. Is he mad, evil, or simply w/o opposition. When he can call for the murder of the impure, disloyal, and irresolute he is no different than Stalin. We shall see if he can be Stalin redux. On the battlefield Ukrainians have fought him to a standstill. That’s unacceptable to Russia’s honor and future (never mind Putin’s). Escalation is necessary but if not w/more troops then … is CBR even thinkable? Ukraine and her NATO friends must bring the fighting to an end. I have changed my mind. I still say NO no-fly zone but I now say give the Ukr A.F. the Polish Migs; and fast. Don’t let the Russian military bring up the “siege guns” on Odessa, Ki’ve, and K’vov and don’t give Putin the chance to unleash CBR warfare.
Although a former squid JAG with no combat or war college experience, my college degree was in modern European history. History may not repeat, but sometimes it sure can rhyme.
Witnessing the Russian offensive campaign in Ukraine, I am reminded of Barbara Tuchman’s description of the 1914 Russian invasion of East Prussia in 1914 in the Guns of August: lots of troops, no logistics, no resupply, and insecure communications. This is not the Red Army of 1945.
Huh! Very interesting.
This is all going seriously non-linear. The bear gets poked back into its cave and where do we go from here? Gas and wheat seem high on the list of issues.
One of the main reasons Germany and Japan went on the offense, was to gain resources they didn’t have. Now we are involved in a war in one of the most resource rich areas of the planet, basically to sustain an extremely corrupt financial system and the military industrial complex it uses as its heavy.
So Europe gets lots more refugees and if they are marginally successful in prosecuting this war, likely much less energy and fuel to support their liberal democratic utopia.
Political structures tend to prove ephemeral in such situations.
It’s politics all the way down, but it’s economics all the way up. Brain versus gut.
Ah, more economic determinism all the way.
More like compulsion.
I’m not a determinist, because I see time as change turning future to past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns.
There is no literal dimension of time, because the past is consumed by the present, to inform and drive it. Causality and conservation of energy. Cause becomes effect.
Time is an effect, like temperature, pressure, color and sound. Time is frequency, events are amplitude.
So energy, manifesting the physical present, goes past to future, while the patterns generated go future to past. Energy drives the wave, the fluctuations rise and fall.
As consciousness goes past to future, while the perceptions, emotions and thoughts giving it form and structure go future to past.
Though it is the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems processing the energy, while the central nervous system sorts the forms/information.
So we are caught between the anarchies of desire and the tyrannies of judgement. The mind is more referee/judge, than source.
Incomprehensible. Must be old age or the effect of last summer’s “brain bleed” as Larry Johnson put it.
It Has taken Me a Long Time Of Coming Up Here
And Saying Things Beause I thought I Had
Things All Figured Out..I Always Found Out
I Was Wrong Most of The Time..
I now Know Why…I dont Have The Life
Experiences to Draw From…Like
Colonel Lang Does.
.Its NOT The Book Learning
and Its Not a Photographic Memory so You
Can Quote Everyone you Ever Read..
Its :ifes Experience..Here We Talk WAR and Politics….As Far as I know..Pat Langf has the
Most Experience here With All The BAD SIDES..of Both..
I Remember Years ago..on SST…Colonel
Lang wrote He was a Guest of the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia..AsSuch…They Tppk Him To
The Execution of Someone By BEHEADING..
I Ask..All Of You..How Many Have Experienced
Such Things..?? Besides All of Pats Combat
I Have A Poster Now Over My Computer..
That keeps Me More Aware Of Lifes Truths..
Forget Everything You Think You Know..
” EVERY DAY IS A NEW REALITY…”
Our minds function as a sequence of perceptions, in order to navigate, as mobile organisms, so all of experience and human culture is built around this flow of time, from past to future, so it’s not like it come naturally, especially if one is highly educated. As a neurologist friend put it, “Stop it, you’re hurting my brain.” Though as the teenaged daughter of another friend put it, “Well, duh.”
Personally I grew up farming in a valley about a mile away from the grave of an ancestor that acquired the valley in 1714, so there is a strong connection and comparison between nature and culture running through my life.
Putin’s “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer” speech before he started the invasion as a justification to re-unite all the “historic Rus people”, coupled with the “Nuremberg Rally” style speechifying about “putification” neatly encapsulates the Muscovite philosophy of life.