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tv   Book Discussion on The Less You Know the Better You Sleep  CSPAN  June 26, 2016 8:15am-9:16am EDT

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veterans know this. in combat soldiers all but ignore the differences of race, religion and politics within their platoon. it's no wonder many of them did so depressed when they come home. >> sebastian junger taking your calls, e-mails, tweets and text messages live on booktv's "in depth" sunday july 3, noon to 3 p.m. eastern. >> john? >> and you've got the book. that's all important. good morning. welcome to the heritage
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foundation. we, of course, welcome those who joins on our website as well as those will be joining us on c-span at booktv in the future. we remind all of our outside viewers, you are welcome to send questions or comments at any time. simply e-mailing for those here in house we would appreciate your checking or mobile devices to see that they have been silenced or turned off as a courtesy to our presenters. we will of course post the program on the heritage home page following today's presentation for everyone's future reference as well. hosting our discussion is ted bromund. a senior research fellow in anglo-american relations. part of our margaret thatcher center for freedom. he joined heritage after decade at yale university as associate director of international security studies. it was in a certificate to the study and teaching of diplomatic history and grand strategy. he was also a lecturer in history at in international
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affairs for their masters of arts program. is a columnist for newsday and for great britain yorkshire post, writes commentary for other major u.s. news outlets. is also a professor of strategic studies in the strategic studies program at johns hopkins university school of advanced international studies. please join me in welcoming ted bromund. ted? [applause] >> thank you very much, john. it's a tremendous pleasure to welcome my friend david satter at the heritage foundation to speak on his latest book published ugly just two days ago by university press, "the less you know, the better you sleep: russia's road to terror and dictatorship under yeltsin and putin." the story that david tells is the story of a double tragedy. for russia the tragedy of the rise to accept domestic terrorism and criminality of a dictatorial regime of vladimir putin, at the tragedy of the west failure to understand what was actually happening in
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russia. and reading the book i was very struck by a comment that david made on page 18. i will read it for you now. critical to the credence given in the west to official russian explanations was an inability accept the idea that the yeltsin regime with murder hundreds of its own citizens and terrified the nation to hold onto power. this refusal to believe the unbelievable came at a cost. a crippled western policy towards russia rendered it naïve ineffectual. from the moment putin took power the west maintained an image of russia that bore no relation to reality. i think it's fair to say very few people in the west have tried harder for longer to drag the image of russia back toward reality than david satter. david graduated from the university of chicago and then went on to be a rhodes scholar at oxford. from 1976-80 today was the moscow correspondent to the financial times. since then you serve a special correspondent on soviet affairs,
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for "the wall street journal" as the fortin hooper fell and then a senior fellow at the foreign policy research institution in philadelphia, as research fellow at the hoover institution and at a variety of prestigious academic institutions. capping all of these honors was one he received in 2013 when he was the first u.s. journalist to be expelled by russia since the end of cold war. david has testified frequently on russian affairs before congress and he rides regularly for major newspapers and publications in the u.s. and around the world. he has written three previous books on russia agent delivery in, the decline and fall of the soviet union published in 1996. darkness at dawn, the rights of the russian criminal state publishing 2003, and it was a long time ago and it never happened anyway russia and the communist past, published in 2011. he will be glad to take questions and our copies of his book available for sale in the lobby.
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is scheduled after his works today is fairly tight but he will be available for a few minutes afterwards to sign copies of his book. but for now let me get well, david satter to the heritage foundation and inviting to speak on "the less you know, the better you sleep: russia's road to terror and dictatorship under yeltsin and putin." david. [applause] >> thank you very much, ted, and thanks to all of you for coming. the history of post-soviet russia is a history that should concern more than just russians. because russia has become and has revealed itself to be in recent years an aggressor state ready to disrupt the existing framework of international relations. since the second world war, there had been no case of a successful seizure of territory
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and revision of borders by a country that was considered to be part of the civilized world and was a party in fact to innumerable international agreements. the seizure of crimea in effect was a break in the postwar european and global order. that should've been an event that inspired real serious contemplation and thinking on the part of the u.s. about the nature of the russian regime. after all, if the russian leaders are so contemptuous of the world order, the order that has been responsible for keeping the peace, since the second world war, is there something deeper involved? what kind of regime is this, and
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were we mistaken when we as in a whole series of policies toward russia, extend good war -- goodwill towards the country triggered it really as a nation with which it's possible for the united states to develop trusting and mutually dependent relations? in fact the core of the misunderstanding is reflected in a single set of incidents that took place in 1999, which brought him to power, which guarantee the security of president yeltsin, that laid the foundation for the future dictatorship, and that culminated and in effect brought to the logical called collusion
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criminalization of the country that have taken place from the 1990s. these were the apartment bombings in russia that took place in the region of dagestan in moscow and in the city of volcker to ask. the apartment bombings cost 300 lives. they terrorized the country and they created the conditions for a new war in chechnya. that war was very convenient and very gratuitous. because on the eve of that war the popularity rating of yeltsin was 2%. now, sociologists understand that in any public opinion poll, 6% of the respondents don't understand the question. so it was really debatable whether anyone in russia supported yeltsin at that time.
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his chosen successor, vladimir putin, a little-known former head of the fsb, the sake of the police, the successor organization to the kgb, was similarly supported like 2% of the russian population. it seemed impossible that anyone associated with yeltsin could win in the 2000 elections that were scheduled. and it was for that reason it was widely believed in moscow at the time that some type of massive provocation was going to take place to make it possible for yeltsin and his entourage to declare martial law. and cancel the elections. the explosion of the buildings seemed to be suspiciously timed
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to guarantee exactly that result. there were 30,000 apartment buildings in moscow alone. patrols were organized in every one of those buildings, because people were afraid to go to sleep at night for fear of being blown up in their beds. it was said that there was a chechen trail. no one suggested that there was chechen proof and affect chechnya and denied any connection to the bombings. but the trail was enough to mobilize the country which had been opposed to a second war in chechnya. and to make it possible for the political leadership to again invade chechnya. the first chechen war was a disaster. it was organized hurriedly, unprepared troops were thrown into battle in the narrow streets and were annihilated,
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and the war dragged on for two years and ended with a victory by the chechen guerrillas. the second war was much better prepared, the tactics that were used were much more violent. the indiscriminate shelling, including of refugee columns, followed also my by security sweeps in which thousands of people disappeared. but from the point of view of a not very well informed russian public, it appeared that vladimir putin, who have been put in charge of the war, even before he was elected president, was carrying out the work effectively, was avenging the perfidious attack on innocent russian people who were murdered in their beds by terrorists with no mercy and no moral values at all. and he, as a result, became a national hero.
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his popularity rating went up dramatically to the point where a person who refused to campaign, who had no political career previous to being appointed prime minister and put in charge of the chechen war, whose most important experience within the security services, it was completely lacking in charisma, who refused to debate his opponents or even discuss any of the issues facing the country. nonetheless, on the strength of his supposedly avenging of the terrorist attack launched against innocent russian civilians, suddenly became a national hero. and that national hero was elected president in 2000. there was only one problem, and that was that a fifth bomb was discovered in the basement of an
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apartment building in the city southeast of moscow. after four bombings, it's fair to say the entire country was in a state of panic. no one knew when the next bombing was going to take place or where. a bombing had taken place in the provincial city of volgodonsk. that was a signal to any city could be the sign, could be the scene of the next terrorist attack. as a result, as in many, many russian cities, people were on edge and they were looking for the slightest sign that day, too, might be the next victims. and residents of the building in we is on notice of the three people are behaving suspiciously out in front of the building and were carrying sacks of an unknown substance down into the basement. they called the police and the police did not want to go down
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there because, in fact, it had been used as a laboratory by the local drunks and derelicts, at the residence insisted, the police would have catapulted act up the stairs instead there's a bomb down there. the entire building was evacuated. and not just the building of the entire order to join spent the night on the street. the building was tested. i'm sorry, the bomb was tested. they tested positive for hexagon, which is the high explosive that was used in the other four bombings. the local police and the local fsb cordoned off basically the entire city. it was impossible for anyone to enter or to leave. long lines of cars extended for miles on the outskirts of the city. they couldn't get in. nobody and no one could depart the city.
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know what to take a train out of the city and nobody could fly out of the city. a telephone call was overheard on the interurban telephone by an attentive telephone operator. someone was saying that they've got the whole city surrounded. how do we get out of here? and a voice said, break up and leave one by one. the operator was convinced that she was listening to the terrorists, and she gave the number to the local police and fsb. they called the number expecting to be connected to the chechen terrorists. they were connected instead to the fsb central headquarters in moscow, and the security police. a description of the persons are placed the bomb in the basement was provided, and they were caught and they were arrested
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and promptly produced fsb documents. now, the russian authorities were in a very difficult position. they have announced that the residence of ryazan had successfully prevented a terrorist attack. who do they turn out to be but fsb agents. so the head of the fsb got on national television literally hours after it'd been announced that the terrorists were caught and said that actually this was not an attempted terrorist act. it was a drill. intended to test the residence of ryazan for vigilance, and the residents had performed brilliantly. they showed that they were, in fact, very vigilant, and the fsb
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congratulate them on the air awareness of the threat facing the nation. and afterwards they were even, some of the key people were even given gifts, including a television set. but the residence of ryazan absolutely did not believe that this was any kind of test. they were convinced that it was, that the bomb was genuine, and asked why is it that they were forced to stay out on the street for 24 hours if this was just a test? why would they not informed afterwards that it was a test or warned beforehand that there might be a test? and more to the point, if this was a test, why was the bomb immediately seized by the fsb and sequestered, ma and why were would the agents who put the bomb in the building shielded so
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that no one could ask them any questions? even though this by the weight is a direct violation of the law on -- by the way -- the law on security in russia, according to which you cannot declare state secrets, anything that involves a violation of the human rights or security of the population. those materials are now sequestered for 75 years. but nontheless, the questions have not disappeared. it was a chaotic time in russia. the presidential elections were about to take place, and the bombing of chechnya in response to the supposedly terrorist acts was being escalated as was the invasion of the country itself.
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the doubts remained and they were raised by, at that time, the still relatively free russian media. but in the fast-moving flow of quite dramatic events, the subject managed to get buried, and there were not the forces in russian society which is not like american society, replete with ngos, independent press, and people with a democratic tradition and the readiness to challenge the authorities, was not, proved itself not to be capable of raising the issue on a sustained basis. there were emotions in the state duma to investigate the strange
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events in ryazan, but those motions were voted down with the help of a monolithic support of the pro-putin united party as it was then called. an independent commission was formed to investigate the ryazan events, and its members again to be murdered one by one. the first person to die was sergei. i met him in the state duma and also took an interest in what happened in ryazan. i went to ryazan at the interviewed the residents of the buildings and the police. even the police did not believe that this is any kind of training exercise. in fact, what i said to them i've come to ask them about the training exercise, they all broke, they all began to laugh ironically as if i was saying something totally ridiculous.
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but i met sergei weeks before he was shot in front of his own apartment building, and he told me that he was going to do everything possible as i was trying to do at the same time to bring out the truth about what happened in ryazan, the truth about how this regime came to power. three months later, another member of the social commission which was trying to investigate was poisoned and died and over the death. two of the people who raised this issue were alexander and anna your anna was russia's leading investigative journalist
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and she, she argued that the 1996 presidential elections in, i'm sorry, in 2004 presidential elections in which putin ran for reelection were the last chance to raise seriously the issue of what happened in ryazan, and you really blew up those buildings. she was shot as she got out of the elevator in her apartment building. alexander to use a lot of the same materials that i did, but simply taking advantage of his experience as a former fsb officer provided commentary about what was normal fsb procedure.
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he died as result of being poisoned with a radioactive isotope. as the result of this series of killings, i became literally the only person left who was raising this issue publicly, protected by the fact that i am an american citizen and also i participate in a political process in washington. i can't say that i've had over one thing success in calling this to the attention of the political world in washington, but i do write about in "the wall street journal." i've testified about in congress and the wrote about it in my second book called darkness at dawn, the rise of the russian criminal state. and i certainly don't with it in much greater detail in this book which came out a couple of days ago. the atmosphere of course and the u.s. has changed it is possible now that people are more ready to listen now that they've seen
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repeated examples of the putin regimes criminality. but in any case, the issue was successfully buried. the elimination of persons who were capable of raising the issue, plus the fact that the previous, the present administration did not want to hear about it. and far from taking an interest in the obvious evidence, that putin came to power is the result of an act of terror carried out against his own people did the exact opposite and drew the conclusion that problems in u.s.-russian relations were the fault of george w. bush. and initiated the reset policy. and it began as we know with
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this translation of the word reset and i think went downhill from there. in any case this central historical event, in my view, was the greatest political provocation since the burning of the right stock. and it established the regime with which we now have to contend, both in ukraine and potentially in other parts of the world. it was not an accident that, in fact, yeltsin had to resort, and yeltsin and/or the yeltsin entourage had to resolve to act of terror in order to solidify its hold on power. does russia have been driven to such condition of poverty and desperation that it was highly
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unlikely that anyone connected to yeltsin could have won a fair election or even come close to winning such an election. yeltsin is often triggered as a hero in this country, and he's viewed favorably by some people and russia, although not by the overwhelming majority of the population. the question that no one can answer and that really no one tries to answer is how is it that such a wonderful yeltsin ended up selecting as his hand-picked successor such a horrible person as putin? is this some type of mistake, or was it logical? was it the inevitable result of yeltsin's own policy, policies and misrule during the years when he was president of russia?
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it's important to bear in mind that the impoverishment of russia was not a joke. the international production in russia fell by more than 50%. that didn't happen even under not see occupation. -- not see. the number of surplus deaths in russia as a result of extreme impoverishment and the complete overturning of a previous way of life without the establishment of any type of positive ideal that could serve as guidance for the population in the absence of what had been a quite well articulated worldview, albeit an erroneous one, a false one, lead to despair and 6 million surplus deaths.
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demographers make projections. they try to, they try to predict what the population will be best on existing trends. and surplus deaths are deaths that take place that could not have been predicted on the basis of existing tendencies. in the case of russia in the 1990s, that figure was 6 million. you have that kind of death rate only in a country at war, but it happened. heart attacks, accidents, the whole social fabric of the country fell apart. under those circumstances am yeltsin of course could not win, he turned to the people who were the masters of provocation, the kgb and the fsb in order to protect them. either he gets.
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some may argue so delirious and so it will that it was his entourage who carried out the apartment bombings. either way he is responsible. he was head of the government and he was head of the state. so we ended up with the regime that we have. and the first step back to some sort of civilized situation regarding russia and regarding the future is to recognize the true history of the country. this is what i tried to get in the book. the book is very brief. it's only 200 some odd pages but it's an attempt to describe what happens in russia after the fall of communism and why it happened, and the role of provocation and war in creating the regime that we have now. it's my hope that it will prove
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enlightening, not just for people in this country, but also for people in russia where there also are illusions. that are illusions about yeltsin on the part of russia's liberal intellectual public, which to this day has failed, is convincing itself that all of the harm that befell russia was the result of putin. i do hope you will be enlightening to ordinary russian people who don't see the extent to which the putin regime was based, in fact, on exactly the exploitation and corruption and gangsterism of the previous period. now, that pretty much exhausts the amount of time i wanted to take in talking about the book because i very much wanted to
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answer your questions if you have any. and we can continue the discussion in that manner. ted, do you want to -- >> yeah, maybe i will take the podium for a second or thank you very much, david. on behalf of the heritage foundation. [applause] >> i see several heads up. i'm going to take moderators privilege as selfish moderates want to do and ask the first question, which is you make a convincing case about the importance of the apartment bombings, but that, of course, was not the only terrorist outrage to happen, so-called, in russia during this time. toward the school attacks. it was the theater attack. he does fit into the narrative that you tell as well, the apartment bombings, so-called, simply a one off? >> the theater siege in 2002 and
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the school siege, hostagetaking in 2004, both fit into the narrative that i develop in the book. what i tried to point out is about having come to power as the avenger of a nonexisting, nonexistent terrorist attack, or a terrorist attack which the fsb carried out, putin was not in a position to compromise on chechnya. even to reach an advantageous compromise. he had to emerge victorious. and 2002, the pressure for a compromise solution and negotiated end to the war, particularly as information about russian atrocities in
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chechnya during the second chechen war became widespread. this was the period of the security sweeps, when literally thousands of people were being rounded up and taken to filtration camps from which they did not return, and world opinion was not focused on chechnya at the time but there were people who were aware of what was going on there, and that deadly to pressure, including pressure from independent albedo features in the u.s., like britney as brzezinski, to organize the conditions for a compromise and and negotiated into the the war in chechnya. this is something that put an absolutely did not want, and the terrorist attack on the theater, in my view, could not have taken
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place without the benign cooperation of the fsb. yes the perpetrators were chechens, but an entire terrorist army was assembled in moscow and was preparing for months for the takeover of the theater. intelligence information was reaching the fsb about the identity of this armory for weeks up until the attack took place your many of the persons who took over the theater had just been released inexplicably from russian prisons. and one of the person who was involved in planning the attack was an fsb agent who was implanted with the chechen terrorists. afterwards, the theater was taken over and there were promises to the hostages after 57 hours of hell in that theater that negotiations would begin. at that very moment the fsb and
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the special forces attacked with lethal gas, and hundreds of people were killed. the official death count is 129. many people have died from the after effects of the gas. the identity of which has never been revealed, which is hampered treatment of the hostages. by some estimates the number of persons who have died is as many as 300. if we include those persons who died in the following years on the after effects of the gas. in any case, the situation was similar in the case of the school massacre. there was progress from the
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russian point of view and pacifying chechnya. as a result the remnants of the chechen resistance was very anxious to carry out a terrorist attack of some type that would affirm that they were still a force, and this was in particularly the islamist wing of the chechen resistance, which was itself in open conflict with the separatist wing. the russians had motives of their own for wanting a terrorist attack. because they were renewed calls. in the aftermath of the hostagetaking, the all talk of a negotiated settlement was taken off the table, and the reputation of the chechen resistance was completely destroyed.
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the russians are well aware that those terrorists who were taken part in the attack were members of the islamist wing of the chechen resistance, yet they sought to blame not those who were responsible, but the separatists under the elected president for being responsible, even though he had denounced the attack. in any case there was a similar scenario in the case of the beslan hostagetaking. persons who had recently been in russian custody and who had, in fact, been russian agents led the attack on the school. the russians have every incentive now under conditions in which there was they can talk of trying to find a negotiated way out of the chechen conflict,
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to put an end to those discussions once and for all. according to information that later came from the surviving terrorists, the original idea was not to seize a school, but rather to seize the session parliament building and then to annihilate the terrorists as well as a number of innocent hostages. it didn't matter, of course. but that terrorists learned of the fsb's plans and changed the goal of the attack. instead of carrying out the attack that they were supposed to carry out, they seized a school. that was one all roadblocks had been removed, all impediments to successful attack had been eliminated. because the russians thought, and there was no interference
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with the terrorists as they trained openly in the forests outside of beslan in preparation for the attack. the russians thought they were going to attack somewhere else, but the scenario played out in the case of the school just as it would have played out in the case of the parliament. the russians refused all negotiations, including proposals, over proposals that echoed the sentiments of the majority of the russian people for some type of autonomy for chechnya and an end to the war. and the impact this schools which was full of parents and children with heavy weapons, including her native launchers. and believe it or not, flamethrowers.
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they set fire to the roof of the school which felt and on the hostages, burning hundreds alive, and refused for three hours to put out the fire. so the same, somewhat aware of the apartment buildings and tracing the history of other terrorist attacks, can see the clear similarities, the ready to sacrifice innocent people in the pursuit of political power, the resort to provocation, and the entrenchment of a regime of criminals in power. >> if you can wait for the microphone when it comes around and if you can announce your name and affiliation, if any.
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>> i am a friend of heritage. two questions very quickly. this book translate into russian and is it available in russian? >> what's happening, it is certainly being translated into ukrainian and the ukrainian rights have been sold. there are preparations now for a to be translated into russian, but no russian publisher inside russia will do it. so it is being undertaken outside of russia. in fact, i'm expecting on june 1 to get the final district it will definitely be translated and put on the internet, that's for sure. and i've been interviewed in russian out at our pieces of it that have appeared in russia. but what i would like is for a printed book to be available in russia. that's what is being discussed right now. i believe it will be. >> great.
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my second question is that eight years ago when we were in the midst of another election, who invaded another portion of the soviet union into territory. here we are eight years later, another weekend president, a little trouble, but the rest of the world often doesn't understand. do you expect the light of the buildup of the baltic states we will have another problem in the next few months or within the next month of the new president? >> i think there will be a problem in terms of increased tension but there is an important distinction between the baltic republics and georgia and ukraine. georgia and ukraine were not members of nato. it was possible to invade georgia. it's possible to invade ukraine without consequences. the russian leaders will have to
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consider the consequences if they launch any type of military action against the baltic republics which, in fact, is not necessarily to their advantage. it's important to bear in mind that in the case of ukraine, what was at stake was a self organizing, anti-criminal revolution of the kind that could occur in russia under the right circumstances. in regimes in which the leaders of power are thoroughly monopolized, there are very few options left for society to reassert itself and establish democratic rule. one of them is the kind of revolt, spontaneous, leaderless, self organizing and driven by the courage and enthusiasm of millions of people that took place in ukraine.
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for that reason they were important reasons why the russian authorities seized crimea and invaded eastern ukraine. the most important of which was that it was a method of distracting the attention of the russian people from the real lessons of the ukrainian experience and using the lessons, the resort to chauvinism and nationalism, to blind people to the real interests and the importance of example that event provided to them. in fact, distracting attention, creating distractions is the traditional way in which post-soviet russian leaders have solidified their rule. the first chechen war which began, new year's night, 1994 1994-95, was undertaken to
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distract the attention of russians from the ravages of so-called privatization. the russian official told my friend sergei that we need a small, victoria soto or an order to distract, in order to raise the rating of the president. apparently it didn't occur to them that that is not a reason to start a war, but, in fact, that is what he said. ..
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by mass demonstrations in russia. the biggest demonstration that had ever taken place in the post soviet era in response to the falsification of the parliamentary elections of 2011. and those demonstration continued into 2012 before finally teetering out good but it was not long afterward that
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an even more mass demonstration organized a rather inspired a similar issues took place in ukraine. a great deal in common with russia including the fact there are many ethnic russians to the air, many people in the difference is not all that appeared significant even culturally, very common and so on. >> yes. i know you are concerned basically with the russian politics here, but i think we'd have international implications as well with school shootings and propaganda. just recently, there has been the counter in information warfare at introduced in the senate that deals with russia's
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agency for international studies and the words. are there ways in which russia trends in some of what they have been doing in russia and that sort of thing? >> the russian propaganda that reaches this country is often times simply an effort to reinforce various oppositions. the opposition will undermine the authority they want to show
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that conditions are bad in the west. they don't waste a lot of time trying to defend russia anymore because they consider that to be unproductive use of their time. but they do achieve successes when they expose in their view the social problems in the united states or in other western countries as well. and they do that -- they do that assiduousassiduous ly and get an audience for that because there's always those hungry democratic societies or criticism of the status quo, whatever the status quo happens to be. the real issue is that the u.s. could do a too have a greater influence on the russian public, which is really the purpose take
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control and that fire is the s. gun control issues and methods are very peripheral as far as russia is to turn. there is talk of gun control in russia. russia has fairly tight control over weapons and doesn't prevent anybody from getting none of course. but the argument for making guidance even more freely available to legal challenges comes on the fact that russia is a country with an extremely high murder rate. if all the people murdered in russia were tallied it would be the highest in the world. russia is a culture in which arguments are settled by force, not a agreement in this country.
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the thing that impresses russian about the united states has been centrally available in united states and so few people are murdered. if you have been available like that here, you wouldn't be able to clean up the blood industry. it's just a different culture and argument that for them doesn't have anywhere near the kind of traction that it does in this country. >> i collect robin simcox sitting right there. [inaudible] which is itself a lie then russia, which seems to be an investment in the city of london in and makes that harder. >> well, this is a big challenge for the united kingdom. the reason i pay such high rent
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when i was living in london and i came back only recently was because everything has become prohibitively expensive as criminals from all over the world are buying property in london and the very little control. in fact, part of an organization called meritocracy initiative, which is independent of the book, seeking to make it more difficult for russians to steal at home and enjoy their ill-gotten gains in the west. one of the places where that could have the greatest effect is in the playground or at least the place they like to establish residency the most. no-space telecom that they rent protections of the rule of. they wouldn't have much use of that once they reach a certain point.
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it will be up to the british public parliament and will be a sacrifice because if some people can save money elsewhere. facing increasing international movement to make it much harder for kleptocratic to ensure a help in the west. england is going to have to be a prime focus at that. >> with take two more questions than i think i can think i guess we'll have time to send a few bugs to the gentleman sitting in the back. david,-com,-com ma i haven't read your current book yet, but as i understand --
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[inaudible] if you were to pass forward today, what would she say the consequences that those were? if you look at the relationship between mr. putin, who is running who? has proved mas control? >> that's a very interesting question. would things have been different. another way of thinking of it and how would life have been different if there had been no terrorist attack that brought him to power. we enter the realm of speculation of course because we don't know. but the hostage siege have taken place? i think not. what has been established once
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and for all is a tradition of provocation. this is the wave power will change hands in russia and that means those in power will only be the curse ends capable of organizing a good match is technically capable, but morally capable. a country like russia to free itself of that kind of regime is going to have to face the truth about what happened because this is really the pivotal moment in soviet history. without the apartment bombings that would surely have been putin as president. the persons who likely would've come to power were no less corrupt and that yeltsin entourage yet that they would have certainly begun to take their revenge against those who is the one in their stead.
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it might well have been a situation not unlike what we have in ukraine and the situation at that time, more pluralistic would have offered more possibilities for the evolution, and eventual abolition in the direction of democracy. now we have something else. we have a more vicious regime and we have a terrorist tradition, which makes the situation of russia even more problematic, including the fact that the notion which is really fatal for russia's future, for culture, for its people that the individual counts for nothing. in its raw material to be used
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as pursuit of great political goals that the authorities. that has to be read for his and that is exactly what russia has lose to join the comedy of civilized countries, which is actually where it belongs. >> let's take one more question and then we will make some time. [inaudible] i'm a retired special agent. [inaudible] my question is what you described is happening could be labeled classified terrorism --
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my question would be what point to dr. paul williams >> sir, i think we've probably had enough around that line of questioning and i don't i'm asking you to stop now. [inaudible] >> i don't mind answering that question. this is a question raised in the air countries and russia as well. even the russians showed on channel one, which is government television reported to show september 11 attacks were carried out by the american leadership. during my in democratic countries in the country like russia which is run without democratic jewish come without the separation of power, without
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the rule of law, without free press. democratic countries make conspiracies that the kind that some people in the arab world that russia are talking about. even now as we argue, a much milder question, for example, to e-mail someone as a presidential candidate for the event that took place in benghazi. we had innumerable institutions. and that is the genius of the democratic system for clarifying the truth in many instances. in fact, ultimately in virtually all. russians don't have the benefit of that. they were never parliamentary hearing about the apartment office. as people tried to investigate th murder.
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the attempts to demonstrate the very real evidence of what took place is not at least one russian correspondent who i know wanted to write about my book and what i was saying, told me in fact it was just impossible that even in the very liberal outlet that you represented, if that subject was out of the question. don't fall into the trap of adopting a russian mentality to your conspiratorial because they live in a country in which you have the benefit


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