It seems as if Patrushev had “a conversion moment” and began seeing himself as another Andropov, the kind of person who would bring state security personnel into the Kremlin, the pinnacle of Russia’s power, just as Andropov had done.
By now everyone is surely an expert on the mud-freeze theory of warfare or whether bombs-away begins halfway through the bobsleigh or snowboarding competition in Beijing.
But could it be that Putin means something quite different - and that for him and his generation of Russians the USSR is a shorthand for an era of lost stability and respect? Is Putin just tactless, or actually dangerous?
Stierlitz’s mission is a moral crusade — to stop a deal between the West and Nazi Germany “za spinoi” (behind the back) of Moscow. This idea has immense resonance in modern Russia, where Putin repeatedly claims Russia has been stabbed in the back by the West without consultation, notably over NATO’s eastward expansion.
The cost to Putin in casualties would be enormous — not to mention triggering crippling economic sanctions that could shut down not just Nord Stream 2 but all of Russia’s exports of gas, oil, steel, aluminum and nickel. “We don’t see any plausible way in which Putin could actually win a war if he started it,” the British official told New Lines. “It’s not very clear what his war aims would even be.”
The real issue here is not so much the denial of chemical attacks as the way it serves as a vehicle for normalizing conspiracy theories under the guise of critical thinking. Admirable though it is to view news reports and government statements with caution and scrutinize the evidence, the denial campaign was something else, encouraging people to reject information at will simply because it didn't fit their view of how the world works.
Russia is preparing to introduce a new generation of its GLONASS satellite navigation system, with expanded global infrastructure. Several Western intelligence agencies say the program is also being used to conduct high-level espionage.