Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 21, 2021

Vladimir Putin On Petty Tabaquis And International Issues

“Nice sidekick, Shere Khan. A hyena who laughs at his own bad jokes.”
― Bagheera to Shere Khan about Tabaqui

Today Russia's President Vladimir Putin gave his annual Address to the Federal Assembly (English transcript).

Most of his talk was about domestic and economic issues. At the end he made some remarks towards international developments and other governments.

The warnings he is giving seems stronger than usual. Here are some snippets with emphasis added by me:

Setting the general tone:

Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

On the coup attempt in Belarus which seems to have been planned with outside actors:

[L]isten, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.
What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

A remark on the ankle-biters in the international scene who serve as U.S. proxies:

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling's book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

A clear warning. Likely aimed at U.S. plans to cut Russia off from the international bank messaging system SWIFT:

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia's response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

Sowing doubt in those who think they can predict Russia's reactions to their nefarious plans:

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

Putin (again) offers far reaching strategic weapon (nuclear and nonnuclear(!)) talks with the U.S. and other permanent members of the UN Security Council:

As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation, which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

That is an offer Biden should and probably will take up.

Putin also repeated his offer for a cyberweapon agreement. He again proposed a meeting of the five permanent UNSC members.

Unfortunately the U.S. is likely to ignore both of these.

Posted by b on April 21, 2021 at 17:23 UTC | Permalink

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Concurrent with the general NATO/EU hand-wringing over the build-up of Russian forces near the Ukraine border has been a series of op-eds asking the same questions: What does Russia want from Ukraine? Does Russia want to invade Ukraine?

The questioners are generally paid professional analysts , but the answers to what seem to them confounding mysteries are readily available, often through open-source venues. Clearly, in February and March the Ukrainian government made a series of unilateral moves/decisions outside of the Normandy format, including its own large-scale move of military personnel and equipment in the context of a open rejection of the Minsk agreements, repression directed at opposition leaders and media, and accepted a large offer of offensive weaponry from the United States. These events do not exist in western punditry.

It is similar to Russia's support to Syria. Putin went to the United Nations and made a statement explaining what they were going to do and why they were going to do it. What followed was exactly the same hand-wringing and unanswered questions - "why?" - despite the answers being openly stated clear as day.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 22 2021 16:37 utc | 101

jared @ 101

I did not understand why you believe it was a cyber attack rather than a missle

It's not what I believe, but what 'Taxi' believes, and what she wrote is all I got...and it strikes me as pretty astute conjecture.

Posted by: john | Apr 22 2021 16:41 utc | 102

Israel Shamir on UNZ

Must read

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 22 2021 16:45 utc | 103

@ john | Apr 22 2021 16:12 utc | 99


Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 22 2021 16:52 utc | 104

Thanks to john at #99 with the astute conjecture from Taxi about the recent explosion in Occupied Palestine

Thanks for that and it certainly has the potential I hope for....end the shit show....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 22 2021 16:56 utc | 105

@ oldhippie | Apr 22 2021 16:02 utc | 98

400km, mach 9 and evasive... I am outdated, like S400. So, Russian? And just by accident some Petrov or Boshirov pulled the trigger?

And just by accident an AD missile landed at Dimona. Right. Above our pay grade.

Above any TelAviv gay pride too


An hypothesis : hack in missile factory AND missile 17 km to Dimona.
Kind of Aïn Al-Assad.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 22 2021 17:05 utc | 106

james/ Apr 22 2021 15:57 utc | 96

The Jura is the "Jura mountain range", it runs alongside Switzerland and France with parts of it in both countries. From south of Geneva to above Basel. The emptiest part of France. Good for mushrooms and cows. (They is not the Alps which are to the south of Switzerland)

john | Apr 22 2021 16:12 utc | 99
Thanks, one more reason that the Israelis do not want to say any missiles came from Gaza are the upcoming Palestian elections. They do not want Hamas or the PA to have as a subject Israeli aggression. Although there is plenty of that, with Hamas potential candidates being sequestered (Just kidnapped without trial or accusation), regular settler violence aided by the IDF, and continuing destruction of houses, seizure of land and 800 PA kids imprisoned since the beginning of the year. (Why? What do they do with them?) + Harassement of citizens who would be likely be voter activists.

This is ethnic cleaning and to say that Gaza has upped its capabilities would point a spotlight at their barbaric practises in the "western press"....
The rest of the post makes good sense - could well be Iran. They would not hit Dimona, but would certainly have the capacity and accuracy to hit any misssile factory they wanted to.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 22 2021 17:21 utc | 107

Krasnoyarsk, capital of Krasnoyarsk Krai, is a city of over 1 million on the east bank of the Yenisei River, one of the three great rivers of central Russia. It is a seven hour flight from Moscow, if I recall. Established in the mid 17th century as part of the Russian fur trading empire, it was linked to western Russia in the 19th century by the Ob-Yenisei canal and later by the trans-Siberian railway. From tsarist times is was used as a place to exile people with inconvenient political aspirations and out of favor intelligentsia - far from Moscow - and, partly as a result of this influx, evolved as a regional cultural center. During WWII the aluminum plant located there manufactured parts for Soviet aircraft - too far from Germany to bomb. Construction of the huge hydroelectric dam south of the city in the 1960s allowed aluminum production to increase. To the north is located one of the Soviet era 'Secret Cities' involved in plutonium production for the Soviet weapons program. Krasnoyarsk is also one of the main academic centers in central Russia.

Regarding the current mood there - all of the regions of eastern Russia (east of the Ural Mountains) have longstanding complaints against the central government - lack of fiscal attention, some desire for more autonomy, etc. There are also the standard complaints about government and police corruption. The Soviet era aluminum plant was both inefficient and very polluting, especially in winter. Most of the output of the hydro dam was used to produce aluminum such that electricity had to be imported to service domestic and other needs. Construction of the dam caused the river not to freeze in winter and this was believed to worsen the air pollution problems due to moisture from the open water. There were problems with radioactive waste pollution of the river downstream from the city connected to the weapons facilities. I do not know if the aluminum plant has been modernized, but I suspect it has been. The hydro dams on the Yenisei and Angara rivers were privatized and when the turbine disaster occurred at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station in 2009, deferred maintenance was blamed. Brings to mind the recent Norilsk Nickle tank spill up north. The dams on the Angara river were very controversial and opposed by many locals. The Angara drains Lake Baikal and its water was considered especially pure, sacred by some.

I don't believe there is any particular groundswell of anti-Putin sentiment there (I haven't heard that there is), and the main sources of dissatisfaction are likely typical of much of eastern Russia.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 22 2021 17:32 utc | 108

Palestian elections => Palestinian.

The Russians are said to be pulling back from their stance. ie. "Ending" the present "exercises." sending the soldiers off-field.

Very subtle. What they are doing is reducing (visibly for the PR) the quantity of servicemen dirctly involved in or near the frontier. BUT, the are leaving most, if not all, the heavy weapons in place. Particularly around Crimea. The heavies would be harder to transport back to the front line in the case of an advance by Zelnskies comrade-clots. The men are easier to move in a hurry - just fly them in or catch a passing train.

In other words the Russian "threat" is still there, but the Russians are, for the MSM, backing off. Zelnsky has the choice and probably an obligation to act. He can't afford to continue without financial backing for his forces, diesel for his trains etc. Might he attack ? (apart from being a crass idiot if he did so). Then the forces in Donbas would be capable of delaying any incursion to allow a field force to reoccupy the terrain they have just trained on.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 22 2021 17:36 utc | 109

@ 109 stonebird.. thanks! i didn't know that.. i found your story on the rabies quite fascinating..

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 17:43 utc | 110

Beg to differ, Bernard F., rabies can NOT be cured once there are symptoms. There is a vaccine. If one is bitten and begins the five injection course right away, there is little danger, as the incubation time is a couple of weeks. Do not take it lightly! Before covid, it was still a leading cause of death in India, mostly due to dog bites.

Other topics: Edgar Snow: Recommended exceedingly interesting first hand accounts of China. Viz Stalingrad, the lack of information must be a comparatively recent political trick. In my eeuu youth I read much about it - many usans believed that the Russian sacrifice in Stalingrad was hugely important in "winning" the war. A dismaying other view of WW11 is Patrick Buchanan's "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War." Pesky Poland. Of course we Irish descent people have a very different view of that false god Churchill.
If the state of the arts is an indication of the vitality of a culture, surely Russian is full of life.
The "west" seems to have developed a hatred of art, which would not at all surprise J. Swift.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 22 2021 18:28 utc | 111

Bernard F. @ 108

Mach 9 is from wiki. They always understate any Russian capability and are usually a year or three behind. Russia is building maneuverability into everything new, even shorter range stuff like the Hermes.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 22 2021 20:53 utc | 112

I agree fully with vk at number 13.

Among Putin's failures:

1. He had a brilliant change to use the victory Chechnya to break with Yeltsinism. He didn't because he's a Yeltsinite through and through, with only better PR and less alcohol.

2. Even his much ballyhooed antioligarch actions were limited to oligarchs who had political ambitions. The rest were left alone to make as much money as they want and continue to do so to this day.

3. The absolute and total failure to find a successor. I have often asked the Putinist regime worshippers if they think Putin is immortal. What would happen if he died or became incapacitated tomorrow? Do they have any justification for the aprés moi l'deluge approach?

4. The destruction of any system other than Yeltsinism to run the country. Socialism? You'd have to have a second Great October Revolution for that and nationalise everything. The last time I was in Russia shops didn't even have maximum retail prices on products, and when I went to buy stockings for my then girlfriend the only ones I found that were both affordable and any good at all were made in India.

5. It's not as though Russia doesn't have people who don't have an alternative vision for the country. Sergei Kurginyan of Essence Of Time, for example. But they'll never get a look into the government, while Atlanticist leeches like Nabiullina still run the central Bank.

6. And I won't even get started on the "restraint" to NATOstani "provocations" (really open war by proxy).

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 23 2021 0:42 utc | 113

Biswapriya Purkayast @ 115

Now that you've told us all the things that are wrong with Putin what's your alternative solution?

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

~ Benjamin Franklin ~

Posted by: Lawrence Miller | Apr 24 2021 13:47 utc | 114

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