Discover more from The Slavland Chronicles
The Saga of Surkov and the "Generation P(utin)" Conspiracy
It is time we spoke of how Putinism came to be.
A Stalker asked me to write about Surkov the other day. And then a commenter shared some information about this personality, and then as I was writing this, someone messaged me on Telegram talking about Surkov too! How fortuitous and eerie … a true synchronicity. The stars have aligned, clearly and they compel me to take this rare opportunity, at the prompting of the very fabric of the time-space continuum no less, to explain now, to you, who Vladislav Surkov was and how he created “Putinism” as we know it now.
This is a well-known story in Russia. In fact, most of the stuff I write about is considered entry-level knowledge for having an opinion on Russian politics at all within Russia. Unsurprisingly, you will never hear any of this stuff shared or explained by the collective ZAnon Russia experts.
This is because they want to keep us all sandboxed, see?
To the Americans they sell a controlled two-ended narrative about Russia where Putin is either Hitler or Putin is Jesus. To the Russians they do the same thing about America and the Americans who live there. To some Russians they are rabid Imperialist dogs who don’t even treat their poor negri well. To others, the streets in America are literally paved with gold and everyone has a servant to wipe their ass for them, that is how good they have it. There is literally no one in Russia providing a sober perspective of what America is and was and has become. It is all just comical caricature pushed by people who mostly don’t even speak the language or know anything about the culture.
This should sound familiar.
All of this is by design, by the way. Both ends of the caricatures representing Russia and America serve the interests of the elite because if the peasants could look around and realize just how similar their respective elites’ were, they might start asking questions about just how fake and controlled this whole paradigm that we are in now is.
Basically, to understand the actual vision and mentality and non-ideology of the Kremlin you need to take everything that you have heard about Alexander Dugin being the grey cardinal and simply apply it to Surkov instead. He was a very important man at his peak and so, naturally, chances are that you are hearing about him for the very first time.
As a final introductory note, let me point out that I usually paywall deep dives like this. But I’ve felt bad about overdoing it in recent weeks, so enjoy the freebie, casual reader, and know that you did nothing to deserve writing and analysis of this quality. Be grateful that I am so generous and strap in because this essay is a doozy and it will make your head hurt if you are still laboring under an illusion of who runs Russia and how.
The Surkov Saga
We have to start somewhere with Surkov, so may as well start in the thick of the action. In the 90's, Surkov used to be an executive for one of the four big banks doing Yahweh’s work (predatory usury) in the former USSR. He worked at Alfabank - the “Russian” bank that funds the UAF now, run by Friedman.
Alfa/Alpha was also the official landing base of space lizard Thierry Malleret who worked with Surkov. Thierry Malleret is a famous French predatory capitalist/acquisition banker (just like Emmanuel Macron) who was schooled in the US at the end of the 80's and ended up joining the WEF after leaving Alfabank and Moscow in 2000. His mission to overhaul the economy to set up a neoliberal system of loot-transfer using a system similar to the FED in America was accomplished by then. Thierry then went on to become Schwab's coauthor for all his books published since June 2020, starting with COVID-19: the Great Reset (which may have been written by Malleret and not the doddering senile old fool Schwab himself). The system that he set up in Russia is still in place, of course. And, as Slavsquat pointed out in his recent article, Russia is firmly under globalist financial control via the financial system.
Under the Yeltsin occupation regime, Russia was taken over by globalist capital. Surkov was part of this financial and ideological coup and was close to all the same people that Putin was close to at the time. All national industries became privatized and put under the control of ethnic oligarchs during this time. The entire financial system was restructured to make Russia a tax farm for global bankers. Soviet rubles, which had once been government-controlled became financialized. By that I mean that the rouble became a private-owned currency lent out to the government for a fee. If this sounds familiar, it is what the FED in America is - a collection of private banks lending the US government its own money to it at interest. Russia’s central bank, which isn’t government-owned, was given carte-blanche to run the economy as they saw fit. In other words, the whole country became an LLC designed to maximize profits for its principle shareholders - the global oligarchy - after the collapse of the USSR.
Russia in the 90s was then turned into yet another Weimar Republic.
However, this time around, the globalists took precautions to make sure that no local William Wallace would rise up out of the chaos to try and right the wrongs inflicted on Russia by the rootless international clique of bankers and their mercenaries. The system went all out this time. Populist leaders were killed off, elections were rigged, and, most importantly of all, the Russian people were subject to reprogramming to make them less likely to resist their occupiers. Despite all their advantages though, the future of the Weimar-Russia regime looked wobbly near the end of Yeltsin’s drunken second term. To deal with this, the globalists launched a society-wide PR campaign to salvage the situation before it could get out of control.
Enter Surkov and his PR team.
In the late 1990s, Surkov, then in his 30s, suddenly had the chance to help Putin—then the head of the FSB, Russia’s secret service and the main successor to the KGB—succeed Boris Yeltsin as president of Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the country had become a free-for-all. Yeltsin drank too much. He survived a coup but lost control of the country.
Media mogul Boris Berezovsky and other oligarchs who had accumulated immense wealth during Yeltsin’s reign decided that Russia needed order and a strong leader and pushed Putin for president. Surkov—a former soldier and bodyguard of humble, half-Chechen descent—helped Berezovsky promote Putin as a presidential candidate nationwide. Surkov had hung around in Moscow’s absurdist, avant-garde theater scene for some time, which was all about re-creating society on a new basis—exactly what he was about to do for Putin.
Back then, few Russians had heard of the FSB chief. But thanks to Berezovsky’s media campaigns, which had little to do with truth, Putin won. Soon enough, though, the new president removed Berezovsky from his inner circle because the media mogul expected political favors in return. Surkov stayed on, becoming Putin’s deputy chief of staff and later deputy prime minister for some time.
Putin found Surkov’s theories on “vertical power” and “sovereign democracy”—which involved plans to set up an autocratic system that looked like a democracy, complete with fake opposition parties controlled by the Kremlin—highly appealing. These theories and many others of Surkov’s that Putin put into practice, slowly turning Russia into a dictatorship over the years and starting to subjugate neighboring countries such as Ukraine, are center stage in the novel.
I’m quoting Foreign Policy’s write-up, so you can see the bias immediately. But they get the gist of the story right. The funny thing is that Surkov failed to set up this system of controlled opposition. He was using the West as his model, because of course, and he wanted to set up the same system that they have over there - oligarchic political parties that serve the same interests, but which absorb the peasants’ energy and cause factionalism and squabbling within society, preventing any resistance to the oligarchs’ agenda.
It is a testament either to the strength of character of the Russian people or the incompetence of the Kremlin that Surkov and Putin failed. Take the “Nashi” debacle for example, which I get to later in the article. Long story short, Surkov failed to create a popular pro-Kremlin social movement. As a result, the Kremlin has to rely on naked suppression using police and batons and FSB raids in the middle of the night on people like Strelkov. Compare this with the West, where the political/cultural paradigm is so controlled that the system doesn’t need to use such tactics when it can just pit the peasants against one another over micro-aggressions or not loving Israel enough or whatever.
Once again, you have to understand, the Kremlin is not only vicious, but they are also incompetent. And yet, they remain in power somehow. The immediate comparison that comes to mind is Kiev or Tel-Aviv, frankly. And in both places, the state is propped up and kept alive artificially from abroad both financially and politically (and militarily in the two ally cases). What does this hint to us about the St. Petersburg Gang’s rather strange and unnatural resilience in the face of adversity?
Surkov is a point of fascination for many authors and art critics who have written about him in Russia and the EU. They see him as one of their own. A drama class kid who made it to the top. Surkovism or Putinism is an art project, basically. An exercise in propaganda and shaping public perception differently for different groups of people. Political art that breaks the 4th wall because Surkov is constantly turning to the audience and telling them that they are in a play and that he is tricking them and yet everyone just laughs and applauds and tells him to get on with the show anyways. Grinning from ear to ear, he bows and gives them exactly what they want.
WARNING: this essay gets a little bit high-brow and artsy in places and I have to talk a lot about modern literature and even touch on a little bit of art theory. Many of my more cognitively-challenged casual readers might think that this makes the essay a bit “fruity” on account of all the big, multi-syllable words that I have to use. Feel free to stop reading here if you suspect that words like “post-modern” and “avant-guard” might turn you queer. Who knows, you may even be more right than you suspect about that …
Let us dive deep into exploring the story of this spook who utilized deranged post-modernist art theory to create “Putinism” as a recognizable brand in Russia and as a product for export around the world as well.
The FP article continues:
For many readers, this story will hit home for the first time. Da Empoli is not the only one fascinated by the “gray cardinal” or “Putin’s Rasputin,” as Surkov is nicknamed. In recent years, countless profile of and interviews with Surkov have been published. Peter Pomerantsev describes him and others in Putin’s coterie in Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, as does Catherine Belton in her book, Putin’s People.
But these books and articles do not always reach average citizens. And even for those who do read these works of nonfiction, Surkov’s biting cynicism can be hard to bear. By turning Surkov into a fictional character and complex human being with a family and real-life dilemmas of his own, da Empoli lets the man get under his readers’ skin and hold them captive until the end. Le mage du Kremlin is a page turner.
Translation: the peasants can’t handle the truth and they also can’t read very good on account of their teeny tiny pea-sized brains. As a result, they prefer comforting lies and fairy tales about messiahs and inter-dimensional chess and the good guys winning waaaaaay waaaaay down near the end of time, somewhere, in a galaxy far far away …
What’s funny is that I’m treated like I’m some kind of sinister, raspy-voiced Lord Baelish or something for simply taking all this material that is already out there and read by people in the know and for sharing it with the braying and snorting and bestial masses on Substack.
Visualize that the cognitive-casuals are the eunuch in this scene mewling at me and whining, “but we have to believe in the lies, otherwise God will get angry and chaos will swallow us all!”
And then visualize how the elite are no doubt laughing at me and my efforts down here in the muck with the masses. It probably looks as if I am trying to teach orangutans algebra or something from all the way up there in that high Kremlin tower.
“What’s wrong, Rolo? Look at how they gnash their teeth at you! Look at how they slander you! All for trying to enlighten them just a little bit about us and our true nature! We drive our boots down harder and harder on their throats and yet they love us more than they will ever love you, Rolo! How does that make you feel? And do you know why? Because we hold the power. And power is all that matters to the cattle. He who has power decides what reality is, the morality that we follow, who gets to eat and who dies penniless and forgotten.”
I dodge a turd flung at me by one of my hooting, howling, half-simian casual readers and glare back up at them long enough shout back, “I know all that already! I hate them almost as much as you do! I hate it here! I have to escape! The stink of this place … it suffocates me!”
But they just laugh and throw a banana at me for my efforts. I barely dodge that too.
The author, a former advisor to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi from 2014 to 2016, originally wanted to include Surkov in his 2019 nonfiction book about spin doctors, titled Les ingénieurs du chaos (“The Engineers of Chaos”), which featured figures such as Steve Bannon (former chief strategist to then-U.S. President Donald Trump) as well as advisors working for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and other autocratic leaders.
But da Empoli found Surkov’s story so powerful that he decided to turn it into fiction for maximum impact. He told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that in this case, “paradoxically, fiction is the best way to touch on some form of reality.”
This became Le mage du Kremlin, whose story encompasses one long nocturnal conversation between Baranov (the fictionalized Surkov) and a European literature lover. On Twitter, the two find out they share a fascination for the Russian science fiction author and political satirist Yevgeny Zamyatin. Since the European is living in Moscow for a short time—for reasons that remain vague—they decide to meet in Baranov’s house outside the capital.
The novel is called “We” and it is about a future dystopia society run by a sprawling spook state that erases the past and turns people into technologically-tagged cattle. Either he was prescient or he was in the club like Huxley and Orwell were. By the way, this novel was the inspiration for most of the dystopia genre and for later works like Orwell’s 1984 which is inferior in every way because Orwell was a Trotskyite and the book is really about how much he hates Catholics. Yes, really.
Most of the novel is a monologue by Baranov, who has recently left the Kremlin and talks about his life. Unlike Surkov, he is an aristocrat and has no Chechen roots. Also unlike Surkov, Baranov is married to a woman named Ksenia, the ex-wife of former Yukos oil company executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky—who, like many other characters, appears in the novel under his own name. Ksenia left Khodorkovsky after he was put in prison.
Baranov’s description of the restlessness and boundlessness of the “new Russia” under Yeltsin is marvelous and provides essential context to the subsequent rise of the tsar. “You could leave home in the afternoon to buy cigarettes,” Baranov remembers, “meet a friend, and wake up two days later in a chalet in Courchevel [in the French Alps], half-naked, surrounded by sleeping beauties, with no idea whatsoever how you had gotten there.”
Young people like him pirouetted from art galleries, rave concerts, and lunches with Dutch minimalist architects to the latest “in” restaurants. They thought they were part of something new, cultured, and international. But in fact, Baranov says, “we were just the last followers of a dead star, the star of our parents, whom we had despised because of their cowardice but who had passed on to us their love of books, ideas, and long, endless discussions on both.”
Left by his girlfriend and with his theatrical ambitions drowned in a society where plutocrats’ money dictated everything, Baranov eagerly accepts the chance to work for Berezovsky—and then for the president, who in the book is only referred to as “le tsar” but is 100 percent Putin. Baranov finds that it is just a small step from absurdist theater to the post of key political strategist: Both are about reshaping society. The difference was that he “stopped creating fiction to start creating reality.”
This next part is key, so pay attention because it sounds like I wrote it:
Soon, the tsar starts implementing Baranov’s distinction between a “systemic opposition” and a “non-systemic opposition.” The former—one that obeys the rules, laws, and customs set by the regime—is allowed because “people need some diversity” (but not too much diversity, because that would weaken the regime). Non-systemic opposition parties, which are not controlled by the regime, are banned or eliminated.
This explains why politically ambitious oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky or Berezovsky and independent politicians such as Alexey Navalny are prosecuted, locked up, or worse, while various small liberal or nationalist parties in Russia’s parliament that generally support government policies are tolerated or even subsidized. As the real Surkov once said: Just as in commedia dell’arte, which he (and the character Baranov) studied during the 1990s, “in society there can only be a limited group of players.”
Again with the Liberal spin. They just can’t help themselves. Emmanuel Goldstein aka Alexei Navalny was textbook controlled opposition. He was recruited by the grey queen of the Moscow Liberal intelligentsia herself, Evgeniya Albats, a CIA and Mossad agent working in Russia.
Also, Navalny was untouchable for many years until something happened and he lost key backers in the Moscow elite, leading to his arrest. This was all a result of a reshuffling following the looming showdown with oligarchs in Ukraine known now as the so-called SMO.
But the rest of the summary was decent.
Surkov And the Saker Narrative
Surkov was a diminutive man, but he cast a very long shadow on both the Russian government and the West’s perception of the Russia as well. He is the man behind the current ZAnon narrative about Russia checkmating the globalists, the groundwork for which was laid down 10 years ago.
Surkov finally revealed what the plan was in an essay he penned in 2019. Saker’s blog translated it. Surkov’s sales pitch sounds identical to Saker’s and the outline for the talking points that ZAnon would follow from that point onwards. It is all here in black and white:
What is needed is a comprehension and a description of Putin's system of governance and the entire complex of ideas and dimensions of Putinism as the ideology of the future - specifically of the future because present-day Putin can hardly be considered a Putinist, just as, for example, Karl Marx was not a Marxist, and we can't be sure that he would have agreed to be one had he found out what that's like. But we need this explanation for the sake of everyone who isn't Putin but would like to be like him - and to have the possibility of applying his methods and approaches in the coming times.
This description must not be in the form of dueling propagandas - ours vs. theirs - but in a language that would be perceived as moderately heretical by both Russian and anti-Russian officialdoms. Such language can be made acceptable to a sufficiently large audience, which is exactly what is needed, because the political system that has been made in Russia is fit to serve not just future domestic needs but obviously has significant export potential. Demand for it and for certain specific components of it already exists, its experience is being studied and partially adopted, and it is being imitated by both ruling and opposition groups in many countries.
First, he gives a non-answer. Then he says, “whatever Putinism is, it is for export to the West”. And Saker and his acolytes became the salesmen of Putinism in the West, working for Surkov either directly or indirectly by blindly copying his talking points. Every single one. Surkov even states: we are offering you a new messiah. Seriously, just read this:
Foreign politicians accuse Russia of interfering in elections and referenda throughout the planet. But in reality the situation is even more serious: Russia meddles with their minds, and they don't know what to do with their own transformed consciousness. After the disastrous 1990s, once Russia turned away from all borrowed ideologies, it started generating its own ideas and began to counterattack the West. Since then European and American experts have been erring in their predictions more and more frequently. They are surprised and vexed by the paranormal preferences of the electorates. In confusion, they have sounded the alarm about an outbreak of populism. They can call it that, if they happen to be at a loss for words.
So what is Surkov selling abroad?
He spells that out too. This is the exact same narrative that Saker sold us all for a decade. Word for word. Read it yourselves and you will be shocked to find the entire 5D “patriots in control” narrative laid out for you perfectly.
When everyone was still in love with globalization and made noise about a flat world without borders, Moscow pointedly reminded them that sovereignty and national interests are important. Back then many people accused us of 'naïve' attachment to these old things, which had supposedly fallen out of fashion long ago. They taught us that it's futile to hold on to XIX-century values, but that we should bravely step into the XXI century, where there supposedly won't be any sovereign nations or nation-states. However, the XXI century is turning out the way we said it would. British Brexit, American #GreatAgain, anti-immigrant enclosure of Europe - these are but the first few items in a long list of commonplace manifestations of deglobalization, re-sovereignization and nationalism.
The great internal tension caused by the need to control huge, heterogeneous geographic areas, and by constant participation in the thick of geopolitical struggle, make the military and policing functions of the government the most important and decisive. In keeping with tradition, they are not hidden but, quite the opposite, demonstrated. Businessmen, who consider military pursuits to be of lesser status than commercial ones, have never ruled Russia (almost never; the exceptions were a few months in 1917 and a few years in the 1990s). Neither have liberals (fellow-travelers of businessmen) whose teachings are based on the negation of anything the least bit police-like. Thus, there was nobody in charge who would curtain off the truth with illusions, bashfully shoving into the background and obscuring as much as possible the main prerogative of any government - to be a weapon of defense and attack.
There is no deep state in Russia - all of it is on display - but there is a deep nation.
On its shiny surface sparkles the elite which, century after century (let's give it its due), has involved the people in its various undertakings - party conferences, wars, elections, economic experiments. The deep nation takes part in these undertakings, but remains somewhat aloof, and doesn't appear at the surface but leads it own, completely different life down in its own depths. Two lives of the nation, one on the surface and one in the depths, sometimes run in opposite directions, sometimes in the same direction, but they never merge.
The deep nation is always as cagey as can be, unreachable for sociological surveys, agitation, threats or any other form of direct influence. The understanding of what it is, what it thinks and what it wants often comes suddenly and too late, and not to those who can do anything about it.
Rare is the sociologist who would venture to define whether the deep nation is equivalent to its population or is a part of it, and if a part of it, then which one. At different times it was taken to be the peasants, the proletariat, the non-party-members, the hipsters, the government employees. People searched for it and tried to engage it. They called it the executor of God's will, or just the opposite. Sometimes they decided that it is fictional and doesn't exist in reality, and launched galloping reforms without looking back upon it, but quickly bashed their foreheads against it and were forced to concede that "something really does exist." More than once it retreated under the press of domestic or foreign conquerors, but it always came back.
With its gigantic mass the deep nation creates an insurmountable force of cultural gravitation which unites the nation and drags and pins down to earth (to the native land) the elite when it periodically attempts to soar above it in a cosmopolitan fashion.
Nationhood, whatever that is taken to mean, is a precursor of the state. It predetermines its form, restricts the fantasies of theoreticians and forces practitioners to carry out certain acts. It is a powerful attractor, and all political trajectories without exception lead back to it. In Russia, one can set out from any position - conservatism, socialism, liberalism - but you will always end up with approximately the same thing. That is, with the thing that actually exists.
The ability to hear and to understand the nation, to see all the way through it, through its entire depth, and to act accordingly - that is the unique and most important virtue of Putin's government. It is adequate for the needs of the people, it follows the same course as it, and this means that it is not subject to destructive overloads from history's counter-currents. This makes it effective and long-lasting.
In this new system all institutions are subordinated to the main task: trust-based communication and interaction between the head of state and the citizens. The various branches of government come together at the person of the leader and are considered valuable not in and of themselves but only to the extent to which they provide a connection with him. Aside from them, and acting around formal structures and elite groups, operate informal methods of communication. When stupidity, backwardness or corruption create interference in the lines of communication with the people, energetic measures are taken to restore audibility.
The multilayered political institutions which Russia had adopted from the West are sometimes seen as partly ritualistic and established for the sake of looking "like everyone else," so that the peculiarities of our political culture wouldn't draw too much attention from our neighbors, and didn't irritate or frighten them. They are like a Sunday suit, put on when visiting others, while at home we dress as we do at home.
In essence, society only trusts the head of state. Whether this has something to do with the pride of an unconquered people, or the desire to directly access the truth, or anything else, is hard to say, but it is a fact, and it is not a new fact. What's new is that the government does not ignore this fact but takes it into account and uses it as a point of departure in its undertakings.
The contemporary model of the Russian state starts with trust and relies on trust. This is its main distinction from the Western model, which cultivates mistrust and criticism. And this is the source of its power.
This is the great reveal of the wizard behind the curtain. Saker’s and Serge’s and Simplicius’ employer was Surkov this whole time. Surkov created Putinism for export and explained that Putinism stands for all the good things and is against all the bad things and that the desperate masses looking for alternatives in the West would gobble it all up, the fools!
Now let us look at the other side of the sandbox.
If Surkov claims that he is for anti-globalism, does his career and work in Russia reflect this? When Surkov was sanctioned by the US, he said the following: "The only things that interest me in the US are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don't need a visa to access their work”. This is what inspired Surkov the most about the US - black rappers, jewish poets, and CIA artists and he did a good job in bringing America to Russia. Surkov's role in defining the character of Putinism, which is based on the principles of Tupac, Ginsberg and Pollock, is well-known even in mainstream Russian pop culture.
Here, we have to talk about Viktor Pelevin and Generation P, his book and movie about Surkov’s career and rise to power. The synopsis is pretty out there:
"Generation P" follows the strange adventures of Babylen Tatarsky as he evolves from a disillusioned young man in the drab days of post-communist Moscow to the chief “creative” behind the virtual world of Russian politics.
When Babylen was a Young Pioneer, his generation received a gift from the decaying Soviet state in the form of a bottle of Pepsi, of Russian manufacture. Not just a beverage, it was also a symbol of hope that someday, a new, magical life would arrive from the other side of the ocean. The arrival of this life, and the way it transformed these ex-Pioneers, is what the film is about. In the early Nineties, Tatarsky, a frustrated poet, takes a job as an advertising copywriter, and discovers a knack for putting a distinctively Russian twist on Western-style ads. But the deeper Tatarsky sinks into the advertising world, the more he wonders if he has sacrificed too much for money. His soaring success leads him into a surreal world of spin doctors, gangsters, drug trips, and the spirit of Che Guevara who, via a Ouija Board, imparts to him the dazzling theory of WOWism, about how television destroys the individual spirit. Though named in honor of Lenin, Babylen opts instead to believe in his “Babylonian” destiny, and secretly searches for the beautiful goddess Ishtar, who becomes for him a symbol of fortune. Meanwhile, the people around Babylen - clients, colleagues - perish in the violent dog-eat-dog world of new Russian capitalism. In Nineties Moscow, this is taken as the ordinary course of daily affairs. Tatarsky is invited to join an all-powerful PR firm run by a cynically ruthless advertising genius, Leonid Azadovsky, who invites Tatarsky to participate in a secret process of rigged elections and false political advertising. And as a result of his brilliance, Tatarsky achieves the ultimate, as he creates and gets elected a "virtual" president. But like Faust selling his soul to the devil, this ex-humanist gradually descends to the level of a reprobate, finding that he no longer belongs to himself, but is trapped in a virtual world of his own creation. Babylen returns to his Buddhist friend Gireyev and takes hallucinogenic mushrooms, in attempt to re-create his previous experience. In a ritualistic Sumerian initiation, Babylen replaces Azadovsky as head of the Agency and becomes the earthly husband of Goddess Ishtar, the object of his obsession. There, he is offered control of the mechanism that produces “simple human happiness” - and can control the world.
The story of Tatarsky is based on the story of Surkov and his quest to turn Russians into Americans through his manipulation of the media and the chattering classes. Not the American pioneers who settled the continent or the plucky rebels that overthrew the British mind you, but the post-identity Esaumerican consumers who sold their inheritance away for a mess of pottage to Jacob/Israel.
The old-timers on LiveJournal (Russia’s Substack) like to write a lot about these early day intrigues. Here is a pretty solid account of the Pelevin-Surkov connection that I found:
It is generally accepted that power rests on bayonets. But the backbone of the Russian bureaucracy today is not so much the special forces as the political postmodern. What is it and how does it differ from postmodern in art?
Imagine that you are a tired and exhausted Russian citizen. You wonder who sets in motion the cogwheels on which your intestines are wound day after day, and you begin to search for the truth - to the very top, to the office where the main bloodsucker sits. And so you enter this office, but instead of a bloodsucker you see an unrealistically clear kid who takes a guitar and sings you a song about "rotten and stale.blo" - such that it takes your breath away: you yourself cannot even formulate it this way. And he sings you another one, so bold that it becomes scary for you to stay in the same room with him.
And when you leave the office, you have absolutely nowhere to go - and, most importantly, there is no reason to. After all, you won’t beat the cudgel of popular anger at this clever fraternal head, which knows a hundred times better than you how rotten and stagnant everything is. Yes, and the bitterness in this heart is much sharper than yours.
- Victor Pelevin
"Al-Efesbi Anti-Aircraft Codes"
Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov is an outstanding person and deserves to be sung by people who are also outstanding. And there are such masters of the word in Russia. The sculptor who erected a lifetime monument to Slavik [Surkov] is Viktor Pelevin.
The image of Surkov is outlined in the works of Pelevin already from the beginning of the 90s, but the main domestic political strategist received full disclosure, of course, in 1999 in Generation P. Vavilen Tatarsky, who went through the Chechen stall, the advertising business, the beekeeping institute, and eventually reached the position of supreme gardener, quite transparently reflects the career rise in the same 1999 of Vladislav Surkov, who was thrown to the top of the ziggurat of Russian power by an invisible hand.
Tatarksy aka Surkov from the film based on Pelevin’s novel.
Funny story: when I was in St. Petersburg interning with the city government, my boss told me to watch Victor Pelevin's “Generation P” to understand how power worked in Russia. The short time I spent with him was full of memorable educational moments. He then stole my last month’s paycheck to really let the lesson sink in, because of course, we’re in Peter, detka! I only watched Generation P much later and didn’t get the appeal. I felt dirty after watching it for some reason. I guess I still had hopes back then.
I didn’t want to accept that we really were America’s streetwalkers just like everyone else, I guess.
Back to Pelevin:
The writer Pelevin is characterized by his exact style, is a great connoisseur and connoisseur of the Old Testament, often uses quotes and plots from there in his works, and since he called the main character by the name Babylen, repeatedly focusing the reader's attention on this, then there must have been good reasons. To figure out what kind of city this is - Babylon, the capital of the land of the Chaldeans, whose secret doctrine Tatarsky was to inherit, what danger is coming to him from the Urals and why Pelevin is so interested in all this, it is necessary to turn to the primary source - the Bible, but this is a separate serious topic.
Pelevin is hinting that there might be something “Old Testament” about the ruling elite and their ideology in Russia.
"Sleek pudgy" Tatarsky, as Pelevin calls him, along with "Generation P" appears in several other works of the writer. His resemblance to Surkov has been noted more than once, but Slavik is easily discerned in other heroes of the literary postmodern apologist - the ideologist from the "Hall of Singing Caryatids" and Savely Skotenkov, for example. Some literary critics even believe that the murder of Grigory von Ernen by Peter Pustota symbolizes the transformation of Aslambek Dudayev into Vladislav Surkov, but let it remain on their conscience.
Surkov is a fake name. Surkov is actually Dudayev, a mountain-man pretending to be a Russian. He changed his name and falsified his birth info with the help of the spooks.
It is already clear that Viktor Olegovich Pelevin loves his discoursemonger very much and constantly returns to him in his work. Will Surkov be featured in Pelevin's new Batman Apollo book? Without a doubt. Slavik has done so much useful things for Russia since 2011 - this should not go unnoticed. One of his becoming "Defender of the Faith" [a state honor] deserves a separate novel.
Victor Pelevin is a virtuoso of his craft, although many of his admirers say that the writer has changed a lot since the mid-90s, and the peaks of his work - "Chapaev and the Void" and "The Life of Insects" - still remain unsurpassed; and, in general, that now he writes some nonsense. Some are even sure that Pelevin was replaced. In reality, of course, this is not the case. Pelevin, as a mirror of developed postmodernism, constantly sets the necessary conjuncture of society. People change, Pelevin's work also changes, but its essence, like the songs of BG, is all about the same.
In his relationship with Surkov, Viktor Olegovich is not limited to the simple role of a personal biographer - both creators live in symbiosis and work for the same goal. Pelevin, through his writings, evaluates Slavik's actions and often prompts him to take necessary political steps, and he, in turn, actively promotes, including through Putin and Medvedev, the works of "Russia's most influential intellectual" and does everything to make the recluse writer no one interfered with his work in his high-rise building in Chertanovo. Well, the activity with which all the media, explicitly and implicitly affiliated with Surkov (and we don’t seem to have any others), proudly advertise the pieces of Pelevin’s upcoming book thrown to them, any writer will envy.
Pelevin is praised by the Moscow elite and has been promoted as the 90s generation’s Tolstoy. This is rather strange because he essentially portrays the Moscow elite as deranged psychopaths or, at best, moral quislings like his depiction of Surkov and yet he gets heaps of praise for his work and no dares censor him.
There is an element of stylized ritual to it all.
In fact, the style itself is the only thing of any substance at all in post-modernity. The image does not depict some element of reality, it simply replaces reality because reality and all the tethers that we had to normality are gone now.
Simulacra and simulation … There is no spoon …. What if the child consents?
Pelevin reveals the game, as it were, to everyone and the elite and media popularize his work. So, in theory, one could read these tell-all accounts and learn the truth. Most, however, refuse to accept it or cannot understand it. In some way though, the burden is transposed onto the reader or the public with this revelation of the method technique. In olden days, secret societies used to do this, I think, to seek out new recruits. If you could “crack the code” or simply understand what was being revealed to you, it was as if you had passed the first stage of initiation, as it were, and could apply to join and continue in the revelatory process.
Nowadays, disclosure of the method appears to be more like an organized, ritualized, theater of sadistic mockery of the hapless masses.
The goal of the creator tandem is not hidden - the breeding of oranus. And both postmodernists use approximately the same methods for this - the roots of Surkov's propaganda are hidden in Pelevin's pseudo-spiritual "revelations", and their nature is a tricky lie. To persuade a frog that has fallen into a bowl of cream not to flounder, not to fight, but to give up and dissolve in a personal consumer or intellectual (optional) void. And looking at the cowardly, drunken, unbelieving population of Russia, you pay tribute to the hypnotic skill of the two-headed python Kaa. However, it would be unfair to see only the bad in Pelevin's work - in order to carry out the adjustment, it is necessary to drain a certain amount of truth, and Viktor Olegovich, a benefactor, pours it from the heart. Thus, it will not be a mistake to assume that the secret of Surkov's political power and the principles of his organization should be sought precisely in the writer's works.
Since we are on the topic of Generation P, I suppose I need to say a few words about Pelevin the author. If I had to describe Pelevin, I’d liken him to Chuck Palahniuk (Ukrainian) trying to act like Keanu Reeves from the Matrix films.
I’ve tried to read his stuff, really, but reading and enjoying Pelevin is kind of one of those conspicuous social-signaling activities associated with Liberals and post-Soviet punks in Russia, so I had to drop it. I’m already pushing my luck with my affinity for eastern mysticism and gnosticism in right-wing circles as is, frankly. For some reason, this cultural niche has become occupied by Liberals in Russia who stand opposed, in theory anyways, to the reigning ruling non-ideology of the spook class. So, to stand against KBG Orthodoxy, they adopt New Age Buddhism. Instead of Communism, they support Laissez-Faire. They prefer drugs (progressive, smart) as opposed to alcohol (regressive, dumb) and on and on and on it goes down the list of socially conspicuous activities. It’s like how in America driving a pick-up truck designates you as a GOP voter or something.
Same thing at play here.
I’m sure Pelevin is a good writer (maybe even better than myself!) but I honestly couldn’t get more than 10% of the way through the literary masterpiece that is iPhuck 10. This is not me disparaging the guy, by the way. I feel the same way about Houellebecq over in France. Reading his stuff made me want to crawl up into bed with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of wine for days on end like the author seems to do. And I did end up doing that because of how Submission made me feel.
I’d also say the same thing about Palahniuk’s writing as well, even though I want to like it. Also, Adjustment Day which is supposed to be a comedy about the coming racial holy war in the United States also just isn’t as appealing to me as simply reading the posts of schizophrenics on anime image boards on whose writings Palahniuk based his book on, really. Yes, Palahniuk admitted to reading The Daily Stormer on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and Stormer was based on the style of 4chan’s /pol/ board.
In other words, despite these modern writers trying to be edgy, they really can’t compare to the raw, real deal that you can find all on your own if you know where to look on the internet. What they do is share a sort of stylized, sanitized, simplified, slice-of-life sample of what our schizophrenic society really has become behind the surface to the people still insulated enough to not be aware of the festering rot that surrounds us. These writers … they’re just tourists gawking at the cyber slums that they drive by in their armored SUVs as they snap pictures and jot down notes. Me though, I’ve been down there in the thick of it for more than a decade now though. I’m like some Javanese street rat, my dirty brown ass hanging out over an open-air latrine in the middle of the street doing my everyday internet businesses when I see some auteur stepping gingerly over the dog carcasses and between the plastic-bag igloo dwelling-huts of my people, trying to hold his nose and craft a metaphor out of the scene for his editor.
How’s that for a mental picture? Was it savory enough?
I was thinking of submitting a sample of my writing to Chuck. He likes that over the top dirty stuff, I’ve noticed, probably on account of his homosexuality. If it can make a reader crinkle his nose in disgust or gag, he publishes it, kind of like Limonov or Pelevin or Houellebecq. All these grunge-writers blur in my mind, to be quite honest. Did you know that Palahniuk is on Substack now, by the way? He apparently went bankrupt and now does short-story writer’s workshops for millennials to make ends meet. I wouldn’t wish such a fate on my worst enemy, let alone the guy who wrote Fight Club, but I’ve been thinking of signing up anyways.
Alrighty, that’s enough art talk for now. If any private school art-hoe is reading this and thinks I’m really deep and dreamy now, feel free to go ahead and hit me up over email. I will demand nudes to prove you aren’t a fed/ladyboy though, so be prepared. With that our little sojourn into the world of high art is over, thank God.
Domestic Putinism (not to be confused with Sakerism aka Putinism-for-export) or rather Surkovism, is no different from the cultural drek that was promoted in 90s and 00s America. It is the postmodern idea that history has ended and that we are too clever now to actually care about anything really. The cool kids don’t care, and they shake their heads at you for trying too hard, loser.
Surkov’s great plan, and what Generation P(utin) ended up becoming, was a nation of spiritual homosexuals, obsessed with shopping and fornication, just like their cousins in the West. This transformation of an entire generation of Russians earned Surkov mountains of praise in the form of open accolades and also black PR dubbing him some kind of genius social engineer.
But Surkov is not a genius by any sane, objective measure of the term.
It takes no great talent to destroy and degrade and let things settle at the lowest common denominator. All it took was the system leaning in on the worst aspects of peoples’ nature to expedite the effects of cultural entropy in Russia. All Surkov did when he created the post-modern “Putinist” system was destroy the efforts of far greater men who constructed a system designed to raise the masses up in the 19th century (and some of the redeeming traits of the USSR in the 20th). This process by which the lowest common denominator is raised up through efforts to set heroic examples up for people to emulate and clamp down on our worst animalistic tendencies is called nationalism. Even the Soviet Union used the technology of nationalism to compete with the West, to its credit. But, with the USSR’s surrender, it was necessary to create a race of passive consumers out of the Slavs and to sell it as patriotism and that was Surkov’s job, which he performed quite well.
Also, the only threat that can put an end to the peaceful, apolitical and stable utopia in which we now find ourselves is portrayed as the the ever-present spectre of Fascism arising somewhere, most often within the country itself, from malcontents who don’t like living in an oligarchy and don’t derive any joy in toiling their lives away to acquire cheap Chinese junk or to busy themselves keeping the hog at home happy with daily offerings from one’s wallet and the piece-meal sacrifice of one’s soul.
The funny thing is that the West itself couldn’t keep Surkovism going for long.
The nihilism ended up being too much. And so, they had to create new causes and religions like SJWism and the Climate Cult to give the moral busybodies purpose and a means by which to harass normal people. These same types would be chest-clutching, Jahowa-worshipping, witch-burning Puritan church-ladies in another century. Not everyone can be a drug dealer and a house-flipper like Surkov envisioned. So, even though he is a genius propagandist, apparently, all he really did was copy post-Cold War America and now Putin’s people are belatedly realizing that America has moved on and their trendy progressive views from the 90s and 00s are considered literal fascism. Really, these clever masters of the universes are now the butt of a joke that they don’t even understand. They thought that no one cared about anything anymore! They convinced themselves and the rest of the country to not care either! And now what are they to do when they’re suddenly set up to be this century’s great moral foil to the heroes on their sacred anti-Amalek holy Crusade?
Pelevin says that power rests on bayonets and now the Moscow elite all stand a chance of getting sodomized by bayonets before this is all over. I may not be a high-brow art guy myself, but I can say that the situation that the Kremlin finds itself in now is what I would categorize as “fat people falling down stairs” levels of funny.
Surkov and the Nashi Debacle
The Kremlin tried hard to set up a similar system to the one in the West in the early years of Putin. Surkov was tasked with this job. Apart from setting up controlled opposition and the controlled narratives he was supposed to create the illusion of civic participation and support for the system of Putinism. He failed miserably. This was the “Nashi” debacle - a popular-patriotic movement that was started by the Kremlin and then detonated by the Kremlin.
Here is a somewhat decent account:
The Nashi (“Ours”) movement appeared in 2005 along with other youth organizations that “worked” for the Kremlin. Nashi played a key role: it was a mass movement with a complicated but clearly defined structure, generous financing (mostly from the pockets of loyal oligarchs,) and access to top government officials. Its objective was to oppose a hypothetical “color revolution” in Russia that the Kremlin began to fear after the events in Georgia and Ukraine. The presidential administration received an order to be operationally ready in case of political destabilization. Many in the Kremlin were convinced that the main risks originated not from inside, but from outside the country. That was when Putin’s anti-Americanism began to emerge. “Color revolutions” in the post-Soviet space were a milestone in Russian-American relations: in Moscow’s view, Washington used the “orange techniques” of manipulating and mobilizing street protests to encourage regime change
The Kremlin had certainly overestimated both the outside influence and the internal political risks. At that moment, the conditions in Russia for a “Ukrainian scenario” did not exist. The regime’s “vertical of power” had just been created, Putin’s standings in the poll were never higher, and the ruling party, United Russia, was expecting to keep its two-thirds majority in the parliamentary elections. The opposition had been, for the most part, “purged,” and, besides United Russia, the only other parliamentary parties were (and still are) docile groupings, all too willing to cooperate with the Kremlin rather than risk their seats in the State Duma.
Even at the time of its creation, the Nashi movement seemed superfluous. Nashi emerged from the pro-Putin group “Walking Together” that was headed by Vasily Yakemenko, who later became the connecting link between the movement and Deputy Kremlin Chief-of-Staff Vladislav Surkov. This marked the beginning of this project, the history of which can be divided roughly into four stages.
Superfluous or dangerous?
The Kremlin was too paranoid of any group larger than 5 people existing in the country even under their own supposed control being allowed to exist. They know just how loathed and unpopular and antithetical the occupation system they built and managed is to the Russian people.
So, why risk riling the slumbering Russian giant?
The first stage, which proved to be the most successful one, covers the period from 2005 to 2007. The movement declared its objective of “forcibly preserving” the current political system, with a gradual replacement of the ruling bureaucracy. (This last point was stated more for PR purposes than as a realistic goal). Liberals and “fascists” were defined as the main “targets” (in fact, they were equated with each other,) meaning all those who intended to “go into the streets” in order to influence the government in the way protesters did in Georgia and Ukraine.
Yes, the Kremlin was always scared of the Russian patriots, who they label as Fascists, just like the West labels its dissidents as well. The Liberals they feared as their eventual replacements, not because of any ideological conflict, being Liberal or rather, postmodern themselves..
The Nashi movement was to become an alternative, aggressive street force ready to use tough methods against “destructive” elements. In an effort to attract the apolitical youth, the Kremlin offered as “bait” promises of a fast career path, access to top government officials, and participation in prestigious projects. “Commissars,” who were at the head of the movement, would hold periodic meetings with the president and government ministers. Each year, Nashi organized a summer camp at Lake Seliger in the Tver region. As the movement’s activists themselves wrote, Nashi was a “training system for professional managers to replace the current ruling elite.”
However, the plan did not work out. United Russia was in no hurry to include young people from the Nashi movement in their election lists.
Funny enough, that is part of the story about how the USSR ended up being defeated as well. A bunch of vampire-lychs that relied on blood transfusions from young people simply refused to pass on their political positions to the next generation of Communists out of fear and bony-fisted greed. Irony of ironies, these younger Communists, educated in revolutionary ideology, began to organize in the 80s and work together to topple the USSR. This occurred all over the territory of the USSR and took on a superficial “national” character to get the clueless bumbling peasant masses onboard with yet another elite-driven agenda that ended up causing a mini-genocide because of the collapse that it engendered.
The same conditions exist now, by the way.
The RF leadership is extremely old, but surely, this generation of vampire-lichs running the RF won’t repeat the same mistakes as last time, right?
The movement quickly became a mechanism for receiving financial resources through semi-official channels. Only a few members managed to obtain a promotion, and, even then, only with Surkov’s personal patronage. Very soon, the movement became engulfed in scandals linked to its provocative actions against foreign ambassadors and Russian civic activists, as well as its use of “dirty tricks” to discredit political opponents. However, the first two years of Nashi’s existence can be called its golden age. Businessmen, ministers, and United Russia members, who vocally “supported” Nashi’s ambitious projects, “voluntarily” met with the movement’s representatives.
Again, we see Surkov’s main mission objective in all he does: to create an alternative, controlled, and safe form of Russian patriotism.
The second stage began in late 2007 and lasted until approximately 2009. It was a period of political uncertainty for the movement. Dmitri Medvedev, who succeeded Putin as president, quickly distanced himself from Nashi. It was rumored that Medvedev’s relationship with Surkov was difficult (later, it considerably improved,) and the new president, who passed for a “liberal,” did not want to “soil himself” by association with a pro-Kremlin project of questionable reputation. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Nashi were pushed aside, the movement’s financing decreased, and there was talk about closing down the project altogether.
It is funny to see Medvedev portray himself as a caricature of what he imagines a Russian patriot to be on social media now, demanding that the Anglo-Satanists be nuked and the Ukrainians exterminated or what have you.
The masses eat it up though, of course.
“Iron Dima” they call him! Medvedev learned some PR lessons from Surkov as well, clearly.
However, the movement continued to be maintained, as they say, “just in case.” The activities on Lake Seliger and provocative actions against the opposition continued. But the movement’s participation in domestic politics declined until the third stage in Nashi’s history.
Lake Seliger is where you have the “Athos of the North”. It is a lake with islands where monks live. There are even a handful of mystics there, apparently. Hesychasts, maybe. I’ve always wanted to go. Under the USSR it was a penal colony.
It is also a “spook lake” and it’s where you have Putin and the FSB and the church higher-ups intermingling.
As Surkov was drawing closer to Medvedev (which, in the end, cost him his post as deputy chief-of-staff), the Kremlin was trying to breathe new life into Nashi. In 2009 and 2010, many believed that President Medvedev would have a second term. The new agenda associated with a political “thaw,” “liberal” rhetoric, a warming of relations with the US, and the encouragement of innovation demanded new ideas from the movement. It was not a coincidence that Nashi started showing an active interest in modernization. The Kremlin made an attempt at reforming the movement in order to include it into what it believed would be the new political reality and make it into President Medvedev’s youth support base.
They tried to Liberalize Nashi and make it about multiculturalism and supporting free market capitalism in Russia (oligarchic looting), while also defending communism (sprawling spook state and killings of dissidents by thugs) basically. This imploded the project.
However, not much came out of it. Nashi have not become innovators, and their involvement in a number of scandals brought the government more harm than good. Suspicions about Nashi overseer Vasily Yakemenko’s involvement in beating up well-known journalist Oleg Kashin became a turning-point.
Amusingly, Kashin used to call himself a Liberal-Nationalist (of the civic anti-ethnos variety) and worked for the other half of the Boris Yeltsin crime cabal that Putin and his people ended up shutting down.
Kashin and I used to clash on Twitter all the time back in the day. He accused me of working for Putin and the FSB. Lol. Good times. He’s in London now.
However, it was neither the bad reputation nor the provocations that brought Medvedev’s “romance” with Nashi to an end. Instead, it was the result of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s decision to return to the Kremlin, which he announced during the now-famous United Russia congress in September 2011. This congress marked the political death of Medvedev, his agenda, his team and everything that it had achieved. Medvedev also “dragged down” Surkov, who was moved to the post of deputy prime minister for modernization, which Putin considered politically safe (the post of deputy prime minister for “nothing,” as observers joked at the time). The scope of innovation was reduced to the Skolkovo project, which would soon be embroiled in criminal cases and investigations of embezzlement of budget funds.
As Surkov himself explained: Yeltsin’s role was to reform the old Soviet system and create the new system in Russia. Putin’s role was to stabilize the system and legitimize it. Medvedev’s role was to pick up where Yeltsin left off and continue Liberalizing it. But Putin’s people realized that Medvedev and his people were going to press them out and work with the new generation of West-approved Liberals and so they staged a comeback despite the handover of power.
The current stage in Nashi’s existence began when Vyacheslav Volodin replaced Surkov in the Kremlin. Volodin considered the movement dangerous and was not inclined to continue pampering it. The current first deputy Kremlin chief-of-staff comes from the ruling party, and he disliked Surkov’s attempts to force United Russia to include Nashi members on the party’s election lists, especially since United Russia had its own youth division that competed with Nashi. It is no surprise that, after having dealt with the opposition, Volodin turned his attention to the legacy left to him by his predecessor.
Basically, Nashi was destroyed because two factions of crooks and spooks clashed and the people around Surkov lost. This meant that any project to create some kind of patriotic popular culture died in the aftermath of an oligarchic spat. No further attempts were made to create any kind of patriotic social movement and the strategy switched back to the Bolshevik approach of outlawing all civil society.
If the early period was characterized by the effort to create a controlled political system with the illusion of plurality like in the West, the later period of Putin’s regency was characterized by the shut down of pretty much all independent social or political projects.
This came to be referred to both approvingly and scathingly as the ideology of “Stabilnost”- stability.
According to Vedomosti newspaper, the Kremlin wanted to reform the Nashi movement by changing its name and objectives. “We will not divide our young people into ‘ours’ and ‘not ours,’ there will not be such a word in the new name,” assures Vedomosti’s source.
Funny. “Nashi” literally means “ours” and the Kremlin said that this kind of exclusionary language was problematic because it implies someone is “not ours”.
Despite the fact that the Kremlin’s youth policy has not changed, Volodin does not need the Nashi movement in its present form. The Russian government is still “keeping in mind” the possibility of a “color revolution,” especially in the context of a growing protest activity and a maturing opposition. The political situation in Russia is becoming less predictable, and the risks of destabilization are growing. The regime is undergoing a moral crisis and is increasingly vulnerable against a background of anticorruption exposés by civic activists.
Under such circumstances, the tactics employed by Kremlin-mobilized forces at demonstrations will become increasingly rougher and more confrontational. The reformed Nashi movement will lose its key role, and more conservative elements such as “Orthodox” activists, public organizations like Sergey Kurginyan’s All-Russia Parents Assembly, and even the Cossacks will move to the forefront. The belligerent support for Putin from marginal groups is becoming more ideological and aggressive toward the opposition in general, and liberals in particular. It may very well be that these new tactics will make us nostalgic for the times when the relatively innocuous Nashi were marching in the streets.
Yes, well, all those later groups are gone now too. The Kremlin just uses cops in ski masks with batons, as the article predicted. They don’t care how bad it looks that they have no one on their side marching in the streets to support Putin. Politics is illegal in Russia, for better or for worse.
The Fall of Surkov
FP had another article on his fall from grace in 2020:
The gray cardinal. Putin’s Rasputin. The Kremlin puppet master. Vladislav Surkov, a close advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has achieved near-mythical status over the years as the self-proclaimed author of the Putin system, which flirts with democratic principles to cloak its increasing authoritarianism. But on Tuesday he was summarily sacked in the latest of a series of political shake-ups as the Kremlin prepares for what to do when Putin’s term limit expires in 2024.
He leaves behind a complicated legacy for both Russia and Ukraine, where he carefully stage-managed separatist groups in the country’s east. He was seen as a hard-liner in Kyiv, where his departure will likely be welcomed amid efforts to de-escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but regional analysts and former U.S. officials cautioned that any progress will be incremental at best.
“I think Putin feels quite comfortable with the way things are in Ukraine at the moment,” said Kurt Volker, who formerly served as U.S. special envoy for the Ukrainian peace process.
With a flair for theatrics, Surkov was uniquely suited to the role of micromanaging Russia’s hybrid war in Ukraine, where front groups, proxy fighters, and disinformation were used as a smoke screen to obscure the presence of Russian troops. In 2016, thousands of Surkov’s emails were released by Ukrainian hackers, revealing the degree to which he was involved in micromanaging separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.
Ah yes, the Donbass fiasco leading up to Minsk I and II and Russia getting “tricked” and “led by the nose” for 9 years. Surkov was instrumental in that as well. Most importantly, he was instrumental in handling the fallout from the betrayal of Donbass. He was the guy who managed the patriot side of the narrative and pushed the line that Minsk was a clever 5D move to checkmate the Satanists at some future date. The narrative that Saker fed us for many years was a Surkov fairy tale. It was right around the Syria intervention and Donbass that Saker and some other Z-personalities came along to explain to us all that Putin was a secret patriot all the while, working tirelessly behind the scenes to Judo-chop evil. Funny enough, Saker shared on his blog that he abandoned his previously-held anti-Russia positions after a meeting with a Russian spook who told him that the patriots were in control. These points are all related somehow, no doubt.
Do you remember Strelkov’s now infamous 39 questions about the war? You should, because Riley and I covered them.
Here is question #4:
4) What was the role of a number of high-ranking Russian officials (former deputy prime minister and assistant to the president, Vladislav Surkov, for example) when DPR and LPR militias were unable to reach the borders of the Donbass republics in 2014, even as they were pursuing the already disorderly retreating Armed Forces of Ukraine? Why was the front “fixed” on the outskirts of Donetsk? Why was Mariupol, abandoned by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, not liberated? What role did the behind-the-scenes negotiations between Surkov (and other representatives of the Kremlin’s VIP officials) play in this with the Ukrainian oligarchs—in particular, with Rinat Akhmetov? Why, after the liberation of Debaltsevo in the spring of 2015, the hostilities were again “frozen” and the Armed Forces of Ukraine were given the chance to restore their newly lost combat capability?
Surkov appears to be the only Deep State critter called out by name. Strelkov blames this man of mystery from the Caucasus for Moscow’s liquidation of the Novorussian effort and its leaders (among others). Did you know that Surkov isn’t even his real name? I mentioned it earlier. He falsified his own Russian background. The CIA spooks who run Wikipedia saw fit to include the truth about him though:
We continue with FP:
The emails show how in the earliest days of the conflict, Surkov received a shortlist of candidates to be “elected” to the government of the breakaway region Donetsk People’s Republic, and he was asked to edit a plea supposedly written by residents of the region calling on Kyiv to halt military operations. The letter was later published by the magazine Russian Reporter and by RT’s Russian-language site.
While Surkov was a master of so-called black PR, his replacement, Kozak, has long been Putin’s project manager of choice. He is considered a hard-working technocrat who has overseen some of the most ambitious projects of Putin’s tenure, including the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the integration of Crimea after it was annexed in 2014.
The substitution of Kozak for Surkov is indicative of the Kremlin’s growing appetite for steady hands as Putin approaches his term limit, said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “It does seem that there’s a strong preference for technocrats and managers to handle this uncertain period,” she said. Kendall-Taylor pointed to Putin’s recent appointment of Mikhail Mishustin, once the obscure but highly effective head of the country’s tax service, as prime minister as another key example.
The emails of Surkov were leaked by “hackers” from Ukraine i.e., probably MI6. They revealed, along with some PDF dumps that Surkov decided who would get what part of the Donbass. He picked the political leadership there.
Surkov also had a hand in putting Pushilin, the current DNR head, in charge. This, after Zakharchenko was assassinated, remember? Pushilin was sending Surkov invoices for his office budget apparently.
And if you doubt Rolo when he tells you that Surkov and his cronies in Donbass were looting the republics, why don’t you believe the Russian government instead? They arrested him for embezzlement i.e. he had a fallout from grace after the SMO was a flunk.
Ukraine was his project and he either failed or he threw it deliberately.
He wasn’t the only one of course, but the senior spooks outranked him, so he had to go. Luckily, the Kremlin elite all has kompromat on one another because of the looting that they all participate in together. A reason for an arrest can always be found.
This essay is already unspeakably long so I will end it here, without a conclusion even. I wanted to get it all down though so that I could reference it going forward. Don’t worry if all the foreign-sounding names didn’t sink in on the first reading, I will be referencing it and reiterating the key points in this essay again and again in future articles.
This stuff takes work though. Most of the work was done before I ever started the blog and I was running around Moscow and Peter talking to people, trying to get my foot in the door, getting rejected and trying to figure out what exactly Russia’s ruling class was and why the system was so Byzantine. Bit by bit, I began to peel back the onion domes and now I can finally share what ZAnon doesn’t want Western patriots to know about who runs Russia and for what purpose.
You ought to support my work, is what I am saying. Cherish what I bring to the table here. A couple of researchers have even cited my blog, believe it or not. If you have ever donated any money to ZAnon bloggers in the past, now is the time to make amends for that. I’m not exactly doing myself any favors by sharing the truth.
Don’t be ungrateful casual reader. Become a Slavlands Stalker by signing up with a sub instead!