Times of Natashas have come? Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“But the Russian intelligence services, which dealt with grabbing, and for which Putin was responsible before becoming President, also degenerated. A number of Russian espionage networks were tracked down in the West. Things degraded so much that, instead of using different female spies - Annes, Maries - with the generic name NATASHA, who served as sweet traps for seducing and obtaining information, they started to threaten with the detonation of nuclear NATASHAS, with chain reactions...”

From chain threats...

In the recent past, the Republic of Moldova and its authorities have been the targets of chain threats, warnings and urges to correct the behavior or... All these, altogether, come from a number of officials of the Russian Federation of different levels. Most of the threats were made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MFAR). The last warning referred to the blocking by the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS) of the Republic of Moldova of two sources with online content, which disseminate information that incites hatred and war under the state of emergency. The MFAR expressed its concern about the violation of Moldovan citizens’ constitutional rights regarding access to information, primarily of the Russian speakers: “We urge Chisinau to refrain from actions that have nothing to do with real freedom and democracy, to eliminate the discriminatory bans imposed on the Russian language media and the media from Russia, to abandon the dubious pretentions to monopoly on the truth”.     

The authorities of the Republic of Moldova stopped reacting to such messages long ago. It’s a pity as they should do it sometimes, especially when there are possibilities of showing to the public opinion how empty the arguments of the Russian officials, who pretend not to see “the beam from their own eyes”, are. First of all, the two websites were blocked by the SIS because they published information that incites hatred and war, not because they used the Russian language. Secondly, by not reacting, the Moldovan authorities lost an excellent occasion for reminding the Russian officials and, in general, public opinion, that in 2022 alone, tens of thousands of online sources, most of which used the Russian language, were blocked in the Russian Federation. The citizens of the Republic of Moldova also had access to those sources and now regret a lot that they cannot inform themselves from alternative sources, especially because the Russian authorities insist that Moldova forms part of the Russian World, or not? For example, during a week alone, from 5 to 11 December 2022, over 14,000 sources had been blocked! Definitely, a lot of Moldovan citizens are dissatisfied that they do not have access to online Russian sources, which condemn the aggression against Ukraine and, in general, do not agree with the policies promoted by the dictatorial Putinist regime.  

It is noteworthy that the blocking of online sources in Russia takes place not only because they express their disagreement with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is called special military operation, but also for other reasons. This way, in April 2021, against the background of protests in support of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, more than 18,000 websites were blocked. Navalny’s revelations about grand corruption in Russia, with the involvement of President Putin’s friends and minister of foreign affairs  Sergey Lavrov, attracted a lot of interest from the citizens of Russia and from people all over the world. That’s why Navalny was convicted to a long jail term without proving that he caused damage to someone, except for the mentioned corrupt persons. Evidently, the Russian authorities weren’t at all bothered by the violation of the constitutional rights of the Russian citizens, including the access to information. Instead, the MFAR reacted immediately to Igor Dodon’s arrest in May 2022. This confessed to one of his former national patrons that he monthly received by US$600,000-700,000 from GAZPROM for maintaining the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM).

... to arms with chain reactions...

The threats made Russian State Duma deputies can be added to the chain threats of the MFAR. The threat referring to the Republic of Moldova’s fate if this undertakes to join NATO is the most recent one. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for the CIS Leonid Kalashnikov warned that: Moldova will destroy itself as a state if it joins NATO, invoking the existence of Transnistria and Gagauzia. His mate, deputy chairwoman of the Committee for International Affairs Svetlana Zhurova, lamented that Moldova saddened us in the recent past with a series of decisions, threatening also that the MFAR knows how to react in such cases.

Again, it’s a pity that the authorities of the Republic of Moldova do not react to the exaggerated statements and threats made by Russian officials, but the lack of reaction sometimes can be a very strong argument. For example, the Moldovan authorities didn’t react to the statements made by President Vladimir Putin in 2000, about Russia’s intention to join NATO. Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affirms and European Integration (MFAEI) could have reminded the Russian officials that the Republic of Moldova didn’t interfere in the internal affairs of Russia and didn’t condemn or warn Russia over its intentions to cooperate with NATO, despite the fact that Putin himself admitted that there were forces hostile to NATO in Russia at that moment. For the sake of fruitful polemics, the MFAEI can offer the Russian officials to find any difference between the recent statements made by President Maia Sandu about cooperation with NATO and the statements made by Putin in 2000. Certainly, if they find differences, the fact that Moldova reached the conclusion that it needs to cooperate with NATO with a delay of about 25 years is the first and most striking one.

But there are also other differences. Maia Sandu speaks about democratic procedures for eventually replacing the status of neutrality of the Republic of Moldova, while President Putin asked the then NATO Secretary General George Robertson – why isn’t Russia invited to join NATO? Robertson’s answer was astonishing: a) NATO, being an open organization, does not invite anyone to join it; b) the states that want to join it must show their intention by filing an application; c) if the applicant state meets the accession requirements, including concerning democratic development, this is accepted as a member state by consensus. Respectively, Putin decided that Russia will not queue up alongside other post-Communist states to join NATO. It was an assumed decision, this being the sovereign right of Russia. Instead, Putin focused on the working out of the so-called sovereign democracy, preferring to transform his country into an authoritarian and then dictatorial state. For its part, the Republic of Moldova has the right, as a sovereign state, to decide whether to apply to join the NATO or not, when to do it, if it ever meets the accession criteria, and, respectively, if it is supported by all the 30 member states. As to the rest, everyone with its own sovereignty! 

Currently, after making the choice, Russia claims that it is in a conflict with NATO, not with Ukraine, which it attacked. The Russian officials assert that in this conflict Russia is ready for a conventional war and even for a nuclear war, even if it already lost the information war. Indeed, the ranks of the Russian propagandists who incited to war and persuaded the citizens that Russia fights against NATO, not against Ukraine, started to fissure. Some of them oppose the rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons. These surely invoke the fact that in Egypt’s war against Israel of 1967-1970, the involvement of the USSR on behalf of Egypt was much stronger than the current involvement of NATO on behalf of Ukraine against Russia’s military aggression. Indeed, the USSR, whose successor Russia claims to be, equipped the Egyptian army with the whole nomenclature of weapons, including tanks and planes. Moreover, the Soviet officers were those who maneuvered these tanks and planes during the fighting. No one then said that the USSR was a party to the Egyptian-Israeli war, if only a supporter. In contrast to the aforementioned, currently NATO does not become involved with military personnel in the war in Ukraine, offering only military equipment and assistance. So, as the USSR wasn’t a party to the war waged by Egypt and Syria against Israel, which it supported with armament and officers on the battlefield, NATO can also not be considered a party to the war against Ukraine.

Russian propagandists’ polemics about NATO’s involvement in the war, especially after the decision to supply the Ukrainian army with tanks, is actually reduced to the extent to which Russia is justified to use nuclear weapons, initially tactical ones, like NATASHAS. The problem is that no one knows what the consequences of the use of such weapons can be. Russia constantly warned that the crossing of the so-called red lines will have unpredictable consequence. But they were anyway crossed. The threat with the use of nuclear weapons is ultima ratio. So, from chain threats they reached threats with chain reactions of nuclear warheads.

... and chain degradation

The dangers resulting from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine should not be underestimated, especially because after Putin came to power, we have witnessed the gradual degradation of Russia’s capacities to cope with the problems faced by the country. Instead of assiduous work, like in the case of the People’s Republic of China, which during only 40 years showed that the  myth about the Phoenix bird can be a reality, the regime of Putin has focused on the exhibition of its earlier grandeur and on the threat “We can repeat it!”.

Meanwhile, the Russian propagandists lament that Russia became a technologically lagging country that is fully dependent on the West. Evidently, the technologies can be stolen according to the grabbing principle. But the Russian intelligence services, which dealt with grabbing and for which Putin was responsible before becoming President, also degenerated. A number of Russian espionage networks were tracked down in the West. Things degraded so much that, instead of using different female spies - Annes, Maries - with the generic name NATASHA, who served as sweet traps for seducing and obtaining information, they started to threaten with the detonation of nuclear NATASHAS, with chain reactions.

The degradation of the Putinist regime is manifested in different ways. This way, one of the parents of the Soviet thermonuclear weapon, academician Dmitry Sakharov, was persecuted by the Soviet totalitarian regime because he pleaded for the democratization of Soviet society and banning of the use of nuclear weapons. Currently, academician Sakharov has a counterpart, academician Razam Kadyrov, who urges Putin’s regime to use NATASHAS with chain reactions, in Ukraine. Don’t the Russian citizens see the difference between Kadyrov and Sakharov? They probably do not see it after several tens of thousands of websites were blocked in Russia.

What prospects do we have here, in the Republic of Moldova? The current government, with all its big and small sins, urges us to support the European course and the rapprochement with NATO. In fact, the citizens realize that this course is rescuing even without the urges of the government that rather disappoints than encourages the citizens. On the other hand, one of the leaders of the pro-Russian opposition, Igor Dodon, urges us to bank on the black swan effect, meaning probably Russia’s eventual victory in the war in Ukraine. We must admit that Igor Dodon has particular prospects. His dream is to probably become academician too, as Kadyrov. The latter noted that he became an academician because he contributed to solving the Chechen-Russian conflict and to the establishment of peace in Chechnya to which Russia pays tribute approximately 1 billion rubles. Respectively, Igor Dodon pleads for the reintegration of the Republic of Moldova based on the Kozak plan and on fruitful cooperation with Russia for obtaining profit from Russia’s war against Ukraine. It is curious but Dodon’s eventual success depends on the use of Natashas.

Вы используете модуль ADS Blocker .
IPN поддерживается от рекламы.
Поддержи свободную прессу!
Некоторые функции могут быть заблокированы, отключите модуль ADS Blocker .
Спасибо за понимание!
Команда IPN.