And Then There Were Twelve

One would assume that after the 10 members of the notorious "Russian spy ring" were sent to Moscow on July 9 (and the 11th disappeared in Cyprus), the number of Russian spies in the United States should have gone down.  At least a bit.  But it hasn't.  As if produced by the skillful hand of a Secret Magician, Russian spies keep popping up — to the joy of people who're craving to derail recent improvements in U.S.-Russia relations.  On July 13, supreme forces running secret operations around the world introduced us to the "12th Russian spy", a  Alexey Karetnikov, who was arrested in Seattle on June 28 and was deported to Russia on Tuesday.

What do we know about Mr. Karetnikov?  Not much.  That he's 23 and is a Russian citizen.  That he entered the U.S. in October 2009 on a valid visa and for the next 9 months, has worked for Microsoft.  What else?  That according to "one senior federal law enforcement official", "the FBI was monitoring the Russian almost immediately upon his arrival…" 

Why?  If something was wrong with Mr. Karetnikov, then why had he been granted a U.S. visa?  If everything was fine, then why was he monitored by the FBI?  Because he was Russian?

The above mentioned "senior federal law enforcement official" made it clear that Mr. Karetnikov "obtained absolutely no [classified] information."  (And, to cross this "t", "was not part of the same ring."  You know which one, don't you?).  Instead, he was detained "on immigration violations because there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a crime."  Which crime?  Which crime would the FBI have charged Mr. Karetnikov if they had "sufficient evidence"?  (If, I guess, they had enough resources in their Seattle office to send to Mr. Karetnikov one of their omnipresent "federal undercover agents posing as Russian intelligence handlers").   

Now, let me get it straight.  There are between 11 and 12 million people in the U.S., some of them low-skilled seasonal workers, who entered this country illegally (committing "immigration violations", so to speak).  Efforts are now underway (a.k.a. immigration reform) to legalize them to the extent of eventually providing them with a "path to citizenship."  And here we have a young Russian, capable enough to get a job at Microsoft at a time of high unemployment, who's being deported on vague accusations of being a spy.  Is there a message out there that the FBI is trying to send to the Russian community in the U.S.?

As if sensing that somewhat wasn't adding up, the very same "senior federal law enforcement official" provided an explanation.  Sort of.  It turns out that Mr. Karetnikov "…was just in the early stages; had just set up shop."  I love it!  That means that if a Russian-American, like myself, isn't charged with spying, it's not because I'm not spying.   It's because I'm in my early stages; just setting up shop.

(Speaking of "shops."  We were told that Karetnikov was "just doing the things he needed to do to establish cover, including holding down a job."  Russian spies, beware!  Staying out of a job and collecting unemployment benefits is the best way to preserve your cover.  Holding highly-paid jobs, especially in "finance and media", may send a signal to the FBI that you're setting up shop).

There are some encouraging signs, though, that we're done for now with creating new Russian spy rings (summer vacation season, I guess):

"Asked whether further arrests are possible, one official said U.S. law enforcement authorities are closely monitoring all potential espionage activity but added, 'I don't think there will be a 13th or a 14th arrest here.'"

But he spoke about this side of the Atlantic.  Back in Moscow, some folks are working tirelessly on cloning additional "Russian spies."  Here goes a staunch Russian "democrat" and the conscience of Russian "liberalism", Yulia Latynina, who suggested recently that people of Russian descent  trying to improve U.S.-Russia relations — and they do exist – operate on the orders of Russian secret services. 

Russian "democrats" and Lords of the Rings working together?  Even the great Tolkien couldn't have conceived a thriller of this magnitude!

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is a PMI-certified Innovation Management Consultant who helps organizations increase the efficiency of their internal and external innovation programs.
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35 Responses to And Then There Were Twelve

  1. Hi again Eugene
    If you’re on vacation, I very much like how you’re spending a portion of it.
    Ironic from YL, given how some others besides herself carry on.
    There’s a background behind what you write about.
    Shortly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a Russian-American was murdered (if I recall as he left a Russian Orthodox church) with the stated motive to have been outrage over the Soviet action.
    During the Cold War, Americans of Russian background including White Russians, could periodically expect getting called Commies, in a way that other Americans like Cubans, Poles and Chinese weren’t.
    This kind of thinking is in line with the bigotry related to the Captive Nations Committee lobbied efforts behind the Congressionally approved Captive Nations Week – which portrayed Russia and Russians as benefactors of Communism unlike other countries (and people descended from them) that were Communist.
    I understand that the Russian based “liberal” venue which permitted YL’s comments didn’t respond to a request for an opposing view from someone who she suggested as spook like.
    That instance and others typically get downplayed by a good number of Western NGO propped neolib to neocon leaning advocates, who incessantly criticize mainstream Russian views.
    Best,
    Mike

  2. Ludmila in Washington says:

    This is hillarious! The joke is, of course, on the FBI & the CIA who took also over 10 years to catch their own spies, in their midst – Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanson, Harold Nicholson. And the Johnnie Walker ring before them.

  3. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Thanks Ludmila,
    I know that everyone is already sick and tired of my jokes, but the FBI willingness to take on Anna Chapman and miss Robert Hanssen reminds me of a joke about a drunk who was looking for his lost watch under the street light. Not because he lost it there, but because there was more light.
    The same concept could be applied to the professional promoters of democracy abroad who very much prefer to advance democracy when sitting in Starbucks in Moscow rather than walking the streets of Kabul.
    My Best,
    Eugene

  4. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Thanks Mike,
    “If you’re on vacation, I very much like how you’re spending a portion of it.”
    Actually, I’m in my office, and I hope my boss won’t read this part of your comment🙂
    I want to make it very clear: there was not single time in my 18 years in the US when I experienced any animosity toward me because I was Russian. I’m not only talking about MA; by virtue of my work, I travel a lot over the country.
    And I really want this good attitude toward ethnic Russians (or whoever called “Russians” here) to stay. Hence my admittedly harsh words toward the FBI.
    Now, as far Russian “liberals” are concerned, they have the most to lose because of reset. If Russia becomes a “normal” country in the eyes of ordinary Americans, who’s going to pay them for their endless description of “evil empire”? Put it another way: if people in DC start listening to Simes and Lozansky, who’s going to need YL?
    Best,
    Eugene

  5. Let’s keep your boss happy Eugene.
    In the US, anti-Russian prejudices differ from some others. Overall, people of Russian background haven’t faced the same obstacles as some other groups regarding such matters as employment and living in certain neighborhoods.
    If you’re a Russian thinking like YL, the experience is definitely better in situations related to academic, NGO and media work.
    This leads to Russia’s image and how many non-Russians are subconsciously influenced by crude caricaturing that to one degree or another is tolerated. The anti-Russian manner of the Captive Nations Committee lobbied Captive Nations Week, the way some accept the La Russophobe site that wouldn’t be tolerated with a La Judeophobe site serve as examples – in addition to how recent BBC and Moscow Times articles on Russo-Polish history mention “Russification” without mentioning “Polonization.” There’re plenty of other examples of biased anti-Russian historical overview getting the nod.
    A rhetorically put question to underscore a point: in English language mass media and the American think tank establishment, where’s the Russian equivalent of Alexander Motyl? It’s certainly not Edward Lozansky and Dmitry Simes. So there’s no misunderstanding, I don’t seek a Russian equivalent of Motyl (who isn’t alone in his stature) at the more high profile of venues.

  6. One related aspect regarding the trumped up and misguided stereotype about intolerant and ultra-nationalist Russians are the views of other Russians getting disproportionate propping at venues like The Moscow Times.
    Nina Khrushcheva was the author of the previously mentioned Moscow Times article that’s historically biased against Russia. There’s a restricted overview when the high profile dialogue is limited to so-called Russophobes and politically extreme Russians. Suggesting the latter as something dominant and/or exclusive to Russia is misleading.
    Best,
    Mike

  7. Alex says:

    I liked this piece, Eugene – all very true & you highlighted the exact problem all this spy-ring hype creates for the (former) Russians.
    >”..there was not single time in my 18 years in the US when I experienced any animosity toward me because I was Russian.”
    If you meant not only physical assault – I am envious. My experience in Australian “academia” is exactly the opposite. Since the Australian “academic” circles are heavily populated with various kick-outs from US and British universities who, apparently, could not compete on their local market (with Russians?🙂 – almost without exception all having the qualities & Russophobic attitudes described in “The Diary of American Boy”, I naturally assumed that the situation in US is the same. Though, true , all of my former-Russian friends in US told me that it was not the case in general.
    Cheers

  8. Academia in the US can vary.
    Not having to do with history and political studies (personal preference over political science), Russians with politically mainstream Russian views can survive, since such thoughts aren’t related to their work
    There’re two primary kinds of anti-Russian bias.
    – anti-Russian and anti-Communist
    – left anti-Russian bias, faulting the Russians for screwing up a good idea as some put it.
    In contrast, there’re folks in academia thinking along the general lines of what gets expressed here and elsewhere. Note how such views aren’t propped at certain venues.
    And yes (regarding a recent email on my last set of comments), I recognize the limits of The Moscow Times (TMT) in Russia.
    At issue, is its influence abroad.

  9. Re: Last Set of Comments
    Academia in the US varies.

  10. Alex says:

    Well, Mike – one may say I myself have the sort of left anti-Russian bias as you described – with clarification that the “screwed up idea” was *not* the building of a prosperous “criminalized state capitalism”. A Russian joke.
    And the Australian “scientists” suffer from the first condition on your list – “anything – even best Russian -(especially, people) is/are worse than anything Anglo-Saxon”. Saying that you worked in the Soviet Union is equivalent to saying “I am a messenger of Hell. I came here to destroy your souls”.
    Cheers
    The Former Nuclear Physicist from The Former Soviet Union

  11. Alex, as an add on: left anti-Russian biases include downplaying/distorting pre-1917 Russia, with little if any challenge to the idea that:
    – before the revolution, there was pretty much nothing in Russia
    – however imperfect the USSR, progress was achieved.
    When judging the past, it’s appropriate to keep in mind what the past was like all around, as opposed to making judgments along modern day circumstances.
    Pre-1917 Russia was advancing. I was pleased to see Dominic Lieven note on RT that the Stalin model in particular wasn’t an absolute for Russia’s advancement. Regarding Stalin, it’s a bit loose IMO to say that he was more “Russian” than “Communist,” in a way that conforms with the left anti-Russian bias point. At the same time, there’re some similarities with the Russian Empire and USSR – some of which has involved an anti-Russian overview.
    The left anti-Russian reference shouldn’t be confused with left biases that aren’t anti-Russian, while relating to the point about downplaying/distorting pre-1917 Russia.
    These two left biases have that similarity. The study of the USSR can involve an inaccurate knee jerk bashing of the Russian Empire.
    Simple comparisons like Russia’s WW I debacle compared to WW II’s end isn’t proof positive that I’m wrong.
    In WW II, Soviet forces withdrew to regroup and extend their enemy’s reach. This was Russia’s plan in WW I. However, Germany was thought to be making a great advance towards Paris, having achieved military success in Belgium. The Western Allies sought for a Russian strike into Germany for the purpose of having more German forces move east. This happened in a way that was to greatly aid the Allied effort and cause great suffering for Russia.
    What if Russia didn’t launch a strike into Germany? Would history be noting the great failure of France? What would’ve happened if Red Army forces en masse promptly confronted the Nazis in 1919? In some circles, this kind of overview gets shelved in favor of making swiftly stated political points to conform with a certain mindset.
    History periodically involves the “what if” scenario. Had there been no WW I, change would’ve occurred in Russia, as that country was already in the process of changing. There’s good reason to believe that had there been no WW I, the change in Russia would’ve been different and better for that country.
    I express these thoughts as someone not seeking a return to the Russian Empire or USSR, while believing that it’s not off the wall to advocate taking positive attributes of the past to mesh with present realities.
    This exchange that we’re having isn’t so off from Eugene’s article, as it relates to what influences some of the comments about Russia.

  12. Following up on the past influencing the present relative to Russian spymania, this post re-acquaints me with a relatively well known anti-Russian source from pre-Soviet times:
    http://eastern-european-forum.blogspot.com/2010/07/secret-agent-i-realize-that-it-is-norm.html

  13. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Alex, Mike-
    Thanks for the great discussion. While NOT disagreeing with you on anything, I’d like to make my point clear: I never experienced animocity at PERSONAL level. Answering questions about evil Putin, KGB, GULAG, repression of religion, etc.etc. etc. is very common. As is surprise that I prefer wine to vodka🙂
    Best,
    Eugene

  14. Understood Eugene.
    Your point relates to the anti-Russian slant in terms of the negative imagery of Russia, which influences interested observers, with a limited knowledge of that country.
    It can be a delicate art in gently explaining the distortions to some of them.
    The sort of bias out there is a concern because when the sailing gets rough in a certain direction, the attempt to provide a different view gets more difficult to effectively communicate.
    Best,
    Mike

  15. Understood Eugene.
    Your point relates to the anti-Russian slant in terms of the negative imagery of Russia, which influences interested observers, with a limited knowledge of that country.
    It can be a delicate art in gently explaining the distortions to some of them.
    The sort of bias out there is a concern because when the sailing gets rough in a certain direction, the attempt to provide a different view gets more difficult to effectively communicate.
    Best,
    Mike

  16. Alex says:

    Mike – thanks for the interesting post – there were many issues touched there, but wrapping it up – I too believe that there is no reason to try to restore something which did not work as intended, even if it is easier to use it as a starting point. Neither there is any hope left that the idea to start with the crooks and wait until they are magically converted into capitalist angels (Chicago school?) is ever going to work. If one starts with the crooks, one finishes with even bigger ones.
    And, Eugene – compare to Uzbekistan of 90s, I also cannot say I experienced animosity at a *personal* level in Australia – just general Russophobia :))
    I feel that it is high time on this blog and guests should go home :)) So I am off. See your other posts, Eugene.
    Cheers

  17. Alex says:

    Mike – thanks for the interesting post – there were many issues touched there, but wrapping it up – I too believe that there is no reason to try to restore something which did not work as intended, even if it is easier to use it as a starting point. Neither there is any hope left that the idea to start with the crooks and wait until they are magically converted into capitalist angels (Chicago school?) is ever going to work. If one starts with the crooks, one finishes with even bigger ones.
    And, Eugene – compare to Uzbekistan of 90s, I also cannot say I experienced animosity at a *personal* level in Australia – just general Russophobia :))
    I feel that it is high time on this blog and guests should go home :)) So I am off. See your other posts, Eugene.
    Cheers

  18. Enjoy the trip home Alex.
    Regarding the former Communist bloc and your experience in Australia, I understand that there’ve been some former Yugoslav rowdyness down under (mostly between Serbs and Croats).
    Can possibly help in diverting attention away from Russia bashing.
    Salut!

  19. Enjoy the trip home Alex.
    Regarding the former Communist bloc and your experience in Australia, I understand that there’ve been some former Yugoslav rowdyness down under (mostly between Serbs and Croats).
    Can possibly help in diverting attention away from Russia bashing.
    Salut!

  20. Re:
    http://www.rferl.org/content/Former_KGB_General_Kalugin_Calls_US_Russia_Spy_Saga_A_Farce/2102400.html
    Kalugin is a DC area based critic of the post-Soviet Russian government, who was formerly involved with Soviet intell.
    Along with intell. commentary from other sources, his comments take issue with some who suggest that the 10 returned to Russia had significant intell. value and that the Obama admin. jumped the gun.
    In addition to seeking better relations with the US, the Russian government’s motivation for ending the latest spy scandal would appear to be based on not wanting an intell. flop detailed in a court setting.
    Out of sight, out of mind as much as possible is a sometimes better PR route.

  21. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Hi Mike,
    Re: Kalugin. The traitor is always (and alway will be) the traitor. But Kalugin is also a megalomaniac. If you listen to him, it was him, not Andropov, who ran the KGB. He “supervised” Philby and Blake… Give me a brake, man!
    Best,
    Eugene

  22. Hi back Eugene
    I’m on guard with him for sure.
    Ditto a good number of others as well.
    I posted that in reply to folks saying that Obama gave away the store.
    Best,
    Mike

  23. Mark says:

    If this “spy ring” foolishness gets any more comical, I may actually split my sides as the whimsical country aphorism suggests, and butterfly myself like a leg of lamb. Indefensible Standout of the week goes to Mr. Karetnikov’s detention because “on immigration violations because there was insufficient evidence to charge him with a crime.” How, pray tell, does one get detained for immigration violations when one is in the country legally on a proper visa? How does one become associated with the “spy scandal” when one has seen no classified information?
    You’d think border security and immigration would be relaxing the further America moves chronologically from 9-11. Instead, the opposite seems to be happening. Consider the interesting case of Gregory Despres, who in 2005 was admitted from Canada to the United States despite his having been discovered to have a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a blood-spattered chainsaw with him in his vehicle. Take a look at this guy’s photo,
    (Please google “bloody chainsaw man enters U.S.”, as the comments section will apparently not accept an embedded URL)
    then pretend you’re a border agent ANYWHERE, and tell me he wouldn’t send a precognitive chill down your spine.
    Mr. Despres was allowed to legally enter the United States, and became a wanted murder suspect the following day when the bodies of his neighbours were discovered in his hometown of Minto, the man headless and his common-law wife stabbed to death.
    But wait, wait!!! That isn’t the best part!! American authorities were a little stiff when questioned on what the hell they might have been thinking. This is the tone-deaf explanation offered……ready?
    “Nobody asked us to detain him,” the spokesman said.
    “Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up… We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations”.
    Got that? Just in case it’s still a little fuzzy for anyone, being “bizarre” is not a reason to deport anyone from the United States, even if you’re carrying a blood-splashed chainsaw and look like you make a living winning serial-killer-lookalike contests, or fronting a punk band and biting the heads off live rats.
    But being Russian apparently is.

  24. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Mark,
    Thanks for your great comment. Yes, the expanding of our immigration “initiatives” from “being in Arizona” to “being Russian” sounds quite troubling to me too.
    Best Regards,
    Eugene

  25. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Mark,
    Thanks for your great comment. Yes, the expanding of our immigration “initiatives” from “being in Arizona” to “being Russian” sounds quite troubling to me too.
    Best Regards,
    Eugene

  26. Leo says:

    Eugene,
    The reason we read what we read about this whole Karetnikov affair is that whatever the feds fed:) to the media was left unchallenged by the press. Can anybody really expect FBI or DHS (or any other security agency in the world) to volunteer information? One can only speculate that there is more to the story than has been reported so far. Or once the bureaucratic wheel started turning (11 physical spies), it was difficult to stop, so a cyberspy was caught. He was going to infiltrate the revered Windows Vista and downgrade to XP. What’s next on the list? Energy security? Let’s wait for the capture of a red star-shaped electron destroying power grids with a hammer and sickle. He was just setting up shop in one of the transformer stations outside Orrville, OH. A disaster of Orwellian proportions has been averted. The curtain falls… On a more serious note, though, the DHS has had a free ride since 9/11 and it is unfortunate to see their work (and our tax dollars, rightfully noted) degenerate into something like this.
    On the flip side, we are not hearing an uproar from Russia’s “partiotic” outlets or journalists (or Mr. Karetnikov himself for that matter) on the mis-treatment of a humble Russian intern by evil Yankees. Perhaps there is indeed more to this story and someone of authority recommended the guy keep quiet.
    Mike, Eugene,
    I don’t agree with you on Yulia Latynina. Some Russian liberals (YL included) stand for the pre- Great Depression version of US capitalism. And for the far-right (in the US context) version of government, wherein government is considered a menace. Could these be their convictions at work rather than funding from USG? After all, the lack of governmental accountability in Russia is very conducive to such views. What I do dislike about YL’s lengthy rants is her bouts of diletanitism, especially when it comes to such topics as energy, science and technology. Anyway, I would not lump YL with the likes of Kasparov and Nemtsov, for whom worse is better. And who may indeed be darlings of the US State Department.
    Mark,
    Unfortunately, security services must do everything by the book. If they use “common sense”, then all hell will break loose.
    All the best,
    Leo

  27. Leo says:

    Eugene,
    The reason we read what we read about this whole Karetnikov affair is that whatever the feds fed:) to the media was left unchallenged by the press. Can anybody really expect FBI or DHS (or any other security agency in the world) to volunteer information? One can only speculate that there is more to the story than has been reported so far. Or once the bureaucratic wheel started turning (11 physical spies), it was difficult to stop, so a cyberspy was caught. He was going to infiltrate the revered Windows Vista and downgrade to XP. What’s next on the list? Energy security? Let’s wait for the capture of a red star-shaped electron destroying power grids with a hammer and sickle. He was just setting up shop in one of the transformer stations outside Orrville, OH. A disaster of Orwellian proportions has been averted. The curtain falls… On a more serious note, though, the DHS has had a free ride since 9/11 and it is unfortunate to see their work (and our tax dollars, rightfully noted) degenerate into something like this.
    On the flip side, we are not hearing an uproar from Russia’s “partiotic” outlets or journalists (or Mr. Karetnikov himself for that matter) on the mis-treatment of a humble Russian intern by evil Yankees. Perhaps there is indeed more to this story and someone of authority recommended the guy keep quiet.
    Mike, Eugene,
    I don’t agree with you on Yulia Latynina. Some Russian liberals (YL included) stand for the pre- Great Depression version of US capitalism. And for the far-right (in the US context) version of government, wherein government is considered a menace. Could these be their convictions at work rather than funding from USG? After all, the lack of governmental accountability in Russia is very conducive to such views. What I do dislike about YL’s lengthy rants is her bouts of diletanitism, especially when it comes to such topics as energy, science and technology. Anyway, I would not lump YL with the likes of Kasparov and Nemtsov, for whom worse is better. And who may indeed be darlings of the US State Department.
    Mark,
    Unfortunately, security services must do everything by the book. If they use “common sense”, then all hell will break loose.
    All the best,
    Leo

  28. Hi Leo
    She has some unique views. A noticeable portion of her babble jives with the Western neolibs and neocons and flat out Russia bashers.
    This explains her ability to get into English language mass media in a way that more mainstream Russian views have a tougher time cracking.
    Regarding her somewhat McCarthyite comments about Simes and Lozansky, who paid for her recent gig in the US?
    Best,
    Mike

  29. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Hi Leo,
    Nice to hear from you again and thanks for your comment.
    On the spy side of it: the WP is publishing results of their 2-year investigation into our homeland security issues. Read!!! Paraphrasing Gorbachev: I always knew it was bad, but I could never imagine it was THIS bad.
    Re: YL. I didn’t say she was funded by USG. She’s a prolific writer and, financially speaking, she must be well off. Nor did I (explicitly) lump her with Kasparov and Nemtsov: judging exclusively by what all three are saying, YL is way smarter than the other two combined (add there Milov and Limonov too).
    But I have very specific objection to what she says: that in her opinion “pro-Russian PR” (that’s how she calls it) becomes indistinguishable from spying for Russia.
    Many of what I think and write can be easily called “pro-Russian PR.” However, I find offensive any allusions to being associated with Russian secret services. This simple.
    Best Regards,
    Eugene

  30. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Hi Leo,
    Nice to hear from you again and thanks for your comment.
    On the spy side of it: the WP is publishing results of their 2-year investigation into our homeland security issues. Read!!! Paraphrasing Gorbachev: I always knew it was bad, but I could never imagine it was THIS bad.
    Re: YL. I didn’t say she was funded by USG. She’s a prolific writer and, financially speaking, she must be well off. Nor did I (explicitly) lump her with Kasparov and Nemtsov: judging exclusively by what all three are saying, YL is way smarter than the other two combined (add there Milov and Limonov too).
    But I have very specific objection to what she says: that in her opinion “pro-Russian PR” (that’s how she calls it) becomes indistinguishable from spying for Russia.
    Many of what I think and write can be easily called “pro-Russian PR.” However, I find offensive any allusions to being associated with Russian secret services. This simple.
    Best Regards,
    Eugene

  31. Leo says:

    Eugene,
    Just re-read the YL piece you cite and I must say she hardly deserves any kudos (to put it politely) for her personal attack on Lozansky. I am not sure if she realizes it, but it is thanks to people like him (to a certain degree, of course) Russia is now free enough to tolerate YL and her writings.
    Mike, even if YL toured the US on a grant from some think tank, that does not mean she is an interlocutor of certain views favorable to the US and hostile toward Russia. I don’t think it is that simple. As to why views like hers get preferential treatment, I am sure there will be ample opportunity to discuss this on Eugene’s blog in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy Nina Khrushcheva’s interview regarding her student Richard Murphy, whom she stigmatizes as a “typical Russian”.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10665123
    Turns out that the gensec’s great grandddaughter has an unforgiving last name (Polish, Greek names anyone?), comes from KGB/GULag background (!) and is ashamed to speak Russian in public. Oh, boy… Russia won’t get far with a “diaspora” like that.
    So, back to the spy story. I don’t believe that some “enemies of the reset” are behind this. After all, Russia is not that important to the US to generate open fights between doves and hawks in the administration. My theory is that the feds had a convenient (and harmless) target for a number of years. It was serving a larger purpose – justify the existence of certain divisions within DHS and FBI. Also, if there was a danger of post-911 funding drying up, there would be something to show for the hard work of the respective federal agencies. Further, the arrests were made so quickly after Medvedev left not necessarily to humiliate Medvedev and Russia. It was probably because the spy ring without Anna Chapman would have generated considerably less publicity for the heroic work of the feds.
    All the best,
    Leo

  32. Leo says:

    Eugene,
    Just re-read the YL piece you cite and I must say she hardly deserves any kudos (to put it politely) for her personal attack on Lozansky. I am not sure if she realizes it, but it is thanks to people like him (to a certain degree, of course) Russia is now free enough to tolerate YL and her writings.
    Mike, even if YL toured the US on a grant from some think tank, that does not mean she is an interlocutor of certain views favorable to the US and hostile toward Russia. I don’t think it is that simple. As to why views like hers get preferential treatment, I am sure there will be ample opportunity to discuss this on Eugene’s blog in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy Nina Khrushcheva’s interview regarding her student Richard Murphy, whom she stigmatizes as a “typical Russian”.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10665123
    Turns out that the gensec’s great grandddaughter has an unforgiving last name (Polish, Greek names anyone?), comes from KGB/GULag background (!) and is ashamed to speak Russian in public. Oh, boy… Russia won’t get far with a “diaspora” like that.
    So, back to the spy story. I don’t believe that some “enemies of the reset” are behind this. After all, Russia is not that important to the US to generate open fights between doves and hawks in the administration. My theory is that the feds had a convenient (and harmless) target for a number of years. It was serving a larger purpose – justify the existence of certain divisions within DHS and FBI. Also, if there was a danger of post-911 funding drying up, there would be something to show for the hard work of the respective federal agencies. Further, the arrests were made so quickly after Medvedev left not necessarily to humiliate Medvedev and Russia. It was probably because the spy ring without Anna Chapman would have generated considerably less publicity for the heroic work of the feds.
    All the best,
    Leo

  33. Leo
    I was making a rhetorical point regarding YL’s cheap shots that have a certain McCarthyite like stench. Getting to that level, one can direct such to herself.
    In some circles, note how the funding/propping given to certain Russian views like YL isn’t considered suspect unlike say the launching of RT.
    I’m aware of what the other individual you mention said. One of her stated academic specialities is media. IMO, this makes some of her comments more open for constructive rebuke.
    From the link you gave is this observation:
    “He was a little dour I must say. He was not always happy, which is a bit Russian because you know misery is what we do best.”
    Among some other comments, I also recall a hypocritically negative remark she made about Russia’s two headed eagle.
    Best,
    Mike

  34. Leo
    I was making a rhetorical point regarding YL’s cheap shots that have a certain McCarthyite like stench. Getting to that level, one can direct such to herself.
    In some circles, note how the funding/propping given to certain Russian views like YL isn’t considered suspect unlike say the launching of RT.
    I’m aware of what the other individual you mention said. One of her stated academic specialities is media. IMO, this makes some of her comments more open for constructive rebuke.
    From the link you gave is this observation:
    “He was a little dour I must say. He was not always happy, which is a bit Russian because you know misery is what we do best.”
    Among some other comments, I also recall a hypocritically negative remark she made about Russia’s two headed eagle.
    Best,
    Mike

  35. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Thanks Leo,
    I agree with you on YL and NK and agree to disagree on the timimg of the announcement.
    They said that the WH was informed about the Ring in February, but Obama was informed only in mid June. Three things. First, who in the WH was told first? We don’t know and don’t know if this is even true. Second, what we do know is that Obama gets his intelligence brief every morning. That means that until mid June no one was taking the Ring seriously; otherwise, Obama would have been told before. Third, in mid June, Anna Chapman wasn’t going to go anywhere; she was told to get out of the US by her dad on June 24-25. Do you see a mismatch ot it’s me who’s missing something?
    Agree with you again on the value of the Ring for the FBI. That’s why I invoked my cat Marsik.
    Best Regards,
    Eugene

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