Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Between Hope and Reality

Politics is a rough game, but in Russia it surpasses most other countries' leading parties' techniques in dealing with their opposition numbers since in most other countries of the world it is definitely abnormal to make a habit of unleashing assassins against a competing political party's leaders who have been effective in persuading a good portion of the electorate that it is past time to demolish the current government's hold on power and select an alternative.
Police stand around the body of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, with St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin in the background, 27 February
Mr Nemtsov was shot on a bridge within sight of St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin Associated Press

In Russia assassins do not hesitate to murder an opposition leader in view of the Kremlin itself, nor to send operatives on such missions abroad to dispatch critics of the government. Persecution of journalists, opposing a free press, dispatching the military to cross sovereign borders is the work of dictators, but such political figures seem to thrive in some countries absent a tradition of firm democratic order.

Russian aircraft casually, impertinently and at times threateningly approach other nations' aircraft while in the process of entering sovereign airspace of other nations. As for Russian ships and submarines, they too are often seen well beyond their own coastlines, entering the precincts of other nations in a blatant ploy to demonstrate there are no firm boundaries that will keep Russian presence to a minimum.
A Ukrainian police officer seizes a gun at the scene where Voronenkov was shot dead on Thursday.
A Ukrainian police officer seizes a gun at the scene where Voronenkov was shot dead   CNN

Directing assassins to enter a foreign country on a mission to prevent testimony from a senior Russian politician implicating the Russian government in episodic misdemeanors the government would prefer not to be aired, sign their own death warrants by betraying their insider knowledge to enquiries mounted by foreign nations whom Russia has belligerently invaded with the pretext that those involved do so without government sanction.

Exploits with poisoning critics of the Kremlin living abroad, with the use of materials so rare and deadly that only powerful governments could have provided them, is another signature of the Russian government, complacent that it will never be held to account for its crimes, only held to judgements they readily shrug off as unimpressive in its lack of clout.

How to assess a government that has so many outreach concerns on its agenda, all of which tend to represent aggression and threats against neighbours near and wide, still hungry for power and recognition, prepared to ally itself with the most unsavoury and brutal dictators to gain influence?
The Kremlin's decision to support Syria's butchering dictator at a time when the Syrian opposition was gaining momentum has turned the tide in the regime's favour and gained Russia an air base and deep sea port.

It has also gained Russia the enmity of the world at large for supporting a government whose power is based on terrorism and violence. And just incidentally brought to its own doorstep revenge that has impacted Russian civilians whose permission was never sought to expose them to such dangers as when hundreds of Russian tourists in the Sinai were killed in an on-air explosion credited to Islamic State.

Russia's near-abroad includes proximity to Muslim majority nations like Kazakhstan and Chechnya out of which comes committed jihadists hundreds of whom have migrated to Syria and Iran to join the Islamic State, though some may choose to remain where they are to carry out jihad against the kuffars. As did Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, 22, from Kyrgyzstan who martyred himself while killing 14 Russians and wounding another 49.
A makeshift memorial at the Technology Institute subway station in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday.  Credit Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press 

This jihadist was a Russian citizen who carefully set two bombs in the St.Petersburg metro system, one of which he wore on his person to qualify himself as a martyr while dispatching his duty as a jihadist to take with him as many innocent people as he could manage. St.Petersburg evidently distinguishes itself with containing a large Kyrgyz diaspora finding work in Russia and becoming citizens.

St.Petersburg, a city of five million residents, cannot afford to concern itself unduly worrying at the presence of a large contingent of Muslims among whom some insignificant number may ultimately choose to sacrifice themselves and others for an ideology of death both personal and impersonal. Despite the intrigues of their government and the threats of their neighbours Russians want to be able to live in peace and prosperity.

Some will achieve their goal, some will die in the effort to do so.

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