What are they now talking about on Russian talk shows?

My watching and reporting on Russian state television news and talk shows might best be described as ‘random sampling.’  I do not spend my days seated before my computer monitor tuned to www.smotrim.ru broadcasts of Sixty Minutes or Evening with Vladimir Solovyov. After all, Sixty Minutes has both early afternoon and early evening broadcasts each weekday with different guests and breaking news subjects, while Solovyov’s shows Sunday through Thursday nights run for two hours beginning at 10 pm CET. 

However, when I find something of unusual interest, which happens once every few days, I stick with it. Such was the case with Solovyov’s program last night and in this brief bulletin I will share with readers what impressed me most. The subjects I describe below are important for anyone following the rapid changes in global geopolitical alignments these days, yet they do not appear either in the Western major media or even in specialized commentary that circulates in the U.S. diplomatic and academic communities on daily digests to which I subscribe.

First, one of Russia’s leading orientalists and China specialists commented on the changes at the top of the Chinese Communist Party which appeared from the new line-up that Xi installed at the recent Party Congress. From the standpoint of Russian analysts, Xi has brought to the top a constellation of pro-Russian personalities who share his predilection for the Russian alliance, while removing known pro-American officials seen to be anti-Russian.  What this means is that the long talked about plans to intensify Chinese-Russian economic cooperation will finally be implemented in the coming several years. In turn, that poses for the Russians the challenge to define where they want Chinese investments and technology to come in and how to manage the relationship in such a way that dependence on the West, which has just been terminated by the sanctions regime, is not replaced by dependence on the Chinese, which also would compromise Russian economic sovereignty.  In the first order, we are likely to see heavy Chinese investment in improving the logistics infrastructure that supports the existing trade in hydrocarbons and other commodities.  Additional railways and port facilities are at the top of the list. This is essential if the bilateral trade now pointed towards 200 billion dollars is to rise to a new plateau.

This same orientalist directed attention to another challenge that Russia’s government has yet to address if the closer relations with China are to be sustainable over the long term. He suggests taking a page from the American playbook.  The Americans, he noted, have long practiced the cultivation of those they identify as future leaders of countries they want to bring into their sphere of influence. These prospective leaders are educated in the States and inculcated in American values.  Russia, he insists, must do the same with those who are expected to be future leaders of China, all in the cause of Soft Power.

Another topic of particular interest on last night’s Solovyov show was the recently announced proposal of Turkish President Erdogan for the Turkish, Russian and Syrian leaders to sit together and define a modus vivendi, a path of cooperation in the region.  The readiness of Erdogan to sit at a table with Bashar Assad was identified as a breakthrough, since he has been the last to recognize the legitimacy of the Assad regime. The prospects are that this change in the Turkish position will result in a joint position regulating the Kurdish question on their common frontier. This, in turn, will lead to the expulsion of all foreign troops from Syria.  Those ‘foreign troops’ are, of course, the Americans, whom the Syrians yesterday accused of stealing more than 18 billion dollars worth of oil and agricultural commodities from the Syrian territories they illegally occupy.  The realignment of Turkey with Syria is driven, in the view of Solovyov’s panelist, by the Americans’ military backing for Syrian Kurds. It was said to be noteworthy that Iran, which has been a principal backer of Assad during its long civil war, was not invited to the table by Erdogan, whereas Russia is invited. In short, if the Erdogan initiative moves ahead it will spell a major change in Middle Eastern politics and a significant loss of American Soft and Hard power in the region.

Amidst these new issues for discussion by the two different sets of panelists whom Solovyov presented on his show back-to-back, the war in Ukraine held its own thanks to some fiery statements by a retired high military officer who is now the head of the State Duma’s Committee on Defense. His opening remarks were sure to attract riveted attention: he called for the putting in place of plans to bomb London! Why not, he asked rhetorically, given that the British have spoken publicly about the possibility of bombing Moscow. Russia should destroy the military command infrastructure in and around London using either conventional or nuclear arms. Like others on the show, this panelist sees the war through the prism of armed conflict between Russia and NATO, where Ukraine is only the designated territory of combat. From this perspective it will indeed be a ‘long war’ that goes on for many years to come.

Otherwise, the number one Ukrainian topic of the evening was the unprecedented Ukrainian rocket and artillery attack the day before on the provincial capital of Donetsk, which received more than 150 incoming missiles, many from US-provided launchers. None of the blasts was directed against military targets; all struck residential buildings, markets, social infrastructure buildings at morning hours when there would be a maximum of people in the targeted structures or open spaces. Photos from the scene of destruction were put up on the screen and included images of the main cathedral of Donetsk, whose cupola was struck directly by one missile; this was held up as one more demonstration of the ‘satanic’ nature of the Kievan rulers, whose intent was clearly to traumatize the Donbas population.

There were more than a dozen deaths and a great many injured among the civilians from the latest Ukrainian barrage.  The conclusion which Solovyov’s panelists reached from this reign of terror that has gone unreported by Western media is that it is high time to wreak destruction on the city of Kiev, not merely on its power generation, so as ‘to wipe the smile off the faces of the Ukrainian Nazi gang.’

Solovyov put up on the screen a video of Vladimir Putin’s televised speech earlier in the day pledging to bring the standard of government services in the Donbas, Kherson and Zaporozhye oblasts including pensions, salaries, available kindergartens and schools up to the level of neighboring provinces of the Russian Federation. One panelist remarked that this is all fine but is achievable only after the region, now legally RF territory, is properly secured against Ukrainian attacks. This was an unsubtle swipe at the President.

Iran also figured among the more interesting points in last night’s talk show. One panelist noted how Western intelligence experts are speculating that Russia is providing missile technology to Teheran under the terms of their new alliance.  Nonsense, he commented.  The Iranians have gotten substantial technical assistance from North Korea for development of their strike missiles. Thus, Iran today has serial production of excellent ballistic missiles with a 700 km range. It is expected that they will soon have intermediate range missiles under construction, and eventually will be building ICBMs with a 13,000 km striking distance, meaning capable of reaching the continental United States. These achievements are the result of North Korean assistance.  What the Russians are now offering Iran is the technology to fabricate satellites, especially the electronics.

Meanwhile the Iran-Russia rapprochement is broadening out in new directions. Leading officials in Russian domestic security last week visited their counterparts in Teheran to lay down channels of consultation on maintaining domestic stability in the face of malicious intervention by the United States and its allies in support of Opposition demonstrations. The panelist remarked favorably on the executions in Iran of two anti-government demonstrators. As he noted, the latest hanging was of a young man who had brutally murdered an Iranian policeman charged with keeping the street marches under control.

One additional newsworthy item on the show’s agenda last night was the interpretation one panelist gave to the recent statement by former German chancellor Angela Merkel that from the beginning she had viewed the Minsk Accords as buying time for Ukraine to rebuild its armed forces after its 2014-15 military defeats in the Donbas.  Many commentators, myself included, have explained this remark as self-justificatory in the context of ongoing vilification of Merkel in German media and political spheres for having been ‘soft’ on the Russians during her time in office. However, last night’s panelist said that Merkel’s political statements are never accidental or incidental, but are substantive. Her intention was to ride the current wave of thinking in German political circles by making negotiations with Russia impossible due to total breakdown in mutual trust. This is part and parcel of the ‘long war’ policy against Russia.

Otherwise, as is often the case in recent editions of the show, yesterday’s Evening with Vladimir Solovyov was given over to philosophizing over the new identity Russia must adopt now that its love affair with the West is finally over. The debate is now no longer between Western-oriented Liberals and Conservatives. It is among Conservatives themselves, who have split between Nationalists and Centrists. On this show, the former tend to be represented by Duma members or LDPR party stalwarts and the latter by university deans and think tank presidents.

When leader of the LDPR party Vladimir Zhirinovsky was alive, he was frequently invited onto the Solovyov show and was given unlimited use of the microphone, never interrupted as was so often the practice suffered by other panelists. Now the nationalist positions of Zhirinovsky are advanced by others, including RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonian and by Duma member Andrey Lugovoy, best known in the West as the KGB operative wanted by the British police on suspicion of murdering Alexander Litvinenko, and by Solovyov himself. I have little doubt that in the weeks ahead we will see the recent prisoner exchange Viktor Bout on the Solovyov program given that he has just been inducted into the LDPR Party.

What all of these Nationalists have in common that sets them apart from the academicians in the Centrist group is strong leanings towards Soviet era mobilization of the whole population of Russia around national defense in the coming ‘long war’ with the USA and NATO.  Solovyov himself repeatedly speaks of the need to establish ongoing military training of all able-bodied males so as to prepare a 3-million strong Russian army.  As regards the economy, these Nationalists take a dim view of the market  and seek state direction of industry.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

Translations below into German (Andreas Mylaeus), Italian (Roberto Pozzi), French (Youri) and Brazilian Portuguese (Evandro Menezes)

Was wird in den russischen Talkshows so alles besprochen?

Wenn ich die Nachrichten und Talkshows des russischen Staatsfernsehens anschaue und darüber berichte, sind das am ehesten „zufällige Stichproben“. Ich verbringe nicht den ganzen Tag damit, vor dem Computermonitor zu sitzen und ständig Sendungen von www.smotrim.ru oder Sixty Minutes oder Evening with Vladimir Solovyov anzuhören oder anzuschauen. Schließlich sendet Sixty Minutes sowohl am frühen Nachmittag als auch am frühen Abend an jedem Wochentag mit verschiedenen Gästen und über aktuelle Nachrichten und die Solovyov-Shows laufen Sonntag- bis Donnerstagabend jeweils zwei Stunden ab 10 Uhr abends CET.

Aber wenn ich etwas ungewöhnlich Interessantes finde, was alle paar Tage einmal passiert, bleibe ich dran. Das war bei dem Solovyov-Programm gestern Abend der Fall und in diesem kurzen Bericht werde ich den Lesern mitteilen, was mich am meisten beeindruckt hat. Die Dinge, die ich nachfolgend beschreibe sind für jeden wichtig, der die rapiden Veränderungen in der geopolitischen Situation dieser Tage verfolgt, die aber weder in den wichtigen westlichen Medien noch in den speziellen Kommentaren in den täglichen Übersichten für die amerikanische diplomatische und akademische Gemeinde enthalten sind, die ich abonniert habe.

Punkt eins: einer der führenden russischen Orientalisten und China-Spezialisten hat über die Veränderungen an der Spitze der chinesischen kommunistischen Partei berichtet, die sich an der neuen Aufstellung von Xi zeigen, die bei dem vergangenen Parteikongress verabschiedet wurde. Vom Standpunkt russischer Analysten hat Xi eine Konstellation mit pro-russischen Persönlichkeiten an die Spitze gebracht, die dessen Vorliebe für eine Allianz mit Russland teilen während er bekannte pro-amerikanische Beamte abgesetzt hat, die als anti-russisch angesehen wurden. Das bedeutet, dass die Pläne, die chinesisch-russische wirtschaftliche Kooperation zu intensivieren, über die schon lange gesprochen wurde, in den kommenden Jahren endlich verwirklicht werden wird. Im Gegenzug bedeutet das für die Russen die Herausforderung, zu definieren, wo sie chinesische Investitionen und Technologie ins Land lassen und wie die Beziehung so gestaltet werden kann, dass die Abhängigkeit vom Westen, der gerade durch das Sanktions-Regime beendet wurde, jetzt nicht durch eine Abhängigkeit von China ersetzt wird, die die russische wirtschaftliche Souveränität beeinträchtigen würde. In erster Linie werden wir wahrscheinlich massive chinesische Investitionen zur Verbesserung der Logistik-Infrastruktur sehen, die dem bestehenden Handel mit Kohlenwasserstoffen und anderen Rohstoffen dienen. Zusätzliche Bahn- und Hafenanlagen stehen ganz oben auf der Liste. Das ist notwendig, wenn der bilaterale Handel, die derzeit bei gegen 200 Milliarden Dollar liegt, auf ein neues Plateau erhöht werden soll.

Derselbe Orientalist hat die Aufmerksamkeit auch noch auf eine weitere Herausforderung gerichtet, die Russlands Regierung in Angriff nehmen muss, wenn die engeren Beziehungen zu China langfristig nachhaltig sein sollen. Er schlägt, eine Seite aus dem amerikanischen Drehbuch zu kopieren. Die Amerikaner, merkte er an, haben seit langem die Bildung derjenigen gefördert, die sie als zukünftige Führungspersönlichkeiten derjenigen Länder betrachten, die sie in ihre Einflusssphäre bringen möchten. Diese angehenden Führungspersonen werden in den Staaten ausgebildet und auf die amerikanischen Werte geprägt. Er drängt darauf, dass Russland dasselbe tun muss mit denjenigen, von denen erwartet wird, dass sie zukünftige Führungsrollen in China einnehmen werden. Das sei eine Frage der Soft Power.

Ein weiteres besonders wichtiges Thema in der gestrigen abendlichen Solovyov-Show war der kürzlich angekündigte Vorschlag des türkischen Präsidenten Erdogan, dass sich die Staatsführungen der Türkei, Russlands und Syriens zusammensetzen sollten, um einen modus vivendi, einen Weg zur Kooperation in der Region zu finden. Die Bereitschaft Erdogans, sich mit Bashar Assad zusammenzusetzen, wurde als Durchbruch bezeichnet, weil er der letzte war, der die Legitimität des Assad-Regimes anerkannt hat. Das eröffnet die Aussicht darauf, dass eine gemeinsame Position gefunden werden kann, um die kurdische Frage an ihrer gemeinsamen Grenze zu lösen. Dies wird im Gegenzug dazu führen, dass alle fremden Truppen aus Syrien abziehen. Diese „fremden Truppen“ sind natürlich die Amerikaner, die die Syrer gestern beschuldigt haben, Öl und landwirtschaftliche Güter im Wert von mehr als 18 Milliarden Dollar von dem syrischen Territorium gestohlen zu haben, das sie unrechtmäßig besetzt halten. Die Neuausrichtung der Türkei gegenüber Syrien ist dadurch motiviert, dass die Amerikaner die syrischen Kurden militärisch unterstützen. Bemerkenswert sei, dass der Iran, der während des langwierigen Bürgerkriegs der wichtigste Unterstützer für Assad war, nicht eingeladen wurde, während Russland eingeladen wurde. Kurz gesagt: wenn die Erdogan Initiative verwirklicht wird, wird dies eine bedeutsame Veränderung in der Politik im Nahen Osten sein und einen erheblichen Verlust von amerikanischer Soft und Hard Power in der Region nach sich ziehen.

Zwischen diesen neuen Diskussionsgegenständen bei den beiden unterschiedlichen Gruppen von Diskussionsteilnehmern, die Solovyov in seiner Sendung nacheinander vorgestellt hat, hatte der Krieg in der Ukraine aufgrund einiger feuriger Stellungnahmen eines Militäroffiziers im Ruhestand ihren eigenen Platz, der jetzt Vorsitzender des Verteidigungskomitees der Staatsduma ist. Seine Eingangsbemerkung wird mit Sicherheit erhebliche Aufmerksamkeit hervorrufen: Er rief dazu auf, Pläne vorzulegen, wie London bombardiert werden kann! Warum nicht, fragte er rhetorisch, nachdem doch die Briten öffentlich über die Möglichkeit gesprochen haben, Moskau zu bombardieren. Russland solle die militärische Kommandoinfrastruktur in und um London mit Hilfe von konventionellen oder nuklearen Waffen zerstören. Wie andere in der Sendung sieht dieser Diskussionsteilnehmer diesen Krieg mit Blick auf einen Krieg zwischen Russland und der NATO, wo die Ukraine nur der auserkorene Kriegsschauplatz ist. Aus dieser Perspektive wird dies ein „langer Krieg“ sein, der viele Jahre lang andauern wird.

Andererseits war das wichtigste ukrainische Thema des Abends der beispiellose Raketen- und Artillerieangriff der Ukraine auf die Provinzhauptstadt Donetsk, wo mehr als 150 Raketen eingeschlagen sind, viele von amerikanischen Abschussbasen. Keiner dieser Angriffe war gegen militärische Ziele gerichtet; alle trafen Wohngebäude, Märkte, soziale Infrastrukturgebäude in den Morgenstunden, als sich maximal viele Menschen in den angegriffenen Anlagen oder auf den Freiflächen befanden. Fotos der Orte der Zerstörung wurden gezeigt und schlossen die Hauptkathedrale von Donetsk ein, deren Kuppel direkt von einer Rakete getroffen wurde; dies wurde als eine weitere Demonstration für die satanische Vorgehensweise von Kiew hervorgehoben, deren Absicht klar sei, die Bevölkerung des Donbass zu traumatisieren.

Diese letzte ukrainische Bombardierung hat zu Dutzenden von Toten und einer Vielzahl von Verletzten geführt. Dieses Terrorregime führte Solovyevs Diskussionsteilnehmer zu der Schlussfolgerung, dass es höchste Zeit sei, die Stadt Kiew zu zerstören, nicht nur deren Stromversorgung, um „das Grinsen auf dem Gesicht der ukrainischen Nazibande auszulöschen“.

Solovyov zeigte ein Video von einer früher am Tag aufgezeichneten Rede von Vladimir Putin, in der er dazu aufforderte, den Standard der Regierungsarbeit in den Provinzen von Donbas, Cherson und Saporitschschja einschließlich der Pensionen, Gehälter, verfügbarer Kindergärten und Schulen auf das Niveau der benachbarten Provinzen der Russischen Föderation zu bringen. Einer der Diskussionsteilnehmer bemerkte, dies sei alles schön und gut, aber es könne erst getan werden, wenn die Region, die jetzt rechtlich zum Territorium der Russischen Föderation gehört, ausreichend gegen ukrainische Angriffe gesichert sei. Dies war ein deutlicher Seitenhieb gegen den Präsidenten.

Auch der Iran zählte zu den interessanteren Punkten in der Talkshow von gestern Abend. Einer der Teilnehmer bemerkte, dass westliche Geheimdienstexperte darüber spekulieren, dass Russland Teheran im Rahmen ihrer neuen Allianz Raketentechnologie zur Verfügung stellt. Er bezeichnete das als Unsinn. Die Iraner haben von Nordkorea substantielle technische Unterstützung für die Entwicklung ihrer Raketen erhalten. Daher verfügt der Iran heute über eine Serienproduktion von exzellenten ballistischen Raketen mit einer Reichweite von 700 km. Es wird erwartet, dass sie bald Mittelstreckenraketen herstellen und irgendwann ICBMs mit einer Reichweite von 13.000 km bauen werden, was bedeutet, dass sie das Festland der Vereinigten Staaten erreichen können. Diese Errungenschaften gehen auf die Unterstützung durch Nordkorea zurück. Was die Russen dem Iran jetzt anbieten ist die Technologie, um Satelliten, insbesondere die Elektronik, herzustellen.

In der Zwischenzeit weitet sich die Annährung zwischen dem Iran und Russland auf andere Gebiete aus. Führende Beamte der russischen heimischen Sicherheitsbehörden haben letzte Woche ihre Kollegen in Teheran besucht, um Beratungskanäle zu schaffen, um die Stabilität im Land angesichts der hinterhältigen Interventionen der Vereinigten Staaten und ihrer Alliierten durch die Unterstützung für die Demonstrationen der Opposition aufrechtzuerhalten. Der Gesprächsteilnehmer hob die Exekutionen zweier Demonstranten gegen die Regierung hervor. Er stellte fest, dass der letzte junge Mann, der aufgehängt wurde, zuvor einen iranischen Polizisten auf brutale Weise ermordet hatte, der damit beauftragt war, die Straßenmärsche unter Kontrolle zu halten.

Ein zusätzliches bemerkenswertes Thema an der Show von letzter Nacht war die Interpretation, die ein Teilnehmer zu der kürzlichen Bemerkung der früheren deutschen Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel beisteuerte, wonach sie die Minsker Vereinbarungen von Anfang an nur als Möglichkeit angesehen habe, der Ukraine Zeit zu verschaffen, damit sie nach ihren militärischen Niederlagen von 2014-15 im Donbas ihre Streitkräfte wieder aufbauen könne. Viele Kommentatoren, mich eingeschlossen, haben diese Bemerkung als eigene Rechtfertigung gesehen im Zusammenhang mit den Schmähungen gegen Merkel in den deutschen Medien und den politischen Kreisen darüber , dass sie in ihrer Amtszeit zu „weich“ gegenüber den Russen gewesen sei. Aber der Teilnehmer von gestern Nacht sagte, dass Merkels politische Stellungnahmen nie zufällig oder unabsichtlich seien, sondern immer wesentlich. Ihre Absicht sei, die gegenwärtige Welle des Denkens in deutschen politischen Kreisen zu unterstützen, wonach Verhandlungen mit Russland aufgrund des totalen gegenseitigen Vertrauensverlusts unmöglich seien. Dies sei integraler Bestandteil der Politik des „langen Krieges“ gegen Russland.

Andererseits wurde, wie dies in den vergangenen Ausgaben der Show häufig war, in der gestrigen Sendung Evening with Vladimir Solovyov über die neue Identität philosophiert, die Russland entwickeln muss, nachdem jetzt die Liebesaffäre mit dem Westen endgültig beendet ist. Die Debatte findet jetzt nicht mehr zwischen westlich orientierten Liberalen und Konservativen statt. Sie findet jetzt innerhalb der Konservativen statt, die sich in Nationalisten und Zentristen aufteilt haben. In dieser Sendung waren die ersteren durch Duma-Mitglieder oder LDPR-Parteianhänger repräsentiert und die letzteren durch Universitätsdekane und Präsidenten von Denkfabriken.

Als der Anführer der LDPR-Partei Wladimir Schirinowski noch am Leben war, war er oft in die Solovyov Show eingeladen und hatte unbegrenzt Zugang zum Mikrophon und wurde nie unterbrochen, was anderen Teilnehmern oft passierte. Jetzt werden die nationalistischen Positionen von Schirinowski von anderen vertreten, einschließlich der RT Chefredaktorin Margarita Simonian und vom Duma-Mitglied Andrey Lugovoy, der im Westen als der KGB-Agent bekannt ist, der von der britischen Polizei wegen des Verdachts gesucht wird, Alexander Litvinenko ermordet zu haben, und von Solovyov selbst. Ich habe wenig Zweifel, dass wir in den kommenden Wochen den ausgetauschten früheren Gefangenen Viktor Bout im Solovyov-Programm sehen werden, nachdem er gerade in die LDPG-Partei aufgenommen worden ist. Was all diese Nationalisten gemeinsam haben ist und was sie von den Akademikern in der zentristischen Gruppe abgrenzt ist, dass sie eine starke Tendenz haben zu einer der Sowjetära ähnlichen Mobilisierung der gesamten Bevölkerung Russlands in der nationalen Verteidigung im kommenden „langen Krieg“ gegen die USA und die NATO. Solovyov selbst spricht wiederholt von der Notwendigkeit, ein ständiges militärisches Training aller tauglichen Männer einzuführen, um eine 3-Millionen starke Russische Armee aufzustellen. Im Hinblick auf die Wirtschaft haben diese Nationalisten eine schlechte Meinung über den Markt und trachten nach staatlicher Leitung für die Industrie.

Di cosa parlano ora i talk show russi?

Guardo e racconto dei notiziari e talk shows della televisione di Stato russa sporadicamente.  Non passo le mie giornate seduto davanti al mio computer sintonizzato su www.smotrim.ru per le trasmissioni di Sessanta Minuti o Serata con Vladimir Solovyov.   Ma quando trovo qualcosa di insolito interesse, cosa che ormai accade piuttosto spesso, lo seguo. Così è stato per il programma di Solovyov di ieri sera e in questo breve articolo condividerò con voi quello che mi ha colpito di più. Gli argomenti che descrivo di seguito sono importanti per chiunque segua i rapidi cambiamenti degli allineamenti geopolitici globali di questi giorni, ma che non compaiono mai né nei principali media occidentali né nei commenti specializzati che circolano nelle comunità diplomatiche e accademiche statunitensi nei “daily digests” a cui sono abbonato.

Anzitutto, uno dei principali orientalisti e specialisti russi sulla Cina ha commentato i cambiamenti ai vertici del Partito Comunista Cinese che sono emersi dalla nuova formazione insediata da Xi al recente Congresso del Partito. Dal punto di vista degli analisti russi, Xi ha portato ai vertici una costellazione di personalità filo-russe che condividono la sua predilezione per l’alleanza russa, eliminando al contempo noti funzionari filo-americani considerati anti-russi.  Questo significa che i piani di intensificazione della cooperazione economica tra Cina e Russia, di cui si parla da tempo, saranno finalmente attuati nei prossimi anni. A sua volta, ciò pone ai russi la sfida di definire dove vogliono che arrivino gli investimenti e la tecnologia cinesi e come gestire le relazioni in modo tale che la dipendenza dall’Occidente, appena terminata dal regime di sanzioni, non si trasformi in dipendenza dai cinesi, cosa che comprometterebbe la sovranità economica russa.  In primo luogo, è probabile che si assista a forti investimenti cinesi per migliorare le infrastrutture logistiche che supportano l’attuale commercio di idrocarburi e altre materie prime.  In cima alla lista ci sono ferrovie e strutture portuali. Cosa essenziale se si vuole che il commercio bilaterale, ora attorno a 200 miliardi di dollari, cresca in modo significativo.

Lo stesso orientalista ha richiamato l’attenzione su un’altra sfida che il governo russo deve ancora affrontare se si vuole che le relazioni più strette con la Cina siano sostenibili a lungo termine. Suggerisce di prendere spunto dal manuale americano.  Gli americani, ha osservato, tradizionalmente “coltivano” coloro che identificano come futuri leader dei Paesi che vogliono far entrare nella loro sfera di influenza. Questi futuri leader vengono educati negli Stati Uniti, in modo che assorbano i valori americani.  La Russia, secondo questo interlocutore, deve fare lo stesso con coloro che si prevede saranno i futuri leader della Cina (il cosiddetto soft power).

Un altro tema di particolare interesse nella trasmissione di Solovyov di ieri sera è stata la recente proposta del presidente turco Erdogan ai leaders russo e siriano di riunirsi per definire un modus vivendi, un percorso di cooperazione nella regione.  La disponibilità di Erdogan a sedersi a un tavolo con Bashar Assad viene vista come una svolta importante, dal momento che il leader turco è stato l’ultimo a riconoscere la legittimità del regime di Assad. C’e la possibilità’ che il cambiamento della posizione turca si traduca in una posizione comune che regoli la questione curda sulla loro frontiera. Questo, a sua volta, potrebbe comportare l’espulsione di tutte le truppe straniere dalla Siria.  Queste “truppe straniere” sono, ovviamente, quelle americane, che ieri i siriani hanno accusato di aver rubato più di 18 miliardi di dollari di petrolio e prodotti agricoli dai territori siriani che occupano illegalmente.  Il riallineamento della Turchia con la Siria è causato, secondo il partecipante alla trasmissione, dal sostegno militare degli americani ai curdi siriani. È stato sottolineato il fatto che l’Iran, uno dei principali sostenitori di Assad durante la sua lunga guerra civile, non sia stato invitato al tavolo da Erdogan, mentre è stata invitata la Russia. Per farla breve, se l’iniziativa di Erdogan dovesse andare avanti, si tratterebbe di un grande cambiamento nella politica mediorientale e di una sconfitta significativa del potere (sia “soft” che “hard”) americano nella regione.

In mezzo a questi nuovi temi di discussione durante la trasmissione di Solovyov, la guerra in Ucraina ha tenuto banco grazie ad alcune dichiarazioni infuocate di un alto ufficiale militare in pensione, ora a capo del Comitato per la Difesa della Duma di Stato. Le sue osservazioni di apertura hanno fatto scalpore: ha chiesto di mettere in atto i piani per bombardare Londra! Perché no, ha chiesto retoricamente, visto che gli inglesi hanno parlato pubblicamente della possibilità di bombardare Mosca. Secondo questo ex militare, la Russia dovrebbe distruggere l’infrastruttura di comando militare a Londra e dintorni usando armi convenzionali o anche nucleari. Come altri partecipanti alla trasmissione, anche questo “panelist” vede la guerra attraverso il prisma del conflitto armato tra Russia e NATO, dove l’Ucraina è solo il territorio designato per il combattimento. Da questo punto di vista, si tratterà effettivamente di una “lunga guerra” che si protrarrà per molti anni a venire.

A parte questo, il tema principale della serata a proposito della guerra è stato l’attacco senza precedenti di razzi e artiglieria ucraini del giorno prima contro il capoluogo di provincia di Donetsk, su cui sono stati lanciati più di 150 missili, molti dei quali da rampe di lancio fornite dagli Stati Uniti. Nessuno dei missili era diretto contro obiettivi militari; tutti hanno colpito edifici residenziali, mercati, e infrastrutture sociali nelle ore del mattino, quando le strutture o gli spazi aperti erano piu’ affollati. Sullo schermo sono state proiettate foto delle macerie, tra cui le immagini della cattedrale principale di Donetsk, la cui cupola è stata colpita; queste scene sono state presentate dalla televisione russa come ulteriore dimostrazione della natura “satanica” dei governanti di Kiev, il cui intento era chiaramente quello di traumatizzare la popolazione del Donbas.

L’ultimo bombardamento ucraino ha provocato più di una dozzina di morti e moltissimi feriti tra i civili.  La conclusione a cui sono giunti i relatori di Solovyov, cosa non riportata affatto dai media occidentali, è che è giunto il momento di distruggere la città di Kiev, non solo le sue infrastrutture energetiche, in modo da “far sparire il sorriso dai volti della banda nazista ucraina”.

Solovyov ha proiettato sullo schermo un video del discorso televisivo tenuto da Vladimir Putin all’inizio della giornata, in cui si impegnava a portare lo standard dei servizi pubblici russi negli oblast [NDT: regione o provincia] del Donbas, Kherson e Zaporozhye, comprese le pensioni, gli stipendi pubblici, gli asili e le scuole al livello di quello delle province confinanti della Federazione Russa. Uno dei relatori ha osservato che tutto ciò va bene, ma è realizzabile solo dopo che la regione, ora legalmente territorio della Federazione Russa, sarà adeguatamente protetta dagli attacchi ucraini. Si è trattato di una sottile frecciata al Presidente.

Per ultimo, il tema più degno di nota nell’agenda dello show di ieri sera è stata l’interpretazione che un giornalista ha dato alla recente dichiarazione dell’ex cancelliere tedesco Angela Merkel, secondo la quale gli accordi di Minsk sarebbe sempre stati solo buoni per guadagnare tempo all’Ucraina per ricostruire le sue forze armate dopo le sconfitte militari del 2014-15 nel Donbas.  Molti commentatori, me compreso, hanno interpretato questa osservazione della Merkel come “auto-giustificatoria” nel contesto del continuo vilipendio della Merkel nei media e nella sfera politica tedesca per essere stata “morbida” con i russi durante il suo mandato. Ma il relatore di ieri sera ha fatto anche notare che le dichiarazioni politiche della Merkel non sono mai casuali o accidentali, ma significativi. La sua intenzione sarebbe quella di cavalcare l’attuale corrente di opinione nei circoli politici tedeschi, e rendere impossibili i negoziati con la Russia a causa della totale rottura della fiducia reciproca. Questo sarebbe parte integrante della politica di “guerra lunga” contro la Russia.

Per il resto, come spesso accade nelle ultime edizioni della trasmissione, la serata di ieri con Vladimir Solovyov è stata dedicata a filosofeggiare sulla nuova identità che la Russia deve adottare ora che la sua storia d’amore con l’Occidente è finalmente finita. Il dibattito non è più tra liberali e conservatori orientati verso Occidente. Ma tra conservatori, divisi tra nazionalisti e centristi. In questo programma, i primi tendono a essere rappresentati da membri della Duma o da esponenti del LDPR [NDT: Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, ovvero il Partito Liberal Democratico Russo], mentre i secondi da rettori di università e presidenti di centri di ricerca.

Il defunto leader del LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky veniva spesso invitato alla trasmissione di Solovyov e gli veniva concesso un uso illimitato del microfono, senza mai essere interrotto come spesso accadeva agli altri relatori. Ora le posizioni nazionaliste di Zhirinovsky sono sostenute da altri, tra cui il caporedattore di Russia Today [NDT: RT è un media controllato e finanziato dal governo russo] Margarita Simonian e dal membro della Duma Andrey Lugovoy, meglio conosciuto in Occidente come l’agente del KGB ricercato dalla polizia britannica per l’omicidio di Alexander Litvinenko, oltre che dallo stesso Solovyov. Non ho molti dubbi sul fatto che nelle prossime settimane vedremo su questi stessi schermi Viktor Bout, recentemente oggetto di scambio tra prigionieri russi e americani, dato che è appena entrato a far parte del LDPR.

Quello che accomuna tutti questi nazionalisti, e che li distingue dagli accademici del gruppo centrista, è la forte propensione alla mobilitazione militare dell’intera popolazione russa, come ai tempi dell’Unione Sovietica, per la difesa della nazione nella prossima “lunga guerra” contro Stati Uniti e NATO.  Lo stesso Solovyov continua a parlare della necessità di un addestramento militare permanente di tutti i maschi abili alle armi, per preparare un esercito russo forte di 3 milioni di unità.  Per quanto riguarda l’economia, questi nazionalisti non vedono di buon occhio il mercato e pensano ad un’economia controllata dallo stato.

De quoi parlent-ils maintenant dans les talk-shows russes ?

La meilleure façon de décrire mon observation et mes commentaires sur les journaux télévisés et les émissions de débat de la télévision d’État russe est de parler « d’échantillonnage aléatoire ».  Je ne passe pas mes journées assis devant mon écran d’ordinateur à regarder les émissions de Sixty Minutes ou Evening with Vladimir Solovyov sur http://www.smotrim.ru. Après tout, Sixty Minutes est diffusée en début d’après-midi et en début de soirée chaque jour de la semaine, avec des invités différents et des sujets d’actualité, tandis que les émissions de Solovyov, du dimanche au jeudi soir, durent deux heures et commencent à 22 heures CET.

Cependant, lorsque je trouve quelque chose de particulièrement intéressant, ce qui arrive une fois de temps en temps, je le garde. C’était le cas avec l’émission de Solovyov hier soir et dans ce bref bulletin, je vais partager avec les lecteurs ce qui m’a le plus impressionné. Les sujets que je décris ci-dessous sont importants pour quiconque suit les changements rapides des alignements géopolitiques mondiaux actuels, et pourtant ils n’apparaissent ni dans les grands médias occidentaux ni même dans les commentaires spécialisés qui circulent dans les communautés diplomatiques et universitaires américaines sur les bulletins quotidiens auxquels je suis abonné.

Tout d’abord, l’un des principaux orientalistes et spécialistes de la Chine en Russie a commenté les changements au sommet du Parti communiste chinois qui sont apparus dans la nouvelle équipe que Xi a installée lors du récent congrès du parti. Du point de vue des analystes russes, Xi a porté au sommet une pléiade de personnalités pro-russes qui partagent sa prédilection pour l’alliance russe, tout en écartant des officiels pro-américains connus et considérés comme antirusses.  Cela signifie que les projets d’intensification de la coopération économique sino-russe, dont on parle depuis longtemps, seront enfin mis en œuvre dans les années à venir. À leur tour, les Russes doivent relever le défi de définir où ils souhaitent que les investissements et les technologies chinoises arrivent et comment gérer la relation de manière à ce que la dépendance à l’égard de l’Occident, qui vient de prendre fin avec le régime de sanctions, ne soit pas remplacée par une dépendance à l’égard des Chinois, ce qui compromettrait également la souveraineté économique de la Russie.  Dans le premier cas, nous sommes susceptibles de voir de lourds investissements chinois dans l’amélioration de l’infrastructure logistique qui soutient le commerce existant des hydrocarbures et d’autres matières premières.  Des chemins de fer et des installations portuaires supplémentaires figurent en tête de liste. C’est essentiel pour que le commerce bilatéral, qui avoisine maintenant les 200 milliards de dollars, atteigne un nouveau palier.

Ce même orientaliste a attiré l’attention sur un autre défi que le gouvernement russe doit encore relever si l’on veut que les relations plus étroites avec la Chine soient durables à long terme. Il suggère de s’inspirer du modèle américain.  Les Américains, a-t-il noté, ont longtemps entretenu les personnes qu’ils considéraient comme les futurs dirigeants des pays qu’ils voulaient faire entrer dans leur sphère d’influence. Ces futurs dirigeants sont éduqués aux États-Unis et inculqués aux valeurs américaines.  La Russie, insiste-t-il, doit faire de même avec ceux qui sont censés être les futurs dirigeants de la Chine, tout cela au nom du soft power.

Un autre sujet d’intérêt particulier de l’émission Solovyov d’hier soir était la proposition récemment annoncée par le président turc Erdogan aux dirigeants turcs, russes et syriens de s’asseoir ensemble et de définir un modus vivendi, une voie de coopération dans la région.  L’empressement d’Erdogan à s’asseoir à une table avec Bachar El-Assad a été identifié comme une percée, puisqu’il a été le dernier à reconnaître la légitimité du régime Assad. Les perspectives sont que ce changement de position de la Turquie se traduira par une position commune réglant la question kurde sur leur frontière commune. Ceci, à son tour, conduira à l’expulsion de toutes les troupes étrangères de Syrie. Ces “troupes étrangères” sont, bien entendu, les Américains, que les Syriens ont accusés hier d’avoir volé pour plus de 18 milliards de dollars de pétrole et de produits agricoles dans les territoires syriens qu’ils occupent illégalement.  Le réalignement de la Turquie sur la Syrie est motivé, selon le participant au débat de Solovyov, par le soutien militaire des Américains aux Kurdes syriens. Il a été dit qu’il fallait noter que l’Iran, qui a été l’un des principaux soutiens d’Assad pendant sa longue guerre civile, n’a pas été invité à la table par Erdogan, alors que la Russie l’est. En bref, si l’initiative d’Erdogan est mise en œuvre, elle entraînera un changement majeur dans la politique du Moyen-Orient et une perte significative du Soft et du Hard power américains dans la région.

Parmi les nouveaux sujets de discussion des deux groupes de spécialistes que M. Solovyov a présentés l’un après l’autre dans son émission, la guerre en Ukraine s’est maintenue grâce aux déclarations enflammées d’un officier supérieur à la retraite qui dirige aujourd’hui la commission de la défense de la Douma d’État. Ses remarques préliminaires n’ont pas manqué d’attirer l’attention : il a appelé à la mise en place de plans pour bombarder Londres ! Pourquoi pas, a-t-il demandé rhétoriquement, étant donné que les Britanniques ont évoqué publiquement la possibilité de bombarder Moscou. La Russie devrait détruire l’infrastructure de commandement militaire à Londres et dans ses environs en utilisant des armes conventionnelles ou nucléaires. Comme d’autres participants à l’émission, ce spécialiste voit la guerre à travers le prisme du conflit armé entre la Russie et l’OTAN, où l’Ukraine n’est que le territoire désigné pour le combat. De ce point de vue, il s’agira bien d’une “longue guerre” qui se poursuivra pendant de nombreuses années.

Par ailleurs, le sujet ukrainien numéro un de la soirée était l’attaque sans précédent menée la veille par les roquettes et l’artillerie ukrainiennes contre la capitale provinciale de Donetsk, qui a reçu plus de 150 missiles, dont beaucoup provenaient de lanceurs fournis par les États-Unis. Aucune des explosions n’était dirigée contre des cibles militaires ; toutes ont frappé des immeubles résidentiels, des marchés, des bâtiments d’infrastructure sociale dans la matinée, au moment où il y avait un maximum de personnes dans les structures ou les espaces ouverts visés. Des photos de la scène de destruction ont été projetées sur l’écran, notamment des images de la principale cathédrale de Donetsk, dont la coupole a été frappée directement par un missile ; cela a été présenté comme une démonstration supplémentaire de la nature “satanique” des dirigeants de Kiev, dont l’intention était clairement de traumatiser la population du Donbass.

Le dernier bombardement ukrainien a fait plus d’une douzaine de morts et un grand nombre de blessés parmi les civils.  La conclusion à laquelle les participants à la table ronde de Solovyov sont parvenus à la suite de ce règne de la terreur, dont les médias occidentaux n’ont pas rendu compte, est qu’il est grand temps de détruire la ville de Kiev, et pas seulement sa production d’électricité, afin “d’effacer le sourire du visage de la bande nazie ukrainienne”.

M. Solovyov a projeté sur l’écran une vidéo du discours télévisé de Vladimir Poutine, prononcé plus tôt dans la journée, dans lequel il s’engageait à amener le niveau des services publics dans les oblasts de Donbass, Kherson et Zaporozhie, y compris les pensions, les salaires, les jardins d’enfants et les écoles disponibles, au niveau des provinces voisines de la Fédération de Russie. L’un des intervenants a fait remarquer que tout cela était très bien, mais que cela ne serait possible qu’une fois que la région, désormais territoire légal de la Fédération de Russie, serait correctement protégée contre les attaques ukrainiennes. Il s’agissait d’une attaque peu subtile à l’encontre du Président.

L’Iran figurait également parmi les points les plus intéressants du talk-show d’hier soir. Un intervenant a fait remarquer que les experts occidentaux du renseignement spéculent sur le fait que la Russie fournit des technologies de missiles à Téhéran dans le cadre de leur nouvelle alliance.  C’est absurde, a-t-il commenté.  Les Iraniens ont obtenu une assistance technique substantielle de la Corée du Nord pour le développement de leurs missiles de frappe. Ainsi, l’Iran dispose aujourd’hui d’une production en série d’excellents missiles balistiques d’une portée de 700 km. On s’attend à ce qu’ils aient bientôt des missiles de portée intermédiaire en construction, et qu’ils finissent par construire des ICBM d’une distance de frappe de 13 000 km, c’est-à-dire capables d’atteindre le territoire continental des États-Unis. Ces réalisations sont le résultat de l’aide de la Corée du Nord.  Ce que les Russes offrent maintenant à l’Iran, c’est la technologie pour fabriquer des satellites, en particulier l’électronique.

Pendant ce temps, le rapprochement Iran-Russie se développe dans de nouvelles directions. La semaine dernière, de hauts responsables de la sécurité intérieure russe ont rendu visite à leurs homologues à Téhéran pour établir des canaux de consultation sur le maintien de la stabilité intérieure face à l’intervention malveillante des États-Unis et de leurs alliés en soutien aux manifestations de l’opposition. Le participant a fait une remarque favorable sur les exécutions en Iran de deux manifestants anti-gouvernementaux. Comme il l’a fait remarquer, la dernière pendaison concernait un jeune homme qui avait brutalement assassiné un policier iranien chargé de contrôler les manifestations de rue.

Un autre point digne d’intérêt à l’ordre du jour de l’émission d’hier soir était l’interprétation qu’un intervenant a donnée à la récente déclaration de l’ancienne chancelière allemande Angela Merkel selon laquelle, dès le début, elle avait considéré que les accords de Minsk permettaient à l’Ukraine de gagner du temps pour reconstruire ses forces armées après ses défaites militaires de 2014-15 dans le Donbass.  De nombreux commentateurs, dont moi-même, ont expliqué cette remarque comme étant auto-justifiée dans le contexte de la diffamation continue de Merkel dans les médias et les sphères politiques allemands pour avoir été ” indulgente ” envers les Russes pendant son mandat. Toutefois, le participant au débat d’hier soir a déclaré que les déclarations politiques de Mme Merkel ne sont jamais accidentelles ou fortuites, mais qu’elles sont fondées. Son intention était de profiter de la tendance actuelle de la politique allemande en rendant les négociations avec la Russie impossibles en raison de la rupture totale de la confiance mutuelle. Cela fait partie intégrante de la politique de “longue guerre” contre la Russie.

Sinon, comme c’est souvent le cas dans les derniers opus de l’émission, la soirée d’hier avec Vladimir Solovyov a été consacrée à philosopher sur la nouvelle identité que la Russie doit adopter maintenant que son histoire d’amour avec l’Occident est enfin terminée. Le débat ne se situe plus entre les libéraux et les conservateurs tournés vers l’Occident. Il se situe entre les conservateurs eux-mêmes, qui se sont divisés entre nationalistes et centristes. Dans cette émission, les premiers ont tendance à être représentés par des membres de la Douma ou des piliers du parti LDPR et les seconds par des doyens d’université et des présidents de think tanks.

Du vivant du leader du parti LDPR, Vladimir Jirinovsky, il était fréquemment invité à l’émission de Solovyov et bénéficiait d’un usage illimité du micro, jamais interrompu comme le faisaient si souvent les autres intervenants. Aujourd’hui, les positions nationalistes de Jirinovsky sont défendues par d’autres personnes, dont la rédactrice en chef de RT, Margarita Simonian, et par le membre de la Douma Andrey Lugovoy, mieux connu en Occident comme l’agent du KGB recherché par la police britannique car soupçonné du meurtre d’Alexander Litvinenko, et par Solovyov lui-même. Je ne doute guère que, dans les semaines à venir, nous verrons le récent prisonnier échangé, Viktor Bout, participer au programme de Solovyov, étant donné qu’il vient d’être intronisé dans le parti LDPR.

Ce que tous ces nationalistes ont en commun et qui les distingue des académiciens du groupe centriste, c’est un fort penchant pour la mobilisation, digne de l’ère soviétique, de l’ensemble de la population russe autour de la défense nationale dans la “longue guerre” à venir contre les États-Unis et l’OTAN.  Solovyov lui-même parle à plusieurs reprises de la nécessité d’établir une formation militaire permanente de tous les hommes valides afin de préparer une armée russe forte de 3 millions de personnes.  En ce qui concerne l’économie, ces nationalistes voient le marché d’un mauvais œil et souhaitent que le secteur industriel soit dirigé par l’État.

Sobre o que se fala agora nos programas de entrevistas russos?

Assistir e relatar sobre os noticiários e programas de entrevistas da televisão estatal russa pode ser melhor descrito como “amostragem aleatória”. Não passo meus dias sentado diante da tela de meu computador assistindo as transmissões de Sessenta Minutos ou Noite com Vladimir Solovyov em www.smotrim.ru. Exceto quando encontro algo mais interessante, que acontece de vez em quando. Tal foi o caso do programa de Solovyov ontem à noite e neste breve boletim vou compartilhar com os leitores o que mais me impressionou. Os assuntos que descrevo abaixo são importantes para qualquer um que acompanha as rápidas mudanças nos alinhamentos geopolíticos globais hoje em dia, mas não aparecem nem na grande mídia ocidental, nem mesmo em comentários especializados que circulam nas comunidades diplomáticas e acadêmicas dos EUA em resumos diários, os quais assino.

Primeiro, um dos principais orientalistas da Rússia e especialista na China comentou sobre as mudanças no topo do Partido Comunista Chinês desde o novo gabinete que Xi instalou no recente congresso do Partido Comunista Chinês. Do ponto de vista dos analistas russos, Xi trouxe para sua cúpula uma constelação de personalidades pró-Rússia que compartilham sua predileção pela aliança russa, ao mesmo tempo em que removeu conhecidos membros pró-americanos, considerados anti-russos. O que isto significa é que os notórios planos para se intensificar a cooperação econômica sino-russa serão finalmente implementados nos próximos anos. Por sua vez, isto representa para os russos o desafio de definir onde querem que os investimentos e a tecnologia chineses entrem e como administrar esta aliança, de forma que a dependência do Ocidente, que acaba de ser encerrada pelo regime de sanções, não seja substituída pela dependência dos chineses, o que também comprometeria a soberania econômica russa. De início, provavelmente se verão pesados investimentos chineses na melhoria da infraestrutura logística que suporta o comércio existente de hidrocarbonetos e de outras mercadorias. Novas ferrovias e instalações portuárias estão no topo da lista. Isto é fundamental para que o comércio bilateral, agora projetado em 200 bilhões de dólares, suba a um novo patamar.

Este mesmo orientalista chamou a atenção para outro desafio que o governo da Rússia ainda não enfrentou, para que a aproximação com a China seja sustentável no longo prazo. Ele sugere se pegar uma página do manual estadunidense. Estes, observou ele, há muito praticam o cultivo daqueles que identificam como futuros líderes de países que desejam trazer para sua esfera de influência. Esses líderes em potencial são educados nos Estados Unidos e neles são inculcados seus valores. A Rússia, ele insiste, deve fazer o mesmo com aqueles que se espera sejam os futuros líderes da China, tudo pela causa do Poder Brando.

Outro tópico de particular interesse no programa de Solovyov da noite passada foi a proposta recentemente anunciada pelo presidente turco Erdogan, para que os líderes turco, russo e sírio se reunissem e definissem um modus vivendi, um caminho de cooperação na região. A prontidão de Erdogan em se sentar à mesa com Bashar Assad foi identificada como um avanço, já que ele foi o último a reconhecer a legitimidade do regime de Assad. As perspectivas são de que esta mudança na posição turca resulte em uma posição conjunta quanto à questão curda em sua fronteira comum. Isto, por sua vez, levará à expulsão de todas as tropas estrangeiras da Síria. Essas “tropas estrangeiras” são, claro, os estadunidenses, quem os sírios acusaram ontem de roubar mais de 18 bilhões de dólares em petróleo e mercadorias agrícolas dos territórios sírios que ocupam ilegalmente. O realinhamento da Turquia com a Síria é impulsionado, na visão do especialista de Solovyov, pelo apoio militar dos estadunidenses aos curdos sírios. Notou-se que o Irã, que tem sido o principal apoiador de Assad durante sua longa guerra civil, não foi convidado para a mesa por Erdogan, enquanto que a Rússia fora convidada. Em suma, se a iniciativa de Erdogan seguir em frente, isto significará uma grande mudança na política do Oriente Médio e uma perda significativa dos Poderes Brando e Bruto estadunidenses na região.

Em meio a estas novas questões para discussão pelos dois grupos diferentes de participantes que Solovyov trouxe a seu programa, o da guerra na Ucrânia se manifestou com algumas declarações inflamadas de um alto oficial militar aposentado que agora é o chefe do Comitê de Defesa na Duma. Seus comentários iniciais certamente chamaram atenção: ele pediu a implementação de planos para se bombardear Londres! Por que não, ele perguntou retoricamente, já que os britânicos falaram publicamente sobre a possibilidade de se bombardear Moscou? A Rússia deveria destruir a infraestrutura de comando militar dentro e ao redor de Londres usando armas convencionais ou nucleares. Como outros participantes do programa, este entrevistado vê a guerra sob o prisma de conflito armado entre a Rússia e a OTAN, onde a Ucrânia é apenas o território designado para o combate. Sob esta perspectiva, será de fato uma “longa guerra” que se estenderá por muitos anos ainda.

Por outro lado, o principal assunto ucraniano da noite foi o ataque sem precedentes de foguetes e artilharia ucranianos no dia anterior à capital da província de Donetsk, que recebeu mais de 150 mísseis, muitos de lançadores fornecidos pelos Estados Unidos. Nenhuma das explosões foi dirigida contra alvos militares; todos atingiram prédios residenciais, mercados e prédios de infraestrutura social durante a manhã, quando haveria um máximo de pessoas nas estruturas ou espaços abertos visados. Fotos dos locais destruídos foram mostradas no ar e incluíam imagens da principal catedral de Donetsk, cuja cúpula foi atingida diretamente por um míssil; isto foi apresentado como mais uma demonstração da natureza “satânica” dos governantes de Kiev, cuja intenção era claramente traumatizar a população do Donbas.

Houve mais de uma dúzia de mortos e muitos feridos entre os civis do último salvo ucraniano. A conclusão que os participantes do painel de Solovyov chegaram deste reino de terror que não foi relatado pela mídia ocidental é que é hora de causar destruição na cidade de Kiev, não apenas em sua geração de energia, de modo a ‘apagar o sorriso dos rostos da gangue nazista ucraniana.’

Solovyov exibiu um vídeo do discurso de Vladimir Putin televisionado no início do dia, prometendo elevar o padrão dos serviços governamentais nos distritos de Donbas, Kherson e Zaporozhye, incluindo pensões, salários, creches e escolas, ao nível das províncias vizinhas da Federação Russa. Um entrevistado comentou que tudo bem, mas só é possível depois que a região, agora território russo, estiver devidamente protegida contra ataques ucranianos. Esta foi uma cutucada nada sutil no Presidente.

Finalmente, o item mais interessante na agenda do programa na noite passada foi a interpretação que um entrevistado deu à recente declaração da ex-chanceler alemã, Angela Merkel, de que desde o início ela via os Acordos de Minsk como uma forma de se ganhar tempo para a Ucrânia reconstituir suas forças armadas, após suas derrotas militares no Donbas entre 2014 e 2015. Muitos comentaristas, inclusive eu, explicaram esta observação como auto-justificativa, no contexto da difamação contínua de Merkel na mídia alemã e nas esferas políticas, por ter sido “branda” com os russos durante seu mandato. No entanto, este entrevistado disse que as declarações políticas de Merkel nunca são acidentais ou incidentais, mas substantivas. Sua intenção era aproveitar a atual onda de pensamento nos círculos políticos alemães, tornando as negociações com a Rússia impossíveis, devido ao colapso total da confiança mútua. Isto é parte integrante da política da “guerra longa” contra a Rússia.

No mais, como costuma acontecer nas últimas edições do programa Noite com Vladimir Solovyov, ontem foi dedicado para se filosofar sobre a nova identidade que a Rússia deve adotar, agora que seu namoro com o Ocidente finalmente acabou. O debate agora não é mais entre liberais e conservadores de orientação ocidental. É entre os próprios conservadores, que se dividiram entre nacionalistas e centristas. Neste programa, os primeiros tendem a ser representados por membros da Duma ou partidários do LDPR e os últimos, por reitores de universidades e presidentes de grupos de idéias.

Quando o líder do partido LDPR, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, estava vivo, ele era frequentemente convidado para o programa de Solovyov e tinha uso ilimitado do microfone, nunca interrompido, ao contrário do que costumava acontecer com outros participantes. Agora, as posições nacionalistas de Zhirinovsky são propostas por outros, incluindo a editora-chefe da Russia Today, Margarita Simonian, e pelo membro da Duma, Andrey Lugovoy, mais conhecido no Ocidente como o agente da KGB procurado pela polícia britânica sob suspeita do assassinato de Alexander Litvinenko, e pelo próprio Soloviev. Tenho poucas dúvidas de que, nas próximas semanas, o assunto será a recente troca de prisioneiros, com Viktor Bout no programa Solovyov, haja vista que ele acabou de se filiar ao LDPR.

O que todos estes nacionalistas têm em comum, que os diferencia dos acadêmicos do grupo centrista, é uma forte inclinação para a mobilização da era soviética de toda a população russa em torno da defesa nacional na próxima “longa guerra” com os EUA e a OTAN. O próprio Solovyov fala repetidamente sobre a necessidade de se estabelecer treinamento militar contínuo de todos os homens fisicamente aptos, a fim de preparar um exército russo de 3 milhões de homens. No que diz respeito à economia, estes nacionalistas têm uma visão obscura do mercado e buscam o controle estatal da indústria.

39 thoughts on “What are they now talking about on Russian talk shows?

  1. Good morning, Dr. Doctorow.

    Thank you for your valuable insights and comments that I am following with great interest. Congratulations!

    Hereunder you may find the link to the piece that I had publish a few days ago about Mrs Merkel comments to both Der Spiegel and Die Zeit.

    Her Die Zeit’s statements cannot be read without having read Der Spiegel’s first. The former were a consequence of the latter. This is what I call the 2nd coup d’etat that had recently taken place in Germany.

    This 1st coup (Heinrich XIII) was fake and failed.

    The 2nd coup (Merkel) was real and was victorious.

    My thesis is that Mrs Merkel was forced to burn down bridges with Putin through her statements to Die Zeit, only after she had offered herself to subtly mediate with Putin in her previous conversation with Der Spiegel, in which she also criticised Scholz and his government.

    Kind regards,

    Jorge Cachinero



  2. Obrigado dr. Gilbert, considero-o indispensável fonte de informação sobre relações internacionais, o que seguramente nos faz refletir sobre os reais interesses por trás dos acontecimentos em nosso próprio País.


  3. When and who in London exactly publicly discussed bombing Moscow? Is this an actual fact or something said to rally and inflame the Russian audience?


      1. Yes I remember. But first of all, Liz Truss is not here anymore. Second, she did not say that she would nuke Russia. She was asked how she would feel if she had to make the choice of pressing the button. It was not specified whether it would be a first strike or a response. To imagine that she meant first attacking someone, it is pure speculation. Russia on the other hand, has been openly fantasising about nuking London, ways before Truss said that

        And they still do it, it seems


  4. Surely, nobody is talking about ‘nuking’ London. But London is bombing Donetsk, part of Russia, so it raises the question of whether Russia should reply in kind.
    Londoners might argue that the government-in Westminster!-is merely carrying out orders from Washington. On the other hand, as the CND spent decades arguing in the UK, London and other European capitals are likely to bear the brunt of initial responses to attacks on Russia- for the same reasons as British attacks on Russia are aimed at the Donbas rather than Moscow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of people are talking of destroying London with nuclear weapons, and if you scroll down this blog you will see the reports. Already in June this year a Russian general was discussing attacking London first, and not Paris, Berlin or Warsaw, all as evil comes from the Anglo-Saxons. As to London bombing Donetsk, I thought it was the Ukrainians using Western weapons to bomb Donetsk, which is not an insignificant difference in the war. Anyway, everybody had a great opportunity to attack each other on the occasion of the missiles in Poland but nobody did. Yet.


    1. Hopefully the World will be free of the City of London fascists. The UK is de facto bankrupted since 2008.


    2. If you follow details of the war in Ukraine, the UK is out front and center in almost everyway doing dirty deeds against Russia and calling for more dirty deeds. Is so obvious and consistent and long running, that the guys at The Duran – Alexander Mercouris who lives in London – has spent accumulated hours discussing Britain’s long historic and current hatred of Russia and Russians and often admits he is baffled by it. He speculates it is part due to Britain being a fallen 3rd-4th-5th rate nothing burger, a non-power while Russia has risen and is quite the opposite and the British elites can’t deal with this fact.

      Regarding London targeting Dontesk, their have been many reports that NATO/US (this includes Britain) of directing controlling and operating the targeting of specific weapons against Russia not just Dontesk but throughout Ukraine

      I realize this doesn’t address the specific who-said-what-first, but it give the big picture in helping us to understand the aggression and wars are and have been originated by The West and the UK is a standout leader in that regard.


      1. I am not questioning the arrogance of NATO and its allies and I don’t have enough intelligence to competently judge who is behind this and that attack. It seems a lot of people in this blog are so sure about things that they must have inside knowledge from some important person. I merely questioned the statement that London (the London government) publicly discussed bombing Moscow. It seems to me, judging from the reports of the Russian talk shows that since January 22, there have been a great deal of talk about bombing the West and lots of explicit nuclear threats coming from Russia. Are they justified? Who knows.


      2. See Liz Truss above. Yes no London. However the context is indisputable which is: London & The West have launched a war of aggression and genocide upon Russia. Russia would be 100% with her rights to threaten nuclear response it need be. The West has NO SUCH right. THAT is the important point.


    3. “Lots of people are talking of destroying London with nuclear weapons, and if you scroll down this blog you will see the reports.” You should be banned as a troll. The entire West advocates the genocide of the Russian people and culture and YOU NEVER MENTION THAT. Your most obvious deceit is implying there is moral equivalence between Russia and London/The West. There no such equivalent. To suggest such a thing is like saying Nazism and Hitler is morally equivalent to Jews and Judaism. More directly – Russians are absolutely morally right to advocate and talk about nuclear attacks on London and the West. Because this in self defense of their genocide by London and the West. In contrast, any advocacy Liz Truss and the West is horrific genocide Nazism.


      1. No need to ban me. I’m leaving this blog FOREVER. The author’s posts are informative and interesting, but this comment (which won’t be censored, unlike many other polite and reasonable questions/ contributes) and others express sheer madness and hatred.


    1/2 Important… Washington’s massive escalation, as Russia reveals technical data confirming US role in masterminding, planning, developing & executing the Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian bases, including Engels where strategic bombers are stationed.
    2/2 UNPRECEDENTED… Make no mistake, this is the equivalent of Russia prompting and facilitating Venezuela or Cuba to strike at Warren Air Force Base at Wyoming or Malmstrom Air Force Base at Montana or Minot Air Force Base at North Dakota where US’s ICBM force is stationed!

    Ret. Indian diplomat commenting on Tass report.
    This is so explosive that the clearest motive for RUS to make it public is to document the conclusion that US is now a combatant in the war, justifying a direct Russian attack on US UK NATO assets.

    ⚡️🇩🇪“Ukraine must not win”. Bundestag calls to stop supporting Zelensky
    The German government must stop supporting Vladimir Zelensky for all his war crimes and repressions against the population of Ukraine, independent MP Robert Farle said from the rostrum of the Bundestag.



  7. Elena’s is ridiculous suggesting Truss wasn’t talking about pushing the nuclear button on Russia. Which country was Truss going to annihilate in a genocidal nuclear attack? Elena is another fool parading her ignorance around like she has just married a supermodel.

    I wouldn’t attack major Ukrainian cities as they are probably more generous with human rights observances than village Nazis. Lutsk and Lvov are supply hubs for the AFU and Kiev so their transportation routes should be shattered instead. Especially those routes leading to the border. This would be excellent preparation for the coming Russian offensive.

    Saladin: “I warn you against shedding blood, indulging in it and making a habit of it, for blood never sleeps.”

    No part of Ukraine will remain under US-NAYOYO control as it will be a base for further provocations and attacks. Western Ukraine is too valuable a strategic position driven deep into central Europe. These western Ukrainian border areas will be depopulated and turned into a restricted access military zone providing a buffer between Ukraine, Russia, and the West. Russia will not tolerate millions of treacherous, discontented Ukrainian bigots. They will be driven west into Europe where they will pollute European politics for decades.

    Eduardo Galeano: “My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia. It’s not a person. It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten.”

    There won’t be any negotiated Korean/Vietnam partition of Ukraine. Russia will only settle for the deepest security buffer zone. The Baltic states will be made to see the sense of NEVER threatening Russia again with a punishing blockade. Moldova, Rumania and Bulgaria shall remove their NAYOYO missiles or watch their Black Sea trade routes cut producing economic ruin far up the Danube. Poland will suffer for their pathetic attempts to resurrect their former 17th century empire.

    Vladimir Putin, July 7, 2022: “We hear today that they want us to be defeated on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We haven’t even really started anything yet.”

    The world will be a better and safer place when Russia wins this war. US signed treaties are worthless, when they aren’t treacherous lying excuses to plan and execute the murder of nearly 19,000 civilians. Russians have heard all the promises, watched the treaties signed, and quickly ignored. Russians know of racist genocides committed and planned. It won’t be the vacuous excuses of White Western media cloaca and academics that define this war. It will be blunt demands and brutal facts on the ground that outline Ukraine’s public defeat. This war will end with NATO’s humiliation, and the Global South ecstatically dancing in the streets. This war will end with Russian tanks shaking the ground at western borders.

    Winston Churchill (1944): ”I have left the obvious, essential fact to this point, namely, that it is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the [Nazi] army.”


  8. Just published ‘Is the war in Ukraine entering its decisive phase?’, part 1 of an edited summary of the YouTube recorded discussions between Johns Hopkins University emeritus professor Michael Vlahos and retired colonel Douglas Macgregor. The bottom line is that the Russians aim for full victory in Ukraine, a Polish TV station already showed post-war maps dividing the country between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, with a neutral Ukrainian rump state remaining. The link is:

    Hoe Moskou de NAVO in Oekraïne het nakijken geeft (1)

    The ‘Google translate’ tool in the top right corner will translate the article into any language.


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