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The Strelkov Angry Patriots Club Presser Was Not Covered By Any Russian or Z-Media
Once again, it is literally just me.
The much-awaited opening meeting of the APC came and went under a total media blackout. This is totally unsurprising though, of course. I took it upon myself to listen and write it up though, out of pure, selfless love for my readers, who do not even pay me enough for me to break even each month, mind you. Yes, I love them, but, sadly, the love is unrequited and uncompensated. I hate to commit a blasphemy or whatever, but I think I could easily be confused for Jesus at this point, considering all the slings and arrows of abuse I endure from “my side” and the sheer amount of word I am committing to virtual page at this point every day.
But I digress.
Here are the opening statements from the four public faces of the club.
Gubarev (Donbass vet and blogger):
the Russian government needs to defend Russia’s interests
that means fighting this war seriously
we need social justice in Russia, which means that we need to dedicate our efforts to winning the war
we are trying to create a coalition of non-system critics of the Russian government’s policies
because of the policies of the RF over the last 20 years, we do not plan to participate in politics [he means that voting is rigged]
but, if the situation changes, we might change our position
we might run a candidate from our club if things get worse
the war has stagnated and everything has gone badly
no new measures are being planned to remedy the situation
after 15 months of war, the Russian army has proven that it can only barely defend and poorly attack with large losses
the UAF, in contrast, has prepared a new attack, most likely on the south
our hope is to force a discussion and bring our concerns to the leadership
we don’t want the situation to degrade into a 1917 analogue
Aksel (leader of the reformed Naz-Bols):
we are not a party yet, but a platform for debates and for people to discuss our future
we need victory in this war above all else
we want to create an ideological platform for patriots and to be the flagship operation for the Russian patriotic ideal
millions support us and this cuts across ideological lines
Yurich (the arrested and released war medic):
we need to focus on concrete efforts to prepare people, help out with logistics
this is a fight against world Fascism, which wants to destroy the Jews, Gypsies, Catholics and then everyone else [would that it were so!] out of a sense of superiority
God is with us because we are Russian
Now for the interesting part: the journalists’ questions. Keep in mind that no Russian media showed up to the event, and the people that I was hoping would go that I personally know couldn’t make it. So, these are just some random, low-level foreign media outlets for the most part:
Question 1: why are you miraculously allowed to criticize the government, but Liberals in Russia are not? What is your secret?
Aksel: I come from opposition politics and the party of Limonov. The answer is that we are not afraid of anything. Secondly, we are acting legally. We do not fear the law.
What Liberals? The collaborationists? You mean the Liberals that raise funds for Ukraine right now? Aleksei Navalny, the beloved of Liberals, who tried to be mayor of Moscow? Do you think we forgot this? Liberal oppositions are actively working against Russia and are fomenting hate against the Russian people. We do not consider them Liberals or oppositionists, they are collaborators. We fight them on the ideological front. We have no large sponsors - our people are well-known and our actions are well-documented.
The Liberal Oppositions were the people in the government. Their people were in power. Their neoliberal policies are being felt now and hurting the country during the SMO. They have picked a position that does not allow them to participate in Russian politics anymore. They are ideological migrants. [I think he means that they are mentally in the West].
Gubarev: we are not a threat to the government, we are simply offering policy suggestions to help. That is why we are not being repressed.
Strelkov: we are the opposition, that much is indisputable. We all harshly critique the Kremlin. We believe that the current situation is the fault of the lethargy of the chinovniks of the government, the ones that didn’t run away that is. Those that were allowed to flee took government secrets with them. Like Chubais.
We are not going to close our eyes to the negative realities that led us to this situation. We are a constructive opposition that does not want to hurt its own country in pursuit of its own political ambitions. If it works, this may lead to a healing for the political system. We will see how the government reacts to us. We are for the Russian people, for victory, for the other peoples living in Russia.
We are against the government continuing to stagnate. We are against the stealing of capital by billionaires who stash their wealth abroad and don’t invest it at home. We are against the demographic replacement of Russians by huge numbers of Central Asians. We are not against them as people, but we are for the Russian people, to whom Russia belongs. We do not need hordes of low-skill workers when Russians can work those jobs. Who are not fighting on the front. But the migrants keep coming and taking their jobs.
This situation has to change. Regardless of the outcome of this war. We are against the Western template. Russia’s enemies want to split Russia up and decades of war and millions of dead that will dwarf the deaths of the SMO. Will we become a serious political force? I do not now. A lot depends on the outcome of the war. Victory or loss. And the terms of the victory or loss.
That is why the government, which is experiencing an idea bankruptcy now because they can no longer be pro-Western, maybe they will turn to us for help in constructing a new ideology.
[I am skipping over Yurich’s answer because he speaks very quickly and too emotionally with a lot of fluff and sounds like everyone’s slavland grandpa with his view of history and so on, which is not interesting to me or anybody, sorry.]
NOTE: I’m getting tired, and I’m not even halfway through, so from this point on, I will be just writing the gist of what they say and not trying to provide a faithful to the letter transcription.
Question 2: what is your opinion of Prigozhin’s situation, his views on the MoD?
Strelkov: there are many problems on all levels. War is politics by other means. Nine years of the RF continuing to affirm the legitimacy of the maidan coup government. All this to maintain a “friendly” Ukraine.
We need to talk about strategic decisions taken by the government, not just the MoD.
We are not fighting seriously.
We have no concrete goals.
We need to destroy the Kievan government, not the Ukrainian people, who are our people.
China is not our ally and will not help us defeat NATO
We need full mobilization of the economy and the army
The president has to become the wartime commander and take on the authority or delegate it to someone
We need united leadership, one leader
Those who reduced to our military to this state, and who allowed the defeats, they need to be replaced
There are too many necessary measures that need to be taken to list
Question 3: on the crisis of leadership … what measures do you propose, what partnership can you offer? [can’t hear him well and he stutters]
We want a Parliamentary style discussion to figure out how to wage the war more effectively and modernize the country
We need economic stimulation
Not all chinovniks are bad, the system is bad, they are prisoners of the mafia criminal system and the efforts of the system to simply steal everything and send it to the West
Joke: we demand the turnover of the government to the Angry Patriots Club
Neither we nor the government can offer one another anything
We are in a crisis that will eventually destroy the government
There have to be alternative set up and ready to go should this come to pass
So far, we already have the Liberal Opposition, which hasn’t gone anywhere, who has all the money, all the support in the West, and domination in the media, and public figures like Navalny and Kasparov
They will likely come to power next
This will lead to de-soverenization
We see a scenario like Maidan with Yanukovitch vs the Opposition which is a choice between bad and badder
We want to be a third position/force
If our government has half a brain, unlikely, this situation can be avoided still
We provide our services to try and prepare our soldiers, who are left untrained by the government and who will be killed
Local governments in the regions are paralyzed, don’t know what to do, hope it will pass, are afraid of the new people who will come to power and punish them
Anyone can appeal to us for help in preparation for what comes next if they have the desire
Question 3: how do we tell whether the SMO was successful given how vague the stated goals are?
the goals that have been specified are nowhere close to being realized
we have lots of questions about how the war is conducted [see Strelkov’s 39 questions, which he repeats]
Alright, you get the gist of it. This is getting tedious. Here are the parts that I found interesting onwards.
On the UAF capabilities:
If we believe the information from open sources, and I have no other. Well and apply some analysis, then the AFU has prepared in reserve 11 12 brigades. Of them well and thoroughly armed with Western weapons, that is fully equipped with combat equipment from 4 to 6. This includes two heavy brigades with several tank battalions. The rest are mechanized, but also fully equipped with both Western armor and Western artillery, including modern self-propelled artillery. The enemy's strength is not that it has more tanks than the Russian Federation. It's not that they have more shells so far. At the moment the shortage of shells is felt both in our troops and in the Ukrainian army. The enemy's strength in intelligence and communications on these two components we have a colossal failure, which I don't know if the overall situation has improved. If it has improved, it's only thanks to volunteers like Yuri Yurievich, like the smart guy who is also a member of our Vladimir Club, but to a lesser extent thanks to the Ministry of Defense. Our satellite constellation has clearly not increased. The number of reconnaissance aircraft has not increased either. According to these parameters the AFU has a very serious advantage over us. And since they now have the initiative thanks to the fact that we broke the power lines during the winter spring campaign about their reinforcements in Donbass, they can use the accumulated reserves in the place and at the time they deem most convenient.
On the threat of the Liberal megacities:
I'll continue the thought, develop it a little bit. The fact is that when you look at the Russian Federation today, you might imagine that it's a monolith, but of course it's not. Problems have not been solved for decades, they have been piling up and, as we say, shoved under the rug. Naturally, they didn't go anywhere, they just grew, swollen. If we start suffering military defeats, serious military defeats. That is, the more bombs will increase the more strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation. The more the economic situation of the Russian Federation will deteriorate? The war never gets better for the population, the more the population will question the government and the more the population of the megalopolises, where liberal ideology is traditionally deeply rooted. No one will ask the residents of Irkutsk or Tomsk who they support. Stake will be made only on the population of Moscow, St. Petersburg, maybe Yekaterinburg and some other cities, and mostly in Moscow and St. Petersburg. That's it. It is they who, just as in Kiev in '14, will decide here what will happen to the country next. And even these decisions will be thrown out from the outside and offered ready-made in the expectation of emotions, and they will only be required to jump or dance on some Maidan, if there are any at all. It is possible that in Russia it will not be like that at all.
Strelkov on the looming Wagner mutiny:
I begin as a former defender of the constitutional order and a reserve officer of the Russian FSB. Yes, I consider Prigozhin a very serious threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation. Moreover, some of his recent statements, which he has made, given his status as the formal master of an entire army corps, I believe they already bear all the signs of a threat of military mutiny.
Prigozhin is clearly going to go into politics. For the sake of it all the Wagner PMCs are put on the march. In fact, he is a politician, who grew up on the blood of his own soldiers, on their meat. And he stressed that in addition to that from his great intelligence, he is not very smart. About the fact, that it turns out, that Bakhmut has a strategic perspective, that is a breakthrough in the march. That, for example, about what I, for example, spoke still in December of January. Which is clear to any military expert who knows the situation on the front. Here he is at a crossroads, on the whole thing, as they say, like the flu broke out. He's getting into politics, he's trying to earn himself some urgent credibility with words of truth. Probably because he knows, being at least in Putin's inner circle or his patrons in London. What we know precisely from Prigozhin's behavior can largely be judged by how deep the crisis of the current government and the system that is at the head of Russia has gone.
This is why I think that the public polemic between Prigozhin and the Ministry of Defense is the result of the contradictions within the power clan, which have grown to the surface. This is the beginning of the struggle for life after Putin. Unfortunately, this is true. As critical as I am of Putin, right now Putin is the only legitimate figure in the Russian Federation. His overthrow now, the elimination of illness or, as we joke, I'm tired, I'm leaving. It would mean the collapse of the Russian Federation. At the moment there is no one else in Russia who has at least relative legitimacy and enjoys at least relative authority among the population. And he has created this situation himself. Well, what we have is what we have.
And there you have it.
Their political prospects? Literally less than zero, and they themselves admit that they have no support from anyone with money or power and, no media spotlight even. Furthermore, they lack flair and the ability to make some noise, which Prigozhin is quite good at.
Despite the fact that many people could, in theory, support them, most of these people watch TV and therefore will not believe their dire warnings and won’t ever even hear about them. Strelkov himself admits that the older generation in Russia is almost entirely tech-illiterate and distrusts the internet, trusting only the TV.
So that’s that then.
This article took me like 4 hours to write and it was a tedious job if I’m being honest. I did it because I thought it was important and of interest to you …
… the people ….
I’d much rather just write my own analyses and manifestos, truth be told, and they’d be just as effective as Strelkov’s, unfortunately.
If you find my efforts to bring this alternative patriotic perspective to light useful, send my some money by signing up for the paywall of the blog. Come June, if I have not yet secured my $1000 a month, I go full “dark clown” paywall-only mode. We are making progress though. Only 10 more paid subs to go.
Go sign up for the paywall now. Seriously. Go do it now.
Oh, and hopefully, I will be able to start a direct conversation with the angry patriots as well, sooner rather than later.